Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?

GUEST,Helen, cookieless 25 Jan 10 - 03:02 PM
Rowan 25 Jan 10 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,Helen, cookieless 25 Jan 10 - 06:33 PM
Rowan 25 Jan 10 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,Helen, cookieless 25 Jan 10 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Helen, cookieless 26 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM
Rowan 26 Jan 10 - 03:44 PM
Smedley 27 Jan 10 - 02:20 AM
Geoff the Duck 27 Jan 10 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Helen, cookieless 27 Jan 10 - 01:44 PM
Rowan 27 Jan 10 - 11:22 PM
Geoff the Duck 28 Jan 10 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Joseph de Culver City 28 Jan 10 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Helen, cookieless 29 Jan 10 - 01:09 AM
Geoff the Duck 29 Jan 10 - 06:20 AM
Helen 29 Jan 10 - 02:49 PM
Spleen Cringe 29 Jan 10 - 03:39 PM
Helen 29 Jan 10 - 05:09 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: GUEST,Helen, cookieless
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 03:02 PM

Hi all,

And a happy Oz Day to you all, too!

Traditionally (if I can use the term lightly), Triple-J radio does the countdown on Australia Day of the voting results for their Hottest 100 songs of the year. Triple-J is a government funded, national music station aimed at young people & young adults (but dried up old prunes like moi listen as an antidote to commercial pap). They play a lot of indie (independent label) music, and have launched a lot of top class acts, e.g. our very own Newcastle (NSW) band, Silverchair. The music is what the commercial stations don't play, but often the songs being played on Triple-J will get picked up by the commercial stations after they become better known. So Triple-J takes risks with music and provides a remedy for the mind-numbingly boring commercial stuff which seems to clog up the airwaves.

But, the music they play is about 95% popular/rock/rap/hip-hop/techno/dance etc. There are some solo acts and songs in ballad-style, etc.

Traditionally, we would have to listen to the end of the day's broadcast to find out which song came in at number 1, but this year someone in marketing $t%ff3d up and revealed the winner in an ad for the JMag (Triple J's magazine).

And the winner is: Mumford & Sons: Little Lion Man.

Mumford & Sons on youtube

They sound to me like The Bushwhackers, or Goanna or Red Gum, except for the f-word in the chorus, repeated ad nauseum. And they have a banjo player. (!!!) A strange looking banjo it is too - like a hybrid guitar. All they need is a lagerphone and they could be fronting a folk festival concert.

Frankly, I'm surprised they made #1. I think the song/music is ok, but, IMHO, it's not #1 material for an indie-music station. I'm wondering whether it's the novelty factor for the young-uns voting in the Hottest 100, or whether it's the Chumbawumba factor (that Tub Thumping song which was fun the first few times we heard it and now it won't go away), or whether it's something to do with the f-word in the chorus. Or sometimes a recently released song, with lots of recent airplay will pip a better song at the post, because the second song was released earlier in the year. And sometimes the record companies do marketing tricks and throw a lot of money into advertising the song at just the right time.

Or, should I stop being a cynic and celebrate the fact that a folk-sounding band has hit the top of the annual chart on a national radio station aimed at young people?

Your thoughts?

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Rowan
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 06:16 PM

Tried the link, Helen, but it brought up an error message instead of YouTube. So I can't yet add any relevant comment.

For the benefit of OS (rather than OZ) people, Triple J is another of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's national networks; several of you have already been exposed to Radio National and the local stations used as Emergency Warning broadcastors.

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: GUEST,Helen, cookieless
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 06:33 PM

Hi Rowan,

The previous link was the Google link to youtube, wheels within wheels, but hopefully this direct link will work.

Mumford & Sons on youtube

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Rowan
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 06:49 PM

All they need is a lagerphone and they could be fronting a folk festival concert.

As well, a concertina instead of the keyboard, perhaps.

Because of teenaged daughters I am reasonable familiar with Triple J's output and, for the life of me, I can't discern why it's even in their Top 100, let alone #1. And I don't think the item would get them a guernsey at the National (Folk Festival) either, even with a leather ferret and a lagerphone.

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: GUEST,Helen, cookieless
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 07:04 PM

Yes, well, Rowan, I was trying to be diplomatic, i.e. not saying what I really think.

I have heard it as musical wallpaper on the radio and thought the lead singer sounded like the lead singer in either Redgum or Goanna. Then after hearing it as musical wallpaper a week or so later the banjo sound filtered into my brain, and I was amazed that a song being played on Triple-J would have a banjo in it. And then my two-previous-lives as a teacher and then a librarian, my "why does it have to have the f-word?" response kicked in.

But, in truth, the bit of the song which really rankles for me is the line "..didn't I, my dear?".

1) It doesn't ring true for me at all. There are not many people of the band members' age who would call anyone "my dear", and especially not someone their own age or younger. (I haven't worked out yet if the song is for a child or a lover.)

2) In my opinion, a good melody uses silences and musical rests effectively, and where you would expect a note but a silence occurs instead it adds to the surprise, but also makes the melody more interesting, so in repeating "..didn't I, my dear, didn't I, my dear?" the melody could have lost the last "my dear" and had more impact. Now the line just seems trite to me, both lyrically and melodically.

