Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Interview • daydreaming • inspiration • kitsch • event

Let’s Play Swinging JiveCat Voodoo Lounge – A Retro Board Game

Game designer Seth Roback was raised in 1970s southern California and was considerably influenced by Disneyland, Googie architecture, and Jay Ward cartoons. Today, Roback resides in Seattle and has taken his love of mid-20th century pop culture and turned it into his first board game, Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, which is currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter. Here’s what he had to say when he discussed his...

Back To The Bricks with Flint Foto Factory
Written by Patricia Greenwood in Inspiration

Back To The Bricks with Flint Foto Factory

Every Mid-August for the past five years, Joe Dennis, creator of Flint Foto Factory, leaves his day job and his Chicago home to enjoy the week long Back To The Bricks Festival in Flint, Michigan, his hometown. Flint is best known as the prototype for the rise and fall of the American auto industry and is often cited as an example of the economic downward...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

Libations 101
The Cocktail Nation on November 12th, 2017

Podcast #471: Libations 101

Skate Crate – Taking Skateboarding Back to the 1950s

Roll down the sidewalk like you own the town with the retro inspired Skate Crate. Modern design meets the roots of skateboarding. Skate Crate takes skateboarding’s original concept of a 2×4 with metal wheels and a fruit crate and fuses it with modern designs and components, creating a smooth ride and stylish mode of transportation. The initial product line includes both easy-to-build and decorate DIY kits...

Guitar Legend: Al Viola
Written by Guest Writer in Interview

Guitar Legend: Al Viola

In 1992, I was performing extensively under the stage name Jimmy Ross through Orange and Los Angeles Counties as a solo pianist/vocalist entertainer and occasionally in jazz trio and quartet settings. I had just started a double emphasis graduate program in piano and vocal performance at California State University. I was performing two nights a week across the street from where Diana Krall was performing,...

Merry Retro Christmas to You All
Written by Christopher Alm in Inspiration

Merry Retro Christmas to You All

The Holiday season is upon us, so it is time to pull out all those swanky and kitschy retro christmas advertisements from the past! These hand drawn illustrations are so awesome. Produced in mid century America they perfectly depicts the happy-go-lucky mentality of those decades. Which one do you like the best? From all of us, to all of you – Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah...

Christmas with Barbie 1964 to 1968
Written by Patricia Greenwood in Inspiration

Christmas with Barbie 1964 to 1968

I was five years old when my mom showed me an advertisement for Mattel’s Barbie doll wearing that iconic black and white bathing suit, which had already been out since the late 50s. It was my first memorable exposure and I was immediately taken in by the grown up looking doll. That Christmas I received my first “Barbie,” though I’m pretty sure she was a...

None of These Cars is Real – Would You Believe They are Models?

It sure looks real doesn’t it? It could very well be photos from a 1950s advertisement trying to promote the latest model of a car or pristine time capsule that were just discovered. But none of what you see is actually real. Michael Paul Smith from New England, USA is a model car enthusiast and photographer and creator of these fun and highly detailed photos...

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