We're a geek couple living in PA with our two boys -- Milo and Otis -- who are short, orange, and furry. Oh, and they're the cats we're bookended by! We love movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for December 23, 2016

Snowy Road Wallpaper from psxextreme.com

[The Friday Before Christmas] -- Yesterday was the Friday before Christmas, a huge traveling day. (I should know, I had to wait a short eternity at Philly International for my shuttle). Many people are traveling to see their families (in fact, many already have begun their journeys), and many others need to travel for work, even during this holiday. So, I thought I'd reprise some traveling music I originally posted on December 21, 2012. If you want to know what songs are in this holiday collection, just read and hear more after the break.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for December 16, 2016



[Living All Over] -- I'm doing just a quick post this weekend. But in keeping with my all-to-infrequent theme, I'm looking at this week in 80s music history. And I'm doing that by highlighting an album that was released this week in 1987: You're Living All Over Me by Dinosaur Jr.

Released on December 14, 1987, through SST Records, You're Living All Over Me was Dinosaur Jr.'s second studio album. Dinosaur Jr. was still known as simply Dinosaur when the album was first released, but a lawsuit forced the band to change their name. Shortly thereafter, SST recalled the album and re-released it with attribution to the newly minted Dinosaur Jr. What the album lacked in sales was more than made up for in terms of its legacy. It is considered a classic of the indie and alternative genres, and it also has a place in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (revised and updated edition, 2010). This album isn't big on singles, so how about I just embed a video that has the album's full audio? Yes, let's do just that!

Tracklist:

Little Fury Things 00:00
Kracked 03:07
Sludgefeast 05:58
The Lung 11:15
Raisans 15:06
Tarpit 18:57
In a Jar 23:33
Lose 27:02
Poledo 30:13
Just Like Heaven 35:56




That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for December 9, 2016



[That Was Unusual] -- In October of 1983, Cyndi Lauper released her debut album, She's So Unusual. Since then, Cyndi has become something of an icon for freaks, weirdos, and anyone who just wants to have fun. But just over a year later, on December 8, 1984, Lauper earned her place in music history. It was this week, 32 years ago, that Lauper's fourth single, "All Through the Night," entered the top five on the Billboard Hot 100. That is a feat in and of itself, of course. But the cool thing for for Lauper is that her previous three songs also charted well, with each one breaking into the top five. This made her the first woman in the 26-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have four singles from the same album make it into the top five!

You can read more about that Lauper's record and that moment in the previous link. So, for the rest of this week's Flashback, let's just enjoy the music videos. You can see them after the jump!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for December 2, 2016



[Saccharin is Coming] -- As much as I love 80s music, I can admit that the decade was home to just as much schlock as any other. In fact, the 80s might have more than their fair share of sickeningly sweet -- or maudlin -- songs due to the rise of electronic tools that enabled the talentless to brush shoulders with the much more talented. Hell, it even brought some very talented bands down a notch, as we'll soon see. And this week in 1988 (12/3/1988), three songs of this ilk ruled the Billboard Hot 100. If there was a high school holding a winter dance at all 28 years ago this month, these songs were more than likely to be rotation, assuming it was a DJ'd event. Now, as much as I want you to revisit these songs with me, I feel I must warn you: Any of these tunes could be an ear worm. Your very sanity could be at risk. But, accepting the shadow of our collective past helps us learn and grow. So, if you're ready to recall these chart toppers, read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for November 18, 2016



[Early Huey] -- Before Huey Lewis and the News had their breakout hit with "Do You Believe in Love" in 1982, they released their eponymous debut album in 1980. The band had actually signed their recording contract with Chrysalis Records as Huey Lewis and the American Express. However, due to the label's concerns about litigation by a certain credit card company, the band changed their name to Huey Lewis and the News prior to their first album's release. Their debut album had two singles, but neither of them charted. Nor did the album for that matter. Still, you can hear the combination of doo wop and 80s pop, and see the goodnatured slapsticky humor, that would become staples of the band's reputation through the mid to late 80s. And, yes, I admit: I have a serious soft spot for this album. Read and hear more about it after the break. Maybe you'll come to feel that Huey Lewis and the News is an underrated and unfortunately unappreciated album.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for November 11, 2016

