From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Music/Music genres task force (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon Anti-folk is within the scope of the Music genres task force of the Music project, a user driven attempt to clean up and standardize music genre articles on Wikipedia. Please visit the task force guidelines page for ideas on how to structure a genre article and help us assess and improve genre articles to good and 1.0 standards.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.

Antifolk @ Chameleon '89-'91[edit]

I have added a link to a short history of antifolk at the Chameleon Bar to the externals several time and it keeps being taken off. It seems perfectly legitimate as a link from this page to me.  ???????? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ericdell (talkcontribs) 17:24, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Bots routinely delete myspace pages assuming they are spam. BTW new comments usually go at the bottom of the talk page.--Sabrebd (talk) 17:53, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Antifolk a genre or a scene?[edit]

I'm inclined to argue that anti-folk is not a genre. The claims that the article make that anti-folk is a combination of punk and folk styles is something I don't see at all. I find most things to be considered "anti-folk" to be totally indistinguishable from folk music. Perhaps the only difference is the urban-centrism in the themes, but stylistically it's folk music. Artists that actually do combine folk and punk already have a genre in folk-punk. It is pretty evident with these artists how much punk has influenced the music. But I think a lot of people who've encountered it would agree that anti-folk is mostly a New York City-based scene of folk musicians. The term "anti-folk" just seems like a historical residue as the term was adopted as a result of some schism between NYC folk musicians and Bob Dylan back some 30 odd years ago. So even at that moment, the term was meant to define a scene not a genre. I'd like to hear other opinions on this cause I don't think the article defines anti-folk as accurately as it could. -Anonymous Peruser, 11/26/05

PS Ghost Mice and This Bike is a Pipe Bomb are definitively not a part of the anti-folk scene. They are so obviously part of the folk-punk scene/genre that it's really absurd to have them as a link to anti-folk.

I agree with the post above. This is at most a scene, not a genre. I'd argue it should be identified as a scene or, at most, subgenre. And yeah, Pipebomb and Ghost Mice are "folk punk," which I don't think deserves genre status, either. --Osbojos 04:28, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm gonna third this opinion. A similar ideology between artists doesn't constitute a genre; similar musical sound/structure/influence et cetera however, do. Can anyone actually tell me what anti-folk sounds like? What are it's defining musical characteristics? I'd disagree on folk-punk not being a genre though, because it does in fact have defining common traits or influences. Mellothumb (talk) 00:49, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with the suggestion that punk isn't an influence on antifolk. Certainly it's a big influence on the UK scene (being based in London, I find it harder to comment on the New York scene.) I think it depends on how you define punk. To me, the key factor of punk was less the 'sound' of punk music but more the 'attitude' (i.e. direct, abrasive songs inspired by everyday life, a Do-It-Yourself philosphy and a belief that the songwriter's performance and storytelling are more important than musical talent). In this respect punk is clearly a major influence on antifolk. Folk-punk differs in that it borrows from punk's sound far more than its attitude.
But in the end, genres aren't used to describe 'attitude', they're used to describe 'sound'. So the idea that punk influenced this, if we are considering it a genre, is questionable when it sounds nothing like punk music. Mellothumb (talk) 00:49, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Article lacks true originators of the NYC Anti-folk scene[edit]

I'm in some agreement with the above, scene, not genre arguement. In the 1980's the scene developed around a small handful of artists, namely Lach, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Kirk Kelly, Roger Manning, and maybe Billy Syndrome. These people toured widely, got airplay on college radio, and called themselves anti-folk long before many of the people named in this article were performers.

I find it difficult to find a place to insert their story into the current article which seems to be full of speculation. Any suggestions? -MrFizyx 02:47, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Roger Manning should definitely be in there. Wwwhatsup (talk) 17:39, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

The Bobby McGee's[edit]

I know it's gramatically incorrect, but the correct name of this band includes the apostrophe. This can be verified on their MySpace page: (talk) 22:28, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Antifolk, Alternative Country and Billy Bragg[edit]

