Twitter Art from the Banjo Brothers

Thousands of tweets ago and long since passed in the ether, I said something like

“we need more art, more absurdism; something just off-the-wall in this medium now jammed up with social media experts, gurus, marketing, and the occasional jesus freak.”

The Fake Christopher Walken was good for a while and then along comes the Banjo Brothers and their bike-centric micro-fiction on Twitter, which launches later this week (4/2). Interested and upon further inquiry, I learned the following in an email from company co-founder Mike Vanderscheuren

Serialized in 140 Characters


“Basically a bunch of ideas converged at once. I met Ian Pratt (the writer) at a party last summer and he wasn’t writing but was doing some pithy commentary one of the assorted blogs I follow. He’s a young kid just out of school and the job market stinks so I wanted to throw him a little work to make some beer money and start to build a portfolio.”

“In the meantime we started to get deeper into Twitter and I started to realize how it just sort of ties the whole package together. So I emailed Pratt and said I want to do something, but I don’t know what it is, and on a bike ride to the Chatterbox Pub to meet him and some other guys for beers the idea popped into my head. Pratt had just published some short fiction on his blog and I remember reading all these really short stories which used to be published in single sentences which scrolled on the bottom of pages in Esquire magazine.

The concept seemed tailor-made for Twitter

“After the initial idea hit, I e-mailed Pratt with some broad parameters. Basically, I’d like to story to include bicycles and I’d like it to take place in Minneapolis. Beyond that, I said I was open to anything. I then sent him a broad overview of cycling culture and told him to get to work. In about a week he write up a couple sample stories which were spot on and he proceeded to develop the first story.”

“My business partner Eric and I fact-checked the story to make sure there were no glaring errors on the cycling related stuff but basically let Ian create the story. Some inside scoop is that we did have him write it as something which may or may not be continued.”

“What I hope happens is that the story idea has legs and people get into the concept and we can find a way to continue it. Obviously part of the goal is more awareness of Banjo Brothers, but just as important, there is this creative vibe in the cycling community which I think we can add to even though we ourselves are not artists.”

Read more in the press release and the @banjobrothers replies.

Banjo Brothers International, LLC is a designer and wholesaler of well-made, affordable cycling gear for bike commuters and recreational cyclists. They’re also doing something interesting.

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