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Folk Music Is for intellectuals

Don(Wyziwyg)T 19 Jun 06 - 09:37 PM
George Papavgeris 19 Jun 06 - 04:52 AM
Little Hawk 19 Jun 06 - 01:43 AM
jimmyt 19 Jun 06 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 18 Jun 06 - 11:13 PM
Amos 18 Jun 06 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 18 Jun 06 - 10:40 PM
Ron Davies 18 Jun 06 - 10:30 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Jun 06 - 10:22 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jun 06 - 10:20 PM
Amos 18 Jun 06 - 10:09 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Jun 06 - 09:40 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jun 06 - 09:35 PM
freda underhill 18 Jun 06 - 09:25 PM
jacqui.c 18 Jun 06 - 08:57 PM
John Hardly 18 Jun 06 - 08:50 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 06 - 08:40 PM
Ebbie 18 Jun 06 - 08:06 PM
bobad 18 Jun 06 - 07:58 PM
Peace 18 Jun 06 - 07:55 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jun 06 - 07:52 PM
bobad 18 Jun 06 - 07:47 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jun 06 - 07:42 PM
Greg B 18 Jun 06 - 07:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Jun 06 - 07:14 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 06 - 06:50 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jun 06 - 05:59 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 06 - 05:50 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 06 - 05:49 PM
Peace 18 Jun 06 - 05:49 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 06 - 05:45 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 18 Jun 06 - 05:38 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Jun 06 - 05:17 PM
Peace 18 Jun 06 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 18 Jun 06 - 04:28 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 18 Jun 06 - 04:05 PM
Amos 18 Jun 06 - 03:53 PM
number 6 18 Jun 06 - 02:04 PM
Peace 18 Jun 06 - 01:14 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jun 06 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 18 Jun 06 - 01:01 PM
jimmyt 18 Jun 06 - 12:47 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Jun 06 - 12:31 PM
jimmyt 18 Jun 06 - 12:26 PM
jimmyt 18 Jun 06 - 12:26 PM
Peace 18 Jun 06 - 11:45 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Jun 06 - 11:21 AM
GUEST 18 Jun 06 - 10:55 AM
Lizzie Cornish 18 Jun 06 - 10:14 AM
GUEST 18 Jun 06 - 09:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:37 PM

"Don T.? Weren't you in Don T and The Infernos?

Jerry"

No Jerry, can't say that I was.

I do remember, back in the early days when I played tea chest base and washboard in a skiffle group, my parents complaining about "that infernal racket".

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 04:52 AM

Jaysus on a pushbike, but it took me half an hour to even scan through this thread lightly! Loads of good comments and observations. I will keep some quotes for future use ("Anon was a singer/songwriter", and I loved Richard's "...singing their diaries to their guitars"). In fairness to Richard and others though, I didn't find their use of the term "snigger/snogwriter" offensive at all; indeed, I often use it myself, when in self-deprecatory mode (dawn till dusk). I first read it used by Countess Richard on another board, and latched on to it because it is indeed descriptive of a large majority. Also, I am a sucker for a bit of cheap wordplay (does that make me intellectual, or the opposite?).

But I am surprised that the discussion on this thread, although quited detailed and despite its many twists and turns, only considered one of the two possible interpretations of the title - that of applicability ("Is folk music applicable to intellectuals?"), and not the one of intent ("Is folk music intended for intellectuals?"). My weird brain saw the second option first, and it caused me to question my own motives.

It would be too easy to say "I intend my songs to be for all people" - sure, I would hope that they would all like them, however I now think that I do in fact focus subconsciously on a subsection of potential audiences. I do it every time I use a tune that has a "traddy" or "rocky" bent to it, or substitute a word or expression with another for ease of understanding by those of a certain generation - not always mine! So, does the term "intellectual" describe my target audience?

