The one work of art by James Hampton was the The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly. He built it when not working as a janitor for the General Services Administration. What does it mean? Good question. Everything Hampton ever wrote about it is in a single manuscript, St James: The Book of the 7 Dispensation... and it is in code.
Phranc, the self-described "All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger" has been a little quiet lately, but she's back with a new website and a new instrumental song. And if that wasn't enough, her entire solo catalog is now available on Bandcamp. [more inside]
Maggie and Terre Roche started performing professionally in the late '60s, just a little late for the folkie boom but also a bit too distinctive to blend easily with the singer-songwriters of the early '70s, even when they became acolytes of Paul Simon and recorded backup vocals on There Goes Rhymin' Simon. By 1975, they had their own album on CBS, with tracks produced by Simon (and backed by the Oak Ridge Boys and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section) and ex-Yardbird Paul Samwell-Smith... Seductive Reasoning is not completely a folk nor a country album, which no doubt hurt its commercial potential... Songs such as "West Virginia", "Down the Dream", and "The Mountain People" touch on early joy and disillusionment/disappointment, while "Jill of All Trades" and "The Burden of Proof" reflect a few more years of life under one's belt and the smoothing out that can come with them. "Underneath the Moon" and "Wigglin' Man"... are more straightforward getting-laid songs, funny as hell... while several of their albums have been as good as Seductive Reasoning, none were better. Nor did they have to be. - Todd Mason (previously) [more inside]
American Ethnography Quasi-Weekly is a somewhat gonzo cabinet of curiosities -- a mix of photography, academic essay, archival materials, and bloggy postings on "outlaw aethetics" and outsider culture, presenting glimpses of American subcultures past and present, from Califormia low-riders to "hoochy-coochy" dancers to blackface tambourine jugglers, and plenty more. [more inside]
The Alabama Museum of Wonder. Butch Anthony has a word – a word which he concocted himself. A word which he designed to precisely describe his unique personal style of art and artistic discovery. That word is “intertwangleism.” [more inside]
You probably thought all those wooden toys and Nutcrackers from your local version of the KrisKindlMarkt were made in Bavaria. But wooden toys from Germany were an economic engine that supported a large percentage of the population of the Deutsche Democratische Repulic. In fact, people in the DDR were not allowed to own these toys, they were all made for export to the west. You can still find "Unter dem Tisch" (secret, illegal) collections in towns like Dippoldiswalde in the Erzgebirge mountains on the Czech border.
Folkvine: A creative presentation of Florida folk artists and their work. The interface can be a little baroque, but there's some nifty stuff inside.
J.P. Dinsmoor fought in the Civil War and had two children in his eighties. He was a die-hard Populist, the first resident of Lucas, KA to go electric and when he died he was mummified. Somewhere in there he had time to build The Garden of Eden, discussed in "What's the Matter With Kansas" and contrasted with this wingnut.
And they're both called Populists.
And they're both called Populists.