Posted in The Publications

Courtship; a study in the history of romance


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.

Posted in Manny's Music Column

Fender Mustang vs. Squier Bronco, short scale bass shootout. 

Recently I picked up a Squier Bronco Bass from The Guitar Boutique in Ridgefield New Jersey. So in a bit of an experiment to see what a modded mid-price Mexican made short scale Bass by Fender sounds like in comparison to a stock Indonesian made Squier Bass. Not a scientific comparison, but simply what extra money into a mid-price instrument versus the stock version of an Eastern made import instrument by the same parent company sound like. 
The current configuration on my Fender Mustang bass is Seymour Duncan PJ quarter pound pickup set, stock tuners, stock bridge, with short scale rotosound flatwound strings.

In comparison the Squier Bronco bass has all stock everything, strings possibly being stock as well. 

Posted in The Publications

About Last Night…

Anyone who has liked our Facebook or follows us on Twitter knows we at the Retro Revival were tuned in last night to the…interesting choices made in regards to the live version of “A Christmas Story”. This was an interesting study in how to not integrate musical numbers into a screenplay or live renditions. The tone of the story was strange while expecting some snarky or dark themes tied into it.

Anyone who has liked our Facebook or follows us on Twitter knows we at the retro revival were tuned in last night to the…interesting choices made in regards to the live version of “A Christmas Story”. This was an interesting study in how to not integrate musical numbers into a screenplay or live renditions. The tone of the story was strange while expecting some snarky or dark themes tied into the Christmas themes in the live show.

My biggest issues are with the overall presentation because there were at least 4 unnecessary musical numbers, most notably the musical numbers introducing the infamous Santa scene, and the “C+/You’ll shoot your eye out” number which drove the point like a jackhammer driving a stake into an already obvious plot point, and the number following Ralphie beating his bully up, transitioning out of the scene in such a clumsy manner that it was, in my opinion, harmful to the flow of the show. This seems to be an issue of the transition between media formats, the original movie that is the definitive version of this intellectual property was made into a musical, and that musical was brought to the screen last night, I was not myself aware of this formatting that occurred. the transition from movie to musical seems to have been the source of the musical numbers that broke realism and at times the 4th wall. I had an issue with the number done on Xmas eve where the children convene in the street and do a dance number with large candy cane props, it felt as if it had wasted a great expository moment for Ralphie and his brother to have via dialogue.

This live show was treated like a Broadway production and was far too clean in the outside scenes, not much of a patina on the buildings and this was a very idealized and whitewashed version of a post-war and post-depression America. I also had issues with the future Ralphie interacting with the past environment, it’s something that makes the experience inherently disassociating as a viewer.

Among the main cast, I found Mia Rudolph to be the MVP of the live show, the children performances were perfectly fine, and the father character had a very extreme shift in character, while this change was catalyzed by the breaking of the leg lamp, it was still incredibly abrupt and felt unearned.

Harpie’s notes; The adaptation was, in my opinion, a betrayal of the spirit of the original film, possibly resulting at least to some extent from the film to musical adaptation before the re-adaptation to the live TV format. Despite the fact that it’s delivery was a heaping pile of garbage and awkward lack of fluidity, the underlying themes of political incorrectness and the value of sharing that sense of deviance with the public resonated in a powerful and somewhat careless fashion. It touches base on the lack of appreciation given toward the housewife stereotype and the female agenda, the sense of relatability we have toward blunt and honest political incorrectness, and the schoolyard social structure. What damaged the ability for these messages to be received was how the rendition was produced. Sets and costume were on point but unfortunately, the lack of fluid 40s authenticity and logistical choppiness took away from the plot and original intention.

Posted in The Publications

Net Neutrality and Retro Living

Now that the FCC has approved the splitting up and selling off of individual internet services such as (but not limited to); streaming, social media, gaming and many things we all use every day, all that separates it from reaching the public is a vote in the Supreme Court. This partitioning and selling off of services is part of the downward spiral that occurs when greed is allowed to control policy decisions as a result of legalized bribery, courtesy of the Citizens United ruling that allows companies and corporations to be seen as people. We are witnessing what is a desperate attempt by some ISP’s to squeeze every last possible cent from their customers while providing less service for more money. With each service sold there is potential for fees for providing the service that you are already paying for. Ultimately, this results in a capital gain for the upper 20% of shareholders in the service package providers, while stripping clean the wallets of those potential consumers.

