Cocktail Nation 341 Best Of The Best Music for 2014

This week we look at some of the best lounge and exotica releases of 2014 and as usual there have been so many to choose from so this week. A selection of some of the stand out tracks and some interviews that we did with the artists.

Moonrays interview Scott Mensching

Moonrays- Transylvanain Boo Galoo

Lenny Sasaki- Bird Island

#Stolen idols interview Drew Farmer

Stolen Idols Revenge Of The Pink Piranha

James Spencer Nightfall

Bobby Fox and Miranda Kerry – You’re The Boss

#Alika Lyman Group Interview – Alika Lyman

Alika Lyman Group Swingtime in Honolulu

Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet- He Was The Cat

#Left arm of Budda interview- Michael Mingus

The Left Arm Of Buddha – A Monkeys Affair

Anna Selah – Twisted

Perry Beekman – This Can’t Be Love

#Clouseaux interview- Jay brooks

Clouseaux- Search For A Vulcan

Larry Gelb- Love Walked In

Ding Dong Devils – Crab Nebula Cocktails


Cocktail Nation 340 Best Interviews 2014

Well the year is almost drawing to a close so for the final two shows of 2014 we will focus on the best from the Cocktail Nation so I thought lets replay some of my favourites from the year ..we talk to James Spencer about his book about Julie London, James M Kraus about his blog about classic cars, Kathy Rudolph about her book on Paul Lynde, Jeff Chenault about his book on the Kahiki and Kari Handler on her new project which was revealed this year about the Tiki educational unit called Poly Hai.

Frank Sinatra -The Best Is Yet to Come
Bob Thompson -The Best Thing For you

Interview James Spencer Julie London book

Julie London -Black Coffee
Larry Gelb -Suddenly It’s Spring

Interview James M Kraus . Website AutoUniversum

Laura Ainsworth -Necessary Evil
Nutty -Purple Panther

Interview Kathy Rudolph. Paul Lynde Book

Peggy Lee -Bewitched
Aaron Diehl -Generation Y

Interview Jeff Chenault. Kahiki. Book

Ixtahuele -Sumatra Mist

Interview Kari Handler. Polly Hai

Ada Lee -A Night In Tunisia


Ten Ways A Lounge Lothario Should Maintain His Bachelor Pad.

It was Cary Grant who famously said that it takes five hundred small details to add up to one favourable impression. This is why a successful lounge lothario will pay special attention to his Bachelor Pad. When a woman enters your domain you don’t want her distracted by things that you could have fixed. And it’s not just women that need to be impressed, it’s all guests regardless of gender.
This is about making a good impression as a well dressed man about town who has style, grace and sophistication.

1. Change The Sheets

Nothing says uneducated and unhygienic slob than dirty, smelly and stained sheets.
I always say that you don’t need a lot to make a good impression but you do need good quality.
Buy two sets of medium priced sheets that are plain and change them weekly.

2 Ensure The Bathroom Is In Good Order

When guests visit or stay overnight they should never be forced to go searching though your cupboards. Everything they need should be available right before them. Keep plenty of toilet paper in the bathroom, clean towels and most importantly, clean and hairless soap.

3 Remove All pictures of scantily clad ladies
While you may think a little eye candy never hurt anyone, having your walls plastered with half naked women doesn’t exactly send out the right message. It kinda just screams “perve”. Same goes for lad mags. Artwork is a different matter however, tasteful nudes are fine but certainly not in copious amounts. Take it easy tiger!

4 Clean The Kitchen.

Remnants of last week’s party shouldn’t be kept for posterity. Bin them in a discrete manner. Leftovers in the fridge should be removed. Don’t keep food till it grows legs, it makes your fridge look like a bio hazard waiting to happen. A clean kitchen is a good reflection on a man. Keep the benches and the stove tops clean.
It should look as if you never cook ! Talk about a mystery, does this fellow eat out every night or is he such a brilliant cook he never spills any food and runs a tight ship shape kitchen…hmmm.

5 Remove Pictures of your ex

Nobody cares if you’re still friends and regularly braid each other’s hair, pics of the ex need to go, it just looks like you are unable to move on and quite frankly it’s a little weird. No one wants to be confronted by reminders of their predecessor. Keep a clean slate in the pad. Sure keep photos of old flames but keep them where everybody else does, in a photo album.

