I’ve moved!

August 20, 2011

Tawdry Swank is my new blog that continues the content found on Bowling Trophy – including the Record Cover of the Week and Thrift Item of the Moment. Bowling Trophy will continue as an archive but won’t be updated.


The Story of Andrew and Matthew

Give A Little Whistle

August 12, 2011

These two beer company vehicles have been parking on my street lately:

A 1964 Jeep Wagoneer called “Grande Verde”

and a Dodge Challenger – don’t know what year or what it’s called because there isn’t a webpage for it on the Steam Whistle site.

I’m not so keen on muscle cars but I love the Jeep wagon. I’m keeping my eye out for the driver. If you trap him, he has to bribe you to set him free with cases of beer (or am I thinking of leprechauns?)

Steam Whistle has a whole fleet of vintage vehicles.

A cautionary note: Just this moment I watched the Challenger get ticketed for parking too close to a fire hydrant. If you’re coming to Old Strathcona for the Fringe, be careful where you park! The parking patrol is on duty ALL THE TIME, including evenings and weekends. And for heaven’s sake, don’t block my driveway!

I missed the last two Fridays – sorry, sorry sorry. To make up for my unconscionable neglect, here’s an early Christmas present:

The Gang: Silent Night

This somewhat drunken (?) version of Silent Night was recorded on Christmas day 1955 on a 78 rpm recording blank. The handwriting on the label reads “Party… Dec 25/55… Gang – Silent Night… at piano – Rita”

Midcentury Modern on Whyte

August 11, 2011

The Palomar Building on the northwest corner of Whyte Avenue and 104th Street (housing The Second Cup and other stores) looks fantastic after its recent facelift.

Simple, sleek and (midcentury) modern…

with a sophisticated monochromatic pallette

and uncluttered lines.

Here’s what it used to look like, courtesy of Google Street Views:

They didn’t do a whole lot to it. It’s more about what they took away than what they added – namely, the hodgepodge of awnings and other signage. I think, though, that the reno isn’t complete and that the signage has yet to go back up. Looks great as it is – wish they could leave it this way (though the merchants might want their signs).

I found this rendering online:

click to enlarge

Looks like there’s some art deco (or streamline moderne) detailing to come. I think I like it better just as it is.

Two sides of a Soundcraft Audition 78 rpm recording blank. This is how people sent audio letters before cassettes were invented. This would have been recorded using a portable record cutting machine similar to this one (on the Sound Preservation Association of Tasmania website).

Side 1

Labeled simply “Message.” The “Sahara Desert” mentioned by the woman is probably the long-gone Sahara Dining Lounge in Edmonton.

Side 2

Labeled “Eleanor at about 9 years of age & Ivy tap dance.” I’m a big fan of tap dance on record.


Tastes Like Summer

July 20, 2011

click to enlarge

I’m choked that the Salvation Army Antiques & Collectibles store closed this week.

It only stocked the good stuff (no boring old clothes) at regular thrift store prices and had a devoted following of collector geeks like me.

I think Marlena would have liked to snag this glamorous mannequin but she wasn’t for sale.

Normally the floor would be full of cool vintage furniture but it was very bare yesterday. I could have stocked my house several times over with Swedish modern furniture from this store if that’s what I was into.

Most of all, I’ll miss Bernice (hope I spelled that right), the friendliest thrift store clerk in all Edmonton.

So long, it’s been good to know you.

Following on the heels of the Studio 86 Sessions, for the next few Fridays I’ll be sharing a few “found sound” curiosities from my audio archives. These are one-off recordings by amateurs¬† on a variety of media such as cassette and 78 rpm recording blanks.

In the 1980s Fisher-Price made a very durable cassette recorder for kids. They came with a cassette with a story recorded on one side (such as the Care Bears or The Cat In The Hat). The other side was blank to “record your world of sounds.”

I used to pick these up all the time when I found them in thrift stores. A lot were duds – songs recorded off the radio, or nothing at all – but others were much more creative.

Here are 3 excerpt from one of my favorites of this type of cassette:

Lorna F.’s Cooking Kitchen

Here’s the recipe:

Lorna and Lisa’s Tomato, Macaroni & Cheese Casserole

2 cups cooked macaroni
1 cup (or 2 cups) grated cheese
12″ can tomatoes
Salt and pepper and whatever you wish

First do the dishes. Pour strained macaroni into 28″ x 30″ casserole dish. Pour on tomatoes. Add grated cheese. Add salt and pepper and whatever you wish.

Go Suck An Egg

Excellent extended vocal technique.

Double Scream Supreme

Blame It On The Rain

July 14, 2011

This has been an unusually rainy summer in Edmonton (though other parts of the province have been getting hit a lot worse than us). One index of how wet it’s been: Waterlogged billboards are shedding their ads.