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Arts & Culture

Coverage of the Arts by Weekend America.


  • Roky and the Elevators

    13th Floor Elevators Poster

    This weekend Austin, Texas hosts the final mega-music festival of the summer season: Austin City Limits. But the most surprising appearance will be by one of Austin's own, Roky Erikson. Roky formed a band called the 13th Floor Elevators more than 40 years ago, but they got stuck on their way to the top. But like that other Rocky, there's always one more chance at a comeback.

  • "Cool Water"

    Long Lake in Summer

    It's time to listen to your weekend soundtrack. The songs that bridge the gap from Friday to Monday. Our latest story comes from Sara Breeze in Bemidji, Minn. Her soundtrack is "Cool Water" by Joni Mitchell and Willie Nelson.

  • 21-Year-Old Jam

    The musicians at the jam are finding their groove.

    A jam session is open to anyone that walks in the door, and they provide musicians a chance to just let loose, without any pressure to satisfy an audience. One session in Minneapolis is old enough to drink this year. It's been going on every Friday night for 21 years. Reporter Sanden Totten takes us there.

  • A Joyful Noise

    Reggie Prim in 1979

    Reggie Prim spent his childhood being raised with the Black Hebrews in Israel. As a kid, he sang with the music group the Tonistics - a religious soul group modeled after the Jackson 5. The Tonistics' songs from the early 1970s have just been re-released. Reggie isn't exactly nostalgic for his childhood in Israel. But the re-release of the music from Dimona has brought back memories about his extraordinary journey from Israel back to the United States.

  • Cartoons and Poetry

    Billy Collins

    As a kid, Saturday morning meant one thing: cartoons. You'd wake up early, maybe pour yourself a bowl of cereal, turn on the tube, and get lost in a universe of the implausible. Billy Collins remembers. His Saturday mornings were flooded with the Looney Toons characters of Warner Brothers. Before he was twice appointed U.S. Poet Laureate, before he'd won awards and written volumes of poetry, Billy Collins was just a boy sitting in front of a black-and-white TV.

  • Music for the Deaf

    Sean Forbes Interpreting a Song

    For many of us, going to see live music on the weekend is something we take for granted. We obsess over a band, listen to their music and go to their shows. There's a smaller segment of the population that has been mostly ignored by musicians, but they're just as passionate about the music: the deaf and hard of hearing. This weekend, a competition kicks off to come up with technology that will help the hard of hearing community experience music.

  • Lost At Sea

    Megan Kellie by the cruise ship

    This weekend, seven cruise ships are leaving from U.S. ports. Megan Kellie is on one of them. She's a comedy writer and performer in Los Angeles. Earlier this year, she spent three months entertaining people on a cruise ship from L.A. to Mexico as part of an improv comedy troupe. We asked Megan to give us a sense of what it's like to live and work in a place where it's always the weekend.

  • Kontemporary Kartoons

    Weekend America's John Moe was once a dedicated watcher of Warner Bros. cartoons. Today John's own son faithfully tunes into cartoons every Saturday morning, but John finds it difficult to enjoy them. They're not funny, for one thing. But it's not the seriousness. The cartoons that John's son enjoys all follow a similar theme: Regular children in a magical world, beset with monsters, and fighting battles. Adults, as in dads, just don't really matter.

  • America's Weekend: Astroland's Final Days

    Coney Island Dancers

    On our website, there's a little feature called "America's Weekend via Flickr." It's a photomontage of snapshots tagged "weekend" and "america" on the photo-sharing service Flickr. One photo that caught our eye is of friends on the beach. And it caught our eye because that beach is Coney Island - you can see the defunct parachute jump in the background. Another big part of Coney Island became defunct last weekend after Astroland closed for good last Sunday. We talked to the photographer, Diana Taft Shumate.

  • "Shotgun"

    Bomba in the Ocean

    It's time to listen to your weekend soundtrack. The songs that bridge the gap from Friday to Monday. Our latest story comes from our engineer and Ironman Triathlete Tim Bomba. Tim lives in Los Angeles, and he told us that his weekend soundtrack is "Shotgun" by Junior Walker. He spoke with Bill Radke.

  • Percussion on the Road

    Ches on the Road

    As a percussionist, Ches Smith is on the road a lot. By his count, six to eight months a year. All that time on the road can be a little boring after a while. There's only so many times you can play "The Out of State License Plate Game." On his most recent tour with the band Xiu Xiu, Ches came up with the idea to write and record a piece of music for each town on the tour. Assisting him with the project are audience members from each town. He calls it the Y/OUR Town Project.

  • Beauty of All Sorts

    "Heather Come Hither" by Bianka.

    Art lovers in the Boston area have a lot of options for their weekend museum browsing. You've got your Museum of Fine Art, your Institute of Contemporary Art, your Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and scads of little galleries scattered all over town. But what about bad art lovers? Well, you're in luck. Just for you, there's the Museum of Bad Art.

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