Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Frank Sinatra Birthday Party To-nite!

For those of you in Fort Worth, drop by Ricki Derek's fantastic new club, the Scat Jazz Lounge, for the Frank Sinatra Birthday Party for a ring-a-ding good time. The event is appropriately sponsored by Jack Daniels, the Chairman's drink of choice.

If you haven't been by the Scat Jazz Lounge, check out my review of the opening night festivities at West and Clear.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fort Worth MCM Sale in Wedgwood

Anne Bourland is at 3501 Lawndale, Fort Worth, TX 76133. Wedgwood house has a Heywood Wakefield king bedroom set and (Appliance Porn Alert!) an avocado green fridge. From Southwest Loop 820 exit Trail Lake and go south, staying in the left lane to take Woodway. Go south a mile to Lawndale and turn left. Mapsco 89Z. Hours are Friday and Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-4.

Kaufmann House Up for Auction

The Kaufmann House, a 1946 glass, steel and stone landmark built on the edge of Palm Springs by the architect Richard Neutra, has twice been at the vanguard of new movements in architecture — helping to shape postwar Modernism and later, as a result of a painstaking restoration in the mid-1990s, spurring a revived interest in mid-20th-century homes.

Now it's on the auction block with a presale estimate of $15 million to $25 million.

Such auctions are bringing a new level of scrutiny to a form that, little more than a decade ago, attracted so little notice that the Kaufmann House was being offered for sale as a teardown.

Although some preservationists would prefer that the houses like this one be tended by a public institution or trust that guarantees continued access for architecture students and scholars, one of the owners of the Kaufmann House, Beth Harris, begs to differ.

“It’s an odd thing, but the more money this house goes for, the better it is for preservation in my point of view,” she said. “I think it will encourage other people who have the income to go out and get places like these to restore, rather than just looking for some pretty palace somewhere.”

If it can get people to stop razing MCM houses to build McMansions, I hope she makes a bundle.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

MCM Estate Sale in Dallas

Looks like a good one at 5210 Pershing Street, Dallas, 75206 (Dallas Mapsco 35V). Russel Wright dining suite, Vladimir Kagan coffee table and end table, Samson Burman credenza, a pair of Baughman tub chairs, Heywood Wakefield chest and end tables.

Times are Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Out of the Attic sales take cash, checks and credit cards (for purchases over $50.) And if you want the cool stuff, be there early Friday and be prepared to fight for it -- which is why I probably won't be there.

For a map, click here. For pictures, click here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fort Worth, Meet Ricki Derek

Fort Worth, you may not know Ricki Derek yet, but you will. That's because the Dallas-based jazz singer is coming to Fort Worth in a great big way.

In December, Derek is bringing jazz back to Sundance Square, filling the void left when the old Caravan of Dreams club closed its doors in 2001. His club -- the Scat Jazz Lounge -- located in the basement of the Woolworth Building, will bring sophisticated cool to the heart of Fort Worth.

But who is Ricki Derek? In Dallas, you can catch his show at the Cavern on Sunday nights or the Library Bar on Mondays. Maybe you can see him at one of the many private shows he plays for the hip hipsters -- weddings and such. His sound is Vegas cool swinging Mid-Century jazz. It's east to say he's a little bit of Frank Sinatra, a dash of Tony Bennett. But he really succeeds at being Ricki Derek -- a local original.

So take a few minutes to get to know him before he opens in Fort Worth. Drop by his Web site and listen to his music. My full interview with Ricki is available at West and Clear. Check it out and get hip to this guy's vibe!

Robert Goulet, R.I.P.

I know I am only posting obits right now -- and I promise that will change soon -- but Robert Goulet went to the big casino yesterday. Above is one of my favorite Goulet album covers -- the man lounging in his Plycraft recliner, surrounded in a room wrapped in tin foil. I own that very same recliner, but even if I manage to wrap a room in tin foil, I could never be as suave as that cat.

