Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bachelor Pad: Cheesy or Funky?

I got caught up in the neo-lounge musical movement of the early 2000's. This music, championed by the 18th Street Lounge label, was referred to as the new bachelor pad music. Lounge music, which always had roots in easy-listening rhythms such as bossa-nova, jazz, and mod-bubblegum-pop, was now being "remixed" with world music samples (Thank you Angela) and downtempo beats. You've heard this from Thievery Corporation, The Blue States, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Tosca, etc.

Needless to say though, it is not very good music. Much of the original music that is sampled is decent; but the remixes typically either ruin the song, or do not do enough to change the music for it to be a true re-mix. Also, there is a very fine line between some of these lounge grooves and smooth jazz, which is unequivocally the worst type of music on the planet Earth. The reason really why I think that 'lounge music' became repopular again is because it is easy to listen to, typically has a good beat, and the good stuff samples very obscure music - thus giving the listener the double ego-boost of feeling both hip and elite. I recall the bar staff at Dino's all jerking each other off when The Last Man in Babylon was released.

Contrary to popular belief, "bachelor pad" music is what single dudes play when they are single because no one else wants to hear that garbage (in addition to the music being so sexually charged that he ends up gaining steam for his sexually frustrated engine). But, people think that its hip to play at dinner parties. Needless to say, I decided against submitting any downtempo albums and decided to go a different way with my bachelor pad post. I am submitting two albums this month, each of which would be amusing to play at a different types of dinner parties.

The first is the type of album that you play at your first wine and cheese party after college. Oh you feel so mature because you decided to blow some extra cash and get Trader Joe's wine as opposed to the boxed stuff. Yuck, Pepper Jack and White Cheddar cubes just seem to sophomoric, and you decide to go with Fontina and Jarlsberg. You break out your retro sports coat and call everyone "baby." Adorable, 24 going on douchebag. Cal Tjader Sounds Out Burt Bacharach is actually a fun album when not taken too seriously. Cal Tjader, the latin-jazz vibraphonist interprets the songs of the 60's quintessential pop-music puss hound, Burt "Boner" Bacharach (Thank you Austin Powers). Anyway, the arrangements are impressive and is an enjoyable listen before wanting to kick your own ass later.

The second is the type of album that you play at your first outdoor barbecue with your new friends when you move into the city. Some of your friends may even be (oh my god how exotic!) minorities, and you want to seem hip and urban without trying too hard. The Jukebox 45's by Peanut Butter Wolf may just be the perfect album. PB Wolf is a Nor-Cal hip-hop DJ from the 90's, who like every Nor-Cal hip-hop DJ from the 90's was obsessed with old funk and soul. This album is a compliation of both collaborations that he had made (some of which have rapping) as well as old funk and soul songs that he liked. Ergo, the album has the feeling of a cross-over generational block party that will have your black friends giving you the head-nod of respect, and maybe even a fist pound.

3 Comments:

Blogger lunchbox said...

I apologize, the bar staff at Dino's had a circle jerk to the release of the album, "The Richest Man in Babylon."

Sorry, my mind was somewhere else as I was thinking about the odd-combination of the bartenders who wanted to play Sigur Ros and watch tennis vs. the collegiate clientele who wanted to slam Jaeger shots and yearn for Nassau County.

2:25 PM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger Angela.Lansbury said...

Wasn't this the stuff you played at your restaurant?

And didn't Zack Braff win the http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Central_Ohio_Film_Critics/2005>Central Ohio Film Critics' breakthrough award and something called a 'Grammy,' cause of the soundtrack?

In my mind, Braff set men back 100 years this film and compilation. I mean, I have it, but I didn't buy it.

This music falls into the 'guilty pleasure' category. It's catchy, sparse on lyrics, and tends to impress dumb girls.

God I love dumbe girls.

2:52 AM, November 25, 2006  
Blogger lunchbox said...

Yeah... I played a lot of "bachelor pad" crap in my restaurant to make for a "hip" vibe in my Asian fusion restaurant in an otherwise vapid, "white-trashittude" casino.

I got a lot of complaints from both customers and my superiors (jobwise, not lifewise) regarding hearing DJ Mark Farina, Zero 7, DJ Erlend Oye, and Lemon Jelly while eating their Minced Chicken Lettuce Cups (with a fork and knife).

This music is better.

4:08 PM, November 27, 2006  

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