If we hired people the same way we elect them (Non Sequitur, 1/25/2008)


[Post-Election Blues] -- We knew going into Tuesday that, whoever won the 2016 election, it was going to be an historic outcome. And, I must remind my fellow US citizens, that for each person who is disappointed about the results, there is one who is rejoicing. Also, if you add in all the eligible voters who skipped the election, then way more voters did not cast a ballot for your candidate than who cast one for your candidate's opponent. And this applies no matter who got your vote! (If you're confused about how that works, contact me and I'll explain it to you.)

At any rate, how about a few tunes to help us process this latest exercise in what amounts to rearranging deck chairs for this grand experiment called America? Read and hear more about this week's selections after the break. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for November 4, 2016



[Heavy Metal Hippie] -- From 1974 to 1978, German-born Uli Jon Roth was the lead guitarist and primary songwriter for the Scorpions. But near the end of his tenure with the band, Roth was not happy with their commercial direction. So he left them after the 1978 tour. His departure was timely as the Scorpions rocketed to the apex of their heyday after 1978. Given his reason for leaving the band, I'm guessing Roth is OK that he didn't have to deal with the Scorpions' overwhelming commercial success in the 80s anyway.

Upon exiting the Scorpions, Roth formed his own band and named it Electric Sun. They recorded and toured for three albums between 1979 and 1985. Electric Sun's first two records were Earthquake (1979) and Fire Wind (1980). Beyond the Astral Skies ( 1985) was the their third and final album, and Roth retired the band's name in 1986.

Beyond the Astral Skies is also the best known of the trilogy of Electric Sun records. I don't know if that distinction came about because it was the final album, or if it was more due to the record's ensemble nature. But after listening to these records, and seeing some photos and footage of Mr. Roth, I do know one thing: Uli Jon Roth is a heavy metal hippie who fancied Jimi Hendrix and new age cosmic trippiness. From his headband, to his bluesy riffs, to his rough and folky vocals, Roth was something else. And nowhere is this more apparent than on Beyond the Astral Skies. Think of it as a rock opera for the Kumbaya crowd. Or, as Winston Arntz writes, it's "a cross between Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy and eighties hard rock." So, if that description has made you curious what nuggets I've selected for this week's playlist, read and hear more after the jump. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for October 21, 2016



[Shadowfax Dreams] -- I thought I'd go in a slightly different direction with this week's flashback. The band Shadowfax formed in the 70s and took their name from Gandalf's horse in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. They were active until 1995 and disbanded after their bandleader died. Shadowfax didn't exactly burn up the charts or dance halls, but they did win a Grammy in 1989. You see, they were a new age band, but they were considered the loudest band in the sleepy stable of Windham Hill artists. I don't have a citation for that statement; I think I heard it on a radio show. Anyway, by the 80s, Shadowfax was filed under the category of World Music -- a description used as a marketing tool to push non-Western traditional music. There is no one definition for World Music. And, really, is there any music made on this planet that isn't world music? But, if I'm not too mistaken, World Music came to be categorized by its use of percussion and seemingly exotic instruments. So, to give you a taste of the band, I want to focus on their fourth studio album, The Dreams of Children (1984). With one exception in 1989, Shadowfax never released singles. So, I can pretty much choose any track from this record. And I'm picking my favorites. Check them out after the break.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Short Take: Green Valley #1

The unassuming cover image for Green Valley #1

Green Valley #1 (Image Comics) came out on 10/5/2016. I purchased a copy that day, but didn't read it until this weekend. And all I can say about it is that I had no idea I needed this series, but I do.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for October 14, 2016



[Trouble Boys] -- Last week Sound Opinions had author Bob Mehr on their show to talk about his latest book, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements (March 2016, Da Capo Press). As I've written previously, The Replacements (or, simply, The 'Mats to their fans) are probably my favorite of what I call the "sloppy" American rock & roll bands.

