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

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4]


What is wrong with being a purist?

Joe Offer 26 Jan 05 - 06:21 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 05 - 06:22 PM
Leadfingers 26 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM
hilda fish 26 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM
Peace 26 Jan 05 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Paranoid Android 26 Jan 05 - 06:42 PM
RobbieWilson 26 Jan 05 - 06:49 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 05 - 06:53 PM
PoppaGator 26 Jan 05 - 06:53 PM
Teresa 26 Jan 05 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 26 Jan 05 - 06:55 PM
chris nightbird childs 26 Jan 05 - 07:05 PM
nager 26 Jan 05 - 07:13 PM
Susan of DT 26 Jan 05 - 07:33 PM
Pat Cooksey 26 Jan 05 - 08:13 PM
nager 26 Jan 05 - 08:13 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 08:14 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jan 05 - 08:55 PM
Teresa 26 Jan 05 - 09:06 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 09:09 PM
GUEST 26 Jan 05 - 09:19 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Jan 05 - 09:29 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 05 - 09:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Jan 05 - 09:37 PM
chris nightbird childs 26 Jan 05 - 09:43 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 05 - 09:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Jan 05 - 09:45 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 05 - 09:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Jan 05 - 10:01 PM
Once Famous 26 Jan 05 - 10:05 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 26 Jan 05 - 10:25 PM
chris nightbird childs 26 Jan 05 - 10:29 PM
Once Famous 26 Jan 05 - 10:38 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 05 - 10:41 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 26 Jan 05 - 10:49 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Jan 05 - 10:59 PM
nager 26 Jan 05 - 11:14 PM
chris nightbird childs 26 Jan 05 - 11:32 PM
M.Ted 26 Jan 05 - 11:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Jan 05 - 11:33 PM
Peace 27 Jan 05 - 12:01 AM
Peace 27 Jan 05 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,impurist 27 Jan 05 - 12:10 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jan 05 - 12:24 AM
Peace 27 Jan 05 - 12:27 AM
Boab 27 Jan 05 - 03:36 AM
Boab 27 Jan 05 - 03:41 AM
Paco Rabanne 27 Jan 05 - 04:01 AM
alanabit 27 Jan 05 - 04:06 AM
alanabit 27 Jan 05 - 04:07 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:21 PM

When I came here to Mudcat in early 1997, I knew most of the songs of Peter, Paul, and Mary; of Simon & Garfunkel; the Kingston Trio, and some of those other folkies and pseudo-folkies of the 1960's. I also knew hundreds of the songs in the Rise Up Singing Songbook. As time has gone on, I've learned a lot about real traditional music, and it has become my preference. I'm still in the learning stage when it comes to performing traditional songs, and I don't sing them with the confidence and ability that I have with the songs I've known for years.

I was really nervous about this when I first ventured to gatherings of the San Francisco Folk Music Club and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington in 1999, but most people were very gracious about accepting and encouraging me. There are a few elitist snobs who don't have patience with us beginners, who leave the room when we sing or try to sing over us when we don't sing correctly. I think people like this betray the whole idea that folk music is the music of the people. They certainly don't do much to encourage people to enter the fold.

I wonder how the elitists would treat many of the traditional singers the collectors have recorded. I suppose it's not really pleasant to listen to the voice of Harry Cox or Fred Jordan or maybe Malvina Reynolds, but these people could really tell a story with their singing. The elitists probably wouldn't accept their selection of songs, either.

-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:22 PM

well, John C., I can tell you that this subject has been one of the most hotly debated since Mudcat started 8+ years ago...I know...I started some of 'em! I was the resident 'purist' for quite awhile, and I have 'almost' given up saying anything because people tend not to hear what you are actually saying about 'folk' and 'traditional' and 'purist' issues, and instead go off relating THEIR particular notion of what the words mean.

