Living in a Post-Concert Musical Vacuum

The other night we baby-sat our 8 year old granddaughter while our daughter and her partner had a date.  They told me in advance that they were going to a concert by "Witch Bottle", a band from Seattle and they didn’t know what the music would be like.  The fear was that it would be loud and so they decided not to invite me.  (Besides they needed a baby-sitter.)

Afterwards, my daughter said that I would have liked it.  It was a genre known as neofolk.

A brief search on the internet revealed that the genre is far from homogenous.  It has roots in acoustic folk, but often employs elements of “neoclassical dark” and “martial industrial” music.  I am so out of the loop.  I knew about neoclassical, but not dark and never heard of some of the other elements influencing the Neofolk genre.

This is a YouTube video of Witch Bottle.  I watched another live performance and I would characterize their music as pre-historical fantastic, mystical, post-heroin music.  Not to be too critical.

The genre appears to be international.  I listened to a MIX from a German group.  I didn’t need to understand German to understand the music, and there was another group with a piece titled; “L’Effet C’est Moi”  That seems to be a play on "L'Etat C'est Moi". (I am the nation)  "LEffet C'est Moi" would translate "I am the effect".

From the German group:

One of the downsides (among many) of growing older is that the creative energy of the young is almost completely lost, and the opportunity to experience it is as well.  I no longer go to concerts or clubs.  The band is usually tuning up about my bedtime, and old people in a club stand out like a black sheep.  So, this was a rare opportunity to find something new.

Oh, about charachterizing Neoflolk; I forgot to mention monotonous.

In its favor, Neofolk is so much better than the popular music coming over the department store P.A. now.  I realize that that is a low bar, but it is true, nonetheless.

Services like Pandora have  given me the opportunity to sample “stations” devoted to music genres and artists that are unfamiliar.  I find that what I listen to fits my mood.  One day it may be “Buddha Bar”; on another “Townes van Zandt”, and I don’t have to stay up late to do it.

What are you listening to? What else have I been missing?  I am more in tune with this piece of country/folk:

Gillian Welch ~ Pass You By

Views: 94

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 9, 2017 at 12:04pm

Terry, thanks for the comment.  The queue is just too much now.

Comment by alsoknownas on July 9, 2017 at 12:27pm

Gillian Welch is a great listen.

On the other hand...Not saying I know anything only having been around acoustic music and musicians for 60 years, except this other trash doesn't have anything to do with folk music.

Why not call it neo-garbaj and leave it at that?

Comment by greenheron on July 9, 2017 at 1:06pm

I loves Gillian Welch. She played at Falcon Ridge a couple times.

I get to learn about new music from my students. Most of it I don't like, but some have stuck. One is Alabama Shakes, which is really their lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, man can she sing. Also Nick cave, whom I listened to when I was younger, then didn't for years, and now he's been having a revival and is pretty awesome, lots of dark wisdom of age. Then an artist I just heard of this year, even though he's been winning Grammys and stuff for awhile, but like you, I'm old, Jason Isbell, who writes folk music meets Nashville, I don't quite know how to label it.

My defaults are old dead blind finger pickers though, also some not blind and not dead. Taj Mahal and Keb Mo have a fantastic new album and are touring, yay!    

Comment by koshersalaami on July 9, 2017 at 5:34pm

Ask Amy about the new stuff. She seems to know it. I don't. 

Up until I moved, and since I've done very little, i didn't listen to much but I played. Before I left NC (I've been back a couple of times to play with the band and will do so again in September for an annual festival the bandleader founded benefitting the local interdenominational food bank), the bandleader booked some studio time and we got a bunch of originals recorded. He wrote most of them. He self-produced the CD and released it a few months ago. But that stuff is not new style at all. 

The next concert I'm going to is Stephen Stills and Judy Collins, who are touring together. Late August. Because I timed the website on sale time right, I got us front row center. 

The old guy who can still write best might be James Taylor. By the way, if you get a chance to see him live, though this summer he's touring with Bonnie Raitt so tickets aren't easy, go. The musicians he hires are the best, insanely good. His percussion section last time I saw him was Luis Conte and Steve Gadd. His sax player is known as Blue Lou, from the Blues Brothers, SNL, and Blood Sweat and Tears. You get the idea. 

On new stuff, I'm useless. 

Comment by koshersalaami on July 9, 2017 at 5:45pm

maybe Carolina Chocolate Drops

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 9, 2017 at 10:04pm

kosh, I have to be in Durham in September. Let me know your dates. My better half isn't crazy about James Taylor, but I like him.  He has an amazing tutorial with a camera mounted inside his guitar so you can see what his fingers are doing.  It didn't help much, but it was impressive.  I would go see him and with Bonnie Raitt in a heartbeat. 

Greenheron, I'm old, blind and play finger style, but fortunately am not dead.  

I have Taj Mahal and Keb Mo albums and love both.  Seeing them together would be a real treat.  Taj Mahal has the only blues number I know with a tuba as the main instrument;  "One time, I had the blues so bad, it put my face in a permanent frown/ I'm feelin' so much better I could cake walk into town."

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 9, 2017 at 10:05pm

alsoknownas, we are in agreement.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 10, 2017 at 7:18am

To tell the truth I don't listen to much music beyond the MP3 play lists that I plug into my car radio.  That's an eclectic mix ranging from classical, to 1960's classic rock, jazz and a sprinkling of Annie Lennox and such.  On occasion I find some world music on Youtube.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 10, 2017 at 7:56am


Saturday Sept. 16

Near Greensboro but East of it,about two minutes off Interstate 40 barely West if where 40 and 85 split, making it easy to reach from Durham. Goes from early afternoon to about midnight with some acoustic stuff possibly going later. I'm probably on early evening. The overall quality of local musicians is surprising - most of the acts in any given year are quite good. A lot of blues.  

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 10, 2017 at 8:35am

I just checked the calendar.  We're to be in Durham August 14-15, not September.  Knock 'em dead.


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