Archive for June, 2007

Whatever Happened to the Class of ’87?

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

senior yearThis summer I’m passing another one of ‘em signposts of getting older: my high school graduation class is holding its 20 year reunion. I’m not going. High school just wasn’t my thing.

During that period I only attended my classes dutifully, obtained a slightly above average G.P.A., and kept my socializing and extra curricular activities to a bare minimum. I was a member of The Science Club, not nearly as well-attended as the most popular club (Ski Club), but both did basically the same thing (weekend field trips). Mostly my high school was all about football and attending mandatory morning pep rallies all the time. Rah fucking rah. Check the number of football players listed as “notable alumni” on the school’s Wikipedia entry. Another semi-famous attendee was Doug Hopkins, the songwriter from The Gin Blossoms who killed himself in 1993.

Another high school memory — on the first day of seventh grade, I remember making a conscious decision to never eat lunch in the cafeteria. For the next six years I either went home for lunch, ate in the school’s outdoor café, hid out in the library, or walked to a nearby grocery store to hang out and read magazines. It sounds pathetic, but in all honesty I liked being alone — even today.

So we’ll just pass on the reunion and let everyone else talk about their families and their SUVs and their perfect golf swings. I have a Classmates page in case anyone would want to contact me. The photo is from my senior yearbook, taken when my hair was at its longest (is that a mullet?!?).

Design for Living

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Eames homeThe L.A. Times takes an in-depth look at the iconic Pacific Palisades home of Charles and Ray Eames (thanks Christopher!). I used to think the Chemosphere might be my dream home, but the Eames’ place seems a lot more comfortable and homey while still retaining that all important modern chic. It shares a lot in common with the Glidehouse and other currently hot home styles. Of course, if I owned the house, I’d also have to take Ray Eames’ collection of tchotchkes from around the world as well.

Pieces of Eighties

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

You know how things that were normal and harmless 20+ years ago often appear so weird looking today? I got that in spades while browsing through YouTube user dcbatwing‘s collection of local station promos, demo reels and other video effluvia of the past. One such item is this neat demo reel that motion graphics company Atlantic produced in 1986. I vaguely remember some of this stuff, but it’s a mind blower to watch them edited together. One can only conclude that clients in the ’80s absolutely loved their shiny, chrome-y moving surfaces!

WJLA’s “So Good To Turn To” promo from 1982 is a cheezy delight. This particular one came from Washington D.C., but really it could’ve been anywhere. Wasn’t there a time when every local news station desperately tried to convey an image of cutesy family-friendliness? You can’t avoid the relentlessly cheery jingle which sounds as if it came from an ABC sitcom (“Also Starring John Schuck as Cranky Neighbor”).

Letter to CBS

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Dear CBS,

I was sorely disappointed to learn that you are replacing the last four episodes of Creature Comforts with repeats of some other show. Please, please reconsider and air those final episodes. It may not be as profitable for you, but just please think of the goodwill you’ve lost as a result of this ill-advised move.

In our household, CBS News Sunday Morning, Jericho and Creature Comforts were the only CBS programs we enjoyed regularly. And now two of the three are gone. With C.C. yanked so suddenly off your schedule, I will have serious reservations on investing my time in any further CBS programs.

- Matt Hinrichs

Addendum: Tell CBS how you feel. Go to CBS.com and click the Feedback link at the very bottom of the page. Perhaps enough fan support will convince them to do something with the remaining episodes.

Doo What?

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

The Washington Post has a small article on the beachside ’50s-’60s motel revival in the Wildwoods section of New Jersey. The locals call this architectural style “Doo Wop,” which bugs me since Doo Wop is a musical style and I always thought “Googie” is the accepted term for that kinda stuff. The Wikipedia entry for Googie lists Doo Wop as another term for it, though, so maybe it’s correct. At least they’re preserving this stuff nicely — check the Doo Wop Preservation League Gallery.

The In Sounds of Today

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

cherry red for cafe apres midiLet’s discuss what’s been playing on my computer, eh? Delighted to find that eMusic carries the back catalog for influential UK indie label Cherry Red, I spent several downloads recreating the Japanese compilation Cherry Red for Cafe Apres Midi for a whole lot less money than if I’d bought the CD itself. eMusic wound up having having 23 of the disc’s 26 tracks, with the other three songs available at the iTunes store. The resulting playlist makes me wanna smoke clove cigarettes and wistfully compose bad poetry whilst sitting under a tree. Best known for introducing Everything But The Girl to the world, Cherry Red’s roster specialized in introspective pop drawing from bossa nova, ’60s jazz, folk, and, yes, punk. Although spotty, this particular comp is anchored by some shimmering instrumentals and offbeat cover versions like Tracey Thorn’s take on “Femme Fatale.” Acoustic guitars never sounded so yummy.

pye girls are go! cdContinuing the Brit pop theme, I also finally got to check out the 2005 double disc set It’s So Fine: Pye Girls Are Go! via Dusty Groove. This baby collects a whole bunch of energetic 1963-72 girl pop, mostly b-sides from U.K. labels Pye and Picadilly, with illuminating liner notes from Cha Cha Charming‘s Sheila Burgel. Fifty songs worth, to be exact — and most of it’s pretty fantastic! It’s amazing to think a great majority of this stuff never made it to the U.S., since the songs are heavily influenced by a variety of American ’60s pop and Girl Group sounds — all the while retaining that vaguely “British” feel. My fave track might very well be the irresistable and very showbizzy “Take Away The Emptiness Too,” a 1970 single from the wonderfully monikered Tina Tott. Other pleasures lie in the bubblegummy “Sunshine Follows the Rain” by Sweetcorn and Nita Rossi’s pissed-off classic “Untrue Unfaithful (That Was You).” Time to break out those go-go boots, people.