According to drummer Chris Mars, the band's name reflected their sense of a secondary status: "Like maybe the main act doesn't show, and instead the crowd has to settle for an earful of us dirtbags" [Azerrad, Michael. Our Band Could Be Your Life. 2001. p. 199]. Sporting a combination of the arena blues-rock and post-punk, The 'Mats were never commercially successful, but they did receive critical accolades and have been cited as a major influence for many bands. That is likely what made lead singer and primary songwriter, Paul Westerberg, claim the band was perpetually "10 years behind and 5 years ahead."

For this post, I've chosen a few tunes from their 12+ year career. Before you check out my selections, you might want to visit the Sound Opinions episode with Bob Mehr. Or read a review of Trouble Boys. But if you're ready for my playlist, you can read and hear more after the break.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for October 7, 2016



[Critical Beatdown] -- I don't know much about hip hop, but I know what I like. Or, at least, I know what makes me tap my foot and nod my head to a beat(down). And, honestly, that's about what passes for dancing -- or replaces dancing -- in my book. Anyway, speaking of beatdowns, this week in 1988 (October 4 to be precise) saw the release of Ultramagnetic MCs' debut album, Critical Beatdown. You can be forgiven if you've never heard of Ultramagnetic MCs, which is likely the case if you're only a casual consumer of rap. I don't recall how I heard of them. My guess is someone introduced me this particular album. Or a single from it. So, some background for the uninitiated might be welcome here. Kool Keith, Ced Gee, and DJ Moe Love formed the Ultramagnetics in the Bronx in 1984. They recorded a demo of "Space Groove" that same year, but didn't release their first single, "To Give You Love," in 1986. On the strength of those recordings, and Kool Keith's personality, this crew picked up a record deal.

Their debut, Critical Beatdown, is the band's only 80s release (but they do have two releases in the 90s and a 2007 reunion album). Although their debut record did not chart very well, it has come to be highly regarded as a classic hip hop album. And these MCs were pioneers of sorts. According to All-Music, Ultramagnetic MC's can claim the following firsts: they were the first rap group to employ a sampler (the E-mu SP-1200) as an instrument, the first to feature extensive use of live instrumentation, and the first to feature a former psychiatric patient (the aforementioned Kool Keith) on the mic. For more info about this crew, you can visit The Unofficial Ultramagnetic MC's Website. And, for lyrical reference, you should check out the collection at genius.com.

Now, instead of my usual format of selecting three tracks for focus, I'm sharing a YouTube playlist that has all 15 tracks from the original release of Critical Beatdown.

Let's spin some wax, shall we? 

"Say what, Peter Piper? | To hell with childish rhymes! | Cause this jam is just movin' | The crowd is steady groovin' | To a supersonic pace"




Well, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for September 30, 2016



[An Under-Appreciated AOR Gem] -- I posted about Arc Angel three years ago on Prophet or Madman. Still, I still feel this particular album continues to go overlooked, so I'm digging up the previous post and re-sharing it here (with minor changes) on Bookended by Cats. Besides, cats love 80s hair metal, right? Right! So, here we go!


But before we get to the music, I feel the need to wax a little nostalgic about the nature of pre-digital music consumerism. I trust you'll bear with me.

When I was in high school, finding new music was much harder than it is today. Let me elaborate: discovering and then purchasing new music was much more difficult. OK, maybe that's still too broad a generalization or at least too much of a blanket statement. I have to assume that folks in larger metropolitan areas had easier access to new and different kinds of music because, generally speaking, they had more radio options. I, however, lived just west of ... well, let's just say the closest "metropolitan" area to my little hamlet was several hours away. We had but two radio stations -- one AM, and one FM. Oh, on particularly clear days you could maybe sniff out one or two other stations. And if you had cable TV, you could connect the cable to your stereo and access some city stations. However, no matter what radio options existed, when you tuned in, you were still subject to the whim of (usually) real human disc jockeys and -- to one extent or another -- their dedication to the record charts. Oh, there were a few renegades who played whatever the heck they wanted, but they tended to have very short tenures because their corporate overlords frowned upon such diversity.

