beyond the roots of lounge

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bacon, cheeseburger

The latest episode of Yacht Rock features "Banky Edwards" in the story of "Footloose:"

it's not just a writer's strike

...that makes the commercials the best thing on TV. Composer Mark Mothersbaugh is perversely client-agnostic. In addition to his film scores for Wes Anderson and the continuing adventures of DEVO, Mothersbaugh's firm Mutato Muzika scores commercials for Microsoft and Apple, for McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's--and, if you listen closely, for nearly anyone else whose money is the warm green hue of its Sunset Blvd. headquarters. Actual Mutato and "inspired" sound-alikes have created a delightfully musical sound of swinging commerce for the 21st Centry, something sorely lacking since before advertisers started leaning so heavily on licensed pop records.

Here's Mutato's musica in the best recommendation for Martini on-the-rocks since the days of Burt and Angie:

free Maudlin's Eleven!

The time of "Howl" and "On the Road" was also the time of "Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely" and the original "Ocean's Eleven," and although by many measures a taste for the product of North Beach is incompatible with a taste for the product of Las Vegas, the Beat Movement writers and the Rat Pack entertainers were shapers of a similar sensibility.

--The New Yorker, October 1, 2007

Even the casual reader can not have failed to note that by its very existence, this site contends that "Beat" and "Vegas" are not only compatible, they are two sides of the same coin.

That idea was originally supposed to lead you to YouTube clips parts one through four of SCTV's "Maudlin's Eleven." Best Rat Pack Parody, Ever--and as the original uploader says said, better than the original. And right now, you can't watch it online.

Which leads us to our next point. By their continued pointless scouring of thar Interwebs for every last unauthorized clip and snippet, the entertainment industrial complex is shooting itself in the foot. Well, strike that--they've long since shot off both feet, now they're gnawing at their own legs.

You do not punish your audience for their promotion of your product. You capitalize on it. Let's just use SCTV as an example (there are several legitimate clearance issues with that program that you can read about elsewhere if you're really interested, but we'll leave those aside for a moment). When you the rightsholder see that users want to post their old VHS home-recorded snippets of your thirty-year-old TV show on the Web, you should see that as an opportunity to serve ads for your DVD retrospective product (if you're bright enough to have one out there) right on that page, directly to the people who might be interested in buying that product from you. This is win-win: casual user is exposed to your property, connoisseur becomes aware that a legit product is available, collector buys that product immediately right from the "buy it now" link in your ad. It's not "stealing," people--it's marketing, and that's how you need to do it in this here Internet age. The people are telling you what they're interested in having access to. Open up your vaults and let the $un shine in.

Also, Big Media, while we have your attention: this subscription model you think will magically wind the clock back to the days of hookers-and-blow is never going to work. You need to do compulsory license deals with the cable companies and the telcos, the folks who already have their hands in your audience's pocket each month. For a variety of reasons, we the people do not wish to engage with every rights-holder on Earth through a series of separate continuous subscription fees so that we can rent your works. We want to buy high-quality and legit copies of the products we wish to own, at a reasonable (read, cheap) price. And to get us to do that, you have to let us use your promote your stuff. A few minutes of low-res Flash video or an uncrippled MP3 on the Web is no real threat to the legit product. It is a promotion of the legit product. Your audiences want to help you promote your products. Make more legit products available (simultaneously, in every territory) and then please get the hell out of your users' way, so that the real Internet marketing revolution can finally begin.

Hey, Lola Heatherton's got your terms of service right here, punks...find "Maudlin's Eleven" "somewhere" and watch it; we'll keep looking too.

Candie's turn to cry

If with his covers album Version d.j.-producer Mark Ronson is staking a claim as this generation's Quincy Jones, perhaps Candie Payne has a shot at being one of Ronson's Lesley Gores who won't implode. Hear his neo-retro style in this cute '60s-caper-movie video for "One More Chance:"

don't fact-check your way out of a good story

On Mad Men, we rant because we love, at

Many online comments about this series nitpick this or that detail of the costumes or props or express genuine outrage at the characters' "excessive" drinking and smoking — so many, on so many different sites, that a segment of the audience seems in danger of fact-checking itself right out of a very good story indeed. Like a certain WWN stalwart, some of these viewers seem mad, "pig-biting mad" about Mad Men. We're not going to let their anger get in the way of our good time.

some velvet mourning

vintage Lee Hazlewood

We are toasting the memory of songwriter-producer and authentic American character Lee Hazlewood (1929-2007) with some "Summer Wine," as seen on Swedish TV. (Update--see Nancy Sinatra's Nancy & Lee photos at The Sinatra Family Forum.)

the umbrellas of brooklyn

Kiwi wise-acres Flight of the Conchords combine their encyclopedic knowledge of cheesy pop music history with whatever they can still remember from French I and come up with this loving little homage to Michel Legrand-style recitative [I'm getting more of a yé-yé vibe, actually--Ed.] in "Foux da Fa Fa" from their HBO series:

it's subliminally delicious

In honor of the continuing Mad Men goodness, here's a classic Mad Men-era ad from one of the medium's masters, satarist Stan Freberg--ironically, one of the least-Mad ad men of them all: he had scruples and did not shill for the makers of alcohol or tobacco, two of the hardest-working props in the Mad Men universe.

"colortini" added to celestial bar guide

Tom Snyder

Broadcaster, model railroad enthusiast and philosopher Tom Snyder has passed away at age 71.

My God plays 18 holes every day,
and he loves martinis and beautiful women.

--The Late Late Show, February 27, 1996

Broadcasting, the Web and now the world are all a bit more boring without him.

orbiting while intoxicated

NASA logo the morning after We can't summon up a great deal of moral outrage at the news that U.S. shuttle astronauts have allegedly reported for launch while under the influence of an as-yet-unspecified amount of alcohol. (How schnockered were these brave souls, really? Were they a little blurry from the night before, or were they actually too drunk to float straight?) Does the shuttle crew really "fly" the vehicle at launch--isn't mission control running that show from the comfort and safety of their consoles, while the astronauts are the ones strapped to giant tanks of flaming rocket fuel, hoping their lives aren't cut short by a stray piece of styrofoam or a faulty rubber gasket? No, we're not going to begrudge our modern-day Magellans a little (or even a big) taste of liquid courage before they report for that duty, and neither should their bosses at NASA. Nursing a hangover in zero-G while they negotiate the intricacies of the on-board toilet should certainly be punishment enough.

roll over, Darren Stephens, and tell Larry Tate the news

The ad men of AMC's Mad Men smoke, drink and wench their way through astute social commentary on the early 60s. (The more things change, the less things really change.) The costumes and production design are also astute, almost enough so to make us consider coming back as Mad Men in our next lives, too.