Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Above: Renrock heartthrobs The Lost Boys.

After publishing yesterday's progrock artwork post, I stumbled across a somewhat vexing conundrum. In describing the musical genre of medieval progrockers Amazing Blondel, I offhandedly used the word "Renrock" to describe their sound. It seemed an apt label, although I'd never seen it written or heard it spoken aloud before. "Ren Faire" + "Rock" = "Renrock", right? Sensing the opportunity for some cheap laughs, I Googled the word "Renrock" to see what sort of other Celtic-flavored nerdprog I could track down. To my astonishment, I found nothing.
There is a Christian rapper named Ren Rock, as well as a DJ, a town in Ohio, and a construction company in Mississippi, but, as far as I can tell, the term "Renrock" has not yet been applied to the Renaissance Faire Rock community. In fact, the puffy-shirted lute-slingers rocking the international Ren Faire circuit have virtually NO genre to claim as their own. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to do it for them.

Ladies and gentlemen: I hereby coin the term "RENROCK" on behalf of Illogical Contraption, our parent company Illogical Contraption Recombination DNA Laboratories, Inc., and Renrockers everywhere. Let us raise high the banner of Renrock as we march into the future of the past.

Enjoy a couple Renrock favorites, now happily classified in a genre all their own (you're welcome, Mr. Blackmore):

The quintessential Renrock jam:

BLACKMORE'S NIGHT - "Locked Within The Crystal Ball" (RENROCK AS FUCK)


OH SHIT THERE ARE TWO OF THEM (this one's called "Shadowplay")

The Harper & The Minstrel - "Pan's Frolick" (Renrock lite)

AMAZING BLONDEL - DEFINITE Renrock, 1972 (painful to watch, but do it anyway):


Other Renrock artifacts: That Witch's Hat single Jack posted last week, My Barbarian, the aesthetic of early Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull's flutier moments, and Cantiga.
Also: Hammers of Misfortune = Renmetal?



Camellia sinensis said...

This ren rock thing dances dangerously close to folk metal...Dare I say they are the same thing:

Korpiklaani with their Sami folk music links to Finntroll. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korpiklaani

blame the finns..thats what i always do...

Shelby Cobras said...

There is nothing "metal" at all about what I just posted here. Watch that Amazing Blondel video. Watch it CLOSELY, and then tell me that the word METAL applies to it in any way whatsoever.

That's what I thought.

Camellia sinensis said...

upon further investigation i will capitulate to your insistence that there is nothing metal about Amazing Blondel. The Blackmore project that you included threw me off there for a minute.

I still blame Finland though.

Lord Kabballash III said...

Now then, Cobras, this is some nasty shit you've posted here. I was blissfully unaware of Blackmore's Night, but now my admiration of the guy that brought modern rock up with Deep Purple AND Rainbow is somewhat tarnished.

That IRRITATING woman needs to fuck right off. No wonder the poor bastard looks so sad. At first I thought it was Buckethead, until I realised he wasn't wearing a mask. Buckethead even has a better looking hat. Sad, sad, sad days.

That Renaissance Faire shit wouldn't go down too well over here in Britain. Try doing that in an inner city pub, and count the seconds till you get bottled.

The Amazing Blondel was THE MOST metal part of your post. Long haired dudes with high voices and tight clothing in a cathedral? That Cat Stevens guy scared the shit out of me a lot more than some guy in grease paint and pointy things.

Keep up the good work. This is the only blog I read now.

Shelby Cobras said...

I thank you for your kind words, Lord Kabballash, but must take issue with your claims. You seem to think that Britain is some how "too tough" for Ren Faires. How then, Sir, do you explain this or this or this or this or this? "Silly American poofters and their wanky Renrock"? HA! If I'm not mistaken, Amazing Blondel hails from your country, Sir, as does Ritchie Blackmore himself! In fact, didn't the Renaissance itself take place in Merry Olde England?! Poppycock! I will not allow you to wash your hands of this issue, Sir! Not now, not ever!

Thanks for reading, why can't I look at your website?

TMM said...

you are one of a kind......shelby

Anonymous said...

Check out Boiled in Lead.

A former roommate of mine was into them. Big in the ren fair crowd.

Even more entertaining than ren fair's are.... Fairy fests.

Shelby Cobras said...

Holy shit.

Anonymous said...

Psh whatever Cobras. I've seen you with a little acoustic guitar with a flowy pirate shirt on. LERMO'S AFTERNOON!!!

Lord Kabballash III said...

[hangs head in shame]

Indeed sir, you are more than correct regarding my sad, pathetic and downright embarrassing little country. But I made a mistake - I thought the term 'Renaissance Faire' referred to the BANDS - I had no idea of what they were (until just now - thanks Wikipedia).

Believing that these were gigging bands rather than acts booked to turn up at these 'Faires', I was mainly fantasising about seeing a band like that turn up in a working class inner city pub, and playing their music in front of, say, a crowd of drunk football hooligans who were expecting a punk band and some strippers. Now, that is a gig I would watch.

By the way, we don't have 'Renaissance Faires' over here - our equivalent is usually something to do with re-enactment societies, or a very sad and pathetic attempt to hold a festival. The British, however, cannot physically cope with 'fun', so it usually involves moaning about the cost of entry and wondering why everything is so expensive. The only people dressed up would be those performing - NEVER the audience. We are too ashamed of ourselves. There is no 'theme park' element, and the kind of people that go would be outraged if your clothing was, say, 10 years out of date for the period.

Anyway, our very own, very British, Blackmore seems to be at the heart of this Renrock business. For that, I can only apologise, on behalf of all my fellow countrymen. (While we're at it, I'd like to apologise for the Amazing Blondel and pretty much every British prog band for letting rock music go in this direction).

No, this country is not hard or tough, and I must also apologise for giving the impression that I felt it was. All our hard, tough, strong and worthy people were sent to or escaped to America just after the Renaissance, or ended up in Australia during your Wild West era. After that, we had two world wars and were then left with the dregs.

Now, if I were organising one of these historical thingamyjigs, THIS is the kind of shit I would book:
[corvus corax], [tyr], [troll bends fir],
[bagpipe metal],
[manegarm in folk mode], or [manegarm in full on metal mode].

Oh, the reason you can't access my website is because I am a lazy twat and haven't sorted it out - I'll get it online one day soon, and you can have a good laugh at it. It's going to be a kind of record label. Don't know why I put the link in though, to be honest. Also don't know why I chose this stupid pseudonym. Maybe I was drunk. I hope so.

Shelby Cobras said...

My Lord-

That's right, British dog. Bow. Bow to your bastard son. Bow to your fat, ugly, greedy bastard son.


No, but really. That Corvus Corax video blew my fucking mind. It was like there are 200 people on stage playing some sort of techno/Renrock fusion thing, and then all of the sudden there are people riding in on chariots and shit???? Good show, old man.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to combine "good Ren Faire" (Corvus Corax/Troll Bends Fir) and "bad Ren Faire" (Fairy Fest) into one massive post. Be on the lookout for that.

And I'm sorry I had to be the one to introduce to world of Ren Faires and Blackmore's Night. But it had to happen sooner or later.