A Mighty Wind

A Mighty Wind

Has anyone seen the film “A Mighty Wind”.It’s a Spinal Tapesque view of the folk scene in Britain in the 1960’s and I’ve been told that it’s absolutely hilarious.It’s directed by Christopher Guest who of course was responsible for “This Is Spinal Tap”

Re: A Mighty Wind

Yea, it’s kind of funny…

…but it’s no Spinal Tap.

Re: A Mighty Wind

You really need to see the first film: “Best In Show” before viewing “A Mighty Wind”.

Re: A Mighty Wind

It’s set in the US.

Re: A Mighty Wind

“Best in Show” doesn’t have anything to do with “A Mighty Wind”. “Waiting for Guffman” came before these two (but after “This is Spinal Tap”) and is the best one, in my opinion.

Re: A Mighty Wind

It’s a great movie. I heartily reccomend it.

Re: A Mighty Wind

I found it mildly amusing with a few very funny gags. But there’s so much truth in it that it’s more sad than hilarious. Worth seeing, but don’t expect to be laughing non-stop if you’re close to the folk scene.

The movie to see first is the early 80s documentary “Wasn’t That A Time” about the Weavers’ last reunion concert. “A Mighty Wind” is a parody of that.

Re: A Mighty Wind

“there’s so much truth in it that it’s more sad than hilarious. Worth seeing, but don’t expect to be laughing non-stop if you’re close to the folk scene”

Ha ha ha, now that’s what I call hilarious.

Can you imagine if the metal heads had said that about spinal tap? The truth is, that the metal heads laughed their heads off at spinal tap BECAUSE they’re not sad.

Posted .

Re: A Mighty Wind

“A Mighty Wind” was the best of the series from Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and all the gang. While “Spinal Tap” derservedly holds a place of honor, “A Mighty Wind” for me was more bizarre, and therefore, more funny. Every time I watch it, it’s like I’m seeing it for the first time.

The best character for me was Eugene Levy’s “Mitch”. That voice sends me into a fit every time I hear it. Other favorites are “Terry and Laurie Bohner”, played by John Michael Higgins and Jane Lynch, respectively. Just weird…

I don’t know what people have against this movie! It’s obviously better than “Waiting For Guffman” and “Best In Show”. Whether it contends with “Spinal Tap” for the title is uncertain, but it’s a close one.

And another thing…I think the SOURCE of the humor is its parody of the folk scene. The truth of the folk scene is that it’s more than a little F’d up! I would think that those in the folk community would be laughing the hardest. Having a foot in the door myself, I can put faces to most of the characters in “A Mighty Wind”, and that’s funny and sick at the same time. All the gags, the schticks, the outfits….

11 out of 10, as far as I’m concerned. It will be hard to do better than this for awhile, I’ll bet.

~Sean

Posted .

Re: A Mighty Wind

Because I have a dog AND a guitar, I’m not sure which is my favourite. But I go along with John Jr.

Re: A Mighty Wind

I heard that the guys played their own instruments. They’re good.

It’s set in modern times with “flashbacks” of “footage” and interviews. It is everything I hate about “folk music.” Dreary people holding onto moldy ideas. I prefer my folk music (or Americana, if you are living in Calfornia) alive and kicking. For a good parody though, I’d rather see anything by Mel Brooks. I wouldn’t put it at the head of your netflix queue.

Re: A Mighty Wind

I didn’t realise that folk music is called Americana in California. I did hear of a guy who reached California from England and went into technological overdose when given electronic corn-cob holders at a barbecue ( they rotated when you pressed them in, with electronic speed controls ) .
But back to the subject…….I think Spinal Tap remains the best, partly because everyone has wanted to be in a band once, not all of us are folkies ( except on this site ). Don’t have a dog but Best in Show is great too - apparently the commentators were nowhere near any of the action and made it all up as they went along. And, yes, they all played their instruments on A Mighty Wind and did very well. Question ; Would The New Christy Minstrels be turning in their graves if they were dead ? I think we should know.

Re: A Mighty Wind

Lovely film. You don’t have to wait long to see all the characters in real life if you go to a few sessions.

Re: A Mighty Wind

Not only do they play their own instruments and sing, I believe they also wrote many, if not all, of the songs. “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow,” written by Michael McKean and his wife (whose name I can’t remember at the moment), was even up for an Oscar or some other award. Pretty talented buch of people.

By the way, I lived in California for twenty years and never heard the term “Americana” applied to any kind of music.

Re: A Mighty Wind

Some of us had that desire to be in bands back when The Great Folk Scare blossomed in the US. Then we plugged in and wanted to be popsters. It was a logical, if goofy, progression.

A Mighty Wind is the Truth. *sigh*

I just had A Mighty Wind experience… I still do recording in my studio once in a while and some friends recruited a friend and me to record a project that was rather vaguely described as ‘bluegrass backing tracks’. My pal did the recording in his wood shop and it came to me to mix.

As it turned out, a group was preparing to go to Europe for a religious tour of some sort, and part of is was that they would perform some American music before a few thousand people, and wanted a track to sing over. They played the bluegrass classic, “Rocky Top” and then segued into a feel-good, semi-religious, very, very White Folks original composition. For those of you who may remember “Up With People” from the sixties, that’s what it sounded like. Middle-class white folks coming on all folkie in a big sort of … Broadway Choir.

