Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hey Listen To This

Then Patronize These Top Antifolk Artists At:

Tamara Almai at Myspace

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day Weekend

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Almost All of the Autumn 2012 Antifolk Festival

NotKathy a/k/a Kathleen King Has Posted Video of nearly all of the Autumn 2012 Antifolk Festival in New York. Mechanical difficulties prevented several of the first night acts from making the playlist. Anybody have videos of those? In the meantime these videos are fairly remarkable. They give some sense of what went down this past week. Those who were there know that the two dimensions of video can't fully capture the intensity of the those  five days which left most everyday attendees charred, but some come close. Some  of these performances really are worth viewing. Historic moments have been preserved. The Finale of Yossarian Feedback leads the way. The Crazy and Brains video may be marred by the volume peaking out the mike on the camera but it still has the feel of some rare punk footage, which it is.Or just sit back and relax and listen to Ray Brown. That set just made my day again. I'll let you all judge the rest. Please leave comments.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Emperor "Purple Rain" Is Revealed to Have Had No Clothes Until Covered by Ray Brown

Seriously, I know Prince means a lot to people, but my only exposure to him has been what I heard on the radio all those years ago, and I found it singularly uninteresting although possibly cute and fun. The top 40 stuff always revealed kind of sort of all right (maybe) lyrics. Here Ray Brown actually shows that "Purple Rain", had it been by an unsigned unknown, singing at an open mike might get as good a round of applause as any pretty decent song. I doubt however that it, as song, would get the gig. Although who knows. Mr. Krieger after all has been known to favor Prince. Luckily for Prince, it is Ray Brown covering the song. That gives it some cachet. Brown does for "Purple Rain" something akin to what Richard Thompson did for "Oops I Did It Again"

As I said, my exposure to Prince is limited. From a songwriting perspective what I have been exposed to (on the radio over the years) does not, in my estimation come anywhere close to this or indeed most any other song by Ray Brown:

Friday, August 17, 2012



Inside Stage

2:30  Thomas Patrick Maguire
3:20  The Johns
4:10  Patrick Elkins
5:00  Dan and Rachel
5:50  Brook Pridemore
6:40  Zombie Jesus/Team Ghost Dad
7:30  Spider Style feat. Kid Bleng Bleng
8:30  Kung Fu Crimewave
9:30  The Purple Organ
10:30 PENTA?
11:30 Berth Control
12:30 Crabs On Banjo

Outside Stage

2:45   Toby Goodshank
3:15   Preston Spurlock
4:00   Casey Holford
4:45   Liv Carrow
5:30   Matt Frye
6:15   Debe Dalton
7:00   Pieface
7:45   Prewar Yardsale
8:30   Deacon Bishop Revival
9:15   Erin Regan
10:00 Matthew Varvil
10:45 Justin Remer

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New From Ben Pagano

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Three Monster Ballads

In the order in which I first heard them:


Saturday, July 14, 2012

In Defense of Matthew Silver The Great Performer

Someone over at the harshly named die hipster blog, along with a number of apparently violently inclined, sad hopeless sounding people really hate Matthew Silver.  I don't know why. I have taken a break from my rather lengthy response blog for some Shells and Velveeta (I think-- Maybe standard Kraft macaroni and cheese). Upon reflection I think this short film is defense enough of the high art of Mr. Silver:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 4th Music Festival @ Goodbye Blue Monday

OUTSIDE: 2:00 Pinelawn Empire 2:30 Barry Bliss 3:00 Charles Mansfield 3:30 Bee Keeper 4:00 Joe Yoga 4:30 Ray Brown 5:00 Joe Crow Ryan 5:30 Myron the Magnificent 6:00 Buffie Roseanne 6:30 Ivan Sandomire 7:00 Thomas Patrick Maguire 8:00 Baba Azizi INSIDE 2:15 Bird To Prey 2:45 Alyson Greenfield 3:15 Ben Pagano's Band 3:45 Sam Grossman 4:15 Valved Voice 4:45 Casey Holford 5:15 Emily Einhorn 5:45 Brian Speaker 6:15 Debe Dalton 6:45 Erin Regan 7:15 Prewar Yardsale 7:45 The Ladies of Old Hat 8:30 Dan and Rachel 9:15 Woodhead Ensemble 10:00 Pendulum Swings 10:45 Photon Dynamo And The Shiny Pieces 11:30 Brook Pridemore (the band) 12:15 Purple Organ

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Read this:

Listen to this:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012: I Was Right About Last Night

It ended with Ben Krieger singing this song. Any evening in which I can hear Ben Krieger sing Beautiful Things is a good evening. Period. End of Story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where You Should Be on Wednesday May 30, 2012

The Sidewalk Cafe. 

