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Folk music is for lesbians

Little Hawk 23 Aug 02 - 09:12 PM
katlaughing 23 Aug 02 - 02:49 PM
Genie 23 Aug 02 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Aug 02 - 02:07 PM
katlaughing 23 Aug 02 - 01:33 PM
Venthony 23 Aug 02 - 12:46 PM
Genie 23 Aug 02 - 03:07 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 02 - 02:48 AM
Janice in NJ 22 Aug 02 - 06:55 PM
katlaughing 22 Aug 02 - 03:29 PM
Genie 22 Aug 02 - 02:50 PM
Genie 22 Aug 02 - 02:45 PM
EBarnacle1 22 Aug 02 - 12:44 PM
Big Mick 22 Aug 02 - 10:46 AM
Don Firth 22 Aug 02 - 02:03 AM
GUEST,Argenine 22 Aug 02 - 01:39 AM
katlaughing 22 Aug 02 - 01:03 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 21 Aug 02 - 08:19 PM
michaelr 21 Aug 02 - 08:00 PM
Little Hawk 21 Aug 02 - 02:27 PM
Peter T. 21 Aug 02 - 11:55 AM
Venthony 21 Aug 02 - 10:09 AM
Ron Olesko 21 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM
Venthony 21 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Lanfranc at the orifice 21 Aug 02 - 06:51 AM
kendall 21 Aug 02 - 06:29 AM
katlaughing 21 Aug 02 - 12:04 AM
michaelr 20 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM
DougR 20 Aug 02 - 09:32 PM
boglion 20 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM
Burke 20 Aug 02 - 06:53 PM
katlaughing 20 Aug 02 - 03:25 PM
Big Mick 20 Aug 02 - 03:20 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Aug 02 - 03:04 PM
EBarnacle1 20 Aug 02 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 20 Aug 02 - 10:53 AM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Aug 02 - 03:59 AM
Erica Smith 19 Aug 02 - 10:55 PM
Mudlark 19 Aug 02 - 08:08 PM
katlaughing 19 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM
BH 19 Aug 02 - 06:12 PM
Dharmabum 19 Aug 02 - 05:42 PM
Erica Smith 19 Aug 02 - 05:37 PM
beadie 19 Aug 02 - 03:50 PM
Hippie Chick 19 Aug 02 - 03:47 PM
mousethief 19 Aug 02 - 03:44 PM
Don Firth 19 Aug 02 - 03:31 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Aug 02 - 11:27 AM
GUEST 19 Aug 02 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Russ 19 Aug 02 - 11:12 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 09:12 PM

How do you know it really IS gargoyle, Kat??? After all, ANYONE can simply log on as a GUEST...or log out as a member and then long on as a GUEST...and carefully type the following into the little box:

.gargoyle

Is that not so? I think the little dot is a neat touch.

Now it seems to me that this would be one of the truly big drawbacks to posting as a named GUEST for lengthy periods on Mudcat, since anyone else can pretend to be you...and post a big apology for all the nasty, critical things you have said at various times on Mudcat...then go on to lay bare your own internal angst, anger and confusion in no uncertain terms till everyone was totally creeped out.

Hmmmm....

I wonder why nobody has done it? Or have they? Is .gargoyle really .gargoyle or is it someone else pretending to be .gargoyle?

These are the perils of nonmembership combined with a name...in the weird little world called "Mudcat". If my computer were to stop working, it would all disappear, and I would probably go back to building models, playing the guitar, reading books...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 02:49 PM

You go, Genie!

Heyagarg..it's not dark, yet, whatta doin' outta the closet?


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Genie
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 02:38 PM

You're a Republican conservative wing-nut, Venthony?  You mean Doug R. is not alone here in the asylum at the Café amidst all the rest of us hippie weirdo commie pinko bleeding-heart liberal freaks?  *BG*


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 02:07 PM

Is it any wonder, my little frantic feline, that you have so much internal anger, angst, and aversion to all things practical.

Oats, peas, beans and barley - O
How does your little garden grow?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:33 PM

The spoken/sung word is very powerful and it's effect cannot be discounted. The words matter to me, my daughters, my sisters, and did matter to my late mom. So, I guess I am fringe.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Venthony
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 12:46 PM

"Adult" writers seldom use italics to replace a studied and adroit vocabulary.