Outside of radio, we had music magazines and -- later in my high school career -- MTV. Now, when you found out about something new and potentially interesting, you still had to get it in your hot little hands. For those of us that had limited access to decent record stores (yes, vinyl records and cassette tapes), there was mail order. I'm not talking about mail order record clubs (at least not exclusively). I'm talking about ads in the back of magazines (or as part of an interview) that directed you to send away for a particular artist's release. In the early days of MTV, particularly the late night music shows, a featured band would provide a P.O. Box you could contact and order the record that had been played. Such an order could take up to eight weeks to reach you -- talk about delayed gratification!

Back in that halcyon era of music, my good friend Joseph and I would regularly share our discoveries with each other. For example, I found Bronz on MTV's Headbangers Ball while he found Tokyo Blade (in a Metal Blade Records catalog, if I recall correctly). I don't remember which one of us found this week's featured Flashback artist, Arc Angel, but it might have been him. I base that on the fact that I have a TDK cassette of their debut, but no LP. Regardless, I'm glad I remember them. Arc Angel was essentially Jeff Cannata and Michael Soldan along with a host of studio musicians. The concept was developed after Cannata and Soldan's previous band, Jasper Wrath, folded in 1976. They continued writing songs together and, in the early 80s, pitched a demo to CBS who signed the duo to a deal. Arc Angel's self-titled debut album was released in 1983. Although the album was a hit in Europe, and the band had a music video showcased on MTV (for their sole official music video), success in the US was not forthcoming. My guess is that it was buried in the wave of other releases ... and poor reviews from dismissive critics.

If you are a fan of AOR with great guitar licks, 80s synths, and just a hint of prog that prevents a full spiral into glam, then you owe it to yourself to get swept up by Arc Angel. (And if you're looking for them on download sites like eMusic, then you'll need to search under CANNATA). For a few selections from Arc Angel's debut, read and hear more after the break.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for September 16, 2016

Duran Duran trucks via @theverybestofthe80s on Instagram

[Fab Five to Notorious Three] -- Ever see something that reminds you of a great 80s band? Well, when I saw the above truck image, it put me in mind of Duran Duran's second greatest hits compilation, Greatest (1998), and the post I wrote about it in 2012. So, why not delve into it all over again this weekend?

Now, if you have this album, you will recognize this track listing (snagged from Wikipedia):


Do you notice anything about it? Well, if you haven't noticed it yet, you might when you read and hear more after the break.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

They Crashed the Planes and Changed the Rules

[This my 2010 reworking of a Prophet or Madman blog entry I originally posted on September 11, 2008]
"They crashed the planes and changed the rules." -- GrooveLilyLive Through This (Are We There Yet?)Are We There Yet?. QMR, 2003

Nine years ago the world changed. You may take that as an overstatement, or, conversely, as overly simple. But wherever you lived at the time, a shift in perspective occurred. That shift was all the more dramatic and palpable if you were a U.S. citizen. I don't want to dwell on the attacks themselves. But I do want to take some time to recall what happened in the wake of that dreadful event. Forget -- if you can, even if for only for a moment -- just forget how you feel about the war in Iraq, conspiracy theories, and Republican versus Democrat (or any other "them versus us" political division). Recall, instead, the great communal sense that slowly seeped into our national fiber even as the weight of sorrow and shock seemed all too powerful and crushing. Remember neighbor comforting neighbor, even in cases where those neighbors had not known each other very well prior to that morning. Remember the outpouring of support and sympathy from around the world. And remember that shared conviction that, although we would never forget the tragedy, we would recover ... grow stronger ... and become ever more connected as a nation.

Are we there yet?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for August 19, 2016

Photo by Michael Plen

[R.E.M. at Shea] -- 33 years ago this week, on August 18, 1983, R.E.M. rocked a show at Shea Stadium. I'd love to say that R.E.M. were headlining the show, and that the Police graciously closed it. However, the truth is that R.E.M. were one of two opening acts, the other opener being Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. And R.E.M. were such special guests that ... they didn't even appear on the tickets:

Concert Ticket via The Police Wiki (they really couldn't spare three more letters?)

