New Weird America

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New Weird America describes a subgenre of psychedelic folk music of the mid/late 2000s.


[edit] Origin of the term

The term is generally believed to have been coined by David Keenan in the August 2003 issue of The Wire, following the Brattleboro Free Folk Festival organized by Matt Valentine and Ron J. Schneiderman.[1][2][3][4] It is a play on Greil Marcus's phrase "Old Weird America" as used in his book Invisible Republic, which deals with the lineage connecting the pre-World War II folk performers on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music to Bob Dylan and his milieu.

[edit] Musical style

The musical style described as New Weird America is derived mainly from psychedelic rock and folk groups of the 1960s and 1970s, including American performers Holy Modal Rounders and English groups, such as Pentangle, The Incredible String Band, Donovan, and Comus.[4] It also finds inspiration in such disparate sources as heavy metal, free jazz, electronic music, noise music, various ethnic musics, musique concrete, tropicália, and early- and mid-20th century American folk music. Another primary inspiration is outsider music, often played by technically naïve and/or socially estranged musicians, such as The Shaggs, Roky Erickson, and Jandek.

Other genre classifications with similar aesthetics are psychedelic rock, psych folk, freakbeat, and freak folk.

The music has been covered extensively by L.A.-based Arthur, which ran in-depth pieces on Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, CocoRosie, Animal Collective, and Six Organs of Admittance, released the compilation The Golden Apples of the Sun, and curated the ArthurFest (2005) and ArthurBall (2006), featuring a variety of artists from the movement.

[edit] Associated bands and artists

This list represents a small cross-section of many different types of music produced within the last 10 years.

[edit] References

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