farm city!

american west.

January 27, 2011
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Nich Hance McElroy. Photographer. Seattle.

From the series ‘How to be alone.’ From what I can figure, these photos are all taken in Alaska, the final frontier.
Nich has a bunch of other photos here.

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country heroes.

January 18, 2011
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Jim McGuire. Nashville Portraits.

Johnny Cash (with Dr. Billy Graham), Townes Van Zandt, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and a real young Steve Earle.
See a bunch of other important folks in American music here.


riding the rods.

November 30, 2010
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I have a thing about trains. Always wanted to ride ’em. Always wanted to travel like a hobo – down and dirty, wind in my hair, yadda yadda.
Now it seems the only people who ride trains are crusty punks. And while I was once asked, seriously, recently, if I was a crusty punk, I’m not. Have never been. And so ya, I was offended. I’ve actually had a job. For real.
Crusties aside, this shit looks fun, right?
And so I’ve spent my morning, drinking stovetop espresso, listening to this gutter-punk/folk-fusion revival on youtube and looking at photos here.


canadian cultural landscapes.

April 15, 2010
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Canada Wheat Board Trains.

Canadian Wheat Board design is pretty solid – a modern logo combined with traditional typeface. I’m happy to see these train-cars grace the rails of this great land.


i’se the b’ye.

March 14, 2010
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Captain Robert Abram Bartlett. Newfoundlander / Sailor / Explorer / Photographer. 1875-1946.

The North Country impresses me.
Bob Bartlett is a real man, a tough motherfucker.
According to one story (just one of many stories that reek of heroism and make me wish I was tougher, more adventurous, more of a man), Bobby’s ship the HMCS Karluk was stranded in the ice near Wrangel Island for several winter months. Bartlett then walked 700 MILES over the ice, across the Chukchi Sea and Siberia only to mount an expedition in Alaska that then went back to rescue the remaining survivors on the Karluk. That’s some serious shit.
His explorations helped chart the Arctic and were important for the discover of the North West Passage. Most of the photos found here are courtesy of the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage website.


tattoos! ladies!

March 1, 2010
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Original Gangsta.


a history of canada.

January 9, 2010
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Old-time forestry. And animation, too.


goddamn the cpr.

January 6, 2010
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Canadian Pacific Rail. 1881 – Present.

Art by G.Y. Kaufmann, 1924.

Art by Norman Fraser, 1937.

Art by Peter Ewart, 1947.

Art by Roger Couillard, 1955.

Four decades of rail-travel-ads.
Train is the best way to travel, mostly because of the style. Conductors’ aesthetic, dining car elegance, great posters.
I first encountered Kaufmann’s 1924 poster on the wall of an old lover of mine. Made me dig deeper into the golden age of print advertising, look further into the loveliness of train-travel.
Though I’ve driven a car, ridden in a bus, flown by plane, hitchhiked – basically criss-crossed this country many times over – I’ve never taken a train all the way West. It’s a dream of mine, to get one of those ‘sleeping cars’ and a three-piece suit, ride in style.
Check out the CPR site for a really great graphic history.


revolutionary equipment.

January 4, 2010
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Ivan E. Coyote. Bow Grip.

“I hung up hard, wishing I didn’t always sound like such a fucking idiot on the voicemail. For some reason, answering machines always made my heart pound. Something about my words being on a machine; a permanent record of me not knowing what to say.”

I just finished reading this novel about a man whose wife leaves him after five years of marriage, leaves him for the big city, leaves him for another woman.
And then I found this advertisement for a revolutionary concept. Featuring the telephone. And answering equipment.
I guess I was drawn to this particular quote because I am anti-message. I never leave them and don’t have voicemail service, so people can’t leave me messages either.
Maybe I’m scared of the permanence, but I think I’m actually always too-caught-off-guard, not witty enough…


murder.

December 6, 2009
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Nick Cave.

I’ve been listening to Murder Ballads by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds over and over again. Incredibly composed, beautiful album about a number of gruesome murders – a whole album’s worth.
Just watched The Proposition, a film written by Nick Cave set in the Australian outback, a wild-western of sorts. Also features a number of horrific murders.
Finally, I came across this beautiful letterpress version of Nick Cave’s novel And the Ass Saw the Angel published by Black Spring Press. I’m going to read the novel and naturally I’d love to have one of those £425 hand-bound in leather versions. Check it out.


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