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Web Video / Yacht Rock

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Yacht Rock is an 12-part series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American Soft Rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Created by JD Ryznar, Hunter D Stair and Lane Farnham, it is one of the most successful projects to come out of Channel101.

J. D. Ryznar and Hunter D. Stair devised the series after noticing the incestuous recording careers of such bands as Steely Dan, Toto, and The Doobie Brothers and the singer-songwriters Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. For example, McDonald co-wrote Loggins' "This Is It" and Loggins co-wrote McDonald's band The Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes" and also performed backing vocals for several other 'yacht rock' artists, including Steely Dan and Christopher Cross. Yacht Rock's episodes were "hosted" by "Hollywood" Steve Huey, a legitimate music critic for Allmusic. It should be noted that the term "Yacht Rock" is never used throughout the series by any characters except for by Huey during his introductions, instead it is always referred to as "Smooth Music". The look of the series was the responsibility of the show's editor Lane Farnham.

The storyline of the series employs a non-linear chronology, jumping back and forth in various points in time. Also, Space.

After the series became a web hit, the term yacht rock was retroactively popularized as the genre name for the style of soft rock featured in the show, marked by high production values, Jazz Fusion and R&B influences, and lyrics about romantic longing and personal follies, acting as an American equivalent to the Sophisti-Pop and City Pop scenes in the UK and Japan, respectively. Ryznar and Stair further specified their definition of the term as encompassing usage of upbeat rhythms, prominent usage of electric piano, and a reliance on elite producers and musicians from Los Angeles. Owed to their discontent with what they saw as the label's dilution, the pair went on to host two podcasts — Beyond Yacht Rock and Yacht or Nyacht? — in which they debate whether individual songs count as being part of their definition of the genre.

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