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topic icon Author Topic: Shane Koyczan  (Read 7383 times)
BluegrassBrian
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URL icon « on: August 10, 2013, 02:05:26 PM »

I gushed about Shane Koyczan last winter right after we announced that he'd finally be joining us at this year's Folks Festival.  But since things are too quiet here on the Folks Fest forum, I thought I'd bring him up again...

His appearance at the Folks Fest will be Shane's first-ever (!!) USA performance with his band The Short Story Long.  And for everyone who's willing to give him a bit of their attention on Saturday, you'll walk away changed.  At least that's the effect he has on me.  (And the 10+ million viewers of his recent YouTube video.)

Following his stirring presentation at this spring's TED conference, the TED folks collected a few highlights from Shane's career in this great post - including the opening ceremonies of the 2010 olympics, a piece for the Dalai Lama Center, and some other gems.
   
And here's a recent tv interview and performance (begins at 6:30) with Shane and his band:
   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8GoxNd0OQo

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URL icon « Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 01:26:37 PM »

Sorry, but I have to disagree.

This may, or may not, stir the hornet's nest here, but...

I found his act really inappropriate for a daytime performance at a family venue such as Folks Fest. A solitary black mark against all the acts that I have seen perform on the stage(s) at Planet Bluegrass in the 13 years I have been attending festivals and concerts here.

Bleh...
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URL icon « Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 07:58:57 PM »

I wasn't there to form my own opinion, but I'll say that opinion has been echoed by various other parent-type folk I know who were there
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URL icon « Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 10:09:20 PM »

Huck,

I certainly fall into that demographic. The only folk I spoke with who claimed to like it were either non-parent, or far enough away that they could only catch the rhythm and back-up melody, and not discern the actual dialog.

-J
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URL icon « Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 12:37:18 AM »

I have to disagree with the previous posts.....we thought Shane Koyczan was one of the highlights this year.  It's true, we don't have kids, but in the 15 years that we've been coming to this festival, I haven't seen too many kids that are actually listening to the music at all.  It's definitely a family friendly event and there are plenty of things to do for kids to do, but sitting and paying attention to the music (or spoken word) doesn't seem to be high on the list.   I think that for most children, the music is a perfect background to all the other fun things to do.  And in this particular case, I had to pay close attention to understand the words at all, and I was sitting up front.  So I can't imagine there were too many children who heard anything inappropriate.  That said, I can't quite figure out what would have been inappropriate in the first place, but again, I don't have kids so probably have a different meter of what's appropriate or not.  We were so moved by his set that we bought the CD and listened to it on the drive home. 
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jhadler
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URL icon « Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 08:51:42 AM »

natiro,

I understand that if you don't have kids, you likely heard Shane in a -very- different way. Not only are parents ears tuned differently, but you should understand that kids can hear and absorb E-V-E-R-Y word around them. Especially when it's at 75+ dB. Kids may be playing or doing other things besides sitting and focusing on the stage, but that doesn't mean they aren't hearing and processing everything around them. Our kids most certainly had comments on what Shane was saying... And they were anything but stationary at the time.

And I understand again that you aren't coming from a parent perspective, but really? You don't see how his spoken word was inappropriate for kids? Context aside (which we found overly heavy and depressing - that's our subjective commentary there), how about just the language? With a modicum of forethought, he could have just as effectively delivered his message without sh*t and a** every other stanza.
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URL icon « Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 08:56:17 AM »

That said, I can't quite figure out what would have been inappropriate in the first place, but again, I don't have kids so probably have a different meter of what's appropriate or not.  We were so moved by his set that we bought the CD and listened to it on the drive home. 

I had the same question - what was inappropriate?  I know in his Wildflower set (which I did not see) he gave a warning that some inappropriate material was coming.   I saw the main stage performance and it was the highlight of our weekend.  Very powerful and moving, and the majority of the crowd certainly seemed to enjoy it.   

I am a parent and I made it a point to have my 9 yr old watch a couple songs.   I talked with other parents who also played him for their kids,  we noted how riveted our kids were to every word.   

to each his own.
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jhadler
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URL icon « Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 09:41:25 AM »

... I know in his Wildflower set (which I did not see) he gave a warning that some inappropriate material was coming....

