Monday, January 31, 2011

Not Bad For January

So maybe I've been spending a bit too much time on two wheels. Ride stats for the month of January:
Suddenly I have the urge to get in another seven miles before midnight.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Down On The Street

A few minutes before capturing a sweet silver/patina 15-window VW Bus (to be posted soon), I stopped mid-ride in Solana Beach to snap a few shots of one of my all-time favorite BMWs, this E9 series.
I'm calling it an E9 as I do not know the exact model. Nothing on that de-badged trunklid to give me even the slightest clue.
sorry about my horrible shadow obscuring this M√ľnchen machine, stupid sun
Nicely shod with classic BMW-branded BBS-style basketweaves. About a decade later in vintage and an inch or so too large in diameter, but I wouldn't change a thing. Well, the window tint might have to go.

Coming Soon...

...the frame that I should have bought last year.

With my recent track record of riding PlasticBikes for all of four weeks before cracks start appearing, this titanium beauty should last a lifetime.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Five Perfect Things - New Zealand Indie Pop Records

It's a late Saturday night sometime in the fall of 1987 and WXRT ("Chicago's Finest Rock") is in the middle of their Big Beat program, showcasing music that's a bit left-of-center for the primarily album-oriented rock station. I'm likely driving my mom's metallic dogshit brown 1981 Buick Skylark when the opening riff of "Dan Destiny And The Silver Dawn" by The Chills comes pouring from the car's cheap paper speakers.

Something about the song - chiming guitars, a propulsive rhythm section and direct vocals with interesting lyrics and a Kiwi tinge really speaks to me. Two minutes and twenty one seconds of perfect pop. The next day I drive to Homewood's Record Swap, where I would later work at for nearly four years, and pick up Brave Words, The Chills' debut full length from New Zealand's Flying Nun Records.

After repeated listens "Dan Destiny..." wouldn't even be one of my favorite songs on the record. "Ghosts", "Night of Chill Blue" (one of the best love songs ever recorded) and "Creep" are among the superior tunes. And though Brave Word's production is flawed, resulting in a muddy sound, the Flying Nun seed had been planted in my brain.

With The Chills as my gateway, I started exploring more artists on the label. The Flying Nun imprint, like many of the great independent labels of the 1980s and early-90s, served as a mark of quality. If you like one of the artists on the label, there was a very good chance that you'd like others - and it's true in this case. Especially since the Dunedin New Zealand music scene was so inbred with artists contributing and being member of other bands on the label. And while it was hard to narrow it down to just five, here are my picks for the best Kiwi indie pop that the label delivered during its heyday.

The Bats - Daddy's Highway

The Chills - Kaleidoscope World

The Clean - Compilation

David Kilgour - Here Come The Cars

The Verlaines - Bird Dog

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Down On The Street - Wahoo's Parking Lot Edition

Quite a long way from Hazzard County, the General Lee as spotted in Foothill Ranch, CA this afternoon.
Delivering ice cream bars to a Wahoo's Fish Tacos outlet. Really.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekend Photo Dump, pt. II: Carlsbad State Beach at Low Tide

Carlsbad State Beach on a sunny, warm winter afternoon
taking pix of the seagulls
some crustacean remains
smoothed-over rocks at low tide

small starfish (about the size of a quarter)

sea grasses

more and more and more grass

larger starfish
lobster dinner
Carlsbad beach rocks
naturally painted

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Down On The Street

I spotted this gem of a chopped-and-channeled five-window coupe on San Diego's Kettner Blvd. today.
Lean and mean, I dare you to show me a better car to pick up a date in.

Or, better yet, to use drive your mother-in-law on a Kohl's/the grocery store/Walgreens run.
Why yes, officer, the vehicle did have straight pipes from the factory back in the 1930s. Does one really *need* larger tail lamps? Me thinks no.

Safety equipment? The (likely non-laminated) windshield counts, right? Sweet bias-ply treads too.
To my eyes, it has just about the perfect stance.
Although I'm not so sure that I'd want to take it on a long journey with such limited suspension travel.
Give it a year-of-manufacture plate and consider it done.