New cyber book serves up a taste of cocktail culture via insightful interviews

Related: Eclectic podcasts broadcast the soundtrack to the Tiki revival

If you look hard enough, you’ll find many cool podcasts that offer an unfiltered and independent view of the real world. A previous post profiled some of the top podcasters covering the wide spectrum of the Tiki revival.

Beyond the music, the highlight of great podcasts are the interviews with characters and insiders that you typically don’t get via commercial outlets. Perhaps the most prolific and eclectic interviewer is Koop Kooper, whose weekly Cocktail Nation podcast covers the wide world of “all things hep, swingin’ and swank.”

Cocktail Nation - the Interviews

The music on Kooper’s show runs the gamut from lounge to exotica to jazz, with detours into many other subgenres. But the smooth Australian cyber DJ’s true forte are the interviews with luminaries and pioneers from the world of cocktail culture. Like the music, these quick but insightful Q&A’s are wonderfully eclectic: comedian/satirist Shelley Berman, lounge music revivalists The Martini Kings, 21st century crooner Jimmy Vargas, South Florida’s own Marina the Fire-Eating Mermaid.

To find past interviews, you could explore the archive of 200 Cocktail Nation podcasts, which is highly recommended if you have the time. But if you enjoy reading at your leisure, just download the new e-book, Cocktail Nation – the Interviews, and browse the many “gassin’ interviews and cool pixeramas.”

The list of subjects in the book includes a who’s who of the cocktail and lounge scene: Eddie Nichols of swing revival pioneers Royal Crown Revue, mid-century bongo master Jack Constanzo, groundbreaking lounge revivalists Combustible Edison, Tiki cocktail author Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, acclaimed artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker, and more.

Kooper seems to know exactly what to (and what not to) ask of his colorful subjects. It’s a great read for both newbies to the scene and those cool cats who think they know everything. Check it out, and stay hep.

Official Cocktail Nation site | Preview or order the book from Amazon

About Hurricane Hayward

A professional journalist and Florida resident for more than 30 years, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward shares his obsession with Polynesian Pop and other retro styles on his blog, The Atomic Grog. Jim's roots in mid-century and reto culture go back to his childhood in the 1960s, when he tagged along with his parents to Tiki restaurants and his father's custom car shows. His experience in journalism, mixology, and more than 20 years as an independent concert promoter make him a jack-of-all-trades in the South Florida scene. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Jim is a longtime web producer for The Palm Beach Post. In his spare time, he has promoted hundreds of rock, punk, and indie concerts under the Slammie Productions name since the early 1990s. In 2011, he launched The Atomic Grog to extensively cover events, music, art, cocktails, and culture with a retro slant. Jim earned his nickname by virtue of both his dangerous exotic drinks and his longtime position producing The Post's tropical weather website.
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