In short, no. My focus is more age- and experience-related (I repeat, different ages for different songs), with the baby-boomers taking the lion's share, but also with conscious forays into other generations, especially more recently. In all cases, I would ask of the audience to focus on the lyrics, to think about them and to allow them to affect/release their emotions - but I don't call that being "intellectual", except in comparison with the "unthinking" sections of society, those that my daughter calls "Kevs and Sharons". But if I only could, it is precisely those "unthinking ones" that I would most like to affect, it's their lives I want to describe and bring to the fore, and to show that the term "unthinking" applied to them is actually unfair and incorrect; that they share the same basic emotions and drives with the "intellectual" ones - it's just that they don't have the luxury of time and energy (and the fortune of background, sometimes) to spend on matters that the "intellectuals" find attractive.

So no, my songs are not for intellectuals by a long chalk.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 01:43 AM

Heh! Well, a man who abandons his dachshund is of course...capable of anything!


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: jimmyt
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 12:20 AM

LittlieHawk, I only made your list twice... I sold my skateboard and threw in the dachshund, so that cut 2 more mentions.........


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 11:13 PM

GregBr,

When other musicians and I were in the woods having a Rendezvous and trying to form the first "union" of folksingers so long ago---the group eventually known as HEY RUBE---I was there because I needed affordable health insurance in the worst way for my wife and young son and myself. At one point we were discussing/arguing about whether we wanted to become an actual UNION or a benevolent self-help organization. A leader of the group was pontificating in a direction that would've turned us into a clone of the I.W.W. He was a mentor of mine and it was quite hard to have to tell him, rather forcefully, and a bit facetiously too, that I couldn't stay and be a member if it meant I would be defined by the words in the Wobbly Preamble. I was ready to walk away too.

The irony was that when Hey Rube was formed, and eventually we got a health policy to offer us members, I couldn't afford it!

The best made plans of mice and men...

I do think I understand your quandary. I guess it's a result of being an intellectual !! ;-)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:44 PM

A wise remark, Ron.

A


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:40 PM

Jerry,

It's for good luck!!

Art


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:30 PM

I'm not sure, but I think the reason people at the Getaway (elsewhere too?, I don't know) are not enthusiastic about Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary etc. hits is that we feel they don't need our support--and lots of other music does--or it may die out eventually. Anything that was either done A LOT in the 60's or was a huge hit can be heard on radio--and probably will be for the foreseeable future. But there is a lot of music which has very little chance to to be heard on radio--or anywhere else. And a lot of it (I'm not talking about singer-songwriter stuff here) is great stuff. Though the Carter Family, Charlie Poole, Uncle Dave Macon etc. wrote words--and sang--so they're singer-songwriters, right? Well, I suppose the difference is they didn't have hits in the 60's (sung by them). Some of the songs during the folk boom (especially when folk "made the charts" are great music--but if we don't sing them they'll still survive.

That may play a role here.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:22 PM

If you break a leg is it alright for it to knit while you're listening to music?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:20 PM

Always remember knot to knit your purls before swine!


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:09 PM

It's an old purl of wisdom not to engage in a whole-cloth battle of wits with a half-knit unarmed man. Not to start a row, or anything.

"H-A-R with a V!
V-A-R with a D!
Knit ONE
Purl TWO
HAHVAHD!
Yooo-HOOO!!"

A


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 09:40 PM

It all seems like knitpicking to me..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 09:35 PM

The only real danger is that people will take you for a knitwit.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: freda underhill
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 09:25 PM

I agree, Jacqui. Knitting doesn't stop you listening. When I was growing up we had sessions at our home on a Sunday evening and my mother used to knit while people sang and played. And we had some good people at our sessions, one who is now internationally renowned. And he didn't mind the knitting.

I often sit and sketch during sessions - and as a result have pictures of the many people who have performed over the years in my songbooks.

freda


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: jacqui.c
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 08:57 PM

Lizzie - why such a problem with people knitting whilst listening to a performer? I quite often will be crocheting during a concert/song circle. Doesn't mean that I'm not listening to and enjoying the music. I know at least two well regarded folk performers who generally have some craftwork to hand at festivals and concerts as well.