But God knows Genie is a liberal wing-nut.

Then again, I'm a conservative Republican wing-nut.

Love to all, Tony


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Genie
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 03:07 AM

Guest (at the risk of serious thread creep, let me say that), it is one thing to use terms like "botherhood" and "the rights of man," and quite another to make references to "my wife," "sweet daddy," and "lady."

I think it is only the fringes that get too bent out of shape over "...and crown Thy good with brotherhood... ," and ",,,stand beside her and guide her... ." But, as a (straight) woman, I feel awkward singing "...if I had to start all over with just my children and my wife... ." Some terms are gender specific but used in a generic sense ("brotherhood," "mankind," "chairman," etc.) and others ("daddy," "mama," "lady," "macho, macho man," etc. are not readily applicable to all humans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 02:48 AM

Come off it Genie - Many women (gay or not) may feel excluded by lyrics that make a lot of use of words like "man" as part of their rhyme scheme

These are ADULTS - you may as well say many men cannot relate to Christianity because they are refered to as the "bride of Chirst."

That is a bunch of sexist nonsense. Poetry, allagory, metaphor and symbolism are necessary elements of lyrics and part of ADULT communication.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 06:55 PM

David Hajdu! How could you have neglected to mention Pat Humphries? Please do tell. Inquiring dykes wanna know. Even part-timers like myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 03:29 PM

Yes, Genie, I think a lot of women love songs which break out of the traditional gender roles. I believe a lot of women who support lesbian and/or women songwriter/singers do so because the songs are usually much more inclusive, non-patriarchal. Originally they gave women something new to claim as their own, from their positive perspective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Genie
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 02:50 PM

Forgot my footnote:

*I know Greenwood's song is not popular among folkies, anyway. I just use it an illustration of a well-known (at least in the US) song that is quite unnecessarily written from a male standpoint. ("...had to start all over with just... my wife...," and "...I won't forget the men who died to give that right to me... .").


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Genie
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 02:45 PM

Perhaps the popularity of some songwriters with lesbians or gays in general is the gender neutrality of their lyrics--in contrast to the bulk of pop, rock, and c/w fare which is often quite sex-specific if not out-and-out sexist.
Many women (gay or not) may feel excluded by lyrics that make a lot of use of words like "man" as part of their rhyme scheme (like Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA"*) or that tie the love song to the physical characteristics of the (usually female) beloved.

Is it my imagination, or do female lyricists more often frame love songs in the second person (so you don't have to use personal pronouns like "him" and "her")? One song that comes to mind is Holly Near's song where she refers to the object of her affection as "sweet one," where a lot of writers would say "sweet girl" or "sweet lady" or "my lover man" or something else that's gender specified. A lot of Kate Wolf's lyrics (though not all of them) also could be sung from the standpoint of a gay or straight male or female. "Cornflower Blue" and "Give Yourself To Love" come to mind.

To the extent that singers/songwriters frame their songs this way, I would think they would be welcomed by people of various gender identities and preferences. That would explain why lesbians embrace the music of some women who have never presented themselves as "straight;" by not flaunting their heterosexuality in their lyrics, they, in effect, "embrace" the gay community in a way that much of "mainstream" music does not.

(But, then again, what do I know?)

Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 12:44 PM

We are recapping every evolutionary discussion here. When Rock first began, most of the groups knew three chords and a couple of simple melodies. The groups that survived came closer to mainstream. So did most of the other movements as their performers learned more.

As long as we are not being forced to "perform/live it my way or not at all," there should not be an issue with any of these movements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 10:46 AM

Amen, Don.

And Ron, once again I am right there with you. Music, in general, is about enjoyement. There are many bands/singers that I enjoy just listening to. Many of them are in genre's I am not necessarily fond of, but I just like the music.

But I do think we must be careful, at times, to preserve the intent of the music. One of the things that I require in my listening choices is that it must make sense. I don't have a problem with taking an old song and giving it a new take. But what I do have a problem with is doing songs in a way that doesn't make sense. A dear friend of mine has a perfect example of this. He put out a CD with Stephen Fosters "Hard Times" on it. He does this song as a hand clapping, feel good song, complete with upbeat tempo and the whole bit. I look around at the people listening to it and wonder if they even hear the words. Another of my friends doesn't understand why I can't stand his version. But to me it doesn't make anymore sense than the Backstreet Boys doing a hip hop, dance version of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". It doesn't fit, nor does it even make sense.