I have spent many a weary hour trying to explain that:

1) I am not telling anyone what to like, or what music is good or bad.
2) The definitions of 'folk' and traditional need to have a consistent meaning, or they mean nothing.
3) There ARE people like you & me, John C., who want some way to identify that older, non-commercial flavor of music when we have a notion to buy a CD or attend a concert. If it says "folk" and it turns out to be a *gasp* singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar and NO sense of perspective on the whole genré, I am pretty frustrated.

I do like some S/S music...and I do know that Bob Dylan wrote a few memorable songs...as did Kate Wolf and Bruce Phillips and (over there) Harvey Andrews..etc...but there IS a difference, and those who try to suggest that it's all "just music" really are missing the point!

Nope, John, it's NOT unreasonable to expect to hear some 'real' folk when you go to a 'folk' club, but sadly, the word has been co-opted because it's so durned short & convenient, and you now have to conduct an inquisition of the management and performers to have any idea whether they know, or even care, whether the music style to be presented includes anything resembling what the Copper Family sang, or whether they understand how that differs from what Kate Rusby or Lonnie Donegan or Harvey Andrews sing!

I will now sit back and read MORE posts making fun of my attempt to keep one tiny corner of the musical map clear for us old 'purists' to sit with our Victrolas and listen to the Carter Family or Walter Pardon style of music.

Bill D.--occasional folk facist and purist...who knows LOTS of other stuff too, but also knows the difference!


oh...by the way..*grin*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM

Interesting that this thread was started by a Brit and most of the comment is from Americans ! John - I qualify as 'Anything Goes' but do not conform to the definition given up there , as I play a number of instruments both instrumentally and as song accompaniment . I also sing unaccompanied traditonal songs and play dep in a Cheilidh band !
I have also been told by a 'Purist' club organiser 'This is a traditional club - you cant bring THAT in here!' Pointing very disdainfully at my guitar case . Folk Music is NOT an Exclusive music
form and OUGHT to be as inclusive as most of my local clubs are .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: hilda fish
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM

Are purists those who have both interest/passion AND expertise in a particular area. I'm purist in my areas of expertise because I know the subjects inside out including the history, and I love where they come from and what they are. I'm paid to know and I'm relied on to know. Because of my intimate knowledge, I get a bit upset when history or identity or whatever is denied in re-interpretation. Also I know that whatever anyone else does with anything is up to them and their imagination and creativity. History like identity, doesn't stop - it continues as does everything else. Doesn't include or preclude anything else at all. Are we presuming that the word 'purist' has a value judgement implied? Given that, it seems also that there are very many open minds here. Love it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:36 PM

Well said, BillD. Good thread this one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: GUEST,Paranoid Android
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:42 PM

Did you ever go to a session where you heard a brilliant uileann piper playing and you appreciated the tune. Then he plays another and another and another...and another.. and nobody else gets a look in and what started as sweet music ends up assailing your ears like a wailing cat. Is that piper a purist or a f***ing nuisance?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:49 PM

I have to disagree with the opening post in this thread in almost every part of what it said. I would not describe myself as a purist
but this does not make your chosen pejoritive "Anything Goes Brigade" applies to me, or to almost anyone I know in the many English and Scottish clubs, pubs, sesssions and festivals I regularly attend.

Nor does it apply to the performers I choose to pay to see. To take just one example Pete Morton: The only one I know who can sing any of the old, really long ballads like Tam Lin, or Gay Goshawk and keep a whole audience hanging on every word but who also writes good songs; like "Another Train" or "Battle of Trafalgar"(about a pub, not a battle.

What about Waterson Carthy? AGB or Pure? Show of Hands? AGB or Pure?

Still aint heard a horse sing yet. Folk music is music folk make, old or new doesn't come in to it. Every traditional song was new once and existed in a sea of crap contemporary music in its day. The only thing is that the great songs survive, changing as they go perhaps, but they are passed on because people like them. For the tradition to stay alive the process of writing and passing on must continue and the whole point of live music is that, even if it is familiar, it is live and different every time. If you want to hear songs the same every time get a CD and stay at home.

