For whatever reason, I started taking pictures of odd or different motorcycles and scooters over the last year or so. I think it started with a bike sporting a sidecar, and I spontaneously took a picture thinking that the design and look of the bike was visually interesting. And then I noticed other motorized bikes that were different in some way, and took pictures of them, too. I’ve been a bad boy not sharing these with you earlier, but hey, most girls like bad boys, right? So without further ado, here are the pics with a short caption about each. Enjoy!
I saw this cane bike in a museum in Vancouver, BC. It’s from, I believe, Sumatra, and it’s pretty fun. Clearly, this is decorative only. It reminds me of one of those gifts that the presidents get. You know, some dude in Nebraska who decided to build the US Capitol in matchsticks and present it to the Commander in Chief. I have no reason to explain why this particular bike was created, but it’s interesting to look at and clearly a product of passion:
Stupid comes in many flavors. Motorcycling is dangerous as hell even when practiced by people exercising caution and care. But if that’s your M.O., why are you on a bike in the first place? Here’s a shot of a dude on a bike near the Oregon-Washington border demonstrating some serious dumb-ass tendencies while tooling on I-5:
Style? How about this beautiful Vespa parked in the former East Berlin. I think the Vespa is just a masterpiece of elegance and style, and the color schemes usually highlight the graceful and seductive curves. This is the sweet spot for Italians, don’t you think? I don’t usually think about getting a motorbike of any sort, but if I were to get one, it would be a Vespa. Fabulous stuff:
Want old school? How about this East German baby? Communist-era, yeah, you know it was the Trabant of motorcycles. I think this one is a Simson, but I can't find my notes, so correct me if I'm wrong. It actually looks like it just came off the assembly line. Nice color, too.
Here’s the one that began this whole photo essay: the motorcycle with the sidecar. Sidecars are hardly ever seen, probably because they make the entire combination unstable, not a particularly good trait for a motorized, high speed vehicle that offers little in the way of personal protection. But there is something romantic about the sidecars, and as a kid, I always thought they were cool. They always seemed to be in those old WWII movies that I watched when I was young. Here ya go:
Old time bikes are just stripped down badass vehicles. Those new Harleys with all that crap bolted on to them? Hey, no wonder that no one under the age of 50 wants to be caught dead on one. What, is Harley going to put those colorful plastic things on the spokes that you had as a kid on your bicycle back in the day? They already have banana seats and sissy bars, for Pete’s sake. Now, you wouldn’t do that to these old time bad boys, including a Harley, would you?
What do you think of trikes for adults? You might rethink their coolness when you check this puppy out. And unlike most motorcycles, you don’t have to worry about not being spotted on this thing – it’s bigger than a lot of cars out there.
That's it for now. The Man has been rockin' me lately, so I've fallen behind, but I have a lot of good stuff in the hopper and will be posting it with more regularity soon. And September is gonna be big - I've got three live shows set up already, including Jethro Tull this upcoming weekend. Oh, baby! Hope all is well on the receiving end of this post, and that you have enjoying a great Labor Day weekend. I had a barnburner.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST IS MOSTLY NON-MUSIC RELATED. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Hey guys, I’m delinquent in writing about the Tangle Movement Arts performance of Elements of Friction during the Philly Fringe Festival. I can’t say that I hit a lot of Fringe events, but we do usually catch some, and we knew TMA from a previous performance that we caught a few years back. Scoring these tickets was a high coup, and off we went to the Icebox Project Space to enjoy.
This wasn’t a musical performance, but rather a choreographed acrobatic show featuring a bunch of highly educated and/or circus arts women gracefully doing strength moves that left me breathless. TMA is not unlike a Cirque du Soleil kind of performance, but different, too. Clearly, they combine the circus arts of trapeze and acrobatics, but there is also music and theater, and as they say in the program, “with an emphasis on queer and female experiences.” It’s the urban hodge-podge experience that makes living around a large U.S. city so damn enjoyable. Whatever label you want to affix to TMA, they are really entertaining to watch.
The individual performances move along at a nice clip. Each one is a variation on a theme of acrobatics and trapeze, but they all have individual parts that make them unique. Like all great athletes, the performers make their performances look effortless, but anyone who does any amount of exercise will recognize that the routines require tremendous skill and strength. Some of the moves that they do, dangerously perched high above the floor, are really impressive and choreographed to music and lights. Very cool.
I took some photos and even did a video (unfortunately, on my phone as I forgot to bring my GoPro – schlect!). Here are some of the pics followed by the video. I hope you enjoy:
Oh, by the way, the Icebox Project Space is basically a concrete bunker inside of a modestly-renovated former manufacturing building in Northern Liberties. There are some cool art galleries and stores in there, too. But whenever someone tells me how great NoLibs is, I think of this spot and me sitting through the TMA show and wondering whether my car will still be outside when the show is over. It’s block by block up there, people, and this space is not located in a particularly attractive one.
What else has been happening around town? Funny you should ask. At the Perelman Building, there was a Jean Shin show, along with some great stuff from the 60s. I took some shots, and you can see them below. Shin’s work takes everyday objects - clothing and footwear, soda bottles, umbrellas – that have been disposed, and then she turns them into provocative mosaics and collages. Pretty good stuff IMHO.
I always enjoy the Perelman’s focus on design and fashion. The Perelman crowds are often thin, which gives time and space to truly enjoy the displays. The building itself is an architectural gem, and the exhibitions are usually small, focused and visually interesting. We’ve seen great stuff there, from Vlisco fabrics to vintage high couture fashion from the mega-designers in Paris. There is so much that is visually interesting about these works – so different from paintings and sculptures, but every bit as creative. A small and often overlooked treasure in the Philly cultural scene, the Perelman is a nice way to spend a couple of hours. If you haven’t been there, give it a shot the next time you are in Fairmount.
Rockers, I’ll be back to the tunes oh so soon. I have some shows coming up, and am always on the lookout for interesting musical tidbits to pass along. Swing by every now and again and catch the latest on BRP. But for now, go fire up the grill and enjoy the end of the long, languid days of sweet summer. Love ya.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.