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Forward Thinking Motherfuckers

The Velvet Underground you never got to hear. Born from the same experimental influences and art-pop sensibilities as VU, but based in 60s counter-cultural Sweden, and rife with name changes galore, Pärson Sound aka International Harvester aka Harvester aka Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones) brought the heavy, heavy drone sound as far back as 1967 and are still active today. [more inside]
posted by stinkycheese on Sep 19, 2007 - 14 comments

Mom always liked you best.

The Smothers Brothers are a folk-singing comedy duo whose television show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour featured music, comedy, and political satire. CBS abruptly canceled the show in 1969 due to continued arguments about censorship. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia on Sep 14, 2007 - 37 comments

Guitar playing motivation

This might lead you to learn to play guitar, to write poems, to sing, or just to watch and listen more intently. Kelly joe Phelps, from washington state, is one of the most beautiful musicians I've ever seen. He's got a great way to play traditionals and his originals are mesmerizing.
posted by nicolin on Sep 11, 2007 - 11 comments

Watching Watchtower

Aside from the usual crap, YouTube has a great selection of one the most covered song of all time: All Along the Watchtower. Classics like Hendrix (live and studio), Neil Young (at DailyMotion with better sound) and U2--and some great contemporary versions like Keziah Jones' blazingly-fast version, Bradley Fish's 12-instrument (including Chinese Zither) version, Michael Hedges’ reason-to-be-excited cover, and even a quite good version of DMB's much-maligned cover. What doesn't really rank: Dylan's original.
posted by FeldBum on Jul 2, 2007 - 43 comments

You want the Old Skool? You can't handle the Old Skool! You don't even have a clue what the Old Skool is! *chops down door* Here's ...Johnny!!!

Here is Uncle John Scruggs singing and playing Little Log Cabin Round the Lane in RealAudio Dial Up and DSL format. The dancing is great and I do like the walk-on kitten part, myself.

That's from the Center For Southern African-American Music Video Link Page. Their audio link page is a wonder, too with individual artists galore. But, for the real deal, check out the Various Artist compilation album pages. Those may be 20 second of so mp3 clips but, still, those Yazoo, Document and Folkways albums are the bomb and there you get a taste of what they offer. And anywhere you can hear, for example, even a few bars of Blind Alfred Reed's How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live ? or Estil C. Ball and Lacey Richardson's Trials, Troubles, Tribulations rules in my world.
posted by y2karl on Jun 29, 2007 - 9 comments

How To Pick a Fight With y2karl

While some people like their Kottkes all modern & full of links, I'll take mine old skool. Ladies & gentlemen, the greatest 12 string slide guitarist that ever lived.
posted by jonson on Jun 28, 2007 - 47 comments

Professional northerners

Northerners aren't overly represented on t'internet. Our kid reckoned the late Bernard Manning would make a comeback using MySpace, but that didn't 'appen. But hold onto t'whippet because The Lancashire Hotpots are filling the entertainment vacuum (I recommend Chippy Tea from the playlist). 30% Peter Kay, 30% George Formby, 39% Mike Harding (circa his Rochdale Cowboy phase), and 1% the UOGB, they're postmodern northerners for the 21st century (comparisons to Chas & Dave are inevitable and will be ignored).
posted by humblepigeon on Jun 23, 2007 - 34 comments

Watch Iran's emerging new music talent

Iran: This musician is revolutionizng the music scene (Video) Mohsen Namjoo and her superstar
posted by hoder on Jun 13, 2007 - 19 comments

Alaska and Northeast Siberia

Artifacts, people, and traditions of Alaska and Northeast Siberia.
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 12, 2007 - 6 comments

South/Latin American composers after 1900

While the first pioneering forays into atonality and free chromaticism were starting to occur in Western European music, the talents of Latin and South America were discovering the Romantic beauty of re-interpreting the past. [much, much more inside!]
posted by invitapriore on Jun 3, 2007 - 6 comments

Beautiful Losers

Karen Dalton - It Hurts Me, Too
Tim Buckley - Sally Go 'Round The Roses
Tim Hardin - If I Were A Carpenter
See also
The Other Side Of Greenwich Village 60's Folk Scene - Part 1
and Part 2  
more within
posted by y2karl on May 4, 2007 - 47 comments

Faking It: the quest for authenticity in popular music

“We consider the 'primitive' music of blues singers such as Leadbelly to be more authentic than that of the Monkees. But all pop musicians are fakes . . . Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor . . . have turned out their personal record collections to produce a persuasive defence of inauthenticity as the defining characteristic of great popular music[.]” (via)
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 20, 2007 - 144 comments

Nyahh. It sounds better than it reads.

