Monday, December 05, 2005

Death is Easy Folk Music is Hard

My best friend Anna, who's a folk singer, goes a little crazy about the NYC folk scene. The scene is kind of cliquey and there is this whole hierarchy of folk singers. Like there are the people who've been playing around town for years and have been on the all folk cable channel, 12 string Center. Which is a silly title because most NYC folkys can barely play a 6 string never mind a twelve string. The station doesn't play alot of music videos, I guess no one can say, "Remember when 12 String Center used to play music videos? Now it's just news clips of guys with dreds marching on Washington, and reports about the new Birkenstock that Dar Williams bought." Most folkys won't lower themselves to make a video, next thing you know their playing gigs at Wa-mart. There's one show on the station called, "Moving pictures of enhancing music" that plays videos. Mostly, it's clips from independent art films that a folk musician contributed songs to. And the films don't have plots or characters. Some videos are just blackness because the filmmaker didn't believe in using lights. What most young folksy aspire to get on is "Supreme Fusion" where they each get to play their protest or heartbroken songs in a round for a live theatre, studio audience. Once you land this spot you can play all the rooms the "cool kids" play in NYC, but still might not to play the uptown clubs that actually pay you for your sets, like club MochaSingo on 56ths and 9th avenue.

Yeah, it's highly confusing, and overwhelming. Anna has no idea what's she's doing. She's thinking of submitting a tape for the "Suprene Fusion" show. She thinks they might really like her songs, "You Can Say No Thanks to the Ham I sent, but Say Thanks," "Vote Anarchist" and her classic "I'll Where a Condom on My Tongue I'm that thirsty."

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