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, January 27, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for January 27, 2023


[It's Raining Success] -- Success was the third studio album released by Martha Wash and Izora Armstead, the American vocal duo known as The Weather Girls. Released 40 years ago this week (January 22, 1983), Success is probably best known for "It's Raining Men," which hit #1 on the US Dance Club Songs chart and held that position for two weeks. "It's Raining Men" also spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, and 18 weeks on the R&B charts, peaking at #46 and #34 on those respective charts. It even reached the top 40 in several other countries, peaking within the top 10 a few times. 

The song endures: In 2017, Paste Magazine released their list of the 60 Best Dancefloor Classics, and "It's Raining Men" held the #12 slot.

According to Wikipedia, "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and "Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas)" were the album's other two singles. But I cannot find any indication that either of them charted. I do have to wonder when "Dear Santa" was released in the US, as I find it odd that a Christmas song was featured on an album that came out in January. But it does look like "Dear Santa" at least got a December release in the UK. And it even got the music video treatment, though I cannot determine if it was made in 1983 or later.    

While both "It's Raining Men" and "Dear Santa" are fun and campy, the entire album does showcase Wash and Armstead's strong vocal chops. It's a shame the album is so short -- only six tracks. Perhaps an expanded offering, with some other song choices, would have done a better job of showing their range. 

FlashbackSuccess (January 22, 1983)




And 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.

I'll see you in seven!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Doom Patrol Season 4 Part 1

 Dangrdafne review:

I did not realize how much I missed this bunch of misfits until we started watching the first episode. I just love this crazy bunch of mismatched beings. Their family bond just warms my heart and makes me smile. Their crazy story lines make my head spin but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love that I envision the writer's room as "what insane thing can we do now?" And then they do it ... all of them. 

I would say the break between last season and this one was too long and the 'previously on' was too short to catch me up and help me remember what happened. It did affect how invested I was getting in the beginning of this season and I did have to ask Brainwise some memory jog questions.

My number one favorite part of this half season was Michelle Gomez, hands down. That woman is absolutely incredible and her role on this show just blows me away. I love how she just goes with it all and acts the hell out of her role. 

I am fully aware that this show is bat $&%@ crazy and it isn't for everyone. In fact, it shouldn't be for me but I just love it. I think it says a lot about the acting, the stories, and the filming that I miss the show when it isn't on and I love to watch it when it is. 

3 paws so far... still need the second half of the season


Bonus content via DC Comics: The Cast of Doom Patrol Read DC Comics!

This video features Joivan Wade (Cyborg), Michelle Gomez (Madame Rouge), and April Bowlby (Rita Farr) reading selections from Tales of the New Teen Titans Vol. 1 #1, Doom Patrol Vol. 1 #90, and My Greatest Adventure Vol. 1 #80!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for January 20, 2023


[Gunter glieben glauchen globen] -- This week, my inner (glam) metalhead is coming to the fore. Def Leppard's third studio album, Pyromania, was released 40 years ago today, on January 20, 1983. I don't know much about their initial EP release -- The Def Leppard E.P. (1979) -- but their prior studio albums had already made something of an impact in rock and metal circles. But Pyromania was a phenomenon, at least that's how I remember its impact in high school, radio play, and MTV. The songs, and those five lads from Sheffield, were everywhere. 

Pyromania peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200, and featured four singles -- "Photograph," "Rock of Ages," "Foolin'," and "Too Late for Love." All but "Too Late for Love" reached the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, but even that song dominated airwaves and video views. Well, Def Leppard dominated charts and radio-play in the US, Canada, and the UK, but according to Wikipedia, Pyromania didn't sell all that well outside of those three countries. (Global success, however, would come with their next release, Hysteria.)

Now, not everyone was happy with Pyromania. Some fans, and critics, felt this outing -- the band's second go-round with super producer "Mutt" Lange -- was too slick and polished. I think their musicianship was getting tighter with each release, so Lange's production touches could seem to remove some of the band's grit, but that also might just be natural progress. But I wouldn't say Lange diminished their fire at all. In fact, I definitely agree with the Rolling Stone reviewer who praised the record for putting "much-needed fire back on the radio." But to each their own. 

These days, I cannot listen to many of the heavy metal records released during this early period of the 1980s, even records I initially liked. But Pyromania? I will turn that volume dial up every chance I get. 


FlashbackPyromania (January 20, 1983)




And 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.

I'll see you in seven!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

She Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1

 Dangrdafne review:

I have never read anything with She Hulk and I don't know anything about her. I do love Tatiana Maslany though and she is perfect in this role. She perfectly portrays both Jennifer Walters and She Hulk. I am also a fan of Ginger Gonzaga from her other roles and I think she is wonderful as Nikki Ramos. And of course Mark Ruffalo is wonderful.

