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Baroque, Meet Folk.

Exploring the intersection of baroque, renaissance, and folk music, the international ensemble L'Arpeggiata's unique repertoire ranges from tarantellas to sophisticated baroque pieces. Led by the Austrian lutenist and harpist Christina Pluhar, l'Arpeggiata focuses on 17th century Italian, French, and Neapolitan repertoire. Here is L'Arpeggiata setting fire to a chiacona with famed Baroque violinist, Veronika Skuplik. L'Arpeggiata improvising on a tarantella theme in a Versailles courtyard.. If you like a more Baroque flavor, here is the first part of a concert with the incomparable countertenor Philippe Jaroussky in Metz. An impassioned blend of 17th century Italian lyricism with traditional Italian/Corsican music, with the group Barbara Furtuna et l'ensemble. Philippe Jaroussky performs an 17th century Italian song with l'Arpeggiata.
posted by Atrahasis on Jul 27, 2012 - 11 comments

 

He Said, She Said, Starring Bob Dylan and a $1 Million Guitar.

Bob Dylan famously "went electric" at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. 47 years later, experts believe a woman in New Jersey has the guitar the Dylan played on stage that day. [more inside]
posted by COD on Jul 13, 2012 - 46 comments

Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Old City Hall, Redding California, 1988

Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Old City Hall, Redding California, 1988
This is Ramblin' Jack in his prime. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 20, 2012 - 7 comments

Only good for conversation

An acclaimed new documentary, Searching for Sugarman, goes hunting for the lost Dylan, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 1, 2012 - 10 comments

personal computing challenging the recording business

"Dingus is dedicated to the search [for new music on Bandcamp]. It's here, on this humble blog that we shed light on bedroom artists in their most defining moments. If you want what's popular today, Dingus is not the blog for you. But, if you want what's fringe, pure and passionate then you've somehow landed on the right URL." [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 28, 2012 - 18 comments

Roger McGuinn clearly gives a folk

Roger McGuinn was a member of the pioneering folk rock band The Byrds. He loves the traditional folk music he has been performing solo since the band's breakup in 1973. In this interview, he talks to NPR's Neal Conan about his career, his music and why he created The Folk Den Project (previously) - with over 200 readily downloadable songs, with lyrics and chords - to preserve traditional folk songs.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal on Apr 18, 2012 - 4 comments

The Lomax Collection -- a 'renewal of the forgotten springs of human creativity.'

NPR: "Folklorist Alan Lomax spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world." Now, nearly ten years after his death, thousands of the songs and interviews he recorded are available for free online, many for the first time. "It's part of what Lomax envisioned for [his] collection — long before the age of the Internet." (Mr. Lomax, Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 28, 2012 - 27 comments

RL in '78, TJ in '83

Oh yeah. There he is, Mr. RL Burnside, in the year of nineteen and seventy eight, Independence, Mississippi, porch fulla kids, singin' about when his first wife left him, million-dollar smile on his face. And there he is again, with his guitar and amp, out by the barb wire fence, a poor boy a long way from home. These two little gems just added to the Alan Lomax Archive YouTube channel, where you'll also find some wonderful newly-uploaded clips (filmed in 1983) from fretless banjo plucker Tommy Jarrell, the toast of Toast, North Carolina.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 15, 2012 - 9 comments

Etta Baker, American musician

Guitarist Etta Baker worked in a textile mill, raised nine children, and didn’t take her music to the stage until she was 60 years old. Fortunately for all of us, she continued to play and record right up until her death in 2006 at the age of 93.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 12, 2012 - 11 comments

Australian dubtechno and dubstep from Westernsynthetics and friends

"Rhyece O’Neill is an intense young man. A polemical folk singer, a producer of bass-heavy dance music, a protester, and a digital media worker for a major record label. He’s unlike anyone else in Australia’s dubstep landscape." Cyclic Defrost interviews O'Neill, aka electronic/dub/dubstep producer Westernsynthetics, and head of the Sub Continental Dub label. You can skip the rest and hear two streaming mixes from Westernsynthetics, 19 tracks from the Sub Continental Dub label, plus the label's first three singles, or continue inside for background, context, and even more music. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 27, 2012 - 9 comments

