Baby it’s PC Outside

I had been only very recently informed of the recent banning of the song “Baby, It’s cold outside” from radio airplay. I have an interesting history with this song in that it has many chord changes in it which makes it very difficult to play without some preparation, and also attempting a gender-flipped version of the tune in the early 2010’s. I have always found the tune to be ever so slightly “date-rape-y” and the song has some concerning implications without context.

The song originated as a song intended to be sung by the songwriter and his wife at parties, and there are phrases and language nuances associated to a different time where “What’s in this drink?” meant that the drink someone was enjoying was being felt and could be leading to some level of being tipsy. This is not a perfect portrayal of romantic interactions alone between two parties, but considering that I have never looked into the history of the song before this controversy I consider it something learned.

The controversy surrounding the song is based in the current politically correct culture which has valid points in some arguments from my perspective and at other times can be perhaps too concerned with something not pleasant but potentially interesting to discuss. I consider having points of controversy around to be interesting to discuss and also can lead to learning about history and how language in itself evolves. This song can even lead potentially into a conversation where learning about how date rape can occur is a potential good resulting from having something historically relevant and controversial to modern social movements.

It is important to share that rape is not in any circumstance okay, and no indeed always means no. When controversial art exists it should be discussed, contextualized and can be discussed. How does this issue make you, our lovely readers feel?

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The Brooklyn Seltzer boy’s Egg cream kit

 

We at the retro revival have the pleasure of getting to try the egg cream kit from Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, we tried the vanilla syrup and found them very delicious, but feel that individual reaction to the tasty beverage are warranted.

Harpie’s Perspective:

Wow. I can’t quite describe the excellence in quality overall of BSB’s products and recipe that comes right on their glasses. Egg creams remind me of my grandpop, who would routinely make his own with sodas and other ingredients. One sip of this brilliant concoction brought me back to my grandparents’ house. I could imagine myself younger, my grandfather sitting on the third-to-bottom step of their split-level home, offering me spoonfuls of his egg cream-esque dessert drinks as I would whiz back and forth either with a twirling ribbon or my best napkin parachute. This particular variety from the family-at-its-core company, Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, was exceptionally well done with the classic zing of good seltzer paired masterfully with a smooth vanilla cream finish. BSB’s beverage kits are definitely a recommendation I’d share for the foodie in your family for the coming holiday season.

Manny’s reaction;
Rating the kit itself I am very impressed with the seltzer bottle, 32 ounces of fizzy goodness and these are bottles you can keep! The BSB only refill 20 ounce bottles for their subscription service so the egg cream kits give you a 32 ounce antique seltzer bottle with a plastic nozzle, your choice of syrup, two egg cream recipe glasses, and a t-shirt! This was also something that was very fun and simple to do, I can see this being a fond memory for people growing up in yesteryear and warm family moments brought together by Brooklyn Egg Creams. The seltzer on it’s own is also as good as I recall it being during the interview, as a lifelong seltzer fan myself I am a big fan of this product. The egg cream when brought together is a fizzy and delicious burst of smooth vanilla and milky goodness, with the levity of seltzer water and the creaminess of the milk and vanilla syrup,  I would get this for the holidays if you want to bring your little ones back to yesteryear, or to make an older relative feel the warmth of nostalgia and happy memories with this kit.

Check them out at www.brooklynseltzerboys.com/the-product and let them know that the Retro Revival was how you found out about them!

 

 

A weekend with some Good Caramel pt. 1

On memorial day weekend I had gone up to record with Brenyama for our second studio album, the location we would be spending our long weekend at is none other than Good Caramel Records, a studio housed in an old Catholic school in downtown Buffalo. 

Entering the studio facility was refreshing for me as someone who has a halfway decent home studio, which satiated my creative needs still. from the kitchenette which wraps around to the sole restroom on the ground floor, to the makeshift bass amp room under the stairs every facet of this setup amazed me. The elements of improvisation at work everywhere I could see, using every square inch of space to full effect.

Further exploring the space leads one to go upstairs to studio A, a wooden dome of space and sound, our work space for the weekend. What occurred over the next 3 days was magic, getting roughly 90% of tracking done with some pretty good first vocal takes too. The sounds recorded there on our record sound so organic and also professional which is a refreshing combination.  I was so fortunate to be able to use the bass head and cab favored by Robbie of the Goo Goo Dolls, a vintage Ampeg SVT with an 8×10 cab. Mics used for my bass was a blend of the audix d6 and the Electro Voice RE20. My Ronaldo Custom P bass seems to be the only bass recorded on the record. Using a legitimate Hammond organ only adds to the good vibes and sound here. 
I’m sure I will write more regarding this weekend, stay tuned for part 2!

