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Obit - Folk music and its relevance

GUEST,Danger danger 26 Nov 04 - 11:03 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 26 Nov 04 - 11:17 AM
GUEST 26 Nov 04 - 11:18 AM
Pete Jennings 26 Nov 04 - 11:19 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 26 Nov 04 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,danger danger 26 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM
Paco Rabanne 26 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 26 Nov 04 - 11:22 AM
Pete Jennings 26 Nov 04 - 11:23 AM
Paco Rabanne 26 Nov 04 - 11:27 AM
GUEST 26 Nov 04 - 11:27 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 26 Nov 04 - 11:34 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 26 Nov 04 - 11:35 AM
Paco Rabanne 26 Nov 04 - 11:43 AM
Once Famous 26 Nov 04 - 11:49 AM
DonMeixner 26 Nov 04 - 12:17 PM
GUEST 26 Nov 04 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Frank 26 Nov 04 - 12:24 PM
GUEST 26 Nov 04 - 12:44 PM
PennyBlack 26 Nov 04 - 02:19 PM
Peace 26 Nov 04 - 02:42 PM
Once Famous 26 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM
DonMeixner 26 Nov 04 - 02:58 PM
John Routledge 26 Nov 04 - 03:48 PM
jacqui.c 26 Nov 04 - 04:25 PM
SINSULL 26 Nov 04 - 04:33 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 26 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Nov 04 - 04:48 PM
Amos 26 Nov 04 - 04:50 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Nov 04 - 04:50 PM
Pat Cooksey 26 Nov 04 - 05:48 PM
GUEST 26 Nov 04 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,smiler 26 Nov 04 - 06:23 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 04 - 06:27 PM
Once Famous 26 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM
Mudlark 26 Nov 04 - 07:34 PM
DonMeixner 26 Nov 04 - 07:36 PM
PennyBlack 26 Nov 04 - 07:36 PM
Once Famous 26 Nov 04 - 07:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Nov 04 - 07:40 PM
Nemesis 26 Nov 04 - 07:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Nov 04 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 26 Nov 04 - 08:39 PM
punkfolkrocker 26 Nov 04 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 26 Nov 04 - 09:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Nov 04 - 10:07 PM
Bill D 26 Nov 04 - 10:16 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 04 - 10:23 PM
John C. 27 Nov 04 - 05:34 AM
Mary Humphreys 27 Nov 04 - 07:18 AM
treewind 27 Nov 04 - 07:26 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Nov 04 - 10:56 AM
punkfolkrocker 27 Nov 04 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,smiler 27 Nov 04 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,smiler 27 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM
Ed. 27 Nov 04 - 12:11 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM
John Routledge 27 Nov 04 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,smiler 27 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM
treewind 27 Nov 04 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,observer 27 Nov 04 - 12:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 04 - 12:57 PM
rhyzla 27 Nov 04 - 01:04 PM
Once Famous 27 Nov 04 - 01:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 04 - 01:59 PM
Blissfully Ignorant 27 Nov 04 - 02:05 PM
DonMeixner 27 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 04 - 03:21 PM
greg stephens 27 Nov 04 - 03:26 PM
punkfolkrocker 27 Nov 04 - 04:04 PM
Peace 27 Nov 04 - 04:26 PM
Peace 27 Nov 04 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,observer 27 Nov 04 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,mongrel 27 Nov 04 - 06:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Nov 04 - 07:25 PM
John Routledge 27 Nov 04 - 07:37 PM
cobber 27 Nov 04 - 07:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Nov 04 - 10:06 PM
Once Famous 27 Nov 04 - 10:27 PM
punkfolkrocker 27 Nov 04 - 11:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Nov 04 - 12:03 AM
PoppaGator 28 Nov 04 - 12:49 AM
DonMeixner 28 Nov 04 - 01:26 AM
PennyBlack 28 Nov 04 - 05:39 AM
John C. 28 Nov 04 - 08:13 AM
Hand-Pulled Boy 28 Nov 04 - 09:36 AM
Nemesis 28 Nov 04 - 10:36 AM
Megan L 28 Nov 04 - 11:04 AM
John C. 28 Nov 04 - 11:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Nov 04 - 12:51 PM
Blissfully Ignorant 28 Nov 04 - 02:07 PM
chris nightbird childs 28 Nov 04 - 02:10 PM
English Jon 28 Nov 04 - 03:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Nov 04 - 04:34 PM
George Papavgeris 28 Nov 04 - 08:58 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 29 Nov 04 - 06:31 AM
shepherdlass 29 Nov 04 - 06:37 AM
Paco Rabanne 29 Nov 04 - 06:38 AM
Paco Rabanne 29 Nov 04 - 06:39 AM
shepherdlass 29 Nov 04 - 08:19 AM
VIN 29 Nov 04 - 08:33 AM
Fibula Mattock 29 Nov 04 - 09:03 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Nov 04 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 29 Nov 04 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Jim 29 Nov 04 - 12:16 PM
Grab 29 Nov 04 - 01:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Nov 04 - 01:51 PM
Linael 29 Nov 04 - 02:42 PM
BB 29 Nov 04 - 02:45 PM
shepherdlass 29 Nov 04 - 02:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Nov 04 - 05:09 PM
John Routledge 29 Nov 04 - 05:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Nov 04 - 05:50 PM
Nemesis 29 Nov 04 - 07:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Nov 04 - 07:22 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Nov 04 - 07:44 PM
PennyBlack 30 Nov 04 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Jim 30 Nov 04 - 08:59 AM
Hand-Pulled Boy 30 Nov 04 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Jim 30 Nov 04 - 10:10 AM
Hand-Pulled Boy 30 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM
Gervase 30 Nov 04 - 01:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Nov 04 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 30 Nov 04 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,David Edwards 01 Dec 04 - 05:41 AM
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Subject: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Danger danger
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:03 AM

Why folk music is beginning to lose its relevance.

As a member of a duo who were banned from the sun inn folk open mic for having views which superceded the value of a 15th cnetury cornish fishin' village, I would like to state my opinion of today's folk music and singers.

Is not folk in the end about the people (i.e folk) and should not be classed as a certain musical spieces such as Bodrum, guitar and wailing out of tune voices, but the basic principal of the song. Punk in its finest non-school kid whining aspect is just a contempary version of what people were trying to say 200years ago.

People who refuse to seee this, mostly the middle classes who sing about the struggle of the people but would shit themselves if an ethnic minority moved next door are destroying whats left of this fine heritage. For homework listen to Jello Biafras working of Phil Oak's "Love me I'm a Liberal" for meaning.

Until the wax jacket cretins realise that Folk can be fun and not 100 verses of Dilly Dally my dear Sally and can include3 topics from the last 20years then the music will become irrelevant. If somehow this trend can change we can all get back to what it really means. A voice for the people through music.

MY TWO PENNIES!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:17 AM

not sure who you are, or why you were "banned" from The Sun session, but I know that the people that run the sessions, Roger and Mick, run them fairly and everyone gets a chance to do their bit.
However, if you start sining Punk songs at a Folk session, you probably aren't in the right place, try The Adelphi.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:18 AM

Get a spell checker, FFS.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:19 AM

Well, as it happens there's a couple of "ethnic minorities" moving in next door as I type - the truck is still being unloaded - and I ain't shitting myself, and I've got a wax jacket, though there ain't much wax left on it. However I've never heard of Dilly Dally my dear Sally nor have I ever read such a load of cobblers in my life.

If you want to play modern music, that's fine by me, but don't expect to be able to play it in a "traditional" folk club, dummy.

Pete


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:19 AM

piss off guest.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,danger danger
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM

Thank you gentleman for proving my point


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM

What key are your songs in?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:22 AM

Waht point is that?
Who are you, who banned you and what did they say to you?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:23 AM

Obvioulsy a complete idiot and a troll to boot. Let this one die.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:27 AM

We know who this is, don't we jOhn?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:27 AM

Why for stating a point Mr Jennings? I never put down folk music, there's great folky acts out there in Hull and surroundin' areas, Cowfish, Harri Watts band, etc etc..... this is a rail against the clique nature of certain folk groups. Obviously I'm touchin' the nerve on some people - which again proves my point.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:34 AM

Guest-as i said, your material should suit the venue and event, if you start doing punk, [or heavy metal, etc], at a session where everyone else is singing traditional folk songs your material is not going to be appreciated no matter how good it is, like I said, if you want to do Punk stuff, try the Adelphi, or The Lamp.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:35 AM

Dunno Ted, is it Cracktown?

danger-are you cracktown?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:43 AM

I reckon so jOHN,


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Subject: RE: Obit: Folk music and its relevance
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:49 AM

I don't give a shit about how relevant folk music is.