These handicrafts have, like folk music, been handed down from generation to generation and it is good to see that some people still carry them on. Most of us who do these crafts are capable of holding a conversation, watching TV or a performance whilst doing the work. The shawls that Mmario and I have out on the auction have probably been partly made during folk events.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 08:50 PM

I enjoy/appreciate intellectuals, but rarely those who would characterize themselves as such.

Yeah, the Kingston Trio really brought out the, you know, intellectuals.

Kumbaya on the MTA.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 08:40 PM

And I used to think that the BS section was the only witty section of Mudcat...

No longer.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 08:06 PM

lol, Peace.


"Its a long ways from knickers and high cut boots
To a part down the middle and a brand new suit"

Not to mention the "part down the middle", Jerry.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: bobad
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 07:58 PM

HA, HA, HA good one!


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 07:55 PM

"I should not have left them out."

They shouldn't have either.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 07:52 PM

Right on, bobad! ;-) I should not have left them out.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: bobad
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 07:47 PM

I'll add eunuchs to that list.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 07:42 PM

There is a certain cultural elitism in almost ANY given group of people which causes them to be self-limiting to a great extent. ;-)

Rap artists. Neo-cons. Ku Klux Klan. Daughters of the American Revolution. Republicans. Democrats. Shriners. Catholics. Dentists. Dachshund owners. Moonshiners. Skateboarders...

You name it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Greg B
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 07:34 PM

At risk of being tangiental, I resigned from AFM 1000 when I found
that the local was being controlled by one particular political
faction which was bound to offend the politics of, say, the
main-line bluegrass types, etc.

I found that their concern for things like pension funds, etc., was
over-ridden by things like the SOA protests and so on.

Now, I'm about as left-wing as it comes, but I'm also mature enough
to recognize that not every 'traditional' or 'folk' musician shares
my inclination to John Kerry over George Bush.

But what we run into is that those who want to 'win that one big
union by-and-by' expect that the more conservative will come to them,
not the other way around.

There is a certain cultural elitism in folk music which causes it
to be self-limiting to a great extent.

What I found with AFM 1000 was that pensions, contracts, etc. were
imporartant...so long as you voted for John Kerry or Ralph Nader.

I still believe that the moral majority is neither.

But I also believe that those who arrogantly believe in their right
to be right (or left) are missing out on a whole bunch of good people
with whom to have intelligent discourse...and fraternity that rises
above who wins the next election.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 07:14 PM

Talk about different meanings: There are two lines in a song I wrote about my Father growing up:

"Its a long ways from knickers and high cut boots
To a part down the middle and a brand new suit"

The verse was supposed to follow that transition from a young boy with knickers (usually corduroy pants that came down just below the knee, worn with high-cut boots,) to a man wearing a blue suit.

My friend and fellow Catter played the recording for some folks in the UK and it sounded very kinky to them. "Knickers" in the UK are what we'd call panties over here. The image of my Father in panties and high cut boots (so, what about the whip and whipped cream?) is a little more than my imagination can take...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 06:50 PM

Thanks, Little Hawk, that's interesting information. The use of the referent "Anglo" by various populations points out the difficulties that might occur with words & phrases being misunderstood when used in a discussion forum that has participants from various nations around the world.

When in doubt about the meaning of a word or phrase, I try to figure out its meaning from how people use it. If that doesn't work, I sometimes turn to a dictionary or google. Or I ask for clarification from the poster who used that term or others.

And-other times-when I think that there may be some confusion about a term's meaning, I might chime in with what I hope is clarifying information.

But, with regards to that "Anglo" term, I repeat that I'm not sure if that explanation I gave was the way Guest meant it...

I may have just added more mud to the waters that separate us.

