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  • MAD MEN: Don Draper’s Record Collection

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 9 comments
    1950's Admiral Hi-Fi. I owned this exact model from aroun 1985 to 2000. Miss it.

    1950's Admiral Hi-Fi. I owned this exact model from aroun 1985 to 2000. Miss it.

    Fans of MAD MEN know that music plays a fairly important role in the series, but when it comes to individual characters, music generally takes a backseat.

    So, I was wondering what kind of albums the character of Don Draper might have on hand. We’ve heard him play classical music at a dinner party; we know he doesn’t dig the Beatles. But that’s about it.

    So what kind of music does Don Draper dig?

    I think, in order to answer that question, first we need to answer, “What kind of music does Don NOT like?”

    Well, lets take a look at his past: He grew up in the 30s & 40s, when big bands played the most popular music in the country. There were swing bands and sweet bands, and they dominated the music scene. It’s safe to say that big band swing and jazz were probably what Don heard most as he was growing up, along with more “localized” music that probably included country/western and folk. Since he considers his childhood a complete bust, I’m going to lay my chips on big band, jazz vocals, folk and country/western as being the kind of music that Don Draper (well, Dick Whitman, actually) hates with a passion. Hell, he might even go into a cationic fit whenever he hears “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby” for all we know.
    mantovani-candelight
    It’s also a safe bet that Don wouldn’t be into Rock ‘n’ Roll. Let’s face it – Rock ‘n’ Roll was considered “kids music” back in the 1950s, and had a very small adult following. Don was already an adult (in his 20s) when he was in Korea (somewhere between 1951 and 1953), so like most men of the era, he probably dismissed RnR as kiddie pop.

    Don has never showed us a side of him where he sits and listens to sophisticated music, whether it be jazz or classical, for the pleasure of it. He sits in front of the tube a lot, but we never see him play an album (except for the Beatles song, which he completely dismissed). So it’s probably safe to say that he has never really bought a record for the enjoyment of the music. Unlike Meghan, who’s life revolves around music and acting, for his character, it’s just not that big of a deal.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Sci-Fi Movie Monday: It Came From Outer Space, 1953

    Posted on January 7th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    it_came_from_outer_space-poster

    We have Mod Movie Monday and Noir Movie Monday…it’s time to add in Sci-Fi Movie Monday at the Tiki Lounge!

    Some the best Sci-fi movies of the 1950s and ’60s were based on books or short stories by the masters: Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, etc. This movie was based on Bradbury’s story “The Meteor”. To make it more commercially successful, the name was changed to much more sinister

    It Came from Outer Space

    from 1953, starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, and co-starring the soon-to-be Professor from Gilligan’s Island, Russell Johnson.

    (Note: no spoilers here!)it-came-from-outer-space-car

    The story is set in present day 1953, in the Arizona desert. Carlson, an “amateur stargazer” as he is called, spots a large meteor crashing into the desert floor. But when he goes to inspect it, he finds that it’s actually some kind of space ship.

    it-came-from-outer-space-bubbleHis colleagues of course don’t believe him, until the aliens make their presence known…

    This is science fiction literature adapted to screen in the true, mid-century vein, where humanity is examined under the stress of dealing with the unknown. This flick has some fantastic writing, and the special effects are well done for the era, or for any era. Black and white film only adds to the feel. There is mystery, emotion, even some gun-play to keep the kiddies interested, and a kick-ass Theramin score by a very young Henry Mancini.

    itcamefromouterspace-ship

    It Came from Outer Space was also Universal Studio’s first 3-D movie, and if you can find a copy of it in 3-D, it’s worth it. But it stands great as 2-D just as well.

    Food & Booze:alien-brain-hemerroage

    For the drinks, how about an Alien Brain Hemorrhage?
    Fill a shot glass half way with peach schnapps. Gently pour Bailey’s Irish Cream on top. After the shot is almost full, carefully add a small amount of blue curacao. After it settles, add a small splash (or a few drops) of grenadine syrup, and watch it turn into something pretty icky looking.

    As for dinner, how about a little Arizona Tex Mex Meatloaf, Betty Crocker style?

    1 1/2 lb extra-lean ground beef
    1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
    2 medium eggs
    1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
    1 teaspoon garlic-and-herb seasoning
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    Shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack or similar cheese (mixing is great too!)
    Salsa
    Tortilla Chips

    Kathleen Hughs got into the main credits, even though she only had like one line in the movie. Gee, I wonder why? I can think of two points that might have done it...

    Kathleen Hughs got into the main credits, even though she only had like one line in the movie. Gee, I wonder why? I can think of two points that might have done it...

    •    1 Heat oven to 375ºF. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except salsa. Spoon mixture into 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish; pat into 9×5-inch loaf.
    •    2 Bake uncovered about 1 hour or until meat thermometer inserted in center reads just below 160ºF. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top (as much as you want) and continue backing until cheese is melted and internal temp is 160° Drain any liquid before slicing. Serve with ships and salsa. Olé!

    Below is the original trailer:

    Happy Watching, and don’t forget your tinfoil hat.

    – Tiki Chris, reporting from the screening room at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Lounge

  • There’s Something Kookie In The Kitsch-en!

