2/27/13

Retrospace Confidential #3: Gilligan's Island



This marks the third installment of the "Retrospace Confidential" series of posts, where we attempt to expose the seedy underbelly of so-called 'wholesome' entertainment.  Previous installments have been poorly received and severely criticized - but such is the price of honest investigative journalism. Today we peel back the wholesome veneer of Gilligan's Island..... what lies underneath will shock and appall you. A stinking sewer of fornication and deviant behavior of the sickest blend awaits.

2/26/13

Vintage Reads #46: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Paperbacks


Sci-Fi and Fantasy paperbacks were nothing if not interesting back in the day.  When I look at the genre shelves now it seems like the covers are consumed by the author's name, leaving little to no room for artwork.  There's rows and rows of series (i.e. Star Wars, Star Trek, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.) but very little oddball stand-alone books.

Here's just a random collection of interesting, cool, and awful sci-fi and fantasy covers for your viewing enjoyment.

2/25/13

Retrospace Radio #42: Terrible Tunes





Think you have what it takes? Here's forty minutes of some of the worst sounds pressed to vinyl - consider yourself warned.  These audio abominations are not recommended for those of you with weak constitutions.  Retrospace takes no responsibility for any bouts of depression and self loathing brought on by repeated listening.  Proceed at your own risk.


LISTEN


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TRACK LIST

  1. El Clod - Tijuana Border
  2. Nick Noble - The Bible Tells Me So
  3. Mills Bros - Beaver
  4. Davy Jones - Rainy Jane
  5. Mr. Walkie Talkie - Be My Boogie Woogie Baby
  6. Senator Bobby - Wild Thing
  7. Triple S Connection - My Cherie Amour
  8. Sounds Of Sunshine - Love Means (You Never Have To Say You're Sorry)
  9. Everything Is Everything - Witchi Tai To
  10. Moms Mabley - Abraham, Martin And John
  11. Alfred E Neuman - Its A Gas
  12. Cabot, Sebastian - Quit Your Lowdown Ways

Note: you can download the episode simply by right clicking on the "listen" link and saving target.

I thoroughly enjoyed putting this together. In all seriousness, let me know if you'd like another round.

Mini Skirt Monday #144: Computers and Minis


I got to looking and it appears we haven't had a Miniskirt Monday around a computer theme since 2009.  Definitely a topic that is due a revisit.  Some of these will be repeats; however, it's been about four years, so perhaps they'll be new again.  Enjoy!

2/22/13

Cinema #26: B-Movies on Theater Marquees


Back when movies came and went within a single weekend.  Back when theaters showed films that violated every conceivable line of good taste.  Back when theaters routinely showed films that cost less than $200,000 to make.  Back when censors were asleep at the wheel.  Back when movies cost a buck and popcorn a couple quarters.  Back, back, back...

It's easy to get lost in the nostalgia of it all, since it was such a wonderful experience - and so foreign to today.  Now, if I'm paying big bucks to see a film, it damn well better be good - a lot of money and valuable time is at stake.  The theater better have high tech sound and stadium seating and no one, and I mean NO ONE, better utter a peep, or I'm going to be pissed.  I just invested fifty bucks on tickets and snacks, and another fifty on a babysitter - so this better be goddamn good, or I will blow a gasket!

Sounds like fun, eh?

Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get my point.  Movies could afford to be schlocky and lame back then.  Every once and a while you'd land on a B-movie gem (like Halloween for instance), but for the most part, as long as it had a car chase and some full frontal nudity, you were satisfied.

So, in honor of those days, here's some images of theaters showing movies that would likely never make it to a typical theater these days. Apologies if some of the pictures are low quality (like the movies themselves); there's still plenty here to appreciate. I'd be interested to hear if if any of you caught these films in the theater.

Vintage Men's Mags #36: The Couch


I'm sure these photographers started with a creative concept; but when that didn't work out, it was, "Screw it.  Go sit on the couch and look sexy."

Playboy had the money, so they could afford to get imaginative.  Their covers featured some pretty interesting concepts that were obviously not shot by amateurs.  Meanwhile, the rags with a tighter budget often ended up opting for the couch. "Aw, to hell with it. Just go sit on the couch and play with your hair or something."

As with most things on Retrospace, I'm not as interested in the high dollar photo shoots. (i.e. most fashion posts on this site are from crummy needlework pamphlets rather than the likes of Vogue or Cosmo).  The "skin mag on a budget" is what I like - they're a more genuine, less manicured, slice of the past.  So, today I'm honoring the "Screw it.  Go sit on the couch, put your leg in the air or something, and let's go get a sandwich." photography method.  Enjoy.

2/20/13

Album Covers #37


I doubt many of you remember Brother to Brother's "I'm Gonna Take Your Love" - it was a pretty damn good bit of funky disco back in '77.  But that doesn't excuse them from this atrocious cover.

I get it.  We're all brothers in creation, black and white.  Ebony and ivory, living together in perfect harmony. Well, the road to crap album covers is paved with good intentions.