Wednesday, May 30th
Undercover Rabbis - 730pm
Jon Berger - 815pm
Barry Bliss - 9pm
Debe Dalton - 945pm
Yossarian Feedback - 1030pm

I would just say go. We point here at this blog but for those of you seeking reasons for witnessing the mighty confluence of strands of being going back at least 15 billion years, here is how Ben Krieger describes it:

Given that I book Sidewalk, I can hook myself up with a show whenever I feel the urge. On a rare occasion, however, I actually get *asked* to participate on a bill at Sidewalk, which is a huge honor, especially when the person who has asked is Barry Bliss. I will be performing at 10:30pm. This is a Yossarian Feedback show. It will be structured like Pink Floyd's *Animals* album (still the best thing they ever did), bookended by two songs, and a lengthy, dynamic sound collage in the middle. I may need volunteers from the audience for the furniture orchestra.I organize my CDs in weird ways. One section is entitled "Bad Ass Shit Kickers," and it has all my Joni Mitchel, Sleater-Kinney, Fugazi, and Afghan Whigs. Barry BlissDebe Dalton, and Jon Berger could easily be filed in this category (in fact, sometimes I misfile them there). However, they are all filed in a section known as "True Believers," which includes Bruce Springsteen, Kevn Kinney, Tris McCall and Lach. This category is reserved for artists whose music reassures me that, if pod people ever took over the planet, I could turn to them. And if they had been turned into pod people, I would know immediately and realize that the world was over. Barry is a brilliant songwriter with a world-weary, anarchist spirit and a subtle, but crucial sense of humor about himself and his concerns. Debe Dalton is widely regarded as one of the best songwriters and performers in New York. She draws from the Rise Up songbook as if her life depended on it. Her songs change people's lives. I am making a care package for some friends of mine who recently left NYC. In addition to my own songs, it is these two artists that I have chosen to include in the care package as local songwriters helping to represent my own heart.Last night, Jon Berger performed at the Monday Open Stage and took the roll-the-dice challenge that we had set up for people. He read one poem from behind the curtain. He made up one poem on the spot from a title I provided ("Rotten Burger.") He sang a poem. But when it came to the "stand on a chair" challenge, he took four chairs and, while reciting a poem, lifted one chair after another from the back to the front leapfrog style, constantly shifting himself forward so that he was able to move around the room without touching the ground. The chairs nearly collapsed under him several times and by the end of the poem he was surrounded by peers who, worried that he might seriously injure himself, were ready to catch him if he fell. He didn't fall. And as usual his poems were insightful, original, vulnerable, revolting, taboo-spitting rants of balls-on-the-bar energy.  An amazing artist.The first artist on the bill, Undercover Rabbis, I do not know. I only know that every artist Barry Bliss has introduced me to has been nothing short of amazing. Yossarian Feedback, for example, would be inconceivable without Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza, who Barry booked several years ago. I have not attempted to preview Undercover Rabbis and am looking forward to the surprise.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Rayvon Browne Release

Despite a slight conflict of interest:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 4, 2012: I Can't Believed I Missed This Song Until Now

Justin Remer made a surprise appearance at the Everything Goes Book Cafe on Staten Island Friday night.  This is one of the songs he performed. If anyone has his performance from that night on tape let me know so I can post it here as well.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Charles Mansfield Tells It True

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Struggle To Be A Better Human Being

Is made a tiny bit easier by listening to Debe Dalton. Don't you think?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Remember: You Heard It Here First

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bed of Seeds

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thursday March 1, 2012 - Stuff Happened

 Stuff Like This:

Matthew Silver at Goodbye Blue Monday
"don't take it personally "
"I'm an artist!" 

