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 music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for July 14, 2017



[Come Up Screaming] -- One of my favorite albums was released in 1983, specifically on July 15 of that year. It was an energetic album by a Scottish band. An album pulsing with guitar licks that mimicked bagpipes. I am, of course, talking about The Crossing by Big Country. It was the band's first studio release, and it reached #3 in the UK and #18 on the US Billboard 200. I'm pretty sure that the bagpipe trick had something to do with the album's popularity. I mean, it was a pretty neat effect. According to a few fan boards and Wikipedia, guitarists Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson achieved the effect with the MXR Pitch Transposer 129 Guitar Effect and the e-bow, which is something of an electronic guitar pick. Anyway, if you're wondering which three tracks from this record I've chosen for this Flashback, you can read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for July 7, 2017



[Hits Like Sugar] -- Echo & the Bunnymen's eponymous 1987 record turned 30 this week. Over the last three decades, many albums have come into my life. Some have all but vanished from my memory shortly after their last turn in my listening rotation. Others have stayed with me, impacted me, whether I last heard one of their tracks years or mere moments ago. Echo & the Bunnymen lands squarely in the latter category. Read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for June 30, 2017

~newSaint's homage to Joshua's iconic line (from Wargames) | deviantart.com

[A.I. in the 80s] -- This Flashback was originally posted to Prophet or Madman on June 29, 2012.

The 60s and 70s saw computers intrude more and more in business and manufacturing. In fact, the floppy disk and microprocessor, both invented in the 70s, helped to usher in an age of practical computing. But it was the 80s that saw the home computer industry take off. As computers expanded their territory from labs and offices to homes and schools, they also started to occupy more mental real estate as well. In 1983, Time magazine chose the computer as its "Machine of the Year" for 1982 (bumping their long-standing tradition of naming a "Man of the Year"). And computers provided the plot devices for several movies, usually in morality tales of technology gone amok (or greedy humans misusing innocent devices). This week in the Flashback, we will look at three tunes, each one from an 80s film featuring a computer -- or at least a sub-system -- that is intelligent and can make decisions on its own. What songs did I decide upon? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for June 23, 2017

Earth Girls and Easy Aliens (from L to R):
Julie Brown, Jim Carrey, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans, and Geena Davis


[Theme] -- Earlier this week, an uneasy earthgirl reminded me of the fantastically fun 80s movie, Earth Girls are Easy (1988). The plot of the movie is derived from a song of the same name, which appears on Julie Brown's EP, Goddess in Progress (1984). How Julie Brown and her writing parters -- Charlie Coffey and Terrence E. McNally -- spun nearly two hours of story from a song that is under four minutes is beyond me. But I'm so glad they did. Can you imagine a world in which we never saw Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans, and Jim Carrey as furry aliens? As most films in the 80s, the movie included plenty of great 80s tunes. That's the good news. Unfortunately, also like many 80s flicks, much of that music does not wind up on the released soundtrack, and what is there is slightly different from the movie versions. Still, it's a pretty fun album and it's kind of perfect for a Flashback post. With 17 songs appearing in the film, and 11 tracks available on the soundtrack, which selections do you think I'll feature? Well, you'll find out when you read and hear more after the jump (which is right after the embedded movie trailer).

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback (on a Saturday) for June 17, 2017



[Guitar] -- In 1988, Frank Zappa released Guitar, a double CD featuring his guitar solos recorded during his live performances between 1979 and 1984. It was a follow-up to his 1981 album, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar. The 1988 collection earned Zappa his sixth Grammy nomination, this time for "Best Rock Instrumental Performance." He lost to Carlos Santana's Blues For Salvador. The CD release of Guitar had 32 tracks and only one of them, "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," was released as a single. So, instead of picking my usual three tunes to share with you, I'm embedding the entire playlist for your enjoyment! (Right after the jump.)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for June 9, 2017



[You're a Strange Animal] -- I seem to recall "A Criminal Mind" being a big radio hit in the US. Though my research today tells me otherwise. The song was certainly instrumental in scoring Lawrence Gowan, recording and performing under his surname, a slew of award nominations and top ten hits in his native Canada. But it doesn't seem to have even charted in the US. Anyway, "A Criminal Mind" was the second single off Gowan's second studio album, Strange Animal (1985). That record was also Gowan's first album release in the US. As I type this post, I don't remember how I ended up first hearing "A Criminal Mind," and digging, in the Spring of 1985. It's possible I caught the song's music video on some late night music program, but that's not my recollection. I do have a distinct memory of being awestruck over the confessional lyrics and stark instrumentation of "A Criminal Mind" as it wafted over my transistor radio. And it wasn't until the fall of 1986, at Penn State, that I heard the rest of the album. One of my dormmates was loudly playing his cassette copy of Strange Animal, and I followed my ear until I found the source. He was psyched to know of another Gowan fan, which I immediately became after hearing more of the man's songs. So, this weekend, we'll explore several of my favorite tracks from this record. If you'd like to know them, read and hear more after the jump.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Rebel Girls

A few days before International Women's Day in March, a friend posted a link to an amazing book called Rebel Girls - Good Night Stories. As soon as I saw it, I thought of all the young girls in my life I wanted to gift with a copy of this book. Luckily on March 8th, International Women's Day, Rebel Girls offered a special package deal, and I ordered seven books for seven special girls.

As I awaited the books' arrival, I started to think about what my message would be to each young girl who would be receiving their own book. Within a week my shipment of books arrived. They are beautiful. Rebel Girls has one of those velvety soft covers that I love. I wish I had ordered one for myself.