None of the old songs sung now in folk clubs, even by people who would style themselves purists, are sung in anything like the many different styles they were sung in 100 years ago. Last evening (Burns night)at my house eight friends listened to recordings of 200 year old songs and poems recorded over a span of around 80 years in a great variety of styles. Was this traditional?

The first problem for me with the concept of purists is pure what?
Living music can't be pure anything because it is always the product of a range of elements.

The second problem is that I get the uneasy feeling that rather than being about other people using "purist" pejoratively the point of this thread is you feel that "purists" are superior to everyone else, who you describe as AGB's.

I have music I like and stuff I dont like. It doesn't make me better than you, just different and it is the fact that we are each different which makes life, and its reflection in music worth living.
love Robbie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:53 PM

"Are we presuming that the word 'purist' has a value judgement implied? "
well, we shouldn't...except for valuing clarity of definition.

I certainly don't mean to claim that old music is 'better', only that I especially LIKE some of it and wish I could more easily find it in relatively less 'processed' form..(yes, yes, I KNOW that it all gets 'folk processed'...I just wish the processor were not set on 'puree'.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:53 PM

Whichever "tradition" one prefers, it generally consists of selection of the best-remembered songs, the ones that have emerged from among many other long-forgotten songs and survived to the present day.

Newly-composed songs are something else entirely, regardless of how skillfully they may have been composed to conform to the style of a given tradition. Most of them ~ even most of the works of the very best songwriters ~ will *not* survive. The vaunted "folk process" is not only a means by which songs constantly evolve and change; it's also a winnowing-out process ensuring another aspect of evolution, survival of the fittest songs

Whether the tradition you prefer is that of English ballads or that of, say, the "great American songbook" pop standards, you can draw upon a proven repertoire that has stood the test of time.

All due respect to those of you who find your creative outlet in songwriting, I feel a degree of empathy with those "elitists" who prefer the tried-and-true to the new-and-unproven. There are already so many wonderful songs to be sung (and to be kept alive) ~ new songs are not always preferable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Teresa
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:55 PM

The dismissive attitude I've seen towards punk music has reminded me to be careful of my own prejudices. :)

Just Google "Jello Biafra" sometime and you'll see he has nothing to do with right-wing or nihilistic ideas.

But that's a digression. One of my favorite concert sets is when John mcCutcheon lets loose with a bunch of rock songs from the sixties. The whole audience is pounding the floor, singing at the top of their voices. :)

Teresa


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:55 PM

It is all a matter of personal taste, nothing more-nothing less.I really need for you to define your interpretation of "purist" in more specific terms. As I am; at a loss, after reading most of the other postings I believe just about every individual involved could, to some degree, be categorised as a purist.I love music - be it classical to current chart music (in small doses) and lots in between and I have been told that I am a purist because of my devotion to The Beatles etc.But as I say; I love and buy lots of varied music. It seems to me to come from a desire to belong to a social group, or used by others to exclude from their clique, or simply to label individuals as a means to make others feel superior or more comfortable within social groupings. There is no shame in being called a purist it signifies a commitment to the cause beyond and above the call of duty and wearing your badge with pride in a world of 5 minute wonders and fickle fashions you stay true and unwavering.

Keep The Faith.

Sidewinder.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:05 PM

That's just what I said... ; )


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: nager
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:13 PM

PURISM: scrupulous or excessive observance of, or insistence on, purity in language, style etc ...

You can't be serious when you seek this with folk music, blues etc.. traditional or contemporary.