I like it if it's musically interesting and if it's entertaining.

Go back to your naval gazing.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 12:17 PM

It is "Phil Ochs" by the way.

Don


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 12:17 PM

Actually, I'm in complete agreement with Danger Danger's assessment of the folk scene, and it equally applies to the nature of the folk scene in the US, which is even more moribund as a result of the middle class middle age revivalist syndrome.

It also makes for shit, unimaginative music most the time, and complete denial that most people who perform folk music are technically trained, note reading musicians, not the self-taught.

There is some truth to the idea that other genres of music have become today's folk music, if we use the same yardstick to measure contemporary music as we do historic "folk" music. Punk is one area of music where this is true. So are hybrids of traditional music of one or more ethnic music traditions combined with contemporary pop, rock, punk, jazz, blues, dance music, etc.

It is the traditionalist purists that have made sure this is museum music, for only them to perform for schools, community centers, etc etc while the spirit of living traditions is slapped down and demonized as "crap".

I say here, here to Danger Danger.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 12:24 PM

Folk music is open to interpretation these days. It seems there is no agreement on how to define it.

It's music that connects with people. Instead of history which is facts, it tells about how people felt at one time or another.

It will always be relevant because it is the deepest expression of
humanity and culture(s). It will be relevant because it embraces those values of respect for tradition, caring about how people felt, music that is simple but sincere and unadorned with specious complexity, carried on by those who are not necessarily in the spotlight or in the media,
and shared from generation to generation away from the corrupting influence of those who use market forces to gain power in the music industry.

It will be critical when it's necessary to do so. It will be topical because that is what concerns everyday people. It will be made up, composed, changed, altered to fit new circumstances, flexible, resilient in the face of commercialism and not subject to the whims of a greedy, disposable musical product for public consumption. It's not a musical candy bar, coke machine, MacDonald burger or plastic cup to be thrown away after its use. It stays because it is of substance and reflects the courage of culture(s) to survive.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 12:44 PM

"It will always be relevant because it is the deepest expression of
humanity and culture(s). It will be relevant because it embraces those values of respect for tradition, caring about how people felt, music that is simple but sincere and unadorned with specious complexity, carried on by those who are not necessarily in the spotlight or in the media,and shared from generation to generation away from the corrupting influence of those who use market forces to gain power in the music industry."

This is the essence of punk music, in other words. There are already "traditionalists" in punk music who care deeply about and have a tremendous amount of respect for punk music as a musical tradition/genre. The music itself is simple and unadorned, very sincere, and has been carried out mostly on the fringes of society for two generations, soon to be going on three. There are currently fears that the punk scene is being co-opted by the Avril Lavigne syndrome of a music industry looking to exploit the resurgence of punk culture as a commodifiable youth nice market the way it was done to hip hop. But most those involved in punk are wise to that, and seem to be much more dedicated to DIY and less susceptible to the seductions of money and fame which are, of course, anathema to the punk scene in the same ways as it has been historically to the folk scene.

We'll see.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PennyBlack
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 02:19 PM

Can I scream?
We lack the motion to move to the new beat!
We lack the motion to move to the new beat!

It's here for us to admire if we can afford the beauty of it
If we can afford the luxury of turning our heads if we can
Adjust that 1000 dollar smile and behold the creation of man
Great words won't cover ugly actions
Good frames won't save bad paintings!

We lack the motion to move to the new beat!
We lack motion!

When the day is over the doors are locked on us
Cause money buys the access and we can't pay the cost
How can we expect anyone to listen if we are using the same old voice
We need new noise
New art for real people!

We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs

We're not
We're not
We're not
We're not
We're not
We're not
Leading!

We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs

Here we go!

We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We're not leading

The new beat
The new beats
Thank you



-------------------------------------------

Maybe Refused said it in "New Noise" above?

No "boxes" for music in our house, we either like it or we don't.

PB


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Peace
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 02:42 PM

I don't understand the point of this thread.

I do not read music--except with the greatest of difficulty. That thanks to an introductory course I took at university--and elective that I figured would increase my GPA at the time. I have always played by ear, and listening to a song twice will give me the chords and melody (some exceptions do apply). If a chord beats me I call someone and ask.

I never found folk people to be stodgy or offended that I sang stuff I'd written (folk/rock influenced), songs I liked by other writers or arrangements of some traditional material. Equally, while I couldn't take a steady diet of traditional folk, neither could I take a steady diet of anything else, either.

I am aware that Malvina Reynolds "Little Boxes" addressed urban sprawl and mass-produced houses, but it might remind us that we just LOVE to put things in boxes. I agree with what Martin Gibson said above.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM

Thanks, brucie.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM

I don't even like punk music, but I can't help but nod in agreement with the last couple of messages posted by punk apologists. The music certainly is honest and unadorned, and thus meets at least some of the criteria that define "traditional" or "folk" genres.

However, punk music obviously will not meet *all* of the criteria that define acceptable styles of performance at certain trad-folk venues. And it's not the only kind of music that, on the one hand, might plausibly claim "folk" legitimacy, while on the other hand might be understandably unwelcome in certain folk contexts. I wouldn't expect even the oldest-style electric blues, for example, to be appropriate for every session or gathering.

If a given audience is not interested in your music, whether because they're not receptive to your viewpoint or simply because you're 'way too LOUD for them, have the good grace to find (or found!) a more hospitable venue.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 02:58 PM

It seems to me that the lack of relevance isn't in the music but in the snobbery that tends to come along with everything that we hold sacred in one form or another. There are music snobs in every type and style out there and none are worse or as humorous than the music snobs who, wrapped in the cloak of academia, claim I have heard real music and it is ____________ .

   Relevance is a fleeting and temporary thing at best. But relavance has the habit of coming around again. In the meanwhile the song becomes historic, sometimes quaint, and often nostalgic. Interstingly, much of what Phil Ochs (Phil Oaks in the first posting) wrote is becoming relevant again. "Love Me I'm a Liberal","Cops of the World", "There But For Fortune", and probably a bunch more come to my mind. The need and the sentiment are the same as when Phil wrote those songs in the 60's. Is the relevance of those sentiments only meaningful if someone new writes a song in a new way, in a new style?
Or do Phil's songs still have merit and worth? And if Phil's music is still worthy is the new song simply derivitive? Or is the new song the style and whatever Phil did simply relegated to the quaint and toothlessly historical. And is the replaying of these old songs by me, who is middle aged, simply a nostalgic paen to the past and a refusal to accept the new?
   And will the weight of the music I play only have value when I start to play in the new style?

Don


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: John Routledge
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 03:48 PM

Guest Danger Danger.: Please post a list of clubs with this attitude as I would love to attend them.

Have you ever tried to perform 50's Rock and Roll in a Poetry Reading Club?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: jacqui.c
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 04:25 PM

From personal experience in another part of the UK I know that there are many more venues catering for modern acoustic music than will accept traditional folk music. For my part I enjoy traditional folk and do not find modern punk or rap or pop to my taste. As a result I do not go to places that cater for that type of music. Why should I, and others who have similar tastes, have to accept this type of music at the venues that cater for my kind of music?

I have been in a situation where I stopped going to a particular venue because the style of the music became too broad and I did not find it enjoyable. I would go with jOhn here - find somewhere where your music fits and don't expect members of existing sessions to have to conform to YOUR own view of what should be played. That is showing a very immature attitude and is downright rude as well.

