Friday, September 8, 2017

Show Notes for HMOTD 045: Are Those Crab Puffs?

3:27 Koko's death scene: Dave's big dramatic death scene in the second episode of the Yacht Rock webseries, which I also included because it hits so many elements of how awesome YR's Christopher Cross character is (thanks to the innocent hayseed portrayal of Rick & Morty's Justin Roiland). But yeah, I too heard this song in my childhood dreams, Koko.

4:57 Divorcecore: Here's the episode of BYR that I think first hooked both Rob and me; such a genius concept made all the more powerful by again, the childhood nostalgia connected to these 1980s albums featuring newly-solo Baby Boomer artists who had been through personal and/or professional divorces.

5:08 Coupland's Generation X: Here's a tumblr that collects all of Coupland's definitions from Generation X, and here's the entry for "musical hairsplitting."

5:40 George Orwave: Such a fantastic episode of BYR and a genre that needed a name desperately. (The video for top George Orwave track "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell received an exhibit writeup at We Are The Mutants, by the way.)

7:13 Interview with Michael McDonald: I can't imagine what it was like for the Yacht Rock crew to see this interview only a year or two after the webseries wrapped. Also worth reading, and I know I've linked to it before, but this Rolling Stone oral history of Yacht Rock is great and has the "Showbiz Kids" story, which always elicits a smile. RIP Walter Becker, by the way.

7:45 "A handful of Porcaros": A great excuse to use the "my brothers in Toto" moment from Yacht Rock 4. If you aren't familiar with the history of Toto, they're not only session musician prodigies but three members of the band are the sons of legendary Wrecking Crew member Joe Porcaro. Here's a great LA Weekly piece about how the Wrecking Crew era naturally led into the Yacht Rock era.

10:22 Theme song to Dallas: Let's nerd out about '80s TV themes for just a moment. The Dallas theme was written by composer Jerrold Immel and he's kind of a one-hit wonder TV theme-wise, although he did do the themes for Dallas spinoff Knots Landing and a personal scifi favorite of my childhood, Voyagers!

11:38 Marina Rock: And here's a third episode of BYR for you to check out: Dave's genre of Marina Rock.

12:20 Retail Rock: I gotcha back on this one, fam: an site full of tapes from the late '80s/early '90s played over the PA at K-Mart stores. I've spent more time than I care to admit here.

14:57 "A Marina Rock Linda Ronstadt": I haven't stopped laughing at this since we recorded this episode a month ago: good one, Rob.

17:20 I Am Not A Stalker: Holy crap, this site is amazing; here's the "movie locations" section.

18:45 "Everybody had to bring someone on the Dip list": I only realized after recording this episode that this is a pretty common trope in a bunch of movies: Dogfight, a great little indie flick from 1991 with Lili Taylor and River Phoenix, and the French farce Le Dîner de Cons and the American remake Dinner for Schmucks (thanks to my wife Jenny for the reminder on this one).

24:45 The Big Guy's mascot costume: So satisfying to be able to reasonably surmise that the Big Guy made the WKRP Carp. Our discussion of sports mascots in the late '70s is back in HMOTD 011 Pig vs. Fish. A good episode to listen to if you're new to the podcast, by the way.

26:45 "The Baby": Discussed in our classic "Real Families"/"The Baby" episode with Leah Biel. Definitely for my money the high point of the Arthur/Carmen relationship; Gordon Jump's portrayal of a nervous middle-aged dad-to-be is a near perfect blend of comedy and drama.

28:15 "What'd you think? Little Carmen was trackin' The Moose?" Gotta give Hank the Hunk credit, that's a great turn of phrase. And Alice Nunn's cackle just perfectly brackets this scene, as I mention later.

31:45 Dave's "dumb show for smart people/smart show for dumb people" theory: One of my personal highlights of this episode. I have never liked Frasier, honestly, for just the reasons Dave discusses here. And yeah, MTM shows took the silly sitcom format and did something new and deeper with it, as we've discussed in earlier podcast episodes.

37:38 Alice Nunn: Thanks to Dave for bringing us the genius of Alice Nunn. I had to use the entire Large Marge scene, by the way; it'd be no good without the "tell 'em Large Marge sent ya!" coda. Fun fact: Nunn's first film role was as a nurse in the classic Dalton Trumbo 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun, featured prominently and memorably in Metallica's first-ever music video, for "One" off ...And Justice For All.

41:23 Revenge of the Nerds/college comedies/snobs vs. slobs: Probably my favorite part of the episode is this section talking about the evolution of the underdogs vs. rich kids trope from a reliable standby for comedy to something that leaves us all a little cold. We didn't mention the Deltas in Revenge of the Nerds installing spycams in the goddamn sorority house, or the statutory rape in Animal House... the nerds are the villains now, but maybe they were all along.

