Sound Advice

While there's nothing quite like being there, it should be noted that one of the most notable experiences one acquires while attending a full zoot drag race is the sensory overload. The sights, the colors, the smoke, the fire, the stench of burning rubber and nitromethane... and of course, the noise.

Oh yeah, that noise... I love how the neophytes will tell you it's really loud at the races while the stockers are running, but when the nitro cars get angry, they do an audio backflip!

So enjoy this link to The Big Sounds of the Drags 2001. It seems that Cole Coonce, creator of this audio masterpiece, has decided to give all of us gearheads a gift. He has released his new millennium audio recordings of drag racing action as a Creative Commons work that is available to all. Just click on the link, and download the whole enchilada track by track. Since I paid actual cash money for this CD when it was initially released in early 01, I can attest to the fact that it is indeed a pleasurable listen. It contains both interviews with drag racing notables, and the audio experience from the sport of sprint as it's never been recorded before. All interspersed with a backdrop of left coast surf rock. Fun stuff.

The web is an amazing thing, but sometimes good content gets lost in the cyber ether and is just gone. There was once a terrific web site for drag racing aficionados known as Nitronic Research. It gave us more of an "under the hood" look at the inner workings of the drags and the many people who give it a personality. Then one day in 03, it went dark... I'm still not exactly sure why, but I can imagine that it had taken on a life of it's own as it evolved into what was effectively an online magazine. It also contained a rather "lively" chat room known as Header Flames that I suspect required constant moderation. It was the brainchild of the aforementioned Cole Coonce, but NR looked like a lot of work with a possibly limited return on the time invested. Yet for whatever reason, it went away, and left a void in the online drag racing experience. The Big Sounds of the Drags 2001 was born of the Nitronic Research web venture, and has been unavailable for the better part of six years now. So I advise snagging the downloadable version while it's currently available with no strings attached.

As you acquire this sonic drag racing stuff, note that the Nitronic Research ethic may be making a modest resurgence as a Word Press blog. Poke around at the links while you're there. You'll find some of the original NR articles posted within, and even a full version of Coonce's Land Speed Record saga Infinity Over Zero can be had with the same Creative Commons license that now gives us the The Big Sounds of the Drags 2001. I even noticed some "new" postings... hmmm.

It's all good stuff that's been missing in action for too long. Feels like a bookmark to me.