Saturday, March 19, 2011


Filk is a musical culture, genre, and community tied to science fiction/fantasy fandom and a type of fan labor.  The genre has been active since the early 1950s, and played primarily since the mid-1970s. The term (originally a typographical error) predates 1955.

This description of filker Tom Smith is from his own web site

Tom is NOT your ordinary comedy musician. With the lyrical complexity of Ashman and Sondheim, the vocal fireworks of Meat Loaf, the comedic timing of Robin Williams, and the dynamic physique of the Skipper from Gilligan's Island, the only thing he won't do is be boring.

The only recording artist to be featured on both NPR's Sound and Spirit and The Dr. Demento Show, and writer of the official chantey for Talk Like A Pirate Day, Tom has been praised by such diverse folk as singer-songwriter Christine Lavin, author Larry Niven, and web cartoonist Randy Milholland. He has sixteen albums so far, blending comedy, tragedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, popular culture, technology, politics, religion, and the occasional recipe with virtually every genre of music you can imagine.

Starting out at sf/fantasy conventions, Tom has been branching out to house concerts and regular gigs the past couple of years. He arranges and records at home, using MIDI, loops, and all manner of software gadgetry... but in performance, it's just him and his guitar, in a high-energy, family-friendly show filled with laughter, shtick, and really, really bad puns.

Tom Smith performs his song "Spoiler Alert" live at Windycon 34 on November 10th 2007.


  1. Freak, Your pall Phileas here. I just popped in from the future to tell you that I am almost certain I saw you leading a filking group. Some how you were managing to work Lordi into a Tribute to Tribbles. Oh, the pain, the pain. Please remember that the future isn't set in stone - don't make it so!

  2. Glad you enjoyed my posting of the talented filk singer-songwriter Tom Smith’s live recording of “Spoiler Alert”, Phileas! I know how much of fan of Filk music you are… what’s that? Bill E. Bones is yelling at me! He’s a what? Oh! Sorry ‘bout that, Phineas. Bones tells me you’re a FOLK music fan and not a FILK music fan. As far as I’m concerned, Filk music combines the best of everything… music and SF/Fantasy!

    How far in the future are we talking here, Phileas? I haven’t written any Tribble filk songs yet, but I am working on a filk song based on a Lordi tune about the brief fling between Lt. Worf and Commander Deanna Troi. It’s sung to the Lordi tune “Would you Love a Monsterman” and is called “Would You Love a Klingon Man”. If you want to stop by the lab sometime, I can sing a few verses for you!