IMHO, only. I'm interested in what other people think of the song itself, and of the fact that it is #1 on the Hottest 100.

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: GUEST,Helen, cookieless
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Rowan
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 03:44 PM

It's possible that their use of the Steeleye Span trick (the penultimate verse sung without instruments) struck the under 30s as sufficiently novel to warrant attention rather than being as bored with the trick as the over 40s.

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Smedley
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 02:20 AM

Mumford & Sons have been described as 'folk-rock' in some UK music publications, but not in actual *folk* publications. To a non-specialist eye/ear they might seem to have elements of folk, but those more invested in folk don't seem convinced.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 04:01 AM

Don't know a lot about Mumford and Son, but happened across the name about a month before christmas. They were listed in a short telly spot on Channel 4 (UK) which usually seems to feature non-chart rock and pop bands. I was surprised to see one listed as Folk.
Didn't watch the programme, but during the next week heard their record played on the radio.
A quick web search found that they were young, from somewhere around London, write their own songs and describe themselves as Folk.
I also found video footage of them playing live on a balcony for some Irish telly programme. Instruments were mandoline, banjo, piano accordian and something else accoustic.
I am not sure whether they are quite my bag, but would if they call themselves folk and use what are generally recognised as folk instruments why should we say they are NOT?
What chance does folk music have when Folkies seem determined to disown (and in many instances actively savage) anything that gets popular play?
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: GUEST,Helen, cookieless
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 01:44 PM

"Actively savage"? A bit harsh!

I was expressing surprise at the type of music which won a popular vote on an independent youth music station (see description of music station in my first posting). I was also unaware that the band label themselves as "folk", hence the question in the title of the thread.

"I think the song/music is ok, but, IMHO, it's not #1 material for an INDIE-MUSIC STATION." (my emphasis added)

I can definitively state that I was not "actively savaging" the band.

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Rowan
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 11:22 PM

I caught up with Daughter #1 yesterday and quizzed her about the item. She reckoned that the popularity of the song amongst her peers is probably due to the banjo; she reckons that most of them have never heard or seen a banjo before, and the phrase "the banjo was really awesome" seems to be applied to them rather often.

Now, Daughter #1 has been going to the National (and to Nariel) since she was born and has experienced some seriously good players of a variety of banjo styles in a variety of genres so I suspect she isn't overawed by the playing in the Mumford & Son piece but that's how her peers have appreciated it. I suspect the fact that the keyboard is the only 'nonacoustic' instrument in the lineup in the clip has also influenced the under30s in a positive direction; I suspect they must have seen video clips to discern the lack of amp leads but it is possible they were really listening hard and got that message purely aurally.

And, for Geoff's benefit, I'm not disowning or actively savaging anything that gets popular play. I'm surprised that Little Lion Man even made it into the top 100 of Triple J's repertoire, let alone got to #1. As a performance it didn't move me, either as "folk" or as "Indie" music; this might be because my background in many genres (especially "folk", "trad" etc etc and excepting really modern indie music) has been broad and deep.

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:35 AM

Helen - I'm not accusing you or other people on this thread of savaging anyone. It was more a comment aimed at other quarters of Mudcat where they get into spitting battles over their own artificial definitions of "What is" and What isn't" Folk.
I have witnessed them savaging some poor innocent passer-by who made the mistake of asking a question which they deigned to be unworthy of asking. Something they had decided isn't "Folk". The sort of behaviour that will send the visitor scurrying off, telling their friends that folkies are scum, and don't give them the time of day!
As far as I am concerned, I try to make visitors as welcome as I can, which on occasions includes aplologising for the behaviour of some of the ruder visitors to the forum.
As for Mumford and Son, they didn't particularly grab me, but if they can spark an interest from a younger generation, I will applaud them. Once someone gets interested, they will look sideways. It may lead them to someone folk influenced, such as the Levellers, or perhaps to more traditional performers. Who knows? Once the folk music escapes from the box we keep it in, maybe this time, they won't be able to shove it back in...
Then again, it could just be a flavour of the month, as happened with the Pogues.
I live in hope.
Once again, no offence intended.
Quack!
GtD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: GUEST,Joseph de Culver City
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 01:33 PM

Some in the US may be aware of The Avett Brothers, who have steadily gained popularity playing a variety of rocking bluegrass featuring the banjo and sing-out group vocals. The Mumford & Sons group have a sound that is not dissimilar. It may be that this is a sound whose time has come, at least in the opinion of those who are trying to promote recorded music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: GUEST,Helen, cookieless
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 01:09 AM

I've noticed that some of the bands or solo artists whose songs are played on Triple-J have been referred to as "folk", e.g. Fleet Foxes, and I was also surprised to hear the radio station promoting the Woodford Folk Festival recently. Guest, Joseph de Culver City, you may be onto something.

I personally have become heartily sick of the talking style of music, with no melody to speak of, and all of the pieces sound the same. (Someone de-confuse me please - is this Rap, or sometimes seriously referred to as Rap "Music"?)

