The Retro Cocktail Hour

“Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect, and amounted to about the same thing.”
― D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

The bartender pouring the absinthe, note the clear green color.
Pirate’s Alley Cafe, New Orleans

 

I’m not a very neat, organized person – I live in a constant battle with chaos and increasing entropy. I’m a Marie Kondo failure.

This failure does not only apply to the real world – but to the digital one as well. Still, I try.

I have been cleaning out old computer files, found on a dizzying collection of old hard drives and USB sticks. I try the Marie Kondo test – if it brings joy, I keep it, otherwise I throw it out (delete). I don’t delete much. I do come across a treasure or two, though.

Yesterday I found a reference to a website I had forgotten about that used to bring me joy – and I am glad to find out it is still there and think I’ll visit it some more. This is an old streaming music program, produced from Kansas Public Radio, based in Lawrence, where I went to school. That is surely how I stumbled across the program, though I don’t remember.

It’s called The Retro Cocktail Hour and it features… stuff you don’t hear everyday. Let me see if I can find a description…. Ok… from the Facebook Page:

The Retro Cocktail Hour serves up the music that’s “shaken, not stirred” every Saturday at 7:00pm Central on Kansas Public Radio stations. Pour the Mai Tais and join in for two hours of exotica, crime jazz, bossa nova, Now Sound, space age pop, groovy soundtracks, Bollywood weirdness and other incredibly strange tunes. Hosted by Darrell Brogdon. Visit http://www.retrococktail.org/ to stream shows from our program archive.

Think Mad Men. I love to listen to this stuff. It is so cool and so uncool at the same time. I’m not old enough to remember hearing this stuff but I’m old enough to have heard the echoes.

So make yourself a tray of Martinis and kick back and listen to an archive or two. If you want one to start with, try the All Exotica Show from January 19. From the show – “Exotica is the fantasy music of the South Pacific and the Orient, music of a make-believe Shangri-la, white sand beaches, warm breezes, and tropical libations.”

It doesn’t get any better than that.

What I learned this week, August 3, 2012

I have been looking for this for a long time… and now, here it is, on Youtube. Alfred Hitchcock’s version of the Roald Dahl short story Man From the South with Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre.

It’s almost a half-hour long… but find a time when you can sit down and watch the thing.

I think this story is the best example of how to manipulate tension, excitement, and dread in a tight little story I have ever seen. This version is a bit droll for my taste – the original text is more horrific. It’s been done and riffed on many times (check out Quentin Tarantino’s version as the fourth and last story in the otherwise-horrible film, Four Rooms).

I try and study it.

This is what I want to write.

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”

— Neil Gaiman


The 12 Best Spies in Film

An interesting list.

Of course….

Shaken, not stirred.

There is no controversy about who is number 1.

From Casino Royale (1953) Chapter 7

“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”

“Oui, monsieur.”

“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?”

The Vesper


Why flavorful Southern hot sauces don’t pack much heat


I’m sorry, but this is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. As a child, I lived in a few locations that had… well, let’s say they had a lot of flies – a lot. Swatting flies became a cheap amusement for when there was precious else to do. I would have given anything for this thing.

Now, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself.

Salt blasting shotgun eradicates insects with extreme prejudice

The Bug-A-Salt



I had to watch this… I didn’t think it could be done. Apparently, it can. It has to be real… it’s from the Internet.


MATCHBOOK. bikinis meet their match

Clever matches between bathing suits and books. Each match discovered by hand. We should have been doing this all along, am I right?