By the way, I don't have a waxed jacket or get upset with ethnic minorities moving into the neighbourhood.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: SINSULL
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 04:33 PM

What is a waxed jacket? I know I don't object to the ethnic minorities on my street but I may have a waxed jacket and just don't know it. Or is it some UK thing?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM

I knew you were angry jOhn 'cos all of your spelling was good. Whoever you are and whatever you play then sing and play to the best of your ability and if you're still crap then I'm sure you'll be told. Open sessions give new and old a like to 'have a go'.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 04:48 PM

Why not go to a punk venue and try to sing a traditional folk song and see what happens?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Amos
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 04:50 PM

No, punk i s not a form of folk music. It never has been, never will be, can't make it into that definition. At best it is cult music, some small subset of urban musical anarchic melodrama. A splinter-group on a small backwash of the stream that was born in African rhythm and the blues, but a splinter with genetic malformations throughout.

A


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 04:50 PM

And anyway, punk bands are just revivalists of the 1980s: not an original thought amongst punks since 1990.

Now metal, on the other hand....


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 05:48 PM

I think that Shane McGowan despite being a revivalist from the
great days of Irish folk, wrote great lyrics, in the days when
the Pogues were playing in Irish pubs in Camden Town they had
mainly a punk music following.
I sang, and played with various forms of the band in those days,
and really enjoyed it, Terry Woods was at this time a legend of
Irish music but recognised the fact that Irish music is ever
evolving, and could be presented in many ways.
In nuremberg where I live The Pogues minus McGowan played at the
Bardentreffen, the meeting of the Bards, to 40.000 people.
The Albion band representing the U.K. one week later had barely
200 people.
Folk music has great relevance, and allways had, whether in the
U.K. the U.S.A. or Europe, but if it remains static it will die,
or be championed by an ever decreasing group of tradionlists
rooted in the sixties.
All the best,
Pat Cooksey.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 06:06 PM

"No, punk i s not a form of folk music"

What about The Pogues?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,smiler
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 06:23 PM

If it was an open mic, they should have let you on regardless of style. Otherwise it wouldn't have been an open mic.

If someone doesn't like it, they only have to go to the toilet or the next bar, for the two or three songs.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 06:27 PM

My aging eardrums may be part of the reason I have no desire to subject myself to punk, and I've never been able (or for that matter even tried) to decipher the lyrics buried amid all those decibels. However, I do understand that some young people use this medium to air their grieveances and I acknowledge that one of the many functions of a community's music is to provide a voice for this general sort of thing.

The lyrics posted above by PennyBlack are certainly eloquent and impressive -- but I was able to access them only in the form of characters on a screen. I seriously doubt I ever would have or could have heard and understood them in their intended context, as sung in the midst of high-decibel electronic cacaphony.

So, I'll allow that punk music -- and even rap, for which I have even less tolerance -- can plausibly claim some legitimacy.

Doesn't mean I have to like it, though!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM

The whole test of it all will be if anyone cares 30-40 years from now.

Obviously what is now considered classic rock is now a form of folk music as it has withstood the test of time and is now considered relevant by a whole new generation of fans.

My step-son, 19 recently boght Crosby, Stills, and Nash's first album and asked me if I was familiar with it. Will that happen with the punk stuff from today(or from 1985) in the year 2022?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Mudlark
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:34 PM

Trad folk music is dying? Au contraire! Movies like O, Brother and Songcatcher were very popular (and tho the movies may not ha e been great a lot of the music WAS), and at least in my neck of the woods, the folky type venues are doing fine. So fine, in fact, that I have to order my tickets early as they almost always sell out before the concert date.

And...if I plunk down hard cash for a concert put on by the Folk Music Society   I would be pretty pissed off if what I got was punk, or raggoe...or Beethoven, for that matter. And I'd like to see how long a modern day Benny Goodman would last, let alone   a Michael Smith or Kate Rugby, on stage at the local tavern that features hard rock bands.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:36 PM

Hi Martin,

Yup. We'll all be sitting around campfires singing In My Time of Need or Gothic Sanctuary untill some says do an oldie and I'll ripp it up with an album length job of Thriller.

Whatever happened to Iggy Pop?

Don


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PennyBlack
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:36 PM

or even in the year 2525

PB


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:38 PM

Mudlark, without getting into the whole folk definition, movies like O Brother did much more for bluegrass players and not much for folksingers.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:40 PM

It seems to me that "punk" doesn't actually mean a kind of music as such, but rather an attitude towards the music and the performance.

There've been plenty of musicians who in their tiem have been called "punk", and songs written by them, that would find a welcome in any number of folk clubs and folk sessions. Shane McGowan's been mentioned, and Billy Bragg is another. Elvis Costello has been called "punk" in his day.

Of course, all these know how to put a song together and put a song across. That makes a difference.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Nemesis
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:50 PM

Haven't read all the thread - so, just responding to the first and last few posts:

''Punk'' at a ''folk'' session - well, how would it be if someone got up and tried singing(?) Claudy Banks (or something similar) at a ''Punk'' night?

Punk and Folk both encompass traditions of protest songs - in many ways they derive from a common grass roots - the medium of delivery is just different.

And, Martin, of course, Punk will survive .. it had too much of an impact - certainly as a medium of change (for the better), on the UK music scene.

Tell you what - listen live to old punk musician/poet 'Wreckless Eric' this Sunday 7-9pm GMT - he's still here, as are many Punk (and New Wave as it became) musicians ... many of them are Folk fans because of the similarities CLICK 'LISTEN' ON WEBSITE:BBC live & original music prog

Anyway, hasn't the discussion alleged 'chauvinism' / elitism/ clique-ism - what ever one wants to call it of some folk clubs ... been done to death here on Mudcat threads? Or, is that I'm getting very old and i) heard it all before, ii) these discussions occur cyclically?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 08:17 PM

Pat Cooksey is totally in the right of course. I suspect as a practising artist he sees the very real need for music to be a living developing thing. And Irish and American music just seem to do this naturally - its as though the very things that seem dear to English folk enthusiasts are the thing that stop it reaching the wider audience that would breath life into it and make new demands.

I don't know what the answer is, but I have learned over the years that we are all potentially creators and we need to be more tolerant of each others ambitions.

the way forward is not going to be closing our ears, nor confronting, and irritating the other party until he runs away in frustration.

Go to any major city round the world and listen to what the taxi driver plays - you will hear an identifiable Irish sound, American sound, Spanish sound, African sound. The English sound one suspects is urban rather than rural, Billy Bragg rather than the Watersons - but it isn't a coherent thing....and thats a pity cos until we have a coherent body of work, the sound that ordinary English men and women make with a guitar naturally - reflecting the way they sing and dance - rather than some oh so abstract piece of artifice .... so long English folk music will be on its way to the museum.

My tuppence worth.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 08:39 PM

Well, by one measure, punk is folk. It IS the music of a small, inward-looking group. However, it shares no traditional elements with typical folk music, so, it may be "FOLK," but it's not "OUR FOLK." That is, we're not the group that shares the values of punk, neither social nor musical.

So if you want to perform in a trad. folk club, you'd best be more or less trad. If you're a songer-singwriter, find a venue for original acoustic music. If the venue is an Irish pub (in the American meaning, that is), expect to do that drunken Irishman bit, and leave the Appalachian ballad, the polemic about American parlor-tricks, or the punk kiss-my-arse song outside. For the punk club, bring your earplugs and stratocaster, and don't expect your Gordon Bok or Eric Bogle song will "go over," unless you paste the basics of the punk "style" onto it (I can actually imagine a rock-anthem version of "the Band Played Waltzing Matilda," now that I think of it),

In all cases, remember the primary rule of the public performer -- know your audience.


Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 08:58 PM

hey.. i've arrived too late at this thread
to make any significant points that have'nt already been
voiced and discussed..

i've been utterly convinced of the similarities
in form, content and spirit between punk and folk
since i was a teenage punkfolkrocker way back in the 70's;
listening, buying, and playing both..

.. and who says trad acoustic folk cant be played
just as enthusiastically lound and fast and rebeliously
[ and drunk & stupidly] as punk..

my knees might be getting a bit too knackered for pogoing
and my eardrums no longer as tolerant to putting my head
in the bassbins of PA speakers..

but i'll be happily playing middle-aged buzzsaw punk mandolin
in a mates genre mangling skiffle band this xmas..
on the same bill as various teen and 20 something
punk and metal bands..

guess i live and play in a musically diverse and tolerant community..
where its all about making an entertaining noise for anyone
who fancies a good night out and a laugh with their mates..


