hipsters kill another perfectly innocent past time


sketchyvan appreciates its Pabst Blue Ribbon. no secret there. it’s been that way ever since we participated in the Great Emigration of Unemployed-College-Grads to Portland, Ore. in the early 2000s. ahh, good times — lots of hours spent playing ping pong and looking for the hippest place to hit on baristas with doctorates.

that’s why this article scared us, then made us laugh, then nod in agreement, then puke in our mouths a little. then we ran out and grabbed a six-pack of Molson Golden.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Now More Popular Than Ever; Sorry, Hipsters.

Sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon are up a whopping 25 percent this year, according to Information Resources Inc.

“Well, of course,” you say. In this economy, consumers are looking for low-cost options, and cheaper beers are going to do better than more expensive ones.

But Pabst raised its prices last year and now it isn’t as cheap as you may think: The beer now costs $1.50 more than MillerCoors‘ Keystone, $1 more than Anheuser-Busch‘s Busch and Natural brands, and 50 cents more than Miller High Life, Crain’s reports.

Yet, despite being more expensive, PBR is doing remarkably better than all those brands in profit.

// Pabst’s success actually comes from years before the recession.

Pabst managed to pull of a strangely effective word-of-mouth campaign that made the long-declining brand an “ironic downscale chic choice for bike messengers and other younger drinkers who viewed the beer as a statement of non-mainstream taste,” reports Crain’s.

Let’s call a spade a spade: Those “non-mainstream,” “younger drinkers” are hipsters.

Usually found smoking European cigarettes and/or cloves, hipsters are known for their despise of anything “mainstream” and their fondness for irony. They listen to bands that no one has ever heard of and start fashion trends that are cool because of their “uncoolness”, e.g., trucker hats or vintage plaid shirts.

This is where Pabst Blue Ribbon comes in.

“It’s an anti-establishment badge,” said a major market wholesaler. “It seems to play to the retro, nonconformist crowd pretty well.”

Hipsters enjoy drinking a beer that isn’t as “established” as other better-known brands, asserting themselves are more “genuine” and “unique” than the mainstream that surrounds them.

They should be careful though. With the incredible rise in sales, Pabst Blue Ribbon could become so popular, it may enter the mainstream, and hipsters will have to abandon it in favor of another “cheap” beer.

Matt Bartosik, a “between blogs” blogger, will drink any beer you buy for him.

Copyright NBC Local Media / NBC Los Angeles
First Published: Sep 16, 2009 10:11 PM PDT

original article is chillin’ at nbclosangeles.com


these guys deserve a beaded seat cover.

give it up for Rob Balding (filmer, editor) and his raucous crew of snowboarders in the new film Get in the Van. they traveled around in a white Chevy van bedazzled with those squiggly pastel brush strokes that were all the rage in 1996. dudes lived in that van for a full winter, finding sweet spots to shred. much respect. watch…

get in this guys van

get in this guy's van

<— and check out their homepage photo! good lord, that’s terrific.

compliments of http://www.wegetinthevan.com.

friend ’em on facebook

Van Rule # 437: coat hangers are for tying up your muffler, not your child in a box on the roof

what’s the big deal? doesn’t everyone use small children as weight to secure rooftop cargo? Continue reading

for sale: ’96 Ford Aerostar. $100,000 firm.

reported in the San Fransisco Chronicle, October 2, 2009.

A Mountain View man has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for cranking out $30,000 in counterfeit bills in an unusual location – the back of his 1996 Ford Aerostar van.

Paul Rickett, 37, pleaded guilty in July to dealing in counterfeit money. He was sentenced Thursday in San Francisco by U.S. Judge William Alsup.

The investigation began when Brian Matthew Garcia and his girlfriend, Angela Ceaser, were arrested this year by Secret Service agents on suspicion of conspiracy for trying to mail counterfeit currency.

