[Workin'] -- I've been thinking about working and employment this week. Both in terms of having work to do and being unemployed (or even underemployed). It's all we can do to stay one step ahead of the mortgage, or healthcare bills, right? I don't recall if healthcare costs were problematic in the 80s, but finding and keeping decent jobs was definitely high on the social anxiety meter. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh? So, with this in mind, I opted to feature songs about work and working in this week's Flashback. There are no party anthems like Loverboy's "Working the the Weekend." But this week's playlist isn't strictly somber, either. So, which workhorse tracks made the cut this week? Read and hear more after the jump!
Friday, February 8, 2019
Friday, February 1, 2019
[RIP James Ingram] -- I had something else in mind for this week's Flashback. But then I read the news of James Ingram's passing. He lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 66 on 1/29/19. Now, if the name isn't familiar, I'll bet his voice was. Ingram's smoothly soulful voice lent itself to a number of hits in the 80s and 90s. Interestingly, the vast majority of those hits were collaborative in nature. He was either a guest on another artist's record, or he was featured in a duet. He didn't score a solo hit until 1990. But you know his collaborations. "Baby, Come to Me" with Patti Austin in 1982. "What About Me?" with Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes in 1984, And "Somewhere Out There," from 1986's An American Tail: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack, with Linda Ronstadt. According to Wikipedia, Ingram scored eight Top 40 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, 13 top 40 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, 20 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart, and two Hot 100 #1 singles. If you want to know what tracks I've chosen to remember him from that spectrum of hits, read and hear more after the jump.
Friday, January 25, 2019
[Iceland's Daisy Hill Puppy Farm] -- Just before I left for Iceland last week, I posted a Flashback featuring the Sugarcubes. Well, I returned from Iceland very early this morning, so how 'bout we follow up last week's post with one about another 80s Icelandic band? If you're up for it, I've got just the thing for you, especially if you're into shoegazers and ear bleeders: Daisy Hill Puppy Farm! According to Rok (rokmusik.co), Daisy Hill Puppy Farm was active between 1987 and 1990. During that time, they released an eponymous 7" EP in 1988 and a 12" record, Spraycan, in 1989. And, yes, they were apparently named after the farm where Charlie Brown got his dog, Snoopy, in the Peanuts comic strip. The band's frontman, Jóhann Jóhannsson (9/19/1969 - 2/9/2018), became a solo artist and then a well-known TV and film composer. If you ask me, that is quite the career arc. If you want to know what his music was like before he composed the soundtrack for, say, The Theory of Everything (2014), you can hear more after the jump.
Friday, January 18, 2019
[Iceland] -- I'm heading to Iceland today for an Astro.Tour. Well, my flight departs this afternoon, but I'll arrive in Reykjavík early Saturday morning. So, I figure this is a great time to highlight some 80s music from the Nordic island country. Now, if you haven't heard of, or don't recall, The Sugarcubes, you might recall one particular member of that band: Björk. Yeah, she pretty much broke out as an international artist after the Sugarcubes crashed and burned. She has nearly 20 albums to her credit (including live records and compilations), while her debut band has a paltry three albums in their catalog. But quantity does not always supersede quality. And the Sugarcubes' debut, Life's Too Good (1988), has a certain charming quality to it. Of course, all the songs are built around Björk's unique vocal prowess. You definitely want to delve into Birthday and Motorcrash. But why not just take in the entire playlist? You can enjoy the album at this link, or in the embedded video below.
I'll see you in seven!
Friday, January 11, 2019
[A Logical Animal] -- AllMusic.com refers to Animal Logic as an "experimental pop unit." That's as good a description as any for the trio that came together in 1987 and released their first eponymous album in 1989. Initiated as a potential collaboration between ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland and jazz fusion bassist Stanley Clarke, there was no actual band until the duo found singer/songwriter Deborah Holland. Animal Logic is the kind of band that was only possible in the 80s, or at least more possible. And this band should have thrived exploring that space that permeates between jazz and rock all while making heady music videos. But instead they're just one more band that didn't live up to their promise. Perhaps Animal Logic's output was a little too artsy, or maybe they came along too late in the decade. Whatever it was, they have been consigned to the great dustheap of forgotten CDs. As you might expect after that intro, the band's debut didn't exactly light the charts ablaze. So I'm just picking three songs I like from the album, and you can read and hear move about my selections after the jump.
Friday, January 4, 2019
[New Year, New Possibilities] -- Yes, I realize we are now several days past New Year's Day. But 2019 still has some of that new year smell, right. Right? Of course, I'm right! Now, there really is no (formal) canon of great New Year's songs. However, I subscribe to the notion that New Year's songs, unlike songs about Easter or Christmas, are not about a particular event but are, instead, about an attitude. They are about letting go of errors and reaching out for renewal. They are about boldly striving forth and taking advantage of the proverbial potential that a fresh new year offers. And so, with that in mind, and with the hope that I can help a few people find motivation for their goals, I offer up three 80s songs to power you into 2019. To find out what these motivational selections are, you just have to read and hear more after the break.
Monday, December 31, 2018
We decided to open our Batman and Friends ornament container this year and decorate our tree in all the nerdy goodness we have. What nerdy goodness do you have that you like to use to decorate?
Here are some highlights:
Here are some highlights: