Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. 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, November 27, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for November 27, 2020


[Black Friday -- Redux 2] -- As I often do during a holiday, I'm re-using a previous Flashback post (with a few corrections/updates). This one was originally posted in November 2012 and then revamped for November 2018, but the tunes are just as fresh, and the topic just as relevant, today. Here we go!

It's the day after Thanksgiving, colloquially known as Black Friday here in the States. It's a special, special day when all those prices that have been steadily jacked up over the past few months are lowered (just a bit). Some folks could not even wait for this morning, and began shopping last night or at least camped out (2015 link | 2018 link | 2020 links) in the hope of nabbing huge deals. As the 80s are often considered the decade of materialism during which "shop till you drop" became a mantra, I thought I could find a few tunes to reflect the inanity of Black Friday. Read and hear more after the break.

Monday, November 23, 2020

New Holiday Single: Shortest Day of the Year

"Shortest Day of the Year" -- by Paul Dake

Our friend, singer-songwriter Paul Dake, just released his latest single today: "Shortest Day of the Year." Jill Macchiaverna, who composed the track, describes the song's content as follows (quoted from Bandcamp):

"I stayed away from saying Christmas explicitly because I think the sentiment extends to any family gathering where you actually like your family. I focused on the shortest day of the year because there are so many different kinds of celebrations around winter solstice time-frame and because after I had kids time seemed to speed up exponentially. They bring so much light and it's hard to balance between being present with them and dreading when they get bigger and won't want to talk to parents anymore. It will happen before I know it, and I'll definitely be feeling like, 'When did it get dark again?'"

Give it a listen over at Bandcamp. And, if you like it (we do!), it's a mere $1 to purchase. Oh, and while you're over there, be certain to check out the rest of Paul's catalog!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for November 20, 2020


[Play Me! A Guess-The-Theme Edition of Flashback] -- I often use release dates, events, or artists as a theme when selecting tracks for the Flashback. And sometimes the title is a direct reference to the theme, while at other times it is a bit more vague or just something that amuses me. All that is to say that I do indeed have a theme this week, but I'm not going to come right out and tell you what it is. I thought it might be fun to ask if my fellow 80s-philes can guess what I had in mind when I compiled this week's trio of tracks. These tunes were not released in the same month or even the same year. And the theme is not related to the artist or songwriter either. But if you really need a hint, I'll just direct you to dig down into the lyrical content. I don't think I made it all that difficult. Leave your guess in the comments, or tweet it (either to @bookendedbycats or @brainwise). So, if you're ready to give this week's theme game a shot, you can read and hear more after the jump.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Stories, myths, legends (Crossover #1)

[Crossover #1, pages 2-3; click for larger view]

"Stories, myths, legends... they are not fiction." I love this two-page spread from Crossover #1, the latest collaboration from the team that brought us GOD COUNTRY -- Donny Cates, Dee Cunniffe, and Geoff Shaw!
#comics #stories #myths #legends #fiction

Friday, November 13, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for November 13, 2020


[The Status is not Quo] -- I know today is Friday the 13th. But it's your lucky day because: (1) No stabbing here, and (2) I'm bringing you some tunes from a possibly overlooked gem of the 1980s. In November 1983, English rock band Status Quo released their 16th studio album, Back to Back. I don't know when it was released in the US because I caught it featured on a late night radio show several years after its UK release. I'm pretty sure that if it was released in the states, it didn't chart. And I also know it was a top ten album in its native UK, where it was also certified Gold. The album was home to four singles, one of which was "A Mess of Blues," which was originally a hit for Elvis Presley in 1960 (and his recording peaked at #32 on Billboard Hot 100). All four Status Quo singles were top 40 hits. You can check out the full album if you'd like. And I'll drop three tracks for you here after the jump.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for October 30, 2020


[Halloween!] -- Though not quite as rare as a full moon falling on Halloween, this year the spooky holiday also occurs very close to Friday. That means it's time for a very special Halloween edition of the Friday 80s Flashback. Now, I'm sure you've all been good little ghouls and ghosts. So, to ensure you get the most 80s goodness possible, and that you receive it in a timely manner, I'm revisiting the mega-Flashback I originally posted for Halloween 2011. I thoroughly checked it and updated any video or text links that were broken over the last several years. And, just like in 2011, you can check out all the tunes featured in this week's flashback as a single video playlist! And it's six tracks, twice the content of my usual weekly offerings! Of course, you can still check out the songs one at a time, the option which includes my comments and recollections. But either way, you're getting great 80s music for the Halloween weekend! So, if you are opting for your flashbacks one-at-a-time, you can read and hear more after the break.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for October 23, 2020

[Goodbye Mom - Redux] -- By Friday, October 20, 2017, I was more than two thirds of the way through writing a Flashback post, but I no longer wanted to use it. My sister had called me around 5pm the prior day and told me that our mother was gone, that she had unexpectedly died overnight. Sis had gone over to Mom's house to check on her, as per usual, but instead found ... well, she found that Mom never made it out of bed that day.

So, my one and only flashback song for that -- and this -- weekend is for the memory of our mother. I'm cribbing both the tune and the write-up from a previous Flashback post, but so be it. 

It is probably no surprise that I could reliably turn to Disney for a song that honors the very heart of motherhood. Well, I sort of turned to Disney. I turned to Hal Willner, an American music producer with several tribute albums and live events listed among his many credits. In 1988, Willner released his fourth tribute album, Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films. Stay Awake featured new recordings of Disney tunes by a whole range of performing artists, from Sun Ra to Michael Stipe, and from Buster Poindexter to Ringo Starr. This is still one of my favorite CDs from the 80s. At the time, I loved it because it made a somewhat adult soundtrack out of songs originally created for kids. Almost 30 years later, I still love it for the milestone in my life that it represents. The second track on Stay Awake pairs Bonnie Raitt with Was (Not Was) on "Baby Mine" from the 1941 film Dumbo. And it never fails to make me think of my own mother. 

"You're so precious to me | Cute as can be | Baby, you're mine."

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!