Daily Illuminator

April 14, 2013: Filking. Because It's Better Than Not Filking.

Surely all my readers must be aware of filk, the hybrid of folksinging and parody that emerged from the science fiction community half a century ago and won't go away. Back when I was a lad, recordings were expensive and filk was shared, if at all, on really lousy tape cassettes. Now we have cheap CDs. Now we have iTunes. Now we can listen to our favorite filkers without staying up entirely too late at a con. Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you, but the mornings are getting rougher.

Here's some recent Stuff from filk talents that have been making me happy for a long time. It makes me even happier that they are still playing.

Fans of Leslie Fish have waited a long time for her new album, Avalon is Risen. Leslie wrote the heartbreakingly beautiful Hope Eyrie; I've linked to it before, and I will probably link to it again. Leslie will be a Special Guest at the World SF Convention this year in San Antonio. You should come to her concerts.

Tom Smith, on the other hand, is insanely prolific. (Emphasis on insane.) A participant in the online Funny Music Project, he has done so many things that make me laugh myself sick, as well as a couple that can make me cry. I see he's now on iTunes, so some specific recommendations you should get NOW: for silly gamers, Illuminati Polka, Dead Again, I Had a Shoggoth. For all silly people: Talk Like A Pirate Day, Rock Me Amidala, I Want My Flying Car. (Bias warning: Tom has been a good friend for many years. Bias un-warning: You may have already figured out that I don't plug people just because they're friends.) Tom also wrote the Ogre theme, which you can hear (well, the beginning at least) on this Kickstarter video.

And Ookla the Mok, one of filk's few actual rock bands, has two new releases: Nerdvana and the brand new Vs. Evil.  Nerdvana is just five songs, and the one that I'll play most often is "Welcome to the Con," because, well, it's a very true song. Vs. Evil is about superheroes and superbadguys and I just now bought it and I am happy. Ookla is empirical proof that there should be more nerd bands with a librarian and a caricaturist who know both how to do a vocal harmony and how to rock out.

-- Steve Jackson


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