Lowriding: Auto Americana Part Three

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2007 01:26am | Post a Comment

"In our Lowrider Section there are a lot of compilations series, new and old, like Thump Records' Old School series and their Latin Oldies series and East Side Records' East Side Story series," said Orion, who works in the Soul & Hip-Hop section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, where the demand for lowrider music is so great that it gets its own section.

Lowrider music includes classic soul, funk, oldies, rNb, and Latin oldies, plus other types of music too, like rap and hip-hop and including lots of Latin rap, which is generally filed in the hip-hop section. There too you'll find the rap flavored lowrider DVDs, said Orion, noting that there are additional lowrider DVDs to be found upstairs in the Hollywood store's impressive vast DVD department. There are DVDs galore on the subject of cars which is "a pretty big portion within the Sports and Special Interests section," said Maryann, who works in that section of Amoeba Hollywood. And of the topics included in the car section?  "Street racing, monster trucks, drifting, racing (NASCAR, IndyCar races etc), customizing, classic/antique, and of course lowriding," she said. There are approximately 20 lowrider DVD titles currently in stock.  

Lowriding, for the uninitiated, is when you take a car a or truck (often classic American cars from sixties or fifties but other decades too) and modify its suspension system (often with hydraulics) -- the ultimate goal being that the auto will ride as low to the ground as physically possible. These lowrider vehicles often have user controlled height adjustable suspension -- as witnessed by the videos above and below -- which allow them to pull off some amazing antics. And while it is cool to look at video footage, there is nothing like seeing these rides up close in action. The sites below usually have info on car shows but one site called OneBadPup specializes in SoCal car shows and has been posting pics of them for the past two years (that's one of their their great shots below).

Lowriders (the drivers of these cars) are often fanatical about their wheels, which often gobble up most of their spare money and time. In addition to visiting Amoeba's DVD and CD sections (Berkeley and SF too) for more information on lowriding -- which is linked with many other sub-cultures, including Mexican-American/Chicanos, who dominate the lowrider scene in many parts including SoCal where it is most popular -- there are many books,  magazines, and websites including and such magazines as Lowrider and Streetlow magazine that all embrace and celebrate lowrider culture. 

Among the many books on the subject is Lowriders, published in 2005 by Facts on Fire, and written by Ann Parr. There is also the out-of-print, but high in demand book  Old Barrio Guide To Lowrider Music 1950 to 1975 by Ruben Molina. But for a really good overview of the books on lowriding as well all other things lowrider related (including forums) there is the layitlow website which is worth checking out if you are interested in this subject.


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Auto Americana (2), Lowriding (1)