“the mountain” composed by Curt Kirkwood (originally released by The Meat Puppets as “Comin’ Down”); performed by Jason Ajemian (double bass, voice) and jaimie branch (voice, trumpet) from Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)): https://intlanthem.bandcamp.com/album…
I love when Euro folks come to LA and make the most of it.
https://lewisofman.komi.io/ Directors : écoute chérie Produced by Canvas Represents Producer : Verity Cousins Producer : Carolyn Murphy D.O.P : Madison McKamey 1st AC : Julian Splies 2nd AC : Kate Ruthenbeck Gaffer : Sebastien Nuta Editing : Pierre Torelli Color Grading : Luca Casavola Make-up : Elaina Karras Thanks to Katy Benham, Taika Li, Storm, Nathaly cloudyy, Noah Witt for the insane swimming pool location, the dude that sold me this nice guitar, the city of Los Angeles
A consumerist anti-anthem written in 1978 when E# was still in Buffalo, NY, “When I Buy” became a performance staple for the band Human Error during their brief span in Northampton, MA in 1978-79. Never recorded at that time, this studio version was created during the covid winter of 2020-21.
When I Buy
When I Buy I
When I Buy I Feel
When I Buy I Feel Real
When I Buy I Feel Real Good
released February 22, 2021
ZDS 077 Human Error – When I Buy
E#: vocals, 8-string bass, electric guitars, drum programming, processing
Jim Whittemore: background vocals, synthesizers, processing
Chris Vine: electric guitar
Recorded at Studio zOar – NYC plus remote recording in Corvallis OR and Londrina Brazil.
Mixed and mastered at Studio zOaR – NYC
Published by zOaR Music – BM
Wikipedia’s entry for Yacht rock is as heavily footnoted as an article in an academic historical journal. It reads like one, too.
“Yacht rock (originally known as the West Coast sound or adult-oriented rock) is a broad music style and aesthetic commonly associated with soft rock, one of the most commercially successful genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Drawing on sources such as smooth soul, smooth jazz,R&B, and disco, common stylistic traits include high-quality production, clean vocals, and a focus on light, catchy melodies.”
Like many well-sourced Wikipedia entries, the one for yacht rock buries the lede: Who fuck made up this stupid genre and why are they still allowed to roam free among the general population?
It seems those responsible for spawning the yacht rock genre are four individuals: J. D. Ryznar, David Lyons and Hunter D. Stair with an accomplice named Lane Farnham.
Yacht Rock web video series screen shot
And it turns out that yacht rock was created as a spoof, a mockumentary, if you will. Ryznar and Stair created the 12-episode Yacht Rock web video series after noticing the converging recording careers various soft rock titans like Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins and Toto.
The Yacht Rock series premiered in June 2005 at the Channel 101 community film festival in Los Angeles.
But in a hideous pop culture twist, the sly satire escaped the 4th wall and slithered into reality, mutating into its own musical genre, complete with cover bands dressed in Navy blue double-breasted suites jackets, white pants and wearing captain’s hats.
From Wikipedia, the source of all true facts:
“The term “yacht rock” did not exist contemporaneously with the music the term describes, from about 1975 to 1984.” The series creators came up with the term yacht rock because of the frequent seafaring references in lyrics, videos and album art such as Christopher Cross‘s anthemic, “Sailing” (1979). and Duran Duran’s Rio (1982).
This music was part of the soundtrack of a very peculiar era in American life spanning the end of the Ford Administration, the Carter Administration, and the first term of the nightmarish Regan Administration.
In 1975 the No. 1 single of the year was very yacht rockian “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille. By 1984, the end of what became the yacht rock epoch, the top single was “When Doves Cry” by the not at all a yacht rocker, Prince.
Yet, even at the end, yacht rock represented: “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins was the #4 single in ’84.
During the years from ’75 to ’84 rock music had already burned through new wave and punk; disco spread Saturday night fever; hip hop was ascending into its golden age. The hippie-dippy esthetic took its last toke and vacuous cocaine-sniffing yuppie materialism replaced it.
“Understood as a pejorative term, “yacht rock” referred, in part, to a stereotypical yuppieyacht owner enjoying smooth music while sailing” according to all-knowing information source Wikipedia.