The two identified Rickett as the creator of the fake cash, and a Secret Service agent contacted Rickett to set up an order, Special Agent Jeffrey Jones wrote in an affidavit.

its tireprints were all over the crime scene (96 Aerostar)

its tireprints were all over the crime scene ('96 Aerostar)

Rickett agreed to meet the undercover agent in early April at the Potrero Shopping Center on 16th Street in San Francisco. The meeting was secretly recorded with a device hidden in a keychain, investigators said.

Rickett showed the agent, who went by “Bill,” how real his fake notes looked, including their “rainbow effect” and the American eagle symbols found on genuine $20 bills, Jones wrote. Rickett then gave Bill $1,940 in fake notes in exchange for $400 in real ones, authorities said.

Bill set up another deal for April 17 at the Embers bar on Auburn Boulevard in Sacramento, at which Rickett gave Bill $2,000 in counterfeit currency in exchange for $400, authorities said.

Rickett was preparing to make another $100,000 in fake money when he was arrested May 8, authorities said.

His place of business was his 13-year-old van, authorities say. Rickett’s Aerostar was outfitted with a computer, a Canon printer and several reams of paper, which he used to make authentic-looking bills, according to the Secret Service.

His attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Daniel Blank, wrote in a sentencing memorandum that Rickett was a Gulf War veteran who “lost everything to his methamphetamine addiction.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/10/02/BA0U1A0F2U.DTL#ixzz0SsghseJ8

The Backstage Banjo-Bomber

Backstage Banjo-Bomber

VAN: Backstage Banjo-Bomber

FOUND: stage right of the Heritage Bluegrass Festival, Jim Thorpe, PA


WHAT THIS VAN TELLS THE WORLD: Music is my muse. And I’m not talking about the crap you probably listen to.

Take a look at me. You think I care about the latest trends? Nope. Same goes with my music. All this garbage that’s getting churned out by record companies these days, it frightens me. You kids and your Britney Montana and your Lady Hoo-Ha. That’s not music.

Now, put a banjo and a stand-up bass in the same room together… them’s real tunes. Pure. American. Bluegrass.

backstage at the Heritage Bluegrass Fest

backstage at the Heritage Bluegrass Fest

I have no seats, just a ton of cargo room in the back. You know why? No, not to make room for a subwoofer and 15″ speakers, ya dingbat. It’s so’s I can haul gear around for people to make real music, for real people. I can squeeze a full drumkit, a stand-up bass, several guitars and amps and a PA system behind the driver’s seat, Tetris style.

I got some advice for ya’s: get off yer computer — with yer mp2’s and yer Facey-Spacey and yer Tweeter-chirps — and pick up a guitar or a banjo. Start a band. Cover some Waylon Jennings tunes. Then try to listen to those Black Eyed Beans fellas. Just try. Then you’ll see what it is i’m gettin’ at.

stop staring at my roof animals

um, okay.

um, okay.

have a close look at the photo of this gray Oldsmobile Silhouette, found driving through the strip-mall section of Easton, Pennsylvania. what’s that glued on to the roof? yup, it’s a healthy array of stuffed animals. that is not normal.

using our super high-tech zoom-in software, we were able to determine that Ernie, of Bert and Ernie fame, is in the mix. all the other things are just weird. looks like there’s a cat in there, a sunflower, maybe a Tweety Bird.

the best part? if you look really closely above the license plate, there’s a chrome skull with glowing red eyes fastened to the tailgate.

we didn’t get a good look at the driver, but we can only assume it was the creepy guy from Spiderman 3.

The Best Westy

1978 Volkswagen Westfalia

VAN: a 1978 Volkswagen “Westy”

FOUND: at the Heritage Festival, Mauch Chunk Lake Park in Jim Thorpe, PA

ON THE RADIO: Burning Spear, “I and I Survive”

WHAT THIS VAN TELLS THE WORLD: I’m vintage. And I look damn good parked next to your Corolla at the Bob Weir show.

