Happy birthday, Swanson TV dinner!

September 10th, 2009, 1:57 pm by Greg

That’s right, boys and girls. It was 56 years ago today that the Swanson TV dinner was introduced, forever changing the face of American convenience food.

That first Swanson TV dinner included turkey, cornbread dressing, peas and sweet potatoes, all together in one tin package with dividers for each portion of the meal.

Instructions: Pull the tray out of the box, pop it in the oven for 25 minutes at 425°F, and then set it down on the folding stand in the living room so you could eat dinner and watch your favorite television show at the same time. That’s right, vintage multi-tasking…

The cost: The first Swanson TV Dinners sold for 98 cents.

Sales: The company figured that they would probably sell about 5,000 TV dinners in the first year. But in fact, they sold 10 million.


Jingle Jangle

June 22nd, 2009, 9:55 am by Sara

Posting and communications will be sporadic today, since we (that would be Greg, me, two dogs and a very annoyed cat) are going to be nomads for most of the afternoon as we wait for Nippertown Central to be fumigated for a startlingly large infestation of carpenter ants.

Because I have been singing this jingle to myself all weekend and feel an overwhelming need to share, I present to you the Catseye Pest Control song:

Catchy little number, eh? Definitely earworm material, and the only way to get rid of an earworm is to replace it with something else. So here ya go – my favorite commercial jingle (seriously, it’s a pop masterpiece):

Daisy Daisy sour cream
fresh and tasty naturally
a dip for your and a dollop for me
Daisy just goes with family
so do a dollop, do do a dollop of Daisy…
things taste better with a dollop of Daisy
so do a dollop, do do a dollop of Daisy…

Okay, perhaps I have a higher tolerance for silly pop songs than most but Greg and I have joked for years about the band we’re going to start that will only perform covers of commercial jingles for local businesses. Some of our favorites are:

Waterslide World (I really like the way you….what? I can never make out that last word.)

Window World (sounds like Pat Benatar passionately claiming “Simply the best for less..”)

Aird Dorrance (earnestly proclaiming “when it’s worth doing right”)

What’s your favorite local commercial jingle?

I’ll be off to Tipperary in the mor…

June 17th, 2009, 10:26 am by Sara

Am I the only one who notices these things? Three odd local commercials:

Tipperary Trading in Brunswick manages to cut off the last syllable of a fine and famous Irish song that leaves me hanging a half-step above musical resolution and shouting “NING! NING! IN THE MORNING!” at the television.

“Dick Wood for Quick Response here…I don’t need a script to tell you how professional they are…” and then he throws away the script and keeps walking down the street. Dude, you just littered in front of thousands of viewers.

And am I the only one who finds Price Chopper’s Triangle Man completely creepy? He’s got that unwavering grin on his face. He’s only got four fingers. but the thing that squicks me out the most is the way his gloves are rolled up at his wrists. It’s all a little too Mickey Mouse for me, and Mickey Mouse belongs in cartoons, not in live action. If I were a kid, this would give me nightmares.

Although on second thought this is pretty creepy, too.

Although on second thought this cartoon is pretty creepy, too.

Birds duet, bees duet…

June 16th, 2009, 11:03 am by Greg

“Can You Duet?”

That’s the name of the singing talent contest that kicks off its second season on cable channel CMT at 8pm Saturday, June 20. Now we here at Nippertown have been very, very reluctant to tip our hat to reality TV because, well, let’s admit it, it’s a sickness.

But we’re going to make an exception for “Can You Duet?” because the lovely and oh so talented Avalon Peacock is in the competition. The daughter of the always bold and adventurous vocalist Annette Peacock, Avalon first caught our attention singing in the Woodstock alt-country band Mechanical Bull. We heard her on the album. We saw her play live at the Bearsville Theater and again at Tess’ Lark Tavern. We were sold. She’s got the goods.

She’s also quite a fine photographer, whose work frequently livened up the pages of Chronogram.

So she auditioned for “Can You Duet?” with Mechanical Bull’s other vocalist and primary songwriter Chase Pierson. But the show’s judges – Scott Borchetta, Big Kenny Alphin and Naomi Judd – split them up and paired Avalon up with Nashville singer Ryan Larkins.

We’re not giving away any secrets when we let you know that Ryan and Avalon end up being selected as one of the ten final couples in the competition. The question is how far can they go? After all, Avalon is obviously not your typical aspiring Nashville singer. Her CMT bio states that her musical influences are Jeff Buckley, Bjork, Etta James and Elbow – and none of their music videos are ever gonna slip into rotation on CMT.

Good luck, Avalon. Nippertown is rootin’ for ya.

Handy Information

May 11th, 2009, 1:51 pm by Sara

The Best Way To Blow Up A TV

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanCaffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesCapital District Habitat For Humanity