There is a fine line between respect for the tradition, and daring new renditions. I love those who can navigate it successfully.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 02:03 AM

Quentin Crisp, who styles himself as "one of the stately homos of England," is quite androgynous in his appearance. In a TV interview he once described how someone asked him if he were a man or a woman. He answered, "Does it really matter? I mean—what are you suggesting that we do?"

Good question. Really, what does a person's gender or sexual orientation matter—unless one has plans that include them. . . . ?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: GUEST,Argenine
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 01:39 AM

LOL, Big Mick! (er...Amicus Gigantus Miccus)

Har-de-har-har, Millwall

BTW, why do we gotta 'genrify' every musician?  Surely there are writers/performers who sometimes write/sing/play "folk songs" and sometimes "pop," "rock and roll," "blues," "country/western," "reggae," or "jazz."  (Right, Ron?)  Is that agin the law or sump'n?

Yeah, I think it's sad that an artist's following should decrease when/because her/his sexual orientation becomes public knowledge.  Sad when K.D, Lang's commercial popularity dropped after she "came out" as a lesbian.  Equally sad if the careers of artists like Holly Near should take a dive because they "come out" as 
bisexual or straight.  Either way, the world of music lovers loses.

And, LaFranc, I think you're onto something.  Grown men prancing around wearing bells and ribbons and waving streamers--- hmmmmmm.

Arge


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 01:03 AM

Welcome, Michael...it was on her bio page.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 08:19 PM

Tony made a good point - "Yes, all this putting of artists into boxes is distracting and somewhat dangerous. But I think we need to be careful and respectful of some of the general boundaries -- and most especially the insidious effects of pop culture on old tunes."

That is very, very true. However, I am a firm believer that this is a living tradition - it will evolve and it should. The first time someone put a microphone in front of a singer the boundaries began changing. Heck, you can even say the first time Cecil Sharp or John Lomax (and those before them)collected a song the boundaries changed sharply.

I'm all for respecting, perserving, and keeping the tradition alive. There is no reason why people can't enjoy a Holly Near and enjoy Aunt Molly Jackson.

I think we all spend to much time worrying about the tradition dieing instead of using that time to keep it alive and growing.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: michaelr
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 08:00 PM

kat -- thanks for reminding me of Holly Near's folk credentials.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 02:27 PM

More importantly, I think we need a thread investigating what sort of music ducks and other waterfowl are listening to these days...

Oh, where can I find that Shatner photo, Giok?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 11:55 AM

Canada was Floridized a long time ago, or is it the other way around? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Venthony
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 10:09 AM

Yes, I like the music or I don't. And I like Holly Near. A lot. Whatever her sexuality is or isn't. At my age, sexuality is more of a pleasant memory than a preferance or a political issue.

But folk music -- which in the strict sense is, if not "prehistoric," then transhistoric -- is universal and foundational to what we are as human beings.

I know a lot of people on this forum don't like boundaries and restrictions, but somewhere there needs to be a line drawn between music based on a culture and music (however good and fulfilling) based on composers, recording artists, tours and contracts.

We live in a declining age. All you "ban the multinational corporations" folks on this site should appreciate that.

Like John Lennon once said about rock n roll (my papraphrase): It's a chair -- not a fancy chair, not an art chair, not a leather chair, and not a chair you go to a museum (or or concert hall) to see and admire. It's the first chair. You can sit on that music.

Or, in another of my awkward paraphrases, Stephen Benet once said something like, "The old world disappeared when the last mountain girl got a radio."

Yes, all this putting of artists into boxes is distracting and somewhat dangerous. But I think we need to be careful and respectful of some of the general boundaries -- and most especially the insidious effects of pop culture on old tunes.

I am even so bold to think that Ms. Near, for whom I have tremendous respect, might agree.

Tony


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM

Isn't it amazing how much confusion and bickering comes about because of labels. Why do we like to put performers into such neat boxes - folk, non-folk, women's music, Celtic, rock, progressive rock, etc. What is next, left-handed female artists born on Tuesdays?