These are breathing, living and changing forms of music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:33 PM

The biggest problem with being a "purist" is that you find less and less to listen to. Popularized folk has driven traditional folk almost to extinction.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:13 PM

Nothing at all wrong with being a purist, however I beleive this narrow vision of folk music contributed in no small measure to the demise of English folk music as a popular culture.
I visit England fairly regularly, and see at first hand the declining numbers at folk clubs, whils't here in Germany I have no problem filling big halls.
I am no purist but some of my songs, as they say have gone into the tradition of my homeland, Ireland.
The English tradition provided some of the best songs I sing, and I respect this tradition as such, but if English folk music remains static it will eventually die.
We can all pick fault with the young, and the new, in our music, I have C.D.'s of Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy,Cara Dillon, Show of Hands, etc, and enjoy them all, surely this diversity makes folk music the special thing it is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: nager
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:13 PM

I don't agree that it has been driven almost to extinction.
There's still plenty of people doing it and there's nothing wrong with it at all, quite the opposite.
Perhaps it's just fewer and fewer people want to hear it that way.
I sing and play lots of different tunes and songs in the true folk tradition, ie changing words, tunes, tempo, keys etc to suit.
Isn't this a folk tradition or process.
Some of these are new songs and some very very old.
Some old tunes and songs I have reworked probably a dozen times over the years.
Just because someone sung it a particular way in 1925 does not mean that is THE way to sing it forever more.
I wonder what it sounded like before 1925?
Compare some of the real early bluesmen's versions of the same songs. Which one is the traditional or definitive one?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:14 PM

Fine point, too, Susan.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:55 PM

I can go to Tower Records and not buy a thing nowadays, so Susan may have a point. But CAMSCO Records is gong to bankrupt me. Dick Greenhaus seems to find all sorts of traditional stuff I can't resist.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Teresa
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:06 PM

I truly believe the music won't die; it will just change. The popularity will be cyclical ... you never know: wait a year or ten and it'll be on the radio again. :)

Teresa


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:09 PM

Concur, Teresa.    The tricky part is keeping the past forms and sound salive until they are in demand.

Like femininity itself -- keeping it alive when the fads are agin it may be tricky but it is vital to the future.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:19 PM

El Greko, just to point out "Chicken on a Raft" is a Cyril Tawney song. Jeweze, us purists eh?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:29 PM

Whats wrong with being an English folk music purist?

Let me count the ways.....

First of all it was attitude of intolerant traditionalists that broke up the folk music movement in this country and took it from being a mass movement in the 60's with three or four folk clubs in every major town to te pitiable state we have now - this was achieved with a mixture of rudeness to artists they didn't approve of and making ridiculous demands of attention on totally unsuitable audiences (fifteen minute ballads to half pissed college kids).

This had the spin off effect of making it bloody nigh impossible to make a living for professional musicians and from the time of Will Kemp and possibly before , its the pros who give the rest of us something to aim for.

Thirdly by adopting the tones of some idiot offspring of walter Gabriel you disenfranchrise the English people of their culture. Because most people just hear it and switch the heavily subsidised crap off. Whereas most kids in my day knew a goodly part of the Sharp collection from Singing together on the radio at school, the present much favoured style of delivery only serves to alienate most people who are not in the know about your obscure ideas.

I could go on, but what's the use......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:36 PM

"Still aint heard a horse sing yet."

piffle!...and again I say..piffle!...I am getting so tired of the "horse singing" remark. It was 'cute' for about 20 minutes, but it adds NOTHING to the understanding.

"Folk music is music folk make, old or new doesn't come in to it."

and that sort of tautological definition is one of the main reasons we make no progress in these debates. Old or new is not ALL there is to it, but the term "folk music" was originally meant to describe a certain general type of music, **one** of whose characteristics WAS that it tended to be older! Using it to refer widely to "any kind of music that gets done that ain't exactly Grand Opera or Dixieland jazz" is not only being lazy, it is contributing to musical hash! (and why, then, is Dixieland NOT folk music?)

If someone offers you a 'traditional' meal, and you find out it is hamburger mixed with pine nuts and rutabaga, covered with sauerkraut and jalepenos, and served on a bagel..(all VERY traditional food, in their way), you'd maybe be willing to listen to some discussion of why we bother with categories in food, as well as music.

