171 posts tagged with americana.
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Two Big Shefs, One Funmeal, and some Americana

Burger Chef was a US fast food chain, created in the 1950's, that once rivaled McDonald's. In the early 1970's it had over 1000 locations nationwide. In the 1980's General Foods Corporation gradually divested itself of the chain by selling locations to Hardee's. Some people remember Burger Chef quite fondly. [more inside]
posted by cwest on May 20, 2016 - 36 comments

"You find out they made mistakes, thus proving that they are human.”

In 1938, as the Great Depression was winding down, a Texas radio station began airing “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls,” a variety show broadcast every Wednesday night from the state prison in Huntsville. The show featured male and female prisoners singing, strumming, dancing, and acting. At one point, it had five million listeners, who sent in as many as a 100,000 fan letters each year. Executions were stayed so that they would not conflict with the show, which was performed in an auditorium 50 yards from Old Sparky, the state’s electric chair.
A Peek at the Golden Age of Prison RadioThe Marshall Project: Nonprofit journalism about criminal justice [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on May 19, 2016 - 6 comments

Blonde on Blonde turned 50 on Monday...

...the ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
Blonde on Blonde turned 50 on Monday... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2016 - 39 comments

Gee, that's eatin'

Railway Paradise: How a Fine-Dining Empire Made the Southwest Palatable to Outsiders
posted by jjray on May 14, 2016 - 7 comments

Retro Roadmap

With Retro Roadmap, Mod Betty makes it easy for you to find Cool Vintage Places - (grand)mom & (grand)pop places that have stood the test of time while still retaining their authentic charm.
posted by MoonOrb on May 1, 2016 - 13 comments

Shouldn't there be a statute of limitations on all Tom Green movies?

James Myers, Jr. of Concord, NC was arrested on Tuesday after police stopped him for a broken brake light and, upon running his license, were surprised to discover an outstanding arrest warrant for him. From 2002. For failing to return a rented VHS tape (VHS was a video storage format popular in the United States at one time). That tape? Tom Green's 2001 opus, Freddy Got Fingered. (Trailer)
posted by Naberius on Mar 24, 2016 - 99 comments

Bedrock City in Bad Decline

"What happens when a cultural empire crumbles?"
posted by Iridic on Mar 24, 2016 - 52 comments

Anywhere I go, I just haves a zeal.

Was it surprising that your music became popular again?

Well, no. Because everywhere I went, even when I was five and six years old, when I’d go to these clubs to play, the first thing they would say when I walked in the door, folks started to pattin’ and hollerin’, ''Let Sam have it! Let Sam have it!'' And I’d get that, man, and people - whoo! I’d put life all in there! And it’s the same thing right now. Anywhere I go, I just haves a zeal. I have a good zeal to play.
Sam Chatmon - Make Me A Pallet On the Floor [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 24, 2015 - 11 comments

The world's longest yard sale runs for nearly 700 miles

It seems fair to say that the average yard sale has a few hundred items for purchase, maybe a thousand, between the bins of baby clothes and the stacks of books and the junk boxes full of old Happy Meal toys. That's a dense concentration of the evidence of lived human lives. But imagine even more. Imagine the sheer scale of humanity at the largest yard sale there's ever been.
posted by Chrysostom on Sep 2, 2015 - 20 comments

"He was a medical doctor, but he wrote songs."

Ben Bullington was a small-town doctor in Livingston, Montana, who wrote and recorded country/Americana music in his spare time. In November of 2012 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and decided to start crossing things off his bucket list. One of those things was doing a songwriting workshop in Nashville, and that brought him into the orbit of the great Darrell Scott. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jul 12, 2015 - 6 comments

I Would Draw Her Likeness

American art as the production of widely circulating likenesses—to be traced by limners, peddled to clients, collected by the bushel, featured in Home Decorating, tallied at auction, and absorbed by image banks.
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 7, 2015 - 7 comments

American Gothic, without the Pitchfork

Brian Carpenter is a master of dark Americana. Hailing from Boston, his style is fluid, mostly referencing early 20th Century American jazz and other folk/roots music. His first band that caught attention, Beat Circus worked in a self-described "American Gothic" style, releasing three albums with three different themes. But this is not his sole musical endeavor. [more inside]
posted by aloiv2 on May 3, 2015 - 1 comment

Who forgot to put gas in the car‽

Three years ago, for the 50th birthday of the interrobang, a punctuation mark combining both the shape and the meaning of a question mark and an exclamation mark, Nora Maynard interviewed Penny Spekter, the widow of its creator, about typography and working as a woman in advertising in the 1960s. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Mar 12, 2015 - 16 comments