It used to be that the rappers had music included in their "song" but in the last few years the music began to get scarcer & scarcer, and I'm wondering if there has been a backlash from that trend. Some of those type of "songs" have worked with singers who sing a sort of counterpoint to the rapping. Almost all of the songs I heard in Triple-J's Hottest 100 this year were dinky-di melodious songs. I didn't necessarily like the melodies of all of them, but they were melodies nonetheless.

Another thing I have been thinking about, re Mumford & Sons, is that the repetitive rhythms of the banjo could almost be compared with the electronically produced repetitive rhythms which a lot of bands use now, so maybe the hand-held, string-based, rhythm-production tool (i.e. the banjo) may even have a chance of competing with electronica. I'll be interested to see whether the banjo begins to take off in popular music. (I'm not casting nasturtiums on either banjos or electronic music here. It might be worth noting that my favourite (popular genre) CD is by Leftfield, an electro-percussion duo. Brilliant!)

Just a few thoughts I've been mulling over, in relation to this thread.

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 06:20 AM

Early 90's in the uK there was a lot of Techno Rave music played on the radio. Unlike earlier disco stuff, the Techno grabbed me but I couldn't work out why until one day I was playing banjo. I realised that the rhythm of the techno was very close to that of basic clawhammer style banjo, which is what I was playing.
Mumford's banjo is more bluegrass picking, but when it comes in, it definitely makes you take notice.
I just re-visited their myspace and had a listen. They are a bit dark in lyric content, but musically stand out from the crowd, bothe being factors which might draw attention. I can see why your radio voters might go for it whatever their other musical tastes might be.
As I say, the more people who can be turned onto any sort of folk/ folk-rock/indie-folky-blues/punk-folk or anything near, the better.
Quack!
Geoff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 02:49 PM

Triple-J
was the radio station which played the Pogues a lot. They also still play Fairy Tale of New York, now and then, with the wonderful Kirsty MacColl.

Triple-J and ABC TV, are two of the parts of the government funded, national broadcasting network, and they are responsible for nationally broadcasting a music programme called
Rage which is aimed at young people. They have a clever programming strategy. The programmes run from about midnight Fridays till 11am Saturdays, and from about 11pm Saturdays until about 8am Sundays, so there is a lot of space to fill musically. They play their usual playlists at night, the less commercial or weird & wonderful or specialised stuff in the early hours, and then finish up with the top of the commercial charts from about 5am on Saturday mornings. They are very open to lots of music styles, and regularly put on specialised music sets, i.e. music which has a smaller interest base than their usual playlists. They try to cover all musical interests of young people, but there are a lot of the old-fogeys like me who have been listening to Triple-J since they started broadcasting in 1974 (then called Double-J, as it was not FM at that stage), so they still do specials on their old playlists.

Triple-J - wiki

It's worth looking at the playlists for Rage to see what types of music they have covered over the years. They have done a great service to the music-loving populace of Oz.

The Hottest 100 list is also accessible through the Rage website.

GtD, so I'm not alone in my view of the banjo as an alternative to electronically produced rhythms! Cool!

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 03:39 PM

As a fan of 70s German rock (Faust, Neu! etc) I have an affinity with the almost motorik sound of rhythmic banjo playing...

As for Mumford & Sons, they've received loads of radio play in the UK - including on BBC Radio 6, the closest station we have to Triple J in the UK (primarily lots of varieties of indie rock). Radio 6 is also the station most likely to be found playing nu-folk, alt-folk or whatever you want to call it. In a lot of ways this scene, which is almost entirely separate to the mainstream folk scene (with the exception of a few artists like Nancy Wallace and Mary Hampton who have begun to get positive attention from "proper" folkies), has laid the way for more mainstream bands like Mumford and Sons to achieve success. Artists as diverse as Tuung, James Yorkston, Nancy Elizabeth, King Creosote, The Owl Service, Men-An-Tol and so on and festivals like the Green Man and acoustic nights up and down the country have created their own "folk" scene, and though much of it is not particularly recognisable as folk to older folkies, it is a vibrant scene with lots of live acoustic or semi-acoustic music. In a few cases, such as the wonderful Owl Service, you even get largely traditional songs too. Increasingly we are starting to see crossovers between the alt-folk and the younger end of the "proper" folk scene too, an example of which would be the presence of alt-folk pioneer Alasdair Roberts on Jackie Oates' latest album.

My view is whatever you call it, it's pretty healthy. And cross fertilisation between alt-folk and "proper" folk will continue to create some interesting music that is possibly a little less bland than some of the mainstream folk offerings that have been served up of late.

Or course, it's probably all over for Mumford & Sons. Their popular success will inevitably lead to record company pressure for increasingly slick, mainstream product... not that I'm cynical or anything!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Oz radio,#1 on Hottest 100 - is it folk?
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 05:09 PM

Spleen Cringe, thanks for the comments. Yes, to all of them, from me, and especially the last prediction. Although, thinking positive, maybe M&S will resist the temptation and cling to their self-stated "folk" label.

All positive signs that folk is not dead, but it may be evolving into a different beast.

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 26 April 2:05 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.