Bird To Prey at Goodbye Blue Monday

1. Peppertree Road
2. Big Dog
3. [The Shed]?
4. The Devil Deep Inside
5. Mirrors and Smoke I'm Dancing With The Ghose
6. Emily
7. Mighty River

Matthew Silver at Goodbye Blue Monday
(defends his voice)
"the enlightened duck"
"quacking is as important as farting" 

Ben Pagano (w/Charles Mansfield and Nate Dyer) at Goodbye Blue Monday

1.  It's My First Day At School
2.  Frozen Hearts
3.  Liquid Drops of Mushroom Candy
4.  Woman In White
5.  I'm A Hipster, Baby (Williamsburg Wet Dream) 
6.  Farewell
7.  Robots are controlling

Matthew Silver at Goodbye Blue Monday
(speaking in his actual voice) 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Final Night of the Festival: Missing the Oscars And Not Even Realizing It

2012 Winter Antifolk Festival at Sidewalk Cafe
Fifth and Final Night
Sunday February 26, 2012

It was A Blackout Night. Candlelight with No Amplification.

Opening Sing-A-Long Led By Level 2:  The Star Spangled Banner. (Lyrics by Francis Scott Key Music said to be an old drinking song entitled Anacreon In Heaven.)

Beau Alessi

1. Hypercollider
2. Three Day Weekend
3. Trudy Is Not A Punk
4. Architeuthis
5  Baby Boomer Auto-Fellation Party
6. Pseudoephedrine
7. Wendy
8. Flavor Country

Blueberry Season

1. would write
2. you are one for me
3. head to toe. covered in snow
4  love is a complex being
5. dreamfucker
6. blending disrepair
7  i can't save you from the rain
8. unrepentant demise
9. grumble grumble grumble
10. shelling


1. International Esther
2. Polly Loved Me I Know
3. For My Sake
4. "I didn't bargain on it being so hard..."
5. Valentine
6. You're Not Your Money (w/ Anders Griffen on drums)
7. With Uncle Pappy Theme
8.  Uncle Pappy's Learning Blues
9. Bringing It Home

Anders Griffen- Interlude

Osei Essed

1. Wild Dakota
2. I'm The One
3. Narrow Ease (w/ Anders Griffen on drums)
4. Wants Some
5. Saints Romantic
6. Saint Augustine
7. Shelter Me
8. How Am I Doing, Ma?

Anders Griffen- Interlude

Myron The Magnificent and the Lovely Vera

1. Salt
2. Non-Flaming Rope Vivisection
3. Memories of Meeting
4. Souls of Thousands of Silkworms
5. Telekinesis
6. Thought Transference
7. What's wrong with Stuey The Stupendous
8. Floating Knish

Anders Griffen - Interlude

Larkin Grimm

1.  Pool Of Milk
2. How To Catch A Lizard
3. Dominican Rum
4. The Road Is Paved With Leaves
5. Pool Of Tears
6. Without A Body Or A Numb And Useless Mind
7. Be A Great Burglar

Turner Cody
1. Memories of You
2. Beautiful Day
3. The Score
4. Know How I Feel About You
5. Everyone and No One
6. Ounce of Gold
7. Get Back On The Train

Chink Floyd
Master Lee on Reality; Jonathan on Piano

Mr. Patrick
Stories of the Dead and the Living

Level 2 led the Final Singalong
1. Stand By Me
2. Margaritaville
3. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, his name is my name too. Whenever we go out the people always shout "There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt." Da da da dadada.
4. Down By The Riverside
5. Lean On Me
6. One Bottle Pop
7. You Are My Sunshine
8. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
9. Free Falling
10. Row Row Row Your Boat
11. Don't Let Me Down
12. This Land is Your Land



Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Night Went Fourth

Dewey and the Decimals

1. Red-tailed Fox
2. Orchids
3. "I give you all my happiness. . ."
4. Shakes
5. Progenitors
6. You're A Mystery
7. House Guest
8. Blue Raincoat

Jon B. Roche

1. Bottom To Thee Bottle
2. Go Love
3. Rolling In My Sweet Baby's Arms
4. Small Life
5. Good Hearted Woman
6. Dr. Dragatsky
7. You've Been On My Mind
8. Getting Used To It
9. Crawdad Song
10. How Much Do I Owe
11. D-R-U-N-K

(Dubbed Chagano by Mr. Krieger)

1. "Snow falling slightly" (CM)
2.  Woman in White (BP)
3. Inside Your Head (CM)
4. The World Was Not Enough (CM)
5 Robots Are Controlling (BP)