Thanks for the memories, Bobby.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Lois Maxwell has left the building. My heart breaks!

The plucky Canadian said fewer than 200 words and was on screen for under an hour during her 23 years appearing in Bond films, but I couldn't imagine the series without her.

One of her best moments from Dr No in 1962:

Bond: Moneypenny. What gives?

Moneypenny: Me – given an ounce of encouragement. You never take me to dinner looking like this, James. You never take me to dinner, period.

Bond: I would, you know, only M would have me court-martialled for 'illegal use of government property'.

Moneypenny: Flattery will get you nowhere. But don't stop trying.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Presenting The Goldwaters

Ever heard of these guys? The album is dreadful, but the cover makes me laugh. Believe it or not, I actually found an interview with one of the members on

Sez the site: "In the pantheon of strange political gimmicks, The Goldwaters would have to rank fairly high on the list. Right up there with Michael Dukakis "boxer" action figures. The idea to assemble a conservative folk combo, have them record a bizarre, nearly unlistenable album and then put the group on the road with the 1964 Republican nominee for President was the warped brainchild of the Nashville-based Bates Brothers, Buford and Mark Clark. To fulfill their unique vision, the brothers recruited four kids with moderate musical skills from nearby colleges. The result was the Republican answer to the Chad Mitchell Trio."

If you're hooked, go read more. If not have a laugh and go on your merry way.

Cliff May House in East Dallas

2519 Andrea, Dallas, 75228 -- $175k! Fabulous 50's Mid-Century Modern California Ranch by famous Architect Cliff May, one of only 45 in Dallas. Open floorplan,tons of windows,waterfall in fireplace,remodeled kitchen and baths, great pool, 4 houses from park. For more information, go to

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

James Bond Knockoffs

Although James Bond had his own brand of inimitable cool, there were still those who tried. Count Basie ... NOOOOO!

And then there were those who didn't even have the pedigree. This guy makes George Lazenby look like ... well, look like James Bond.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Man With The Midas Touch

If there is one song that really sounds like the sixties to me, it's Goldfinger. The lush opening orchestration really captures sexiness of the decade. And that's even before Shirley Bassey roars into action.

And as fantastic as this album is, the album below is the exact opposite. I picked this up the other day because how often can you find the Pussy Galore solo album? How bad is it? Unlistenable. But it's hanging on my wall, because Honor Blackman, I'll fly with you anytime. Just don't sing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This Is Why I Go To Estate Sales

My wife found this Russel Wright Pinch tumbler at an estate sale in south Fort Worth yesterday. We already have a ton of Iroquois and we wanted the glasses to go with the plates. However, whenever we found them, they were always priced at about $35 to $45 each. Yesterday, we found 11 for $4. Not each -- $4 for all 11. How sweet it is!

James Bond in ... Thunderball!

I started to do a mondo James Bond post, but I decided to break these up over a few days to make it easier to read. I buy alot of records at estate sales, but I don't really start out to collect something. It just happens. Like the day I found the Thunderball soundtrack album.

Is Connery kickin' it here or what? Underwater scuba ninja fu -- awesome. Of course, then a few weeks later I lucked out and found the Esquire magazine below. But that cover is only the beginning.

These days, can you imagine a celeb being pictured on the cover and not even being discussed inside the magazine. Well, that's what happens here. And, once you get a look, you may not even care. Check these out, then stay tuned tomorrow for ... Gold-fing-ah!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Make Your Own Fallout Shelter

Who needs duct tape and plastic sheeting? Check out this Flick set that includes a scan of a brochure from the Kelsey-Hayes Company, Detroit, MI for their pre-fabricated fallout shelters, circa 1963.

Some of those designs don't exactly look sturdy, but I find it hard to believe that the good people at the Kelsey-Hayes Company would try and profit from the fears of average Americans. Certainly something like that couldn't happen today, thank goodness.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Serge Gainsbourg Moment

Well, not Serge Gainsbourg per se, but a song he wrote in 1965 for France Gall, "Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son." Here's France Gall performing the song for a 1965 Eurovision competition in Luxembourg.

