Why is OC's Folk Scene So Terrible?

Categories: Folk-Yeah

banjopic.jpg
By: Tyler Evans
The revival of folk music in today's mainstream may have unintentionally spurred its own demise. It started a few years ago, with bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers. Those types of bands didn't commit any heinous crimes per se, but they did succeed in distorting the vision of Americana for all the local wannabes following in their footsteps.

On a recent sojourn into downtown Fullerton, I dragged myself into The Slidebar, to see one of these new folk-bands, called Me and the City. They alone cannot be blamed for the folkpocalypse, but they served as a sturdy example for the major problems I have with the OC/LA folk scene.

Southern California's attempt at roots music is made with hands unfamiliar to callous. It's crafted by bourgeois minds, approximating rural notions. They're pretending to empathize with the plight of the downtrodden from the comfort of wealth.

What I witnessed as a Southerner, born and raised in the heartland, exploring the dives and late-night bars for music pure in heart, offended me somewhere deep in my soul. Call me old fashioned, but heartland music feels more genuine when the lyrics and performance actually bleeds real-world experience.

The band I saw at Slidebar strutted around the small stage like they were The Who at Leeds. They were adorned with outfits meticulously planned. Visions of tiny black suspenders and shirts that dared to snap their top buttons without adding a tie, with perfectly groomed beards made to look like a five o'clock accident.

The singer moved with calculated sway, flashing a sick smirk at the small crowd that was mostly friends and family. Disingenuous clichés fell out of his mouth with a forceful whimper. He sang lyrics about rebellion, rambling on like a half-drunk Desi Arnaz, with all of the swagger but none of the brilliance. They tapped into the subculture of the sentimental bro, wearing their hearts on their tattooed sleeves.

Folk, which at its heart is an evolution of the blues, used to mean something. It was art, life, a voice of poverty and the rural American struggle. It came from people who knew only a life of desperation, fear and hopelessness. Woody Guthrie used his talent to call out fascists. What was in front of me at the bar was a contrived, acoustic ploy to trick young pussy.


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23 comments
ayekillfish
ayekillfish

I personally love asparagus with sauted shrimp. I just dont like the weird smelling urine afterwards. I dont know what you guys are talking about.

lonhall
lonhall

What we know as folk music in no way evolved from the blues. both are grass-roots movements that developed independently from one another. And while I really like true folk music, the blues blows them away totally!

nicknoble53
nicknoble53

Hmmmmmm. "Folk, which at its heart is an evolution of the blues" ? Are you talking about genuine folk music? Which predates the blues conservatively by at least two centuries? Blues-- which were not defined as such until the first decade of the 20th century-- is an evolution of African-American music, a branch of folk music which dates back to at least the 18th century. Blues came out of Georgia Sea Island songs like "Michael Row the Boat Ashore", NOT the other way around. I will not condemn you for your opinions about modern folk music. I do, from time to time, share them, in specific individual circumstances, but get your facts right if you want people to respect your opinion. Just remember, it was that great blues singer Big Bill Broonzy who first said that "all music is folk music, 'cause I ain't never heard a horse sing a song."

hillbilly
hillbilly

I can only hope you got an A on this paper...It was nothing more than a college project for creative writing..This article was your Witty satire of your disdain for modern folk. Because, you are from the south. It had nothing to do with the band itself..You just have preconceived notions about people you have no clue about. I have been on the other side of the pen..I always made it a point if I was doing a show review to meet the actual people I was writing about.

You can hate a band..you can hate every single thing they say..But, you can't hate people you've never bothered meeting..How disingenuous..You should come out and see them play again and talk to them...Find out where they come from..Just because, you are not from the south doesn't mean you don't understand the struggles of poverty and struggles of life...Get off your soap box before you don't have one to stand on.

I will enjoy my "hill billy heroine and masturbate on.."

 

 

hillbilly
hillbilly

I can only hope you got an A on this paper...It was nothing more than a college project for creative writing..This article was your Witty satire of your disdain for modern folk. Because, you are from the south. It had nothing to do with the band itself..You just have preconceived notions about people you have no clue about. I have been on the other side of the pen..I always made it a point if I was doing a show review to meet the actual people I was writing about.

You can hate a band..you can hate every single thing they say..But, you can't hate people you've never bothered meeting..How disingenuous..You should come out and see them play again and talk to them...Find out where they come from..Just because, you are not from the south doesn't mean you don't understand the struggles of poverty and struggles of life...Get off your soap box before you don't have one to stand on.

I will enjoy my "hilly billy heroine and masturbate on.."

