We're not those kids, Sitting on the Couch
August 31, 2003 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Have you reached the 13th level of rock and roll that is anti-folk? Do you think using an 8-track recorder is selling out? If the phone rang while recording a song for your album, would you try another take? Not if you were the Moldy Peaches you wouldn't. . . pansy. The Moldy Peaches are Adam Green and Kimya Dawson. Their first album, "the Moldy Peaches Greatest Hits" was most people's first taste of anti-folk and it featured clever (and occasionally insane) songs recorded in their apartment and subsequently rocketed them to stardom. In fact, they've just formed as a 6 piece and they have a video out. (The video is in realplay*buffering*er format)

But what exactly is anti-folk? The Moldy Peaches are pretty much all over the place musically and other anti-folk artists are no different. Take Jeffrey Lewis, who's songs range from intricate tales (his first love is cartooning) of chance encounters with love to rockin' songs about killing ghouls chimes in: [More Inside]
posted by untuckedshirts (18 comments total)
"On one hand it's "folk-punk", but that doesn't describe
a lot of the people on the scene. The thing is, it is a scene of some sort,
and that's just the name we've ended up using to feel like we're all part of
the same thing."
The full text of the interview.

One thing all the bands do have in common is an apparent love of low-fi. Their
songs are simply the result of pressing record and catching whatever comes out.
This de-emphasis on music and (to the untrained ear) talent has lead to anti-folk
being much more lyrically and personality driven. Oh and did I mention that
Kimya has a blog? Yep.
posted by untuckedshirts at 7:20 AM on August 31, 2003

Confounded spacing! Blast!
posted by untuckedshirts at 7:21 AM on August 31, 2003

antifolk.net also offers a lot of information.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:31 AM on August 31, 2003

That said, one of my favourite anti folk artists is the one and only Ish Marquez (interview by Jeffrey Lewis!). Or, as Antifolk Online put it when reviewing the really rather excellent "Anti Folk vol 1" compilation: "'Gin is Not My Friend' by ISH MARQUEZ is to this day one of the most amazing songs I have ever heard"... That song and a few others are available here.

Oh, and thank you for the post, untuckedshirts! Great stuff!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:49 AM on August 31, 2003

Interesting link. It always cracks me up to hear bands categorize themselves, but this stuff is interesting -- especially Adam Green.

One question, though: If it's all about the lack of polish, I'm not hearing that on "Dance With Me" and "Baby's Gonna Die Tonight." Those songs sound like money was spent producing them.
posted by rcade at 7:52 AM on August 31, 2003

Great links everyone, I've recently discovered Jeffrey Lewis and I'd recommend his first album to anyone. With the exception of those few songs that are so far beyond lo-fi that they sound just sound plain awful, it is an album of melancholy beauty. I still don't quite get the term anti-folk though. I guess it is really just one of those meaningless labels used for convenience more than anything else.

If you ask me whether it's half full or half empty, I'd say it's half full, of nothingness - Jeffrey Lewis
posted by chill at 8:00 AM on August 31, 2003

You're right about "Gin is Not My Friend" link, suburbia. That song's great.
posted by rcade at 8:01 AM on August 31, 2003

I'm sorry, but is this a redefinition of "stardom"? I never heard of these punks. Oh wait, you mean *recent* stardom. Well, that's *everybody*.

Who's the leading star of anti-folk? Other'n Bob Dylan?
posted by Twang at 8:52 AM on August 31, 2003

whos got the crack?
posted by Satapher at 10:05 AM on August 31, 2003

i so await the dawning of post-newcrapist rock.
posted by quonsar at 12:35 PM on August 31, 2003

But what exactly is anti-folk?

If "folk" is music made my regular people, then logically, "anti-folk" would be music made by irregular people. Which it sounds like is pretty much the case...
posted by kindall at 2:22 PM on August 31, 2003

rcade: i noticed the Moldy Peaches and Adam Green's production values going up as well. You can really hear it in their "Lucky Number 9" video which sounds nothing like the album version. I think this is probably an effect of the Moldy Peaches becoming "big".

So I guess it's not exactly about low-fi, but rather what's available. And to tell the truth my anti-folk knowledge could be far wider. The trackback post to The Melon Colonie provides a good explanation. Unfortunately, it's provided 12 times at the bottom of the page.

Thanks for the links SOS.

Twang: try clicking the link that says they were rocketed to stardom and you may realize that i was being deliciously ironic.
posted by untuckedshirts at 2:58 PM on August 31, 2003

Coincidentally, I was in a truck stop Men's room in Eden, Idaho yesterday and there was a "Moldy Peaches" sticker on the garbage can.

There's a meaning in there somewhere.
posted by mmoncur at 3:38 PM on August 31, 2003

On the upside, my beloved friends and sometime musical community are apparently getting attention from the Internetworked dendrites!
posted by cortex at 7:24 AM on September 1, 2003

> If the phone rang while recording a song for your album,

"Turn off phone ringer" and "disconnect doorbell" are very early on my getting-ready-to-click-Record list, both to keep from getting these kinds of undesigned intrusions in the .wav file and also to keep them from distracting me while I go down the rest of the checklist and making me forget stuff. I do leave "turn off A/C and refrigerator" until last.

We don't do spontaneity here...
posted by jfuller at 10:07 AM on September 1, 2003

> If the phone rang while recording a song for your album

I live about 100 yds from the train....my recording....has trains in it and until I move....I think will unless I CAREFULLY watch the clock.

Oh and according to not only the press at the anti-folk website...Lach would seem to be the king o'anti-folk.

I received SPAM from his camp for a few years...until it went away....hence my familiarity with him.
posted by RubberHen at 1:17 AM on September 2, 2003

I'm a big fan of the Moldy Peaches, but I tend to like the slower tunes like "Steak For Chicken".

They're getting a bit old skool these days tho', the Trachtenburg Family seem to be getting a lot of similar press.
posted by hippyboy at 8:21 AM on September 2, 2003

I just wanted to thank soundsofsuburbia again. I've been listening to Lonesome Crew nonstop since this thread was posted.

Awesome stuff!
posted by untuckedshirts at 7:24 AM on September 4, 2003

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