Please note that though Billy Bragg also comes from a Punk-background and plays somewhat folkish music he is not Antifolk, which is a North American (actually very New York City centered) phenomenom that developed since the mid1980s. Also, Alternative Country must be distinguished from Antifolk, as it comes from a different scene (or actually different scenes), and has a stronger emphasis on country (and blues) influences than on 1950s/1960s US-folk. As opposed to Antifolk, there is no deliberate emphasis on diletantism or humor. Irony - if you find it at all - is usually expressed in a different way. --BarbD 11:41, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Allmusic begs to differ. They say, "Finding inspiration in the righteous anger of punk rock and the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the leading figure of the anti-folk movement of the '80s." As the folks at allmusic are fairly respected music journalists, unless you can find some counter-example, I would think Bragg should be mentioned in the article. Scarymuppet 04:47, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
In addition, BrooklynVegan claims that the term "...took it's name from English acousti-punk Billy Bragg's description of his own sound." If this is true, sounds pretty clear to me that he should be mentioned. Scarymuppet 04:54, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I've seen that in the "Rock Snob's dictionary," but I've never found a basis for it. If you look at the subtitle for Bragg's Back to Basics, (the collection of his early back catalog)it describes these as songs from the roots of urbane folk music. His earl music certainly parralleled anti-folk in influences and additude though which may warrant mention. There are two stories regarding the origin of Anti-folk. In one the phrase was coined by Lach[1], but in a somewhat more belivable account,[2] it was coined by Cindy Lee Berryhill (who sill lacks a wikipedia article). I've been meaning to get in here and do some writing about the early NYC anti-folk scene, but just haven't found the time. -MrFizyx 21:30, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


I think the Sickboy in the list on this page is another Sickboy then the one the page is pointing to now. I changed the name of the article I wrote on the Belgian breakcore producer Sickboy to Sickboy Milkplus. psi36 10:24, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

As much as hipsters might not want to admit it...[edit]

Beck was part of the "Anti-Folk" movement of the late 80's-early 90's as well, and could be called its earliest breakout success. Early articles on Beck in SPIN magazine talk about his affiliations to Anti-Folk in the NYC coffeehouse scene. Someone may also want to mention Jeff Buckley.

As for the controversy of "scene/movement vs. genre", well, it sounds to me like the same elitist snobbery that old-school London and NYC punks express when they insist that punk rock (and the "scene" thereof) died with the Sex Pistols and thus everything afterwords is not really "punk". The argument doesn't hold water. I'm sure a lot of the first generation rock n' rollers also refused to consider the Beatles rock n' roll. Genres aren't trademarks. The Anti-Folk of today may not be exactly the same as the Anti-Folk that a little clique of NYC hipsters "invented" in the late 1980s, but that doesn't mean its not covering similar musical and cultural ground, and it doesn't mean people today can't identify with the term (or be associated with it).

I think you're pretty much right. I think the term initially applied to a small handful of artist and may now mean something different entirely. Beck indeed came and joined the NYC scene not long after it started, then moved back out west to find much greater success than any of his NYC pals. That said, to have an article that doesn't mention the early "hipsters" is akin to writing the history of punk rock and not mentioning the Sex Pistols. I don't think the early artist hold any snobbery, pretty much any attempt to define Anti-folk has been qualified with, "Anti-folk is whatever it wants to be." -MrFizyx 20:12, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
You should feel free to edit the article--espeically since you have some sources that you can cite. I don't agree with everything in the current article either. Please do sign when you write on talk pages though using four tildes, "~~~~," that will give an automatic timestamp. -MrFizyx 20:31, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, and the comparison to punk rock doesn't hold water. The article can't even define the characteristics of anti-folk. It's not a musical genre - and if you think it is, then you should be able to add a better definition to the article page. As it currently stands, the article is just nonsense. Anti-folk is defined as music made by subversive hipsters who hang out in coffee shops... but what does it sound like? Deepfryer99 (talk) 13:35, 9 March 2014 (UTC)


I just turned the section "Noted AF Singers" into an official section. Is it about time to consider migrating it to its own page, or even making it a category? samwaltz 17:51, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Go for it. I've been thinking the same thing. Its kinda hard to verify any of the artists constantly being added to the list. A category might attract a little less attention and help us keep the page from becoming a red link farm. I would drop the word "noted," though since it gets hard to define. I'd just call it something like Category:Anti-folk musicians and make it a subcategory of both folk and punk musician categories. -MrFizyx 18:28, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Good, I'm up to H. Does someone feel like taking over. I'm sleepy. Btw, I just discovered a category "Folk Punk". Until we sort that one out, I've got AF listed as a SC of FP and vice versa. samwaltz 19:07, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I'll add a few more. I've been skipping ones that don't specifcally mention anti-folk or some obviously related band in the article. I'll probably delete the list at some point. -MrFizyx 19:18, 8 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm sure that there are some who have called anti-folk talentless, but without a citation, that's not saying anything. performers of every genre have been called talentless, I don't see how this complaint deserves mention unless it is cited or some evidence is provided that it is made more often about anti-folk than any other genre.

