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What is Acoustic Rock?

Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 05:01 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 05:06 PM
The Sandman 19 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 05:17 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 05:19 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Feb 08 - 05:23 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 05:25 PM
irishenglish 19 Feb 08 - 05:25 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 05:27 PM
Rowan 19 Feb 08 - 05:31 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Feb 08 - 05:33 PM
Mr Red 19 Feb 08 - 05:45 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 05:50 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 05:54 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Feb 08 - 05:58 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 05:59 PM
Peace 19 Feb 08 - 06:03 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 06:07 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 06:09 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Feb 08 - 06:10 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 06:10 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 06:18 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 06:22 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 06:26 PM
Peace 19 Feb 08 - 06:28 PM
Peace 19 Feb 08 - 06:33 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,volgadon 19 Feb 08 - 06:56 PM
bankley 19 Feb 08 - 10:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Feb 08 - 12:40 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 08:29 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 10:24 AM
Mr Happy 20 Feb 08 - 10:31 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 10:49 AM
KeithofChester 20 Feb 08 - 10:52 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 10:53 AM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Feb 08 - 10:56 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless) 20 Feb 08 - 11:01 AM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Feb 08 - 11:02 AM
Mr Happy 20 Feb 08 - 11:03 AM
Tunesmith 20 Feb 08 - 11:10 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 11:12 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless) 20 Feb 08 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 20 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer (ccokieless) 20 Feb 08 - 11:21 AM
The Borchester Echo 20 Feb 08 - 11:26 AM
Gene Burton 20 Feb 08 - 11:29 AM
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Subject: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:01 PM

Thought I'd throw this into the fray...my curiosity was piqued by somebody branding me "Another Acoustic Rock Singer Songwriter" earlier today...

Got me thinking, because I have to say I've always viewed "Acoustic Rock" as being something of a contradiction in terms. "Rock", as I understand, is a diminutive of "Rock and Roll"; which in turn was originally formed by the fusion of Blues and Country/Bluegrass styles, played on primarily ELECTRIC instruments...surely then acoustic rock is a misnomer; should more acurately be termed acoustic blues-country-bluegrass-fusion?? Or is it merely a term of abuse?

I'd be interested to hear your perspectives...or alternatively, just offer whatever happens to be on your mind, pertinent or otherwise!


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM

Rock and roll is a style in my opinion. Whether it is played acoustically or electronically, it's still Rock 'n Roll.
After all electric folk is still folk, [allegedly], but that's a whole other can of worms.

G :)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:06 PM

Not hard.
The output of an ARSS is . . . ?


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM

Diane, you need a sense of humour to play it.
Thank God, I havent got a sense of humour.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:17 PM

Whether it is played acoustically or electronically, it's still Rock 'n Roll. [allegedly]

Charlotte (you do wonder sometimes)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:19 PM

Sigh indeed.
fRoots FAQ explains all.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:23 PM

What do you wonder Charlotte?


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:25 PM

Well, thanks for the input thus far, people...

Personally I find rock a little too complex to play...playing power chords on an acoustic guitar is a little tough on the wrists in my experience (insert unfunny gag here).


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: irishenglish
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:25 PM

Agree with John. "Primarily" means nothing-early rock had a lot of piano in it, technically an acoustic instrument, bass in the early days was mostly stand up bass, again acoustic, and the same goes for horns. Someone like, off the top of my head, Pete Townshend (when he plays Who material solo) is still playing loud, and at times aggressive, which to me is rock regardless of being played on acoustic. Now there are lots of other examples of this, but I think the argument is not one of instrumentation per se, but of attitude. I saw John Hiatt about 10 years ago with his band, and although he was playing acoustic, that was one of the loudest damn shows I have ever been to, and was definitely rock in terms of attitude. Flip side is when I saw Nils Lofgren do a show at a little club, which was a lot more mellow, but the attitude, was all rock. In both cases, neither of these guys qualifies as singer songwriters (Ok, Hiatt, maybe some would argue), or blues, or country or whatever. That to me means acoustic rock. Bob Seger's Night Moves is another classic example, strummed acoustic, bass, drums, piano, female backup vocalists. Not a loud song, but no question, he's rock, and in the case of that song, an acoustic rock song if you will


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:27 PM

I Wonder As I Wander, John Jacob Niles.
Not an ARSS.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Rowan
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:31 PM

I'm sure I remember seeing saxophones in several early rock groups, as well as the pianos drums, double basses mentioned by irishenglish.

But, these days, it's possible "Acoustic Rock" is rock music that can be heard by someone who still has functioning eardums.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:33 PM

ARSS        Antiquariorum Regiae Societatis Socius (Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries)
ARSS        Adelaide River Show Society (Australia)
ARSS        Amateur Radio Spread Spectrum
ARSS        Audio Really Simple Syndication
ARSS        Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System (US Army DoD)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:45 PM

one thing is should be is quieter.

