VVV: Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life”

So we’re back with the second installment of Vespa Video Vednesday, only a couple days late, and this time we’ll choose a video at random from David Smith’s list… Ah, crap, not this one…

Band: Third Eye Blind
Song: “Semi-Charmed Life”
Album: Third Eye Blind (1997)
Scooter(s): Many vintage Vespas and Lambrettas
Scooter content: 30-40 seconds
Jump to the good parts: all over the place

This is the sound of late-nineties douchebaggery, the sound of Spin-Doctors-wannabees stomping on Kurt Cobain’s grave throughout the second half of the decade. To be honest, it’s not a terrible song, it’s catchy enough, but its oversaturation in commercials, movies, shitty parties, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch was more than enough to make these guys rich, and they probably hate the song more than I do. It’s such a chick flick cliche that even chick flicks make fun of it now.

I didn’t have a TV for the second half of the nineties, so I never saw this video until a few years ago. I don’t imagine I would have cut the song a break even knowing about the scads of sweet vintage scooters in the promo clip. If you turn down the sound, and you aren’t prone to seziures from the EXTREME! NINETIES! ONE! SECOND! EDITS!, there’s a lot to see here. Clearly they rounded up a So-Cal club at the height of the vintage glory days (Burgundy Topz? Secret Society? someone will post an angry comment and tell us, I’m sure) and you can see in the scooterist’s faces, they’re hoping the song doesn’t catch on and immortalize the two afternoons they spent hanging out with these guys.

Check in next vednesday! Ve promise it vill be better.

VVV: OMD “Telegraph”

Every few years, our old friend David Smith, a Chicagoan living in Japan, gets in touch, and it’s always something good. This time he sent me a list of about 100 music videos featuring scooters. Some are obvious, and some are obscure, even in Japan. Some feature dozens of scooters throughout the video, some just flash one on the screen in the background for a few seconds.

So that (and Matt’s Halo Benders find) gave me the idea to try another weekly feature on 2strokebuzz: Vespa Video Vednesday (pronounce it like Count Floyd). Every week (or two) we’ll feature (steal) a video featuring a scooter. Goodtimes! Right?

Let’s kick off with a video that’s not on David’s list, that I posted a while back: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s “Telegraph.” With no further ado:

Band: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Song: “Telegraph”
Album: Dazzle Ships (1982)
Scooter(s): 3 red Vespa 50 Specials
Scooter content: 5 seconds
Jump to the good parts: 0:42, 1:00

OMD’s best song had a Karmann Ghia in the video, but this isn’t a half-bad song. The great 12″ single cover was designed by Peter Saville and there’s evidence he was involved in the video; his secondhand futurism is echoed a bit, and his cover for their first album is used as a backdrop.

Check in next vednesday, when… we’ll have already forgotten that we promised to do this veekly!

Don’t Touch My Bikini

Matt and I keep finding videos for old favorite bands and songs that we didn’t even know had videos. And the Halo Benders’ (Calvin from Beat Happening and Doug from Built to Spill) “Don’t Touch my Bikini” even has a moped in it, so I have an excuse to post it here!

I ♥ K, and I ♥ grainy out-of-focus un-color-balanced Super 8. Makes me wanna put out a ‘zine again.

Scooter in the Sticks swears an oath

I’m 100% with Steve on this post. Every scooterist I know complains about distracted drivers on mobile phones, and every scooterist I know talks on the phone and plays around with electronics when they’re driving a car.

Worse, more and more scooterists are rigging up phone/gps/mp3/helmetcam contraptions on their bikes, even as they complain about distracted cagers.

Try it for a week: when you’re driving your car, don’t use your phone, don’t use a GPS, don’t play with the iPod or Pandora, don’t even touch the radio dial, see if you can do it. I bet you can’t. I bet I can’t.

Adidas/Vespa parties in 5 cities

After teasing America with mostly unobtainable European tidbits, the Adidas Originals/Vespa clothing and shoe line is hitting the U.S. in full force with five launch parties at U.S. Adidas Original stores over the next week:
Berkeley, CA July 23 6-8 PM
Chicago, IL July 23 6-8 PM
Georgetown, DC July 23 6-8 PM
Miami, FL July 23 6-8 PM
Portland, OR July 24 6-8 PM
(Click on the city for the specific invitation)
These “Private Shopping Events” include a 20% discount and a gift with an $80+ purchase (I’m told anything that’s sold out or unavailable in-store can be ordered online at the event with the discount). Visitors can enter to win a customized Adidas Originals Vespa S-50.

Soviet Scooters

Here’s a good brief rundown of the Soviet-era scooter industry, featuring some good photos of the Tula Turist and T-200, and a 1974 Vyatka “3,” which I’d never seen before. If that’s not enough Warsaw Pact-ion for you, Autosoviet has lots more info and photos of Tula scooters and Vyatka’s better-known Vespa knockoff plus more than you ever wanted to know about Vostok, Dnepr Minsk, Voskhod, CZ, and more.

Dispatch from the Hodge Republic

Just got an email from Rob Hodge. If you don’t know Rob, you’ve never really experienced scootering. Rob’s sort of a scootering mad scientist, with emphasis on the “mad,” and comically tactless, and we sort of miss having him around the Midwest, though we’re not necessarily asking him to come back. He’s worked at some of the best scooter shops around, and generally knows his stuff, but sometimes when he’s pouring half a gallon of Marvel Mystery Oil into your open cylinder, you start to wonder. Anyway, here’s what he’s got to say, translated from Hodgespeak:

I’ve created a new Yahoogroup to spread information regarding
Hodgespeed Tuning’s ongoing projects. […] If you only want to receive product updates and bulletin-style notices, these will be sent as “special notices.” if you
want all the info, sign up to “receive all e-mails.”

in other news, it’s short notice but i’m having an “open house/garage night” tonight, (July 1, 2009) at 5:00 at my location at 2314 Thorndyke in Seattle. The main project for the night is a 4-speed upgrade and complete re-wire of a smallframe with one of the new Parmakit ignitions. Feel free to bring your project over for some wrench time or to get an opinion. My father in also in town and he’s extremly competent in electricals, as am I.

See, at least he’s modest. His dad is entertaining, too.

Yes, he’ll uprgade a transmission and rewire an entire bike in one night. And it will work. But it won’t be pretty. Worth checking out if you’re in Seattleland, but have an excuse ready (“I need to pick up my girlfriend at night school!”) or you’ll be there all night.

Note: no, he didn’t include the Yahoogroup address, and yes, I have been looking for an excuse to throw that art up for ages.