Bob Kanefsky

Prometheus Music, 2000

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


In the interest of fairness, I feel it is my responsibility to announce to our Faithful Horde O' Readers that my sister sings lead vocals on one track on this CD. Therefore, in order to avoid any charges of nepotism, I called in a Guest Reviewer, my roommate, to listen to this CD. Said roommate's knowledge of filk music (the genre that Bob Kanefsky both belongs to and parodies with malice aforethought on Roundworm) is encyclopaedic rather than my own competent, anyway. I put Roundworm on, gave it a spin, and watched said roommate closely for reactions.

After about the third time he started laughing so hard that we considered administering oxygen, I realized that nepotism or no, we had a winner on our hands.

Filk music, for those who haven't explored it before, is the folk music of the SF/fantasy/SCA/gaming/other forms of geekery community. While not all filk songs are about these topics, it's safe to say that most people who self-identify themselves as filk artists will be able to catch your "Star Trek" and Monty Python references and make some of their own. Kanefsky, on the other hand, takes this my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 even further, writing (but not performing) parodies of filk songs, which are sometimes parodies in and of themselves, and then pulls off the sheer audacity of getting the original filkers to perform the parodies in most cases. If this seems excessive to you, discard your linear thought patterns and start again, because Roundworm is just a whole hell of a lot of fun, whether or not you get the songs that are being parodied.

Properly said, this CD should be credited to "Bob Kanefsky And Friends," because to the best of my liner-note-reading-knowledge, Kanefsky doesn't perform on it anywhere. Instead, his production staff brought in some of the heavy hitters of the filk/Celtic community, including Heather Alexander, Cat Taylor, Julia Ecklar, Leslie Fish, Kristoph Klover, Margaret Davis, Jon Berger (the former fiddler of Celt-rock band Tempest), and the bands Annwn and Ookla the Mok. (Note to self. Review Ookla the Mok's Less Than Art on here sometimes. Damn good CD.)

I admit to only recognizing about half the songs parodied on here. Even so, I spent a lot of time laughing pretty darn hard. Special note should be made of "Mutant Generations", a pretty incisive look at the homogenity of "Star Trek"; "Eternal Flame", a filk paean to computer language flamewars; "Wise Men Fear To Tread", a good argument for not longing for the Age of Mythology; "Threes: Take 3", a funny twist on the works of Mercedes Lackey; and "Black Flag", for all you folks who need to clean the kitchen. I also congratulate Kanefsky for "December Of Cambreadth", even though you really need to know the original tune ("March of Cambreadth" by Heather Alexander) to get all the jokes. Our Guest Reviewer also confirms all the Julia Ecklar parodies are evil. (I don't know Julia Ecklar's work. I think I'll need to repair that oversight.)

Finally, I have to congratulate Kristoph Klover for his engineering on Roundworm. It's easily one of the best sounding filk CDs I've ever heard, crisp and elegant.

In short, Roundworm comes strongly recommended for parodists, filkers, and people who just like to laugh. Good show, Mister Kanefsky et al.

(Oh, and sis? You were pretty damn good, too.)

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Prometheus Music, and is used for informational purposes only.