Welcome guest Kate Abercrombie from the Fabric Workshop and Museum, with whom many issues are discussed, including: the history of the fabric workshop, its passionate founder Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud, some onerous tasks (involving hog testicles) Kate has performed in service to the museum, Cynthia’s recent exhibit of memorial quilts at the museum, Kate’s own artistic work, an upcoming exhibit at the Wheaton Museum of American Glass (featuring archeological finds un-earthed during ongoing digs to expand I-95) in which a work of Kate’s will be on display, the related site Digging I-95, the joys and fears involved in creating art, other fascinating museums such as the folk museum in Colonial Williamsburg and the Museum of the Living Torah in Brooklyn, and local Philadelphia lingo such as “jawn” and “case-quarter.” The song of the week is a sort of punk rock experimental song in honor of Kippy (founder of the Fabric Workshop and Museum) and her unbridled, omnivorous enthusiasm for the arts, in particular expressing gratitude to Kippy for her encouragement of Cynthia’s trepidatious foray into the museum realm. And here's a link to some images of Cynthia's quilts for the Fabric Workshop and The Museum of the Living Torah.
Janine's opening at the Fabric Workshop and Museum is April 21st.
Week #4 is the inaugural special guest episode of Moving to Philadelphia, featuring the man behind the woman, the king of drag queens Martha Graham Cracker! A song is sung in honor of her, and her alter ego Dito Van Reigersberg reveals her origins, her inspirations (with special mention given to Joey Arias), some of her tricks, and a few secret weapons up her sleeves, while declining Cynthia’s suggestion for Martha to run for president. In addition, Dito gives a Cliff Notes version of his instructions on cabaret performance, and Dito and Cynthia fantasize about a possible drag choir. The mysteries of Philadelphia trolley token purchases are also discussed, as well as the initially shocking water bill encountered by first-time homeowners Cynthia and Jeff. Martha Graham (a pioneer of modern dance) is also honored during this podcast, in particular an inspirational quote of hers that can be found, along with images of Martha Graham Cracker herself in concert, and lyrics to the song-of-the-week Martha Graham Cracker for President (the recording of which features samples of Martha Graham Cracker and her band live in concert at Franky Bradley's) on Cynthia’s site http://cynthiahopkins.com/musings/
Welcome home to husband extraordinaire Jeff Sugg, master of improving sonic fidelity on this week’s podcast, in which Jeff & Cynthia encounter pros and cons of home ownership while exploring their new neighborhood of West Philadelphia (specifically Squirrel Hill or Cedar Park, depending upon whom you ask or what map you consult): a land of minuscule libraries, transgender peoples, unabashed folk music, and a wide variety of ethnic foods. Jeff and Cynthia additionally report on an outing into Center City, to visit the Philadelphia Flower Show, which inspires this week’s song Flower Show, wherein Cynthia describes a desire to be more like a flower in a flower show than an actor in a play. Latin names of flowers are used in this song, as are singing bowls from the wilds of Kentucky (the only accompaniment) and a phrase borrowed from a Danish student named Ingeborg. The flower show outing also resulted in a hand-crafted flower headpiece, featuring a small plastic figurine of a man drilling a hole, placed in the headdress so that he appears to be drilling a hole directly into the center of the brain of the wearer of the headpiece (images can be found online, on Cynthia’s site at http://cynthiahopkins.com/musings/). Since then discussions have begun to get Martha Grahamcracker on the show next week. Another shout out goes to Rob Kaplowitz who loaned us some cables & James Sugg who loaned us some mics to help with the hifi/lofi studio!
This podcast is in the shape of Cynthia’s first week in Philadelphia: mildly traumatic, a bit long and unwieldy, wild, improvised, untidy, and perhaps meaningless. Cynthia and her cats react to the disorientation of a large house in disrepair (and under ongoing construction) using the survival instinct of playing dead or going limp. Yet negative mental chatter is vanquished by trauma therapy and audiobook recording, as well as long exploratory bike rides unveiling the treasures Philadelphia has to offer, such as old fashioned architecture, outdoor murals, and train whistles. Inspired by a vocal resonance workshop, Cynthia attempts to manifest her own imitation of a train whistle, from the inside out.
Why is Cynthia Hopkins moving to Philadelphia after 20 year in Brooklyn? Well, it’s a long story, involving a catastrophic fire (possibly telepathically manifested…?) that destroyed a drafty, noisy, extremely cluttered apartment in Williamsburg, preempting a potentially inevitable ejection due to the increasingly rapid gentrification of all neighborhoods in Brooklyn via the transformation of all manner of buildings into luxury condos and high-end men’s clothing stores - including most of the places Hopkins had previously lived and worked in - and landing Hopkins temporarily in the outskirts of Crown Heights, the land of storefront churches and friendly neighbors… And yet, though the move to Philadelphia seems prescribed by the very forces of nature, and is ultimately the result of multiple strokes of good fortune (including the catastrophic fire, in spite of its traumatic effects) Hopkins finds herself in the grips of a vast, unnameable homesickness, which she covers up with a song of bravado bidding farewell to the Brooklyn she already, inexplicably, misses.