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, October 12, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for October 12, 2018

[Introspective] -- 30 years ago this week, the synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys released their third studio album, Introspective (1988). It's an unusual record for a pop outfit because all six tracks are over six minutes in length. Not exactly prime radio material, at least not in the hits-hungry commercial radio of the late 80s. Still, the record was pretty successful: Two of the album's four singles charted in just about every country they were released, and a few countries embraced all four singles (the U.S. was not among those countries). And the lead-off single, a cover of "Always On My Mind," peaked at #1 on a few charts and even hit Gold status. Rather than do my usual curation of songs from the album,  I thought I'd leave you with the whole album. I find it to be a much more satisfying, albeit time-consuming, experience. 

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, October 5, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for October 5, 2018

[Honeymoon Suite] -- In June of 1984, Canadian glam metal band Honeymoon Suite released their eponymous debut album. At the time of this Warner Bros. Records release, the band was about three years old but only one original member remained. Their first single, "New Girl Now," was all over MTV and the radio in the mid-80s. And they might have been relegated to one-hit-wonder status in the States if it wasn't for a pair of hits on their sophomore release. They remain somewhat popular in their native Canada to this day, but they haven't had a hit single in the US since 1988. But, oh, what hits they had with this 1984 debut. To revisit them, just read and hear more after the jump.  

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for September 28, 2018

[A Different Kind of Kansas] -- Drastic Measures (1983) was Kansas' ninth studio album ... and seemingly the last gasp for a once mighty prog rock outfit. Of course, by this time, they had dropped any semblance of prog elements and were pretty much a mainstream rock band. Gone was the violin as well as the stately arpeggios and shimmering organ runs that had adorned previous efforts. And that's funny considering that the record was criticized for being too repetitive of those prior efforts. Maybe the detractors noticed the slick production that was still a hallmark of the Kansas recording method. But even though Drastic Measures was the band's lowest-charting record since their 1974 debut, and Kansas officially disbanded after the conclusion of the 1983 tour (don't worry, a new lineup rose from these ashes three years later), I still love this record. I might even still have the cassette copy I received as a birthday gift 30+ years ago. So, which tracks do I still sing along with these days? Read and hear more after the jump to find out! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Host - movie

Dangrdafne review

Yes, I am very late to watching this movie... but for me, it was worth the wait.

I really loved this movie. It probably is not the norm but what can I say, I’m an odd duck.

First I love Saoirse Ronan, so I was happy from the get go. Since she is the main character of the movie, I knew I would see her in almost every scene and I happily did. I loved her divided mind and felt she played the two roles very well.

Second at the heart of the movie it was all about family. I love stories about family: fighting for it, creating it, learning to live with others and all the love that comes from family.

I also liked the trope of a good alien and having to win people over. Humans are complex and crazy creatures and this movie showed that in all its glory. I loved watching Wanda learn that and figure out how that works for her. I also loved that it was the woman who were fighting for the human race. Not that it is surprising but I felt stronger for having watched them fight for us.

And of course there was a love story but not the one you think. In case, you haven’t seen it I will leave it for you to learn. It was good to see a bad guy learn to be good and learn to love and how different life can be if you open your mind and learn to trust and love.

I’m glad there is a happy ending because I really wasn’t sure what would happen but I can’t get over the fact that basically the movie boiled down to my mantra of “Because Nice Matters.” If we can all just get along... then we can all just get along.

4 paws

Monday, September 10, 2018

Tully - movie review

Dangrdafne review

On the plane to Poland, LOT Polish Airlines offers lots of free movies, TV and music. I was excited for the movies even though I knew I should have been sleeping.

I chose Tully as I had heard it was a very good movie and it helps that I like Charlize Theron.

Easily put is you have to go all the way through the movie to truly appreciate the movie. I really can’t say too much as I would hate to spoil it for those who want to watch the movie.

I will say I did not like the movie until I saw the ending of the movie, then I really liked the movie. Charlize gives an amazing performance and I am sure there are many mothers out there who feel like she does. I know I was exhausted just watching her at times.

The best part of the movie is that it is just a story. A well told story. And one that you don’t know what it is until you get to the end.

I recommend the movie but if you had to choose between this one and Atomic Blonde, also with Charlize, I would tell you to get Atomic Blonde.

3 paws

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Six Comics

In my comics group, someone shared this idea: Pick five comics (could be six series or graphic novels) that best describe your taste. As usual, I have trouble following instructions. I have chosen six comics that best reflect the themes I enjoy in comics, or fiction in general.

Those eight themes are:

  • Strangeness and outcasts
  • Capable protagonists who may or may not be damaged
  • Big science fiction and mystery
  • Adventure and exploration
  • Themes of family and friendship
  • Meta, mind-bending ideas about ideas 
  • Celebrating the past while bringing new light to old tropes
  • And the occasional simian star

The representative comics are, in clockwise order starting in the top left: Doom Patrol, Motor Girl, Drifter, Starman, The Unwritten, and Fantastic Four.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Citizen Wayne

So, before Marvel and Brian Michael Bendis went all exclusive, Bendis did a story for DC Comics. It was a short Batman Elseworlds story printed in THE BATMAN CHRONICLES #21 (June 2000). This must have come out during a lull in my collecting habits, because I don't recall the cover, and I certainly don't recall any of the contents.

 The Batman Chronicles Vol. 1 Issue 21

Now, the artist on that 2000 story was one Michael Gaydos. Yes! The very same person who co-created Jessica Jones with Bendis, also co-created Bendis' new character, Pearl. And he did the pencils on the first DC/Jinxworld issue of PEARL, a book that also includes that previously Batman story, "Citizen Wayne," as back material.

And "Citizen Wayne" is a solid bit of black and white storytelling. And, yes, it's a nod to the great Orson Welles' seminal film. I'm not sure I can adequately encourage you to go get your own copy of this, so I'll just share Bendis' intro to the story and its first page:

Intro to "Citizen Wayne" as reprinted in PEARL #1