Published quarterly, this new magazine examines nostalgic culture and lounge living, perfectly complementing the resurgent interests in rockabilly, swing, and vintage fashions. Fashion seems to be foremost in Modern Lounge , with three features alone devoted to the subject. First is the magazine’s piece de resistance, “Glamour Puss,” a step-by-step vintage makeover. This issue, learn the sultry tricks of the Grande dame of blonde bombshells, Marilyn Monroe. High glamour not your thing? Perhaps then you’d rather get comfortable in a vintage Hawaiian shirt. Tips are shared on what to look for in purchasing one of these oft-ridiculed pieces of Americana. “Pool Side” is a cute little photo spread showing how to mix both classic and current styles.
Searching for more Americana? “Vintage Cadillacs: The Evolution of the Fin” Sunday drives down the byways of yesteryear. “How to Host the Ultimate Tiki Party,” (complete with decorating tips, music recommendations, and yummy recipes) will inspire you to throw your own island-themed shindig. “Say Cheesecake” is a neat article on the history of the pin-up, from the idealistic Gibson girl to the alluring Varga Girls to the reigning queen of pin-ups, Bettie Page. Sadly, there are no actual pin-ups to accompany the piece. However, there is a paper doll (two-sided, so you can dress the back of her as well as the front), with the promise of more fashionable paper attire to follow in future issues.
Regular columns include “On the Hi-Fi” and “Out of the Vault,” reviewing modern and classic music and movies, respectively. “Puff” is a his-and-hers review of a selection of cigars for your smoking pleasure, while “Maitre’d'” spotlights related and noteworthy sites on the web. Another Modern Lounge exclusive, “What would ‘E’ do?” features advice from the King himself!
All that plus an interview with Southern Culture on the Skids!
While the second issue is jam-packed with lots of neat articles, some of the writing itself is less than satisfactory. “The World of Shag” reads like separate paragraphs strung together instead of a cohesive piece (which is a shame, because it turned me on to a new artist.) Most of the articles themselves are not more than one to one and a half pages long, and most of the articles seem to be heavily edited, leaving you to wonder what was taken out. One item that really sticks in my craw is the “Cats With Tats” piece, a short rundown of the history of rockabilly. The sidebar on the article, titled “Bands and Idols” omits a seminal modern band, the Amazing Crowns! Oversights like this make me wonder if the writer really knows what he’s talking about, and this could also reflect poorly on the magazine.
Despite these shortcomings, Modern Lounge is still an enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading future issues.
Modern Lounge, PMB 164, 17328 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, CA 91316; http://www.modernlounge.com