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 09:51 PM

Rather than performing punk or singer/songwriter or folk rock, etc. in a place that clearly is for people who want to hear traditional folk music, why not just find a venue that is amenable to what you want to perform? There are few enough venues any more that specialize in traditional folk so for God's sake let them be. There are lots of opportunities for punk, singer/songwriters, etc. It isn't a question of debating the merits of one form or another, and while it may be true that traditional folk is dying out (I hope not) if there are still clubs dedicated to that type of music, punk isn't going to please the audience.   Plans are underway now where I live to get a small traditional concert venue going and we will be quite clear that we'll give preferences to people who perform traditional music as opposed to singer songwriter, etc. We specifically want to provide a venue for this purpose and will make no apologies.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 10:07 PM

The only people who try that "relevance" nonsense are those who desperately want an uncritical audience but lack the talent to impress.

Music doesn't have to be made "relevant" every couple of years, any more than food does. Nevertheless, we see the purveyors of junk-food, and junk-music, trying to do just that at every opportunity. Teenagers, for example, are encouraged to believe that only their (manipulated) tastes are "relevant"; they are an impressionable and economically active market (though it is usually Mummy or Daddy's money) and, frankly, a soft touch.

Anybody who is out of their teens and still imagines that they are "interesting rebels" will probably have some hard lessons to learn quite soon. Meanwhile, the marketing boys are laughing all the way to the bank.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 10:16 PM

ahhh..thank you, Malcolm!...I would have taken 6 paragraphs to say that.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 10:23 PM

Amen. I would have used up two or three pages...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: John C.
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 05:34 AM

We who are interested in traditional song are always being told that it is dying out and 'no longer relevant' (whatever that means!). Back in the 1880s (I think) Flora Thompson, in her book 'Lark Rise to Candleford' wrote of how the singers of the old songs were being rapidly phased out by singers of music hall songs (the 'pop' songs of that era). Nevertheless a singer who she called 'Old David' was always rolled out to sing 'The Outlandish Knight' on special occasions.
Just last week (Nov 2004) a mate of mine stood up and sang a version of the 'Outlandish Knight' that I had never heard before - and it still gave me a buzz, even though I have heard many versions and know the story backwards. Such songs have tendency to endure, whilst music hall and punk and other such commercial fodder for sheep-like fashion victims pass rapidly into oblivion. At the end of the day its quality that counts - ephemeral popularity means very little - 'eat s..t - 10 million flies can't be wrong'!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:18 AM

weelittledrummer says:

" until we have a coherent body of work, the sound that ordinary English men and women make with a guitar naturally - reflecting the way they sing and dance - rather than some oh so abstract piece of artifice .... so long English folk music will be on its way to the museum."

I was fascinated with this observation that guitars are pre-requisites for performing English folk song & dance music. Think Spiers & Boden, Eliza Carthy, the Threlfalls, Katherine Tickell, John Kirkpatrick, Pete Coe, the Old Swan Band, the Bismarks,..... the list goes on and on......


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: treewind
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:26 AM

One reason why the old songs have survived is that they ARE (timelessly) relevant.

I think the summary of this thread is
(1) [type of music I like] is good
(2) [type of music I don't like] is crap
(3) I'll prove that by citing imaginary examples of bad performances in category 2

Two can play at that game: I'll see your "whining out of tune voices" singing trad songs and raise you a club full of whining out of tune guitar-toting navel-gazing failed-pop-singers with their self-penned drivel... but so what? Neither attitude (and both are clichés of course) proves anything. I've heard plenty of good and bad examples of every kind of folk music.

But in a club, session, singaround, open mic or whatever, it is a good idea have some sensitivity about what's expected. Some deliberately have quite a narrow focus, others welcome variety, all of which is fine, as long as you know which it is going to be. I know which ones to avoid because I won't enjoy it or fit in.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 10:56 AM

I've seen allsorts of things done in folk sessions and most are tolerant in the extreme but I get really pissed off with people who can find no platform for their kind of music, so they INFLICT it on folk sessions then tell us we are intolerant and up our own arses.

eeric


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 11:05 AM

GuestDangerDanger made some half-baked whiny provocative points..
personaly, i could'nt give a **** about being relevant

Guest12:17 agreed with GuestDangerDanger
and made some reasonable and coherent observations..
which i find difficult to disagree with entirely..

me.. i cant help noticing a tendency towards
smug supercilious hostile musical isolationism
in several of the registered members replies..

..does any of this exclusive 'head in sand' negativity
help promote a positive profile and future for trad folk ??
[ to which i'd include some punk as a contempory variant sub-section ]

guess we'll have to let future scholarly musicologists
have the last say on this issue..
if anyone will give a toss about any music generations from now..

but in the meantime count me in with eric the red's
healthily angry battle rebuttle.. now thats the punkfolk spirit !!!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,smiler
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 11:35 AM

Traditional folk songs were all written by singers/songwriters.

A kind of Darwinism may have let the best survive. Some of the more obscure ones, may have been best kept obscure. A lot of music hall songs have now entered into the folk tradition as well.

I can't speak for the music, but the starter of this thread has a valid point on this matter. How can a tradition evolve, if people are clinging in the past, to an ideal that probably never existed in the first place?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,smiler
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM

Further to my last post, if someone runs a traditional song club, it would be easier all round, to call it that, rather than a folk club.

Folk club is a broader term, that shoud reflect it in the kind of music it hopes to attract.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Ed.
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:11 PM

Traditional folk songs were all written by singers/songwriters

Yeah, right. You obviously have no understanding of the oral tradition.

Personally, I'm getting increasingly fed up of the desire (a basic human trait I think) to classify music in one way or another.

I've paired it down to two categories:

Music I like

Music I don't like


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM

well pick up a yo yo if you want - picking up a guitar comes naturally to me - others have to sort for themselves.

Yes there are few places where traditional folk is played - what are to to interpolate from this - English people do not have a tradition, they are not worthy of the great inheritance passed on to us by wise ones in the fishermans smocks - I think not.

I am remeinded of a recent interview with Martin Carthy telling us that there were two hundred songs about the battle of Waterloo and nobody knew them except him. Could it just possibly be the way they are being sung?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: John Routledge
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:18 PM

Very good point smiler - We call ours "The Song Carriers"


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,smiler
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM

All songs have to be written Ed.

The oral tradition may have evolved and changed them, but none of them were written by the pair of imposters Trad and Anon.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: treewind
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:32 PM

The Court Sessions in Tooting (London, UK) quite deliberately calls itself a traditional song and music club, in order to avoid the "F" word and the Song Loft in Milton Keynes has a similar naming policy. I'm sure there are many others.

Whatever any such gathering call itself though, you have to accept that they are all different (hooray!) and may not always feature exactly the music you expected or hoped for.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,observer
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:37 PM

Amos, in his usual schizophrenic style, says:

"No, punk is not a form of folk music. It never has been, never will be, can't make it into that definition."

And then goes on to say:
"At best it is cult music, some small subset of urban musical anarchic melodrama. A splinter-group on a small backwash of the stream that was born in African rhythm and the blues, but a splinter with genetic malformations throughout."

Which, of course, is a fairly good definition of FOLK MUSIC!!!

Amos, you twit!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:57 PM

In fact the Pogues made an excellent record of the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, Songster Bob.

And Music Hall songs are very much alive, John C, and part of a continuing common heritage.   People know them well enough to join in, and have no idea where they learnt them, and that's one indication that a song can be classed as a folk song.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: rhyzla
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 01:04 PM

about 1978, went to a big folk club in Birmingham (UK) and saw a band called Brownsville Banned, who were interesting, mainly comedy but very entertaining.
The did a version of Sex pistols' 'Pretty vacant', their version was called 'Sissy bankclerks', and it was played on an acoustic guitar (thru a distortion pedal, and on a small junior drum kit - and it sounded absolutely brilliant !!

However, the funniest thing was watching all of the traddy jaws drop open in shock - it was hilarious - the applause were modest, apart from the huge cheers from those of us that saw the irony!!

What folk clubs need is more broad-mindedness, not less, as seems to be the case of late.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Once Famous
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 01:44 PM

I would walk out of one of these so called English folk clubs if some whiner with a bunch of body piercings started playing punk.