I laughed for ten minutes when I first heard it, and couldn’t escape the Mighty Wind memories.

We heard later that it was a huge success, performed in eastern Europe before a huge audience. Go figure.

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: A Mighty Wind

I thought “A Mighty Wind” was HILARIOUS.

Great story, stv. Very funny. Sometimes I wonder if musicians and non-musicians are even the same species. The DNA evidence suggests it, but that’s about all.

Re: A Mighty Wind

One of the best things about “Mighty Wind” was how the parody and satire, besides being spot-on, was gently and affectionately rendered. The writers/producers approached it the right way, which is to acknowledge that the “folk pop” (or whatever you might want to call the 1960s brand) had/has its quirks, idiosyncracies and other facets which seem anachronistic or outmoded – but that there was a certain integrity, quality and purpose to the music which, perhaps, still resonates in ways we don’t always recognize.

I’m a big believer in the ability to poke fun at one’s self, individually or collectively. Sure, I take Irish and traditional music seriously, and will (literally) sing its praises and defend its honor against skeptics and philistines. But being serious _all_ the time is a stone drag. You’ve gotta relax and laugh a little.
That’s why I always liked Fred Wedlock’s “The Folker,” a parody of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” that gives a nifty little dig at self-indulgent folkies who inflict themselves on folk clubs. Or what about Eric Bogle’s “You’re A Bloody Rotten Audience”?

Posted by .

Re: A Mighty Wind

Well, having come of age during the Folk Scare and, yes, having played in more than one hootenanny, Herself and I had a lot of chuckles and laughs from A Mighty Wind. We are both ambivalent about our complicity in that era, but would do it all over again, probably.

Spinal Tap had several of the same actors, but was directed by Rob Reiner, not Guest.

Re: A Mighty Wind

I don’t know about that Steve… Can you think of a better umbrella term that can effectively encompass all that falls under the current usage of “Americana”?

I personally get tired of listing them all when people ask what kind of music I dig… Appalachian Folk, Honkey-tonk, Jug Band, Alt-Country, Rockabilly, String-Band, Western Swing, Roots Music, Hillbilly, Cowboy, neo-traditionalist, Gospel, Roots-Rock, Old-Time, Cow-punk, etc, etc…

Ahem… I take umbrage, Sir, at your slighting of my beloved “Americana.” Pistols at twenty paces? ;)

Posted by .

Re: A Mighty Wind

I watched it with my kids and I started pulling out the vinyl records of those that were parodied. I was laughing so hard,
they thought their dad went off the deep end.

Fortunately for all I didn’t have any food or drink at the time,-it would have been all over-nose-itis

Posted by .

Re: A Mighty Wind

I’ve come to accept the Americana term, too. I just haven’t yet started using it like Schy when somebody asks what kind of music I like. I’m not crazy about the term, but I can’t think of a better one and it already has some currency.

Re: A Mighty Wind

Great combination of anti-American and anti-pretentious folky. What could be better?

Re: A Mighty Wind

“Great combination of anti-American and anti-pretentious folky. What could be better?”

Huh? I don’t get it.

Re: A Mighty Wind

sts sez, “One of the best things about “Mighty Wind” was how the parody and satire, besides being spot-on, was gently and affectionately rendered. “

Amen to that.

Schy sez, “I don’t know about that Steve… Can you think of a better umbrella term that can effectively encompass all that falls under the current usage of “Americana”?

I personally get tired of listing them all when people ask what kind of music I dig… [edit]

Ahem… I take umbrage, Sir, at your slighting of my beloved “Americana.” Pistols at twenty paces? ;)“

Well, yeah… I was harsh. It just seems, as you sort of point out, to be an exercise in labelling the labels, and I’m irritated with record labels, radio programmers and civilians who are afraid of ‘what if I don’t like it’ stuff that doesn’t conveniently fit into their labels. it’s a hangover from too long in the recording business. Sorry about that.

Nobody asks me what sort of music I like. I try not to talk much about my professional background. It seems to provoke prejudices. If not theirs, mine. Folks would rather talk about their views than mine, too. <g>

I don’t mind the -word-, I just thought it meant … like… faux antiques in gift shops and such… <GGG>

Water pistols, mate. TEN paces if you dare. At dawn. Have your second contact mine. <GG>

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: A Mighty Wind

Perhaps I am so used to being focal point of the trend-setter community here that I just take for granted that others’ every pontification would be similarly sought after with breathless anticipation… (ahem…)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really not that enamoured with the term. But it can get the job done. Most folks of a certain stripe are pretty broadminded about the “labels” in that vein they like to listen to, and this can get folks to a quick and dirty understanding before they break into their latest musical “finds” that must be shared.

And I checked around the house and the only pistol I could come up with was “Never Mind the crap…”
(can you say “bullocks” on the yellow board?)

Schy

Posted by .

Re: A Mighty Wind

Oops… guess not… auto replacement. Typo on the next utterance saved its extinction. Feel free to mod…

Posted by .

Re: A Mighty Wind

“One of the best things about Mighty Wind………..”
Right on, sts. (I keep mixing you up with stv).

Re: A Mighty Wind

Oh, right. You don’t advertize your CD.

Re: A Mighty Wind

Best in Show is the best of those films, definitly.

Posted by .

Re: A Mighty Wind

It was too close to a documentary. Didn’t I meet all those people while playing either the Singer/Songwriter scene or Contra Dance scene?

SHUDDER!