Either you like the music or you don't.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Venthony
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM

Thankyou Mudlark. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. You said exactly what I was trying to say in a lot less space.

Tony


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: GUEST,Lanfranc at the orifice
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 06:51 AM

The sexual orientation of performers or audiences matters not a damn. What is a tad worrying is that acquiring a reputation for being a "gay" scene would not help live folk/acoustic music. A high proportion of the potential audience, whilst not actively homophobic, would not feel comfortable in an overtly homosexual milieu.

Let's be inclusive, not exclusive, unless we want to be even further marginalised.

BTW Cross-dressing has been a feature of Morris dancing since ever!

Alan


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: kendall
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 06:29 AM

It's interesting to me that so many "straight" people get hung up on the sexual aspect of "Gay" relationships. Like heterosexual relationships, there is so much more to it than that. Personally, I couldn't care less if a person worships toadstools and sleeps with horses. It's none of my business! Now, how about an article on straight folksingers?


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 12:04 AM

Nobody who really looks into Holly Near's years of social activism and listens to her songs can doubt that she qualifies, at least on the edges...she's good enough for Seeger and several others and she has worked tirelessly to bring out the voices of people in struggle all over the world:

Her strength as a performer lead to creative collaborations with such artists as Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Inti Illimani, Bonnie Raitt, Cris Williamson, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, and Linda Tillery.

In 1972, Near founded Redwood Records which was a major force in alternative music for nearly 20 years. Redwood Records was dedicated to recording and promoting music by politically conscious artists from around the world. Near helped support the work of artists from Nicaragua, Chile, Australia, Canada, England, Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Viet Nam, El Salvador, Mexico, and The United States. She has received numerous awards for her work for social change, including honors from the ACLU, The National Lawyers Guild, The National Organization for Women, and MS Magazine (Woman of the Year). In 2000, Near received The Legends of Women's Music Award for her pioneering work in lesbian and feminist music.

To date, Holly has released 20 recordings and has appeared as a guest on many others. She sings a duet with Mary Travers on Peter, Paul and Mary's, Lifelines and does a beautiful rendition of "Quiet Early Morning" for Where Have All the Flowers Gone, a 1998 retrospective of the music of Pete Seeger.



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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM

Ani DiFranco has recorded with Utah Phillips, and Dar Williams has toured with Joan Baez, which assigns these two SINGER-SONGWRITERS sort of fringe-folk credentials. Holly Near might also qualify, but the rest of the performers mentioned are clearly pop/rock/SS, whereas Melissa Etheridge is (IMO) just crap. It appears to me that "womyn's music" as a subgroup of American popular music tends to value sexual identity over quality.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: DougR
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 09:32 PM

I'll join Seamus in thanking Garg for posting the article. I'm registered to read the NYT, but It was easier to read it here, then read the comments.

I don't think the fans of lesbian folk singers are much different than rabid fans of any other artist. Certainly the swooning of young girls over Frank Sinatra and Elvis was a sexual thing. I'd venture to guess both of them had hetro as well as homo fans. I'm not familiar with the music of most of the ladies mentioned in the article, but evidently they (the writers of the songs and the performers) concentrate on issues of interest to lesbians. So big deal. I can't imagine a performer of any sexual persuasion would not welcome fans of any sexual persuasion.

It must have been a slow news day in New York.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: boglion
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM

Look I'm a bit confused here.

Dominic Behan wrote "Patriot Game" Brendan Behan wrote "The Auld Triangle" But what did their brother Les write or sing????


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Burke
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 06:53 PM

From the article:

"However, the number of female performers in folk who are openly lesbian, bisexual or actively pro-gay has been rising in recent years and seemingly at a higher rate than in other styles of music."

Are there any female performers (really singer/songwriters) who don't fit one of these categories? If they address social/political issues at all gay rights can enter into it even just a little.

In this article Women's music festivals seem to be treated as the total of folk festivals, instead of along side of an somewhat overlapping.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 03:25 PM

Amicus Giganticus Mickus, m'dear...LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 03:20 PM

This has thread has certainly broadened my horizons, as well as my arse from sitting and reading it. My observations:

1. It is refreshing to know that I am a lesbian. I love folk music and I love women! Wait..........I love folk music and hate most disco, and I love men...........shit........I love my cat too..........OMMYGAWD, I love Spaw, too..........We need another definition, folks.........err, volks........

