Found Sound Friday No. 5

Every Friday (more or less) I dip into my audio archives to pull out a “found sound” recording – unique, one-off documents, made by amateurs, usually for a very small, select audience of family or friends, on a variety of recording media including record blanks and kids’ “record your own voice” cassettes.

I found this small (6″) unlabeled 45 RPM Voice-O-Graph “voice letter” in the envelope below, sandwiched between two pieces of stiff cardboard. The sound quality is pretty poor, as you’d expect from a record that’s a piece of cardboard coated with a thin layer of plastic or shellac. I EQ’d it a bit to make it more listenable. Seems to be in German. Can anyone translate?

Whyte Wednesday

Too nice to stay inside today so I grabbed the camera and took a walk down Whyte Avenue.

Homer Simpson’s German cousin?

The new Roots on Whyte building (corner of Whyte and 102 Street) is almost finished – the exterior anyway, looks like there’s still a lot to do inside. The main floor will have organic groceries, a restaurant, bakery, meat market and coffee bar. I’m pretty stoked – I used to really like their restaurant on campus when they were Roots Organic (where Sobey’s is now).

The building is “faux historic” but it doesn’t look “theme park.”

Less stoked about this.

Beautiful glass tiles on the building below.

Shameless Pandering

Of late, the most popular entry on my old blog has been a post featuring photos of 70s soul/r&b/disco family band The Sylvers, surpassing even perennial favourites Marianne Faithfull and How To Draw Horses. A few weeks ago the number of hits I was getting searching for The Sylvers or individual members Olympia, Leon, Charmaine, James, Edmund, Ricky, Angie, Pat and Foster spiked at several hundred a day – pretty remarkable for a blog that usually averages less than 100 hits a day from all sources.

When the numbers spike like that, it’s usually because something bad happened. For instance, every time there’s a major earthquake somewhere in the world, my post with the soundtrack from “Earthquake” takes off. So naturally I was apprehensive that one of the Sylvers had kicked the bucket. A quick visit to their Wikipedia page showed that all the Sylvers were still among us (except  for Edmund, who died in 2004), so I’m not sure what’s causing the surge in interest. If you came here looking for The Sylvers, maybe you can fill me in.

In any case, this new blog could use some traffic, and I’m not above pandering. So here are the images from that earlier post, but much larger (click to view full size).

The Sylvers: Showcase

Record Cover of the Week

Chet Atkins: Teensville

Got this at a friend’s yard sale. But Mike (you’re saying), didn’t you already buy that record in March 2000? Obviously your memory is better than mine because, yes, I did, and it didn’t start nagging at me until later that I may already own this disc. All is not lost though, because when I checked at home, the copy I already own is mono and the new one is in RCA’s LIVING STEREO, so clearly it’s a step up (unless you’re some kind of mono purist, which I’m not). Here’s the cover of the old one for comparison:

click on record covers to enlarge

A new day has begun


Welcome to my new blog. Same content you’ve come to love (or be mildly amused by on occasion – or mostly ignore), with a BOLD NEW LOOK! And with a new look comes a NEW NAME! When I heard the phrase “tawdry swank” on the radio I instantly knew it would be the name of my new blog (see “about” for the source). I will do my best to live up to the promise embodied in the words “Tawdry Swank”

Thank you and good day.