2/18/13

The Boob Tube #37: The Top Commercials of the Seventies


This is that moment when the customer realizes the "ancient Chinese secret" is BS, and it's just a lousy box of Calgon. "Some Hotshot"

This is a list of the top seventies commercials.  Not the best - just the top.  The most memorable, iconic, oft repeated, stuck-in-my-head-until-the-day-I-die commercials.  I love them for their simplicity; a stark contrast to today's "irony" laden sensory explosions.

Mini Skirt Monday #143: Dana Lambert




Lesley Ann Warren (credited on the show only as Lesley Warren) played Dana Lambert during the fifth season of Mission Impossible 1970-1971).  Barbara Bain left after season three, so the show didn't really have a female lead again until Warren came on. She starred alongside Leonard Nimoy who began his role on the show the previous year.  So, the combination of the ultra hot Lesley Ann Warren and Spock made the show well worth watching.

Of course, 1970-1971 was prime time for miniskirts; so, naturally Warren was quite often in them.  Let's run through a few highlights of Warren in minis from Mission Impossible Season Five, shall we?  In the Chronology of the Mini, it's quite an important event.  It would behoove any armchair Miniskirtologists to read on.

2/14/13

Ads #62: Vintage Booze Advertising


One day, folks.  One day you'll land on Retrospace and the post will declare that I've run out of interesting material.  But given the seemingly endless supply of alcohol adverts alone, I don't think we're in any danger of that happening.  There's still plenty left to explore.  Take for example, this awesome Jose Cuervo ad from 1974...

Vintage Reads #45: More Sleazy Paperbacks



"A Human Cauldron of emotions - torn, twisted, abused...."

Sometimes the backs of these old sleazy paperbacks are just as good as the front.  In Love-Jungle Tigress, the paperback writers make TV land look like a never-ending orgy of violent debauchery.  This book was written in the early sixties - so what television shows are they talking about exactly? The Beverly Hillbillies? My Three Sons? As much as it disturbs me to think of sodomy and hate fueled abuse going on behind the scenes in My Favorite Martian or Father Knows Best, inquiring minds want to know.

Artful Conceptions #18: The Skull


The human skull is a powerful image - it instantly reminds us of our mortality and evokes that subtle fear abiding in all of us of what lies beyond.  It should come as no surprise that this symbol is routinely used in the horror genre.  After all, horror fiction is all about fear, and what is a more compelling than the fear of death, epitomized by the very face of death - the skull.

Of course, being a default image has its problems.  A lazy or unimaginative illustrator can always fall back on the skull.  Indeed, there are legions of lackluster skulls adorning thousands of forgettable paperbacks and movie posters.  Were I to spend the next year compiling them for you, I wouldn't come close to scratching the surface.  As with many of these 'artful conception' posts, I've put together mosaics of examples, both good and bad. However, these don't even begin to scratch the tip of the iceberg.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy this small sampling nonetheless.

2/12/13

Retro Film Report #24: Bava on Instant


I was glad to see some Mario Bava films make it into the Netflix Instant catalog. The Italian director had a huge influence in cinema, but I'll spare you the Wikipedia rundown.  Suffice it to say he kick started the giallo genre, basically invented the slasher film genre, and inspired numerous directors like Tim Burton who have singled him out as one of their biggest influences.

He's basically known for his vivid cinematography (In fact, he'd been a cinematographer since the early 1940s).  On a meager budget, he'd light up a room with a technicolor brilliance and Gothic atmosphere that is truly amazing.  His films were like comic books come to life....

The Boob Tube #36: Game Shows


In honor of the fact that my wife is actually going to be on The Price Is Right today (2/12/13), I figured it would be appropriate to feature a game show post. I've pretty much said everything I can say about game shows (see previous post); however, I've learned to never say never on Retrospace - there seems to always be more to say.

So, let me start by saying I hated Name That Tune.  I was a musical encyclopedio - I could and still can identify a musical obscurity by just a few notes....... and yet I was an abysmal failure at Name That Tune. The reason, of course, is that they never played anything by Seals & Crofts, Kiss or David Bowie.  It was crap like "Little Brown Jug".  Old standards that were foreign to a Gen-xer like me. I'd watch the show with my family and my dad could kick royal ass at naming a track from Around the World in 80 Days or a Glen Miller tune. And there I sat on the shag carpet, disgraced, eating my Frankenberry in shame.

2/11/13

Mini Skirt Monday #142: Men Among Minis


They may have not known it then, but this would be the best moment of their entire lives.  It was all downhill from here.

If you do nothing else, just take a good look at the expressions of the male individuals in the following photographs.  You will not see the gender in a happier, more contented state.  Life is good at moments like these.


2/10/13

Technical Difficulties


Some of you may have noticed that a ton of images on Retrospace are displaying an error message.  Evidently Flickr experienced some serious problems on a global scale (via a hack/virus).  I'll spare you the details except to say that Retrospace was seriously affected.  Of our 20,000+ images, nearly 5,000 were screwed.

Fortunately, I still have the images, but the links to Flickr are all busted.  Thus, I will have to go in and manually fix them. This will be exceedingly time consuming and a pain in the ass.  I actually contemplated taking this as a sign that maybe Retrospace needed to be retired.

