Saturday, July 22, 2006

The years of sand and speed

Coop has a wonderful post featuring scans of Veda Orr's Hot Rod Pictorial, a late-'40s yearbook of the dawn of SCTA land speed racing. Orr was a fascinating woman--the first woman dry lakes racer, the first hot rod journalist (she wrote and edited for the SCTA's newsletter before the outbreak of WWII, and even put a couple of issues together during the war as a morale booster for the boys overseas)--and the period between the mid-1930s and late-1940s was a hugely influential one in terms of the look and technology of the traditional hot rod. Well worth a look.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I find your lack of funk disturbing

A glimpse at how things might have been, had Darth Vader been more of a streetwise soul brother, voiced by let's say James Earl Jones, rather than an athsmatic evil overlord, voiced by James Earl Jones:

[via Apropos of Something]

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sixteen men on a dead man's chest, and I been drinkin' from a broken cup

Tom Waits has to rank as one of my favourite artists of all time these days. His music ranges from heartbreaking jazz and country ballads, to rowdy blues-rock, to gonzo oddball circus-freak dances, to things that sound like a crime scene from a Raymond Chandler novel. Need Coffee (a sentiment I heartily agree with) has a killer, almost-all-inclusive roundup of Tom Waits' videos: Part One, Part Two.

And here's a couple more:

"God's Away on Business"

Probably his best-known song, "Downtown Train". You've probably heard the Rod Stewart version; Waits' original is pretty much note-for-note identical, but somehow sounds fatalistic instead of sentimental. Go figure.