However such is the misuse of language to suit whatever the purveyor wants it to mean, acoustic can mean amplified. In that if it isn't plugged in. The microphone doesn't count?   I have seen the word unplugged used to imply acoustic. The microphone being rather noticable. The acoustic stage nights in Bath (UK) had "PA available" emblazoned across the website. I doubt they survived.

Anyway - good luck if it is acoustic and if not, I have earplugs.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:50 PM

an record I recently acquired has some tracks that could probably be acoutic rock...Twangin' n' a Traddin' by The Ashley Hutchings Big Beat Combo. I mean Telstar (old hit from The Tornadoes) on the melodeon? Superb!

Charlotte (real rock n roll from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:54 PM

You're all missing the dreaded "SS" bit.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:58 PM

Totenkopf Rock Diane?


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:59 PM

Mr Red brings up an interesting debate, in so far as, by strict dictionary definition, obviously an amplified "acoustic night" open mic is of course nothing of the sort...nonetheless given the nature of the venues they tend to be held in; without decent amplification most of the performers would be completely inaudible over all the pub chatter. And these nights (the good ones anyway) do provide an invaluable platform for those (normally acoustic, and often folk-ish) artists not doing paid gigs on a nightly basis whether by choice or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Peace
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:03 PM

Gene: Rock written on an acoustic axe. The 'feel' of rock. What 'folk' that isn't trad will evolve to.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:07 PM

normally acoustic, and often folk-ish artists not doing paid gigs
= a very long and convoluted way of saying ARSSs.
And an excellent example of why the word "f*lk" has lost all vestige of meaning, has far exceeded its sell-by and should be consigned forthwith to the bin.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:09 PM

Rock written on an acoustic axe?? Shouldn't that be rock CARVED ON by an acoustic axe?


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:10 PM

Wrong Diane, it is misapplied ad nauseam, but actual folk will always exist.
G


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:10 PM

What Is (fill in the appropriate musical genre)?

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:18 PM

actual folk will always exist

So call it by a far more readily comprehensible, already widely-used and far more accurate term, "traditional music".
That will save it from being confused in the minds of the general public with any old trite, MOR crap.
And those who perpetrate it can keep the clapped-out, meaningless term.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:22 PM

Actually, having mentioned gigs, I ought to plug my next folky one, at the Fo'c'sle Folk Club in the Richmond Inn, St Denys, Southampton, on Friday 14th March; to give any southerners ample advance warning (insert predictable pop here). It'll be a fiver-ish to get in, I think; and there should be opportunities for floor spots before I go on at about nine.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:26 PM

...and that's ENTIRELY UNAMPLIFIED, BTW! Might not do any Who covers, though...


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Peace
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:28 PM

Call it folk-rock, Gene. Means as much as any other term. The trad people can't agree on what trad means either.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Peace
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:33 PM

Taking away the mystery of acoustic rock.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:42 PM

LOL! Now, that'd make a great flat-top box with the right guage strings!


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: GUEST,volgadon
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 06:56 PM

Nearly all Russian rock acts (Akvarium, Voskresenye, Mashina Vremeni) in the 70s and early 80s performed in very small venues, such as a friend's house, so they were forced to play unplugged so that the neighbours wouldn't hear and turn them in. Rock was severely frowned upon by the authorities. As a result, much of their early rock has a very acoustic feel, but it's still rockish.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: bankley
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 10:20 PM

Elvis played a 6-string flattop.... and he's the King of Rock & Roll

true, he had Scotty Moore and James Burton plugged in... but


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 12:40 AM

Acoustic Rock would be by definition (Peace was on the right track) an Idiophone which produce sounds through the vibration of their entire body - as distinct from 'Amplified Rock' in which the audience perceive sounds through their entire body, rather than their ears - sometimes referred to as 'Idiotphones'.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 08:29 AM

Acoustic Rock? Judge for yourselves...


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:24 AM

Hey, I've only just spotted how this thread has shrunk. Perhaps the deleted guest poster towards the beginning was none other than Diane Easby posting under an alias in order to give the appearance of a greater degree of support on here...can't think why...


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:31 AM

What is this arss you're obsessed with - what's it mean? any link to the topic?


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:49 AM

It's stands for Acoustic Rock Singer Songwriter, and it's a term used by Diane Easby to smear those who challenge her bullying and slanderous behaviour on this board.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: KeithofChester
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:52 AM

It's in the link to Chairman Ian's Little Red Book Diane gave (down towards the bottom of the page).

"Q: And how about ARSS?
A: fRuitcakes-R-Us office shorthand for Acoustic Rock Singer Songwriter. Pronounced as it looks".


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:53 AM

...that said, the use of the term itself did pique my interest somewhat...this IS a music discussion forum after all...(sigh)...

One day I'll learn to turn the other cheek. Or possibly both.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:56 AM

Gene - that's called 'mooning'...


