Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New & Slightly Improved Trailer

Remember the original trailer for the Un-Road Trip? The one with Matt Lauer? Well, in anticipation of the upcoming series the trailer has been re-edited with real Un-Road Trip footage! Check it out:

The Un-Road Trip: Coming soon to TV! from Boaz Frankel on Vimeo.

So go ahead and click play and listen to Lauer's familiar timbre as action-packed vehicularly-exhilarating footage plays!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Seattle TV still loves me!

One of my favorite local pieces covering the Un-Road Trip was produced by Evening Magazine, a nightly magazine show on Seattle's King 5. A few weeks back they called me for an update (I told them about the upcoming TV show) so they could write a new intro for a re-airing of the segment. They really covered the whole trip pretty thoroughly and were even there to cover my rib-shattering fall! Take a look:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Kazoo Museum Comes Home!

After over a year of living in boxes in my parents' house the Kazoo Museum has gone out into the world and is once again educating people about the wonders and history of my favorite instrument. A few months back I got an email from Rick Hubbard (aka The King of Kazoos) about the possibility of moving the museum to South Carolina. His company Kazoobie Kazoos had just relocated there themselves and now had a larger space to house a gift shop and visitor center. So a few weeks ago I re-packed and mailed a few boxes from Portland, OR and last week I opened up those boxes in Beaufort, SC. The space is pretty awesome. The building used to be a lighting showroom so it's already an inviting space with more overhead power outlets than you know what to do with.

Rick and Stephen Murray (president of Kazoobie Kazoos) had already purchased six glass cases and arranged them in a cozy nook of the front room. I spent a week with them laying out a chronological exhibit outlining the history of the instrument with antique kazoos, patents, and a lot of new text I wrote up for the occasion.

In addition I also set up a few side exhibits. I really like this mini exhibit about the kazoo as one of the few instruments invented in the USA:

We also did some thrift store shopping to put together this recreation of Thaddeus Von Clegg's workshop where the first kazoo was supposedly built in the 1840s:

The Kazoo Museum is already open for business, though we're in the early stages of planning an epic grand opening celebration in October. So keep you calendar clear and start planning that trip to Beaufort!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Livin' La Vida Un-Road

Biking in Charleston

Even though I finished the Un-Road Trip about a year ago I still haven't been spending much time in cars. Now I'm on a sort of mini-car-free vacation in South Carolina. Before the trip I bought a folding bike that I'd been eying for a while and it's pretty awesome. As soon as the train arrived in Charleston around 5:30AM I unfolded my bike, hopped on it, and rode into town as I watched the sun rise. I hadn't done a ton of research before I got to Charleston so I was pretty much exploring the town with my bike and iPhone.

Downtown Charleston is fun to bike around- small streets, slow traffic, friendly drivers- though it's a little trickier once you get out of the center of town. Apparently South Carolina is ranked 33rd in the list of bike-friendly states and while some other SC cities (Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg) are working on building some infrastructure to promote cycling it doesn't seem like Charleston has started on that task. In my few days of riding I've seen two small stretches of bike lanes and a couple of "Share the Road" signs with a picture of a bicycle. Otherwise I've been doing my best to wear bright colors find wide shoulders and ward off reckless drivers. I've had to change a few of my plans after a man at one of the bike shops strongly recommend I stay off some roads, though I've been able to find plenty to do in the area.

Five years ago they did open the massive Ravenel suspension bridge that does accommodate a roomy bike lane:
Ravenell Bridge

One of the days I ditched the bike altogether and joined a bike tour to check out one of the many plantations in the area. It's pretty wild to see these places in person after reading about them in my elementary, middle, and high school history books. I love Oregon, but it certainly doesn't have the same sort of colonial, revolutionary, and civil war history that the Carolinas do. And there I was on the Magnolia Plantation looking at former rice paddies and rustic cabins that slaves used to live in. Pretty wild.

Cemetary in Charleston

Coincidentally I planned my trip during the Spoleta Festival, an annual arts festival that's been going on for over thirty years and is somehow linked to an Italian arts festival. There were literally hundreds of performances happening throughout the week- from blues to jazz to plays to dance pieces to marionette operas. It was tough to decide what to check out, so I ended up seeing five concerts and a one-man-show. A few of the shows were free, so I didn't even have to shell out that much cash.

Piccolo Spoleto

And after a sweaty nine mile bike ride through the hot and humid streets of Charleston I'm drying off at the Amtrak Station getting ready to board a train to my next desitination- Beaufort, SC- where I'll be reinstalling the Kazoo Museum after a few year hiatus. Stay tuned...

Kazoos in transit