Craigslist Furniture Update

  • Danish Modern Broyhill "Brasillia" Credenza (pictured) - $350: I'm nuts about the Brasilia line. I'd snap this up in a second.

  • Sears Mid Century Danish Modern HiFi Sterio - $450: Cool, but too expensive.

  • Classic 1950's "Baumritter" Mid Century Swivel Chairs! - $495: Very cool and would play nice in an eclectic interior.

  • Sunshine Yellow Broyhill Mid Century Dining Room Set - $2195: Someone call The Brady Bunch. We know who stole their furniture.
  • Sunday, August 12, 2007

    Pimp My Ride -- With A Nuclear Reactor!

    Thanks to Paul for sending me this: Concept cars of the past. That's my next car up there -- the 1961 Ford Seattle. It would have been powered by a nuclear powerplant. Swell!

    Exercise Records

    From the archives, a few of exercise records. Listen, follow the instructions and watch those pounds melt away!

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    Jack Kerouac Awareness Month

    I don't know if it is really Jack Kerouac Awareness Month, but it is the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Road.

    Truman Capote once famously said of On The Road, "That's not writing. That's typing." And if you buy into the beatnik stereotype, you might just believe it. It's easy to imagine Jack sitting there at his typewriter, pounding out the book on one continuous ream of teletype paper, wacked out of his mind on Bennies. But that sells Kerouac a little short. He was a meticulous keeper of notebooks, and his records of his travels provided the foundation for on the road. And although his voice is often parodied as a beatnik caricature, I think the lyrical nature of his work hold up with anyone in the Pantheon of great American writers.

    Although beatniks were often ridiculed as America-hating pinkos, nothing could be further from the truth. Jack Kerouac loves America and it shows in his writing from his descriptions of the great American landscape -- from big cities to small towns, from sea to shining sea -- to unforgetable characters like Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty and Carlo Marx. There's a lot to love about America. And you can find it in this book. Thanks, Jack.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2007

    Craigslist Furniture Update

    Things have been kind of slow on the Craigslist front lately, but there is some interesting stuff available now, like this super-bad Stow Davis desk for $1250 (pictured).

    If you need some cool bedroom or bar furniture, there’s a ton of American of Martinsville available in Garland, including:

  • A bitchin’ bar for $259

  • A chest of drawers for $259

  • A dresser for $259

  • And a nightstand chest for $159

  • Last, there this cool no-name modern Yellow/ Gold Velvet Couch that’s kind of groovy for $100.

    In Defense of Mad Men

    OK, we are two episodes into this thing and I'm starting to latch on to AMC new drama series, Mad Men. I'm getting interested in Don Draper and his philanderings and Peggy Olson's missteps trying to navigate the shark tank that is Sterling Cooper.

    Of course, I dig the MCM trappings of the show. My wife and I spend a lot of our time going, "Wow, look at that!" or "Is that Wegner?" It gets a lot of the period details right. If you want to get a little of the MCM flava, check the link above for an episode 2 sneak peek (episode 3 is tomorrow at 9).

    However, when I look at the comments on the Mad Men blog, it seems not everyone is latching on. More people are bitching about the amount of smoking or whether the IBM Selectric was a 1960 or a 1961. Some don't buy the story as believeable or realistic. Sez one commenter:

    As the son of a Madison Ave creative director, I have to laugh. My dad worked for BBDO during this time and he says the show is complete BS, except that they got the decor of the offices right. Sure they drank and smoked, but the portrayal of how things went is totally overblown. It was an intense, high pressure job and there was alot on the line, but they didnt act that way. He also says that he NEVER heard the term "Mad Men" either. My mom was also a million times more sophisticated than the portrayal of the wife of the ad guy too. It's too bad everyone is buying this. I work in the TV biz myself, so I recognize that in an effort to "dramatize" things, a bunch of suits thought this would be good TV. Well, it seems the critics, who are probably too young to have any reference, bought it hook, line and sinker as well. Well done suits, but too bad its just another unrealistic drama...