6. Pray To Make It Okay (CM)
7. Reality (BP)
8. I'm A Hipster (BP)
9. Ghosts (CM)
10. Farewell (BP)
11. Monday Morning (CM)
12. Bugs & Flowers (J.Lewis)
13. It's My First Day of School (BP)

Bernard King Presents:
1. "Dear Ben 2 Ducks. . ." read by the Bee Keeper
2.  Shelter 2005 by Elizabeth Watson read by Morgan Heringer
3. "I love you. . ." read by Brian Fitzsousa and 2 unnamed companions
4.  Poem by Denise Levertov read by Nate Dyer
5. "tears of sympathy. . ." read by the Bee Keeper
6. Poem for the Half Light read by Ben Pagano
7. Flaxen Haired Girl read by the Bee Keeper
8. How Can My Pen Cease To Write read by Timmy Rut
9. Alexa read by Brent Cole and Cat Rockefeller
9. "copper etchings..." read by the Bee Keeper
10. Catholics on Ash Wednesday by Jen Kaplan read by Jen Kaplan
11. Ash Wednesday by Nerissa Nields read by Elizabeth Watson
12. Shrove Tuesday by Marguerite Maria Rivas read by Sarah Turk
13. "all is new..." read by the Bee Keeper
14. Our Savior Lutheran Church Spring Fair read by J.J. Hayes
15. "It was inevitable..." read by Matthew Silver

ROB SHAPIRO talked about Narcissistic Assholes that roam our streets and Recovery and stuff like that; and finished with his  Drunk song with Brer Brian on piano.
JEN KAPLAN talked about having 10 magnum size condoms and having had sex 4 times and stuff like that


1. Go Love
2. Cast my Fate To the Wind
3. Minty
4. Mask
5. Goodhearted Woman
6. Vote Allan For Prom King
7. Sun-Trap
8. How Much Do I Owe
9 .Monster Ballad
10.  Go Love


1. Backwoods Nation
2. Telephone Wires
3. Banned In Brooklyn
4. Man-made of Objects
5. No Quitters
6. Girls From The City
7.Corrupted DNA
8. Lower Middle Class Anthem
9. Vegetarians Are Bland
10. Hearts Beat

Deep Sound Diver

1. Brian Epstein
2. "what goes up must come down..."
3. Walkin'
4. Tennessee July
5. "You're blue shirt is a red flag. . ."
6. "wish you'd come and see me..."
7. "blackout baby. . ."
8. "product of a year long bender. . ."
9. Little Bells
10. "Babylon is scramble-on. . ."      

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Third Night

2012 Winter Antifolk Festival at the Sidewalk Cafe
Third Night
Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinelawn Empire

1. Cheatah
2. 400
3. I Know
4. Vampire
5. A Leaving Song
6. 5 1/2 Minute Hallway
7. The Lonesome Death of Hank Williams
8. Shove It
9. Crack Rock Candy Mountain

Ivan Sandomire

1. Floor Number 4
2. Wolfskin Sheep
3. Halley's Comet
4. Pencil Markings
5. Alone (From "Night At the Opera")
6. Silkworm
7. Teacher's Pet
8. Moonshiner

Gina Mobilio

1. Dino Love
2. Interview
3. Steal the Show
4. Cha-ching!
5. Razor Behavior


1.  Fish and Birds
2. Bobby Joe Watkins
3. Intro to Three Daughters
4. Don't Be Fucking Stupid
5. As Cocaine
6. Ingested Ajax
7. Boy No Love

Emily Einhorn

1. Fairytale of 2009
2. Marie
3. In The Office
4. Beggartown
5. Nonsense
6. Roses
7. I Wake Up

The Daily Planet

1. Moanin'
2. Moon River
3. Summertime
4. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
5. My Funny Valentine
6. Sunny
7/ Bubbles

Mutiny Amongst Friends

1.  Atlas Ain't Got Shit
2.  Hopscotch in Holland
3.  A Bottle of Wine
4.  The Naugatuck Song
5.  Don't Worry About It
6.  The Rap Song
7.  A Wong Hong Kong Fubar
8.  Fire Escapes on Fire
9.  Thick Black Frames
10. Addicted


1. First verse of Steve Miller's "Rockin' Me" followed by a song whose name I don't know, but help me out here guys, with lines like "eyes slammed shut" "the city is teeming with grownups parading as kids" "the damage is done.

