Beyond Yacht Rock

The guys who made the internet show Yacht Rock talk about music other than Yacht Rock.


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The Host

JD Ryznar is a Hollywood writer. He knows very little about music, but enjoys imagining elaborate scenarios inspired by popular songs.

David B Lyons is a Hollywood Location Manager. He knows a little about music, but feels the need to compartmentalize genres, then rank them.

Hollywood Steve Huey is a former staff writer for, a former talking head for VH1, and currently the only unmarried man on this podcast.

Hunter Stair is from Flint, MI.


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Hollywood Steve goes mainstream with the top ten paranoid, coke-fueled hits that flooded the airwaves leading up to Orwell’s year of 1984.

Show Notes

Intro song: “Who Are The Brain Police?” by Frank Zappa (Amazon)

- Frank Zappa album “Freak Out” (listen)
- CountercultureAnti-Communist Propaganda
- Big Brother dictatorship
- NSA is the “brain police”
- Edward Snowden
- “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell
- Ronald Reagan bringing the heat to Cold War
- Pablo Escobar bringing cocaine to the U.S.
- Hollywood Steve is the only one wearing purple



Yacht Rock Bone Throw: “Mornin’” by Al Jarreau (Amazon)

- A pop-jazz artist (p-jazz)
- Al Jarreau album “Jarreau” (listen)
- Produced by Jay Graydon
- Jay Graydon’s guitar solo in “Peg” by Steely Dan
- Co-written by David Foster (Foster and Graydon’s band Airplay)
- Video for “Mornin’” (seriously, watch this)
- Bill Cosby “was kind of always an asshole”
- Theme to “Moonlighting” by Al Jarreau



George Orwave:
Example song (contextual): “Orwell’s Year” by Golden Earring (Amazon)
Example song (sound): “Pressure” by Billy Joel (Amazon)

George Orwave centers around 1984, of course, and the paranoia felt by people leading up to the year 1984, a paranoia that somewhat mirrored that of Orwell’s famous 1948 novel. President Reagan’s Star Wars elevated tensions with the Soviet Union, making people believe nuclear war was inevitable. Add to that advances to cocaine, making it more affordable in America, and you have a toxic formula for insane fear that bled into all forms of culture.

Since this schizophrenia manifested in the mainstream (thanks to politics and society) from the late 1970s to 1985, the songs of George Orwave are mostly top-40 and generally new wave, as they’re typically built on synthesizers and other “jagged” sounds that reflect paranoia. Minor chords and staccato rhythms or notes are also standard. The narrator may feel his paranoia is real, or that someone is gaslighting him, or maybe he’s out of his mind, or even that his partner is sleeping with someone else.

The genre ends in 1985, as nothing too bad actually happened, the Soviet Union began to fold and the War on Drugs beat back the wave of cocaine.

- “The Morning After”
- “Red Dawn”
- “Dirty Harry”
- Candy Crush
- Nancy Reagan
- Len Bias (watch)


Bumpers by Ron Estrada.


10. “Silent Running (on Dangerous Ground)” by Mike + the Mechanics (Amazon)

- About 25% a Moonshot
- The movie “On Dangerous Ground,” written by the director of “Tentacles”
- The movie “Silent Running” starring Bruce Dern
- Mike Rutherford leads this band (also of Genesis)
- Video for “Silent Running”
- Paul Carrack, who sang on “How Long” by Ace and “Tempted” by Squeeze


9. “Der Kommissar” by After the Fire (Amazon)

- “Der Kommissar” by Falco (is German slang for cocaine)
- Also a Try-n-Rap
- Dee Dee King
- Peter “Memory” Banks and Peter Banks of Yes
- “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes (not “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom    Petty)
- “CHA!” (the killing word in “Dune”also a go-to vocal filler for Sting)
- Video for “Der Kommissar”
- A terrible Hall & Oates greenscreen video. Here’s another.


8. “Mirror in the Bathroom” by the English Beat (Amazon)

- American band The Beat (Paul Collins)
- Foster’s
- Oingo Boingo
- Sultry sax
- A mirror is the enemy of acid
- J.D. was on “American Dad” (opening scene [Caller 10])


7. “Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart (Amazon)

- Video for “Sunglasses at Night”
- Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Tom Cochrane
- “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics
- “Beat It” by Michael Jackson


6. “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men at Work (Amazon)

- Men at Work album “Business as Usual” (listen)
- “Down Under” by Men at Work (first No. 1 song)
- Buildings in Sydney are far apart
- Australia has deadly animals (like the death adder)



50 States in 50 Podcasts: West Virginia
“Watching You Watching Me” by Bill Withers (Amazon)

Other artists from West Virginia:
- Frankie Yankovic (not related to this guy)
- Fred “Sonic” Smith of MC5

Other references:
- “America’s armpit” is actually New Jersey
- The world’s largest sycamore tree
- Slab Fork, W.V.
- “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers
- Hank Williams died in Oak Hill, W.V.
- Bill Withers album “Watching You Watching Me” (listen)
- About Bill Withers’ “blaxperts” quote
- John Denver (home is not West Virginia



5. “Making Plans for Nigel” by XTC (Amazon)

- Check out the XTC catalog. Seriously.
- “Making Plans for Nigel” by Primus
- Produced by Steve Lillywhite
- “Gated reverb” (example)
- Suicidal Tendencies
- Divorcecore
- “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest


4. “Private Eyes” by Daryl Hall & John Oates (Amazon)

- Pulled a Dave Lyons by putting the best song at No. 4
- “Kiss is on My List” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
- “Every Breath You Take” by the Police
- The SteveHole
- Sara Allen, Daryl’s girlfriend, co-wrote this song; Allen’s sister co-wrote the music
- Also a Nyacht Rock song
- Again, a terrible Hall & Oates music video


3. “Eye in the Sky” by the Alan Parsons Project (Amazon)

- Soma
- Parsons was the audio engineer of the Pink Floyd album “Dark Side of the Moon”
- Yes going pop; Genesis going pop
- Concept album about Edgar Allen Poe poetry (listen)
- “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project
- “Sirius” as used by the Chicago Bulls


2. “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick (Amazon)

- Cheap Trick is from Rockford, Ill.
- Cheap Trick album “Dream Police” (listen)
- Cheap Trick album “At Budokan” (listen)
- “Marina Rock”
- Ouroboros (snake eating its own tail)


1. “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell (Amazon)

- Michael Jackson is on the song
- Rockwell is son of Motown head Berry Gordy
- “One Night in Bangkok” by Murray Head
- On the pilot of “Miami Vice”
- Quincy Jones (his daughter Rashida)
- Mel Blanc


Other proposed genre songs:
- “Rumors” by Timex Social Club
- “Jeopardy” by the Greg Kihn Band
- “Destroyer” by the Kinks
- “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

- Parker’s songs are about cheating
- Parker stealing the bassline from Huey Lewis & the News’ “I Want a New Drug”
- “Rocky IV” (Drago!) ended George Orwave


- Yacht Rock video series
- Hosts: JD Ryznar (Twitter), “Hollywood” Steve Huey (Twitter), David Lyons (Twitter), Hunter Stair (Twitter)
- Yacht Rock on Twitter; Yacht Rock on Facebook; Beyond Yacht Rock on iTunes; Yacht Rock website