If, so...I'm sorry.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 05:59 PM

When white folks use the term "Anglo", Azizi, it generally refers to people of English/Scottish/Welsh background...either from the British Isles or descendants of people from the British Isles. Canada used to be primarily an Anglo-French society, (with a strong Irish contingent too, of course). Now it is a huge multicultural mixture from all over the world. The French, however, still tend to refer to the English speaking majority as "Anglo".

Toronto was definitely an Anglo-dominated city in the cultural sense when I was a kid. It isn't that way any more. It's like a league of nations now...with the strongest new influences being Asian.

The "Anglos", in fact, have been moving out of Toronto in droves, heading for communities to the north, east, and west, such as the city of Barrie and numerous others strung out along the 400, the 401, and hiway 11. Some have referred to this redistribution of ethnicity as the "great White flight from Toronto". ;-) Suburbs that were all white when I was 20 are mostly Asian or Caribbean now.

The change in the city in the last 50 years has simply been incredible. It's a very different place now, culturally speaking. It's bigger, wealthier, more crowded, dirtier, busier, noisier. The variety of restaurant fare and other entertainment has improved tremendously, while crime, vandalism, and homelessness are also on the upswing. This is what happens when a relatively small and somewhat sleepy provincial capital becomes a huge international centre of commerce.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 05:50 PM

Oh-okay, thanks Peace. I'll have to remember that one.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 05:49 PM

And, for what it's worth, I cringe when I hear the term "folk nazi". I also prefer the term "folk police", if any such term is needed.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 05:49 PM

Garbage in, garbage out.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 05:45 PM

Don T., as a matter of information, in California and other parts of the USA, "Anglo" is usually used by Latinos as a [non-offensive]group referent for "White people".

I suppose that term might refer to people who are White -in the USA or Europe or elsewhere. However, I'm not sure if this is what Guest meant when s/he used that term.

****

Speaking of the meaning of terms, what does GIGO mean?


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 05:38 PM

Don, I do understand your points. It was not my attention to insult any decent songwriter, or to keep invalid perceptions alive.

It is an easy play on words, and there are probably others who have used it as well. The term came to me several years ago when I was having a discussion with someone about audience perceptions AND actual examples of music that was too self-serving. Singer-songwhiner seemed to fit the image. I started using the expression on my radio show, but ONLY when I was showing an artist who did NOT fit the term. My point was to attack the image that had grown of these "singer-songwriters". People were staying away from the clubs because they were tired of the similarity in the music and the introspective nature that did not easily open up to commonality. My point was to show that the image is wrong. Sometimes humor can work to point out the silliness in stereotypes.

Like any artform, there is mediocrity. Sometimes it is abundant. I've known many strong songwriters who could not catch a break. I've known others that got lucky with one song and gave up trying. I know too many good songwriters are out there that are not encouraged. I know too many terrible songwriters that are not given honest feedback.

Personally I take offense at "folk nazi", for a variety of reasons and I would never use the term. "Folk police" will suffice.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 05:17 PM

"The use of terms like 'snigger snogwriter' is yet another sign of the attempts by Anglocentric musicians lording it over others--never a way to bring more folks in the door."

May I point out that there were two terms to which I had objections, the second being "singer/songwhiners", which was, i believe, posted by one of our American cousins. There are folk "nazis" on both sides of the Atlantic.

In response to your post, Ron Olesko, I hadn't realised till now that yours was the first use of that term on this thread. I can only say that, while I understand your reasoning, any comment that puts people off the idea of visiting folk clubs can only be counterproductive if the aim is to get them along to listen to what is good in that arena.

I don't profess to know all the answers, but I do know this. If people are dissuaded from attending the venues where I appear, they will never find out whether I am any good, or not.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 04:39 PM

GIGO

Songwriters know that. So do listeners. The problem then becomes one of defining the terms.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 04:28 PM

Rejecting mediocrity when it is ignorant is a duty. We can strive not to be offensive when we do that, but it is often the case that a strongly stated opinion, ESPECIALLY in cyberspace, is construed to be a direct personal challenge by some individuals who have differing thoughts on the subject. And it is too easy to click off an un-thought-out reaction. It's like giving someone the bird from the safety of your speeding car. Being over solicitous and touchy-feely in ones response, in order to avoid hurt feelings, is quite off putting in a NutraSweet kind of way.