43:45 “There are just five or six stories” [Rob:] I just want to salute Dave's confident assertion that there are only five or six basic plots, and "rich skier's Dad buys the mountain and threatens to kick off all the snowboarders" is one of them.

48:05 Bailey wants a computer: Here's a good vintage computer ad of the type I was thinking about, and here's a little of my writing at We Are The Mutants on old Texas Instruments computer books. Do you dig Halt and Catch Fire Season 1-style computer nerds? Check this site from the creators of VisiCalc.

58:38 Diet trends of the '80s: Check this timeline of fad diets: the Scarsdale Diet in '78, Dexatrim came out in '79, Jane Fonda's first video workout in '82, Jazzercise on video in '83, and AYDS got taken off the market in '88 thanks to declining sales for obvious reasons.

1:01:03 Diet pill scares: Here's a fantastic time capsule of a New York Times article from... yes, February 1982, right around the time this episode aired, about the active ingredient in Dexatrim at the time (and about a dozen other diet pills), phenylpropanolamine, or PPA, and a 26-year-old who suffered a stroke from pills containing PPA. PPA was finally banned in 2000 by the FDA after being held responsible for "200 to 500 strokes a year" in people between 18 and 49. Jesus.

1:02:15 "Jogging In A Jug": Nothing bonds any two Americans together quicker than making fun of Canadians. But alas, unlike milk in a bag, Jogging In A Jug is not Canadian; it's actually from Alabama. I like how Rob's defense of it not being Canadian is "It's a real thing!"

1:03:46 "Five hundred and seventy dollars." Damnit, Dave, you tricked us both. I thought this was some kind of obscure background research for Yacht Rock that stuck in your head 12 years later.

1:04:50 "Oh great. A drug expert!" Another L. Ron Bumquist moment, this time from Les.

1:05:30 “As Frank Zappa once said…” [Rob:] I’m sorry Les got cut off here; I wanted to hear what Zappa said! Probably he was going to refer to a PSA Frank made in the late 1960s about the dangers of amphetamine abuse.

1:07:25 "Another Merry Mixup": That title is horrible; it sounds like a lost Looney Tunes cartoon. Here's Jaime Weinman's write-up of the script, and here's a link back to HMOTD 007: Nowhere Band, where we cover the "The cocaine? It's on Carlson's feet!" coke payola episode.

1:08:49 Robert Ridgley: Yeah, I'm a fan. The Colonel James is one of the most delightfully disgusting film characters of the past three decades; I debated whether to use this scene ("Oh, you think so, Doctor?") or the scene where he inspects Dirk Diggler's... er, equipment, but I figured the coke overdose scene fit better with this episode being about drugs. Here's The Secret History of Paul Thomas Anderson with a little glimpse at young PTA being around these foul-mouthed hard-drinking comics and being inspired by them to create his cast of characters for Boogie Nights. Here's Ridgely as Boris; goddamn, Blazing Saddles is STILL funny. If you can stand '60s camp gay stereotypes, here's Ridgely in a commercial outtake from the 1960s. I could've sworn Ridgely had a bunch of cartoon outtakes as well, but I think I was confusing his role as Thundarr with the famous Thundercats outtakes.

1:11:48 Max Wright: Yeah, a tragic tale that does tie in well to our Paul Reubens porn theater episode. And as Dave mentions, if you're a famous dude who needs to stay in the closet in the '80s and '90s, you've got to be dealing with tons of internal conflict. Spoiler alert: we'll be seeing Max Wright's "blue-haired lawyer" character again this season.

1:15:55 Swearing on television in the '80s: Dave's totally right; the impulse to open up the cuss horizons on broadcast TV in the '80s was largely due to HBO's subscriber numbers; here's a good video history of cursing on American TV. And here's the D&D scene from E.T. (also 1982!)

1:18:53 "Turn Your Love Around": Certified ESSENTIAL Yacht hit from George Benson's 1981 hits compilation, The George Benson Collection. Here's the cover to Breezin' , one of my first vinyl purchases in my middle age. He's wearing a Herb Tarlek tux!

Among the rest of the music in this pair of episodes: Midnight Star's "Hold Out" and David Sanborn's "Carly's Song" from the booth scene with Venus, Jackie, and the Big Guy, and "The Old Songs," the Manilow song that Shout! Factory could not get permission for. Lighten up, Barry, sheesh.

1:25:18 End-of-show plugs: Dave's Twitter is at @David_B_Lyons and here's the Beyond Yacht Rock website at Feral Audio.

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