So here’s the real question: How is this at all relative to the retro lifestyle? As a result of the death of the internet, it may be harder to keep and utilize these services, therefore; we as a nation will have to learn to adapt to the true pre-internet way of life. One of the most valuable services to us on the internet is Google, a search engine that makes information around the world available to us without very much effort. I suspect that if you do not want to pay for the new unregulated internet services you may want to subscribe to the encyclopedia Britannica so that you can open up a volume of this knowledge-rich book to find out things that have been included and added to the volumes over the years (if only an instant access information site was available). If you can’t afford to pay for unregulated internet check out the encyclopedia Britannica store to stay up to date with last year’s current events!The Encyclopedia Britannica

Most exciting for me is that if streaming becomes a pay for access services (such as YouTube (where I publish my videos on this site and my own gear reviews and music antics), and Spotify (and all other streaming platforms)), the overall packages will become extra expensive for residential use. If you are paying for Spotify Pro then you will be spending even more, if only these services didn’t cost more than they already do. This could lead to the resurgence of the record store while the public resorts to buying albums, as well as the expansion of the market for CD, vinyl, DVD, and blue-ray. Yes, Netflix and Amazon Prime video will still be available (but both losing customers if net neutrality is lost and streaming becomes a separate service). Feel free to join my protest by voting with your wallets and canceling online services while the FCC helps ISP’s attempt to drain us of our last penny. Youtube will be losing many creators as part of this as well, and they may lose my patronage because I won’t be able to watch their videos. This will hopefully lead to the resurgence of the movie theatre and the video rental store, I genuinely miss the fun of going into a blockbuster or family video and renting a B movie and laughing with friends about how bad it is: truly retro in the best way. This new market for physical products does, however, mean that the price of physical media may go up as demand goes up. While not a pastime of mine, the “Netflix, and chill” method of spending time with a special someone will have to become dates out at a movie theatre, and some people may have to learn the subtleties of communication and courtesy of spending time with someone else and not being able to go to a nearly limitless movie theatre on their home tv systems or computers. Record Stores in the USA

Another advantage of not having access to Youtube or streaming could be the resurgence of live music scenes when people no longer have easy affordable access to live streams and mp3’s or any of the nearly infinite convenient services that bring the music to them! The transfer of information will suffer most; with corporate-owned newspapers that control their messages and do not report honestly regarding their sponsors if there are genuine matters of concern regarding the will become our main source of news and information, while responsible reporting would be hoped for, it is not guaranteed. We would also be living in a world where we find out tomorrow about an event happening as opposed to immediately. TV services are going to still exist, but this doesn’t mean that the corporate owned networks that may even own the ISP’s that are trying to parcel off the different aspects of the internet that we use will be honest in their reporting if a sponsor or donor doesn’t want specific and potentially vital news getting out about a public health or safety issue brought on by the constant deregulation of business practices and the deregulation of environmental protections.

Most interestingly we may see the protection and utilization of libraries again if the internet is minced into tiny chunks as the FCC ruling would allow, which offers some more public interest in their libraries. We should enjoy them regardless of the greed-fueled systemic cannibalism we are in the midst of witnessing.

In addition to the dangers of bias being integrated into the National and global news, the chances for shopping pattern shifts are high. Without the Amazon and Ebay luxuries that power our abilities to purchase a variety of goods sight-unseen, many major retailers like ModCloth, Groupon, Airbnb, Uber, and ASOS will lose out entirely on a profound percentage of their overall consumers. What might save our collective asses is that the barons of these fallout companies will find themselves rather outraged at the greater system responsible for their n-dollar losses. We digress… This does sound like the greatest resurgence of Harpie’s favorite piece of furniture: the gossip bench! Used for telephones, phone books, and notepads for taking messages, this mid-20th-century staple is an icon of 40s modern living. With enough catalogs to contemporary that of Sears Roebuck back in the day, Americans may find themselves dialing in from landlines to get all their fulfillment in dry goods. What a shame it would be to have to speak to someone and learn effective communication skills through a telephone order. We may even learn delayed gratification if the lines are busy.

