Thursday, May 08, 2008

Poetry Corner / Quacks Like an Anti-Duck

So I've been trying out all sorts of new music recently, some of it comes from CBC, which has the unique habit of playing random music from artists you've never heard of before. Sometimes you get crazy things like Chinese hip-hop, Bollywood Country, or whale songs. Other times it is more mundane, traditional, world music. Sometimes it is just lesser known bands, or indy music, and sometimes it is just a the latest from an established Canadian artist, because CBC supports her own. You get like tops 1-2 songs an hour nestled between news and programs. So it really is a surprise, and once in a while I hear something that just clicks, like Regina Spektor. I think I may have mentioned her before, but I'm given her a second mention for a few reasons, one is that I like the music, two I've started hearing her on more mainstream stations (yeah I heard something for once that became popular after I liked it, :) and three because her Wikipedia article has me confused, but I will explain that in a second.

So here is a bit of her poetry, a lyric from her most popular single, and the one that caught my ear, I was reminded of it by Erin, who picked up on it herself as a great sentiment.

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

- Regina Spektor, On the Radio

So her Wiki, before I get to her Wiki a little more rambling, we watched Juno a few weeks ago, great movie by the by, and one of the notable features of it is a great sound track. So compelled by the sound I went out and grabbed both the sound track, and the album by the artist who really represents 50% or more of the it by herself. That being Kimya Dawson.

So where does this all come together, well I've recently come to the conclusion that the majority of the music I like actually falls into the genre basket of "Folk." So as I come to understand that music style I said to myself, wow these two new artists I am listening to they totally sound like folk, I bet that is why I like them.

So I looked them up, first one, then the other, as I had guessed they were both of a similar genre, but not folk, they were bum bum bummmmm Anti-folk... You know that old saying if you look like a duck, and quack like a duck... Well as far as I can tell (and music snobs can correct me) but anti-folk is really just folk artists who got turned down for being to boarder line folk from some of the more prominent venues, probably for actually just not being of big enough name yet. So they just said fine, if we're not folk enough for you, then now we are anti-folk, and TADA a new genre was born.

So my ear might not be able to divine the secret minutia of the sub-genre's, but I will say that be they ducks, or anti-ducks, folk or anti-folk, I still like the sound...


Unknown said...

In response to your article: I understand what your saying about sounding like folk so why not call yourself folk. I've read info about Regina Spektor and that she doesn't call herself Anti-folk, other people do. So what's happening is sometimes the genre labeling comes from other people and not the artist themselves. But, although saying that, the term anti-folk had to come from somewhere and my bet is that it did start from a musician. Who though? I don't know. I've heard Regina Spektor be called an american original because she is the first classical-punk artist. I don't think she calls herself that, but I like that term better than anti-folk, because I like folk. Bottom line is that Regina Spektor is great isn't she!!? :)

Steve said...

Regina and Kimya both identified themselves as Antifolk from the start of their careers. They played the Antifolk Festivals and got their starts at the Antihoot at NYC's club Sidewalk Cafe. Learn more about what the movement is all about(and discover more artists y'll love :-) at
oh yeah!

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

I stand by my statement that musically its not different, its just a new generation of the same. It doesn't actually help people find their music, and it is divisive to the music taxonomy.

That being said, artists will be artists, and I am inclined to give them some leeway and let them say what ever they like, and I will enjoy the music as music, and not because it has one label or the other.

ps steve you clicked submit twice so I am axing one of your two posts as they are the same.