Still, rejecting mediocrity, as with modern politics, is often necessary.

Art


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 04:05 PM

Don T - I started using the term "singer-songwhiner" on my radioshow several years ago, and it was meant to separate the truly outstanding songwriters from the wannabees.   I noticed that back in the 1960's, songwriters were learning from the tradition - and various traditions at that. The music was diverse and interesting - even when it was personal.   I think the downward trend began in the 1980s when the inspiration became the songwriters of the 60's and 70's. The music began to sound similar and it appeared that songwriters were saving money on therapy sessions by putting their troubles into song and inflicting it on poor audiences. Of course there were outstanding songwriters still coming through, but soon everyone with a guitar was writing AND recording songs. I receive about 20 CD's each week, and many artists just aren't ready to be heard by a wider audience.

I am glad you take offense to the term. I hope you and every other songwriter will fight that tag.   Don't forget the premise of this thread, and my earlier posts.   These are stereotypes. There may be some truth, but we all know that there is talent out there that deserve to be heard.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 03:53 PM

There is no rule against rejecting mediocrity, Superior Anonymouse, although there are ways to do it politely.

In any genre, there is a certain magic achieved by the right balance of technical ability and live power of communication.

A


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: number 6
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 02:04 PM

"but where did it go in general"

..... it 'went' when people started analyzing it.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 01:14 PM

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
(George Weiss / Bob Thiele)

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 01:12 PM

I always considered the term "intellectual" to be a complimentary one, and I agree with your definition of it, Jerry. It indicates that a person, as you said, has an inquiring mind, an interest in many subjects, and a good ability to understand ideas and articulate them. All this is good!

However, NEVER let yourself be labelled as an "intellectual" if you are running for high office in the USA!!!! It's the kiss of death in that arena. LOL!

Adlai Stevenson was considered an intellectual. The poor soul never had a chance! It was implied quite a bit in the last election by some people that John Kerry is an intellectual. Not good for John Kerry's chances! That's the way it goes in American politics.

Ever since Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett and all those other fontier heroes there has been a tradition of prejudice against "intellectuals" in the American political arena. They are considered to be apart from the common people, lacking in the common touch, ivory tower types, too clever by half, and NOT to be trusted!

This is a really, really stupid thing to believe (intellectuals in fact have frequently inspired and led populist revolutions on behalf of the common people)...but it is nevertheless a key factor in American politics and media and entertainment...where the primitive hero, the guy who splits rails, chaws on grass stems, spits tobaccy, and has lots of dirt under his fingernails is celebrated over and over again in the prevailing mythology, while the intellectual man is despised.

It's a factor not much evident in Canadian culture. It's no disadvantage, in fact, being pegged as an intellectual if you're running for high office in Canada, Pierre Trudeau being a notable case in point.

If intellectuals like folk music...that speaks well for folk music.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 01:01 PM

...and I think that is the actual situation most of us find ourselves in. We know what we like. The vehemence and the hurt expressed here is a result of some of us feeling, to a greater or a lesser extent, that we've been marginalized and/or backed into musical and aesthetic corners by louder, and momentarily more numerous voices. Liz has, seemingly, been aesthetically violated and she is angry. If those musical fluctuations in the personal paradigm along the time line translate to a loss, or a gain, of monetary or social status, that can make for hard feelings as well.

Change, and our reactions to those differences, is what this seems to be about.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: jimmyt
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 12:47 PM

I guess they would be similar, though Jerry, but hey, what do I know! by the way, Happy Father's day to you! jimmyt


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 12:31 PM

151.... nyahhhhhh!