So long, Wolfman, so long

Today we bid a sad farewell to the last of the old-school Mississippi Hill Country bluesmen: Mr. Robert Belfour was a purveyor or that gritty, driving, riff-based, often one-chord Hill Country style pioneered by people like Mississippi Fred McDowell, and in more recent years popularized by artists like RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill. Let's take a listen, then, as we pay our respects to the "Wolfman", to some of his rocking, soulful blues. Here's Black Mattie, I Got My Eyes On You, Hill Stomp, Go Ahead On, My Baby's Gone, Done Got Old and You Got Me Crying. And here's an hour-long recording from February 2013, via NPR: Robert Belfour: Live In Concert.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 25, 2015 - 13 comments

Conversing with a musician's musician

Ry Cooder shares an hour of vignettes about skipping school in the '50s to teach himself guitar by listenting to hillbilly radio, how he came to work with Flaco Jiminez, being schooled by the old time Cuban musicians in the Buena Vista Social Club recording and more. Music journalist Barry Mazor draws him out about his 50-year career in a delightful and highly entertaining chat - an hour didn't seem nearly long enough.
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 8, 2015 - 6 comments

There'll be a hell of a Mardi Gras in heaven next month

It's time to say so long to legendary Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Bo Dollis, who, for many years, led his Wild Magnolias through the streets of the Crescent City. Handa Wanda, Big Chief, Ho Na Nae and Jockomo Jockomo. Oops Upside Your Head [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 20, 2015 - 16 comments

Orange Julius and a Hotdog

1989: America's malls. The places where nothing — and everything — has changed. In 1989, Michael Galinsky, then a 20-year-old student, took a month to traverse the U.S. Everywhere he went, he documented the same place: the shopping mall. The results are now an archive of a vanished world, simultaneously familiar and foreign, trivial and full of meaning.
posted by standardasparagus on Dec 3, 2014 - 163 comments

this will answer all of your questions but it is in Chinese

The Shack Up Inn is a hospitality institution just outside of historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Their FAQ page helpfully provides information regarding any questions you might have about amenities, bedding quality, or Didelphimorphia reproduction.
posted by theodolite on Nov 24, 2014 - 15 comments

The life I love is making music with my friends

All Roads Lead to [still-living country music legend*] Willie Nelson: "In a time when America is more divided than ever, Nelson could be the one thing that everybody agrees on." [more inside]
posted by scody on Sep 2, 2014 - 27 comments

Envisioning the American Dream

Envisioning the American Dream is "a visual remix of the American Dream as pictured in Mid-Century media" that discusses topics such as Man and Machines, Vintage Advice for Cheaters, and Suburbia for Sale, amongst many others.
posted by gemutlichkeit on Jun 9, 2014 - 5 comments

If I get killed, please don't bury my soul.

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie. No grave site, no photograph. Forget that — no anecdotes. This is what set Geeshie and Elvie apart even from the rest of an innermost group of phantom geniuses of the ’20s and ’30s. Their myth was they didn’t have anything you could so much as hang a myth on.
posted by oinopaponton on Apr 12, 2014 - 42 comments

Love the True Detective theme? A brief intro to The Handsome Family

The Handsome Family are an alt-country and americana band based in Albuquerque via Chicago, Texas and Long Island. They have currently finding a new audience thanks to having their song Far From Any Road used as the theme from True Detective on HBO. [more inside]
posted by gnuhavenpier on Feb 27, 2014 - 20 comments

American Deep Blues Touring 1960's Britain

The American Folk Blues Festival 1962 - 1966; Vol 2; Vol 3 - The festival was an annual event with dozens of classic blues greats like Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf playing to appreciative UK audiences. "Attendees at Manchester in 1962, the first ever venue for the festival in Britain, included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Jimmy Page. Subsequent attendees at the first London festivals are believed to have also included such influential musicians as Eric Burdon, Eric Clapton, and Steve Winwood. Collectively these were the primary movers in the blues explosion that would lead to the British Invasion." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 23, 2014 - 19 comments

36 years in the making

Ry Cooder and Corridos Famosos: Live "From this rich catalog, Cooder cherry-picked only a dozen songs to include on Live but they’re fairly representative of his eclectic oeuvre. His picks also feature plenty of his guitar playing, which will please fans who felt (as I sometimes did) that his recent albums were a bit stingy with his greatest asset. " "The shows also were a family affair. The Corridos Famosos include Ry’s son Joachim on drums, Joachim’s wife Juliet Commagere on vocals, and her brother Robert Francis on bass, as well as an old friend and collaborator, Flaco Jimenez, the Tejano accordionist who was at Cooder’s side when he played this venue 34 years earlier. Terry Evans, another veteran of the 1977 shows, handles backup vocals, along with Arnold McCuller, filling in for Cooder’s other longtime singing partner Bobby King." Don't miss the clip at the end of the review. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 19, 2013 - 17 comments

