Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

The Best Kinda Sorta Folk Albums of 2009

It was a good year to be young and bearded. A good decade, really. The aughts kicked off with the release of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, whose soundtrack opened the eyes of at least one generation to the pleasures of underproduced plucking and simple melodies; and ended with three harbingers of the so-called "indie [...]

Tonight: Langhorne Slim @ Rock ‘N’ Roll Hotel w/ Dawes

If folk music’s prime currency is authenticity, Langhorne Slim might well earn some crooked eyebrows. Classically trained at the SUNY-Purchase conservatory, Sean Scolnik donned loafers and floppy hat and named himself after his hometown in the tradition of all those rail-hoppin’ ramblers who used to do that. The blogosphere gobbled up this aesthetic and and [...]

Ordinary Madness: An Interview with James Felice

“Hey, there’s an interview goin’ on in here, asshole!” James Felice calls out the door of the Winnebago in the direction of guitar music. His brother Ian is strumming outside with a wild-eyed, fu-manchu’ed man named Searcher, who is singing along in falsetto.
Searcher pokes his head through the passenger’s side window. “Hey, you don’t need [...]

‘We’re All In This Together': Route 29 Revue @ Merriweather

When Levon Helm and The Band hosted a five-hour send-off concert in 1976, it was a musical event of mythic proportions. The Band and its guests—among them Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell—were torchbearers of the American folk revival. And though it might be overly dramatic to say the movement “ended” with The Last [...]

9:30 Two-fer: Fleet Foxes and M. Ward

I’ve heard the Name Game play out in many contexts, but at a concert—between the drummer and some guy standing ten rows into the audience—was a new one. “Do you know Rebecca Callahan*?” shouted a tall kid in a white Polo. “She was, like, two grades ahead…”
“Rebecca, oh, yeah,” replied Fleet Foxes drummer J. [...]

“Black River Killer”: Blitzen Trapper’s Calvinistic New Music Video

Oregon folk-rock posse Blitzen Trapper this week released a music video for the song "Black River Killer," off the band's 2008 record Furr. The song is a sociopath's anthem; the diary of a murderer who keeps getting released by the state then consistently kills the first person he encounters. The video, directed by newcomer Daniel [...]

Lily Neill @ Swift Run House

I confess in advance that I know next to nothing about Celtic music. On Saturday evening, I certainly found myself in the right place to learn, at the house of Barbara Ryan and Bernard Argent. These two kind, welcoming folks host summer concerts at their beautiful Fairfax Station home, as well as curating concerts at [...]

Kristian Matsson: The Tallest Man in Folk?

I got some flack from a friend the other week when I all but anointed local boy Joe Pug the savior of folk music. His counterargument—aside from my insinuation being broad to the point of inanity—was a Swedish rambler by the name of Kristian Matsson, otherwise known as The Tallest Man on Earth. Matsson opened [...]

Seeking Joe Pug: A Discursive Interview

I’ve come to be untroubled in my seeking
And I’ve come to say that nothing is for naught
I’ve come to reach out blind, to reach forward and behind
For the more I seek, the more I’m sought
These lyrics, from Joe Pug’s “Hymn 101,” might as well be the tagline for Pug’s current year-long tour, which has taken [...]

Can Joe Pug Save Folk Music?

Social commentary, especially in music, is a tricky act: too blunt, audience rolls its eyes; too fine, audience scratches its head. "Whitman once explained that poetry's not supposed to confuse people," Joe Pug–local boy and folk icon-in-waiting–said in an interview last summer. At the same time, musicians that merely trot out talking points or shout [...]