Needless to say, I am going to keep at it, but I am going to retire Flickr.  The initial problem wasn't their fault, but their response sucked, and honestly I should have ditched Flickr years ago for a number of reasons.

Many of you may also remember my recent struggles with Rapidshare.  Basically, all my hard work making downloads of catalogs, comics, mix tapes, etc. available to the Retrospace audience went bye-bye overnight.  Between the Rapidshare fiasco and now Flickr, you maybe can understand my frustration.  Retrospace has been a source of relaxation for me since 2008- an enjoyable little hobby.  Sadly, of late it's become a headache.

I'll spare you any further sob story.  Perhaps, Retrospace will end up better in the long run. Certain images will be forever "dead links", but I can hopefully get things presentable.  And if you're wondering why I should even bother with old posts, know that a ton of folks land on Retrospace via Google searches.  Plus, a lot of hard work went into creating them - it'd be a shame to let them die.

So, stay tuned and be patient.  Things may look ugly on this site for a bit.  I'll be making changes, but things should be back to normal soon.  I've got a six pack of Blue Moon beer and some nachos to ease the pain - it's going to be a long day!


2/9/13

Retrospace Radio #41



SUBSCRIBE
LISTEN


TRACK LIST
  1. Dilinger - Cocaine In My Brain
  2. Bread - London Bridge
  3. Leonard Nimoy - Music to Watch Space Girls By
  4. Trooper - Roller Rink (abridged)
  5. Mistral - Starship 109
  6. Klaatu - Doctor Marvello
  7. Ray Moore - O My Father Had a Rabbit 
  8. M.A.S.H. - Suicide Is Painless
  9. Greenfield & Cook - Easy Boy
  10. Justin Wilson - Sweater Girl
  11. Stories - Words
  12. Barry White - Oh Love, Well We Finally Made It
  13. Verrill Keene - Velvet Waters
  14. Caravan - Golf Girl
  15. John Denver - The Eagle and the Hawk

Note: To download the entire podcast, simply right click the "Listen" link and save

2/7/13

Cinema #25: Euro-Sleaze Repackaged

click here to see the full poster

The poor saps that payed money to see a sexed up version of Welcome Back, Kotter were in for a bit of a disappointment.  Instead, they got the Italian film La professoressa di scienze naturali (1976) dubbed in English.  Sure, there's nudity aplenty - but then, in the seventies what movies didn't have nudity?

This happened a lot back then.  Grindhouse theaters, drive ins, and late night shows often played Euro-sleaze with American packaging.  Not that it really mattered - their audiences weren't looking for Academy Award nominees.... and more often than not, European directors could provide a level of taboo crossing debauchery that exceeded their American counterparts.

2/5/13

Album Covers #36: Animals



There's been a million musicians with animal names (The Turtles, Whitesnake, The Monkees, W.A.S.P., Snoop Dogg, etc.).  One day I'll list of them all.  This post is just about album covers that feature an animal or an animal name.  As usual, I'll avoid the obvious (i.e. Pet Sounds) and go with the odd, interesting and obscure.  Enjoy.

Pancakes #8: Rules of Pancake Prevention


Okay, Rule Number One:  Never invite Ron Jeremy into your home.

He will ply you with sweet talk.  He will sway you with romantic gestures.  But know this, dear reader, once Ron Jeremy gains entrance to your domicile, pancakes are an inevitability.  Pancakeologists call this The Jeremy Law.  It's as unbreakable as the Laws of Thermodynamics.

If you can keep Ron Jeremy at bay, you are well on your way to Total Pancake Abstinence.  Let's have a look at what other measures and precautions are at your disposal.

2/3/13

Mini Skirt Monday #141: Gilligan's Island



It's true that Mary Ann wore short shorts and Ginger wore evening gowns; however, the last season saw their share of miniskirts.  Mostly it was Mary Ann gracing the screen in minis, but Ginger put one on a few times herself.

Interestingly enough, the very last scene of the very last episode features Ginger strutting around in a miniskirt, and the girls wonder if it'll catch on.  Had the show only lasted another season, it would've undoubtedly been a mini-palooza.  We can only imagine what could have been.

Here's a pretty comprehensive compendium of minis wore on Gilligan's Island.  Enjoy!

2/2/13

Retrospace Radio #40


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LISTEN

TRACK LIST
  1. Diesel - Sausalito Summernight
  2. Gil Scott-Heron with Brian Jackson  - The Bottle
  3. Wombles - Remember You're A Womble
  4. Steely Dan - The Fez
  5. Don Rickles - Speaks! 
  6. Kiss - Talk to Me
  7. Father Abraham - The Smurf Song
  8. Paul Williams- Flash
  9. Johnny Pate - Brother On The Run
  10. The Babys - Every Time I Think of You
  11. Snoopy - Its All In The Bible
  12. Bellamy Brothers - If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body
  13. Roxy Music - Angel Eyes
  14. Cheech & Chong - Up In Smoke [NSFW]
  15. Johnny Guitar Watson - Real Mother For Ya
  16. Jimmy Castor Bunch - King Kong
Note: To manually download the podcast, right click the "listen" link and choose "save link as"