Sunday, June 17, 2012

Swank-A-Rama @ Rocket Century

I apologize for missing yesterday and the day before, I was away from an internet connection (how could that be in today's constantly-connected wi-fi society? How, you ask? I don't use smartphones, but that may be changing...stay tuned) at the abovementioned mid-century event in sunny (more on that miserable fact later as well) south St. Louis, Missouri, and busy preparing for the event the day before.

My cohort sheltie dave notified me a couple weeks ago that we'd be setting up stereo gear at Rocket Century for their multi-vendor sale, and to amass some sellable (period correct) stereo gear to display, demonstrate and sell. There were 20 or so dealers from all over the country, and buyers as well. It was an early start, at dawn, literally, and everyone was there and ready to exhibit at 7 am!

The day was incredibly hot (if they'd held it in May I wouldn't have gotten my Rock Lobster tan!) and I got a nasty facial sunburn that has erupted in swollen bags under my eyes today! Not as sore as it was yesterday, it's still tender and bright fricking red! Sunscreen never dawned on me for a moment, but at least I figured to wear long pants, and my legs are thanking me now...

The best part of Swank-A-Rama was that I got to DJ the event with lots of Les Baxter, Esquivel, Arthur Lyman, and other period-correct exotica/space age bachelor pad tunes, that went over very well with the hipster crowd. I brought my Pioneer SX-636, AR-XA, AR4X speakers (reviewed in previous posts), and some stuff to sell as well. The tunes were supplied via high definition lossless computer files (with an extensive how-to on that to follow), and the sound quality was superb. No lousy lossy mp3 here! I refuse to present that crap as music live, even to a non-paying crowd, and the effort was well worth it! We and all present were marveling at how wonderful the AR4X's sounded, with prodigious bass and clear, crystal-clear highs. Overall, it was the cleanest, loudest sound I've ever gotten outdoors, for the scale of the event (midday St. Louis city, trying to integrate well with the neighborhood and so forth)! Usually I'm using a big PA to cover a much larger crowd and space, but this was perfect with a 25-watt-per-channel Pioneer and AR speakers, with 8" woofers and a 1" cone tweeter on an L-pad. I used no loudness control, and 7 out of 10 on the bass and flat on the treble for tone controls. The volume never exceeded half on the Pioneer!

I met lots of nice people, had a great time, and saw lots of mid-century furnishings and ephemera. Rocket Century is housed in an industrial setting, a four-story warehouse, and their interior was resplendent with every 50's-type interior design acoutrement you could imagine. In-stock items at Rocket Century currently include a nice Rock-Ola Jukebox and vintage pinball machine, both of which saw service virtually all day. I saw more vintage kitchen sets, more kidney-shaped coffee tables, area rugs, groovy lamps, and swank, decorative bar units and room dividers for sale and perusal than I'd ever seen in one place before. Pop and op art work for sale was displayed hung on a number of high metal strips, on cables and eye hooks for easy retrieval with a hook on an extension pole (like an extension paint brush you'd use to paint your ceiling).

All in all, the day was an amazing experience, give or take the Rock Lobster tan! What a painful mess! Me and aloe vera are best friends right now!

Tomorrow it's back to audio and music, so keep our tubes hot and your antenna up! See you then!

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