2. Brighter Light
3 Castrop-Rauxel
4. The Kalamazoo Promise
5. Listening to TPM
6. Hurricane Ivan
7. No One Belongs Here More Than You
8. Absolutely Zero Potential
9. Brother Comfort
10. Baptist Crutch
11. John Darnielle
12. Grace of a Corpse

Yossarian Feedback

2.  Bird in Pain
3. This is the World at Sunset

Friday, February 24, 2012

First Two Days of the 2012 Winter Antifolk Fest

2012 Winter Antifolk Fest at Sidewalk Cafe
First Night
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Miguel Morte Valentine

1. Young Witch
2.  The Christ in You
3.  Women Always Take The Winner Home
4. Snow Queen
5  Shot in Head
6. (Song from Raggedy Ann's Musical)-"When You Don't Have a Friend") + Blue

7. "We're gonna kill the California girls"
8.  Faith and Lovers

Rachel Laitman

1.  Possibilities
2.  Sea Song
3. Ally Song
4. A Better Son/Daughter (Rilo Kiley cover)
5. Couldn't Be You
6. Country Song
7. Grateful
8. Angry Boyfriend
9  Nice/Rad Boyfriend
10. Hanna

Andrew Choi

1. Beatiful Liar (#10)
2. Bitter Pill (#28)
3. Korea (#78)
4  Kroger Twilight (#25)
5. Nixon (#55)
6. First Days (#41)
7. Cleveland Avenue (#11)
8. Bethesda (#48)

Jon Berger

1. By Way of Introduction
2. In Flight
3. First  Come
4. (Add an F?) (Adenev?)
5. Wandering Heart
6. He who is me
7. One in in a thousand
8. Change of Rhythm
9. Quit Me, Baby
10. Rhymes with X
11. Poem While Running Away
12. Wins
13. Bad Fit
14. How's My Drinking
15. Komodo Rats
16. Abroad
17. In the Grey
18. Jude Law Could
19. The Pandas
20. Six Days
21.  Ballad of Jon Berger
22.  Untenable Beauty
23.  Melody n Rhyme
24  Suck Wintergreen
25. Steving
26. Right To Choose
27. I  like you
28. My name is Jon Berger

Brian Speaker

1. "I'm gonna let you down easy..."
2.  Collector
3. Telephone Switchboard Operator
4. Isabella's Ghost
5 "You creep along" (la la la L.A.'s)
6. Sun Kiss
7. "Swirl me around in your mouth. . ."
8. Song for Dan & Rachel ("She must be just like me")
9. Heart With a Hammer
10. Bird

Morgan Herringer

1. February Heat
2. Sun-Trap
3. Helium Balloon
4. Fuck You Tony
5. Prook in the Pudding
6. Cat on Chest
7. I Need A Boyfriend
8. Blackout (?)
9. B-46
10. Ghost of Rick Danko
11  Susanne

Ching Chong Song

1. Roreesa
2. Dream 7
3. Heads Will Roll
4. Not white white
5. To The Rising
6. Madeline
7. Short Reprise of Not white white
8. Who You Sleep With
9. Ghost Clock
10. Old Man

Nate Awesome

1. "Never tell your Momma. . ."
2. Last Call Girls
3. Tiptoed into Love
4. Nothing Living Can Stop Us Now
5. "Girls like you aren't supposed to like guys like me
6 "The church is my home, the bar is my vacation...."
7. "Tramps like us..."
8.  I Bleed

Alex P. and the Shoe-String Revue

1. What kind of friend is what
2. Smile In Silence
3. The 12 Minute Girl
4. You Left Me Here
 [Vamp while changing strings]
5. In The Ridge
6. How Could You

2012 Winter Antifolk Festival at Sidewalk Cafe
Second Night
Thursday February 23, 2012

Intro by Joe Crow Ryan
1. One of Each

Side O' Ranch

1. My Dues
2. So, I Like You
3. A Drinking Song Called Apathy
4. Tomboy
5. No Weed in Wythesville Virginia
6. Alcohol
7. Makes My Day
8. Mas Duro
9. Ring of Fire/Single Ladies