Sherri chillin' in her Westy. Sherri owns Horizons head shop in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Sherri chillin' in her Westy. Sherri owns Horizons head shop in Jim Thorpe, PA.

My owner, Shelli, rescued me from a slow and certain death about 9 years ago. She restored me, inside and out, and now I’m a daily commuter AND a  go-to party-friend. When you’re at a party and you’re too drunk to not get pulled over, you can just crash in the back of me. That’s right, there’s a bed back there. A bed you can sleep on. But that’s not all, when you wake up in the morning, all sorts of hungover, just sit up and you’re at the stove, where you can cook a slab of bacon and French press some coffee. All this, in the footprint of a standard van.

It’s almost like I was designed and built in a nation of efficient, hardworking beer drinkers.

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Jim Thorpe, as it turns out, was the greatest athlete of all time.

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Jim Thorpe, as it turns out, was the greatest athlete of all time.

The Tattooed Metrokiller

van tatoos are so hot right now

van tattoos are so hot right now

VAN: The Tattooed Metrokiller

FOUND: 95th St. and Riverside Dr., New York City

PROBABLY ON THE RADIO: Calvin Harris – “Dance Wive Me”, feat. Dizzee Rascal

THIS VAN TELLS THE WORLD: I’m all city. See that graffiti on the side of me? That’s art, man.

Driving around Manhattan, I come across all sorts of insane sights. Like, for instance, I’m driving up Riverside the other day and I come across this girl—>

Is she wearing pants? Who knows? It’s New York, man. Anything can happen.

So I got a little spray paint on my exterior. No big deal. Underneath the hood of this late-90s model Dodge, I’m rockin’ a V8. And that’s nothing to shake a stick shift at.

do not mourn his death. celebrate his “whiiiiirrrre”

The birth of “sketchyvan.com: exposing the american dream one van at a time” will start with a death. In honor of Gary, a legendary Chevrolet Blazer that lived and breathed the sketchyvan ethos, we present his obituary, printed here. And only here.

Gary, may your tank always be full, your air filter always unclogged, and your muffler always tied up with a golden coat hanger.

Gary the Light Blue Blazer. 1994-2009.

Gary the Light Blue Blazer took his final lap around the block on Wednesday, 9/9/09. He was 15 years old.

Known to his legions of followers simply as “Gary,” the 1994 Chevrolet Blazer with a V6 engine was purchased by its current owner, Buddy McCarthy, in on a late summer afternoon in 2004. His pricetag of $2,000 belied the personality and doggedness that lurked under the hood.

Gary would go on to take two coast-to-coast trips, including an epic “bar crawl across America” that lasted 8 days and spanned 16 states (at the end of the trip, in Portland, OR, he was mysteriously crap-bombed by a pair of poop-saturated boxers). Gary spent a year in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado before relocating to Brooklyn, NY, where he lived out his remaining years.

“It’s better this way, that he goes peacefully,” said a frequent Gary passenger as the the baby blue truck was hauled away behind a flat-bed tow truck this morning. “It’s just a shame that he had to die today. He had such a great parking spot – that one’s, like, impossible to get.”

Part of Gary’s mystique was his uncanny ability to leave his passengers stranded. Whether it was a broken thermostat in Craig, CO, or a dead transmission directly in the middle of the Tappen Zee bridge, Gary liked to keep his driver guessing. For years, he had a habit of going “whhhhhiiirrrrrrre” unexpectedly while cruising down the highway and subsequently losing power – once the driver pulled over and let him rest a second, he would drive normally again.

A collection of novelty “GARY” license plates dangled from his passenger seat, and was given to his owner at the time of his passing. The Blazer emblem was also removed for posterity.

In lieu of flowers, Gary’s owner has requested that mourners donate jumper cables to other ’94 Blazer owners.

Gary is towed from his final parking spot in Brooklyn, NY. And it was such a great parking spot.

Gary is towed from his final parking spot in Brooklyn, NY. And it was such a great parking spot.