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Cowtown Keeylocko, AZ - population 5, most of the time

"The difficult ... you're supposed to do right away. The impossible ... that'll take you a few days longer." Building your own town out near Tuscon, Arizona probably falls in the category of "the impossible," but Ed Keeylocko did that, a pickup truck of materials at a time. This is the story of Cowtown Keeylocko, built by an African-American with red hair and swamp green eyes, who was abandoned by his mother, a self-proclaimed minority of minorities. He served in Korea and Vietnam, and he returned to the US, where he took up ranching in Arizona. In December of 1974, he founded Cowtown Keeylocko, a western ranch that is "an odd mixture of the real and the fanciful." The ranch/town expanded by 1989 to have a mayor, citizens, its own zip code, fourty-six head of cattle, three ranch hands, 10,800 acres of land, and five buildings (Google books preview). The March/April 1996 issue of American Cowboy has a short article on Ed Keeylocko and his cowtown, and here's a more recent (but still dated) website on the mayor and trail boss of Cowtown Keeylocko, with stories from visitors and photos from a roundup.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 31, 2014 - 6 comments

OK. 3, 2, 1. Let's Jam!

The year is 2071. Humanity has spread across the solar system and the Space Police have reinstated the bounty system of the Old West: catch wanted fugitives alive, deliver them to the cops and get paid. Cowboy Bebop chronicles the adventures (and misadventures) of a group of bounty hunters as they try to catch bad guys and make a living. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 7, 2013 - 153 comments

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

'Church,
I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If you’re not familiar, here’s the song.' [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 11, 2013 - 80 comments

Trapped By The Hairy Hand Of Fate!

Jess Nevins presents: Six-Gun Gorilla! The story of one gorilla's quest for vengeance across the Old West. The archetypal cowboy ape, publicly available for the first time.

Originally published in 1939, Six-Gun Gorilla is available as a result of Nevins' (completed) Kickstarter for the Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Sep 24, 2012 - 11 comments

Cow Boy Comic

Cow Boy - the tale of Boyd Linney, a ten-year-old bounty hunter determined to round up his outlaw family. Or as Chris Sims puts it: "True Grit: The Animated Series".
posted by Artw on Apr 25, 2012 - 17 comments

But the mind kind he knows like the palm of his hand.

When a cowboy says 'women,' he means two different kinds: There's the real kind and then there's the kind in his mind.
A song by Dan Reeder, for your edumatainment.
posted by kaibutsu on Sep 12, 2011 - 15 comments

African-Americans in the Wild West: Nat Love, Cherokee Bill, and Stagecoach Mary Fields

The stories and pictures of the Wild West commonly feature white men, with little notion of the diversity present in the later half of the 19th century beyond the various regiments of "buffalo soldiers". In reality, black cowboys made up a large portion of the cowhand population, possibly a quarter of all cowboys. Estimations range from 5,000 to 15,000 cowboys being of African heritage. Many have been forgotten in the passing of time, but some of their stories live on. For instance, the cowboy Nat Love, the outlaw Cherokee Bill, and (all sorts of awesome) "Stagecoach" Mary Fields. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 25, 2011 - 21 comments

Happy Trails (of Tarnation) To You

Nicholas Gurewitch, the insane genius behind the surreal webcomic The Perry Bible Fellowship, is now the co-creator of a new online live-action series, an Adult Swim-ish psychedelic-comedy Western: Trails of Tarnation. The first episode is up...NOW. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude on Feb 23, 2011 - 37 comments

Dead or alive

Wanted: Jonah Hex - on making a movie prop, and a little about actual Old West wanted posters.
posted by Artw on Jul 1, 2010 - 43 comments

See You (now) Space Cowboy

Every episode of Cowboy Bebop.

The Cowboy Bebop movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door
posted by educatedslacker on Jul 7, 2009 - 58 comments

The Brotherhood of the Very Expensive Pants

"It's like I used to enjoy firecrackers, but now it takes dynamite to get me high." Brit Eaton takes Outside magazine on a safari for vintage clothing in the wild west. (via)
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jan 21, 2009 - 19 comments

I 've Told you,sit relax

And now, a singing crocodile dressed as a cowboy teaches you to meditate. [SLYT, via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 8, 2008 - 39 comments

Learn from us, very much...

