Looking for something fun, free and folky to do tonight? Ding Dong Lounge, the best dive on the Upper West Side, will host obscure folk heroes Gary Higgins and Ed Askew tonight at 8 p.m. Both artists, who are now on Chicago-label Drag City, are celebrating new releases on the tail end of their long, winding, under-appreciated careers on the margins of the folk world: tonight is the record release party for the re-release of Askew's album Imperfiction, a 1984 cassette home recording, and Higgins new record of unreleased recordings from the 70s, A Dream a While Back.

Both Askew and Higgins have colorful, fractured musical pasts: Askew released Ask the Unicorn for the ESP label in 1968, which featured a ten-string Latin-American ukulele-like instrument called a tiple. It stood as his only work for nearly 40 years: its followup, Little Eyes, though recorded two years later, wasn't released until 2002. You can read more about him here.

Higgins has a sadder story: he spent two years in prison in the mid-seventies for possession of marijuana, which derailed his career entirely. His album Red Hash is a psych-folk masterpiece. Brandon Stosuy once wrote of it, "His work could, more or less, be compared to Skip Spence's Oar dressed up like David Crosby. On Red Hash, his guitar and soulsick (but often uplifting) voice are accented with rich cello, piano, organ, mandolin, flute, and bass. The sounds are melancholy but never unaccessible: This is folk both your uncle and WFMU will (and do) love."

If you're a lover of heart-breakingly honest folk with a strange bent, we can't recommend this show enough. You can check out a song from each of them below.