I would fart in his general direction, but he stinks anyway.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 01:59 PM

I knew there had to be some redeeming social value in punk music!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 02:05 PM

"Teenagers, for example, are encouraged to believe that only their (manipulated) tastes are "relevant"; they are an impressionable and economically active market (though it is usually Mummy or Daddy's money) and, frankly, a soft touch."

I resent that...


Back to the original point- it's music. Some of it you'll like, some of it you won't...some people will share you tastes, others won't. If you want to play the music you like to an audience that will appreciate it, then find an audience who share your tastes...it's as simple as that.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 02:49 PM

I think we are all dancing around an issue here. It is not the music that is irrelevant. It is the arrogance and snobbery of the people who think their interest is more worthy than anothers.

I really think it is that simple.

Don


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 03:21 PM

Don - do you mean the arrogance of people running a folk activity seeking to impose their interests and preferances on would-be performers, or the arrogance and snobbery of performers wishing to impose their interests and preferences on the folk activity?

Depending on circunstances and details about which we know nothing it could be either way. We just haven't been given enough information to be able to reach any kind of conclusion.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 03:26 PM

Punk may be very relevant in society. Whether that makes it a good idea in a folk club depends on who goes to the club, doesnt it?
   Personally I would fart at a farting contest, where it would be relevant, but attempt to avoid doing so audibly during the sermon in church, when it would be less so. But presumably if you just like annoying people, the rules will change dramatically about where you want to perform your stuff. Though it may make your art less economically viable, if the audience either walks out, or throws you out.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 04:04 PM

punk and trad folk have co-existed,
have been symbiotically linked..
maybe even mutant siamese twins..
since way back in the hazy mists of time
and the origins of all our music..

historical proof for this statement..?
archival evidence for this theory..??

there exists a musical instrument
so simple and functional in its construction and materials..
so abrasively shrill and obnoxiously aggrievating to the ear..
so upsetting to the serenity and civil mood
of fair ladies and gentlemen..
so sharp and spiky in its shape and handling..

that it could only have been developed by early punkfolk agitators..

the..

Bowed Psaltry..

oi rest my case..

ok, i'm now out for a few pints of thatchers farmhouse cider
and a kebab..
and when i come home a quick blast of

The Real McKenzies "Clash of the Tartans" CD..


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Peace
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 04:26 PM

Folks,

In one of my English classes I played some 'protest' music for the students. We spent two hours over three days listening to songs like, Roddy McCorley, Like a Rollin' Stone, Chimes of Freedom, We Shall Overcome, Back of the Bus, etc. The students are in Grade 8. They at first smirked at the sounds of the songs, but when they understood the history they began to appreciate what was being sung/said. They stopped smirking about three songs in and began to listen. Day two they wanted more and they were eager by day three. What I played for them is the first of that kind of stuff they ever LISTENED to. They have a new appreciation for the genre. Next, they want a mini-series on black 'blues' and that influence on Rock and Roll. (I gave them a taste of Robert Johnson, and they want more.) I think it was Dr Johnson who said (as a slur about my ancestors) that much can be made of a Scotsman if caught while young. Same in real life.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Peace
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 04:37 PM

The Dr Johnson I'm referring to is the Englishman who compiled one of if not the first Dictionaries of the English Language. And I missed the point I was trying to make--second round now.

I have done the same 'exercise' with over thirty English classes over the years. There are now about 750 kids--some adult now--who will at least give music and songs a chance, even if at first hearing they "don't like it." As Seeger said (at least I think it was Seeger), "If one and one and one make a million"). Many of my students have been able to 'get over' the "but I don't like it" syndrome. That's a good thing, IMO. They taught me in turn to at least give things a listen with music that they choose for me to hear, a serious listen, and then if I don't care for it, hey, I tried. Seems like good advice to me.

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,observer
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 05:31 PM

Congratulations, Martin Gibson! It is the arrogant attitude of people like you whose intellect is miniscule compared to the vast majority of toady's youth that keeps those youngsters away from folk music. Perhaps they will come to enjoy it when arrogant old farts like you pass on. Why don't you help hasten their joining by hastening the process?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,mongrel
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 06:45 PM

Surely there's a time and a place for everything? Any given night will have a style it's aiming for, whether that style is trad folk, punk, the weird middle ground in between, whatever. As a performer surely you look for the night that most closely fits what you want to play, and play it there? (Personally, I love trad folk, I love punk, and once a month I put my earplugs in and dance to the hideous unlistenable wall of rhythm that is 'electronic beat music')

It's not as though this issue exists only on broad divides such as the trad folk/punk one - you get the same issue between, eg, a night with lots of instrumental stuff and one with lots of singing - if you want to sing, you go to the latter...

To quote Ryan Shirlow:
"...Na na na hey,
I hear that you're playing in a folk band these days?
Why nonsense, me music is punk rock I say,
Na na na..."


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:25 PM

Don't blame Martin. he doesn't live here. He doesn't understand the situation. He hears about us. But God knows we hear about America and its hard sometimes not to get judgemental.

The ongoing problem is that our greatest and most able artists and interpreters of folk song are committed to a style of delivery which alienates a whole chunk of society.

I come from a pretty working class family and married a working class woman, but for a few months in the 1960's (15 months in all)in my teens, financed by my church, I attended what is called a public school in England, but in fact is school where very rich people send their kids. And thats where I got into folk music. The very rich kids had wonderful record collections, they went to folk clubs and they owned beautiful guitars.

All i know is that when I took my parents and my wife's parents into folk clubs and they heard Martin carthy, the watersons, the late and very great Peter Bellamy, the endless jigs, reels and hornpipes - they just didn't get it.

These are not stupid people we are talking about, not entirely uneducated. They are people who have lived in england all their lives, they have worked in their factories and schools and served in their army, never spoke any other language - and a hell of a lot of them when it comes to the folk music of their own country just don't get it.

Somehow , somewhere bridges have to be built. Our national treasury of folk song has to be expressed in a way that is accessible to all.

I was talking to a young national award winning musician a few weeks ago, and he said to me I love folk clubs, but all over the country wherever I play, the audience is old. You don't need a crystal ball to see no future in this.

I cannot believe I am alone in perceiving this problem


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: John Routledge
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:37 PM

Effort needs to be put into appreciating certain forms of music and song and when (if!!) younger people realise this as they get older then there is hope for a greater appreciation of Folk Song and Music.

If this does not happen then I agree that there is no future for the forseeable future :0)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: cobber
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:48 PM

I'm coming in late on this one but some of those who started the thrtead may live long enough to see the end of it. When I played in Cobbers, we tried not to get labelled as a folk band, bush band or any other type if we could. That's not to say that we didn't love our folk music, particularly the Australian stuff, but we didn't want to get tied down by prejudices that were around then over what was folk music and what wasn't. Basically, we wanted to entertain people and have fun. I'm talking 1968 on here but the attitude lasted thirty years. I was introduced to "folk music" by a friend's father's Peter Paul and Mary record and like Brucie's students, I liked it enough to look further.
Our attitude over the years got us into a lot of trouble. We were the first "folk" group to take a pa system into a Melbourne folk club but at the time, the clubs were moving from quiet coffee lounges into the pubs where halfway through the night the audience was drunk and noisy. It seemed logical to us. Later I saw many of the people who made a point of walking out at Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span concerts. Were they folk bands?
To get to the beginning of this thread, in 1977 we met Chris Barber and Vic Gibbons who were part of the group who ran the Reading Festival which in those days was Rock Blues Jazz and Folk. By the time we took up their invitation to play the festival in 1979, it had changed dramatically and was pure rock and mostly a punk crowd. One of the high ranking overseas bands was beer-canned and had to leave the stage. We played Aussie folk songs with banjos, fiddles and guitars and a "Drum kit" made of beer bottles nailed to a stick and we got an encore. Punk was about cutting the crap and though I never did really get into it, it fitted pretty well with how we saw things at the time. I loved the stuff the Pogues and Dubliners did together.
One other point, one song that always seems to get old folkies at almost any venue on board (and one of my favourites) was/is Creedence Clearwater's Lodi. Sang soft and slow, you'd swear it was a folk song. Sorry for the tirade. I need to take brevity lessons from Malcolm.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 10:06 PM

no it was great cobber. None of us have been doing exactly the same thing - but in our ways we have all carried on the tradition as much as anybody. and all our experiences are quite as important and in their way illuminating.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Once Famous
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 10:27 PM

Guest, Observer

Guess I got to you but good.