Joe Heaney told lots of stories, and sang pretty well too. His style of music, Sean-Nós out of Connemara is rare indeed nowadays, but there are songs like Úna Bhán that stand on their own poetic merit, and others like Cunnla that are altogether less stodgy than one might think. If it's too Irish for you, how about meeting the language halfway?
posted by StrikeTheViol on Apr 17, 2007 - 7 comments

In a city renowned for phoney affection and rabid ambition, he exudes only diffidence, humour and generosity.

"If you had Bruce playing with you," Dylan wrote, in his 2004 autobiography, Chronicles, "that's all you would need to do just about anything."
Bruce Langhorne has quite the discography. And a hot sauce, to boot. And he's led quite the life. Here is Richie Unterberger's interview with Langhorne in Parts One and Two. And here he talks with Unterberger about working with Mimi and Richard Fariña.

On a personal note, I will add that his hot sauce is hot indeed. Will buy it again.
posted by y2karl on Apr 13, 2007 - 6 comments

American music

All old things become new again. Traditional American music, such as Del McCoury and Doc Watson being explored and reinvented by new artists. Gillian Welch and Old Crow Medicine Show , Chatham County Line- Route 23 , and The Be Good Tanyas - The Littlest Birds. Just to name a few. [all youtube]
posted by nola on Mar 10, 2007 - 16 comments

F***ing Hippies (Gotta Love 'Em)

Youtube links to Neil Young busking in Glasgow and some more. Vintage Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
posted by snsranch on Jan 24, 2007 - 17 comments

Ah, Misirlou, magical, exotic beauty

From Rebetika to Surf Rock: Misirlou is a melody that has spanned genres, from Greek, Turkish and Jewish folk songs to the classic Dick Dale version on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack to the Black-Eyed Peas, to the obligatory Greek folk version/Pump It mash-up.
posted by costas on Jan 23, 2007 - 35 comments

The man can definitely eef.

Before you do anything else, just listen to this. That's eefing, a 100-plus-year-old vocal technique from rural Tennessee that's, well, the original hillbilly beatboxing. The undisputed master of the art was Jimmie Riddle. His unique skill landed him recording* and TV (youtube) work. Want more weird sounds from the deep south? Try Hollerin & Whoopin and Ringing the Pig. *[warning: on the "Little Eefin Annie" page, avoid the "click here to hear Rolf Harris Eeefin'!" link: it's a pesky popup.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 6, 2007 - 51 comments

The Falsettos - Skip James, Tommy Johnson, Dona Dumitru Siminica & Joe Keawe, among others

Here is a video of one falsetto singer:

Skip James - Devil Got My Woman

More music by and information about Skip James, a Romanian gypsy named Doma Dumitru Siminica, leo ki'eki'e singers Richard & Solomon Ho'opi'i and other Legends of Falsetto within...
posted by y2karl on Dec 14, 2006 - 29 comments

Harry Everett Smith

Harry Everett Smith was a, "20th-century Renaissance man, working as an abstract film-maker, painter, musicologist, anthropologist, theoretician, self-mythologizer and connoisseur of arcana". His Anthology of American Folk Music was hugely influential on American music, while his alchemical, synæsthetic films were to have a similar impact on experimental film and animation. Enjoy his mesmerising and astonishing "Early Abstractions" on Youtube [part 1 or 4], hear Harry lecture, or listen to some tracks from The Anthology.
posted by MetaMonkey on Dec 8, 2006 - 9 comments

John Fahey at Rockpalast - Hamburg Uni, Hamburg, West Germany - 1978-03-17and otherwise on YouTube

John Fahey in concert: Beverly (aka Indian Pacific Railroad Blues) Poor Boy (Which is a variation on Booker White's Poor Boy Long Way from Home)
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2006 - 19 comments

folkstreams.net - A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures

Folkstreams.net has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities. The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak "broadcast English." Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value...
folkstreams.net Currently streaming are the films The Land Where the Blues Began , Cajun Country , Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now , Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap , Ray Lum: Mule Trader and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O , among many others.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2006 - 14 comments

John Smith Hurt: An Interview and the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation

Here is the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation, the website, which is the creation of one Frank Delaney of Spokane. There's a great deal of guitar related material and a page of mp3's by fans, which includes several interesting originals by one Fred Bolden, a grand nephew. I always knew he had a son who played guitar and wondered why no one had ever tried to record him. Now there is a grand nephew playing, if nowhere near as sublimely as his great uncle, in roughly the same style.

