(relating to a reply to this track and its tag “just don’t call it freak-folk, that term is so dismissive and stupid”)
Your defensiveness about the term seems to prove my point, although it may be defensiveness with good reason - I guess it depends who’s using the term. Most times I’ve seen it used, e.g. in relation to Woods, it seems more of a compliment than a dismissal - though perhaps a backhanded one, I wouldn’t see it like that. I like the idea of freak-folk, same as I do of hardcore for nerds: it comes from acceptance and ownership of a term otherwise used as a criticism. If I were a queer painter, I might find value in the term ‘art-fag’. It depends on what you consider a freak to mean, and if it’s something truly abhorrent (after all, it’s not called ‘socially well-adjusted, norm-obeying folk’, is it?).
From the OED (the, uh, Online Etymology Dictionary):
"freak - 1560s, "sudden turn of mind," perhaps related to O.E. frician “to dance” (not recorded in M.E., but the word may have survived in dialect), or perhaps from M.E. frek “bold, quickly,” from O.E. frec “greedy, gluttonous.” Sense of “capricious notion” (1560s) and “unusual thing, fancy” (1784) preceded that of “strange or abnormal individual” (first in freak of nature, 1847). The sense in health freak, ecology freak, etc. is attested from 1908. The verb meaning “change, distort” goes back to 1911.”