Australian Antifolk?[edit]

I would question whether "The Lucksmiths, Darren Hanlon, Jodi Phillis and The Mabels" would be considered antifolk by anyone. A folky pop music or poppy folk music, yes, but hardly anti folk. I think the australian Antifolk scene is better represented by bands like Singing Sadie, New Waver, and bands on labels like dualplover.


The "Criticims" section contains one unsourced criticism, and the rest of the section does not take a NPOV. It reads like an apologist's letter: "This criticism is wrong because..." The section (and the entire article) should be written from a neutral point of view. Arguably, this section in particular violates the Wikipedia NPOV policy.Monsieurxander 11:49, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Fourth paragraph weirdness[edit]

Now I make no claim to be fully versed in the histories and mythologies of the antifolk genre/style whatever you call it, but does it seem to anyone else that the fourth parageaph is sheer POV nonsense? Saying that it is a:

"very pretentious genre fabricated by spoiled, self loathing rich kids. They have no love for music existing before 1980. They live in Williamsburg on their trust funds, and sit around thinking about how clever and ironic they are. They read dark novels because they feel they are supposed to, in order to meet their core requirements of counter culture. However, it should be noted that they are large in number. In fact, they are no longer a minority. They ARE the mainstream, which they have hated for so long because it rejected them. They have as much credibility as a Hot Topic store in a suburban mall, a refuge from which many of them came. Why do they hate the mainstream? Nobody knows. Not even they do,"

is not encyclopedia worthy. It is merely insulting a music form that an editor did not like, hence POV. I mean, come on, where can we possibly prove any of the points mentioned? Who is to say that all antifolk listeners live in Williamsburg or any of the other claims made by this editor. I am removing the paragraph as it is clear violation of NPOV guidelines and adds little to the article. jankyalias 5:38 3 December 2006


Recently there has been vandalism on this page. I reversed it. This was the inappropriate text: "In recent years Antifolk has spread beyond my deep, dark, anus. As a matter of fact my anus is quite swollen currently; must have been the vicious ass-ramming i recieved last night from Ernesto. Anyways,the UK Antifolk scene (largely centred around London and Brighton) is rapidly developing its own identity."

Good work, in the future though it's not always necessary to post in talk when pages are vandalized in this way.--Eloil 02:05, 19 August 2007 (UTC)


I've removed the 'improvement' tags on the article as it seems acceptable in it's current form, if a little brief. Howver, what should be improved are the references on the UK section, they should be turned into direct citations. Wwwhatsup (talk) 18:15, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

So what if there's no references ?? Most of this seems to be original research, but if it's accurate and this is the only place the information exists, then why remove it ?? What do you want the authors to do, make a website and put the exact same info up and then reference their own website on the wiki page ?? Well 10 years after that they'll have to pay to renew that website, and 10 years after that the same, and 10 years after that the same, and 10 years after that the same, then they'll be dead and the website will go to someone else. Then do we remove the info on wikipedia because it's not "referenced" ??? Dr. Universe (talk) 22:25, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

The short answer is that it should be removed if it cannot be sourced as per WP:V. A private website with original research would not meet WP:RS.--SabreBD (talk) 10:09, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
A longer answer is that even if secondary references are of dubious WP:V they are better than no references, and sites do get archived on Another test is whether the stated facts are controversial or not, as to notability or accuracy. The more controversial the greater the need for verification. It's significant a movement that, as time goes by, someone will get around to writing a decent history I'd imagine. These are usually synthesised out of every available scrap of info, poring over newspaper archives, and conducting plenty of interviews - that's what it takes to become authoritative. Wwwhatsup (talk) 11:08, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Whole Cloth?[edit]

Since early January, this article has had a massive amount of information added to it by users who have no history on the Wiki, have worked on no other subjects, and provide exactly no sources for any of the information they have added.