Journalists like Steven Orlofsky and documentary-film maker Katie Puckrik have pointed out that socio-political and economic changes contributed to the genre’s the development 
Yacht rock was art “untouched by the outside world,” notes the ‘Pedia’s entry.
And then there’s this insightful, wonky analysis from you-know-where:
“By contrast to what followed, this “was probably the last major era of pop music wholly separated from the politics of its day.” Yacht rock represented an “introspective individualism” that emerged after the death of the “mass-movement idealism” of the 1960s. Its “reassuringly vague escapism” was boosted by the rise of FM radio which brought together two consequences of gender emancipation: women who controlled household spending and men who “felt freer to convey their emotions in song”.
So why yacht, why now?
Could it be America has entered a much more shitified version of 75-84, only now we have the Internet, social media, Spotify and Fox News?
Puckrik’s two-part documentary, “I Can Go for That: The Smooth World of Yacht Rock”, aired on BBC Four in June 2019, proof the contagion has jumped the pond, infecting Europe, or maybe just the UK where they’re even more susceptible to bad ideas than Americans. Further proof yacht rock’s cultural rehabilitation appeared in UK pubs in The Guardian,The Week,
The Wiki entry I’m heavily cribbing from, says journalist “Orlofsky has argued that the genre’s resurgence is partly due to its function as an antidote to the negativity of the Trump era in the US just as in its original context, when yacht rock created “the perfect soundtrack for listeners trying to ignore Watergate and Vietnam“, it now again represents “a defiant, fingers-planted-firmly-within-ears disregard of any and all political unrest.”
Just because yacht rock is soulless doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an audience large enough to provide work for otherwise unemployed musicians.
Numerous yacht rock cover bands with cheeky names like Yachty By Nature, Yachtley Crew, The Docksiders, Point of Sail, Monsters of Yacht, and Hall & Boats now slither all across the land.
But wait, there’s more socio-pathologic analysis that really puts the genre in dry dock (get ready):
A 2012 Jacobin article described yacht rock as “endlessly banal, melodic and inoffensive, fit to be piped into Macy’s changing rooms”. The article describes the popularity of yacht rock as reflective of a regressive Reagan-era American society and “about the garden of nightmares America had become”. According to the Jacobin article, yacht rock served as “an escape from blunt truths” about sociopolitical issues of the day.
In an article in The New Inquiry, music scholar J. Temperance stated that yacht rock “sterilized the form of its soul and blues elements and instead emphasized disinterested, intentionally trite lyrical themes”.
In a uDiscovermusic article, Paul Sexton expressed how yacht rock as a genre seemed to “exude privileged opulence: of days in expensive recording studios followed by hedonistic trips on private yachts.”
According to writer Max McKenna in a 2018 Popmatters article, the lack of political messaging in the yacht rock genre is a “conservative gesture(s) flying under the radar in a climate of poptimist“
But even cultural social socialist commentators have a soft spot – sort of – for the genre:
Music scholar J. Temperance wrote in The New Inquiry that, rather being a reactionary genre, yacht rock was essential to the growth of pop music in a time of “cultural darkness”, “serving as a dialectical pole to progressive rock as well as to punk, postpunk and even proto-postpunk, spurring drastic retrenchments”.
Temperance attributed the “smooth” sound that is characteristic of yacht rock to an indifferent approach to capitalist culture and a “regressive tolerance of allegedly transgressive music with a truly liberatory anality” by using existing symbols rather than create new anti-establishment symbols that are eventually added into the establishment symbols.
The New Inquiry article describes the role of yacht rock as a genre that would help people differentiate music appreciation from status by using common symbols and “rendering the popular into the smooth.”
And did I mention that yacht rock is as white as the pants on the lead singer of Yachtly Crew?
Once more from the Oraclepedia:
Yacht rock has also faced racial criticism, given the genre’s associations with “the revival of white rock forms” as writer Max McKenna stated in the 2018 Popmatters article.[36
Due to its perceived lack of political involvement and borrowed elements from black music genres, yacht rock has garnered the perception of racial ignorance amongst certain critics of the genre.
It is time I apologize to Brendan Fraser, recipient of the 2023 Oscar for Best ActorI
It’s an apology 25 years late.
Once upon a time, long ago, I was a journalist working for a trade magazine covering retailing. My beat included entertainment and retailing back in the era when there were places called video stores and movies were on VHS cassette tapes.