But they did get a mention on an ad, so that's good.

R.E.M. opened for the Police six times during the latter's Synchronicity tour. Eventually, R.E.M.'s debut album, Murmer (1983), gained traction and all but invented the genre of college radio, and the rest is history. Speaking of history, R.E.M.'s setlist for the August 18 show consisted of five songs: 1,000,000 / Catapult / Pilgrimage / Radio Free Europe / Carnival Of Sorts (Boxcars). One of the songs from this setlist appeared in the 4/15/2016 Flashback I posted to commemorate the release of Murmer. So, I'll skip that one today. And if you want to know which three tunes made this weekend's playlist, check them out after the break.

Shea Stadium setlist via R.E.M.HQ

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Heroic Window Art



I wonder what this store sells? (Kidding! This is Tales of Adventure, a comic and gaming store in Coopersburg, PA.)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for August 12, 2016



[Feeling Reckless] -- In November of 1984, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams released his fourth studio album, Reckless. It launched a string of six singles, all of which reached the top 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The success of those singles drove Reckless to become Adams' first #1 album in the US. As that happened this very week in 1985, we're featuring tracks from Reckless on this weekend's Flashback. With a total of 10 tracks and over half of them top-charting singles, which three did I choose? For the answer, read and hear more after the break...  

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for August 5, 2016

From the Lunch Bag Gallery

[Last Chance to Go Someplace Fun! -- Redux] -- [This flashback first appeared on August 8, 2014, but it's still perfect for this weekend.] I've noticed a certain kind of advertisement on TV recently. And I have also noticed some youngsters worrying that the Summer will wind down before they go someplace or do what they want. Yes, we are getting close to "back-to-school" season. There is still time, however, for one last trip before kids give up their sun-drenched freedom for assigned seating and homework. So, for this week, let's enjoy some 80s songs about ... going places (other than a classroom). To read and hear more about this theme, just travel beyond the break. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Short Take: Doctor Fate, Vol. 4 #14

Kent Conrad (original Doctor Fate) and Khalid Nassour
(our "new" Doctor Fate) try to lock up some issues

I'm digging the latest Doctor Fate series. But issue #14 has taken my love to an all new level.

The addition of the previous Fate (revealed as something of an uncle to Khalid) finally gives the new Fate a mentor ... more or less. But the creative team has not given up on Khalid's family's experience as Muslim-Americans either. It's not quite to the level of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adam's socially conscious run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow in the 70s, or even G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel, but it's good to see DC expanding their universe in this fashion.

Both stories in this issue were written by series regular, Paul Levitz. However, this issue features two guest artists. Inaki Miranda for the first story (the first two images below), and Breno Tamura for the backup (the remainder of the images).


Look at the colors and swirls Miranda uses for Khalid's journey to close a mystic doorway he inadvertently opened during a prior adventure:
Page 6: Inaki Miranda 

Page 14: Inaki Miranda

And look at how Tamura's facial expressions convey an additional level of emotion and determination: 
Panel from Page 17: Breno Tamura

Page 19: Breno Tamura

Page 20: Breno Tamura

This is not to say that I have not enjoyed Sonny Liew's art. In fact, I eagerly await his return for the next issue. It is ... our fate. 


Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for July 29, 2016




[After SDCC 2016] -- Last week, we were at the San Diego International Comic-Con. And that weekend's Flashback post featured tune selections by my fellow SDCC bloggers/tweeps. Well, I have a few suggestions left over, so I figured I'd use them for this week's post. Why? Because in addition to TV shows, movies, and comic books, I also nerd out about 80s music. But you knew that already, didn't you? That's why you come here (all two or three of you; I lost count).

So here, with some help, is my second SDCC Mix Tape. Read and hear more after the break! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Countdown to SDCC 2017 Begins Now!

