Audible Dreams


Years and years ago, when I went to my first con, there was some­thing weird on the schedule—“filk.” I did­n’t get to attend that filk ses­sion, but when I did get a chance to go to one I learned that it’s a genre of music par­tic­u­lar to fan­dom. I was intrigued by what I heard, but did­n’t get a chance to learn much more about it for a few more years. Some of it is beau­ti­ful, more of it is fun­ny, and its appeal is large­ly based on being a sort of big in-joke among peo­ple who are into sci­ence fic­tion and fan­ta­sy. I’m afraid Sam and I were guilty of lead­ing minors into com­mit­ting filk. After we explained filk to our kids, they came up with many Poké­mon filk songs.

It’s been a few years since I last attend­ed a house­filk, but gen­er­al­ly speak­ing they are mar­velous fun marked by good music and great com­pa­ny. I did attend GaFilk a few years back, and it was a won­der­ful relax­acon.

General Sites

  • The Vir­tu­al Filks­ing is a great way to find a vari­ety of filk song MP3s in one place. I’m par­tic­u­lar­ly fond of Tech Sup­port by Jef­frey Hitchin—every techie I know likes that one.
  • Inter­filk

Filkers

  • Dave Rood is a mar­velous­ly tal­ent­ed guy here in Atlanta. I heard him do Nev­er Been to Dune at the first filk I attend­ed and was com­plete­ly hooked. The more I hear, the more I like his stuff.
  • They don’t bill them­selves as filk­ers, but a lot of The Four Bitchin’ Babes songs cer­tain­ly fit right in. I’m Dyslex­ic and LAFF are two of my favorites.
  • To some extent Leslie Fish seems to be filk—everybody else does her songs and she’s cer­tain­ly pro­lif­ic!
  • I’ve heard that Weird Al Yankovic hates to be called a filk­er, for some rea­son. I think every­one has heard at least one of his songs at some point in time, so I want­ed to point out that his songs are pret­ty good exam­ples of filk.
  • Alec Alexan­der James is an amaz­ing, pro­lif­ic musi­cian.
  • Kathy Mar
  • Mer­cedes Lack­ey has done many songs relat­ed to her Valde­mar uni­verse, as well as some unre­lat­ed filk. Appar­ent­ly, when she writes the lyrics and Leslie Fish does the music for a song, it’s called a Leslac. That’s also the name of a trou­ble­some bard in Lack­ey’s Tar­ma and Kethry sto­ries. Feline Amer­i­can Princess is a Leslac, too, and it’s very funny—I just can’t fig­ure out how Lack­ey chan­neled our late cat Shel­ley when she wrote it.
  • Urban Tapes­try
  • I fig­ure I would have liked “Rube­nesque” for its lyrics no mat­ter what I thought of the Duras Sis­ters—but I like them. “Ivanova’s Lament” was one of the first filk songs I ever encoun­tered.

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