Born To Run Into The Ground

Laments for Blockbuster in the style of Bruce Springsteen. Another dying American industry mourned.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard on Nov 16, 2013 - 27 comments

Maura O'Connell to Retire as Solo Act

 “I’d say that my great days, they’re all done,” she said. “I figured out after the last record I did that I’m what is known as now, a legacy artist, which means basically, you’re on your own. . . . It’s been a long road, and it’s been a great road — I’ve been very lucky so much over my life. But at this stage I feel like I’m only going backwards.”
[more inside] posted by julen on Oct 25, 2013 - 7 comments

American Gothic

The Elvis Impersonator, the Karate Instructor, the Fridge full of Severed Heads, and the Plot to Kill the President. In March, Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Mississippi, was arrested for mailing ricin-laced letters to a local judge, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, and the President - only to be released a week later when another man was arrested for the crime. In the latest issue of GQ, Wells Tower sets out to get to the bottom of the tale and finds himself falling down the rabbit hole into a whole other universe of lost American weirdness. (Know that Moo Cow the dog is okay.)
posted by Naberius on Oct 1, 2013 - 53 comments

Being a mermaid "is a lot more fun than bagging groceries."

Tourists have been visiting the roadside attraction since 1947. Don Knotts filmed a movie there, and Supergrass made a video. A few men have tried to join, but mostly it's a women's (underwater) world at Weeki Wachee. Now the New York Times visits The Last Mermaid Show.
posted by scody on Jul 5, 2013 - 32 comments

A Little Old-Timey Song or Two

"One Town at a Time", by Pokey LaFarge [SLVIMEO] [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jun 19, 2013 - 5 comments

Let's take it back to the source

You might have heard at one time or another a 60s band called Canned Heat, who made a wee bit of a splash way back when with a little number called Going Up the Country. The song featured a simple but very catchy little flute riff between verses. If you ever wondered where that riff came from (not to mention the melodic contour of the tune itself) you need look no further than a 1928 recording by Henry Thomas, who played the flute melody on his quills, or, panpipes. The song was called Bull Doze Blues. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 24, 2013 - 37 comments

"The Lower Depths"

Before the National Enquirer, TMZ, Globe, The Star and other gossip tabloids, there was the National Police Gazette. Founded in 1845, it originally covered "highwaymen and suchlike malefactors, the thought being that the public would get on to the evil-doers and fix their wagons." Thirty years later a new owner transformed 'the oldest weekly in America' into a full-on tabloid covering "murders, Wild West outlaws, and sport... well known for its engravings and photographs of scantily clad strippers, burlesque dancers, and prostitutes, often skirting on the edge of what [was] legally considered obscenity." Some even consider it "America’s first popular men’s magazine." The Gazette shut down in 1977, but has now been resurrected. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 2, 2013 - 9 comments

I believe, I believe my time ain’t long...

“Dust My Broom”: The Story of a Song
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 2, 2013 - 13 comments

Just you, the artist, and some new friends.

House concerts are becoming more popular across the country. In Cleveland, Mechanic Street House Concerts has been hosting six shows per year since 2009, most recently opening their doors to the Shivering Timbers with Tom Evanchuck.
posted by slogger on Jan 17, 2013 - 43 comments

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks
This is the complete show from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz in March 1987.   Via The Iwebender Channel

Love that Maria Elena.... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 9, 2012 - 10 comments

Punch Brothers, Mandolin Brothers and Lloyd Loar

On Monday September 24th, Mandolin Brothers were visited by 3/5ths of The Punch Brothers: Chris Thile, along with Chris Eldridge and Noam Pickelny. Chris played their Lloyd Loar 1924 F-5 mandolin and their 1925 Fern. Among the numbers they played was a lovely rendition of Tennessee Waltz. Previously [more inside]
posted by Bartonius on Dec 3, 2012 - 16 comments

The Answer My Friend

Whirligigs are whimsical, wind-driven expressions of American folk art that first appeared in this country nearly 200 years ago. Traditional designs depict common characters and activities of early American rural life, from farmers milking cows to lumbermen chopping wood. Here are some highlights of the ninth annual Whirligig & Weathervane Festival in Shelburne Nova Scotia, September 2008. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Oct 24, 2012 - 9 comments

Mittenless man discovers hidden talent

Farmer plays a song with ‘hand-farts’ (1933). (SLvideo / SFW)
posted by mudpuppie on Oct 12, 2012 - 28 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

There is a house in New Orleans

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I'm one.

