Brian Dewan, a true American original

Briandewan_2Since we’re on the subject of politics: There’s a great set of old videos posted on Daily Gusto that show Brian Dewan in a red blazer, backed by trippy watercolor images, singing old political songs. The videos originally aired on Manhattan public access during the election season in 2004, and they’re priceless. If you’re not acquainted with Dewan’s work, you’re missing a strange and wonderful talent. A musician, visual artist, craftsman and filmstrip producer, Dewan performs his show “Dewanatron” frequently in New York, at which he plays a set of rickety homemade instruments. (“They make all previous and future instruments obsolete,” Dewan promises on his Web site.) For years, Dewan lived in Brooklyn with one of the Johns from They Might Be Giants; he opened many of their concerts early on and designed the album cover for Lincoln in 1988. (He also designed a David Byrne album cover.) His résumé includes two stellar albums of his own, Brian Dewan Tells the Story and The Operating Theater, on which he mostly plays an electric zither and an autoharp, both of which he built himself. You can buy those albums here. If you’re in the market for something truly unique, you won’t be sorry you did.

—Posted by Tim Nudd