June 30, 2006
Urban scooterists know that the phrase “park anywhere” is generally a myth. A group of scooterists in Boise, Idaho successfully pressed the city for free, dedicated scooter parking in a summer-long test. Unlikely to happen in Chicago, but then again, smaller groups of crazier people have got their way, maybe it’s worth a try.
June 28, 2006
British magazine Scootering is celebrating its 21st birthday with a extra-large July issue. Their website and magazine have improved recently, yet they remain an acquired taste for American scooterists who don’t really see the point of engraving and murals. Even if you’re not a fan of the British custom scene, this anniversary issue looks worth tracking down as it includes a “Where are they now” article checking in on many of the hundreds of custom bikes they’ve featured over the years (a sample).
June 28, 2006
Yamaha has announced that their Japanese-market VOX scooter will come to the United States in 2007, renamed as the Yamaha C3. That, I believe, makes it two better than the BMW C1, but D3 worse than the Pontiac G6 and W(-2) worse than a BMW Z1. (via TheScooterScoop) Update: Something was bugging me about the “C3” logo and I just realized it’s a total ripoff of the Hummer “H2” logo. Now I hate this scooter.
June 27, 2006
Patrick has organized a ride for this Saturday (July 1, 2006):
Kick off the weekend right with a a nice, long, fast ride (scooters capable of 50+mph only please). Meet at Beans and Bagels on Montrose/Ravenswood at 1pm. We’ll take Route 14 to 59 to 12. Our first stop will be in Defiler SC country, at Famous Freddies Roadhouse (4pm). Jim and a few others will meet us there. Tons of really cheap decent food and beer. It’s on the fox river. If wanted we could take the barge out to Blarney’s Island the only bar in the middle of a lake that I know off. After Hanging with the Defilers (6:30pm) we will head back up to route 14 and pick up Roselle road up to Irving Park to Woodfire Chicken’s Saturday night car show (8pm) and more food if you need it. All together, this ride is about 100 miles.
2sb has big plans for that Saturday (and maybe some big news next week,) but maybe we’ll catch up with everyone at Woodfire, their car shows are always a good time.
June 26, 2006
I’m having a hard time following this press release I got today, but as I understand it, two dudes named Saint and Kuut (pronounced “Kau-ku-‘ta,” of course), have mystical powers, and when they’re not sewing zippers on things, or doing video art, they paint their heads up like Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In, call themselves “Exus” and record music. Lots of music. One of their ten records due out in July is “Trans Scooter.” I’ll let them describe it:
The wind has blown and the combustion of a new generation takes you for a ride. Motoring to the beat makes others want to follow you. The division of the sexes has ended. Now you can show to everyone whatâ€™s between your legs, boy, girl. This is Dimensional Sound.
So, yeah, if you like asexual mellow-ish electronic music with alleged mystical powers (and you already have the complete Brian Eno collection) you might dig Exus. It’s not quite my bag (which is to say it’s nothing like Brian Eno, I was just making a cheap joke) but hey, Saint and Kuut seem like they’re havin’ fun and keeping busy with all their projects, and that’s respectable, I wish I had the time to put out ten albums this month. They’ve saved some space on the site for listeners’ scooter photos if you’re so inclined to send one.
June 25, 2006
Rather than posting every day, I’ll update this post as the matches happen. The 16 will be narrowed down to eight teams by Tuesday, here’s how it stands for 2SB readers and their chosen teams:
- Brooke (GER)
def. Kathy The Great (SWE)
def. Lucash (MEX)
Lucash almost pulled off a huge upset, but it’ll be Alfredom1972 (ARG) vs. Brooke (GER) in the quarters. Too bad they meet so early, because either team could have won this tournament. This should be the best game of the quarterfinals.
- Cy (ENG)
def. Nancy (ECU)
def. Matty (NED)
Cy (ENG) is looking a little better, but still not what you would call “red-hot.” They’ll face Kilotravis (POR), a mighty side, but down a few key players. If Cy’s men continue their incremental improvement each match, they might actually pull it off. Remember, even the U.S. beat Portugal once.
- M1 (ITA)
def. Race Roberts (AUS)
def. Matt Siegel (SUI)
Two tight matches, but M1 gets a questionable penalty and breaks Bob’s ‘Roos hearts with just seconds left. Penny and Matt battled it out for 120 minutes with no score, and Matt missed three penalties and blew it, so Penny progresses to the round of 8.