6 Keep a Well Stocked bar.

You need everything and anything available at your fingertips. Don’t be the guy who goes to make a cocktail and then finds he is missing one vital ingredient because I can guarantee you that just as the final pieces of your puzzle are being formed to create that amazing cocktail, the one which will make you the talk of the party you will find there is one thing missing. Now here is the trick to having a well stocked bar. Be well versed in a selection of special drinks that you can make plus every standard that might be requested.

7 Remove Juvenile art

We totally love Family Guy as much as the next, um, guy, but a poster of Stewie is not classified as legitimate wall art. It is if you’re 14 and still being dropped off to football practice by your mother but since we assume that’s not the look you’re going for, best to ditch it. If you must hang stuff up, opt for vintage prints, cool photographs, or genuine bonafide art.

8 Buy Stylish Furniture.

I really can’t stress how important it is that your furniture looks like it was a deliberate choice and not just random pieces gathered over time. If this means giving away your furniture to the local charity store and starting over then do it.
Be minimal, practical and stylish and you will be amazed how it all comes together.

9 Remove Strategically Placed Mirrors

We know what you’re up to.

10 Be Organised

Invest in proper storage to make sure any clutter is put away (or can easily be hidden at a moment’s notice) and do a regular clean up to make sure it’s neat. By working towards good storage you are likely to find lots of things that you really don’t need.


Apple cancels Enhancement feature for Podcasts

For those wondering, sadly I won’t be able “enhance” the Cocktail Nation podcast with pictures anymore as Apple is nolonger supporting this feature which is disappointing. The show will carry on as usual but without this wonderful feature. Not much one can do about this as technology constantly changes. I knew they were slowly fazing the feature out but hadn’t expected it so soon. Over the last two weeks I had noticed it was playing up and upon further investigation discovered the truth of the matter. Koop


Stop Being A Digital Nerd

I’m sorry to say it, but people have become a bunch of key board jockey nerds who never leave their house. Social media has truly ruined the live music and entertainment scene that once flourished.
Recently I was looking at some old pictures of a dance halls and nightclubs that were filled to the brim with party goers, the band was pumping and people were having a ball. These days the only people you will find out and about in the city are people under the age of twenty five.

Now of an evening people are shut in with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
They just don’t socialise any more in the real world, now their nightclub is digital and to be frank, I think this is both sad and nerdy. And for the record, I do note the irony of this article which is being posted on my website!

The world is a big and wonderful place that is worth experiencing, there are people to meet and places to see, experiences to be enjoyed but instead we like to stay safely tucked away on our lounges with the tv playing reality shows that nobody cares about. Television still thinks it’s getting good ratings but that’s all false, it’s playing but nobody is watching anymore, they have simply gotten used to turning it on for the noise. Personally if I am in working on my book or radio show I prefer to turn on one of my favourite internet stations for some background noise or put on one of my cherished albums. I find that far more relaxing and enjoyable and certainly far less bracing than some of the trash that is on the box.

I’m not sure when it happened but at some point adults stopped leaving their house. Even sport suffers, sure some big events might pull in the crowds but local sport struggles to get numbers. Just the other day I was chatting to my tennis coach who was telling me how hard it is to get people out to the tennis court to hit some balls in the local competition. When I was growing up in the local tennis scene there were always people out and about playing, they were fit, healthy and had a thriving social life. Sadly, not the case today.

Music venues struggle to get people to come out and see world class music and here in Sydney we have plenty of great venues and some of the best musicians in the country. We have the largest number of actors and playhouses and yet they are empty and most who are employed in these industries are struggling to make a buck. I put it all down to laziness and fear. For many it’s easier to throw on some sweat pants and park themselves on a lounge.

Get out today and enjoy life, meet the opposite sex in the real world. Stop using things like internet dating and that horrible pickup device for mass murderers, psychopaths and sex addicts called Tinder. It’s downright dangerousness and increases your chances of being killed or contracting an STD.

Life is grand and was meant to be lived in the real world where you need to learn social graces or suffer the pain of getting your nosed punched in. People talk constantly about trolls and internet bullying, those exist because there are no social graces in the digital world, you just can’t behave that way on the street.
Put the ipad down, throw on your best cat clothes and make the scene baby, you might be surprised how much fun it really is when you live in an analogue world.


