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Great beat. . .

September 28, 2005

. . . easy to dance to.

Remember those words on American Bandstand when Dick Clark asked a couple of lucky guests to rate tunes? For what it's worth, nothing has ever been easy for me to dance to.

I like the Folk Alley feature which allows us to rate the music played but I sometimes struggle with the relationship between the number of stars and the descriptive adjective. As you probably know, we can give each song a star rating ranging from a high of five stars (outstanding) to a low of one star (bad). In between, we have four stars (great), three stars (good), and two stars (fair),

Do you take the opportunity to rate the songs? I do but have to confess that when a song is played which I enjoy, I hesitate to give it fewer than five stars even though I think most artists would be happy to hear any of their songs described as 'great' (which to me has a more enduring quality than 'outstanding').

The star system is good (great? outstanding?); we understand it viscerally and intuitively. When you rate the songs here, are you considering the desciptive words provided? Would you suggest others? Or does it make folk music competitive in a way it was never meant to be?

Posted by Stephen Ferron at September 28, 2005 7:07 AM


Comments

I do rate the music, when it's something I especially like. I have been ambushed by a couple of songs that I'd never heard anywhere - and heard at FolkAlley. (one that comes to mind is "Louise" by Leo Kottke. It always stops me in my tracks. 5 stars)

As far as competetive - I don't think of it that way. I simply thing of it as showing my appreciation for something that is outstanding to ME.

I give the rating system 5 stars.

Posted by: Lynn Oatman at September 28, 2005 8:53 AM

Ratings are always subjective. I don't think most artists pay much attention to them, because we're going to write what we're going to write. The point here I think is to allow listener participation, and that is always a good idea.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at September 28, 2005 9:00 AM

I usually rate highly the things that I hope will get repeated at some point, or if I see a rating where there is usually one person who rates something I love with a 1 and berates it, I will try to offset that uncalled for (in my opinion) rating a small measure. I believe that some performers who have rougher edges, like Ramblin' Jack for example, have as much right to be heard as some beautiful melody played by flawless musicians. However, I think there are some folks who would want to devoid the airwaves (or networks) of anything that does not meet their subjective standard of quality music.

Folk music gains its greatest strength, to me, from the fact that it is "of the people" and does not belong to the so called "professional class" of musicians alone. There are plenty of other venues where that may be the case, but NOT folk music. I love all of it and I do not want to be dismissive of any musicians, and it strikes me as antithetic to the very core of folk music to impose that kind of mindset on the music played here on Folk Alley.

Posted by: Jack Swain at September 28, 2005 10:36 AM

Rough edges and all, to catch Ramblin' Jack singing "Spanish is a Loving Tongue" live will show you what this music is really about.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at September 28, 2005 11:57 AM

Rough edges and all, to catch Ramblin' Jack singing "Spanish is a Loving Tongue" live will show you what this music is really about.

indeed.

Posted by: Lynn Oatman at September 28, 2005 1:11 PM

Speaking of rough edges, could we sneak Ray Wylie Hubbard onto the playlist? Dunno if y'all consider him "folk" or not, but if he ain't he oughtta be.

I only feel moved to rate a song that catches my attention - in a good way - anyway.

Posted by: Don Rosenow at September 29, 2005 10:52 AM

I LOVE Ray Wylie Hubbard... I definitely consider him folk, and agree whole-heartedly that we should play more of his music. I'll get right on that! Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: Linda Fahey at September 29, 2005 11:55 AM

Thanks. Looking forward to that growl.

Posted by: Don Rosenow at September 29, 2005 12:09 PM

If you like Ray Wylie's songs, you'll hafta try his chili. Only a true chili afficionado can appreciate what it does to the tasebuds, mmmmmm...not to mention the roof of your mouth. As to the rating system, no one really forces us to rate, or not to rate. Izzint it really about just enjoying the music, really enjoying the music, or, " I can never get enough of that music". In which case, we can buy the artists album. No?

Posted by: Jay Gottlieb at September 30, 2005 7:22 PM

Okay, I'm game. So how do we obtain Mr. Hubbard's chili recipe?

It ain't good chili unless your eyes water, your nose runs and it makes Coors Light drinkable.

Posted by: Don Rosenow at October 6, 2005 12:38 PM

There's chili THAT good???

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at October 6, 2005 9:25 PM

subjectively speaking... carol shelby's chilli may have wylie's beat... 0-60 in 3.2... does a heart good and comes packaged in a convienent, 100% recycleable brown paper bag... tho oddly, it rates only one solitary, " lone star " !

Posted by: Chris Clark at October 29, 2005 2:30 PM

subjectively speaking... carol shelby's chilli may have wylie's beat... 0-60 in 3.2... does a heart good and comes packaged in a convienent, 100% recycleable brown paper bag... tho oddly, it rates only one solitary, " lone star " !

Posted by: Chris Clark at October 29, 2005 2:30 PM

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