Some Velvet Morning When I'm Straight - the "Cowboy Psychedelia" of Lee Hazlewood in duet with Nancy Sinatra, and its many, many, covers.
posted by Artw on Aug 16, 2008 - 31 comments

Bull Poker

Desperate for money? Short on good sense? Bull Poker might be for you! Last one to get up from the table and run for his life wins the pot! All YouTube links. Warning: Some gore and blood. [more inside]
posted by Daddy-O on Feb 15, 2008 - 23 comments

Revealing Character

Revealing Character — In 2004 and 2005, photographer Robb Kendrick traveled through Texas to take tintypes of working cowboys and cowgirls, capturing a part of American life that evolves with the times.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 21, 2008 - 13 comments

Ramblin' Jack Elliott on the YouTube and Online

In more or less chonological appearance, here are examples of one of our very own still extant national musical treasures:
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Talking Merchant Marine
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - San Francisco Bay Blues
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Salt Pork West Virginia
And here, from SXSW 2006, is Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Billy Bragg - The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd
Also from SXSW 2006, Jack Elliott & Marty Stuart - Engine 143
From last year, here is Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Old Shep
and Ramblin' Jack Elliott - South Coast
And from last week's Bill Graham's Birthday Bash, here is
Phil Lesh, Jackie Greene & Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Friend of The Devil [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 20, 2008 - 8 comments

Ziggy Stardust & the Legendary Stardust Cowboy

Ziggy Stardust is one of David Bowie's most famous and enduring creations. Bowie's inspiration for the name came from "Ziggy's," a London tailor shop, and from one of the most unusual performers of the period, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. Bowie explains his fascination with "The Ledge" In this interview, (topic starts at 2:00). So what ever happened to The Ledge? Well, he's somehow morphed into a bad frat party act!! (anyone else reminded of Otis Day and the Knights?)
posted by janetplanet on Jul 5, 2007 - 12 comments

Deep in west Texas town of El Paso....

Classic poetry of the Old West. Alone on the prarie, with only their thoughts to comfort them these poets wrote. Not always the greatest of poems, they still capture the essence of the romantic cowboy.
posted by ozomatli on Mar 10, 2006 - 6 comments

And a smile can hide all the pain

The Original Rhinestone Cowboy. "I was laying on my bedside just as lonesome as I could be. I was by myself and so lonesome the tears just come in my eyes. I was so lonesome I prayed and said: 'Lord, give me something to make me happy' Now, you won't believe this, but the Lord told me to make an outfit. I went downtown and bought me a suit and became Rhinestone, and I ain't had one moment of lonesomeness since."
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 10, 2006 - 3 comments

The Ledge

The Ledge He appeared on Laugh In, produced one of the truly weirdest 45s of the 60's, and was one of many inspirations for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. Meet Norman Carl Odam, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
posted by timsteil on Dec 7, 2005 - 13 comments

Winnetou und Shatterhand

Unless you are German you may not have heard of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, characters created by Karl May. A possible D.I.D. sufferer, he had never set foot in America and began to write his Wild West stories whilst in jail. Popular with readers across Europe, his books have been translated into over thirty different languages. Spaghetti Westerns partly came about because early 60s films [test your knowledge] based on his books, inspired Italian producers to invest in Westerns. His life story was made part of Syberberg's trilogy in 1974.
posted by tellurian on Aug 9, 2005 - 26 comments

the saddest song I've ever heard

The Streets of Laredo: The Cowboy's Lament was originally written as the Irish drover balled Bard of Armaugh (or Armagh), which later mutated into A Handful of Laurel, about a young man dying of syphilis in a London hospital, musing back on his days in the alehouses and whorehouses. Immigrants settling in the Appalachians brought their own version, The Unfortunate Rake, sung as early as 1790, about a young soldier dying of mercury poisoning, a result of treatment for venereal disease, who requests a military funeral - a slight but important evolution from the previous version. The current lyrics are most popularly attributed to cowboy Frances Henry "Frank" Maynard, who copyrighted them in 1879. While various versions of the song were popular in the US before Maynard took pen to paper and needle to wax cylinder (under such titles as Locke Hospital, St. James Infirmary Blues, Tom Sherman's Bar and Way Down in Lodorra), his version is the one with which we are most familiar today.

beat the drum slowly, play the fife lowly / sound the death march as you carry me along / cover my body in sweet-smelling posies / for I'm the young (rake, soldier, man, girl, lass, etc) cut down in (his/her) prime (or and I know I've done wrong)

The song has been recorded by pretty much every country, western and folk-identified musical artist since recording music became practical, although the most popular versions must be those by Arlo Guthrie (who once said it was "the saddest song I know," and who sings it on his album Son of the Wind) and Johnny Cash (who added a few verses to his 1965 version, improving the song a bit and making it more emotionally complex). Roger McGuinn's creative commons-licensed version is one of my personal favorites, as is Bobby Sutliff's version.
posted by luriete on Aug 3, 2005 - 26 comments

Overtone Cowboy

Arthur Miles [mp3], the throat-singing cowboy, singing about the lonesome cowboy. Types of throat-singing, with tips, brought to you by the International Association for Harmonic Singing.
posted by kenko on May 29, 2005 - 12 comments

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