Lounge Gothic – A New Music Genre Begins to Emerge

In the Atomic Age retro scene, there have always been folk with a taste for the gothic. You can thank The Cramps. One of the first punk acts to use the word “gothic” to promote themselves in the 1970s, The Cramps went on to influence what would eventually become the post-punk Goth scene. However, unlike Siouxsie and The Banshees, Bauhaus, and other Goth scene progenitors,...

Appreciating Exotica Jazz
August 12th, 2015 in Music

Appreciating Exotica Jazz

Exotica jazz is no longer well-known to the average joe. It’s a genre of jazz that is based on exotic locales and sounds that emerged after WWII, predominately within the span of the 1950s to mid-1960s. The music was influenced heavily by Asian, tropical islands, South American, and African sounds, whether native beats or sounds of nature. Many men and women musicians emerged after the...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

A Tale of a Pink Flamingo
June 25th, 2015 in Kitsch

A Tale of a Pink Flamingo

I remember the first time I saw the mighty Pink Flamingo formation. It was in front garden of my Aunt’s 1949 Art Deco Home. A spectacular home with a perfect lawn and a distinct late fifties sixties furnishing inside the house and a 1956 Ford Customline in the driveway. The cool thing about all of this was that the year was 1988. Not much had...

Stylish Mid-Century Shopping Malls

I’ve always been a sucker for shopping malls, even as a kid I thoroughly enjoyed going to the mall with the folks. Nowadays most shoppings centers are just loud, generic and boring. Where’s that sense of soul and character? Well fear not, Ultra Swank takes you back to take a look at some of the mid-century gems. Every mid-century mall needs three things; a water...

Stylish Mid-Century Hotels & Motels

Why does even the most standard Hotels and Motels look so much better in mid-century America? It would seem that generally they cared much more about the looks and aesthetics, and making the guest feel right at home. They were often themed and the color schemes could have been copied straight from a Eames chair. Large, buzzing, sometimes Googie inspired signs, advertising a plethora of...

The Grand Budapest Hotel in the 1960s

In Wes Anderson’s latest masterpiece we embark on a journey into the last gasps of the aristocratic life and haute couture of eastern Europe in the late 1920s. This is not just a story of a eccentric Hotelier and his lobby-boy, but a journey into Anderson’s mind, including his trademark symmetrical design and perfected color schemes. The story of the Grand Budapest Hotel is set...

The Challenge of a Vintage Lifestyle in a Twenty First Century

When it comes to living an authentic vintage lifestyle nowadays, I believe it’s a lot harder than when I first started hanging out in the Rockabilly scene in the late eighties. Back then it was easy to avoid technology, it was easier to be separate from the mainstream society. Back then if a buddy pulled out a cell phone or admitted to us that he...

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