In 2005, I fell in love with a no-budget Web series called Yacht Rock, which debuted on the Channel 101 site and purported to tell the stories of such smooth-pop titans of the late ’70s and early ’80s as Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Hall & Oates.
In no time, Yacht Rock became, in short order, an underground phenomenon, an overground phenomenon, a New York Times-approved neologism, and a Web meme with its own Wikipedia entry. McDonald and Steely Dan, good sports, even paid tribute to the Web series by doing an encore to a show wearing captain’s hats.
I’ve become e-mail-friendly with Yacht Rock’s creative force, JD Ryznar, who alerts me that he is road-showing Yacht Rock and will be screening its webisodes this Sunday evening, September 14, at an East Village saloon called Professor Thom’s. I plan on being there and finally meeting JD in person.
I might add that Ryznar, a droll Polish-American from Muskegon, Michigan, has a wonderful verité series running on YouTube now called Visits with JD Ryznar, in which fellow Channel 101 “stars” join him at his wood-paneled pad in greater L.A. and more or less eat, drink, talk, and vegetate. Probably 75 percent of the pleasure I take in this show is predicated on already knowing these guys from Channel 101, but, aside from that, Visits is actually a sweet, authentic, and occasionally touching (seriously!) glimpse into the lives and friendships of creative but physically inactive white guys in their late twenties and thirties.