    And then there's this guy:
    I worked on Madison Ave fot 2 agencies between 1953 and 1967. At one, i was part of the account team on Lorilard,(kent and newport cigarettes). Later, at Gillette was involv ed with Right Guard.
    Where did mr. Weiner get his data, lots of it is not true. The staff was mostly WW2 vets, some with MBA,s from our GI bill-we worked hard, did not drink in the office and the secretary liasons were infrequent-about the same as in every company where bright, younger people work.we believed in our products and helped build the success that
    these companies became. P.S-no one ever considered Right Guard as a female product-it was the breakthru product for men.
    If your wryers want some unusual stories about agency life in the sixties,
    I 'll be happy to share.

    To which I respond: COME ON ... IT'S A TV SHOW! We are still in the exposition stage -- meeting the characters and establishing conflicts and plot points. Does anyone want to give this show time to develop other than me? And, by the way, this isn't supposed to be a documentary. It's not about how 1960 really was. It's about how we thought it was, and I expect the show to use this context to discuss issues of sex, race and other social attitudes.

    I also expect the show to be less about 1960 and more about 2007. Although it's easy to sit around and watch the casual racism and sexual harassment and feel like things have really changed, I'm thinking that things haven't changed as much as we'd like to believe. Is it a set-up? Where is this show going? I'm curious and I hope enough of you out there give it a chance.

    Stay Tuned!

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    Green MCM Remodel

    I found a pleasant little blog about a couple's re-model of a groovy MCM house in Portland, Ore. -- Green Mid-Century ReModel. They found a nice balance between incorporating new, green technologies and maintaining the period details of the house. And best of all, they have a kick-ass Frigidaire Flair in the kitchen. Check out the virtual walkthrough. It's pretty cool.

    The Next Voice You Hear

    Generation Exploitation had a great post on the 1950 movie The Next Voice You Hear. The premise James Whitmore) is listening to the radio one evening when his regularly scheduled program is suddenly interrupted by the voice of the Christian God. As Generation Exploitation puts it: "One can't help wondering, given the year and the context in which the film was made, if this was MGM's attempt to get the House of Unamerican activities off their back. As in, 'See, we believe in God and America - we ain't no commies!' "

    Of course, the irony of all this is Whitmore is actually an atheist. In a recent interview on XM Radio's Bob Edwards Show, Whitmore told Bob about how he grew up a very pious young man, an altar boy. However, after serving as a Marine officer through some of the worst fighting in the Pacific, Whitmore came home a changed man. He said that after seeing the things he saw in the war, there was no way he could believe in God anymore. Kind of sad, but it makes an interesting story.

    Oh, and another piece of Whitmore trivia -- he played football at Yale, where his coach was his future President Gerald Ford. I remember Whitmore saying that they were related somehow, but I can't find any attribution for this.

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    Anybody Want Pancakes?

    One of my all-time favorite album covers -- combining my love of children's television in breakfast foods in one tasty combo.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Happy Birthday, Bakelite

    It's graced everything from Kodak cameras to Russian World War II fighters and as of this month, Bakelite turns 100. In July 1907, Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland applied for a U.S. patent on a substance he dubbed Bakelite, the first "true" synthetic plastic. For more information on our little plastic friend, listen to this NPR segment on Bakelite, starring my old prof from the University of Texas Jeff Meikle, a plastics expert.

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    1535 Junior Drive, Oak Cliff - $775k

    A nicely updated ranch in the 75208. EXCELLENT kitchen update! Sea grass wallpaper! Lots of original details! Bravo!

    TIVO Alert! "Mad Men" To-nite!

    AMC's new MCM drama Mad Men starts tonight at 9 Central. The buzz is good. Mi amigo Robert Philpot is raving about it. Will it make me forget The Sopranos? Give some Eames loungers, bullet bras and decent plots lines and you're on your way!