Here is an interview of John Hurt from 1963, courtesy of Stefan Grossman's guitar video empire. It is a real delight.

Consider this a follow up to this post. Not all of the links there are good. The Mississippi John Hurt Guitar Tab Book, for instance, is now available only in PDF format but well worth the download. And here is an illustrated discography of John Hurt by another Stefan, Stefan Wirz, a subject of yet another post back in the day.
posted by y2karl on Oct 4, 2006 - 19 comments

We're Norfolk and good

The world of folk music is often a rather dour place, as folkies try hard to fully express the miseries of a life pre-myspace. In the 1980s, however, the Kipper Family, of St-Just-near-Trunch, Norfolk, bucked this trend. With such classics as "Arrest These Merry Gentlemen", "Wild Mounting Time" and "We're Norfolk and Good", Sid and Henry Kipper managed to cheer up many a maudlin English folk club. Although Henry was retired, Sid Kipper still performs solo and has recently started doing podcasts for Channel4 (reg req to download).
posted by criticalbill on Sep 27, 2006 - 9 comments

Etta Baker 1913-2006

Etta Baker 1913-2006
posted by y2karl on Sep 25, 2006 - 19 comments

y2karl's 78 RPM jukebox-o-rama

For murder ballads, here's your Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins and your Grayson & Whitter's Ommie Wise. Then, for some early white blues bottleneck guitar, here's your Frank Hutchison's K. C. Blues. Not to mention Charley Patton's Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues. All courtesy the Internet Archives 78 RPM tag. where there is way more--like Bix Beiderbecke's first record, Davenport Blues, Louis Armstrong's Ain't Misbehavin' and Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words, among many others. Then, for more, Nugrape Records has an mp3 page. The standout there, at least for me, is Gus Cannon's Poor Boy Long Ways From Home. As for their namesake, the Nugrape Twins, well, the Archive has the mp3 of I've Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape. And don't let me omit mentioning PublicDomain4U. They have Mississippi John Hurt's Frankie, for one. Tyrone's Record and Phonograph Links will lead you to more 78 RPM goodness. And don't forget the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine.
posted by y2karl on Aug 25, 2006 - 48 comments

"The joy of eternal bards/ the sound of the kantele"

The kantele is the national instrument of Finland, strongly associated with traditional Finnish folk music. A psaltery-like string instrument of somewhat obscure origin, it prominently figures in the Kalevala. Despite this association with the past, the kantele is very much a living instrument- it was used in the soundtrack to "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" for its "pure, chilly sound", and electric kanteles have been made. [more inside, with sound samples]
posted by a louis wain cat on Jul 8, 2006 - 20 comments

Pete Seeger, a gem

Pete Seeger on Democracy Now!
posted by wheelieman on Jul 3, 2006 - 29 comments

ei se mitään

TVFolk is a collection of 400-odd videos of traditional music from nothern Europe, including a live (leek-free) performance from Loituma (below) in 2001. Other standouts include Hedningarna, JPP, and Garmarna.
posted by Wolfdog on May 21, 2006 - 12 comments

We shall overcome.

The songs of the Pete Seeger Sessions presents an ultra-detailed listing of prior recordings of the songs included in Bruce Springsteen's excellent "We shall overcome" album, a majestic tribute to the American musical tradition, with some songs written over two centuries ago. The site lists more than 1,560 eariler recordings, by nearly as many artists, with some full-length audio clips included. Aft
posted by keepoutofreach on Apr 27, 2006 - 32 comments

Beyond the Mouse

Folkvine: A creative presentation of Florida folk artists and their work. The interface can be a little baroque, but there's some nifty stuff inside.
posted by Miko on Apr 17, 2006 - 5 comments

Sweet Nyckelharpa + Arch Guitar = Bardou.

Bardou (note: sound on intro) is a Belgian band founded by Jim Kline and Mariusz Radwanski combining medieval, baroque, folk, celtic and sea chanty in a beautiful sound. While strolling down the Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence this afternoon, I chanced upon these two musicians playing dulcet tones in a duet. As I drew closer, I saw the instruments were nothing I'd encountered before: a nyckelharpa and an arch guitar. The sound was quite appealing (.mpg video).
posted by darkstar on Apr 9, 2006 - 10 comments

Going Down the Crooked Road

Going Down the Crooked Road. Explore the sights and sounds of Virginia's Heritage Music Trail.
posted by srboisvert on Feb 21, 2006 - 6 comments

A Greater Goggriffer than Cranky

FARNE North East English folk archives. Interviews, performances, manuscripts, photos and videos. You can browse the archives a few different ways to get the feel of the place.
posted by tellurian on Dec 5, 2005 - 4 comments