One day a nice public relations person for the consumer products division of Universal Pictures called.
Would I be interested in an all-expenses-paid press junket to London to see the making of The Mummy and interview people involved with making the film?
The film’s stars were Brendan Frasier, who was looking for a break, and Rachel Weisz, a young stage actor who was then a newcomer to film. Maybe the PR person called it something nicer than a junket.
It took about a nanosecond to say yes. Los Angeles to London on Virgin Upper Class. Accommodations at Claridge’s, where the Queen’s guests stayed. A tour of the set at Shepperton, an historic film studio outside London owned at the time by Ridley and Tony Scott. Access to Universal execs, a lunch at the studio with some of the film’s actors. A private evening reception in the Egyptian wing of the British Museum with talks by curators and up-close-and-personal interaction with artifacts like the Rosetta Stone.
So, heck yeah.
Journalistic ethics? Those were a little fungible in the trade magazine world. Besides, the movie studios were the magazine’s customer, advertisers who paid the bills. As a journalist I could be as critical as I wanted about our prime target – retailers. We always wrote nice things about advertisers.
At the time Universal was a studio in desperate need of a hit. Universal also wanted to revive its famed monster movie franchise, which includes movies like Bride of Frankenstein.
Thus, the full court press with the press to promote a hoped-for hit in the making.
The next thing you know I’m flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class in a 747 to London, getting picked up by a driver in a Land Rover and transported to Claridge’s in Mayfair, one of the swankiest hotels in the city, the kind of place where they iron the newspapers before they drop them outside your door.
The next morning the U.S. press got on a bus for the ride to Shepperton Studios in the Surrey countryside.
I knew this junket was a big deal when I realized that sitting across from me is Harry Knowles, founder of the then-hot movie website Ain’tItCool.com.
We arrive at the studio and a shepherded around Shepperton to see movie magic in progress, even getting to see a take of scene – the one where the character Beni, played by Kevin J. O’Connor, has his touch go out deep inside a pharaoh’s tomb and is subsequently consumer by flesh-eating scarabs.
At one point the scrum of journalists is led into a hallway where we “accidentally” encounter none other than Brendan Fraser, the costar of the film. Fraser is clearly on his way to start his day of filming as Rick O’Connell.
We were clearly supposed to be star-struck by our “unintended” encountered with Fraser.
But Fraser sees Harry Knowles. It is Fraser who is excited to see Knowles – a journalist — rather than the other way around. Fraser asks Knowles if he can take picture with him, producing a Polaroid SX70 instant camera.
Fraser explains that Knowles was instrumental in pressuring a film studio into releasing Gods and Monsters, a partly fictionalized account of film director James Whale’s final days. Fraser starred in the film alongside Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich, and David Dukes.
The studio had apparently been balking at releasing the firm because of the homosexual plot line that drives the story.
Fraser, who turns in a great performance in Gods And Monsters, was very grateful to Knowles. The film displays Fraser’s substance as an actor.
Fraser then told a story to the assembled group about his grandfather – an RCMP officer who sometimes enforced weights and measures laws.
Fraser explained that his grandfather would sometimes thrust his arm into wagon loads of hay to ensure they were not hollow inside.
I see punch line of the story coming from miles away.
Totally jet lagged, my brain not in full control of my mouth, I blurt out “So, you’re telling us you father was the long arm of the law?”
The group falls silent. I grin anyway.
If Brendan Fraser could have killed me he probably would have at that moment. If his eyes had been how power laser beams I’d have two big holes burned though my forehead and out the back of my head.
Brendan Fraser, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I had no self-control and shot my mouth off and ruined your punch line. I still feel bad about it.
I think you are a great actor.
Your amazing comeback and underdog Best Actor win for The Whale is a genuine inspiration.
And I really am sorry for messing up your funny story about you grandfather all those years ago at Shepperton.
And it turned out The Mummy did help Universal break its slump.
The Mummy was the number one film in the United States and Canada on its opening weekend in May 1999, grossing $43 million in 3,210 theaters. The film’s weekend box office was the highest non-holiday May opening, and ninth-biggest opening of all time. The Mummy grossed more than $155.4 million in the United States and Canada and $261 million internationally. Its worldwide total gross was $416.4 million.
