|where I'm easy to Spot|
and other things that serve to bolster my enormous ego
Here's the Tulsa World / Spot Magazine article that launched me from 'complete unknown' all the way up to 'low profile.' I threw in some links since I had to retype it myself anyway. I'm still surprised to have gotten this kind of coverage for my little old Anti-Folk experiment. It was my first time officially calling myself "Anti-Folk," and I didn't describe it very well, which led to a couple unintentional glitches here. Despite my cluelessness, however, Thomas did a great job with this. And who knew it would turn into a whole SERIES of shows like this one?
Ross is a good ol' boy who could easily be mistaken for, well, a good ol' boy. Armed with an acoustic guitar, he strides onto the stage in a worn pair of jeans, and no doubt most of the audience braces for some standard singer-songwriter fare and another sťance conjuring the ghost of Woody Guthrie.
But if you look more closely, Ross's guitar bears a scrawled slogan that, instead of Guthrie's "This Machine Kills Fascists," says, "This Machine Kills Fashion."
Five minutes later, that same audience is busting a gut laughing.
Ross wields the acoustic guitar for the ridiculous more than the sublime, writing his "comedy rock with a dark side" in the style of his heroes: Dr. Demento staples like Tom Lehrer and Stan Freberg, plus the fierce, blistering acoustic attack of Ed Hamell (Hamell on Trial). If he sings a protest song, it's more of a comedy routine, or as he says, "a one-man assault on all things idiotic" and "service with a smirk."
He's one side of a musical sub-genre known on the East Coast as anti-folk - acoustic singer-songwriters who act more like rockers, with fewer sensitive ballads and no political protest. Adam Brodsky, the king of anti-folk, calls it "Woody Guthrie meets punk rock."
Brodsky and Ross, along with local songwriter David R, will conduct a survey course in this new musical category at the Anti-Folk FootStomp.
"It just means we're in contrast to the mellow Jewel stuff," Ross said in an interview this week.
Ross has been performing in Tulsa for five years, after moving here from Missouri and Ohio. In Ohio, he led a band called the Vaguerants that "sounded a lot like the Violent Femmes": the band didn't follow him to Missouri, so he was forced to go solo.
Brodsky (no relation to frequent Tulsa visitor, singer-songwriter Chuck Brodsky) hails from Philadelphia. He's known for his outrageous style and clever wordplay, but despite his anti-folk tag he has a firm understanding of traditional folk roots: he spent last summer presenting a program called "A Brief History of Folk Music," a show sponsored by Smithsonian Folkways in which Brodsky boiled down the entire history of folk music - from sea shanties to the '60s - into a half-hour presentation.
David R has been writing and performing his self-described "folkternative" songs for two decades. He arrived in Tulsa from Australia, also via Ohio, and is a fixture at local festivals and the comfy River's Edge venue. His taut, moving songs are the city's sleepers and can be found on the acclaimed "Spark" CD, which features other locals, including Tom Skinner, Wes Gasaway and George Barton.
"Acoustic Ross" & "News From Around The Bend" © 2002-3001 Northcraft Entertainment Organization. All content not otherwise specified is also © 2002-3001 Northcraft Entertainment Organization. While we're at it, "Northcraft Entertainment Organization" is also © 2002-3001 Northcraft Entertainment Organization.