FINE!

I'm not checking out anytime soon, and just maybe I'll continue to promote my philosophy about what made you stain your shorts.

In fact, you can count on it!

Deal with it. Punk sucks. In my NOT so humble opinion.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 11:27 PM

what you again..

twat !!!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 12:03 AM

I don't think it's necessary to debate the relative merits or otherwise of different styles of music; or the relative intelligence of contributors to the discussion, anonymous or not. Put simply, context is everything. I gather that the Sun session at Beverley is a general acoustic event (as opposed to an amplified "open mic") with the accent on the more traditional styles: not a folk club; or, for that matter, a "new" music session.

It may well be that whoever started this thread was disappointed to find that whatever it was he or she played was not well received, but he or she won't have been banned from the pub for poor taste or for having the "wrong" views. Perhaps for bad behaviour, mind; and certainly the arrogant tone of his or her post, and the sad ignorance displayed in it, suggests something of the kind. This sort of thing comes up here, and on the newsgroups, from time to time. Usually it's no more than a case of wounded pride and a dose of overweaning self-importance.

Why be defensive? "Folk music" audiences are, on the whole, more tolerant of other musical forms than most equivalent groupings. There are any number of styles involved; some of which will not appeal to listeners who, like "Weelittledrummer"'s parents (or mine, come to that; though mine have acquired a bit of a taste for the instrumental music), were brought up on very different genres. If I played a straight set of polkas at dancing tempo in a punk club, I probably wouldn't get a very positive reaction. That wouldn't mean that punk was no longer "relevant"; though it is a little old-fashioned nowadays. It would mean that I was doing something in the wrong place for it.

Simple, really.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 12:49 AM

cobber --

You're a lagerphonist?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 01:26 AM

McGrath,

Yes to both and no to both.

My comment is about the snobbery of anyone who views their particular music or interest to be the only music or interest of value. This can mean performers or venue operators.

Don


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PennyBlack
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 05:39 AM

It's getting like a gathering of the "Folk Police".

"We won't allow this or that to be played in our Club" etc.

It was an open mic session I thought that meant it was open to everyone?

Will these restrictive practises end up with a list of acceptable songs being passed to "performers" telling what and how songs must be sung at these locations? I for one hope not, I love to hear something new at a sessions (don't always like it, but that doesn't make it good, bad or unacceptable)

Tradition doesn't stop here.

PB


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: John C.
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:13 AM

Oh dear, that old slur about 'folk police' again! I've been interested in trad. song for 37 years now and I've never known anyone who has been 'banned'from a folk club for inappropriate repertoire; I've heard a few rumours, though, of people being banned for inappropriate behaviour!
Personally, if I was a club organiser (which I'm not), I would be very loathe to ban anyone (I'm far too polite/well brung up/cowardly(?)for that!) - but having said that I wouldn't necessarily condemn anyone who did ban someone for inappropriate repertoire. In my youth the greatest virtue that one could display appeared to be something called 'musical eclecticism' (=broad tastes in music) but I noticed that many of those who declared themselves as being 'musically eclectic' had a tendency to sing anything but folk song in a folk club - and this really pissed me off - to the extent that I began to question whether 'musical eclecticism' was a good thing or not. I now think that it is not good at all - especially in the context of folk clubs. I would like to proudly declare that I am extremely prejudiced when it comes to music: I hate all forms of modern, commercial, popular music with a passionate loathing ('post music noise' as the American writer, Harlan Ellison, so aptly describes it) and I am equally passionately in favour of traditional song. Obviously, this attitude puts me in a very small minority - but I don't care! Nevertheless, I am not a policeman - I would never tell anyone what they should or shouldn't sing - but if you come to any of the clubs that I belong to and want to perform punk/thrash metal/hip hop/plip plop/ folk fusions (or something) just don't expect me to be enthusiastic about it!!!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 09:36 AM

So, we're all agreed that it's a question of style and attitude in how the song is presented. Folk music grew as a median for telling news and stories before radio and TV. All topics have been covered from politics to sex and violence. Modern songs cover these age old topics but, of course, in a modern style. If it's not 'gentle enough' for some 'nicey nicey folks' then try it where it might be better appreciated by more open minded people. I love to hear songs about heroes and anti-heros such as Charlton Heston and the East Riding Yorkshire Ripper performed so evocatively by Hull's 'Crack Town' (Hi Ratty and Foxy!). It might not be traditional but it's certainly Folk Music.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Nemesis
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 10:36 AM

Slight thread drift .. a friend was just looking on the Internet for commercial (as opposed to domestic) plumbing supplies .. tapped in Armitage Shanks - being the best known name for sanitaryware in the UK .. got up umpteen pages of suppliers of Armitage Shanks sanitaryware

and a punk band in Kent(?) called "Armitage Shanks", last CD: "Urinal Heep"

And here's a snapshot of the tastes of impressionable and manipulated teenagers ie., the hoards of 15 year old gothy-things who come round to visit our teenage gothy thing:

Slipknot ("listen to the foot drumming" - see Volees des Castors (below)
Rammstein - German Ring cycle opera recently composed on their themes
Nirvana (+ Cobain's acoustic versions of old Blues)
S.O.A.D.
Mozart
Beethoven
Tchaikosvsky
Paul Downes
Joe Satriani
Jimi Hendrix
Jeff Beck
Led Zeppelin
Les Volees des Castors
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Blind Boys of Alabama
R L Burnside
Chumbawumba - "English Rebel Songs"
Dandy Warhols
Mary Flowers - Delta Blues
Ben Waters - Boogie Woogie piano
Jeff Buckley
Antonio Forcione - Latin Jazz guitarist
John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf et al
Carnival Collective - UK's largest(?)Samba-percussion and Brass ensemble
The Clash
(and live folk music .. the stuff delivered with a bit of passion and verve)

Well, (tongue in cheek)thank god it's not "Mummy's money"!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Megan L
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:04 AM

Club - A group of people organized for a COMMON purpose, especially a group that meets regularly.

Aw they didny like you so what its their club it sounds like nothing more than sour grapes.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: John C.
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:36 AM

I can't help wondering what the message from 'Nemesis' above is supposed to prove. I presume that we are meant to conclude that teenagers have eclectic tastes in music (God help us!). Well, Nemesis, as an adult in my 50s, I don't give a toss about the musical tastes of teenagers - teenagers should be in their rooms doing their homework! Sometimes I think that we live in some crazy dystopia in which everything revolves around the likes, dislikes and whims of adolescents.
If you listen to the musics of other countries (Spain, Greece, Cuba, Turkey etc., etc.) you realise that those countries, and their musicians, produce music for adults, not kids. Music produced by and for adults gives something for younger people to aspire to. Music used to be like that here once - until we caught the rock plague and everything turned to mush.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 12:51 PM

"Spain, Greece, Cuba, Turkey"

That sounds fairly "musically eclectic" to me, and quite right.

The general picture in most fields of endeavour is that you start doing things when you are young, and as you keep on at them you get better, and your best work is produced quite some way on from your first flush of youth. That definitely applies with folk music, and it also applies to most other types of music. (Including the music of those punks who have kept at it.)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 02:07 PM

I am now no longer resentful, i am incandescent with rage...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 02:10 PM

It's not gone, it's just sleeping...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: English Jon
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 03:43 PM

Punk is jolly good. so is traditional english folksong. Sometimes they can overlap. but not always.

Thank god neither of them sound anything like r'n'b though. That really is a bag of shite.

EJ

observer, I'd be interested to know how English traditional song stems from african influences....


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 04:34 PM

Perhaps it distance which lends enchantment. But the Irish and the Americans just seem to do the whole thing kind of seamlessly. There is this thing in one of Woody Guthrie's books where he says if the average soda jerk heard one of my records, he would probably think that the radio was bust- or something very similar.

In other words he was making this music complete ethnicity, despite it was the era of Glen Miller. And yet the Weavers were having hits not long after with his writing. When our best revivalist singers have finished with a piece of work, it is still in a state inaccessible to the public ear.

