Posted on February 17th, 2014 4 comments
(Translation: Let’s take a history lesson from 1955)
Hep talk, Jive, hipster lingo…It all started with jazz musicians back in the 1920s and 30s. It’s generally accepted that “jive” started as a kind of code, especially to warn your fellow musicians about an impending police raid on the speakeasy you happened to be playing in that night. From there it took off into just a cool way for these kats (musicians) to differentiate themselves from the squares, and from there is took off into any USA culture click that considered themselves gone, out, way out, and in possession of a coolness that the cubes could never dig. Dig?
Sent to me 20 years ago through a very un-hip but easy-to-use channel, “email”, this is a list of the hippest words with their American translation. I’m not sure, but I believe this dictionary was originally printed in Mad Magazine, c. 1955
ABE’S CABE – a five dollar bill
BIG GEORGE – a quarter
BLAZE – to go
BLOOD – wine
BREAD – money
BRIGHT – day
BROWN ABE – a penny
CHEATERS – eye glasses
CHLOROPHYLL GEORGE – a dollar
COOL – nice
CRAZY – odd
CRIB – house
CUBE – 3-D square
CUT – make fun of
CUT OUT – leave
DIG, TO DIG – to understand
DUCE – a two dollar bill
ENDS – money
FLICKS – movies
FLIP – react enthusiastically
GONE – wonderful
GREASE – eat
HENCHMEN – friends
HOLLYWOOD EYES – cute girls
HUB CAP – important fellow
JAMS – bop records
JELLY TOT – young hub cap
LATER – I’ll see you
LAY DEAD – wait
MAN – opening word when addressing a kat
MAN, MY – friend, comrade
MAN, THE – Stan Kenton
NOD – sleep
NOWHERE – condition of a cube
OUT, THE OUTEST – best
PLAYER – popular fellow
QUIT, QUIT IT – leave
RANCH – house
RANK – stupid
SCARF – eat
SCROUNGY – bad
SIDES – bop records
SILVER JEFF – a nickel
SILVER WING – a half dollar
SLAMMER – door
SONNET – radio commercial
SPLASH – rain
SPLIT – to go
SQUAT – sit
SQUARE – one who is nowhere
STOMPERS – shoes
STONED – ecstatic
STROLLER – car
STRUGGLE – dance
THIN ONE – dime
TICKS – minutes
TUNES – bop records
TURKEY – square
WASTED – broke
WHEELS – car
WILD – nice
YARD, A YARD – a hundred dollars
Dig it how some of these terms are still cool today, like ‘dig’ and ‘cool’, along with ‘scarf’, ‘player’, ‘crib’ and ‘jams’. I also particularly dig that “The Man” is Stan Kenton (see previous post). Well, it’s a bop dictionary, after all.
Compare to the 1958 “COOL” Magazine Hipster Dictionary, one that was more for the masses, not so much for Bop jazzers. Some common ground, of course, but a lot more words for ordinary things. Bop musicians didn’t need so many words. They said very little, saving their strength to play all those notes in their complicated Bop charts. Wild, man, wild.
-Guest Post by Zoot Jackson, Gobble Pipe blower and swingin’ kat extraordinaire.
Posted on October 30th, 2013 No comments
The crispness of fall is in the air…the trees are turning gold and red…and you can’t pass a pumpkin patch without getting a chill. Yes, Halloween is here! And even though there are no gold and red trees here in South Florida, and the temperature today is in the 80s, it’s still the spookiest time of year.
It’s amazing how different things are during the holidays in the tropics. There are no trucks selling dried cornstalks and bailed hay road-side. Very few people even decorate outside for Halloween, usually because it’s too hot (or been raining too much, as we come to the tail end of the rainy season). On Halloween night, kids trick or treat wearing shorts and generally “light” costumes – no coat necessary.
And since South Florida is party central, 95% of the ladies dress in skimpy, sexy costumes…the one night of the year they can “get away with it”. The other nights, they just blame it on the booze. Halloween night they blame it on the Boooooos. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
Of course I, being of unsound mind, go bananas with Halloween decorating. This year we turned the house into “Maniac Mansion”, and had our annual Halloween party in a retro-Maniac theme (I was disappointed no one came dressed as Ed Gein, the 1950’s serial killer). Still it was a blast, with tons of vintage-style decor, including two Black-Light rooms reminiscent of the early 70s. Along with Spider Cider, Texas Chain Saw Chili, and Rob Zombie Wieners, we served such perfect exotic cocktails as Zombies, Banana Banshees and Dead 77’s (French 77’s with a few drops of red food coloring), served in old-school angry Tiki mugs.
After Halloween winds down, it will be full steam ahead into Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Cheers!
-Tiki Chris, reporting from the graveyard at Tiki Lounge Talk.
Looking for a fast, fun read for the Halloween season? Check out my book, “How to Kill Vampires because they are unnatural jerks” available for instant download at Amazon.com!
Posted on August 30th, 2013 No comments
If you dig cool stuff from the past, then you probably dig Dracula movies, BW vampire flicks and other assorted old Horror stuff. Something that has always been a favorite vintage “oddity” of mine has been the turn of the century Vampire Killing Kit.
I first saw one in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in St. Augustine, FL about 30 years ago. I thought it was crazy fantabulous, and always wanted one for myself.
What is a Vampire Killing Kit?
A box or satchel filled with the tools necessary to kill a vampire. They were originally made (according to Ripley’s) in the late 19th Century, for American tourists traveling to Transylvania (after the book “DRACULA” became an international hit). They usually contained a pistol, vials of holy water and garlic oil, a crucifix, and of course a wooden stake. Some were a little more elaborate with dental tools for removing the vampire’s fangs, a dagger, and something called “secret serum” which was supposed to heal vampire bites.