[more inside]
posted by growabrain on Aug 19, 2012 - 51 comments

the soul of American music, laid out, explained, delineated and personalized, brilliantly

Goddammit it, I wish I'd written this deliciously nail-on-the-head, brilliantly insightful and sweeping overview of American musico-cultural history, seasoned with heavy dollops of personal remembrances and observations that I identify with so much that it's almost scary. But alas, I didn't. Still, I'm really, really grateful that William Hogeland did: Coons! Freaks! Hillwilliams! : 200 Years of Roots-Rock Revival (a Memoir).
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 28, 2012 - 22 comments

Roots and Branches of Americana

Ray Wylie Hubbard hosts Roots and Branches weekly live from Tavern In The Gruene for New Braunfels, Texas radio station KNBT 92.1 FM. Two hours of music and interviews with established and up and coming Americana artists.
posted by Catch on Jul 18, 2012 - 18 comments

road trip to the American past

motor life blog is Charlie Beesly's fun collection of (mostly) found photos celebrating cars and their owners. Don't miss the winsome training wheels post and the early Kodacolor collection. We've seen some of Charlie's other themed found photos here previously.
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 8, 2012 - 5 comments

Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Old City Hall, Redding California, 1988

Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Old City Hall, Redding California, 1988
This is Ramblin' Jack in his prime. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 20, 2012 - 7 comments

RL in '78, TJ in '83

Oh yeah. There he is, Mr. RL Burnside, in the year of nineteen and seventy eight, Independence, Mississippi, porch fulla kids, singin' about when his first wife left him, million-dollar smile on his face. And there he is again, with his guitar and amp, out by the barb wire fence, a poor boy a long way from home. These two little gems just added to the Alan Lomax Archive YouTube channel, where you'll also find some wonderful newly-uploaded clips (filmed in 1983) from fretless banjo plucker Tommy Jarrell, the toast of Toast, North Carolina.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 15, 2012 - 9 comments

Joe Thompson, American musician, RIP

African-American fiddler Joe Thompson, probably the last living link to the black string band tradition of the 19th century, has died at the grand old age of 93. Hear Joe and his cousin, banjoist Odell (who passed on back in 1994) offer some reminiscences on the origins of their music, and a spirited rendition of Cindy Gal. Here's the short but sweet and deliciously ragged Old Corn Liquor. Hear Joe and Odell in concert in 1988, part one and part two, and this little ditty from a living room in 1987. And there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 24, 2012 - 9 comments

Must I hammer it in?

Weirdo vintage Valentine's Day cards.
posted by OverlappingElvis on Feb 14, 2012 - 24 comments

Haunted Air

"The perishing of fabrics and the rotting of early rubber, due to chemical instabilities and damp conditions, create new and sinister, puzzling abnormalities. Time and repeated wear have caused a beautiful metamorphosis, never intended or imagined by the maker." Haunted Air: "A glimpse of how the old, weird America celebrated All-Hallows Eve."
posted by billypilgrim on Oct 25, 2011 - 24 comments

Dog Gone

The Doggie Diner was the name of a Bay Area chain of burger joints that had its heyday in the '60s and '70s. The last remaining restaurant in the Chain was located at the corner of 46th and Sloat in San Francisco, CA. Even after the place became a restaurant with a new name ("Carousel") the giant Fiberglass dachshund head remained as a piece of nostalgia until a storm toppled it on April 1st, 2001. The head was relocated in January 2005 to the median of Sloat Boulevard and became San Francisco city landmark #254. Now the restaurant itself is slated for demolition. [more inside]
posted by MattMangels on Aug 22, 2011 - 32 comments

"A two-piece band called Gillian Welch" releases its first new album since 2003

Singer-songwriter Gillian Welch has released her first new album in eight years, The Harrow and the Harvest. Welch, who writes, plays, and tours with her partner David Rawlings, combines multiple influences that extend well beyond the borders of Appalachian folk, bluegrass, and Americana, to what Alec Wilkinson has called "at once innovative and obliquely reminiscent of past rural forms" in his 2004 New Yorker profile. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Jun 30, 2011 - 41 comments

popular (folk) song

Satan your kingdom must come down. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 15, 2011 - 31 comments

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