If you have any preferences in music at all...if you know that there are ANY sorts that you even 'tend' to avoid or seek out, then you DO use categories and definitions. "Folk" gets misused because the term is used equivocally. You simply are not using 'folk' in the same way it was intended when it was a new way to refer to music from traditional sources. Then, after 'folk' was corrupted because it sounded so useful, we tried using 'traditional', but now some of those who got their first dose in the 60s want to call Dylan and Baez and, Lord help us, "The Kingston Trio", traditional!......and again, I repeat..piffle!

Just what am I supposed to use to convey that 'difference' between Sara Cleveland and Jeannie Robertson on the one hand, and Joan Baez and Kate Wolf on the other?...I can happily listen to either Joan or Kate at times, but it ain't folk! Some it has 'folk roots' of sorts, but one is an 'popularizer' and the other is/was a songwriter...and both did not exemplify what 'folk' was meant to convey when it was coined.

I am QUITE aware I have lost the battle to keep the language from being shifted until it is so vague, it means almost nothing now....but I can still identify (and you could too, if you bothered) a list of a dozen or more things that explain why certain music and musicians just 'feel' different than what is currently the rage.

(I see 'singing horses' have set me off again....it happens once a year or so. You may all go back to your declaiming that "it's all just music" now.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:37 PM

"Purists", like the "folk police", are really just invented excuses (except perhaps for bluegrass; I don't doubt that Martin is right about that, but he shouldn't try to apply it to the UK situation, about which he obviously knows nothing). Play inappropriate music in the wrong place; you may get a bad (or unimpressed) reaction. Whose fault is that? Theirs, for not recognising your obvious genius? Or yours, for imagining yourself more important than your audience?

Discussions of this sort (we've had a great many) generally pre-suppose that there really are "purists" all over the place who tell you what you must do. I've been playing 30-odd years, and I've only ever met two (Irish fiddle players. One of them was a Yorkshireman, but he did have an inherited Irish surname). Everybody else has just taken the music as it came, and liked it -or not- according to its merits. I've played songs by Gary Numan in "traditional" clubs. Nobody batted an eyelid, because I played them in a style they felt comfortable with.

That's the whole point. Don't alienate a potential audience by being confrontational. It may make you feel important at the time, but you won't get asked back; and it'll be your fault, not theirs.

There will be people round here who imagine that I am a "purist" because I like people to tell the truth, and credit their sources properly. They'd be wrong. It's important to know what you're talking about; I've only ever been challenged in a hostile fashion by people who knew less about the subject than I did. Those who knew more than I did just gave me good advice; which I took.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:43 PM

That's actually a scary thing! Not that I disagree with anything you just said Malcolm, but if one can go into a "folk" club or a pub, play Gary Numan and have it pass as "folk" because of the way it sounds, Purists and Modernists alike are in TROUBLE...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:44 PM

good advice, Malcolm....there are, in truth, very few 'extreme' purists who have rigid ideas about precisely how a tune or song should be done.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:45 PM

Cross-posted with Bill, who has some very sensible things to say. I agree entirely about that "horse" business. It's cheap, trite, glib, ignorant, and wrong. Anybody who quotes it yet again (and they usually get the attribution wrong) deserves all the abuse they will certainly get.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:58 PM

well, nightbird...I saw a young fellow win the mandolin contest at Winfield many years ago with a tune no one could identify...they liked it a lot, but were puzzled.....so, at the awards ceremony, he explained that he had played Fritz Kreisler's "Mozart Rondo" in Bluegrass style...

so...there are many things that go into making a song or tune 'tend' toward trad...*grin*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:01 PM

Sudden rush of posts, there. Hasn't it been a fast-moving thread? I only went out for a while (two sessions; one to play, one to listen and catch up with people and drink more beer), and there it all was when I got back.