I suppose it must be me seeing things wrong. As I seem to be the only one banging on about this.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:58 PM

Much has been said in this thread that I agree with - even Martin G makes some very good points before he starts on his aphorisms about punk. But even so, even the best of the participants fall occasionally into pigeon-holing traps.

If you look at the next singer about to get up and sing and you are put off by his piercings, black leather gear, chains and "Polizei" sign on his jacket, you might in fact be pre-judging an Ian Bruce (and nobody can call Ian's material "punk").

And if you like Robb Johnson's stuff (beware: you may like it without knowing it is his), you'll find somewhere in there punk influences from his previous life; and some of the songs in his albums "Margaret Thatcher/Tony Blair - my part in her/his downfall" are pure "punk" in style and inspiration. And with Robb, it sits quite comfortably as a mysical style next to chanson, music hall etc.

As for traditional folk clubs having closed minds: Herga is the longest running single venue club in England, considered in the past as a sort of "Mecca" of traditional song, and still with a heavy enough emphasis on traditional material. Yet they have nurtured and helped me in my own fledgeling songwriting efforts, despite being in a minority of one, ethnically speaking, and even embrace my occasional forays into more ethnic-oriented material. And along with me, other songwriters too have found open hearts and minds and ears at Herga: Les Sullivan, Mike Sparks, our own Hovering Bob... There goes another preconception.

And that word, "relevance" is another trap. Malcolm and Martin said it very well already, but just to add my perspective: Relevance is an ingredient in the soup, but by no means the only one to judge the meal by. Also, relevance is very much in the eye of the beholder. A song about 9-to-5 office life with its dehumanising effects often seems relevant to a 30- or 40- or 50-year old, but unsurprisingly not to a teenager or to a 70-year old. But a song about losing your Granny and missing her at Christmas time can have cynical teenagers crying alongside their parents. A song about the first world war may leave a teenager cold - but a song about visiting a WWI cemetery and relating the feelings arising from such a visit often grips them (I have my own two kids as examples).

In my book, if there is a danger to folk, it will be from closed minds who use pigeon-holing as an alternative to rational thinking. Thankfully, I see comparatively few signs of that around me. Perhaps I'm lucky living where I live and knowing the folks I know, but I don't think this is the case.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 06:31 AM

English Jon has a good point about R&B being a joke. I remember when R&B was early Rolling Stones rythm and blues which many people enjoyed for whatever reason. So why has modern youth 'stolen' the term to describe this new crap? Can the content of a pidgeon hole be totally changed in this way? Is this happening to folk music? No, because most folk clubs are keen to label their door as traditional, whether it be a sing-a-round or a play-a-round.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: shepherdlass
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 06:37 AM

Since Chumbawamba brought out their unfeasibly good versions of English traditional protest songs, some in the folk establishment began to book them and to review their subsequent work (even though it is not of a traditional bent). Does the fact that a punk-ish co-operative brilliantly recorded some traditional songs render them a more appropriate club guest than a folk-ish performer who does the odd punk song? Does it matter? Is there room for music in the search for authenticity? Isn't there a danger of selecting the tradition in the same way as the collectors who edited out the music hall repertoire of source singers? Discuss.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 06:38 AM

99


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 06:39 AM

100. I thank you.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: shepherdlass
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 08:19 AM

PS - John Routledge

You state thtat effort needs to be put into enjoying certain forms of music and young people should realize this????

Did the village kids of a century ago who used to do traditional dances to traditional tunes put an effort into learning to enjoy their heritage? Or did they do it because it was fun, because that's what all the other kids in the village did, because that's what was around them and produced by "the folk"? I know which answer my money's on, and it doesn't involve regular attendance at workshops.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: VIN
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 08:33 AM

I agree with you jaqui.c and others who believe that if you go to a gig expecting a certain style/genre, whatever, of music/dance/song,then that's what you should get ('specially if you've paid). I sometimes attend classical concerts and love traditional and contempory music but whilst i would'nt mind hearing a Fairport song during the interval of a Mahler or Beethovan Janacek evening (i'm weird that way) i think the sex pistols or a bit of 'rap' music would definately un-nerve me a bit and stretch my tolerance level a bit too much. If i attend a poetry evening, i expect to hear poetry.

I would'nt expect or want to attend a morris dance session only to find it taken over by ballroom dancers (no offence to B/D's intended).


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 09:03 AM

Lovely point made way up there by smiler:
How can a tradition evolve, if people are clinging in the past, to an ideal that probably never existed in the first place?

Just what are peoples' attitude to traditional music? Do they want to freeze it in time, preserve it and keep it unchanging? It probably went through various versions before the version we have now. Or do people want it to grow and evolve, and reflect contemporary issues?

There's a thread in the BS section at the moment about petitions against building a motorway past the Hill of Tara in Ireland. This is a decent anaology. Most people are understandably upset at the idea of destroying a very rich archaeological landscape. But how far do we go to try and preserve things, be it song or stone? I'm not saying a motorway is necessarily a great need right there in the landscape, but, if it was, then should we be halting development relevant to us today just because it messes with what we have defined as "our past"? The twentieth century is "our past" too, just as much (if not more) than the centuries before. Is it wise to freeze things? Should we be changing and evolving to suit our current needs? I'm not advocating a set path, just trying to discover why people are so set on labelling something "old", putting it on a shelf and treating it reverently when it was actually made to be used, and to be relevant. There's a tendancy to hark back to a "traditional" past, some arcadian setting of all things we view as exemplifying folk, and yet   no one seems to be able to say when that actually was...

I like shepherdlass' point:
Did the village kids of a century ago who used to do traditional dances to traditional tunes put an effort into learning to enjoy their heritage? Or did they do it because it was fun, because that's what all the other kids in the village did, because that's what was around them and produced by "the folk"? I know which answer my money's on, and it doesn't involve regular attendance at workshops.
I grew up listening to Irish music, so it's very relevant to me, and I like the new twist and turns it has taken over time. My friends didn't grow up with it. "Their" music is rock, or pop, or the ubiquitous "Country and Irish"/"Culchie and Western". Why the hell should I throw my hands up in despair and tell them that actually "their" music is traditional (folk) music. It's clearly not, if they don't identify with it.

p.s. I like punk

p.p.s. I hate overusing quotation marks, but it had to be done


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 09:09 AM

Relevant, Schmelevant! How pretentious to even ask the question, Guest!

I jazz "relevant?" Or pop music? Relevant to what? What does that even mean? Do you mean, do people want to listen to what you think is "folk?" And if they don't, you've proved your point?

Sheesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wot a stupid conversation....

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 11:30 AM

Jerry is correct!!

As Utah Phillips is fond of saying, THE PAST DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE.

Yes, it's still here---now. But we live in a time that ignores the past and bulls foreward ignoring the real virtues of history and past lessons. Those of us who came through the years valuing the values of the past know the worth of tradition and the tales (some with good tunes) found therein. For me, at least, the music has never ever been more relevant! And it will always be so.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 12:16 PM

"Obit-Folk music and its relevance"

Folk music died!!!! - I'm a ghost!!!!.........living in a ghost town........everywhere I go other ghosts are singing folk songs..............and there's so many of them..........or maybe it's just a dream..........

Danger, danger - I might wake up and find myself in the other place


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Grab
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 01:33 PM

This guest has probably upped and run away after throwing his vitriol grenade in the door. But in case he is still around - Danger Danger, what were the songs you got chucked out for?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 01:51 PM

Did the village kids of a century ago who used to do traditional dances to traditional tunes put an effort into learning to enjoy their heritage?

They would certainly have put an effort into learning how to do those dances, which isn't that easy. And play the tunes too, if that was what they were into - and that always requirees a lot of effort. And I would think it rather unlikely that they would start off from the assumption that the only music worth listening to was from people their own age, and that there is an unbridgeable gap between their music and the music of their parents' generation. More likely their attitude would have been that they could do that stuff better, because tney had more strength and vigour.

Which is in fact how it tends to work within the folk community these days, more especially at festivals.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Linael
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 02:42 PM

I have thought about this before (Ignoring it is like sticking ones head in the sand) and I have come to two conclusions that make me feel comfortable in learning and singing 100-400 year old songs:

1. Many of the Traditional songs that we still have today were recorded in the early 1900's - which means that people were singing them (relevant or not) from when they were originally composed right up until... the early 1900's. Who are we to say that these songs aren't good enough for our sophisticated palates?

