Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Big Folk Music Scare

I used to listen to comedy albums by Martin Mull or go to his concerts in the late
70s, and he had this line I loved before one of the songs: "Remember the big folk music scare of the 60's? That crap almost caught on!" I've always loved the line, but secretly liked lots of folk music. Like my love of mayonnaise-intensive salads (potato, tuna, egg, etc.) it's a dark secret I don't share with everybody (although I guess I just have.)

However, there are a few instruments that make me agree with the sentiment, chief among them the dulcimer. There is a folk festival going on this weekend in the town where my church is, and there was a folk group performing at the church itself. I love fiddles, harmonicas, banjos, etc. but I do not like the dulcimer!! I had a fantasy of going up and grabbing that thing and heaving it through the stained-glass window! (Not the one with the sacred images, no, no, no. I mean one of the abstract ones that are supposed to represent manufacturing and industry, according to the church historian.)

And of course, I would never, ever do such a thing, being pretty mild-mannered in general. And the windows are too high, and I can't even really throw a ball very well, so I couldn't even if I really wanted to.

I just wanted to express how listening to the dulcimer makes me feel. Clearly, I did not stay for the dulcimer workshop following the service.


dkwatson said...

Long live mayonnaise-intensive salads!

Glad to see you're blogging again.

Anonymous said...

There are two types of dulcimer, the hammered dulcimer and the strummed, or mountain, dulcimer. Which one annoys you the most, and can you be more specific about why? Have you ever heard these instruments played by professional musicians?

Mary said...

This is not to cast aspersions on the woman who played it; she is a well-known professional in this region (I don't know about elsewhere) and did a fine job. It is the instrument itself that annoys me. Since she held it in her lap and strummed it, I guess it is a mountain dulcimer.

I tried to think why it bothered me, and I think it sort of reminded me of traditional Celtic music (the kind of stuff they play on Thistle and Shamrock on NPR) which also annoys me. Oddly, I like pop singers (particularly females) who employ elements of Celtic tradition, but the purer form of the genre seems draggy, sometimes piercing, and it makes me edgy, particularly if I'm listening to it while I'm driving.

I'm not musically literate so it's hard to explain what bothered me in those terms, but it made me feel edgy, like someone was poking me.

Dana, I hope I can keep the blogging up after work starts again. That's when I actually have more to discuss, but I generally feel too busy or too tired then.