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Dick Cheney: The Formative Years?

    There have been a few posts lately on Boing Boing about whether certain cartoons may have shaped the world view of our Vice President. Look and decide for yourself.

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    MCM Municipal Architecture in Fort Worth

    I'm borrowing this from a post on my other blog -- The Caravan of Dreams. It's my reaction to the Fort Worth AIA list of their 25 favorite buildings in Fort Worth. There's a few MCM gems on there -- the Amon Carter, Casa Manana, the Kimbell, the Marty Leonard Chapel and the Paul Rudolph-designed Anne Bass Residence. But I wanted to reflect on the merits of one overlooked aspect of Mid-Century Architecture, not just in Fort Worth and Dallas, but everywhere -- Municipal Government MCM. Here's one of my favorites right here in Fort Worth:

    Fort Worth Public Health Building, 1800 University Drive, Fort Worth: I know it may not be sexy, but I have a soft spot for Mid-Century Modern municipal architecture, the sort of postwar government modernism that you are familiar with whether you grew up in the US or Europe. I don't know who designed it, and I guess it really doesn't matter. I love the glass, the brick, the angles and -- what is that? -- green marble? I don't know. There just something kind of optimistic about it. And I believe (but I'm not certain) that it has a date with the wrecking ball. (If someone out there knows for sure, please comment.)

    However, I couldn't imagine this building holding off demolition for long. As Fred Bernstein wrote in an article for The New York Times in 2004, this style of architecture may be loved by some, but not by most: "In a society otherwise enamored of the styles of the 1960s, the architecture of that decade is rarely loved and frequently reviled. All over the country, '60s buildings are being torn down while much older buildings survive. Functional problems, like leaky roofs and inadequate heating systems, are often to blame."

    Yes, it's mostly a matter of dollars and cents, but taste also has something to do with it. Bernstein continues: "But just as often, the buildings are simply disliked by institutions that have enough money to replace them."

    This building and others like it may yet have their day, but I'm not expecting them to endure like the Courthouse and Post Office. This style is just not as easy for most people to love. And like many, many examples of Mid-Century Modern Architecture around the Fort Worth and Dallas area, I expect most of them to be gone before most people think preservation is important.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Appliance Porn for Thursday

    Looks a little worn and over-priced, but here it is. 1949 Chambers model 90C, bought new and still in use. One owner and used in only 2 locations. Good condition and easily restorable. Color: white. Asking $900.00, OBO. Stove is in Waco, TX. See the DMN for details.

    Great MCM Estate Sale in Lancaster

    And they have a Frigidaire Flair! Lots of tiki/bamboo style furniture. Looks like a treasure trove of kitsch! 508 S. Dallas Avenue, Lancaster, TX 75146. Runs Thursday through Saturday, 9a-5p. See thee DMN for more details.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Superman Is A Dick

    Hey, I don't make this stuff up, I just point you to it. This whole Web site -- -- is devoted to examples of Superman being ... well, being a dick.

    Now, mind you, I've never thought of Superman is particularly being a dick. And I gotta say, if he wants to use his superpowers to ruin Pat Boone's career -- well, I'm kind of OK with that. He can use his heat vision to melt his white shoes, use his super strength to crush his silly little baby guitar. Go ahead. I'm fine with it. Really.

    If that's being a dick, I say fine. Let me be a dick. I'm good with that.

    Stop-Motion Green Giant

    Those old Jolly Green Giant ads I remember from the 1970s were kind of cool. This one from the 1950s ... it's just kind of scary.

    Monday, July 9, 2007

    MCM MB in FW

    I'm not usually one to go ga-ga for vintage wheels -- that's a level of bread and expertise I do not possess. However, this here 1963 Mercedes-Benz sedan is a something I've never experienced before -- a Mercedes with tailfins. It's available from European Motor Cars on White Settlement Road in Cowtown.