Now, we at the RR blog are rather adverse to the use of Chromebooks by school-age children to basically take the place of all their scrap paper and assignments, but this is exactly why on overdependence on technology when unmitigated is bad as well. While it would cost parents a tuition or a severe localized tax increase, the Chromebook technology has taken a toll on children’s learning in the united states. The use of writing and repetition helps to affirm in the minds of students the concepts they study. Without net neutrality, these parents will additionally have to pay for their at-home services to allow students to complete coursework at home when dependent upon Chromebooks. The implications for Online college and postgraduate scholars are frightening as well. Would school require certain internet packages? Would it be possible to depend purely upon libraries and Starbucks for Wi-Fi for school work? With what money will they pay for their Blackboard or eCollege residential packages?

Let’s be clear. The Retro Revival Blog and its authors strongly advocate against over-dependence on the internet and technology as a whole. We think that in a healthy balanced way, the internet and its comforts can be beneficial. America especially can use a serious wake-up call with how severe its addiction to the internet is. Consider this scare your wake-up call. You do not necessarily need to purchase with one-day shipping on a routine basis or constantly ‘Like’ your neighbor’s erratic posts about her twelve obese cats, but these are comforts that have improved life to some extent and hindered social skills and understanding as well.

In case the FCC ruling flings us back into the 1970’s we will be making a newsletter so that the Retro Revival lives on regardless of the FCC destroying the internet as we know it. 

If you want to fight for Net neutrality please go to and go to the express link in order to tell them that you stand for net neutrality.

Posted in The Publications

Exciting news, and a new feature you may notice!

We at the Retro Revival are very excited to announce that we are officially Amazon Associates, so the link provided below if used will support the blog do any purchases you our lovely readers make using Amazon through this link. Using this link does not add to your cart total, and helps us to write and create more content! 

Our Amazon Associates link is; 

Posted in The Publications

Do not be this guy…Things to NEVER do as a musician/ performer 

This month I decided to reflect on our recent experience at a show I performed at. Episode number one of things not to do as a performer or musician. It is so important to stay classy and serve as a model for up and coming musicians. People can lose sight of the masters, the class acts, and the roots of their music if they don’t have reminders of where the etiquette came from in the first place. What I’m about to describe is a personal experience. I bet Sam Cooke, Cab Calloway, and Huey Louis all together never acted like this. Buddy Holly would be frowning.

Posted in The Publications

Mic Shootout; Shure Super 55 Deluxe vs. Heil Fin

I recently decided to try out some vintage voiced microphones, and I found myself struggling to find comparison videos between the Heil Fin, and the Shure Super 55 Deluxe. It was at this point that I decided to make the video I needed for that decision process. I had a lot of fun hearing the differences, these retro style microphones are unique in comparison to the modern style performance mics like the Heil PR 35/ Shure Beta 28 microphones. These Microphones have character and style for days (or decades 😉 ). Take a listen and judge for yourself.

Posted in The Publications

The DeviEver Legend of Fuzz Pedal

This pedal was a unique acquisition of mine almost a year ago, and it has taken a very special place in my heart (and in my special effects cupboard). It stays at home for a few reasons, first and foremost it is very difficult to reign in in a live setting. the volume control going from the 8 o clock position to the 9o clock position has a nearly 10 decibel boost, which makes controlling it in a live or practice setting harder. Secondly, this is a character pedal, it has it”s own very unique flavor that goes beyond what a Big Muff Pi, or most other pedals go, and the contour control increases the “broken” sound it has. I personally like cracking the contour and doing double string bends and Nashville bends, resulting in the notes phasing each others waves out which sounds AMAZING (to me) and serves as a unique sound that one has to push any other fuzz much farther. The artwork on this pedal is also worthy of praise on its own, using iconography from the classic “Legend of Zelda” game franchise, hence the name of the pedal and the character of the tone, essentially it is a bit crusher & fuzz. I have used it on guitar solos and it is thought to be “too extreme” depending on the context it is placed in, but it has an irrevocable character to it and for that I love this pedal.

The company is now run by FuzzGoddess and the pedal and its siblings can be found at

The DeviEver Legend of Fuzz gets a 4/5 losing points for the difficulty in regards to reeling in the great qualities it has for live use.