The Vera Hall Project and Songs by Vera Hall

Vera Hall was a black woman born near Livingston, Alabama at the turn of the century. She grew up in a supportive family and community, but in difficult, poor rural living conditions. At a young age, Hall became a respected and devout member of the church, and remained so for the rest of her years. But after leaving home, she also fell in with more worldly crowd, for whom blues, craps, and alcohol were the entertainments of choice. The tension between these two spheres-- that of spirituals and the church, on one hand, and that of blues and the juke-joint, on the other-- is a theme that recurred throughout her life and infused her music. She drew upon both perspectives to cope with and overcome her life's perennial difficulties; sadly, it was dotted with tragedy: she lost both parents, a sister, a husband, a daughter, and two grandchildren-- all before she herself passed away in 1964 at the age of 58.

The Vera Hall Project [+}
posted by y2karl on Sep 17, 2005 - 5 comments

I tend to think the album is a bit overrated, but 'Chicago' is gorgeous.

Illin'-Noise! is the new remix of Sufjan Stevens' album Illinois by mc DJ; a torrent is available, as is cover art. It's not quite like Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds (previously on Mefi) -- it's not nearly as noisy, and not quite as good, although it's still worth checking out, particularly "Chi-Town" (from "Chicago"), "Zombies" (from "They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!") and "Jacksontown" (from "Jacksonville"). [prev.]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Sep 12, 2005 - 26 comments

curse that jack of diamonds

Lessons from British folk songs
posted by kenko on Sep 7, 2005 - 19 comments

Searching for the Stargazer

Scottish born singer Shelagh McDonald was part of the late 1960s British folk scene and recorded two excellent albums in the early 70s with production not unlike that of Nick Drake. With favorable comparisons to Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell and Judee Sill, larger success seemed right around the corner for this talented young woman. Then she vanished. It's still unknown whether she went back to Scotland or elsewhere entirely, but now her musical catalogue is back in print, prompting renewed interest. Perhaps she'll come forward at last to receive the royalties she's owed or, if we're lucky, step onto the stage once again.
posted by ktoad on Sep 1, 2005 - 6 comments

Confabulate it!

The Confabulators. They Are Confabulators!! They Write About Music!! They Have Come From The Decemberists Board!! Ahhhh! It began on a message board (reg. required). All the latest news about The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, and now, more! Their latest entry: A review of Pitchfork's review of Sufjan's Illinois. That'll teach 'em.
posted by ludwig_van on Aug 8, 2005 - 18 comments

Mit könny meg szép szó meg nem tart

Several dozen folk, popular and art songs from Hungary (in Real Audio and MP3).
posted by Wolfdog on Jul 31, 2005 - 6 comments

Some resources

Canadian 60s Garage Bands - Alex's Picks of the Week - Acid Archives of Underground Sounds 1965 - 1982 - South African Rock Files - The Magic Land - Track Lists - Garage Compilation DB - Psychedelic Album Reviews - Christian Psych - Swedish Label Catalog - Swedish Progressive Artist Catalogue - German Rock Discography - Underground Sounds - Greatest Rock Album Covers - 760 Rare Psych Album Photos - Jazz Label Discographies - Psych from the 60s - Hispanic Progressive Rock - Heavy Rock Database - More Discographies (By Label) - Argentinian Rock - Borderline Books - Julian Cope's Head Heritage - The History of Boston Rock - Psychedelicatessen - Collectable Records album covers - Links page with more 60s resources - Italian Prog - The Crack in the Cosmic Egg - Spanish Prog - Psychedelic & Acid Folk - Encyclopedia of Electronic Music - Nurse with Wound "Influences" list - Beyond the Beat Generation - Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Prog - Canterbury - The Technicolor Web of Sound (links compiled by Cesar Montesano of the avant-progressive mailing list.)
posted by kenko on Jul 2, 2005 - 22 comments

Pixies unplugged

I wonder if Odetta will sing backup on "Debaser". The Pixies will do their first acoustic set ever this summer, and what more appropriate place than where Dylan plugged in and changed the rules? That's right, Newport, baby!
posted by barjo on Jun 16, 2005 - 14 comments

What's the matter with wacky nutjob artists in Kansas?