Made By Hand

Craftsmen and women, some of them the last of their breed, making their art by hand and profiled in beautiful short-form videos: Knifemaker. Ornamental glass artist (previously). Master printer . Swordguard maker (previously). Beekeeper and honey maker. Stone lettercarvers. Carmaker. More, and related, at This Is Made By Hand, FolkStreams.net and (less related, but still wonderful) eGarage.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 27, 2012 - 19 comments

Love me, I'm a liberal

Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune - excellent 90-minute documentary of the trenchant folk performer who chronicled civil rights, politics, and the Viet Nam War until death by his own hand in 1976. Although he never achieved widespread popular acclaim, many found him to be the true voice of his generation - with themes that are sadly still relevant today. Just a musical taste to whet your appetite: Love Me, I'm a Liberal. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 26, 2012 - 34 comments

Joe Thompson, American musician, RIP

African-American fiddler Joe Thompson, probably the last living link to the black string band tradition of the 19th century, has died at the grand old age of 93. Hear Joe and his cousin, banjoist Odell (who passed on back in 1994) offer some reminiscences on the origins of their music, and a spirited rendition of Cindy Gal. Here's the short but sweet and deliciously ragged Old Corn Liquor. Hear Joe and Odell in concert in 1988, part one and part two, and this little ditty from a living room in 1987. And there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 24, 2012 - 9 comments

"If I Could Fly, You Know That I'd Try"

The Cranberries: NPR Tiny Desk Concert [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 23, 2012 - 30 comments

Dory Previn, 1925 - 2012

"Whether writing as herself, or through one of the many voices she heard in her head, Previn's sinister riverboat chansons revealed the pain, games, lies and loneliness behind the L.A. free love myth. 1971's Mythical Kings And Iguanas was, perhaps, the peak point of Previn's eerily confessional style containing the searingly honest Lemon Haired Ladies and The Lady With The Braid, both of which recount encounters between young men and single older women in chilling detail. Her third album, Reflections In A Mud Puddle was a concept album based upon her life with her father, and contained the astonishing Doppelganger, a Weillian Sympathy For The Devil in which the world's evils are found to lurk in all of us. " Singer-Songwriter Dory Previn has died. (previously on Metafilter).
posted by The Whelk on Feb 22, 2012 - 13 comments

Birdcloud is Two Tennessee Girls with Stringed Instruments and Potty Mouths

"Birdcloud met in Murfreesboro and immediately didn’t like eachother. At a party in 2009 they had some whiskeys and became friends and started dicking around on guitar, writing their first song, a song about going down on your best friend, now lost to the sands of time. Despite a lukewarm reception at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, they have been sitting on eachother’s faces ever since, showing eachother their bruises and generally doing whatever they want when it works out that way." Songs on the inside NSFW if you can't tell. [more inside]
posted by cmoj on Feb 21, 2012 - 14 comments

First Aid Kit: Some strange music draws me in

"Lots of people write storytelling songs about trains and set it to acoustic music and do pretty harmonies, but First Aid Kit transcends that cliché. Their songs sound like they’ve gone away and seen too much and come back tired but still alive. Their music kind of has its own way of breathing: filled with tension for a little while until it goes over the edge and exhales while the instrumental parts just seem to grow. This part of every few songs of theirs is most thrilling in concert, when Klara plays guitar so intensely you’d think it’s her only way of communicating, while Johanna stands perfectly still and lets her voice carry out so that it seems kind of infinite, or like it’s been waiting to come out for forever, and I kind of can’t help imagining that it comes from under the ground up through her mouth, or that a little part of the sky exists in her diaphragm or something. They can sound like freaking angels, or like women demanding life’s answers and who can make Patti Smith cry." Tavi interviews First Aid Kit on Rookie [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 14, 2012 - 14 comments

Drink up, y'all!