The Numan song was Down in the Park, though quite a few of his would have worked as well: remove the synthesizer and substitute a drone and simple fiddle riff and you're away; though I used cittern at the time. As a rule, people thought it must have been a Richard Thompson song they weren't familiar with. The ones who hadn't listened to the words probably thought it was mediæval.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:05 PM

Malcom you are right. I don't know much about the British folk music scene. Judging from what I've read here, I'm kind of glad. It sounds, for lack of a better expression, like a cluster-fuck.

At least the Bill Monroe type of bluegrassers can do some hot picking and harmony. No warbling for sure! No guitars pretending to be lutes, either.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:25 PM

Well I never heard a horse sing it!! Go ahead, abuse me all you want!!!!!!!

"If someone offers you a 'traditional' meal, and you find out it is hamburger mixed with pine nuts and rutabaga, covered with sauerkraut and jalepenos, and served on a bagel..(all VERY traditional food, in their way), you'd maybe be willing to listen to some discussion of why we bother with categories in food, as well as music."

That is a horrible analogy. No one would call it a "traditional" meal served like that because we know the proper way to serve the dish. Each of those foods are items that I have enjoyed - AT THE PROPER TIME. If you mix it all together IN THE SAME MEAL, then you have crap.

Maybe I'm just a "Yank" (you Brits have the cutest expressions! How droll!)and will never understand what occurs in a UK folk club, but if you have such segregated music clubs - then by all means, keep the trads and the Anything Goes Brigade separate. Why would you want to socialize together anyway???

Here in the colonies I think our clubs and "sings" are more open than what you are describing. Sure people have their favorite styles of music, but no one walks out when someone sings a song they do not care for.   I think our culture is probably stronger that we can listen to a John Gorka navel gazer and still find room in our souls for Shady Grove.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:29 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA......... etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:38 PM

Did I say cluster-fuck?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:41 PM

Ron..of course no sane person would call that recipe traditional...I said IF they offered it to you (maybe a better example would be going to an Italian restaurant and finding they used Thai fish sauce on their pasta, with a sign saying 'traditional since 1998')....but I have heard people call "Scarborough Fair" done to a bouncy beat with electronic effects 'traditional'....it was interesting, but barely recognizable....and I had to go home and bring in a book to convince these people that it was OLD!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:49 PM

BillD - I never suggested that EVERYTHING was good. I don't think that the original intention of this thread was to say that everything was acceptable.

There ARE versions of "Scarborough Fair" that are truly wonderful, and I would not mind hearing someone do a rendition of "Roseville Fair" in the same evening.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:59 PM

Call me a "Brit" and I'll call you a "Yank", Ron. I don't like either term, but people will insist on using them. I wish they wouldn't.

The point is that we don't as a rule segregate between "traditional" and other forms, though of course every venue will have its own preferences and there are a small number that specialise. The only people who complain about "purists", "folk police" and so on are under-achieving performers who do so out of wounded vanity, so far as I can tell.

Where it comes to tradition, we're still talking about very different things, so it isn't surprising when we find ourselves at cross purposes. I have no real idea, for instance, what "pine nuts and rutabaga" might be, though I gather that they are both probably vegetables, more or less, and can be eaten by those who care for that kind of thing. Americans are equally puzzled, I expect, by "faggots" (a kind of skinless haggis but with a higher meat content), "pikelets" and so on.

When we get to edible things like Samphire, I don't expect even many people over here to know what I'm talking about. That's diversity, though; which is also traditional.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: nager
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:14 PM

``Under achieving performers ... out of wounded vanity..."

