In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now, we take a deep dive into the (re)emerging folk-rock boom and its relation to the current obsession with all things banjo’d, suspendered, and artisanally pickled.
To help us define the movement, we commissioned SNL mainstay, Portlandia star, one-time professional drummer, and artisinal-lifestyle expert (see: Portlandia‘s awesome “Dream of the 1890s” sketch) Fred Armisen to provide a playbook.
(And don’t take it too personally, folk fans; he teases because he loves!)
Step 1: Give the genre a name
“What’s this music even called? No one’s given it a name. If it were up to me, it would be called wooden-rock. You know, like it’s made out of wood? Or maybe it’s be the first kind of rock where it’s the word after rock, so maybe it’ll be rock-craft. Banjo-rock? Derby-rock? These are all question marks!”
Step 2: Play the right instrument
“The most important thing is that the case for your instrument is really well taken care of and vintage and of high quality and ornate and comfy-looking. So before you reach out for that banjo or ukulele, make sure that the case is really fuzzy inside and has something written in cursive on the outside. When you hand it to somebody at the airport, it goes without saying that it is extremely delicate. That said, I think you can’t wrong with banjo, and you can’t go wrong with accordion.”
Step 3: Travel in appropriately old-timey style
“I picture caravans of old milk delivery trucks or newspaper trucks from say the ‘30s. Or maybe an old city bus from 1951 in St. Louis.” READ FULL STORY