New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 30, 2011 - 67 comments

Maggie and Terre Roche's "Seductive Reasoning"

Maggie and Terre Roche started performing professionally in the late '60s, just a little late for the folkie boom but also a bit too distinctive to blend easily with the singer-songwriters of the early '70s, even when they became acolytes of Paul Simon and recorded backup vocals on There Goes Rhymin' Simon. By 1975, they had their own album on CBS, with tracks produced by Simon (and backed by the Oak Ridge Boys and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section) and ex-Yardbird Paul Samwell-Smith... Seductive Reasoning is not completely a folk nor a country album, which no doubt hurt its commercial potential... Songs such as "West Virginia", "Down the Dream", and "The Mountain People" touch on early joy and disillusionment/disappointment, while "Jill of All Trades" and "The Burden of Proof" reflect a few more years of life under one's belt and the smoothing out that can come with them. "Underneath the Moon" and "Wigglin' Man"... are more straightforward getting-laid songs, funny as hell... while several of their albums have been as good as Seductive Reasoning, none were better. Nor did they have to be. - Todd Mason (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 16, 2011 - 29 comments

He is almost your audience

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Dec 10, 2011 - 30 comments

he has apparently been forgiven

Ed Askew lost his martin tipple on a railroad platform 20 years ago. In 2009, someone returned it. Now he can play his classic freak-folk songs on it again. Though some of his best don't require any live accompaniment at all. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 8, 2011 - 13 comments

Dead Can Dance, Toward The Within

Toward the Within is the only official live album of the eclectic music group, Dead Can Dance. Recorded in one take in November of 1993, the performance was later released as an album and video. The latter includes short interviews with the heads of the group, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, interspersed with the songs.

Video track list: [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 8, 2011 - 44 comments

A living doll

The Decorated Bride - "In Lubinje, a small, picturesque village of 3500 inhabitants, a few hours from Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo, members of the Trebesh community live in colorful houses. They also have a colorful custom - or rite - of beautifying brides on their wedding day."
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 18, 2011 - 46 comments

Are you paying attention, boy?

He does not cook like you do. But I would like an invitation for dinner: Cajun Stuffed Pork Chops with Bacon [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Nov 17, 2011 - 40 comments

I always dreamed of a Unified Scene

Folk-punk, Orgcore (UD definition) and Dadpunk are all names for a new wave of earnest, authentic rock that draws its roots from The Clash, Billy Bragg, The Pogues, Social Distortion and Bruce Springsteen. In England, its best represented by Frank Turner, the former singer of hardcore band Million Dead. His anthemic songs about life on the margins of fame, poetry, death, inspiration and the power of rock and roll have made him famous in England, leading to an upcoming show at Wembley Arena. He follows in the footsteps of British folk-punk pioneers Leatherface. [more inside]
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 23, 2011 - 92 comments

Even Witches Like To Go Out Dancing

There's a new crop of Australian bands that take inspiration from old blues, but twist the music in a strange fashion. The trend may have started with CW Stoneking (Jungle Blues, Love Me Or Die), who channeled the old bluesmen despite being a young man. Its continued on to Sydney's Snowdroppers, who started out as a house band for burlesque shows and kept that dirty sensibility up with songs like Rosemary , Do The Stomp, and their signature tune Good Drugs, Bad Women (lyrics NSW). Frequent Snowdroppers touring partners Gay Paris add a Southern horror twist (House Fire In the Origami District, My First Wife? She Was A Foxqueen! ) and an antic stage energy. Some of the bands relay on gimmicks, like Adelaide's The Beards, who sing about how you should consider having sex with a bearded man and point out that if your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two moms. The Beards recently performed at the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Horror-country-rockers Graveyard Train have picked up the torch dropped when Sydney psychobilly masters Zombie Ghost Train (Graveyard Queen) disbanded. Graveyard Train tunes like Mummy, Ballad for Beelzebub , Tall Shadow and Dead Folk Dance combine cheerful Misfits horror theming with stompy country. Most of the singers from this loose scene are joining forces in Sydney this week to pay tribute to Tom Waits.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 4, 2011 - 32 comments

I Know Who I Paid

Copyright law in micrcosm, or, Why Alan Lomax is a co-author of Jay-Z's "Takeover".
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 1, 2011 - 68 comments

You look to me like love forever...

Tim Hardin : underrated singer-songwriter of the '60s and '70s, or the most underrated singer-songwriter of the '60s and '70s? Known mostly for more famous singers covering his work, his songs were sung by a plethora of people, from Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Rod Stewart to Astrud Gilberto, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Echo & the Bunnymen, while he remained a very little-known but widely loved figure in folk music. He music could be painfully honest (Reason to Believe, Don't Make Promises), or slow and hypnotizing (Misty Roses). Sadly, 6 days after his 39th birthday, he died from a heroin overdose in 1980. [more inside]
posted by Drainage! on Aug 26, 2011 - 18 comments

"And at once I knew I was not magnificent..."

