Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Throwback radio, pocket squares, and some Pete And Pete tunes

Old Time Radio Player app


I am a huge fan of old-time radio, and am hoping that the current podcast surge will help keep this now-faded genre (time of death: 1960) from disappearing completely into the past. Before TV, radio drama spotlighted the best and brightest writers and performers of the day (many movie stars did guest spots on Suspense, and you can find all of Orson Welles’ programs under the Campbell Playhouse category), as well as the now-dormant position of the sound-effects engineer, who could make it storm by waving a sheet of aluminum. Ironically, the advent of today’s technology means that this decades-old art form is now more accessible than ever before. For my daily commute, I’m a big fan of this Old Time Radio Player app for my Android phone. It helpfully lists shows by categories, so depending on my mood, I can start the day with the cheerful Lucille Ball comedy My Favorite Husband, or the always hilarious Jack Benny Show. On my way home, looking for end-of-day distraction, I often dive into an episode of Suspense or The Whistler. Fans of The Twilight Zone will appreciate X Minus One or Inner Sanctum. This free app (one of many, including others for iPhone users) offers so many absorbing possibilities, I’ve missed my stop more than once. [Gwen Ihnat]

Pocket squares

Not a week goes by that I don’t wear a blazer to the office, and although I occasionally dabble in other menswear staples—mostly neckties and oxfords—I’ve been foolishly ignoring the pocket square. That is, until a recent birthday prompted me to buy a proper suit, and I couldn’t imagine it without a pocket square to accompany it. Though I’m admittedly a novice when it comes to this accessory, I’ve read enough men’s magazines to know “the pocket square is the single most indispensable tool for defining… style.” (Thank you, GQ.) I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve tried so far, which includes this Blush Floral number from Fox & Brie. Made in Austin, Texas, Fox & Brie’s products are constructed using a mixture of new, vintage, and dead-stock fabrics, and I especially liked that this square folded in a winged puff gave my suit a feminine touch. I am always looking for more uniquely printed pocket squares and I’m currently coveting this Masks square from Etsy’s Minute Papillons. The owner of this Canadian-based shop places a strong focus on creating pieces that can be worn everyday, not only for special events, and with this square’s winsome design printed in neutral colors, I think it would indeed be perfect for casual wear with the right fold. Speaking of folds, I’ve found that they’re more versatile than tie knots—I’m partial to the Pratt—and I’m excited to continue trying them out in search for my favorite. [Becca James]

Polaris, Music From The Adventures Of Pete & Pete

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of The Adventures Of Pete And Pete. I’ve written about the show extensively, hosted two live cast reunions in New York, and have now, thanks to the grace of God or whoever, become buddies with the Petes and the show’s creators, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi. And so it should come as no surprise that, out of every record available exclusively for this year’s Record Store Day, I’m most excited about the remastered LP reissue of Polaris’ Music From The Adventures Of Pete & Pete. A Mark Mulcahy-fronted band that never got its true due, Polaris makes great, jangly pop tunes, almost all of which are on this one record. Those tracks also happened to soundtrack much of Pete And Pete, giving them additional emotional weight. Kicking right off with “Hey Sandy” and including tracks like “She Is Staggering,” “Saturnine,” and “Waiting For October,” Music From The Adventures Of Pete & Pete is both an exceptionally solid stand-alone project and essential listening for anyone with fond memories of the weird Nickelodeon product. [Marah Eakin]


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