SOUNDS OF REAL AMERICA

Fans of Gin and Tacos on Facebook are familiar with CAPSLOCK ED, a magical being who blog-only readers met briefly in Campaign of the Damned. He tends to post in series like "10 Things Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know" (which was an actual "news" headline on CNN) and his latest bender is an ethnographic study of Americana called Sounds of Real America. It's a poignant study of the things one can only experience in the Real America, not in any fancy city or ivory tower university. It is the sound of the salt of the Earth living the simple life and experiencing things that only America can offer.

Reader / graphic designer Pauline Vassiliadis took it upon herself to surprise me with her visual interpretations of the SORA series. Being a fan of her talent and her appreciation for the absurd, my heart nearly exploded with joy when I saw the designs. I've decided to offer a small number of them to you, the readers. They combine my words with Pauline's aesthetic, capturing the essence of Real America in the process. Hang one of these babies on your wall to bring the magic of Muncie, IN or Macon, GA into your home.

Each print is 11"x14" on archival card stock, suitable for framing, wall mounting, or use as an improvised weapon. Only 20 of each design in the series will be available. They are $40 each or 3/$100, plus $3 for domestic shipping. "But that's so expensive! Why aren't they $5?" Because artists have bills too and I don't expect them to give their work away for nothing. And I promise you won't be disappointed – these look incredible in the flesh. Click the images below for a preview. (Just in case you're not clear, these are not actual cassette tapes. The cassette insert is merely a design motif.)

Sounds of Real America, Vol. 2
SORA 2 Preview


Single or full set?




Sounds of Real America, Vol. 3
SORA 3 Preview


Single or full set?




Sounds of Real America, Vol. 4
SORA 4 Preview


Single or full set?





Don't underestimate the appeal of surreal, trenchant social commentary on your walls. If you buy these you will get laid and strange people will start appearing to do your laundry for you. You will regret nothing.

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24 Responses to “SOUNDS OF REAL AMERICA”

  1. Matt Says:

    Should I hold out for volume 1? Or was that lost in the archive fire?

  2. Shane Says:

    Ditto Matt, anything other than the first volume just makes it look like you are missing something.

  3. Nick Says:

    These are pretty bitchin', and if I have the money at any point in the near future, I will purchase the full set and hang them on the ceiling above my bed, because nothing promises mutually satisfying naked times like Sounds of Real America Vols. 2-4.

  4. Shane Says:

    Also, are the pictures actually of Peoria. That would increase the awesomeness even more. Not that they aren't already awesome.

  5. CaptBackslap Says:

    Those track listings are magnificent, especially Volume 4's.

    Also, I think this cat here is in dire need of an FJM:

    http://www.npr.org/2013/04/08/176583581/op-ed-the-nonexistent-line-between-justice-and-revenge

  6. LK Says:

    Luvin'it.

    Ditto everyone above me re:Vol.1. Or, alternatively, make a more irregular series, so people could appear to have a choice ("yeah, ya'know, I checked'em all out at the record store, and Volumes 5 and 11 are just soooo much better. And they had a three-for-two deal, so I got Volume 2 just for the kicks").

    Being a blog-only reader, I didn't see the original series on FB, but I really miss locations for the tracks. Part of the point of RA, is that even though it's indistinguishable wherever you land, the people are certain that their own piece of dirt is the best there ever was. Try telling someone from Sofkee they're from Macon.

  7. amil666 Says:

    Immanuel Kant was never more than 30 miles from his place of birth and he had some interesting ideas about world peace (https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/kant/kant1.htm), but, yeah, uh, poor people sure are dumb lol.

    This is morally on par with "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "The Jerry Springer Show"

  8. purpleplatypus Says:

    I think the packaging of #4 would have been retro even in 1987. In particular, 8-tracks were pretty much dead and CDs were starting to be a real thing by then.

  9. Mo Says:

    amil – poor people sure are dumb, and so are rich people. Dumb and ignorant.

    However, I fail to see why being rural and poor is viewed as being a "Real" American. Salted earth is what the Romans left of Carthage when they were done with it.

  10. Alan C Says:

    Like Mo, I resist the idea that the rural, small-town portions of the country are the real America as if the big urban coastal areas are not. Just take New York City as the prime example. It's where millions of immigrants learned to be Americans, for God's sake! The idea that you have to drive a truck and own an arsenal in your basement to be a real American is just horses**t.

  11. Citizen S Says:

    These are awesome! When I have $100, I cannot wait to get laid and have others do my laundry for me!

  12. Nick Says:

    amil666: Proving that even if the person you're insulting is a (presumably Midwestern) man in a Tapout shirt punching a pregnant woman in the face, some liberal somewhere will find a way to be offended.

  13. not a gator Says:

    Truck nuts!

  14. not a gator Says:

    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable.

    Kant. Light for the world. Keeeeeep fuckin' that chicken, son.

    Hm, no, can't see any downside to fucking chickens in the Moral Imperative. Carry on.

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  16. mazareth Says:

    A little rich for my blood, but well designed. I grew up with cassettes. The first stereo system that my brother and I received for Christman 1 year had an 8 track player. The graphics are perfect for the era they evoke.

    Re 8 track tapes and 1987. I remember seeing cheap 8 track tapes for sale in smalltown Wisconsin gas stations into the late 80s…

  17. JP Says:

    I did it. I'm in for 3. I'm at a point in my life where I need to swap out the generic prints that fill my walls with actual art.

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