Month: October 2011

Album cover of the week: Blues for Dracula

Album cover of the week: Blues for Dracula

Album Cover of the Week, Music
A few weeks ago on the Halloween edition of my Sunday Jazz series I featured a track from Blues for Dracula (Riverside Records RLP 12-282), so today I'm sharing the rather campy but memorable album cover. Blah! That's Mr. Jones himself in full vampire regalia. Despite the rather jokey album cover, the music is fairly serious, straightforward jazz. Well, except for the rather comical Dracula-esque dialogue in the title cut. But elsewhere it's a solid set of straight bop. I don't have any information on who took the photo for Blues for Dracula, but the info from the recording session is well-known. All five songs from the album were recorded in New York City on September 17, 1958 with the following personnel: Nat Adderley, cornet Julian Priester, trombone Johnny Griffin, te
Retrotisement: Lucky Strike’s square dancing cigarettes

Retrotisement: Lucky Strike’s square dancing cigarettes

Advertising, Retrotisements
Yeah yeah, smoking's bad for you. But this stop-motion, square dancing classic from 1948 is very, very good for you. Seriously, what's not to love about this commercial? Well, other than the fact that it's promoting a deadly product of course. Oh yeah, speaking of Lucky Strike, they've got their own section on the main site. To see the rest of my Lucky Strike ads (including this one) and to find out how this commercial was inspired by a German abstract artist, check out the Tobacco Retrotisements home.
CD Giveaway: Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: Best of the Best

CD Giveaway: Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: Best of the Best

Music
Ring-a-ding-ding, Sinatra fans! It's time for yet another exciting CD giveaway, and this time it's the latest greatest hits compilation from Ol' Blue Eyes himself. I know what you're thinking -- do we really need another Frank Sinatra compilation? Well listen here pally, Sinatra: Best of the Best ain't just any Frank CD. This is the deluxe 2-disc version featuring a rare Seattle concert from the Chairman of the Board. So get ready to swing my friends, because I'm giving away one deluxe, 2-CD version of Sinatra: Best of the Best. To win your very own copy, simply Over the next two weeks you can enter to win a copy by simply liking the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Facebook page and then posting your favorite Frank song. That's it. So don't be a Harvey, and enter today! From the offi
Watching Glee has become reverse porn for me

Watching Glee has become reverse porn for me

TV & Radio
Yeah I watch Glee, so what? YOU CAN'T JUDGE ME! I've been a fan since the pilot episode, although I want to make it clear that I am not a Gleek. When those plucky New Directions kids busted out Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" at the end of that episode even a cynical bastard like me felt good about it. Those good feelings carried through for most of the first season and I enjoyed the show's mix of humor, darkness, and unabashedly hammy musical performances. But as the second season wore on, I found myself losing interest in the musical numbers. I'm not that big a Broadway fan to begin with, and my tolerance for movie musicals is only slightly higher. After awhile I just feel worn down by the over-the-top earnestness of Broadway music, and it all just feels so corny. So that's a pro...
Cross-pollination: The Popdose Guide to the Beach Boys

Cross-pollination: The Popdose Guide to the Beach Boys

Blogstuff
My latest article for Popdose -- and one that I'm pretty proud of -- went live yesterday. It's the Popdose Guide to the Beach Boys, a piece I started putting together this past spring. It's a lengthy read (make sure to check out both pages), although I would have been perfectly justified in making it twice as long as the finished product. And of course, as soon as it was published I thought of a dozen things I wanted to say or change. But that's life as a writer I suppose. Still, the response has been overwhelmingly positive thus far and for that I'm grateful. One of the aspects of writing the Beach Boys piece that I enjoyed was the chance to really dig into their later 1970s output. I'd avoided a lot of it since I became a fan about a dozen years ago, mostly because of the albums' poor
Retrotisements – McDonald’s McRib

Retrotisements – McDonald’s McRib

Advertising, Retrotisements
If you aren't one of the many McRib believers out there, now is your chance to find enlightenment.  Now through November 14, McDonald's is unleashing one of their menu's white whales* on the American public.  So if you've been missing a certain something in your life -- that something being soft, molded pork-like product slathered in BBQ sauce, onions, and pickles and served on a soft roll -- you can now fill that void.  Just remember to stock up on antacid and toilet paper. But before you head out the door, join me for a quick look back at some McRib ads of yesterday.  First up are a fun pair of spots from 1989: Hey I don't know about you, but McRibs always taste best in an Oldsmobile Firenza. And did you check out that Coke? Does McDonald's even sell soda in cups that small
Sunday Jazz: My favorite Satchmo songs

Sunday Jazz: My favorite Satchmo songs

Music, Sunday Jazz
Because it's never a bad time to play Louis Armstrong, here's a handful of my favorite Satchmo tunes. (Spotify users — you can listen to these and other featured Sunday Jazz songs by subscribing to my GFS Sunday Jazz playlist.) "You Rascal You" (with Louis Jordan) "Rhythm Saved the World" "I'm in the Mood for Love" "Struttin' With Some Barbecue"