J.P. Dinsmoor fought in the Civil War and had two children in his eighties. He was a die-hard Populist, the first resident of Lucas, KA to go electric and when he died he was mummified. Somewhere in there he had time to build The Garden of Eden, discussed in "What's the Matter With Kansas" and contrasted with this wingnut.
And they're both called Populists.
posted by gilgamix on Jun 1, 2005 - 10 comments

The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders and Charlie Poole, to boot

We kept changing the name. First it was the Total Quintessence Stomach Pumpers. Then the Temporal Worth High Steppers. Then The Motherfucker Creek Babyrapers. That was just a joke name. He was Rinky-Dink Steve the Tin Horn and I was Fast Lightning Cumquat. He was Teddy Boy Forever and I was Wild Blue Yonder. It kept changing names. Then it was the Total Modal Rounders. Then when we were stoned on pot and someone else, Steve Close maybe, said Holy Modal Rounders by mistake. We kept putting out different names and wait until someone starts calling us that then. When we got to Holy Modal Rounders, everyone decided by accumulation that we were the Holy Modal Rounders. That's the practical way to get named.
The Story Of The Holy Modal Rounders. In 1965, they used the psychedelic in a lyric and channeled Charlie Poole. From 1999, Green Man reviews their Too Much Fun!--& Ink 19's take as well. From No Depression comes Bohemian Rhapsody and from Richie Unterberger here's an interview with Peter Stampfel and the liner notes he wrote for the CD re-issue of cult classic The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders. In a related bonus, here you can find Charlie Poole singing Moving Day, a great song which I first heard by the Rounders.
posted by y2karl on May 30, 2005 - 19 comments

Lomax Archive

The Alan Lomax Database is a free multimedia catalog of the audio and video recordings and photographs made by Alan Lomax from 1946 to 1994.
posted by liam on Apr 25, 2005 - 8 comments

Apache!

All roads lead to Apache. From Bert (.mp3) to Nas (.mp3), surf (.mp3) to electronica (.mp3), the audio genealogy of one influential tune. (via Soul-Sides)
posted by numlok on Apr 21, 2005 - 26 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.2 - On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy

On "Love and Theft" & On On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy & The Annotated Love And Theft...    In melody, Bye and Bye comes by way of Billie Holiday's Having Myself A Time and Floater by way of Bing Crosby's (& Eddie Duchin's & Kate Smith's & Isham Jones's...) Snuggled On Your Shoulder--and lyrically, by way, in part, of Junichi Saga's Confessions Of A Yakuza, which was not a crime novel, as StupidSexyFlanders once surmised, but an outright As told to memoir, which makes it four or five degrees from Yakuza to Dr. Saga to translator to Dylan to Plagiarism in Dylan, or a Cultural Collage?

Oh, who's going to throw that minstrel boy a coin ?
posted by y2karl on Apr 14, 2005 - 18 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.0: Why Postmodern Minstrelsy Studies Matter

Jump Jim Crow, through the hoops of one Robert Christgau's erudition as he surveys the literature extant in In Search of Jim Crow: Why Postmodern Minstrelsy Studies Matter, through multiple readings of Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World and and Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. Consider, too, The Minstrel Cycle from Reading The Commitments and other various and sundry attempts to peek inside the minstrel mask—all multiple readings reading blackface minstrels from the pejorative to the explorative, subversive to oppressive, past to future, unfolding tesseractly, if not exactly, with singing, dancing and extraordinary elocutions. Buy your tickets and step within for The Meller Drammer of Minstrelsy in The Minstrel Show 2.0
posted by y2karl on Mar 31, 2005 - 17 comments

The pipes, the pipes are calling

The Mystery of Danny Boy - Most everyone has heard the song "Danny Boy", and while the lyrics have a traceable history, where did the tune originate? It is known as "Londonderry Air" in some folks circles, and a lovely band arrangement was done with the title "Irish Tune from County Derry". Regardless of the facts, it is still a poignant tune covered by many.
posted by frecklefaerie on Mar 17, 2005 - 18 comments

A review of Bob Dylan in his own and other people's words

Be careful what you wish for, the cliché goes. Having aspired from early youth to become stars, people who achieve that status suddenly find themselves imprisoned, unable to walk down the street without being importuned by strangers. The higher their name floats, the greater the levy imposed, the less of ordinary life they can enjoy. In his memoir, Bob Dylan never precisely articulates the ambition that brought him to New York City from northern Minnesota in 1961, maybe because it felt improbable even to him at the time. Nominally, he was angling for Leading Young Folksinger, which was a plausible goal then, when every college town had three or four coffeehouses and each one had its Hootenanny night, and when performers who wowed the crowds on that circuit went on to make records that sometimes sold in the thousands. But from the beginning Dylan had his sights set much higher: the world, glory, eternity—ambitions laughably incommensurate with the modest confines of American folk music. He got his wish, in spades... 'I Is Someone Else'
posted by y2karl on Feb 19, 2005 - 34 comments

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