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GEOG433: Geographic of Music Folk, Gospel and Punk.

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1 GEOG433: Geographic of Music Folk, Gospel and Punk

2 Housekeeping Items  We’re a little ahead of ourselves, but that’s all right as we may need time at the end for the project presentations.  If you haven’t, please read Chapters 3, 16 and 19 in Lynskey.  Do I have everyone’s project outline?  Rochelle is presenting on the 4 th after Reading Week, Linda and Melissa on the 6 th, Doug on the 11 th, Kate (any topic yet?), Tomson and Steve on the 13 th, Sam on the 18 th, and Kim (any topic yet?), Sarah, and Dan on the 20 th. Will check with Johnathan.

3 Housekeeping Items Geography is looking for volunteers next week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) to talk to Grade 10s about their experience taking Geography courses between 11 and noon in Building 355, Room 211 (the Activity Lounge). Anyone interested? Will have your mid-terms back on Tuesday after reading week.  There is a second workshop available to students in preparation for VIU CREATE. The next one focuses on giving Oral Presentations and is free. It is this Friday in building 305, room 444, from 10:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.CREATE  The deadline for submitting a proposal for a poster or research presentation for CREATE! is Thursday, March 6 th. Go to CREATE.CREATE

4 Folk Music  American folk music had its roots in bluegrass, English folk music, and white church hymns. Its staple instruments were guitars, banjos (originally from Africa) and, less commonly mandolins, dulcimers, and later harmonicas.  As a vehicle for protest, it has a long and storied history, beginning with Joe Hill, a Swedish immigrant, who wrote topical songs for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an anarcho-syndicalist organization, which was at the forefront of the labour movement in the early twentieth century.

5 Folk Music  Hill was eventually executed for a murder it is thought he did not commit. Fifteen years after his death in 1915, Alfred Hayes wrote the lyrics “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill.” Earl Robsinson wrote the music in 1936, and the song was later immortalized by Joan Baez.

6 Folk Music  Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) was the prototypical singer who wrote songs as a vehicle for political causes, as well as to describe the lives of poor working people, especially during the Depression. As Wikipedia notes, “Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.”Bob DylanPhil OchsBruce SpringsteenJohn MellencampPete SeegerAndy IrvineJoe StrummerBilly Bragg Jay FarrarJeff TweedyBob ChildersTom Paxton Guthrie’s boyhood home in Oklahoma in 1979 A contemporary of Guthrie was Leadbelly.

7 Folk Music  Guthrie’s most famous song was “This Land is Your Land,” though he wrote dozens of others. Like many other well-known American folk singers of day, he had an affiliation (though not necessarily a membership in) the Communist Party.  Around 1939, Woody hooked up with Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers in Greenwich Village, but work became scarce especially after the war when anti-communist sentiment and McCarthyism flared up. During the war, Guthrie’s autobiography, Bound for Glory, was first published.  In the ‘50s, Guthrie developed Huntingdon’s disease but, despite his inability to play music, his influence on folk music and its gradual revival was strong.

8 Folk Music  Pete Seeger, who only died last month at age 95, is best known for adapting a Christian hymn, already modified by a Black labour activist, into what became known globally as “We Shall Overcome.” It was first auditioned in 1947. It has played an important role in popular movements around the world, but no more so than in the civil rights movement of 1950s and ‘60s. The song continued to evolve in the hands of other activists, Frank Hamilton and Guy Carawan.

9 Folk Music  I won’t reprise what’s in Chapter 3 of Lynskey, but basically progressive folksingers had a rotten time of it in the U.S. during the late ‘40s and ‘50s. Only with the rise of the civil rights movement in the mid-’50s to mid-’60s did politicized singers recover their influence.  There were also apolitical folk groups, such as the New Christy Minstrels, and soon a burgeoning folk scene – a topic that Rochelle will be looking at -- developed in Greenwich Village in the early ‘60s. This scene has been chronicled in the film, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” [I’ll show a clip from a documentary.]

10 Folk Music  When Bob Dylan “plugged in” at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, he scandalized folk purists, but the Byrds and others had already been taking his and Pete Seeger’s acoustic songs and giving them a rock treatment.  One could argue that this was a necessary shift – that the “folk” were no longer listening to folk music and that, to stay relevant, such music had to find new ways of reaching an audience. See also the chapter on Dylan – Chapter 4.

11 Folk Music  Without Dylan, the folk movement faltered, and the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Jefferson Airplane – all playing a variant of folk rock – took centre stage.  Dylan wrote a number of very memorable protest songs – especially during his acoustic phase – “Blowing in the Wind,” “It’s Hard Rain,” “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,” “The Masters of War,” and many others. But then he rebelled against that, not wishing to be pigeon-holed as a ‘protest singer.’  But others carried on in the same tradition – for instance, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, though with a declining influence.

12 Gospel Music  There’s no reading specifically on gospel though it has been alluded to in a number of the readings. It influenced rock n’ roll, soul, and especially the protest folk music of the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Major artists included the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the Dixie Hummingbirds, Mahalia Jackson, and many others. Black gospel has its own traditions: pTGo. pTGo  There are also various forms of mainstream white, bluegrass, and Celtic gospel.

13 Punk and Post-Punk  While Canada has had a vibrant punk scene, punk’s origins mainly lie in the ping-ponging effects of American and British artists on one another – starting with the Stooges, Ramones, and New York Dolls in the U.S., and the emergence of the Sex Pistols and Clash in Great Britain.  Numerous imitators evolved from these, but in Britain bands like The Clash incorporated more reggae and dub influences than he U.S.  In the U.S., there was also bands like the Dead Kennedys who – like the Clash – were very political, but in a much more sardonic way (see Chapter 19).


15 Punk and Post-Punk  Fronted by lead singer, Jello Biafra, Dead Kennedys’ two best known songs were “California Űber Alles” – imagining California under Jerry Brown as a fascist state (“happy hour is now enforced by law”) and “Holiday in Cambodia” (suggesting Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge as a suitable holiday destination for the bourgeoisie).  You could argue that late ‘70s and early ‘80s punk had a lot in common with folk. It very much had a DIY attitude. When members of the Clash first saw the Sex Pistols, they said “it’s great – they couldn’t even really play their instruments”! And it has spread around the world – Pussy Riot is described as a Russian “punk” band.  I will show excerpts of a video on the vibrant punk scene in Vancouver.

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