Saturday, February 20, 2010

Antifolk Fest in the News

Below are two blurbs about the Antifolk Fest. One is from Friday's NY Times and the other from Time Out New York in August. I find it interesting that coverage of the Antifolk Fest usually at some point gets around to referring to the performers as oddballs, misfits, or miscreants. In fact, the Times chose not to refer to any specific artists playing but just to mention "more than 70 misfit acts." Now, I'm not necessarily upset to be called a misfit. In fact my whole show this year is kind of ABOUT being a misfit, but I wonder if the music writers could find something a little more illuminating to say rather than just lumping everyone together in the category of odd. Let me make sure to say that it's nice to be mentioned at all, but, unrealistic as it may be, it would be nice if there was a little more depth to their description of the artists on the scene.

NY Times

ANTIFOLK FESTIVAL (Friday through Thursday) Antifolk is one of those know-it-when-you-see-it genres, although it’s built, loosely, on the notion that folk music doesn’t have to be so serious (and that punk music doesn’t have to be so violent). This winter’s Antifolk Festival, which began on Monday and runs through next Friday, features more than 70 misfit acts. Schedule and information: Sidewalk Café, 94 Avenue A, near Sixth Street, East Village , (212) 473-7373; no cover, two-drink minimum. (Amanda Petrusich)

Time Out New York, August 2009
Top live show
Antifolk Festival

Sidewalk Café
Sidewalk Café; Fri 7–Aug 16
For a quarter century, artists working the margins of New York music have clustered under the Antifolk rubric, a broad scene that keeps a safe haven in the back of the East Village’s Sidewalk Café. As the leather-jacketed warriors parading St. Marks Place have given way to the gentler souls of Bedford Avenue, the Antifolk world has remained a persistent alternative: less a stylistic meeting ground than a free-for-all built from the democracy of the open mike. It is no coincidence that the luminaries sprung from this world—Beck, the Moldy Peaches, Nellie McKay, Regina Spektor—have all been stubborn aberrations, unattached to any larger cultural movement.

Randomly dropping by Sidewalk can be a risky endeavor: Not every performer is the world’s next Beck. A smart time to pop in is during the Antifolk Festival, which takes over the club for a week or so every August. This year’s lineup reflects the breadth inherent to this creative bloc. It includes some reigning stars: Jason Trachtenburg and his daughter, Rachel, of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, perform on Saturday 8, and Larkin Grimm, an astonishingly slanted folksinger, plays August 16. But the festival extends to a raft of oddballs and miscreants who are less heard and worth hearing. Elizabeth Devlin croons brassy dreams over Autoharp August 14, while Debe Dalton presents old-world banjo laments Saturday 8. Talking Stick pairs the singular performance artists Master Lee and Mr. Patrick August 16. There are also singing rabbis, outsider legends and local nuts—watch your back, Bowery Ballroom.—Jay Ruttenberg

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  1. "-watch your back"?
    That's a bit weird.
    Whose safer than someone at Sidewalk?

  2. "stubborn aberrations, unattached to any larger cultural movement" Not a bad thing, that, don't you think? I mean given the wonderful results of most large cultural movements in this and the preceding century...