Baltimore Review

January 03, 2005

Baltimore Review
We got out on Saturday night to see Anne Feeney and Chris Chandler. You may have heard them on Hober. The pair is notable for using beatnik cut-up or de-construction techniques on classic old folk songs, interjecting extremely thought-provoking and witty spoken-word interludes between the verses. Sometimes the songs themselves are "filked", lines from an old Pete Seeger ballad might be a McDonald's advertising slogan right out of the blue.

The scene was a warehouse in Baltimore run by a group of young self-described anarchists called "Brew Not Bombs" - decked out in full black-clothed studs and slogans regalia, dredlocks, liprings. Suffice it to say that yours truly was probably the oldest person present and made me sentimental for my own poli-punky rebellious past.

I didn't catch the name of the opening act, but their hard core punk-rock looks had me braced for an aural onslaught, ready to run from the room to save my ears. Instead it turns out they were a Polka band, with guitar, banjo, mandolin, penny whistle and polka drum. Gotta say, they were great. I have now experienced mosh-polka. It is also very interesting to see these kids with all their energy and raw idealism demanding acoustic music and brewing beer.

Anne and Chris had the crowd enraptured and delighted. Chris's clarity and ability to turn a meaningful phrase and seeming glee in twisting the language in odd ways is worthy of attention. Anne Feeney is a hero, and folk legend, and it is great to see her going so far out an a limb to support this experimental form.

The pair are going all over the US in 2004. You can see the schedule on http://www.chrischandler.org

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updated: 12 years ago