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    1. Highlights from the Cambridge Folk Festival 2022

      I go to the Cambridge Folk Festival every year with my dad, uncles, and various other family and friends. It's been cancelled for two years on the bounce due to the pandemic, and it was an...

      I go to the Cambridge Folk Festival every year with my dad, uncles, and various other family and friends. It's been cancelled for two years on the bounce due to the pandemic, and it was an absolute joy to return this year! I got back yesterday, and wanted to share a few musical finds with my fellow Tilderen :)

      Afro Celt Sound System

      These guys put on an absolutely fantastic live show. It's a great fusion of African, Celtic, and electronic music, although leaning more into the Celtic and electronic sides of things if truth be told. There were a lot of very cool percussion elements, and each performer took a brilliant solo. Fully enjoyable, although potentially better live than in recording. Have a listen to When You're Falling.

      Show of Hands

      Much more what you might think of when someone says "folk music," Show of Hands did two stunning sets. They're normally a three-piece, but their third member wasn't present for the festival. Even as a duo, they sang a load of incredibly heartfelt music, with wonderful harmonies and great stories. Have a listen to Roots and Cousin Jack.

      Julie Fowlis

      Julie did the soundtrack for the Pixar movie Brave, and while she didn't perform any of the tracks from the film in her set at the festival, she was still a really engaging performer, singing in Gaelic and playing some incredibly cool whistle and bagpipe tunes. Hùg Air A' Bhonaid Mhòir is worth listening to to get a feel for what she does.

      Spiers and Boden

      My daughter described these two as "giants of folk," a description which she may have stolen from the festival programme, but is very accurate all the same. The two founding members of the iconic modern folk band Bellowhead, their two-piece performance is as high energy and exciting as a Bellowhead live show. Old Maui is a great ear-worm, and Rochdale Coconut Dance is one of my favourite traditional tunes. I attended a tunes workshop with John Spiers (the melodion player) and picked up a couple of fun new tunes as well.

      Chico Trujillo

      My best friend and I danced for an hour straight to this set. Absolute 10/10 party music. They're a Chilean cumbia band drawing on all sorts of South American influences, as well as sprinklings reggae, ska, and punk. They're incredibly high energy, and definitely one to see live if you can. I didn't catch the names of any of their songs (they just played for an hour straight, and didn't waste any time chatting to the audience!), but have a skim through this live video to get an idea of just how excellent they are. My highlight of the weekend for sure.

      The Young'Uns

      I've seen these guys perform a couple of times before, and am always blown away by them. They were doing sea shanties before TikTok discovered their joys, and have absolutely top notch stage banter. One of their number is blind, but no less talented a pianist for it. Their vocal harmonies are crisp and clear, and all of the songs have a rich story to go with them. When I'm Cleaning Windows is a top tier parody, but also check out Tom Payne's Bones and Be The Man for some of their more serious stuff.

      Elephant Sessions

      All the way from the Scottish highlands, I only caught a couple of the songs from their set (my daughter wanted to see Passenger who was on at the same time), but they're astonishingly good. Real foot-stomping stuff. They play their tunes almost aggressively, and have an incredible light show to match. Sadly another band that aren't quite as exciting in recording as they are live. But check out Search Party all the same.

      The Spooky Men's Chorale

      They are men. They are a group. But They Are Not a Men's Group. Hailing from Australia and wearing an array of hats, they sing a mixture of silly songs and beautiful Georgian chants. More excellent harmonies, and a wonderful stage presence, they wowed particularly with Crossing the Bar and a pair of Ukranian traditional songs which I sadly cannot find links to.

      The Trials of Cato

      I'm still undecided on these guys. I was very excited to see them, but felt their set lacked a bit of energy (penultimate slot on the last day of the festival is always tricky, I suppose!). They have a new singer, and I'm not a huge fan of her singing voice either. With all that said, they had a whacking great sound, and added some fabulous electronic elements to their set. Fortunately, I think their recordings do do them justice, so give Difrrwch, Tom Paine's Bones, and Gloria your attention!

      5 votes
    2. Weekly megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - July 28

      This thread is posted weekly on Thursday - please try to post relevant content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Especially significant updates may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted weekly on Thursday - please try to post relevant content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Especially significant updates may warrant a separate topic, but most should be posted here.

      If you'd like to help support Ukraine, please visit the official site at https://help.gov.ua/ - an official portal for those who want to provide humanitarian or financial assistance to people of Ukraine, businesses or the government at the times of resistance against the Russian aggression.

      14 votes
    3. Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread

      General Programming Q&A thread! Ask any questions about programming, answer the questions of other users, or post suggestions for future threads. Don't forget to format your code using the triple...

      General Programming Q&A thread! Ask any questions about programming, answer the questions of other users, or post suggestions for future threads.

      Don't forget to format your code using the triple backticks or tildes:

      Here is my schema:
      
      ```sql
      CREATE TABLE article_to_warehouse (
        article_id   INTEGER
      , warehouse_id INTEGER
      )
      ;
      ```
      
      How do I add a `UNIQUE` constraint?
      
      5 votes
    4. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      7 votes
    5. Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of August 1

      This thread is posted weekly, and is intended as a place for more-casual discussion of the coronavirus and questions/updates that may not warrant their own dedicated topics. Tell us about what the...

      This thread is posted weekly, and is intended as a place for more-casual discussion of the coronavirus and questions/updates that may not warrant their own dedicated topics. Tell us about what the situation is like where you live!

      6 votes
    6. What have you been watching / reading this week? (Anime/Manga)

      What have you been watching and reading this week? You don't need to give us a whole essay if you don't want to, but please write something! Feel free to talk about something you saw that was...

      What have you been watching and reading this week? You don't need to give us a whole essay if you don't want to, but please write something! Feel free to talk about something you saw that was cool, something that was bad, ask for recommendations, or anything else you can think of.

      If you want to, feel free to find the thing you're talking about and link to its pages on Anilist, MAL, or any other database you use!

      6 votes
    7. What's a game that you wish you could play again for the first time? Why?

      Going off of my recent Outer Wilds thread (spoiler warning on that topic), what are some games that you wish you could play again for the first time? What about the game makes you feel that way?...

      Going off of my recent Outer Wilds thread (spoiler warning on that topic), what are some games that you wish you could play again for the first time? What about the game makes you feel that way?

      Feel free to talk about spoilers, but please flag them! The easiest way is to drop them in a details block. Markup below in case anyone needs to copy/paste:

      <details>
      <summary>Spoilers</summary>
      
      Spoilers go here!
      </details>
      
      10 votes
    8. Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of July 25

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate...

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      12 votes
    9. What are your NEW recommendations?

      Every time someone brings up a topic about recommendations to get normies into anime, they tend to bring up the same old familiar ones like Cowboy Bebop or FLCL or maybe even a Gundam or two....

      Every time someone brings up a topic about recommendations to get normies into anime, they tend to bring up the same old familiar ones like Cowboy Bebop or FLCL or maybe even a Gundam or two. There's always a recommendation of one of the current anime du jour, and the only thing that comes close to being a 'modern classic' recommendation is FMA: Brotherhood.

      While I don't have a problem with recommending old anime categorically (Cowboy Bebop won't stop being Cowboy Bebop even if we keep trying to reinvent that wheel), a lot of it is not super accessible, much of it looks very different from modern anime, and the last few years have seen some really amazing productions in both film and TV anime, to the point where a lot of the older stuff just feels really outdated and simple.

      With that being said, what are your new recommendations for people who want an introduction to anime?

      13 votes