2-Pack: Garadise Slingshot 2200mAh Power Bank/Car Chargers

  • You get two of these slingshot-shaped double-charging triple threats: power bank with two USB ports, car adapter, and flashlight
  • 2200 mAh is enough juice for a full charge on your phone; 2A is enough juiceflow to keep your tablet alive
  • We applaud the manufacturers for their creativity in thinking up situations where the forked shape might be useful
  • Not recommended for actual slingshotting
  • Model: PB01-B (such a variety of Google results for this model number: a TV chassis, a guitar tuner, an ATV carburetor, an enzyme, a package of replacement paddle balls… so where’s the Garadise charger?)
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The World Inside the Paradise Garage: A Playlist

Hey, Meh writer @JasonToon here. I assume the Garadise people were going for a combination of “gadget” and “paradise” when they chose their goofy name. Seems a little on the grandiose side for a company that makes chargers and whatnot, even oddly shaped ones like these.

But what it makes me think of is the Paradise Garage. Open from 1977 to 1987, this New York club and its DJ mastermind, Larry Levan, stood right at the intersection of New York’s disco, gay, art, punk, and hip-hop scenes, exactly where the underground met the mainstream and created the new mainstream. All of those currents came together in Levan’s epic playlists and, later, his own productions.

I am no expert on this scene, and it has been thoroughly documented elsewhere. I won’t even pretend to know enough to put together a definitive Paradise Garage greatest hits. Instead, by browsing the playlists compiled here and here, I’ve cherrypicked twelve songs (also compiled in a YouTube playlist so you can let the music play) that reflect the awesome sweep of Levan’s musical appetite, and the various strands of 20th century pop culture that mingled in the Paradise Garage.

War - “Galaxy” (1977)
Like the rest of the early '70s funk brigade, the band behind “Low Rider” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” moved with the discofied times. And I do mean moved.

Nature Zone - “Porcupine” (1976)
The family vocals on this studio-only creation are by Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson. That crazy effected bass is played by Will Lee, who later joined Paul Shaffer in David Letterman’s house band on both NBC and CBS.

Gene Chandler - “Get Down” (1978)
Incredibly, the same Gene Chandler who sang “Duke of Earl” was still at it in the age of disco, scoring a string of club hits like this monster.

The Clash - “The Magnificent Dance” (1980)
The UK punks were among the first to meet funk, disco, and hip-hop on its own territory. Their reward was massive NYC radio and club airplay for this remix.

Eddy Grant - “Living on the Frontline” (1978)
He started in '60s rock/soul band the Equals, and eventually topped the charts around the world with “Electric Avenue”. In between, Eddy Grant recorded some prime electro-reggae.

Prince - “Just As Long As We’re Together” (1978)
Just some weirdo from Minneapolis who caught some ears with this sharp but lush disco number, and then turned into one of the most influential pop stars in music history.

Warp 9 - “Nunk” (1982)
“Nunk” is short for “New Wave Funk”. This sci-fi themed trio was as responsible as anyone for the crossover between the two styles that would rule the hip-hop sound and the pop charts for the rest of the decade.

Ann-Margret - “Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes” (1981)
The manic pixie whip-kitten and Elvis costar unexpectedly unleashed a few disco hits in the late '70s and early '80s. No doubt her campy '60s image helped the gay audience take notice, but the music was no joke.

Talking Heads - “Slippery People (12” Mix)" (1983)
Talking Heads were also early to the crossover party: they were old hands at this new-wave-disco thing by the time this hit the decks at the Garage.

Yoko Ono - “Walking on Thin Ice” (1980)
What the hell: for some of you I’m already walking on thin ice with all this disco, so I might as well include the most unjustly maligned woman in pop history. Along with its propulsive musical merits, this also happens to be John Lennon’s final performance, and the song he was clutching a tape of when he was murdered.

Captain Rapp - “Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It)” (1983)
New York was the birthplace of hip-hop, so of course Levan’s DJ sets were liberally sprinkled with the early Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambataa, and Whodini jams. But the Garage also jumped on West Coast hip-hop with this answer record to “The Message”, produced by future platinum hitmakers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.

Madonna - “Everybody” (1982)
And speaking of platinum hitmakers, we close with the performer who made the most out of the distinctive NYC mixture of rhythmic disco hedonism and art-punk provocation. “Everybody” is hardly Madonna’s best song, but it shows her first steps toward spinning that sound into mainstream gold.

So there we are. From Elvis to the Beatles, from the Duke of Earl to Prince, from David Byrne to David Letterman: twelve tracks that sit one or two degrees away from almost everything cool from the second half of the 20th century. And you don’t even have to know any of that history to recognize that they sound like pure cool.

I’m sure Garadise didn’t have the Paradise Garage in mind when they chose that goofy name. And I’m glad, because then they might have chosen a different one and I’d never have had the chance to do this playlist.

The party goes on forever with our vast archive of weekend playlists:

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