Staff Playlists: Folk Off!
Staff Playlists is a music feature that allows our contributors to curate a playlist of their choosing. Up this week is music contributor Simone Gabrielli!
For those unfamiliar with Manhattan’s history, the Village is New York’s bohemian landmark. While in the city this past November, dressed in my usual East Village costume — a shearling coat, Huck Finn cap, and black vagabond boots — I found my friend staring dumbstruck at the window of the Café Wha, her eyes wide as saucers: “Did you know Dylan and Hendrix used to play here?” Despite its historical significance, plenty of the NYU students who live next to the historic MacDougal Street seem unaware of the real importance of the place today. The East Village was the beatnik “hootenanny” place to be, where bohemians gathered to play for a couple bucks at Gerde’s Folk City. It’s where beat poets scrawled in moleskine notebooks in the Café Reggio and musicians nursed black coffee with their guitars next to them. The East Village is an essential stop when visiting New York, where people are called “cats” and you can quote Ginsberg unpretentiously. There’s something otherworldly about folk music that makes you feel older than you are, or like you’re somebody else all together. So here’s a playlist for when you feel like hopping a freight train and rambling down to MacDougal Street. These are some songs that I feel are a good introduction to folk music, and highlight its influence throughout the decade.