Behind the Swell Man-Ideas by Elliot on How to be Swell

10858503_1543576439223659_7862076634773835398_nIts been a long while since I’ve made a post on How to be Swell. There have been some major changes in the swell household, and some minor ones on your favorite swell blog. I’ve got some exciting content coming up for all you swell readers, but in the meantime here is a little behind the scenes to tide you over.IMG_2067-2

11890976_10155799576100538_7578170652224433040_nI happen to be very involved and connected in the city that I live in. Recently a friend of mine, who just started this amazing podcast called Ideas by Elliot that you need to check out, invited me to do an interview. I was flattered because he is interviewing some of the movers and shakers in my small town, and somehow I became a part of that group. If you’ve wanted to hear what makes Mr. How to be Swell tick here is your chance, check it out, and while you are at it listen to the rest of his content, you won’t be disappointed.

Restoring Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 roadster

 

 

This article has been in the news a few places in the last couple of days. It is about my all time favorite car and a musician who is fairly swell in his own rite. Elvis Presley, the ring of Rock and Roll once owned this beautiful BMW 507 Roadster, it is about to be restored by the BMW factory in Germany, I re posted the article here for your reading and viewing pleasure

73c94d74380a4c2ca9602b397a5493e9Elvis Presley’s BMW is getting the rock star treatment all over again. This rare BMW was the King’s personal ride while serving in the Army between 1958 and 1960.

BMW Classic, the automaker’s official restoration arm, is bringing the King’s 507 roadster back to showroom quality. The red roadster, one of just 254 built between 1955 and 1959, was actually Presley’s second 507, or by some accounts, the same car painted red after adoring women wrote their names and numbers all over the original white body in lipstick.

In either case, Presley was stationed in Germany in the late 1950s as a private in the U.S. Army, but aside from operating a tank and standing guard (where he was again mobbed by hundreds of German fans), the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was no ordinary GI. In between his many overseas girlfriends and ability to skirt Army rules as a celebrity, Presley bought one of the most expensive cars at that time (about $450,000 in today’s dollars). He spotted the 507 in a local dealer after the Porsche 550 Spyder, the other great sports car in which heartthrob actor James Dean famously died, wasn’t available.b545abf3d9664564b408be2a476dabb4

For a $3,750 lease — for a used model raced by Hans Stuck — Elvis cruised around Germany in one of the most beautiful and rarest BMWs ever made until his Army tour was up in 1960. From there, the story gets murkier. The 507 was shipped to the U.S., except its original 150-horsepower V8 engine was swapped for a small-block Chevy somewhere in Alabama and was drag-raced. Later in 1968, an engineer named Jack Castor bought the car in Arizona and then let it sit in a warehouse for decades. Only recently has Castor shipped the car to BMW to let the experts restore Presley’s car.bmw_red_3_408

Currently, the car is on display in its original condition at the factory BMW Museum through Aug. 10. Presley also bought a BMW Isetta — the funny microcar that had its single door up front — even before leaving for Germany. Discounting every other car Elvis bought in his lifetime, it was sure good to be the King with keys to a 507.

[Source: Road & Track via BMW Classic; Photos by BMW, Elvis Australia]

Michael Jackson Xscape Featuring Justin Timberlake

Justin

I love music, all kinds of music. I have a few favorite genres and artists. I know what 10 albums I would bring with me to a deserted island, and all of that.  There are however a few artists that transcend every classification and are just phenomenal, that I can always appreciate, and never tire of. Pink Floyd, Queen, U2, Sublime, and Eric Clapton are a few of mine. The King of pop is certainly on this list as well. Continue reading

Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience and 2 of 2

I published this originally in april, but I thought I would do some updates and deliver it again, especially after hearing the follow up album called 2 of 2. Here it is again, Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 albums:

So I have Been Listening to Justin Timberlake’s New Album fo a couple of weeks and I have to say I love it! Now, Admittedly I am a big fan of his and I was pretty sure that I was going to enjoy it any way, but I was still pretty impressed. His timing of the release is perfect to make this album a great summer sound track. It is consistent for his style of music, and it has a great vintage quality to it. For this album of his it seems more adult, or “grown up” for lack of a better phrase. I have made the daring comparison before, but Timberlake’s music always strikes me as the new millenium’s Michael Jackson. And with that comparison JT should be flattered.

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Alabama Shakes

Alabama ShakesHere is some ear candy for you. I have discovered a relatively new band on the airwaves and they sure satisfy my sweet tooth for good music. They are called Alabama Shakes, I heard their single on the radio and did some searching and the entire album is fantastic. You want something different and new then listen up. Theirs is a great update on a vintage cool sound. Continue reading

Passion Pit: Take a Walk

passion pit gossamerI recently came across a new group that has really caught my attention recently. Passion Pit is a great indie rock band from out east specifically Cambridge, Massachusetts. They formed in 2007 and its members are: Michael Angelakos, Ian Hultquist, Xander Singh, Jeff Apruzzese , and Nate Donmoyer. All of the band members, save Angelakos, attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Michael attended Emerson College. Their name comes from a slang term for a drive in movie theater. Continue reading

Alabama 3

This name may not be familiar to you, but you would recognise their music as soon as you watch the opening credit of She Sopranos. Their song  “Exile on Coldharbor Lane” plays as Tony soprano drives through New Jersey. It’s a great song, and its the title track of their debut album, and they have plenty of other great songs chambered in their sonic pistols. Alabama 3 are not from Alabama, or even the States. They’re from Brixton, London, and there’s a few more than three of them. 

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fun

fun is an American alternative rock band formed by Nate Ruess with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff. fun has released two albums: their debut Aim and Ignite in 2009 and their latest Some Nights in February 2012.They have a great youthful sound, and very fun like their namesake. Lead singer-Nate Ruess’ voice is reminiscent of Freddy Mercury‘s of Queen when he was in his middle register with a hint of, don’t laugh, Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines. He has a great voice, and they have a great alternative sound dipping their toes in a large number of musical styles on their albums.
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Gavin Degraw

Apparently Gavin Degraw has been the best kept secret for a while, well, at least from me. I was always aware of Gavin Degraw and his career, he has had some good singles, but had been kind of background music for me.  He performed songs that I liked, but never really paid attention beyond hearing it on the radio, until now. I always liked his songs “Chariot”, and “In Love with a Girl”, but he totally hooked me  with his new track “Sweeter”(watch the video at the bottom). His sound is the perfect blend of bluesy rock and roll with just the right amount of grit to make you feel it. One of the best new singles ive heard this year. Continue reading

Dick Clark

I wouldn’t normally post like this, but I saw this news today and I had to share. Dick Clark was a class act, an icon in music and television. He was the long-running host of the shows  ‘American Bandstand’ and ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ which brought rock and roll music into many people’s homes for the first time. He has launched and promoted the careers of myriads of artists in his years in the industry.

Long dubbed “the world’s oldest teenager” because of his boyish appearance, he was still relevant to people all ages well into his advanced years. Born Nov. 30, 1929 in Mount Vernon, N.Y., Clark began his long music business career at age 17 as a radio announcer. He went on to become the host of ‘American Bandstand’ from 1956 to 1989. In 1993 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A stroke in 2004 left Clark unable to host ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ for the first time in 32 years, he returned in a co-hosting role the subsequent year and every year following. On April 18th he has died of a “massive heart attack” at age 82. Clark leaves behind his wife, Kari Wington, a son, Richard Augustus II, with first wife Barbara Mallery and two children, Duane and Cindy, with second wife Loretta Martin. Dick Clark certainly knew how to be swell.