The Mummy helped make Rachel Weisz a big star.
I did write about the film, but within the context of Universal and other studios reviving their monster movie franchises, which eventually translated into sales of videos at retail as well as related licensed consumer products.
The studio that was hesitant about releasing Gods And Monsters, but shouldn’t have been. Although not commercially successful, it was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for McKellen, Best Supporting Actress for Redgrave, and won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
François-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, was born in November 1664 in Paris.
He was the youngest child of a lawyer/civil servant father and a mum who was low-ranking nobility. He had a brother and two sisters. His was a sort of an upper middle class family 350 years ago in Paris.
Voltaire was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. Voltaire is famous for his wit, intellect and cutting criticism of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church. And for writing Candide.
Voltaire was an advocate of free speech, freedom of religion and separation of church and state. Any one of of those things could get you into A LOT of trouble in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
He was imprisoned twice and temporarily exiled to England once for criticizing the French government. Voltaire wound up doing hard time for a naughty rhyme. A satirical verse accusing the Régent of incest with his daughter resulted in an 11-month, from May 1717 to April 1718, in a windowless cell with 10-foot thick walls in the Bastille.
Following his Bastille stint, François-Marie Arouet became Voltaire. The origin of the Voltaire moniker is unclear, but apparently refers to the Arouet’s family’s home area in France. As Voltaire, he kept on writing and kept on being very naughty in various ways.
One fact about Voltaire’s life is certain. Voltaire was one mean writing mo-sheen.
Voltaire wrote in almost every literary genre. He wrote plays, poems, novels and essays. He produced respected historical and scientific works. During an 82-year lifetime, he dashed off more than 20,000 letters while churning out more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. And the guy didn’t even have a typewriter.
But with Candide Voltaire scored his greatest hit writing as a satirist criticizing intolerance, religious dogma, and French institutions of his time.
Published under secretive circumstances in 1759, Candide, ou l’Optimisme (Candide, or The Optimist) simultaneously became a great success and great scandal. Candide was immediately banned due to religious blasphemy, political sedition, and hostility to authority all disguised as naïveté.
This made Voltaire’s wild tale of Candide wildly popular.
Three hundred and sixty years later Candide is considered Voltaire’s magnum opus. Many scholars consider Candide a vital part of literature’s Western canon.
With its fantastical story line, pointed humor and insightful portrayal of the human condition, Candide has inspired numerous authors and artists to adapt it to their times. Indeed, the concept of gardening with Candide has even spawned an app to sell you gardening stuff. Within this slim novella, Voltaire’s Candide travels the known world, encountering butt-biting sex apes (spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well), the Inquisition, an earthquake and tsunami. Voltaire even manages to highlight the savagery of slavery when Candide meets with a slave mutilated in the French Caribbean sugar cane fields.
And that brings us to Gardening With Candide, or The Optimist Grows It Alone and why Candide is relevant during these new times of plague and political failure. It’s RDScally and the Obstweedles turn at perverting Voltaire’s demented yet insightful adventure yarn.
Nitty gritty details about Voltaire, Candide’s adventures and The Obstweedles’ own HGTV-meets-corona-virus era interpretation is revealed in Part Deux: “The Best Of All Possible Worlds.” It’ll even explain the butt-biting sex apes. Promise.
Meanwhile, here’s a sample track from Gardening With Candide.
If you would like to receive email alerts of Icarian blog posts, please use the form on the upper right of the webpage to enter your email and subscribe to little message that wills camper into your inbox whenever a new post appears here. After you’ve subscribed, please click on the link in the box below the email subscription form to follow The Obstweedles on Spotify.
If you you received this message as an email and DO NOT want email alerts from The Icarian blog please unsubscribe. Otherwise, if you are already a subscriber, do nothing. Except maybe you can tell other people who might be interested in the kinds things that may appear here.
This version of The Icarian blog is a word-of-mouth thing. The site itself will not be on Facebook or Twitter. Email forwarding of posts is cool and encouraged. If YOU want to post a link tone of The Icarian’s posts on social media, that’s great and encouraged. No social media links. No cookies. No ads. The Icarian does use YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp.com and email. Since The Icarian is self-funded and there is no free lunch when publishing on the Internet, a Patreon account may soon appear here in an attempt to help “monetize” this nonsense.