And now for some folk, without metal.
The first thus far in this blog, but this is really a stand out.
- Quote Anti-Politics ("Blackbird Raum")
Blackbird Raum formed out of the nucleus of a squatter community living in abandoned buildings and greenbelt treehouses in Santa Cruz, CA, in the early 2000's. Finding themselves living without electricity, they began to learn to play folk instruments from each other and other members of the traveling punk/folk culture. They all grew up playing in anarcho-punk, indie and ska bands and then, knowing next to nothing about traditional music, slowly gathered together the skills to create a new genre of music, based somewhere right in the middle of punk and folk.
Refusing the retro cliches of many of their contemporaries, they write entirely original music (in both senses of the word) that is reflective of the world they live in: a realm of abusive police, ecological devastation, creeping ambiguity and vague fear, but also a strong sense of community and a deep love of a natural world constantly on the verge of collapse. They jump back and forth between extremely fast metal-influenced jug band dance numbers and quasi-medieval chant-and-drone while doing herky-jerky hardcore-influenced time signature gymnastics. They toured the country in a tiny truck, playing mainstream folk festivals, punk houses, squats and all ages clubs. When they aren't touring, they play various American and European traditional music, hang out in the woods, raise children and read a lot of library books.
- Quote Black Powder Records ("Blackbird Raum")
Blackbird Raum is a band from Santa Cruz, California, where they have become a prominent part of the downtown street life. They are well known for their influence on Gypsy Punk but are generally considered to be the founders of a new genre. Influenced by American String Bands of the 1920's and Modern Anarcho-Punk such as CRASS, their music brings together rhythms of olde-tyme music with lyrics that reflects the sense of impending collapse of the current civilization that pervades much of green anarchist culture in modern times as well as criticizing the human and environmental destruction caused by the current civilization. The lyrics and song names often contain references to historical events, mythical creatures and cultural icons, such as a song titled "Silent Spring", which references the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Blackbird Raum has been on several tours, such as the “burnin’ gasoline while there’s still such a thing,” tour a cross-country tour and a 2010 tour to Alaska. They have appeared both as street performers and on stage at Northwest Folklife, a folk festival based in Seattle, Washington.
- Quote Wikipedia ("Blackbird Raum")
- Quote Anti-Politics.net ("Blackbird Raum")What kind of music is Blackbird RAUM? We have no idea, leave the name of the genre for some hack critic to invent. We're influenced by american string band music of the nineteen twenties, anarcho-punk bands like CRASS and a score of other disparate and incongruous bullshit too numerous to mention.
How we think of ourselves: in the same way that gypsy bands like Taraf de Haidouks feel equally comfortable playing village weddings and large concert halls, we're equally comfortable playing squats, parking lots, and riots as we are playing big folk festivals like Folklife in Seattle. In the same way that your local klezmer band act as emmisaries from their tightly knit jewish community to the world at large, we act as emmisaries from your local tightly knit community of anarchists and squatters to the outside.
So what can I say? This might not be (black) metal, but this is some of the most amazing music around. Certainly drawing from the historical context of the American vagabond, and sound wise gives the feelings of playing music by a campfire, being amongst the natural world, or simply waiting at a crew-change. The acoustic nature of their music makes it so much more organic and Luddite than electrical dependent metal could ever be. The lyrics are as radically Green as any anti-civ BM act around.
Some of the most positive music I listen to.
Album Name: Purse-seine
Band: Blackbird Raum
|2.||Honey in the Hair||04:10|
|3.||We Believe in Us Versus Them||03:36|
|7.||It Is a Poor Sack||02:43|
|9.||A Life in the Corn Syrup||03:20|
|11.||Fortuna, I Am a Spear Fisherman||11:36|
|Total playing time||50:33|
Album Name: Swidden
Band: Blackbird Raum
|1.||Valkyrie Horsewhip Reel||03:12|
|2.||California/Fetid Adder’s Tongue||03:33|
|7.||Story from Strawmouth||02:40|
|10.||Unregistered Firearm/Ravachol in Valhalla/Crom||06:14|
|11.||A Rat in My Dream||01:08|
|12.||Still Sick (years after the draft)||03:04|
|13.||Honey in the Hair||03:21|
|16.||Everyone up to the Wall||03:09|
|Total playing time||52:00|
Album Name: Under The Starling Host
Band: Blackbird Raum