Bon Iver has released a video for the second single from their new eponymous album: Holocene (Vimeo / Youtube.) Background. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 20, 2011 - 26 comments

Kim Deitch: My Life in Records

"I decided I wanted to buy the Dorsey Brothers’ mambo record. However, I did not have the required 39 cents." Over at The Comics Journal, cartoonist Kim Deitch (previously), son of animator Gene Deitch (previously), has been posting a wonderful, rambling memoir about the music in his life.
Part 1: The Dorseys and Beyond "Watch for Russ Columbo playing some hot violin in this one."
Part 2: An Early Education - Jazz, folk and the ’40s - Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton and jazz fandom
Part 3: Our hero stumbles on the birth of television, specifically, music on television
Part 4: Rock ‘n Roll - "For a lot of Americans it was like the whole damn African jungle had landed in the middle of Ed Sullivan’s stage"
Part 5: Rocking Forward [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Aug 7, 2011 - 3 comments

A Folk Song A Day

AFSAD: On June 24, 2010 – Midsummer’s Day – the acclaimed British singer Jon Boden launched an ambitious new project – A Folk Song A Day. Every day for (nearly) a year now he's been posting his performance of a traditional song free online or as an audio podcast. He's now got just eight of his 365 songs to go, so now's your chance to catch up before it's too late.
posted by Paul Slade on Jun 16, 2011 - 2 comments

popular (folk) song

Satan your kingdom must come down. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 15, 2011 - 31 comments

Udmurt Grannies

Buranovskie Babushki is a charming group of grannies from the village of Buranovo in Udmurtia, Russia who came one place away from being the national entry to last year's Eurovision with their crowd-pleasing folk number. Since then, they've been covering a few western classics in their native language. Here's a few: Yesterday; Venus; and Let it Be.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 12, 2011 - 16 comments

Don't you treat them like no low down dogs

They began as a folk duo on the lower east side, doing irreverent versions of songs from the Harry Smith anthology. They became the backing band for The Fugs, had a brush with fame on the soundtrack to Easy Rider, briefly featured playwright Sam Shepard on drums, moved to Oregon and became the uber bar band. After carrying on for more than 40 years, they are still the most underrated band in history, The Holy Modal Rounders. [more inside]
posted by snofoam on May 24, 2011 - 15 comments

All things come to those who wait

From the pop of "Nursey, Nursey" to the pomp of "Epitaph: Angel", the ambitious double album White-Faced Lady by seminal British psych/prog band Fairfield Parlour (formerly Kaleidoscope) had all the makings of a 1971 hit record. By the time of its actual release, in 1991, the moment had long since passed. The cause of the twenty-year delay is explained in this interview with ex-frontman Peter Daltrey (spoiler: it was the labels). [more inside]
posted by Modlizki on May 10, 2011 - 12 comments

Into the woods...

Whitestone Motion Pictures presents Blood On My Name, a short musical film in the style of Americana folklore. [more inside]
posted by starvingartist on May 3, 2011 - 2 comments

Grab your array neighbor and sort!

Like something out of Neal Stephenson's Anathem: Sorting Algorithms as Folk Dances
posted by odinsdream on Apr 13, 2011 - 22 comments

Uke Virtuoso

Taimane's Toccata. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2011 - 22 comments

A Cautionary Song

Do The Decemberists have too many songs about rape?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Mar 6, 2011 - 119 comments

He found the bandages inside the pen

Songwriters on Process interviews songwriters in depth about their writing process. They've talked to everyone from Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem) to J.D. Cronise from The Sword. Where else can you find both Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus talking about Faulkner and Eric from Foxy Shazam admitting he's never read a book in his life?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Mar 2, 2011 - 8 comments