I will remove all of this information to this Talk page for examination unless it is sourced and verified or at least corroborated - I've been hanging with Anti-Folk people for many years, and this is all out of left field. Info, anyone? - Corporal Tunnel (talk) 18:53, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I will corroborate the names added are the "holy grail" most of the chat here has been centered around on this discussion page. You all wanted the names of the artists that first conceived the NY Antifolk finally get some of there names and your ready to remove the new information. Thats why the names of these artists have remained so elusive, the scene grew so stale by the late 80's most moved on to personal musical careers, with little or no mention of the antifolk scene again. It became just another place to play a showcase of original music, and the sharks closed in and a obvious metamorphosis occurred in the 90's w/ lach holding the scepter of a memory. and if it's that important to anyone i'm sure the "village voice's" of the mid 80's will be filled w/ the names that were added to the article ....Let's be clear here, The NY Antifolk Scene had it's genesis when new artists playing the village, trying to break into the cliquish NY Folk Scene, Mainly centered on Macdougal At the "Speakeasy" and "Gerdes folk city" around the corner in the mid 80's..started there own scene and moved it to the east village where clubs where hungry for talent(the NYHC movement was pretty much gone w/ the wind) . Clearitup (talk) 05:31, 22 January 2008 (UTC)clearitup

Before removing copy, I think individual issues should be raised here. If there is no immediate consensus, then that might be necessary. It is not unusual when an article is taking shape for things to be a little ragged. The NYC roots paras contain important info, and that one good NY Times cite. Still needs more info, cites, and rewrite. For instance what was The Chameleon? What's needed are more credible sources - news/magazine articles etc. Wwwhatsup (talk) 12:04, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I did a rewrite. One issue was that there were conflicting claims as to who initiated the 1984 Antifolk Fest. I went with Lach as he has a cite. Wwwhatsup (talk) 12:37, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Here's another clue for you was late in '84, and the quote is "A White mouse in the White House"....anybody remember that? because if you don't , you weren't there or too wasted to remember.......another quote of the time...."Either you know , or you Don't!"..Clearitup (talk) 18:16, 22 January 2008 (UTC)Clearitup

  • With all due respect, believing real hard in something doesn't make it true. There's a long space between saying that a bunch of musicians who couldn't get gigs at Folk City hung out at the Speakeasy, and claiming that AntiFolk came from there. I wore flannel shirts in the 70s, but I didn't invent grunge.

    The rewrite by Wwwhatsup makes these changes cogent - nice job, and thank you - but this is a hijack of an article that has some history behind it and is now being re-authored and recast by editors with no track record at the Wiki at all and no verifiable sources except, like, I was there, dude. I question whether the main page is the place for this. If there are verifiable facts then present them, but business like "Either you Know or You Don't" is for sitting around with beer and remembering the good old days, not presenting claims for an encyclopedia.

    For my part, I started hanging around The Fort at Sidewalk in, what, 95 or so. Lach is and was the heart and soul of AntiFolk, and without him it would neither have started nor survived. Tossing in names that have remained "elusive" is irrelevant. If they had a passing idea and walked away from it, they are not the founders of a movement. If a movement is what it was (I tend to favor "scene," but that's here nor there).

    The only web cites available for any of this information - and there are almost none - are very recent and all written in a familiar style. Color me very skeptical. Incidentally, for the new editors: first, hello, and welcome; and second, removing stuff to the Talk page is not meant to delete things, but it is where info goes so it can be discussed before it's put into the article. - Corporal Tunnel (talk) 00:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

UK Anti-folk[edit]

"UK Antifolk began in London with shows promoted by Sgt.Buzfuz and the lo-fi musician Filthy Pedro and David Cronenberg's Wife. "; if that person has an importance in the UK Antifolk trend, isn't she entitled tp name of her own? (Monsieur david (talk) 20:23, 2 March 2008 (UTC))

David Cronenberg's Wife is the name of a band. Probably one of the most successful from the UK scene. There current single's being played on Radio 6 and XFM every day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

loving how the above doesn't understand sarcasm. -- (talk) 00:50, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Sources for Jan 16 & 17 edits?[edit]

Has anyone found any sources to support or explain these edits from Jan 16 & 17 2008? I suspect that there are some bits of truth here, but there really is not much to support that whatever happened at the SpeakEasy in 1984 was called anti-folk or that Darryl Cherney was as significant to anti-folk as Lach & company. In fact this would contradict a number of published sources. Then agian, there are plenty of contradictions in anti-folk-lore and anyone who claims to be an expert is likely to push some very strong opinions about things as well.