Thou Aren’t Authentic Enough

Today I did something I rarely do. I unfriended a lady on Facebook.
Was it because of political postings, nudity, over zealous religious or atheistic postings…trolling. No, none of those things.

I deleted her because she is a Vintage Nazi, a hypocrite of the highest order.

The constant postings about how horrible modern life is, how nobody really gets vintage life apart from her were grating. Oh, and I have to add, they were all on FACEBOOK ! This keyboard jockey shut in was the definition of self righteous hypocrisy. A person who claimed she wanted to move to the country to have a more simple and authentic thirties lifestyle but I would imagine one of the pre requisites of this move would be a good internet connection.

The reason I tell this story is not to pick on the person but to highlight a weirdness that existed with some of the retro persuasion.

I for one would consider myself a retrophile, however I do know it’s the twenty first century and I quite enjoy the advantages it has to offer. If it wasn’t for the internet I wouldn’t have a successful podcast and I certainly would not met so many wonderful people like your good self.

Do I wish I lived through the forties, fifties and sixties …hell yeah!
If I had a time machine would I transport my self to 1962 and never come back….ofcourse. But here’s the reality …it’s 2014.

I love vintage furniture, clothes cars and music, books and movies. And ofcourse when I say love, I really mean love, a true dedication.
That however does not mean I need to place myself above others in the vintage stakes, it’s not a competition nor is life an exercise in vintage Reenacting.

Vintage life is not Historical Reenactment, it’s a lifestyle within the bounds of the reality we live in, not a competition for the best costume. A true retrophile wears clothes and not costumes, drives a classic car as a car and not a parade vehicle and lives in a house not a museum.


Classic Cars, Are they An Endangered Species?

Back in 1992 I bought my first car, it also happened to be a classic car, a 1960 FB Holden. This car was a GMH product that looked a little like a squashed Chev.
It was an average size car with an underpowered six cylinder 128 engine.
What it lacked in power was made up by it’s awesome styling.
In 1992 there weren’t a lot on the road as daily drivers but quite a few of my young friends owned one because they were cheap to buy and were easy on parts.
I picked up mine for $4000 and it was a beauty. I took that car all over the country and didn’t have many issues. Today that car would be worth around $20000 which is hard to believe now and harder to swallow as I now wish I had kept the old girl !
Having owned classic cars all my life I have seen the prices rise slowly but surely and when the economy is slow they are hard to sell because it’s a little like owning a boat. You don’t really need one and for most they only run them on the weekend so it can make for an expensive hobby.

A recent insurance report claims that many are under insured due to the climbing of prices and that many have kept the car at a similar insurance level when they first purchased. Add into the mix that most people keep a classic car for ten or more years the value is likely to be far higher than one might expect.

So for the average person wanting to get into a classic car is going to find it a lot more expensive than in previous years which really means that classic cars are moving into the rich older mans territory. Thus making them a little more endangered and rare. My prediction is that eventually many will become so expensive to own that a lot of enthusiasts will not even want to back them out of the garage for fear of damage and lets face it, when you spend a lot on restoring car it be a nervous proposition.

Another possible scenario which can lead to endangered species status is the loss of knowledge. Most classic car devotees are in their sixties. Many of these guys are a wealth of knowledge and skill. The average mechanic is simply not equipped with the knowledge to properly repair or service cars of this vintage. Time after time I have found the people have done dodgy repairs and restoration of cars that is simply wrong. When you meet with one of the old cats that dig classic cars they have identified several missing items, wrong items or just poor restoration that whilst might not keep the car off the road, it does mean it doesn’t perform the way the manufacturer intended.

Several years ago I joined a Chrysler club, I turned up at the clubhouse for the monthly meeting and found that most members were at least thirty years older than me. Not a whole lot of fun for a young guy, but it was also intimidating as they tended to assume, and probably quite rightly so, that I didn’t know what I was doing.
The fact remains that fewer younger people are getting into classic cars and this is a major problem. Once the knowledge pool dries up and the older owners either die or get too old then one must wonder what happens to the cars.

More and more I see sales of cars with mentions in the ad that they are in bad health and can no longer maintain the car, or that their sons aren’t interested in the car.
This is a sad state of affairs and I wonder what happens to the car.
So, the knowledge and potentially the car are lost.

Now my predictions may only be realised in decades to come, but I can tell you that it’s happening. Sadly it is an inconvenient truth.