2. As a folksinger (I think, but after reading Don's post, I am not sure!), I will take my audiences any damn way I can get them.......you should know now, that if I am doing a gig in your neck of the woods, you may come as you are.......gay, straight, big, small, black, white, brown, yellow, whatever, furry, bald, potent, impotent..........I just don't care. Just enjoy the music and stick around and do a little singing, OK? I can remember times when I played for lampposts, so I am happy anytime folks, er volks,.....whatever....want to hear my music.

Now........what the hell am I again?

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 03:04 PM

Venthony

Man oh man, am I ever glad I don't live in your world!

.-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 02:59 PM

Regarding the "horse" issue, at a festival several years ago, I was talking with Pete Seeger about his definition of FM. He said that first, giraffes don't sing it and, second, people kept singing it because it remained relevant.

Issues of authorship are not really relevant except for paying copyright fees. If it has legs, it is folk music, whether it is lieder, opera, the Beatles or just, plain folk music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 10:53 AM

stupid, useless, somewhat 'sensational' article about a small group of female singer/songwriters. Joan Baez is the only person mentioned (okay, maybe Ronnie Gilbert also) who could be called a 'folksinger', and that is a stretch in both cases. to Murray McCleod - the speaker in the article was speaking to Janis and saying that Ani DiFranco was her 'spiritual' daughter, or in some way her 'musical' daughter, not claiming that she was Janis' actual daughter. Whole thing was a waste of space, time, etc. If I had known the article was in the Sunday Magazine section I would have known it was not worth reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 03:59 AM

Gargoyle, thanks for posting the article.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Erica Smith
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 10:55 PM

speaking of lazy, I apologize for misspelling the author's name (*blush*)

I do think Ms DiFranco identifies herself on some level as a folksinger, and gains a lot of cred with me for actively trying to turn her audience on to other artists, from Woody Guthrie to Greg Brown to Gillian Welch.

Ani and Dar do have fanbases that are incredibly devoted, and/or cultlike, depending on your view. But I always found a good portion of it youth-identified rather than defined by sexuality. And the 'phenomenon' of these artists has been in swing for ten years, almost. The question, as I see it, is what's next?


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Mudlark
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 08:08 PM

I read thru the whole...loooong....article and came to much the same conclusion...a slick pop article about what is essentially a pop scene. (I doubt very much if Ani deFranco routinely refers to herself as a folksinger.)

I know I'm way out of the mainstream these days, but I have known a lot of nonprofessional folksingers over the years and have never seen any particular sexual persuasion among them...they've come in allsorts, just like the rest of the population.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM

As anyone can find out by reading her BIO Holly Near has a long history of singing a hell of a lot more than what has been characterised in general, in this thread. She also makes no bones about saying that she is in a relationship with a man now.

She has been a tireless political activist and sung with others of the same, including Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and many more. While even Holly doesn't call herself a folksinger, some of her songs may well be, one day, along with those of Ferron and a few others.

I agree, the article in the NYT is rubbish, mostly, and I am glad that you, Ron, Spaw, and Don have posted some clarification, but I am bothered by the overall negative generalisation about a lot of the women artists named in this thread.

katgladHollyhasjoinedthebalancedbicommunity:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: BH
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 06:12 PM

I am an avid reader of the Times===but the Sunday magazine is probably something that is becoming quite "dumbed down" in trying so hard for pop culture and readership. The fashion section is in the worst taste---sickly looking starved child models in Appalachia in $6000 "rags" and so on. Then, of course, you can name a section "Styles" and it nothing but the Times version of a NYPost Page 6.

Not really off topic here since the Hajdu article is of a similar thing I describe above.

I await the next piece by Mr. Hajdu modifying Einstein's Relativity Theory---I am sure he can work it out.

Thankfully the paper still has a wonderful weekday format and op ed page.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Dharmabum
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 05:42 PM

Now Spaw,You know you shouldn't rollerskate when you're pregnant!

DB.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Erica Smith
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 05:37 PM

The best way I could understand the article was to see it as a piece on lesbian culture rather than on music. Hadju draws a parallel early on between 'folk music' and lesbian culture, and disco and gay male culture. I think that's the heart of the matter.