DeFord Bailey, American musician

Within that small and very specific sub-genre of musical Americana identifiable as the train imitation, there is one amazing performance, from 1926, that set the standard: Pan-American Blues. The man who recorded it did a fine and fanciful job of evoking the sounds of a fox chase as well, and his rhythmically compelling solo rendition of John Henry stands as testament to the potential for musical greatness achievable by one man and a humble harmonica. He was an African-American who was a founding member of the Grand Ole Opry, a musical institution that we rarely (as in, never) today associate with black people, and his touching and tragic story, documented here, is one that will be of interest to those concerned with the racial, economic and socio-cultural history of American popular music. He stands at one of its more unexpected intersections: his name is DeFord Bailey. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 30, 2010 - 15 comments

The Manganiyar Seduction

The Manganiyar Seduction "The Manganiyars are a group of hereditary professional folk musicians from Rajasthan, India."
posted by dhruva on Dec 24, 2010 - 4 comments

"In a mass marketing culture a revolutionary song is any song you choose to sing yourself." - Utah Phillips

Full Utah Phillips concert from 2007: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. If you don't know who Utah Phillips is, be prepared to meet one of the great performers of our age, telling funny stories and cracking jokes, singing great songs, and generally being a world treasure. If you want to know more about this great singer, songwriter, and peace and labor activist, you can watch an hour long documentary on him from Democracy Now that was made after he passed away in 2008. [previously]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 15, 2010 - 26 comments

The reason for the season.

It’s maybe a little early yet for year’s end retrospectives, but who cares: we’ve got 157 songs, 10.5 hours, 1.12 GB of “some of the best and most notable music from 2010... covering indie, pop, rock, punk, folk, rap, R&B, soul, dance, country, modern classical, ambient and electronic music, and in many cases, hard-to-classify genre hybrids.” —Curated by FluxBlog’s own Matthew Perpetua.
posted by kipmanley on Dec 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Alice's Restaurant

This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant; that's just the name of the song, and that's why I call the song Alice's Restaurant. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Nov 24, 2010 - 164 comments

Peter Grudzien is the original New York gay country musician

Peter Grudzien lives in New York and makes psychedelic country music or at least used to, since only two albums of his material ever came out, The Unicorn in 1974, and The Garden of Love, which is mostly a collection of demos. His songs are varied, ranging from noise music to straight up country, and their subject matters are equally wide-ranging, from strange fare, such as lyrics about his clone being at Stonewall, to straight-up love songs. His best known original is probably The Unicorn, a beautiful song whose lyrics recast the early 70s New York gay demimonde in terms of a barren zombie-filled wasteland which will be reborn when the titular unicorn is found by the queen. Other songs on YouTube are White Trash Hillbilly Trick, New York Town and an instrumental cover of the Georgia Gibbs hit Kiss Me Another. Finally, here's a lovely cover of The Unicorn by Calgary folkie Kris Ellestad.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 21, 2010 - 16 comments

Hankies not guns

A new urban dance craze is sweeping across the UK, taking it back to old skool. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 8, 2010 - 45 comments

Linda Perhacs

"Parallelograms is an album by American psychedelic folk singer Linda Perhacs. Her first and to date only album, it was all but completely ignored when originally released on Kapp Records in 1970. Discouraged by the lack of commercial attention and the label's reluctance to promote the album, Perhacs returned to her career as a dental technician. In the 30 or so years that followed, the album gradually developed a cult following, particularly on the Internet. Young listeners found appeal in her subtle instrumentation and delicate harmonies..." Parallelograms::Chimacum Rain::Hey, Who Really Cares?
posted by puny human on Nov 4, 2010 - 20 comments

Campfire Stories (Spoiler: Her head falls off)

It's October, a fine time to learn some spooky stories to tell while you're gathered around a campfire.
posted by Wolfdog on Oct 11, 2010 - 12 comments

Spirit of Love

Let's dust off our turntable, and the hash pipe and break out the C.O.B., which is Clive's Own Band, Clive being Clive Palmer, one of the founders of The Incredible String Band, who left after the success of their first album, took his money, and left England to live in alone in India. Later, in the early seventies, living off porridge and crackers in a caravan with Mick Bennett and John Bidwell, he released two 'progressive folk' albums, Spirit of Love and Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart, which some have called the best folk albums to have ever come out of Britain. Produced with Ralph McTell.
posted by puny human on Oct 8, 2010 - 12 comments

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