baseball cards & bike spokes


When you were a kid, did you ever clothespin a card to your bike to make it sound like a motorcycle?

I loved that sound, it was like raw power! angry bees! and it got fiercer the faster you pedaled! It was great. It’s something I really associate with those cheap department store dirt bikes we jumped off of sketchy ramps and bombed down dirt mounds. The bikes that taught us how to wheelie and bunny hop and left us with a respectable road rash all summer. They weren’t good bikes, they didn’t have fancy components, they were stupidly heavy for their size, and they were the single greatest thing we had ever seen under a pine tree in late December.

But I’m getting carried away. I’m supposed to be posting some videos for you to enjoy.

Johnnyrandom (Steven Baber) is a composer who makes music from everyday objects. This is just a sampling of “Bespoken” which you can download on his Bandcamp or iTunes. It’s made completely from playing parts of a bicycle.

Here’s one by Linsey Pollak called Cycology. Linsey makes his own instruments, and they range from recognizable to simply strange. I love it.


I’m going to leave you with a young Frank Zappa on the Steve Allen show. It’s mostly Steve Allen cracking jokes, but who cares? It’s 1963, nobody really knows who Frank Zappa is yet, and here he is on national TV getting the host to blow into the handlebars of a Schwinn like a flute. It’s three parts, but they total less than 15 minutes. I highly suggest watching if you haven’t seen it.