Ding ding ding! And we have a winner! Now, I did not see his Wildflower set. But at the Wildflower, it is pretty easy to decide (as a parent) if you want your kids to listen to it or not. Just leave the pavilion and enjoy what's on the main stage and the rest of the fest. Did he give any such indication when he started his main stage act? No. Would there have been any recourse apart from leaving the fest all together had he done so? This is exactly what I mean.

 
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jhadler
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URL icon « Reply #8 on: August 20, 2013, 09:45:36 AM »

I am a parent and I made it a point to have my 9 yr old watch a couple songs.   I talked with other parents who also played him for their kids,  we noted how riveted our kids were to every word.   

Our kids, and most kids I'm sure, would be drawn to his words. They were delivered with passion and emotion. No argument there. But if the artist himself acknowledges that some of his material is inappropriate for family audiences, then perhaps Folks Fest was not the proper venue.

Quote
to each his own.

Yes, but when leaving the festival is the only way to choose not to subject your kids to admittedly inappropriate material, perhaps there's something not entirely fair there?
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URL icon « Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 10:08:11 AM »

He did different, more edgy, material in the Wildflower, which is why he added the warning.   The main stage show didn't have content that needed a warning, in my opinion.     

I disagree about having to leave the grounds to avoid his show - you could not hear what he was saying if you travelled towards the back of the venue.   We had friends sitting behind the silo and they commented that they couldn't hear what he was saying.   

In a three day festival, there is bound to be an act one doesn't care for.   In that case the best action is to leave the area and go enjoy the Wildflower, or the river, or the family tent/slack line.       





   

   
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URL icon « Reply #10 on: August 20, 2013, 10:30:21 AM »

I think Collin Hay dropped the most f-bombs from the main stage I've heard in recent memory. I don't think I heard any from Shane but I wasn't up front for a lot of it so I might not have heard it if he did.

I was dancing with my kids in the Wildflower to Arthur Lee Land for the beginning of Shane's set which I heard was pretty heavy but I had my 9yo with me for a couple later numbers and didn't have an issue with anything.
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jhadler
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URL icon « Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 12:50:06 PM »

Okay, I knew I'd stir the nest with my comments...

I spoke with quite a number of people who felt the same way before walking into the lion's den of this topic.

And perhaps I will admit, that maybe I'm just not as hip as others. But Colin Hay was an evening act (fewer kids about), and his brogue certainly covered up a lot of dialog if you weren't listening carefully. Shane, as an afternoon act, would have been better at a later time (not that I personally would have liked his act any more or less from a subjective standpoint). But the time of day is a factor here.

I know that there are those that will say he was the best thing since sliced beer, and others will feel that his act was just plain out of place. So I think I've said my part. My family and I will continue to come and enjoy Planet Bluegrass festivals for years and years to come. And I hope that all of you do as well.

So see you 'round at the next fest!
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URL icon « Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 05:06:24 PM »

Thank you, Planet Bluegrass, for booking Shane and his band for the Folks Festival.  This was truly one of the most moving performances I've ever seen in the 12 Folks Fests I've been to.  Tears were streaming down my face, and I was not the only one.  He spoke about his childhood struggles, but in a way that reminded us of how that makes us what we are as adults.  You never really get over that stuff.  I saw some teenagers in the line for the CD signing.  I bet they were comforted by his poems.  It's always good to know that somebody else has gone through all that shit and survived, and even thrived.

Now Playing icon Listening to: Shane Koyczan
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URL icon « Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 06:28:30 PM »


So see you 'round at the next fest!

Sounds good. I'll buy you a slice of beer.
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URL icon « Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 08:39:13 AM »

 Thumbs Up bummer sounds like I missed a really good one. I love pungent words, they hit you up side the head. Offensive some may say, I say oppertunity lost to explore the power of words good and bad. Flower

I knew he was gonna rock the house, one way or the other Evil
Tear your heart out, stomp on it with words and make you pay attention with feeling. I bet it was a powerful performance Medal

Did you get to talk to him Brian. What is he like?  Flower

Many times the persona on stage can very from the actual person. Just curious....
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 08:53:27 AM by landshark » IP address Logged

" Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world. " -  Albert Einstein
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