Hi, jimmy:

In case you haven't noticed, James, Liberal with a capital L isn't a synonym for open-minded. It's folks with a particular set of beliefs (some shared with small "l" liberal Republicans.)

I say that, being a liberal and on many issues a Liberal, too.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: jimmyt
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 12:26 PM

150


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: jimmyt
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 12:26 PM

wow, Jerry, I bet you never intended to open this can o' worms!

Lizzie, I do see where you are coming from and can empathise with you on many of these issues. I guess it is a little annoying to have any one person or group put "their music" on a higher plane than other peoples' music.

I enjoy almost all the music we have discussed here, (except rap which I simply don't get, but I feel that is mostly my own fault) but what I play the most, what I enjoy performing, what gives me the most pleasure RIGHT NOW in my musical odyssey, is oldie American folk ala Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Tom Paxton, Gordon Lightfoot, etc. We perform this to audiences who truly love it.

I found it a bit off-putting at the Getaway last year at some of the audience reaction when a group of us said we were going to do a Kingston Trio song for the Saturday night performance. There were more than a few moans and sniggers in the audience. Once we did it, even these folk purists seemed to enjoy it though.

Folk music is, in my opinion, the music of the people, and inasmuch as that seems to be true, it has fairly liberal leanings. Why oh why do liberals have so much trouble having open minds? I thought that should be part of the definition. Rant over


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 11:45 AM

. . . and although I am not a fan of blues, when I hear people like Mississippi John Hurt, John Hammond, Muddy Waters, Nina Simone (I thinks she's both jazz and blues), I see more deeply into the motivations and feelings of the human race, and so I overlook my 'non-liking' of blues and just enjoy the music.

. . . and when I listen to gospel (which I don't like), I get off on phrasings and harmonies that groups do (The Gospel Messengers, The Staple Singers, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and simply forget I don't like the stuff and enjoy the prestntations.

. . . and when I listen to rock and roll (which I do like), I wonder what happened to it over the years. And all too often I simply turn off the radio or take off the CD because it isn't what I call rock and roll. People like Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, some Beatles, some Stones, some Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers can still make it happen, but where did it go in general?

. . . and folk music which I love--and seems to mean so many different things to so many different people: NO. I don't want to listen to Danny Boy, and I don't care who sings it. Yes I do want to listen to Wild Mountain Thyme, Maggie, October Winds, and even those rebel songs that some folks think are too political to be folk, but can still stir the blood.

. . . and I admit to a liking for many songs from other cultures and languages: Io Vagabondo, Eres Tu: hey, y'all ever given a listen to Italian rock? Spanish rock? Try it, you might like it.

. . . and listening to many singer-songwriters who can reach out and touch the heart/soul with their writings: Judith McKeown, Davy Steele, Jerry Rasmussen, Alan Moorhouse--they ain't whiners. They are writers, and I thank God for them, because the world needs new songs. And NO, everyone will not like them and everything they wrote or sung, but even their weaker stuff is better than most of what I'm hearing on the damned radio these days.

Having said that for I know not why, I hope everyone has a great day listening to whatever turns their individual crank. I think I know what's good. But even if I don't, I do know what I like.

Now, Buddy Holly, ABBA or The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem--naw, how's about a little Lonnie johnson. Yeah, Lonnie . . . .


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 11:21 AM

I love traditional music. I try not to mess with it when I perform it, although I am not a slavish reproductionist. I don't think that as a form of music, traditional folk music is superior to contemporary acoustic music, or jazz or blues or even hip hop (although I really don't relate much to hip hop.) They are all forms of communication to those who are moved by the music. I try not to confuse what I personally enjoy with what is "good," or worthy of my approval. There is a lot of great music that I don't enjoy.

In the long run, we always end up talking about ourselves. Me included.

And I know many wonderful, warm, open, accepting, "intellectual" folks from the UK and would hate to generalize about them any more than I want to generalize about singer/songwriters.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:55 AM

Lizzie, there are self-appointed music police everywhere. If you don't believe that, try looking in on a punk music board.

