During this AntiFolk Festival, scads of folk have been chiming in on the state of AntiFolk, the very definition. Today, Rebecca Florence adds her three cents (apparently, she’s rich):
On a whim, amidst the antifolk festival and the countless conversations of what antifolk “is” (which I’m still not sure of, I’ve heard it’s good with toast), I decided to do an a cappella (gag) song, which I sang/read from my hand-held technology (a la Jon Berger). I tried something a little less wordy, and a little more simple, but intensely to the point (a la Barry Bliss), mainly because Jon Berger and I were talking earlier about this ongoing topic of curiosity, and I went on to tell him how I’m constantly being inspired by peeps ’round here.
I challenged myself. I was awkward, nervous, and out of my comfort zone. It didn’t go quite right, a cappella never does. Didn’t care. I wanted to test out new material. Hearing some insane albums (Barry Bliss, Phoebe Novak, Ray Brown, etc,) have conjured the thought, “Damn, I need to step my game up.”
It’s funny, because just as I was writing this, J.J. Hayes invited me to play a song with him on stage which I fumbled through per usual. He didn’t care, he never does. Debe Dalton has invited me on stage to sing on a song, I botch the harmonies because she just HAS to play when I’ve had more than a few glasses of Jameson in me, but she doesn’t care. They just like to play music with other musicians, share the stage with people they care about. It’s very cool. The community is real. You see people within this scene collaborating a lot, creating projects, recording, doing fun shit together.
While playing with J.J. tonight, it kind of snapped something into my brain and now this blog is going into a completely different direction.
Thoughts gathered: from a less historical or technical standpoint, I’m thinkin’ antifolk is as much a community nowadays as it is a genre. It’s a breathing, tangible thing, a home for musicians who feel like they don’t have one. Songs that are always honest, sometimes messy, creatively imperfect, that “need to be sung as if your life depends on it.” (I thought that Debe had said that, but it wasn’t her. It’s a cool line I can’t take credit for)
This antifolk thing may not be what it started out as whatsoever; not all of it is necessarily in the acousti-punk Cannonball Statman or Crazy and the Brains vein, but the living community of accepting the music bastard-children is constant.
But really, what the fuck do I know? I’ve only been coming here for about two years and I’m 11 years old-ish. But I have a perspective, and I have a voice, and though I wasn’t fortunate enough to experience the earlier days, I’ve been around enough to observe a thing or two; seeing some kind of shift.
This incestuous community (meaning people who are so obviously influenced by each other’s work, pushing them creatively, you gutter freaks) is a unique one that I thought existed nowhere else, yet Barry mentioned that he has the word “antifolk” on medium priority on his search feed, and articles show up consistently from around the world.
Not only is the mysterious word changing, but it’s growing, spreading like the fucking plague. How cool is that?
So, on the other hand, why the hell is it so hard to define? Why does it matter so much? Who cares, really? Isn’t it kind of anti-antifolk to ask, yeah?