About The Bay: Filk Music Is A Sweet Sound For The Offbeat

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Some singers and songwriters gathered recently in the East Bay to sing their songs – albeit singing slightly off-beat – and deliberately so.

It’s a new type of music on the scene these days – it’s called FILK music. Not folk. Filk. KCBS’ Mike Sugerman learned during his travels, About the Bay, that it’s sort of like folk music gone wrong.

He got a taste of it recently, at the annual Filk Music Convention in Hayward.

“Filk is the folk music of the science fiction community,” he was told by one self-professed “filker.”

As the story goes, an invitation circulated at a sci-fi convention years ago, inviting people to sing folk music together. But, because of a typo, “folk” appeared as “filk,” and the rest is music history.

KCBS’ Mike Sugerman Reports:

“It’s not jazz. It’s not rap. It’s not hip hop. It’s not pop exactly,” explained another filker. “Because it’s so open-ended, it gives people a chance to write about literally anything.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Mike Sugerman
  • Moss Bliss

    NEW? We’ve been filking since at least the 40s. Just because your cultural antennae are too short, don’t blame us.

  • Tim Griffin

    A few corrections: the con was called Consonance and it was in Newark, which is in the South Bay.

  • umustbjoking

    It was wonderful recognizing all those voices. I’d know Frank Hayes’ and Brooke Lunderville’s voices anywhere!

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