"Bye, SDCC 2016!"
SDCC 2016 ended on Sunday, July 24, but we stayed in the area for a few more days. So, the whole San Diego experience ends for us today because we are flying back East this morning. Therefore, the countdown to the next SDCC begins in earnest for us today. Be on the lookout for a few post-SDCC write-ups from us here at Bookended By Cats. In the meantime, we hope to stay in touch with all you fellow nerds virtually.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for July 22, 2016



[SDCC 2016] -- I'm at the San Diego International Comic-Con this week. And this Nerdhalla is not only great for learning the latest in TV and film, tracking down your favorite comic book creators, and finding cool swag, it's also great for meeting (or reconnecting with) online folks in real life. For example, we attended the Game Of Bloggers meetup Wednesday night. So, this week on the Flashback, I thought I would turn over the tune selection to my fellow SDCC bloggers/tweeps. I asked them what their favorite 80s tune is.

And now, in no particular order, I give you my very first SDCC Mix Tape. Read and hear more after the break! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bookended by Cats Returns to SDCC!

It's so good to return to San Diego for the Nerdhalla known as SDCC! Gods, we've missed this con and the surrounding area, such as Gaslamp District which is behind us in this photo.

Tonight we have Game of Bloggers Season 2, and tomorrow our con madness begins in earnest.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Game of Bloggers Season 2 at SDCC 2016!


They said it couldn't happen twice in our lifetime, but Season 2 is coming. That's right, just one year after the debut of Game of Bloggers on SDCC 2015's Preview Night, it's back for more Nerdhalla Meetup Madness! So, for our sixth consecutive SDCC, we will be part of the second Game of Bloggers Meet-Up hosted by the one and only Crazy 4 Comic Con!

If you're going to SDCC this year, and you're free on Preview Night (Wednesday July 20th), come join us and more cool-and-nerdy bloggers than you can shake a sonic screwdriver at! Oh, and Crazy 4 Comic Con will have his recently launched Hero Within Fashion Collection on display and you won't want to miss that.

The party returns to the patio & bar of the Dragon's Den (315 10th Avenue; next to Petco Park).
Enter the Dragon's Den!

Oh, and it's FREE! Free as in ... well, Free! The basic info is below, but if you need more details an sponsor info, go visit Crazy 4 Comic Con's post.

  • Date/Time: Wednesday 9-12a
  • Location: Patio & bar of the Dragon’s Den (315 10th Avenue)
  • Cost: Free (entry based on capacity)
  • Hashtag: #GameOfBloggers


If you going to SDCC 2016, hit us up in the comments and we'll try to touch base with you! (Hint: This meet-up is probably a really great way for us to meet you face-to-face. And you could get a Bookended by Cats wristband. Just saying.)



Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for July 15, 2016



[Da Da Da] -- I wasn't certain what I wanted for the Flashback this week until midway through the week itself. For some reason, "Da Da Da" by the German band, Trio, got stuck in my head. Now, Trio formed in Gro├čenkneten in 1980, and released their first self-titled album in 1981. "Da Da Da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha" -- usually better known by its shorter name, "Da Da Da." That song wasn't heard in the US until it was re-released on the band's second album, Trio & Error (1982). I didn't hear "Da Da Da" until about 1986 or 1987. And when I first heard it, I was under the impression that Trio was a man, a woman, and a Casio keyboard. But ... nope. The band was three dudes named Stephan Remmler, Gert Krawinkel, and Peter Behrens. They recorded four albums together, and released about 10 singles, but they're pretty much known only for "Da Da Da." It was a hit in over 30 countries, and resurfaced in the 1990s for a Volkswagen commercial. See the original "Da Da Da" video and hear more Trio tracks after the jump. If you're only familiar with their bit hit, you might be surprised to hear their more rocking side.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for July 8, 2016



[This Week's Hot 100] -- In July of 1988, I was enjoying my second summer as a college student. However, I was back in my hometown rather than my college stomping grounds, so "enjoying" might be a bit of an overstatement. I can say I definitely enjoyed the sounds of the summer of 1988. I cranked the tunes during my shifts at the community pool's snack bar, and on my Sony Walkman when I had to run the mower around the pool's grounds. This week on the Flashback, we're going to look back upon the top three songs on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Do you recall what topped the chart 28 years ago this week? Read and hear more after the break! 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

John Wick

John Wick (2014)

Why did we wait so long to see this movie? (We've had the DVD since 8/25/15).