This new site showcases the new, vintage-style Vampire Killing Kits created by CRYSTOBAL, self-proclaimed vampire hunter and Gothic artist. CRYSTOBAL and I go back a long way…in fact, I have a few of his kits that he’s made over the years as part of my collection of pop culture junk!
CRYSTOBAL has been making these kits for years, and has created his own style – “modern primitive” – for his kits. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals have attempted to copy his style and take credit for resurrecting the vampire killing kit craze. But dig, he is the real deal.
Check out the site. It’s filled with photos of his work, and information on the history of the kits. Our book, “How to Kill Vampires because they are unnatural jerks” is also available through the site. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you…I wrote another book, with CRYSTOBAL as the source, called “How to Kill Vampires because they are unnatural jerks”. It’s pretty cool, a little funny and very artistic. Check it out!
-Tiki Chris P. reporting from the Halloween shop down the street from Tiki Lounge Talk
Posted on May 17th, 2013 2 comments
The Old Fashioned
Truly old fashioned, this drink has roots that go back to the early 1800s when, according to some historians, the “cock tail” was a drink made with liquor, water, sugar and a few drops of bitters. It’s been said that the addition of citrus came during prohibition, to hide the taste of cheap booze.
The version that Don drinks was the cocktail that dominated swanky lounges and corner bars alike, a cool combination of rye whiskey, bitters and soda with citrus. This is the Old Fashioned that we’ve come to expect, and love. If you want an older version of the Old Fashioned, leave out the citrus and the soda.
1 sugar cube
3 dashes of bitters
2 teaspoons water
1 strip lemon zest
1 small wedge orange
2 maraschino cherries
Ice, as needed
2 ounces rye (or Bourbon. Bourbon is a little sweeter. Canadian Club has a lot of rye, and works very well)
Cherry for garnish
Add the sugar cube to the bottom of an old fashioned glass, then add the water and bitters to it. Place the lemon zest, orange wedge and one cherry in the glass. Use a bar spoon to gently muddle the cube into the liquids so the sugar will begin to dissolve. (Note: Some people prefer to leave out the cherry). Use the back of the spoon to coat the bottom sides of the glass with the mixture. Throw a couple of cubes in the glass and top with bourbon and club soda and stir well. Top with a cherry and an orange slide on the rim.
There are tons of variations on the Old Fashioned. In fact, you can use any booze you want, with varying degrees of success. Of course, there even more modern Old Fashioneds…Recently on a trip to Sonoma, I had one made with “local Bourbon” (which isn’t really Bourbon if it’s made in California), and no cherry. It was very good, and the bartender took pride in making it.
So if you want to impress your vintage-diggin’ pals, or show a skirt that you know how to order a cocktail with plenty of pizzaz, memorize this recipe and make yourself an expert at throwing one together. You’ll have the chicks (or kats, whatever’s your thing) eating out of your hand.
-Tiki Chris P, Reporting from the Tiki Bar at Tiki Lounge Talk, the interwebs’ favorite B-lounge for retro fun stuff and Tiki Talk.
Posted on April 7th, 2013 No comments
Are you ready for MAD MEN?
Wow…we’ve been waiting and waiting, and finally it’s here: MAD MEN Season six, where we (may or may not) find out whether Don has been faithful to Megan, where Peggy ends up, and how the agency goes on in the wake of Lane’s departure.
But what we’re really looking at is this poster.
Man, does this thing WREAK of late 60s-into=the=70s style or what? I feel this is an omen…actually a blatant sign that the MAD MEN that we’ve loved for the last several years is done. We’re in a new era, moving away from thin ties and bachelor pad music and easy chicks who waited on men as pretty servants, to the era of social unrest, acid rock, outrageous fashion and liberated women.
Assuming this season kicks off in 1967 (or possible 68), we’ll probably see longer hair on the men, shorter hair on the women and the widening of ties and lapels that will eventually look like men are wearing paisley bibs. This is a different part of American pop history and culture…innocence gone, tailfins on cars gone, jazz and big bands gone. It’s the era where “good” music is defined as music that sounds good when you’re high, when putting curse words in movies makes them “hip”, and when teenagers lived like there was no tomorrow because, it was factual, with the draft and the Vietnam war, there very well might not have been.
Boo hoo. It’s a drag, but the show has to progress. It’s how it’s always been, jumping a year or two each season. Hell, it started in 1959…the figurative “beginning of the end” of the mid-century pop era. But we’ll watch, and we’ll love it, even if Don sports a mustache, sideburns and a green velour sport jacket. Remember, this is the era where “Midnight Cowboy” one best picture, even with an X rating. The era when Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy where gunned down. The era when Nixon became president, and Jimmy Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner on his electric guitar. Frank Sinatra and Elvis both made “comebacks”. Crime in New York was at an all time high, poverty was crushing our cities, Fort Lauderdale was known for Spring Break arrests and Miami was mainly a retirement community. The “Hollywood” sign was in grave decay, and no one cared. And we were only a few years away from Disco.
Ah, what a time.
Oh, and about that poster: Doesn’t it remind you of some of the old TV Guide covers from 40+ years ago? It should, it’s been created by 75-year-old illustrator Brian Sanders, who created a lot of advertising artwork from the era.
MAD MEN season six premiers tonight, April 7, 9pm/8 c. on AMC.
-Tiki Chris reporting from the Television viewing room at Tiki Lounge Talk