 

 

hillbilly
hillbilly

I can only hope you got an A on this paper...It was nothing more than a college project for creative writing..Your disdain for modern folk has nothing to do with the band itself..You just have preconceived notions about people you have no clue about. I have been on the other side of the pen..I always made it a point if I was doing a show review to meet the actual people I was writing about. Because, you can hate a band..you can hate every single thing they say..But, you can't hate people you've never bothered meeting..How disingenuous..You should come out and see them play again and talk to them...Find out where they come from..Just because, you are not from the south doesn't mean you don't understand the struggles of poverty and struggles of life...Get off your soap box before you don't have one to stand on.

hillbilly
hillbilly

I can only hope you got an A on this paper...It was nothing more than a college project for creative writing..Your disdain for modern folk has nothing to do with the band itself..You just have preconceived notions about people you have no clue about. I have been on the other side of the pen..I always made it a point if I was doing a show review to meet the actual people I was writing about.

You can hate a band..you can hate every single thing they say..But, you can't hate people you've never bothered meeting..How disingenuous..You should come out and see them play again and talk to them...Find out where they come from..Just because, you are not from the south doesn't mean you don't understand the struggles of poverty and struggles of life...Get off your soap box before you don't have one to stand on.

 

 

Eric McEntee
Eric McEntee

I'd say because you have been taking note of acts more watered down than the pacific -

GenreConfused
GenreConfused

What was in front of me, was a contrived, off base, overly theatric review.  Strutting around the page with his four name byline trying to fool young hipsters into thinking he was a Folk music expert because he saw Justin Townes Earle once and heard the Lumineers on the Muzac at Kohl's.  


Clearly this band wasn't your cup of tea.  The funniest part of the review was that you held up the Lumineers or Mumford and Sons as paragons of FOLK music (dig deeper son) and attacked an entire county's "folk music scene" for a performance of an acoustic pop band in a bar band venue called "Slidebar Rock N Roll Kitchen".  Definitely not the Ash Grove (google it kid), Freight and Salvage or Club Passim.  


You too are consuming folk-pop pablum and thinking it folk.  The emperor has no clothes! 

sethrichardson83
sethrichardson83

Folk music is about community, gathering folks together and singing about whatever you want. Yea there are some bands that might be trying to fit a certain look or sound but it's like that for any genre of music. There have been dozens of great folk artist from the so cal area that are a staple in the Americana/ folk world. So kids if you have a good time dressing up, playing banjo, learning fiddle, buying a stand up bass and slapping it until your fingers bleed then go for it. Get your friends together, have a potluck and share what you have.

blahblah54
blahblah54

"Folk, which at its heart is an evolution of the blues, used to mean something. It was art, life, a voice of poverty and the rural American struggle. It came from people who knew only a life of desperation, fear and hopelessness. Woody Guthrie used his talent to call out fascists."

Me and the City, any normal person can tell you, is a pop band. They call themselves "folk" basically just to let people know that they like playing acoustic instruments... a totally harmless thing to do. If you're saying that people can't use acoustic instruments without speaking to issues of class like Guthrie did.... well, that's maybe the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Furthermore, the people in Me and the City AREN'T rich. They are regular working people, with children and yes struggles... I know this for a fact. You might have asked them about their jobs and their struggles before writing this ridiculous review.

Eric Antonio Rodriguez Gaitan
Eric Antonio Rodriguez Gaitan

What I mean to say is, sure, they're trying, they're doing it, but they're making a butchered whore of folk music in the process.

Eric Antonio Rodriguez Gaitan
Eric Antonio Rodriguez Gaitan

I was in a whiskey bar in an old fishing town in beautiful Cascadia the other night when a band called Human Behavior took the stage. They all wore plaid, even the girls, one of whom played only a shiny new galvanized chain with a couple small deer skulls at the end of it. None of them could sing very well so I couldn't make out any of the lyrics, not even from five feet away. Before I left I mercifully dropped three dollars in their bucket and shook my head as I walked out the door.

Annie McQueen
Annie McQueen

"OC folk music is terrible and I should know because I'm from the south". Lol K.

Aric Villarreal
Aric Villarreal

The answer to your question: because it's a folk scene.

Username2393
Username2393

Current folk does portray struggles. The kind that people face every day. Maybe not farm town troubles but folk is not limited to that. You were in Southern California for god sakes. Folk has grown. Not met it's demise.

So what you're saying is that nobody but people from a remote town in the south can understand and enjoy the genre. Do I also have to be from the Bronx to like rap music? Or from Tennessee to enjoy bluegrass? How closed minded. There's more than one type of music. And every genre evokes feeling for me. Each in a different way. That's a very pompous attitude to have. Music is not limiting. It's freeing.

gnarchild
gnarchild

People are still trying to latch on to the lumineer and mumford train? Too little too late. Try to create the next big thing, not latch on to something that took years to popularize.

As for Woodie…his crowd and like minded brethren now support the fascists they once criticized.

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

I guess it's because folk is kind of close to country western. And, one of the most common responses to "Your Favorite Music?" in any profile is "Anything EXCEPT country".

jobeers
jobeers

Good job. One question: what's wrong with tricking young pussy?

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

"What was in front of me at the bar was a contrived, acoustic ploy to trick young pussy."

Um, do you have to use the word "pussy"?

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gnarchild 

"As for Woodie…his crowd and like minded brethren now support the fascists they once criticized."

Says who?

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