Quick review: Great music. Great camera work. And Keanu is at his monotone best. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

We give John Wick 4.5/5 paws: 


** SPOILER **

This film depicts the senseless death of a puppy. But if you've read any synopsis of this flick, then you already know that John Wick comes out of retirement to get the dirtbags who killed his puppy, the last gift from his late wife. I'm just letting you know that the puppy's death is in the film so you're braced for it. And, believe me, it is worth getting through that scene in order to embrace the rest of the movie.

** END SPOILER **

Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for July 1, 2016

80s Boombox via Zazzle

[Red, White, and Bruised ... er, Blue! Redux] -- The Fourth of July lands on a Monday this year, so many wage earners in the U.S. are given a three-day weekend to celebrate a unique event: when 13 scrappy, English colonies engaged in an act of civil disobedience. Well, it was actually an act of treason. And it was committed by writing a sternly worded letter to King George III, who wouldn't receive his copy until August 30, 1776. Now, I don't know what the Founding Fathers would make of this week's playlist. But there will be plenty of serious fare discussing the events of 1776 on the web, radio, and television. So on the Flashback, we're gong to cut loose and have some fun. If you're ready to celebrate with me in 80s rock style, then read and hear more after the break. We'll enjoy a few tracks that somehow have a little red, white, or blue associated with them.

Please note, I'm re-using a post/playlist is a slightly modified version of the one that originally appeared on Prophet or Madman on July 4, 2014. But, hey, these songs are over 20 years old anyway, so there shouldn't be any problem with me recycling a year-old blog post, right? If you agree, you can read and hear more after the break.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for June 24, 2016


[Summer Special] -- As I mentioned over at Prophet or Madman, new Flashback posts will be found here at Bookended by Cats. I actually had the inkling to move my musical musings here for probably last two weeks, but now I'm acting on that impulse. And I'm bringing you a rock block from one of my favorite 80s rock bands: .38 Special. I bet you're surprised that a southern rock band makes my list of faves. Then again, if you know of my Pennsyltucky roots, maybe my fondness for the Special isn't such a surprise for you.

Now, .38 Special always struck me as a Summer band even though several of their records were released during winter months. But I guess I remember them more in a Summer vein because I have such great memories of singing along whenever their singles came on the radio. And, of course, the best times to do that were during the summer months with the windows rolled down. For my rock block, I'm picking one song each from a trio of albums which were released during the years I think .38 special were at the peak of their hit-making powers. If you want to know what songs made the cut this week, you can read and hear more after the break.

Friday 80s Flashback Archives 4/29/2016 through 9/3/2010


[80s Archives | 2010 - 2016] -- I previously blogged about 80s music over at Prophet or Madman. From my first playlist on 9/3/2010 through to 4/29/2016, I tried to post a selection of songs every weekend. There are a few repeats, of course, but there are still many fine selections over that five and a half year period. Some are themed, others are hodge podge collections. And some of those early posts lack header images and sample lyrics, so they look pretty meh. But it's all 80s music, so that means it's all good.

So, if you're not finding enough 80s music here at Bookended by Cats, then by all means visit my previous 80s Flashback posts at Prophet or Madman.




Credits:



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wizard World Philadelphia by Dangrdafne

June 3rd to 5th Brainwise and I travelled to Philadelphia for Wizard World Comic Con.

Here are some of the items I picked up while at the convention.


The official shirt for Wizard World 2016.
Thought it was cool that it looked like a concert shirt.

My favorite!
And I got a deal on him too :) 

It's ME!
I was kind of desperate to find the GameStop Exclusive and as luck would have it one of the stands had it...and he gave me a deal!! 

Artwork from one of my favorite artists: Bianca Roman-Stumpff 

Artwork from a new favorite artist - see card in next photo 



I pushed hubby to buy this comic book, along with the coloring book.
Very interesting. The art is amazing. 

It's Milo! 

We had a great time and I will do a trip post soon-ish.

- Dangrdafne