- Becky (BRA)
def. Silent Ron (GHA)
Spiny Norman (FRA)
def. Professor Matthew (ESP)
It was a World Cup ’98 kinda day as Ronaldo and Zidane dusted themselves off and got busy. France surprised Spain 3-2 while Ronaldo topped Gerd Mueller’s record with his 15th World Cup Goal. It also occurred to me today that Brazil was given the original World Cup trophy permanently after winning their third World Cup at Mexico’70, If they win again this year, it would be their sixth, would they get to keep the Cup again? And why didn’t Germany or Italy get to keep a trophy with their three victories? Gyp!
June 24, 2006
When 2sb relaunched, one of our promises was secret MP3s for subscribers only. We did a few but dropped the ball. Speaking of balls, England plays tomorrow, so let’s revive the “What Rocks Us” tradition with an England World Cup Anthem Spectacular. If you play all these at once, England might have a prayer tomorrow.
Italia’90: New Order:World In Motion
We’ll forget about pre-1990, when the squad itself (e.g. Kevin Keegan) would generally sing the anthem (badly). New Order and comedian/actor/singer Keith Allen changed all that with “World In Motion.” They kept the team involved for some chanting, and let John Barnes rap through the middle. This is not New Order’s best work (It features the Ibiza/House flavor of “Technique” but lacks that album’s sonic depth and creativity), but I bought it when it came out, and it actually had a lot to do with turning me into a soccer fan, so props to them.
Here are all the versions on the CD EP:
World In Motion (mp3)
World In Motion-The B-Side (mp3)
World In Motion-No Alla Violenza Mix (mp3)
World In Motion-Subbuteo Mix (mp3)
World In Motion (Video)
World In Motion (Live Video 1998)
The Result: Impressive, England eliminated in semis by winner Germany, loses consolation match to hosts Italy.
USA’94: England didn’t qualify!
We’re guessing it woulda been Primal Scream with Ian Wright and Matt LeTissier, and the song would have been called “Lion-Hearted World”
England’96: Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds:Three Lions
Originally recorded for the ’96 Euro Championships, Three Lions found new life when it was re-recorded with new lyrics for 1998, and the France’98 official song (below) turned out to be so bad. A bit overproduced, but so totally English-sounding, and one of the better, and more enduring, songs of the bunch. It’s also the most optimistic of the songs– where the others talk about the brotherhood of man and “you can do it,” this one pretty much takes it for granted that “it’s coming home.” Probably because the Euro’96 tournament was actually in England, but in the context of France’98, it sounded so sure of itself.
Three Lions (mp3)
Three Lions (video)
France’98: England United (Spice Girls/Ocean Colour Scene/Echo and the Bunnymen): (How Does it Feel to Be) On Top of the World
I remember hearing about this, but never heard it until just now. It managed to offend Spice Girls, Bunnymen, AND soccer fans, and the re-issued version of “Three Lions” (above) easily topped it in the charts. Keith Allen (of “World in Motion” fame) was back, with Damien Hirst and the bassist out of Blur, calling themselves “Fat Les” and putting out Vindaloo, which is a great anthem, even if it was meant to be an oikish parody of football anthems. Chumbawamba’s song “Top of the World” (they got the title right) was described as “better than the Spice Girls song, but not much.”
On Top of the World (video)
On Top of the World (Live TV video)
The Result: Luckless England meets Argentina in the round of 16, and loses a historic ugly-but-tight game in penalty kicks.
Japan/Korea’02: Ant & Dec:We’re on the Ball
We couldn’t find this one, and it seems generally unloved despite reaching number 3 on the charts. No fewer than 9 World Cup songs made the charts in ’02, including (again) a repackaged “Three Lions” (#16), and another dozen were recorded but didn’t chart. The de-facto anthems became Ricky Martin’s shitty Cup of Life and JXL’s remix of Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation.
The Result: Not bad, England finishes behind Sweden in group and makes it to the Quarterfinals, but gets eliminated by winner Brazil.
Germany’06: Embrace:World at Your Feet
Football fans and music lovers were so disappointed with this boring crapfest that, as in 2002, several ‘alternate’ anthems surfaced, most notably Sham69 and Graham Coxon’s sophomoric-but-rather-great “People’s Anthem” Hurry Up England, which is far more optimistic, and rhymes “John Terry” with “Wemberly.” Crazy Frog has a new single out too, but we’ll spare you that, or Wreckless Eric’s, or any of the other dozen contributions.