Girls Scouts

1. Don't Hold To Me
2. Thinking About You
3. In Your Shell
5. Holy Blackbird
7. Owl Style
8. I Don't Know Which One
9. Walking In The Dark

Mike Cecconi

1. "Fuck you, Ayn Rand..."
 2. Generic Poetry Slam Poem

Matthew Silver (w/Nick Creger)

1. No You Are Not OK and Yes You Must Go On

Matthew Peverly

1. The Breezy Shore
2.Skin and Bones
3. Useless Piece of Equipment
4. God's Green Kingdom
5. Weatherman
6. Over and Over


1. Tissues
2. Elizabeth
3. Romano Cheese
4. Morrison Inspired
5  I Want You To Do This When I Say So
6  Baby, It's Cold Outside
7. The Super Repeats

Matthew Silver (w/ Nick Creger)

1. Fear Is Illusion (Love is the only Thing That's Real)

Mike Cecconi

1. Like A Sasquatch in Amber

2. An Open Letter to the Erectile Dysfunction Medication Industry

Frank Rathbone

1. After Their Cry
2. Do Re Mi (Guthrie)
3. Duck Song
4. I Saw Fences Abound
5. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (instr.)
6. I Was In Your Room
7. Freight Train Blues
8. Constellations

Joe Crow Ryan

1. Misty
2. Stardust
3. I Can't Help Falling In Love With You
4. Worryin' It
5. My Favorite Things
6. Of Course I Do
7. Irish Blessing
8. Chicken Blows

Debe Dalton

2. Willie Moore
3. In My Dream I
4. I Just Wanted To Go Home (Fuck You Thomas Wolfe)
5. He Loves You
6. In The Dark

Closing Remarks and Song By Joe Crow Ryan

1. Somethings Wrong and I'm Angry.....Genital to Genital, Mouth to Mouth

Monday, February 20, 2012

Minor Historical Question: Are these about the Same Guy? Is One a Response To the Other?

Not that it's anyone's business. Really.

The Long And Winding Road To Possible Evidence In Support of an Historical Hypothesis

Prelude: On December 8th and 9th, 2011 Kenny Young and the Eggplants played Edinburgh Scotland. Whether they were ever part of the scene, they certainly graced the stage of the Sidewalk at times.  The supporting act for them on December 8th was Lach, recently relocated to Scotland.

Two days later our story begins:

This was part of the Chameleon reunion night at the Sidewalk Cafe.  Later on I was speaking with Ray Brown  and, if I recall correctly, Charlie who had been his bandmate (with Cybele) from the short lived "Six Inch Dick".  Ray put forward the notion that although punk is often mentioned as one the defining musical influences on antifolk, or at least the one everyone talks about, there was also a real hip hop influence and that the some of the folk at the Chameleon were in fact very into hip hop.  This discussion I think came up somewhat in response to a song I had written about what I was doing in 1989, while Kid Rock was singing "Sweet Home Alabama" all summer long and all the good stuff was happening at the Chameleon.

Now the histories of Antifolk, often as extensive as a paragraph or two, always emphasize the punk influence,  and perhaps a punk aesthetic, and at least a punk spirit. But was hip hop influence, aesthetic or spirit anywhere in the mix?

Flash forward to earlier today (now yesterday).  I had read Gina Mobilio's interview with Ben Krieger for American Songwriter. In addition to one of the more apt descriptions of the Antifolk Fest as "a five-day mind-altering artistic hypnosis" the intro to the Q & A also describes Lach as 'self-proclaimed coiner of the term “Antifolk.”'

Now it will be recalled that Gina Mobilio's article for the Fall 2011 Fest featured Jeffrey Lewis attempting a definition of antifolk which engendered some discussion including a detailed response from Lach.  That definition did link antifolk to punk in a very strong way, somewhat limited by Lach but strongly affirmed by Joe Bendik. But nowhere in that exchange is hip hop mentioned.  

Nevertheless  the mention of the "term 'Antifolk'" sent me on a chase to find the earliest mention of the word antifolk  as we use it now. The earliest I found was this 1988 article in Option  by Mark  Kemp entitled "Folk Off".  That article is interesting as an early press notice of the scene. It  focuses on Michelle Shocked, Lach, Kirk Kelly, Roger Manning and Cindy Berryhill.. What caught my eye was the description of the scene at the Chameleon:

On some nights, you’ll catch Manning or Kelly or Berryhill there, and there’ll always be scads of new kids on the folk music block.