But in the Anglo dominant folk vein, it is a particular form of condescension and derision from a very small group of English traditional music enthusiasts, and their British and Irish friends, who may be Scottish music snobs, or Irish music snobs, or Welsh music snobs--but they are all snobs, and all live in those islands.

I've always put their behavior down to an inferiority complex. It seems to function as that sort of a psychological dynamic for them, just as it does any sort of snobbery, which I think is always rooted in fear that the snob's inferior status/abilities will be discovered by others.

British society is extremely hierarchical and status driven, don't forget. You see that played out anywhere there are a lot of them congregating and jockeying for higher status. They often get to the top of their alpha heap by becoming very talented and gifted at being derisive, sneeringly condescending, and arrogant. Countess richard and Richard Bridge are two exemplars of that "folk tradition" in Britain. They sort of come with the territory.

But you should also know there are many more wonderful, warm and congenial folks involved in the folk music scene there too. You might prefer railing at their windmills, but many people find them and their sort of personalities obnoxious enough to avoid them entirely.


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:14 AM

Hang on a minute....I'll just put my "I HEART Guest" headband on, to go with my "I HEART Jerry T Shirt...at this rate, I could be dressed from head to toe in HEARTS! ;0)

The troule is Guest, *they* are all around me! They know exactly how to 'trip my triggers' and besides they need bellowing at, because they're the very ones who've given all this wonderful music a bad name in the first place! (in my opinion)

Over on the Radio 2 Music Club board, I've got a new brand of Weird Ones who are now trying to get me certified because I've merely had the audacity to talk about folk and acoustic music on er...a music board! I mean...is it me?   WHY can't you even *talk* about folk music without people seeming to be terrified or enraged?!

And on Folk Britannia the other day, it showed old films of folk clubs. The Scots were whooping it up, swinging their kilts to and fro, (ooh matron!)....and dancing with their lassies, but the English?..The ENGLISH were sat round, stock still. I thought they were attending a Scientific Maths Seminar, but no......they were watching Pete Seeger! Now Pete, he was smiling and tapping his foot, moving with the music and generally having a great time, but that audience...well, it looked as if they'd died about 30 years ago!! I mean it was a genuine case of an audience brought in from 'Cadavers R Us'

Sheesh!!

And at Sidmouth last year....in the Ham Marquee, there were people KNITTING whilst Kathryn Tickell was on! KNITTING!!!!! WHAT is going on in the English folk world? That young lady is a dream! Her music and her lovely personality....yet they were knitting!

When we saw Stephen Fearing recently he was saying how Canadian audiences 'let go' almost immediately and how different it is over here. Have the English lost the plot do you think? Has English folk music been so long in the hands of The Superior Ones that it can never break free?

Do they have Folk Police in the USA, or Scotland, Ireland or Wales? Perhaps I need to emigrate!


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Subject: RE: Folk Music Is for intellectuals
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 09:12 AM

Also, it should be painfully obvious by now that these same (largely British) group of musicians is profoundly uncomfortable with the contemporary world, and all that comes with it. Like technology.

This is a group of people who seem to believe the only good music is the music of their father's fathers. Or music that is old, and performed without technology being involved, and surrounded by a group of people who think and behave the same way they themselves think and behave. There is no doubt in my mind that a love of elitism is a big draw for this kind of music snobbery. But you don't just see this level of elitism and music snobbery in folk music. You see it in relation to some other music genres too. I'm trying to think of a music genre that is more elitist and snobby, but really, I can't think of one. I put these folk music snobs on a par with the classical music snobs. If there are snobbier groups of music lovers, I don't know who it would be.

Theirs is a very limited worldview about music, but it is theirs and they are entitled to it. What isn't cool at all though, is their proclivity to insult anyone who isn't part of their very small elitist group of music snobs. I really don't mind music snobs, so long as they don't get in my face.


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