World At Your Feet (mp3)
World At Your Feet (Video)
Hurry Up England (mp3)
The Result:We shall see! Hopefully the quality of the song is inversely related to the quality of the football.
Thanks a million to Lucash and Cy for all their help on this, sorry I didn’t post it earlier. Everyhit.com has a bit about what songs were on the british charts for every world cup, including an exhaustive list of each World Cup’s official and unofficial England anthems and their chart positions.
June 23, 2006
From Gome: British company Retrovesp is manufacturing plexiglas panels to disguise your Vespa P-series as an earlier 60s-style Vespa. The kit would presumably also work for the Stella,. It seems like an awful lot of money and effort (the panels need to be cut and bondo’ed together, and then it all needs to be painted) but the horncast is cool if you’re looking for a quick way to improve the looks of your P.
June 23, 2006
Honda UK drafted our own Professor Matthew to root for Engerland in a fantastic TV commercial. A similar-but-lamer ad has run in the US for the past few years. With Michael Owen down and Argentina and Brazil both on fire, England’s gonna need more than a dork on a Super Cub to win the cup, but our fingers are as crossed as St. George’s flag. In other Honda-meets-World Cup news, Nicky Hayden had a few nice words for the US team, though we’re not really convinced he’s a big soccer fan.
June 23, 2006
June 22, 2006
India’s TV18 reports Citicorp Finance is buying a 10% stake in Kinetic Motors. The interview with Kinetic Managing Director Sulajja Motwani doesn’t reveal much about their plans, but she says Citicorp’s investment covers their needs for the development of Italjet and SYM models over the next couple years. The hopes of Italjet Dragster fans everywhere are in your hands, Ms. Motwani.
June 22, 2006
Remember that time the U.S. beat Portugal? Or that year Croatia didn’t nearly forfeit a game on red cards?
Four more teams advance to the round of 16:
- M1 (ITA) vs. Race Roberts (AUS) on June 26
- Becky (BRA) vs. Silent Ron (GHA) on June 27
Props to Australia and Ghana, they both worked very hard and deserved to progress. No one claimed Ghana, so I’m assigning it to Silent Ron, because he was silent. The last two matches will be decided Friday.
And the last batch:
- Matt Siegel (SUI) vs. Penny (UKR) on June 26
- Professor Matthew (ESP) vs. Spiny Norman (FRA) on June 27
1998 (and Euro2000 winners) France were crap in the group stage, allowing the Swiss to take the top spot. So the marginally impressive Switzerland faces the Ukraine in the least-big-name match of the 16. Ukraine looked better in their last game, so it could be a tight match. Eh-Spain is going to pound France unless some sort of World Cup Fairy beats Thierry Henry into shape Monday night.
June 22, 2006
You’ve probably seen most of these, but probably not all in one place: Vespa pin-up girls from the ’50s and ’60s (a culturesponge photoset on flickr.com).
June 21, 2006
The Islamic Republic News Agency confirmed today what we’ve suspected all spring: Neither LML nor Bajaj exported a single motorscooter in the first quarter of 2006. Bajaj, of course, has been focusing on motorcycles and three-wheelers, and doing rather well on those fronts, but LML’s labor issues have brought their production to a total standstill. While some compromises and investments have been made in recent weeks, there is no indication that LML is, or will soon be, back on line.
June 21, 2006
The first two 2sb Cup matchups are set:
- Brooke (GER) vs. Kathy The Great (SWE) on June 24
- Cy (ENG) vs. Nancy (ECU) on June 25
Both should be interesting as the boys are both kinda wussy and the girls are both pretty tough. Note that Nancy is the only entrant with the same name as an actual soccer team.
Two more to add:
- Alfredom1972 (ARG) vs. Lucash (MEX) on June 24
- Kilotravis (POR) vs. Matty (NED) on June 25
Alfredo, a huge Argentina fan, is actually Mexican, and Lucash is half Mexican, half-Czech, so their secret loyalties might lie outside their picks. In any case, it should be a fun match to watch. Kilotravis’ Portugal is a popular dark-horse, is playing very well, but Matty’s Holland still has some fight left, it’ll be fun to watch the creative Portugal take on the technical Holland.
If you haven’t entered the 2sb Cup Contest, Ghana’s still available!