Schwinntonation: Making Music With Bicycle Parts

Friday, September 20, 2013

(Courtesy of Hilary Wind)

As part of our series on bike culture and bike shares in America, we're exploring the love of cycling in all of it's forms—from poetry to business, to music and data.

Charlie Malave and Ezra Lange, members of the Chicago-based band "Schwinntonation," hear in bikes something that many of us miss: Music.  Bike Harp, basscycle, little poppy, cricket, handlebars and seat-post flutes are just some of the instruments the band has invented over the years out of re-purposed bicycle parts. They join The Takeaway to share their music and love of cycling.

Don't forget to enter our Takeaway Bike Haiku Challenge here.

Check out a video of Schwinntonation playing at the WBEZ studios in Chicago:

Take a listen to their music here:

Below you'll find a photo slideshow of Schwinntonation.


Ezra Lange and Charlie Malave

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]

Bill R. from Philly suburbs

Reminds me of Frank Zappa doing something similar in 1963 on the Steve Allen show:

Sep. 20 2013 12:32 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I was impressed with Schwinntonation. I expected them to sound like "Spike Jones And City Slickers", but instead they had a cool early sixties experimental Jazz sound.
I hope their musicianship does not get lost to critics who will just see them as a gimmick band.

Oh, I love Spike Jones by the way. Here is "Cocktails For Two." and perhaps Schwinntonation would consider doing a cover, despite my initial negative connotation towards the song. I'm an enigma.

Sep. 20 2013 12:15 PM
Winslow from Brooklyn, NY

I like a Gear-Schwinn tune - how about you?

Sep. 20 2013 10:47 AM

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