It seems as if he's made the shocking discovery that lesbians are devoted fans of contemporary acoustic music. Members of that subgroup even rise to great mainsteram popularity -- which might not have been possible, at least in an overt way, 30 years ago. He tries to introduce tension by saying that the audience can be as finicky as it is loyal. That puts artists like Dar Williams, recently outed as hetero, in somewhat of a pickle, ahem.

As an artist, it is an amazing boon to be adopted by avid folkgoers of any stripe. It is news to a lot of people that there still are avid folkgoers in this day and age!

I wish Hadju had been more clear (or less lazy, depending on how generous you feel). 'Folk' was a misnomer, but most people don't know what a Child ballad or sea shanty is, so he slapped on some axel grease and slid right past it.

ah well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: beadie
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 03:50 PM

Peter T. :

"Flouridation." Isn't that what's going to happen to the Great Lakes as a result of the inexorable movement of the Tropic climes to the North with global warming?


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Hippie Chick
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 03:47 PM

Thank you BWL and thank you Don Firth! I always learn new stuff on Mudcat and Tweedsburg.

"The genre being described by this isn't folk of course, but who cares? A good song is a good song and a bad one is a bad one and it doesn't matter a whit if either was written by a lesbian, a gay guy, or a pregnant, cross dressing, Albanian hat blocker, on roller skates."

You GO Spaw!


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 03:44 PM

I think it's sad that Holly Near has to keep her relationship hush-hush to avoid offending her Lesbian audience. It just goes to show you that prejudice isn't limited to white hetero males.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 03:31 PM

Hippy Chick, Bee-dubya-ell has it essentially right. The way I heard the story, it was Big Bill Broonzy. Someone asked him if a song he had just sung was a folk song. He is alleged to have answered, "It must be! I've never heard it sung by a horse!" Whenever the question "just what is a folk song, anyway?" comes up, almost invariably someone quotes a variation of the "Horse Theory." This is not helpful at all. It defines nothing. According to the Horse Theory, Wotan's Farewell from Richard Wagner's Die Walküre has to be considered a "folk song" because it's sung by an operatic bass-baritone portraying Wotan, a Norse god, not by Brünnhilde's horse.

The Horse Theory is usually quoted by someone who has just written a song and wants it to be considered a "folk song." Or who likes to be considered a folk singer, but who prefers to sing songs by Jacques Brel rather than the kind of songs and ballads that Francis James Child and Alan Lomax were talking about.

The first person to ever use the term "folk song" was Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), a German philosopher and collector of volkslieder (folk songs). He was referring to songs of the rural peasant class. In this modern world, which has become more urbanized and which we like to think of as "classless" despite the mind-boggling spread between the richest and the poorest, it makes people uncomfortable to think that there might still be such a thing as a peasant class. When many poor people live in the cities and try to keep body and soul together by scrubbing toilets and flipping burgers (preferably not the same person and not in that order), we don't like to acknowledge that we may still have what might be considered a peasant class. It embarrasses people. It embarrasses governments. Thus volk has slowly morphed into "just plain folks," which we like to apply to everybody, including people with annual incomes that exceed the GNP of a medium-sized country. And the term "folk singer" got pried loose from traditional singers of traditional songs and got stuck on any singer who sings fairly simple, strophic songs to the accompaniment of a portable musical instrument, especially if they write the songs themselves and like to call themselves "folk singers." And especially if they've recorded a CD and music stores opt to put it in the "folk music" bin.

So these days you can call just about anything "folk music and just about anyone a "folk singer." If anyone wants to argue with you, just quote the Horse Theory.

End of weary sigh. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 11:27 AM

It's OK, Guest, these revelations come to all of us. I only discovered recently that because I like women and everytime I look in the mirror I see a fat person that I am, by default, an annorxic lesbian...;-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 11:16 AM

I'm lesbian!! I didn't know it!! ;))


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Subject: RE: BS: Folk music is for lesbians
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 11:12 AM

Oh no!!!!

Say it ain't so!!!!

It's not FAIR!!!!

I need for the meaning of the phrase "folk music" to retain its traditional vagueness. It is extremely useful in certain contexts for describing the sort of music I do. It stops being useful if it's meaning is changing and becoming more specific in the direction indicated by the article.

Russ (boomer WASP male)


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