Friday, August 7, 2009

Folk vs. Skid

Last night, when re-arranging the layout of the blog, I noticed some unfortunate subliminal messaging. To the left of the posts, in the photo of the old theatre posters, the work 'Folk' now stands out.

In several languages, 'folk' literally means 'people,' but when the term 'people' is used in English it often sounds like an old communist word, making people nervous in the 'bad memories of the old-country' sense, or excited in the 'I bought this Che t-shirt in college sense.' Using the term 'folk music' to denote 'the people's music' may have been useful during the better dead than red era, but nowadays it's just a catch-all for music without pedals, music without mania, and/or singer-songwriter bard work.

Our band has set certain parameters which might lead people to apply that tired descriptor, . Our band rules are: use no pedals, play only what you can carry, and if a song doesn't tell a story, leave it for the jam bands, avant-(insert genre), better musicians, etc. to handle. But we're not really a folk band. We're more of a skid band, actually. The rules we've set for ourselves are rooted in a less is more, Buddy Holly-inspired approach. The drums on 'Not Fade Away' were played on a cardboard box, after all. And I wouldn't call that folk music!

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