Dear confused readers: yes, this is the second time I've posted this one. Despite what I believe to be full and explicit permission to share the songs referenced below -- permission received directly from each of the artists referenced herein, after in-person discussion over the summer -- sometime today, blogger axed the original version of this post.
Though I'm not happy about it, I can't really blame blogger. However deplorable, the current, horrible, draconian copyright laws in the US are quite clear: under DMCA, any take-down complaint, regardless of legitimacy or origin, must be treated as legitimate, or the person who hears the complaint becomes criminally liable for not acting. You can't do anything about it, really. Current DMCA rules require a two week waiting period before you can file a counterclaim to defend your use. From there, the onus to prove and defend fair use is on the sharer, and unless you are also the content producer, it takes time to amass evidence, even after you finally figure out what the complaint is. And the industry is willing to throw money at you until you've been buried.
To point out that the DMCA's counter-notification process falls short is just the tip of the iceberg here. The impact of this phenomenon on short-term value, market timing, and potentially viral media is so severe, it seems like a death knell for social media itself. Rumor has it, folks have been using this very approach to kill McCain YouTube videos before they get seen, knocking them out for the duration of the election cycle, and the McCain camp is pissed.
I've put the post back, because words are our true trade, and the shows we're promoting here are tomorrow night, and the next. But while we try to figure out what the heck is wrong here, I'm posting the words without the music. My apologies, folks: there's something in the air, I think.
Been thinking about Falcon Ridge Folk Festival this week. Some of this is seasonal -- there's an inevitable longing for summer, now that the world around us has changed from green to gold. But mostly I'm in the mood because this weekend marks the annual Crew Chiefs meeting, and that means 24 hours of househopping with dozens of dear and drunken friends, serious partying across state lines, and a sharing-and-strategy session to recreate the best damn place on earth with some pretty committed volunteers.
It will be my third year, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. But that doesn't mean I have to be happy about the fact that, while I'm gone, a few of my favorite young up-and-comers from Festivals past and present will be swinging through the area. It's a terrible irony -- that the best way to support the musicians is to drive away from then, that next year's festival might continue to provide a forum for them -- and I feel badly about missing them. Today, then, we return to a few of the still-rising stars who have played the festival in the past, and deserve to be remembered in the colder months.
First and foremost, I'm quite disappointed to be missing the Joe Crookston and Peter Siegel co-bill this Friday up at the Pioneer Arts Center in Easthampton, MA. Siegel is a great musician and a good friend who has played Falcon Ridge as a solo performer and as a mandolinist with several string bands and contrabands; Joe was one of my favorite new discoveries at this year's festival, a great guy and a great songwriter with an earnestness that really lights up in performance. Both lean heavily towards social justice songs of the best type: engaging, powerful, emotive, and not at all hokey; it's a great idea for a co-bill, and if it weren't Falcon Ridge, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
I've written about Peter Siegel over at Star Maker Machine; Peter has a new album coming out in a few weeks, and I'm really looking forward to hearing it. And I wrote at length about Joe Crookston's coverage earlier, too. So I won't go on here, except to say: here's a previously-posted Supertramp coverstream from Joe, and a wonderful Phil Ochs cover from Peter; go to the show this Friday, and tell the boys I said I'm sorry I couldn't make it.
- Joe Crookston: The Logical Song
(from Able Baker Charlie & Dog)
- Joe Crookston: The Logical Song (live)
(live from Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, 2008)
- Peter Siegel: Power and Glory
(from The Show, 2004)
In other Falcon Ridge-comes-to-Massachusetts news: I first mentioned Lindsay Mac here when she was playing at Falcon Ridge; since then, she's finished that new album, and it's a startlingly strong collection of well-crafted urban folk. Lindsay is on a coffeehouse and music hall tour, swinging through New England this weekend via Natick, Marblehead, and Hartford; there's always good energy in the air in the first weeks after the CD release tour begins, so check out the tour schedule if you're in the New England/New York/New Jersey area, because this is the perfect time to see a great musician at the top of her game.
Lindsay is one of a growing number of folk and folkfringe musicians who play the cello, though in her case, she plays it slung and strummed like a mandolin, which results in a unique and quite startling low sound that plays magnificently off her gorgeous, fully controlled voice. But despite her unusual choice of instrument, her body of work is very firmly in the Ani DiFranco urban funkfolk camp; though Lindsay's sound is all her own, there are certainly shades of DiFranco's vocal mannerisms and confessional, song-length metaphoric approach to relationships lost and found in her best work.
Lindsay has some absolutely glorious, stunning tracks from her new album up at MySpace; I'm especially enamored of the etherial, hushed 7 Stones, which I heard live this summer, curled up against the lip of the workshop stage, listening to the rain on the tent's canvas roof. But she's savvy enough to know that the sole cover on her upcoming album, a crisp, spare treatment of Beatles standard Blackbird, is worth withholding. Instead, in discussion with her backstage at Falcon Ridge this year, after hearing that I had posted a YouTube vid of her acoustic version of Bill Withers signature tune Use Me, she was up for letting me share the produced cover of the song, off her previous album Small Revelations -- and let me tell you, it's amazing, a souped up acoustic funk piece worth putting on repeat. In fact, 7 Stones is so amazing, I'm going to break ranks --a privilege previously reserved for only one other artist -- and post that one, too, even though it's not a cover. Listen, and then pick up Stop Thinking.
- Lindsay Mac: Use Me (orig. Bill Withers)
- Lindsay Mac: 7 Stones (original)
Oh, and here's a total bonus: while I was looking for Lindsay's cover on YouTube, I found another singer-songwriter cellist covering the same song; the track is a bit fuzzy, and there's some pretty annoying coffehouse spam bracketing the performance, but there's something about this kid Trevor Exter that seems worth pursuing. Nothing to do with Falcon Ridge, but totally worth passing along.
Cover Lay Down posts feature articles every Sunday, Wednesday, and the occasional otherday. Coming soon: The inbox is full of coverfolk awesomeness, and you're going to love it.