2. Relevance is a tricky thing to apply to folk, not because folk is irrelevent but because, traditionally speaking, folk songs are typically not political, not protest, and not satirical (Ok, there are exceptions to the rule) and therefore have NEVER been relevant to anything but entertainment.

Political/Protest songs are great in a homogenous group of people but in a room full of typical folkies (politically diverse, to say the least) they run the risk of offending people - and offended people don't sing much.

Thanks for listening

Linael


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: BB
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 02:45 PM

Hand-Pulled Boy said, 'Most folk clubs are keen to label their door as traditional.' Having contacted most folk clubs in the UK in search of bookings, or not done so if it was blindingly obvious that they weren't interested in 'traditional', I would dispute that statement, even to the extent of saying that most don't label themselves as traditional, or are blatantly *not* traditional. From my point of view, would that more didn't label themselves!

Now I don't have a problem with those that are not purely traditional - in fact, I prefer a wide range of music that comes under a vague heading of 'folk' to be presented in the clubs, in spite of the fact that most of what we do is 'traditional' or in that style. I think 'traditional' would be a lot more acceptable to many more people if there was more of an 'anything goes' policy in more clubs - where anything under that umbrella was welcomed and appreciated, where there is a wide range of guests from the traditional source singers to the young singer-songwriters to the 'entertainers' and all shades in between, and all equally appreciated for being good at what they do. That was the climate that I grew up in in the folk scene of the '60s and early '70s in England and my feeling is that the scene was better for it. Maybe I was lucky in the clubs that I came into contact with then, but I do yearn for that eclecticism now, and do try to provide it in the monthly club/session that I help to organise.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: shepherdlass
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 02:59 PM

McGrath of Harlow: Yes - they'd have put an effort into learning the dances which were available at the time, and they'd have valued the skills of the older generation. I'm sure many kids who want to play punk songs now are not so presumptious as to assume that 3 chords is all you need (Joe Strummer - to name one senior member of that tradition - put paid to that idea yonks ago). There are a lot of lessons in history to which we can defer - the worrying thing is when only one is seen as exclusively on the side of the good. Also, it seems clear that in previous centuries, the older generation of musicians adapted at least a few songs of the day - otherwise, the tradition would have stagnated before the Normans landed.   

I'm not attacking the older generation (I'm over 40 anyway) or the folk community - I've seen intolerance from purists of the folk AND punk (and jazz, and hip-hop, and reggae, and classical .....) stamp. It worries me, though, that a young musician who felt rejected after an open mic session is assumed by so many (who, like me, weren't there) to be an arrogant young whippersnapper. My comments were rooted in playing devil's advocate - and asking if there's room for open-mindedness on both sides.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 05:09 PM

This looks to me like yet another banana our collective intellects have failed to straighten.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: John Routledge
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 05:45 PM

Yes Shepherdlass it is indeed sad when any young musician is discouraged from performing. They are the future.

The young musicians at Folkworks Summer School spend much time adapting tunes and writing their own songs and tunes some of which will no doubt pass into the Tradition along with some of the tunes written by their tutors which are now already almost fully absorbed.
They don't seem to have the hangups that many older folkies have for which we should be grateful:0)

I spend a lot of time with music and song because I enjoy it in its many guises. All I ask of others is to have a couple of hours every other week where I can sing/listen to songs sung in a way that I enjoy. When in other venues I respect what the people there are doing and will sing or play if appropriate. What does appropriate mean? :0)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 05:50 PM

I thought the general response to GUEST,Danger danger was polite enough, guve or take (the odd bods who specialise in being rude to just about everyone).


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Nemesis
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 07:11 PM

Apologies, somewhat belated response to John C:

You correctly discerned the point of my post - this is a thread about the future, or not, of folk music. The input of teenagers therefore is relevant. They are the future.

To banish them all to "their bedrooms to do homework" is as a curmudgeonly a response to youth's contribution and input to music as the earlier thread that decries them thus: "Teenagers ... are encouraged to believe that only their (manipulated) tastes are "relevant"; they are an impressionable and economically active market (though it is usually Mummy or Daddy's money) and, frankly, a soft touch."

Some of them are in their bedrooms doing their music homework - it does still exist on the curriculum, at least in some schools!

Shirley Collins 4 Uber Cool Teens


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 07:22 PM

Teenagers are the future, but then so are people in their twenties, and their thirties, and their cradles for that matter.

The point is, there are people who can resist that kind of manipulation, and such people are no rarer among teenagers than any other age range - and they are the people who make it a future worth listening to. (Whatever kind of music they make.)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 07:44 PM

I mentioned teenagers only as an illustration (mainly because it is in relation to them that older music pundits speak fatuously of "making folk music relevant": I do realise that many have genuinely individual ideas of their own; presumably in about the same proportion as the rest of the community). It's a pity, with hindsight, that I did so; it has given some people the opportunity to narrow the discussion, to avoid addressing important issues, or to indulge personal prejudices. Never mind. Few of us can anticipate the way these kinds of discussion may develop.

We know very little about the person who originally started the thread; I doubt if he or she is particularly young, as it happens. The tone is petulant and no useful information is given. There will always be people who assume on a knee-jerk basis that anybody who complains about something must have genuine grounds for complaint, but that's really quite a dangerous assumption.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: PennyBlack
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 05:33 AM

"There will always be people who assume on a knee-jerk basis that anybody who complains about something must have genuine grounds for complaint, but that's really quite a dangerous assumption"

- I think the only way to respond is to presume the comments made were factual (innocent till proven guilty) and then judge comments on the stated fact, all in all anything said here will make no real changes to what happens and we're not a jury.

With lack of response from all parties involve only passing comments or rebuffing the original thread starter.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 08:59 AM

'Most folk clubs are keen to label their door as traditional.'

This certainly isn't true of folk clubs in Sheffield/Sth Yorkshire (though there are several where traditional is the norm) - and in my experience "anything goes" gets a warm reception, as do young performers (bring them in - we certainly need them to create a better balance). Maybe it's one reason why clubs in this area continue to thrive - long may it continue.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 09:08 AM

Are you talking about folk clubs or acoustic open events? A lot of Hull people can't spell traditional (or anything for that matter!), so there's no notice on any door. Vagrants often walk in and then reveal themselves as musicians. Often a pleasant surprise. Now I'm contradicting myself Jim as you've realised. Sheffield sounds really nice, can I bring some of my friends?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 10:10 AM

Bring them all HPB - and sample our hand-pulled ales too - looking forward to your music & good company!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM

eggsthalent!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: Gervase
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 01:50 PM

Funny how things come around. I was reminded of a wonderful essay by Mike of Northumbria while reading this thread. A link to England, Whose England can be found in in this thread from four years back.
But enough of looking back...
For folk music to become 'relevant' to people other than us, it ought at least to be done well - not necessarily musically well, but well enough to grab an audience by the ears and make the hairs on the back of their neck stand up. Like good punk does. One of the reasons I love punk is because of the sheer energy and emotion that the best stuff conveys.
If it's an open-mike evening, what's wrong with a a punk take on folk. It doesn't seem to have done Chumbawunba, the Pogues or even the Oysterband any harm. Or are we so insecure as folkies that we we still have to shout out 'Judas' when something doesn't conform to our tidy notion of what folk should be?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 02:33 PM

I don't think there've been many people on the thread who'd disagree with Gervase there. And I can't remember ever being in a folk cklub ir session where that wasn't more or less the way things worked.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 04:02 PM

And the late Alex Campbell was a grand example of one who was able to do this!!

In workshops I used to do I tried to show teachers how they could make folksongs relavant for their nstudents. It meant a bit of work for them. They needed to search for songs that illustrated the historical era, the geographic region, the piece of art, or the work of literature they strove to make into an illustrative tool for those parts of the curriculum. The words to the song, even more than the tune, showed life in those other eras in the words of people who had lived through that. Singing a given folksong for or with the students was, as I'm fond of saying, a time machine of sorts that could truly transport and enlighten.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit - Folk music and its relevance
From: GUEST,David Edwards
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 05:41 AM

I have a vision of the Copper family dressed in bondage gear with safty pins stuck throught their ears, pogoing to Shepherds arise...


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