Goin' up the country...

The village Voice has an fun and excellent point making article about freak folk, and the brooklynites who love it... (i love alot of it too, more the No-neck /sunburned/ six organs side, not so much the Devendras and the Danielsons, though i do like the Thompsons... not the twins, but Richard and Linda, and the fairport sound... anyway...)

I've always thought it interesting that the majority of the folkers now adays are coming out of the city, but as i've looked back - for that matter i guess it's always been that way, iron and wine came out of, what Miami florida? and for that matter, The Band, who wrote songs like, up on cripple creek, and the night they drove old dixie down, were... from, what, Toronto or Vancouver (either way they were Canadians...)? CCR... Los Angeles... etc.

Seems like the realities of the people, places, and things that inspire us often tend to leave us less contented than the fantasies themselves... unless of course you're Toby Keith or Lynyrd Skynyrd (as if Toby Keith spends anytime at all livin' the country life... douchebag.)

Taken from the Village Voice, read the whole article here

"Well, I explained, there's this art-farm place down the road in Acra, and they're having an overnight . . . folk . . . show. I didn't want to get into it, really, assuming Brian and Betty probably wouldn't care much about "freak folk" or know much about Free103point9, a somewhat specious if totally well-meaning nonprofit arts organization that had invited eight or so bands, many of them from Brooklyn, to upstate New York for an idyllic mid-July weekend of performance and communion called Campfire Sounds 2006.

"S'cool," Brian replied.

Most of the actual crowd—also primarily Brooklynites interested in getting drunk on a different lawn—camped in the meadow. Nothing against that meadow, but it was obvious that while most had come up the Taconic State Parkway in search of some pastoral ideal; they weren't going to risk a rash for it. Thus their hammocks struck a laudable balance between taut and tender. Park Slope's quietly majestic Stars Like Fleas were the only band who bothered to actually drag themselves into the woods—the second stage was a minuscule tree clearing—for an afternoon set on top of their evening one. (Bonus: They have a harpist.) The afternoon yawned with sets from Melanie Moser and the Dust Dive, the latter weaving half-sung poetry over slow, drifting plates of funerary folk-rock. They also played a song in protest of the new Nets stadium; I scanned the crowd for concerned looks and found none. Flanked by babies and Labradors, some townies, happily deaf to the idea of city kids getting free in the grass because that's what they thought country folk did, sat contentedly in sensible, breathable fabrics we won't concede to until middle age. Later, a local 'tween in a Volcom T-shirt passed me and said, "Hey dude, yeah, hippies, peace!" I smelled my armpits."


The Le Duo said...

2 things- 1. Levon Helm (drummer for The Band) was from Alabama and 2. please dont compare Toby Keith to Skynyrd- Skynyrd covered all the important issues of the day; drug abuse, the fact that Tuesday is Gone, being free and all- sure they were no indie-quasi-intelligentsia Brooklynite freak-folk weirdo, but I also dont think they were in the same Toby Keith America-all-or-nothin-boot-in-the-ass boat. And dont even mention the 'Neil Young dont need him around anyhow' quote, that was basically in responce to 'Southern Man' -'hey Canadian not all dudes from the south are racist redneck scumbags!'

Skyrynd at the Champlain Valley Expo 1998 changed my life! word


Tmoore said...

Well, i didn't mean to compare the talents of Lynryd skyryd to Toby Keith, just that they were both from the places that they tend to focus their songs on. I honnestly have no beef with Skynryd only that their name is hard to remember how to spell.

As far as The Band, - Levon Helms was from Arkansas, not alabama, and the rest of the band, including their lead song writer Robbie Robertson was from the Toronto area. I rest my case -

But honnestly, i'm not trying to put the credentials of certain artists on trial just because they were born somewhere, i'm trying to point out how often enough, songwriters, poets, and artists in general, create the subject of their art out of a lack of, or longing for.

That Levon Helms was from Arkansas doesn't really matter, it's more important that he wrote songs like "The Night they Drove ol' Dixie Down", a song imagining the civil war in a romantic and heroic way, because he very likely grew up like we all have in a world of grey uncertainty, without heroes.

Mel Gibson said...

Arkansas, Alabama- all those fucking redneck southern states are the same to me!

casey said...

Neil Young and Skynyrd were actually very close; mutual admirers, actually.

LS were once quite rebellious. It helps to remember that anyone in the South who hadlong hair was already an outcast. I don't really like their stuff, but I have some respect for their "ultimate outlaw" stance. What other good ol' boys would have a pro-gun control song?

My courtesy doesn't extend to the opportunist, pro-Bush travesty that is the current incarnation. That band went down with the plane.

Molly said...

"The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down" was written by Robbie Robertson, not Helms.

Molly Pollywog said...

Helm! I stuck an 's' on there. Levon Helm. Leona Helmsley. Lester Horton. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

You point to an article with so many factual errors it is not even hilarious, just sad. So you can't really use it as a template for making some point, since it is such a load of shit.

Make your point on your own, you'd be better off then to trust the Village Voice, where the level of writing is high school, and the level of fact-checking is non-existent.

Tmoore said...

Dear Annie Nymous,

i think i did make my own point, then i used an editorial to further illustrate my point, (which was more like a musing) but i am curious about these factual errors that you speak so crypticly about... maybe should should enlighten me, i'm curious.

Anonymous said...

I was there too, and boy that article is all wrong. More than one band played up in the woods beside Stars Like Fleas (the band pictured, for instance, is Latitude/Longitude playing in the woods). There was wi-fi -- the whole weekend was streamed on the web. Most of the crowd was not from Brooklyn, but from upstate NY and Western Mass. The writer only talks about actual music for maybe two sentences. He ignores all the Friday night performers, and then leaves early. It's all a big lie, but if you want to use that lie for your purposes, then go ahead, invade Iraq.

Tmoore said...

hehe wifi...

Well i'm glad someone was paying attention and doing a residency check... thanks for the melodramatic iraq invasion reference.