Among the scads of new kids on the folk music block I presume were people like the two members of Six Inch Dick I was speaking with 23 years later. The ones who were positing a real early hip hop influence on the scene. 

Now understand that through all this searching I was not thinking about punk, hip hop or my conversation with two-thirds of Six Inch Dick. I was looking for the usage of the term Antifolk. Out of curiosity I went to a slightly later article,by Charlie Ahearn in the September 1990 issue of Spin. And there I found this:

Basically Lach wants to be known for his songs. He claims to have written over 500, influenced by everybody from Hank Williams to Chuck D.

Chuck D!

And suddenly I recall that in the law office I sat and worked at those nights in the late eighties/early nineties I would speak with our then killer typist, Ed Logue.  He was a drummer. I recall him telling me how he would love to do an acoustic version of  "Black Steel In the Hour of Chaos" His band was getting very popular in Scotland. They were called Kenny Young and the Eggplants.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Did the Times and News get it all Wrong? What REALLY went on at the Vatican?

Here is a picture from the New York Times website:

This is from the Daily New website:

The caption on the News photo is:

"New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan received his red hat from Pope Benedict inside Saint Peter's."

The Times described the scene this way:

"Benedict received the cardinals-designate from his throne under a soaring dome designed by Michelangelo, as one by one they knelt before the 84-year-old pope and received the red silk square-ridged hats, called birettas, that signify princes of the church."


The hats in those pictures look mighty orange to me.  Am I wrong about this. Is my eyesight going? I found this image from NY1:

And this AP photo:

That is Red. 

So what really went on in the Vatican? Clearly photos can disagree about the true color scheme of the events. This is important. How am I to visualize? Do I take the words "red hat" or  "red silk" literally or figuratively? 

They say Timothy Dolan received his red hat at the Vatican today. Can we really believe that? If so what are the Times and the Daily News up to?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Remedies And Preventatives For the Upcoming Season Of Hate Part I Identity Schmidentity, Liberal Schmiberal, Conservative Schmervative

As we enter the Quadrennial Season of Hate I have thought to explore possible remedies and preventatives. After all that a large number of persons who don't even know me and whom I have never met should wield such control over my soul, that my last moments on earth whenever they may be could consist of my being angry at something I saw on TV or Facebook, should be utterly unacceptable, and yet I have accepted that state of affairs for years. From my point of view I cannot be sure that any alleged importance of keeping up on current events is worth a single sin against charity.  I don't know Obama. I don't know Gingrich. I don't know Romney.  The only contact I will have with any of them is no contact at all. I will be moving a lever, or touching a screen, or punching a hole next to one of their names.

But in fact a closer look shows that I am not only or even mostly angry at the people in power or seeking it. I am angry at Republicans or "conservatives".  I know there are people who equally believe that "liberals", "progressives" and Democrats are really evil. Why I heard Rush Limbaugh say just two days ago (or a voice on the radio sounding a lot like the guy who has been called "Rush Limbaugh") that it's not that conservatives hate America its just that they hate what liberals and progressives have done to it.

If I substituted "Catholics" for that any of those named groups Bill Donahue would be all over me. If I substituted "blacks" I would be de-friended en masse.  Such an exercise of course shows that this is all bigotry. Yet many of us seem to embrace it.  Something has become so ingrained in us that we we don't even realize we are talking in generalities which seem to require a hateful and violent conclusion were the usual rules of logical discourse followed.

If I do believe that Obama is a secret socialist bent on establishing a dictatorship then it would seem that there is more justification for shooting him, than there was for attacking Iraq, or is for attacking Iran.  If I believe that Republicans are vile people who, if allowed to rule, would seek to control our every move, rob us of our civil liberties, send our children to be ripped apart physically and mentally while killing other children all in order to remain in power, then it would seem we should start taking out Republicans. Likewise if liberals are traitors, or demonic, then we should start getting rid of them as well.  Does it not logically follow?  We are dangers to one another.

We try to get out of this usage by saying of course there are exceptions, or we don't mean individuals for many of them are deceived, or we don't justify violence even though it is true that liberals are demonic and socialistic and conservatives are fascistic and death dealing.  This is nonsense. You use a collective noun, attribute properties to the members of that collective, and then try to say that you weren't saying it about a particular member of that collective. That is just lazy reasoning or outright lying.