Manny’s mod shope; Better bass tone for under $30!

The fender bass is a classic instrument, since its debut in the early 50’s it has been used in nearly every style of bass playing, and every genre of music. Vintage fender basses now cost upwards of $5000 , on the low end of the spectrum, sometimes less, but classic era basses cost the remortgaging of a home.

I myself would love to have capacities to afford such luxuries, but in the absence of such funds I found a great way to upgrade my Mexican made p bass, the Wilkinson 4 saddle bass bridge!

My p bass is an early Mexican made one from 1992, the neck is a more j bass profile, and it has shaller tuners which are solid, and these had a thin layer of finish on the neck which feels very nice. The bridge has always been ok and reliable on it, but it seemed to be a chrome, or nickel plated brass. The Wilkinson bridge has larger unplated brass saddles and upon installation and first playing it feels and sounds livelier and louder. These are marketed as a classic style bridge and it is very accurate.

Courtship; a study in the history of romance

wpid-the_serenade_by_nicolas_lancret.jpg

I went to university from the years of 2009 till 2014, and throughout that entire experience “romantic relationships” seemed to form very sporadically among my acquaintances. The phenomenon known as “hooking up” always struck me as foreign, at least from my own understanding. A visceral desire to be intimate with someone without having gotten to know that person strikes me as a very strange approach to interpersonal relationships. From what I was able to observe, hook ups can happen at a party where conversations are near impossible to hold because of blaring music or absurd amounts of inebriation, which leads me to believe that its driven by something visceral. Weather by pure physical attraction, influence of alcohol, or some combination of the two I could otherwise not understand this occurrence (though I do not judge). These hookups may lead to an emotionally bonded relationship, and can even flourish into a strong long-term relationship, but this style of initiating a relationship has never appealed to me personally.

Another situation I have seen arise is the friendship (for a short period) into hookup relationship, also known as the path of no return. Not to say that this sort of start to a physically intimate relationship cannot be successful in certain cases, but there are complications that could easily arise that challenge the friendship aspect especially in situations where either party engages in further hooking up and or lack communicative skills. This is something we see happen in the romantic comedy de jour, and has some similarities to the kind of relationship that is an ideal for many of my closest friends and myself personally, friendship into courtship.

My first ever relationship began when I had realized hat I felt a particular void in my emotional state for the previous few days, what had brought this about? A female friend of mine had been away for a few days, and I genuinely (as genuinely as is possible for a teenager) missed them. This drove me to communicate with her how I felt about her absence, and that was the start of a courtship, that began with getting to know them in a non-sexualized, personality and interest focused relationship. In my limited understanding of relationships I found this kind of relationship, and thusly courtship (in the sense of spending months, or years getting to know someone before the suggestion of romance) was particularly powerful, and most importantly meaningful. This seems to me an under appreciated, and timeless style of relationship.

Ultimately relationships and how they come to be is up to the actors of the relationship, modern relationships can be very successful, but I believe that there are lessons to be learned from traditional values in nurturing and growing a long lasting and loving relationship.

*Historically courtships began as buissnes arrangements, which is an important element of any relationship because especially in the modern age both members of a couple normally have to maintain a full time job to support an average household, and an imbalance in that aspect of a relationship can cause turbulince for any couple (unless one of the members of a pairing are wealthy  and prefer their mate not work, in which case a power imbalance may occur).
Chivalry is another element of courtship that I feel is under appriciated, *”From buying a woman dinner to opening a door for her, many of today’s courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry”, as a stark contrast to modern relationships, “Chastity and honor were highly regarded virtues”. This is not to say modern sexuality and romantic ideas don’t have their own logic, but this is a highly underrated aspect of relationships, the phase of courtship that is about knowing tour partner as an individual and not in a sexualized way(life expectancies are much longer than the Medieval era). Entering the victorian era romance became essential to marriage as an institution; “She would notify the lucky gentleman by giving him her own card requesting that he escort her home. Almost all courting took place in the girl’s home, always under the eye of watchful parents. If the courting progressed, the couple might advance to the front porch.”

After my observations, and some research I have come to a consensus of sorts, courtship has changed over time, and I feel as if  each period teaches us a lesson about love, and how to raise a family, what elements can be, and ought to be utilized to lay the foundation to a long lasting relationship, and to hopefully leave behind a legacy of love and harmony for the next generation. There is an over emphasis in the modern approach to courtship on the physical aspects of love and not enough exploration into emotional aspects of relationships. While both are important elements to any relationships it has always been my personal feeling that the emotional and intellectual connection in a relationship always precedes the physical elements, not taking importance away from the physical elements of a relationship, but should be sought and nurtured first and foremost.

http://genealogy.about.com/cs/timelines/a/romance_history.htm