Come on Malcolm, that's the biggest load of bullshit you have written so far in this thread - and that's saying something!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:32 PM

Yes MG... cluster-fuck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:33 PM

I had something important to say that would have cleared this all up in a minute--but, BillD's bagel with all that weird stuff on it is more interesting, because I think I ate that somewhere once, and they did call it "traditional"--as to that traditional Italian Thai fish sauce pasta place , there was an article about it in the "Washingtonian" last month and it is the hot new "place to be seen"--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:33 PM

I said so far as I can tell. Obviously I can only speak from my own experience. If your experience is different, by all means enlighten us. You may have been unluckier than me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:01 AM

"hamburger mixed with pine nuts and rutabaga, covered with sauerkraut and jalepenos, and served on a bagel"

What's the recipe for this? It sounds good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:09 AM

BTW, pine nuts are an important ingredient in pesto sauce of the basil persuasion. They are the seed of the pinyon pine tree.

Rutabagas--basically, think turnip. You could use one where you would the other with no harm done to the recipe. (Both turnips and rutabagas are members of the mustard family.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: GUEST,impurist
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:10 AM

if you selected the severest purist from each and every folk club in the land
and sent them all off for a weekend conference..


would they get on with each other ?

or would they compete and fight for top position of absolute purity ??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:24 AM

There wouldn't be enough of them to fill a table, so it wouldn't matter.

Pesto and turnips? Weird, but thanks for explaining. I'd need to come up with something that would fit comfortably in between (in terms of flavour and texture) before it'd make a meal.

Now, wait a minute... HAGGIS!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:27 AM

LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Boab
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 03:36 AM

I think a legitimate question would be "What makes the 'purists' think they are 'purists'"? They certainly haven't travelled back in time to check their theories out! Some attempts at "purism" [ to coin a word--] I have heard in my time have come across as excruciating murder of what are potentially decent songs. In many cases it has seemed plain to me that the original song was sung in a completely different way. There seems to be a tendency among self-described "purists' to assume that old-time folks had no sense of rhythm. I tend to believe the opposite; look at the folk dancing worldwide---the kind that predates the waltzes and the soulful ballet.No lack of rhythm there! There are many songs which were intended to be sung as slow airs but not---tell Martin Carthy---too many of them for pete's sake!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Boab
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 03:41 AM

And in risking the "purist wrath"--traditional folk music and song has its parallel in the antique business. Somebody digs up a 150-year-old jam jar; it's a genuine antique! --But it's a bloody jam-jar, for pete's sake---it should have been left buried. More than one traddie has dug up something in exactly that category.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:01 AM

john C,
      I have absolutely no problem with you being a purist. When I was a little lad in Primary school, we were were taught English Folk songs ias part of our music lessons. Now, a lot of schools don't teach music at all, so all the old songs will eventually be forgotten. Bat on old fruit!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: alanabit
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:06 AM

I was interested to read Pat Cooksey's post about the decline of folk clubs in the UK. This theme has been discussed on Mudcat. I think the polarisation of different ends of the folk scene does have something to do with it. As I have stated elsewhere, I also believe that in cultures such as the current England and Germany, we have no real folk culture of our own. I believe that is one of the reasons why Pat Cooksey and other Irish acts are popular in Germany (and, of course, the fact that they are good!
I don't want to spout too much about something I don't know about first hand, but it does seem that America has identifiable, unbroken strands of folk music - bluegrass, country and cajun to name just three. Because these are unbroken traditions, you have never really felt you needed to define what was folk and what was not in the same way that many Brits find important.
I do not want to identify too strongly with either camp in the purist debate. I think it is more important to try to bring people into a folk culture which they feel a part of. When I ran a college folk club years ago, we deliberately took it out into the village. We embraced all performers - good, bad and appalling. After a few months, the people who had originally come in to see their mates strumming John Denver songs, were cheerfully singing away with the traditional songs again. Get groups of people singing together frequently and they will begin to sing good songs too. If we do not revitalise the culture and context, the old songs will disappear when the cliques who guard them die off. I do not want that to happen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
From: alanabit
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:07 AM

I should also say I think there is nothing wrong in being a purist.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

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


Mudcat time: 26 January 3:37 PM EST

[ 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.