Gary Hanak | Weekend Filker

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filk Harry Chapin, Taxi to Sequel t Ray Stevens, James Taylor

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United States - Missouri

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Folk: Alternative Folk Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Weekend Filker

by Gary Hanak

Original Filk (science fiction folk songs, sorta), both serious and silly, with full orchestration and four-part harmony. Harry Chapin meets Weird Al Yankovic, as told by Bare Naked Ladies.
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Farmer
4:40 $0.99
2. Grandfather
7:06 $0.99
3. Whale Song
4:14 $0.99
4. Epilog
8:49 $0.99
5. Oil's Well
3:05 $0.99
6. Weekend Filker
5:28 $0.99
7. Seventh Sojourn Flyby
2:32 $0.99
8. Odo's Blues
6:14 $0.99
9. The Six Cons of Henry VIII
10:46 $0.99
10. Oh Lady
5:03 $0.99
11. Spaceman's Load
3:50 $0.99
12. It Must Be a Deity
5:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Gary has been playing music since he was five. He started on the accordion, and switched to guitar somewhere around the high school/college transition when he figured out that the accordion was not exactly a babe magnet. He added piano, then bass, and has in the past gone so far as to direct a barbershop chorus and a church choir (he gave up the former involuntarily for lack of time, and the other voluntarily, for Lent). He composes original songs as well as parodies, and both of the CDs which he has released suffer from the distinction that any vocals or instrumentation heard on them were sung or played (or programmed, in the case of percussion) by Gary. Shades of Mike Oldfield...

His music is what is termed as 'Filk', a genre once roughly defined as 'science fiction folk singing', but which is making moves towards becoming the conscience music of the 21st century, when it's not being completely irreverent, comedic, or purposefully lewd, licentious, and vile. In the tradition of the Celtic bards, filk music is, as often as not, geared towards prodding thought about issues, spreading knowledge of the events of our times, and asking questions about difficult things, or about things that are simply never questioned.

His first CD, composed of originals, has no real basic theme. There's a Harry Chapin type song, and there's a song about basic bodily functions. There's a song that looks at one of the consequences of relativity and another more in the vein of "Young Frankenstein". There's a metaphysical song about whales and the real cause of global warming, and there's one about theology. The only thing in common is that all the songs were written as Filk songs.

Although willing to be lofted into that rarified segment of the music population that sells enough of their work to let the possibility of doing it full time begin to cross his mind, he has, in fact, been there and done that, and much prefers being able to afford room and board to trying it again. His strongest points, actually, are being able to at least approximately follow along with most of the music performed in filk circles whether he actually knows the music or not, and in being able to 'compose on the fly', neither trait being particularly easy to translate onto a CD.

When not doing music, he works as an engineer/scientist at Boeing. His background includes a BS in electrical engineering and an MS in computer science. Tom Smith (the World's Fastest Filker) is one of his current heroes, as well as Weird Al Yankovic, being one of the few accordion players out there who not only admit it but actually make something of a living at it.

The following is a brief synapse/description of the songs on the CD "Weekend Filker"
%% The Farmer -- this is the first filk song I ever wrote, loosely inspired by Star Wars, a new wife, and probably a few other things of which I'm not totally aware.

%% Grandfather -- This is a take on the famous "Twin Paradox" from relativity theory. It also evolved over the years into my first country song.

%% Whale Song -- This started out as an attempt to write a humorous song, because Mickey Zucher Reichert was really tired of the dirges typically performed in St Louis filk circles. Just goes to show you just never know how things will turn out...

%% Epilog -- 'Taxi', 'Sequel', and now, 'Epilog'. This was meant as a tribute to Harry Chapin, as a kind of 'what if' story, and with the fervent hope it won't offend Tom, Steve, Sandy, or anybody else who was a fan of Harry and his music.

%% Oil's Well -- Stuck behind a curtain during classified test procedures, with not much to do for long periods of time except think about things, such as--"What's the most valuble stuff in the Universe?"

%% Weekend Filker -- Still behind the curtain, thinking about things. Like, "Why the hell am I still stuck behind this curtain? Whose idea was this, anyway?" (My wife, when she heard this song, decided then and there that this was the title of the CD. The title I was going to use--Delusions of Adequacy--became the title of CD number two.)

%% Seventh Sojourn Flyby -- I have no clue where this one came from. That's probably a good thing.

%% Odo's Blues -- This one was the result of a 'write a filk song' panel at Archon 22. If you really, really don't like it, blame Steve Macdonald. We needed an idea, so he suggested "...uh--that chair gets up and walks around." Later, I decided the only character I knew that could have done that was Odo from Deep Space 9, so I altered the original chorus and added a couple verses.

%% The Six Cons of Henry VIII -- If it weren't medieval in nature, it would be another country song, because I wrote it mainly to be able to use the title. Isn't that how most country songs get written?

%% Oh Lady -- Sadly, a tribute song to my first fan, Cyd.

%% Spaceman's Load -- If you filk, you need a song about bodily functions...

%% It Must Be a Diety -- Thanks to the Kansas State Board of Education for inspiration. Among others. Where would we be without them? Other than scientifically literate...



to write a review

Jeff Edwards

Weekend Filker
The creative humor and musical skill of Gary are on full display in this album, meaning well-honed and very well done. I look forward to his future albums. If the pressures of his other commitments squeeze his creative essence into his next album, it will be a great addition to this genre.

Cindi Verbelun

Weekend Filker
I enjoyed this album quite a bit. Gary has a great sense of humor in his comic writin, and is very touching in his serious songs like: "Epilog", which Harry Chapin would probably have liked very much.