    Posted on June 4th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    Kelly Camille Patterson of The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en
    Kelly Camille Patterson of The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

    Kelly Camille Patterson and Paul Spencer whip up some old fashioned fun with a retro ’50s feel

    If you’re into retro and Tiki fun stuff, (what am I saying, of course you are, you’re reading this) then you’re probably the kind of kat or kitten who will dig The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en. Their Blounge (web-lounge) consists of vintage recipes, original exotic drink recipes, fun pix, and their main vein…The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en pod casts.

    The pod casts (it’s hard to call these little snippets of ’50s style TV shows something so modern) are funny as heck. They sort of mock the “humorless lifestyle experts who suck the fun out of entertaining, cooking and decorating with their obsessive perfectionism.” They’re fun and kookie and silly, with Patterson perfectly portraying the typical 1950s housewife with a borderline creepiness that accelerates what might be just another “old fashioned cooking show” into something much more entertaining and fun to watch. This seasoned actress seems to know just how to maintain the balance between kitschy and “oh my god, she’s going to kill everyone with a butcher knife”. It’s her eyes. She almost never blinks. I love it.

    Kelly doing a TV show.

    Kelly doing a TV show.

    Paul Spencer of The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

    Paul Spencer of The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

    The shows are silly but the drink & chow recipes are real, and look good. They are knockin’ on the door of 20 episodes of this little TV flick, with topics ranging from Jello molds to tips on organizing your next protest march with cocktails. The episodes are nice and short, and always show off their very impressive collection of mid-century albums, art, housewares, books and Tiki stuff. Very kool.

    The site has a nice section of exotic cocktails, the recipes of which they have concocted themselves. I haven’t tried them yet, but looking at the recipes I can tell you they look interesting and tasty. They also have a section of actual vintage party food recipes…things like “broiler tuna burgers”…again, you don’t know if this is good or just creepy, but it sure is authentic.

    Check out the Blounge at TheVelveteenLoungeKitsch-en.com, or on FaceBook. Here’s one of their episodes that typifies the fun…(good god, those eyes!)

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the TV room at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar. Aloha, kids!

  • Coffee at the Diner: Living the Retro Life

    Posted on January 21st, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 7 comments

    diner-hat-coffeeMan, it’s been way too long since I parked it in a diner booth. All day long I had a brain pain for a Bamburger and grease rings. So when I hit the door, I grabbed the ole Lady and we swung the Caddy down to Lester’s Diner on 136th Avenue.

    Not the least bit disappointed in my grub. A big old Cheeseburger with bacon and fries, rings, slaw and a cup’a Joe. A shake would have topped it off, but it would have broke the bank so I quit early.

    Joints like this used to be my hang out, back in the days before I had my own little Tiki Bar, back before the Mai Kai was a short drive away. Diners, all kinds of diners when I swung back in Jersey. Jersey is, after all, the diner capital of the world. You couldn’t swing a bat without hitting a neon sign that said “open 24 hours”. Not so much down here in the land of Mai Tais and Palm trees. There’s one diner in 8 miles, and it shuts down at midnight. Thank God the Tiki bars are open late…

    point-dinerThere were a few haunts I made my mark at. The Point Diner in Somers Point, NJ is where I spent many a night and many a paycheck. Coffee and a burger at 2 am? Why the hell not? All my gang hung out there too…in fact, I remember one particularly kool New Year’s Eve that we wound up there around 3 am…and who was there, but this really hot swingin’ chick that I went around with in high school. It was a very groovy meeting, that night. Never forget it.

    blue-dinerThen there was the Blue Diamond Diner in Pomona, NJ. This was a 1950’s rail-car style stainless steel masterpiece, with the original guts still intact. They had the old 70’s style jukeboxes filled with stuff from Sinatra and Elvis. And one of my favorite songs to play at a diner, just before leaving, Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny. Yeah, those were the days. 50¢ cup of strong Greek coffee and I was good for hours.

    Back when I had my Dinner Theater Company, Stardust Productions, after every show I’d take the cast to a diner and buy them all dinner. We’d wind down and talk about the show, how much fun it was, how to make it better. It was around then I picked up the nickname Mack, after a gangster character I played in a show.

    Me during a performance of "The Mysterious Presto" with StarDust Theater. The beautiful blonde is my wife, Colleen

    Me during a performance of "The Mysterious Presto" with StarDust Theater. The beautiful blonde is my wife, Colleen

    I miss those old diners. I miss the smell of grilled onions in the middle of the night, the taste of good diner coffee and breakfast at 4 am. I miss the feel of those old places, the scratchy records in the jukebox, the neon lights. The diner we hit tonight was good but not quite right. There’s something unhip about a diner that has a 34″ plasma TV mounted on the wall, that plays nothing but commercials. There’s something un-groovy about a CD jukebox that’s filled with riffs by Jenny Lopez and Matchbox-20, but doesn’t have a single Elvis tune. Sure, the burger was good, the java was good, and the company was great…even motoring there in the old Cadillac was fun. But these new joints just don’t have the same feel, the same atmosphere, as those old stainless steel diners held together with apron strings and grease that I grew up with.

    -Mack (aka Tiki Chris)