I do not know which comes first-- the anger or the generalization. I have begun to notice that when people get angry they start to speak in generalizations not out of laziness but because something in the anger makes us perceive the world in such universal terms, "Why am the only one who..." "Why does everybody say...." "Why doesn't anybody care...."

The fact however that many of us do have this visceral reaction leads me to believe that something else is going on. What that something else is I am not quite sure. I just know that in anger I am less rational, in anger I am more easily manipulated, and in anger I can perpetuate hurt and anger. So why would any of us-- those of us who are of the party of Roe v. Wade (Republicans) or of the party of Jim Crow (Democrats)-- want to put ourselves in that position? Sure I like the warm feeling of anger but in the end it is really unpleasant and destructive and allows me to be controlled by the people who can keep me in that state.

Many years ago I was staying at a Benedictine Monastery guesthouse and there was a gentleman there who was on a retreat of sorts, to pray over his particular besetting sin-- racism. In other words he was a racist, he had racist inclinations and yet he knew it was wrong (or a spiritual advisor or priest or someone had told him it was wrong and he was willing to accept their assessment).  I was highly impressed at the notion that a person could have instinctive (and perhaps socially reinforced for years) fears and hatreds and try to do something about it, even to the point of asking an infinite power to give them aid.  This is an act of reason. It is trying to change one's instinctive and received  view of the world so that it comports with the truth, rather that trying argue that one's instinctive view of the world is true.  It may not have even been that active. It may have been an attempt to let the truth about the world work on his view of the world.

But there is also a converse to this. People want to be part of a group. Candidates vie to be considered conservative. They accuse one another or commentators accuse them of violating conservative principles. Who makes these rules and drafts these principles by the way? And yet the mere power of the word "conservative" or "liberal" or "progressive" is enough that people want to be considered one. This is psychotic. No actually it's more Stalinist or something.  It's allows people to set up mental show trials, it has people looking over their shoulders wondering whether they will be exiled from Progressivism because they are opposed to third trimester elective abortions.

We have to find something better to do with our time. Like love one another.

This identity politics problem needs to be countered. It makes no sense for me to be saying "No. That is really a conservative principle," or "Progressives don't believe that."  This is lazy speech. If it conveys any information, and  I am not sure that it does, it is based on a notion that there is such a thing as a liberal or conservative and that it is important that this noun be part of the predicate attached to my particular "I".
Who makes up this stuff? And why would someone spend so much time and money wanting to convince us it is important. I can't help but be a bit suspicious. Nevertheless this is about remedies for the anger not getting angry about the people who use anger to manipulate me.

Is it not a little disturbing that serious  polls and surveys which are trying to ferret out the truth about the world actually will ask people to self-identify themselves as "liberal" "conservative" or various degrees of not, not very and very whatever? Do people self identify as such in daily life or do they self-identify only when asked. Do we view ourselves in these terms? It's weird. Are we so ensconced and controlled by words?

Saul Kripke in his "Naming and Necessity" came up with an interesting way of approaching the problem. In discussing "identity" Kripke met the objection that in English usage "identity" is a relation between names not objects Kripke wrote:

"If anyone ever inclines to this particular account of identity, let's suppose we gave him his account. Suppose identity were a relation in English between the names. I shall introduce an artificial relation called 'schmidentity' (not a word of English) which I now stipulate to hold between an object and itself. "

There is it is. If some says well you are not being a true conservative because true conservatives hold a, b and c, whereas you hold a, d and e. You may reply, "Conservatism? Schmervatism! I hereby posit a political viewpoint which consists of what I accept as true and good at this moment and I will call it Schmervatism. There. Let's discuss whether Schermvatism is true, false or problematical."

One of the dark areas of the human psyche is this division in the U.S. between capitalism and socialism (or communism)  which appear sometimes to be the only two choices of economic system. No if the world were actually divided between only two possible economic systems, capitalism and socialism then of course attacking capitalism would be logically tend to upholding its only alternative. That is not capitalism you are talking about!  Posit what you think would be a just proper good and true economic system and call it Schmapitalism or Schmocialism whichever you prefer.

This is part of my new ideology Schmogressivism. I am a Schmogressive. With the emphasis on "Schmo."