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:58 AM

...yes, that's the line! (grin)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless)
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:01 AM

Never liked the term acoustic rock (apart from the obvious mild pleasure in ARSS sounding like arse, which is the point, I suppose). It makes me think of those horrible interludes when chest-bearing, caterwauling, poodle-wearing, gurning monsters of rawk decide to get all sensitive and 'soulful' on us: a close relative of the 'rock ballad'... Total Eclipse of the ARSS, if you like.

I wonder why we can't have a simple new term for singers who write their own songs and songwriters who sing what they've written? I dunno, how about 'singer-songwriters'? It also has the added bonus of not muddying the waters by using the 'f' word.

There's no shame in being a singer songwriter, you know. Think 'Riverman', 'The Needle and The Damage Done', 'Time of The Last Persecution', for instance: some of these songs and the singers who've written them are marvellous. These particular songs also demonstrate the fact there's also no clause saying it's compulsory for the songs to be about the detailed examination of the contents of one's navel or any of the 57 varieties of emotional self flagellation, either. In fact such traits are to be positively discouraged - perpetrators would have to go in a seperate category called RSSS (really shit singer songwriters)... trouble is, until people have to sign a compulsory non-introspection clause when they buy a guitar, the mawkish will always be with us...

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:02 AM

Actually, In Oz, the phrase 'mooning around' used to mean "wandering aound with one's head in the clouds"... before the Bloody Yanks destroyed our culture... :-P


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:03 AM

Oh I see, good job we're not discussing soul as well or we'd have some other nauseating acronym!


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:10 AM

This question has always interested me. Particularly when looking at the tracks that pop up on acoutic rock compilation albums. It seems to me, that if there's an acoustic guitar anywhere in the mix, it can be labelled "acoustic rock"


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:12 AM

Nigel, is that Riverman by Nick Drake? The same Nick Drake reknowned the world over for his cheery knees-up light entertainment and defiantly non-introspective songwriting?? Or some other Riverman??

Nothing wrong with melancholia in songwriting in my opinion; sadness is a human emotion felt by all of us at some time and it has every bit as much place in our music as happiness, drugs, fornication, drink, animals, the seasons, nature or whatever else people want to write about. Just some are better at putting it across with power and beauty than others (few more so than Mr. Drake IMO)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:13 AM

"It seems to me, that if there's an acoustic guitar anywhere in the mix, it can be labelled "acoustic rock""

Well, precisely. Pretty meaningless concept, huh?


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless)
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:15 AM

Not particularly wanting to discuss fRoots at Mudcat, but the reason its an issue over there is that they were getting inundated with promos of singer songwriter albums, which is not what they are about as a magazine, and they wanted to send a very clear message to people not to bother sending it as that sort of stuff wouldn't get reviewed. All it is is a reflection of one (very good) magazine's editorial policy.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM

It may not have anything to do with anything but I quite like it.

In February 1981(John) Tams spoke to Patrick Humphries in the Melody Maker and gave a statement of intent as far as the First Eleven - as they were still named -(later The Home Service) was concerned. "We have to find what is identifiable to contemporary listeners, that also takes on board the tradition, the national heritage, and blend it with an accessible style." He defined their approach as 'rock folk' rather than 'folk rock'. His choice of words was more than a mere verbal sleight.

Charlotte (found inside Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (ccokieless)
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:21 AM

Precisely, Gene - Nick Drake - at his best - was outstanding. At his worst was fairly ordinary.

Nothing wrong with sad songs, per se. Some of my best friends are sad songs. I just have a problem with oversentimentalised, self-indulgent, mawkish drivel. though I know exactly what I mean, I can't think of any off the top of my head, because they usually get switched off pretty quickly if they invegle their way into Spencer Towers.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:26 AM

the deleted guest poster towards the beginning

. . . was instructing people to "ignore" me. Then relented and declared that how I described an ARSS's output was "funny". Which is entirely wrong as that is the last thing that could be said about a strumming bedroom whinger who thinks the world owes him a living because he's written this dirge about how his girlfriend left him and it's just NOT FAIR.

So just another confused nutter then . . .

To quote further from fR FAQ in response to a question from yet another wannabe (why?) N Drake copyist:

Q: I'm an acoustic singer songwriter. That's surely OK then?
A: Almost certainly not, unless your music is strongly influenced by a tradition. The musik biz categorises anybody with an acoustic guitar who writes their own songs as 'folk'. Which is fine, call it whatever you like, but fRoots isn't the place for it.


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Subject: RE: What is Acoustic Rock?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:29 AM

"..oversentimentalised, self-indulgent, mawkish drivel."

Oh, OK- sorry I misunderstood you. I quite agree. The main problem with the glut of sad songs by blokes with acoustic guitars in the charts today, I think, is the fact that most are totally unmemorable, unhummable and lyrically banal. Not the fact that they ARE sad songs by blokes etc., etc. per se.

I still think if a songwriter uses melodies and /or instrumental styles which draw very heavily on traditional folk, there IS a case for the application of the "F" word, though.

(just waiting for somebody to pipe up with "F Off"...)


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