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, May 19, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for May 19, 2017

[A-weema-weh] -- This evening, Montgomery Theater Too's production of DISNEY'S THE LION KING, JR. opens for a two-weekend run. Although Disney's animated film, The Lion King, was originally released in 1994, I think I can find a few 80s songs to share in honor of the local stage production. And I won't even have to tap the work of 70s and 80s icon, Elton John, who co-wrote songs for The Lion King's soundtrack. Still, each song in this week's playlist will have at best a rather tenuous connection to the subject matter. That should be fun, right? 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for May 12, 2017

[Word to the Mothers - Redux] -- I am re-running a previous Mother's Day Flashback post.

This weekend we in the U.S. observe Mother's Day. I don't know if you've ever looked for "mother" songs before, but there are many, many songs with some variation of "mother" in the title or lyrics (mother, mama, mom, etc.). However, the subject matter of the vast majority of those tunes, particularly in the 80s, was not exactly fodder for Hallmark. And, on top of that challenge, two songs that I thought were perfect for the holiday were not recorded or released in the 80s. They both came out in 1991. So, I've been scrambling to fill out this week's playlist. I think I have successfully crafted a flashback set that honors mothers, recognizes folks who have less-than-perfect relationships with their mothers, and gives a nod to something that most mothers believe about their offspring at one time or another. So don't just sit there and wonder what three songs I have for you this week. Read and hear more after the break!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for May 5, 2017

[Wrascally Wrabit] -- In the 80s, long before the days of the interwebz and streaming music on demand, there were only a few ways to discover new (or nearly new) music. First, of course, you had your friends. Then you had radio shows. Next, there were record stores, if you were lucky enough to have a local shop. After that, you had to rely on magazine and newsletters, which were printed on real paper. Kind of limiting, right? Well, there was one more option for the adventurous seeker. And by "adventurous," I mean, "doesn't mind possibly wasting some money." That option, my friends, was the cut-out bin.

The concept of the cut-out goes back to the 1960s and it started with vinyl, both LP records and 45s, but it was also applied to cassette tapes and, later, compact discs. That means the cut-out was not unique to the 80s, but it was probably the last decade that featured such selections prominently. In regard to vinyl, a store employee would cut a notch into, or cut an entire corner off of, the LP record jacket. This was to indicate that the record could not be returned to the retailer for a refund. Cassettes and CDs would receive a similar treatment; their spines would be cut, or a facing corner would be drilled. In all cases, only the cover or case was damaged. The music medium was untouched. The cut-out would often feature a special sale sticker as well, as these items were then dramatically discounted to move them out of stock.

You probably see what I'm getting at now, right? Items in the cut-out bin were often considered commercial failures. They likely featured songs that had little, if any, airplay. And there was even less information about the artist and their songs. But you could purchase a handful of cut-out records for the same amount of money as one popular record or tape. The only risk: You could end up walking home with a pile of garbage. And, if you were truly hit music oriented, you probably would have found precious little to enjoy in such a haul. If you were a bit of weirdo, like me, however, you often found treasure like today's Flashback artist: Wrabit.

I could give you all the background info on this Canadian band that I never had back in the 80s. Or, I could simply direct you to their page on CanadianBands.com. Having done that, I can now tell you that I'm revisiting their 1981 debut album. Somehow, I was able to acquire the Canadian only release in the cut-out bin of my local G.C. Murphy's. It was repacked for the U.S. in 1982 as Wrough And Wready. Fun fact: Bugs Bunny artist Chuck Jones designed the band's logo. Anyway, if you want to check out some tracks with me, you can read and hear more after the break.