Here are some sources that might at leaset be worth a look:

  • Bush, Melanie "Anti Fairy Tale", The Village Voice, 41:30, July 23, 1996, p.47,52 (You can access through the IIMP, or look at the copy posted here. This gives Lach's account).
  • "Cindy Lee Berryhill interview", November 13, 2002 - gives a different POV and suggests she played a role in coining the term and that the first Anti-Folk Fest was in 1985
  • It might be worth looking into who actually appeared on the the early compilations, White Trash, Volume 1, and Broome Closet Anti Folk Sessions. Although I'm not sure where you'd even find a track list.
  • Somene has set up a You Tube channel with vintage video of Roger Manning. In a clip from 1991 Manning claims that "Anti-folk died several years ago." This is similar to a claim made by Beck aroud the same time. -MrFizyx (talk) 08:34, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Having played The Fort on Rivington and Folk City since the 70s I am very suspicious of the mention of Darryl Cherney as I don't remember him having any involvement with the scene. The story, circa 1985, was either Lach or Cindy Lee invented the term 'anti folk' as defined as Hank Williams meets the Sex Pistols. My personal, not wikipedia worthy, definition has always been folk that could only exist now, as opposed to an archival continuation of historical styles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Vague Definition[edit]

The music sub genre known as anti-folk (or antifolk) takes the earnestness of politically charged 1960s music and subverts it into something else.

What does that even mean? Can somebody who knows what antifolk is please come up with a better definition than that? That's terrible as is. Sleepsong (talk) 15:51, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Reply: I think that's the problem with anti-folk, there is no clear definition. The best one i found so far (on antifolk group description) stated antifolk was "A bit of folk and a bit of indie/punk/DIY". It's a huge cross-over sub-genre that has characteristics like being concentrated in New York, that with every record an anti-folk musician releases can go one way or the opposite. For example Adam Green one record, he goes more acoustic and folky, the other he goes strongly towards gospel/blues. Yet he is still considered as a new generation Antifolk musician. --Trojkolka (talk) 15:22, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Without a definition, something doesn't exist... Jabberwockgee (talk) 20:21, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

New York anti-folk[edit]

I just did some editing in this section, but more work is necessary. It needs to be fleshed out quite a bit, but with referenced information. I put the following in a hidden comment, because none of it is referenced:

The New York anti-folk movement began in 1984 at The Speakeasy, a club in Greenwich Village, New York City. It was conceived by artist Darryl Cherney as an alternative venue to the popular Folk City club, which generally booked more established artists. Roger Manning printed Anti-Folk T-Shirts. Musicians involved included Axe Masterson (AKA Axman Horowitz & The Blind Rev. Axeman), Billy Nova, and Steve “Wheels” Cottrell (Wykked Trip), were collectively known as The Big Bang.

At some point, if references cannot be found or added, it should be deleted altogether. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

Comments above and tags on the article make it clear that this needs a clean-up. I am willing to undertake it, taking into account the comments above, providing sources, deleting those sections for which sources cannot be found, after some time for extra comments has been allowed.--Sabrebd (talk) 11:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The Un-folk article has no sources that indicate the existence of a seperate sub-genre. Most of the artists there appear to be anti-folk artists or deriving their music from it. The proposal is that the valid information from Un-folk is moved here and that page becomes a redirect to here.--SabreBD (talk) 09:45, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. It's essentially about the same scene, and also, this article could do with more editors! Wwwhatsup (talk) 04:11, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. This discussion, though, is moribund. Should we simply perform the merger or seek more input? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 00:08, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
There have been no objections - lets do it, it can always be reversed.--SabreBD (talk) 06:41, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I made un-folk a redirect with an aim to carrying out the merger, but checking the references they don't seem to support the assertions, and as far as I can see un-folk is not used in them as a term. I will look through them and see if they can support anything useful in this article.--SabreBD (talk) 20:13, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Anti-folk different than folk-punk?[edit]

What's the difference between these 2 genres? Why are there 2 articles? I bet you can't make the difference between anti-folk and folk punk if you hear a song!-- (talk) 06:19, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

The difference is actually quite clear and it is very hard to confuse the two genres. More important reliable sources point to these being two distinct genres.--SabreBD (talk) 14:22, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Anti-folk as definitional art[edit]

"Anti-folk seems to exist mostly in the corners of wikipedia and seems to grow backwards in time, slowly absorbing many veteran stars and labelling them as anti-folk without their knowledge or approval. The events in 1980's Greenwich village are interesting, but don't seem to explain or justify the appropriation of other artists into what seems a local movement. It is unclear if this gradual, retroactive, expansion through wiki is largely the method by which someone's agenda is being advanced through coopting the identity of others artists. A cunning use of Wiki. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just let us know. The signature "R.Mutt" is the difference between fun art and cheap marketing". (By IP 68.173....)

(I moved this talk page type insertion from the article to the talk page) North8000 (talk) 20:24, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Anti-folk. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:48, 15 October 2016 (UTC)