I did have to ask some questions of Brainwise while we watched and he added lots of back story and context that helped me with the series. He even pointed out some really, really good "Easter eggs" that weren't so hidden but I didn't catch them but appreciated them once I was made aware. Some I missed due to lack of knowledge and some I missed due to lack of memory from the other series that tie into this one. The length of time between the series and the other stories it was pulling from for the Easter Eggs was waaaay too long for my memory but when I was reminded of the connection, I was impressed and jealous of those who got to enjoy it in real time :)

The music in each episode is perfectly picked and always adds to the story. I will be on the lookout for a soundtrack.

I definitely had a hard time watching the horrific treatment of the woman characters in the show but that is the point. It just makes me so sad and that did hinder me being able to fully engage with the show and to fully enjoy it. And then reading some of the social media posts about the show made me even sadder and sick to my stomach. It is quite amazing how many males hate females or anyone that isn't male.

3 paws



Friday, January 13, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for January 13, 2023


[40 Years of Red Balloons] -- This week's Flashback comes from the Neue Deutsche Welle (or "New German Wave") band, Nena! They took their name from Gabriele Susanne Kerner's nickname, which was Spanish for "little girl." As a band, Nena was active from 1981 through 1987. And they released their self-titled debut 40 years ago this week, on January 14, 1983. 

Now, if you recall the band called Nena, you probably know them for one song, and one song only: the international hit "99 Luftballons" (or the English-language version titled "99 Red Balloons"). "99 Luftballons" was second single from the band's debut album, and it started breaking on US charts in early 1984, just as Nena was releasing their second album. "99 Luftballons" ultimately peaked at #2 in the US, but in several other countries -- Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK -- it became a #1 hit. 

Often referred to as a one-hit wonder, Nena did have chart success with other songs across Europe. Still, they never duplicated the success of "99 Luftballons" and the follow-up international album of the same name. And while they never formally announced a breakup, the band discontinued working together as of 1987.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Nena's release, I recommend "Nur geträumt" (the first single from Nena), "Noch einmal," "Tanz auf dem Vulkan," and "Kino." All sung in German, of course.

FlashbackNena (January 14, 1983)




And ... 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.

I'll see you in seven!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Titans Season 4 part 1

 Dangrdafne review:

I love Titans. I love Nightwing. I love Starfire. I love Beast Boy. I love Raven. Really, I love them all.

This season was not as good as the other 3 BUT this was only half the season so far and it is still better than so many things I watch elsewhere :) I have been trying to determine what might be holding this season back and I wonder if it is the use of magic/mythical/mystical story line and not a superhero story line. Not that all of Titans is superhero related but it seems to be the strong point.

I am enjoying Joseph Morgan as Sebastian Sanger. He seems perfectly suited to this role after The Originals but I must say that I am thoroughly enjoying the less yelling from him ;) I look forward to where Brother Blood is going as I have no background in this story line at all.

It has been interesting to watch Joshua Orpin as Superboy have to tap in to his inner Lex Luthor. His character has had quite the arc and they are certainly bending him even further this season. I can't wait to see where he ends up through it all.

I am also interested to see how all the character story lines will meet up this season, of course IF they meet up.

3 paws

Friday, January 6, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for January 6, 2023


[Sweet Dreams] -- This week's Flashback album has, shall we say, "traveled the world and the seven seas" for four decades. Yes, I'm talking about Eurythmics' second studio album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), the one that launched their career as synthpop megastars. This record was released forty years ago this week, or later this month, depending on the reference. Still, as most sources cite January 4, 1983, and even the band celebrated the milestone this very week, we, too, shall reckon the release date accordingly.

Eurythmics were still largely unknown at the time of this album's release. Their debut album had not done well. That lack of success drove them to go more DIY on their second album. They took out a loan to purchase an eight-track recording studio and some synthesizers, including a Movement Systems Drum Computer (which appears in the "Sweet Dreams" music video). The gamble paid off: The album's title track and fourth single, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," spent a total of 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, even leaping to the #1 position. That one song, and its video, established Eurythmics as a global act. Just take a look at the single's peak position on various weekly charts. The album spent 59 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart and peaked at #15.

With "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" enjoying success on both the radio and MTV (in a now classic music video featuring singer Annie Lennox dressed both as a man and a woman), the previous singles got a little more attention as well. "Love Is A Stranger," originally released ahead of the album in November, 1982, even got a music video. For my money, the standout songs, outside of the amazing title track, of course, are "I Could Give You (A Mirror)" and "Somebody Told Me." I think they even pull off a surprisingly effective cover of Sam & Dave's 1968 hit, "Wrap It Up." But, really, there isn't a clunker on the entire album. It truly is a masterpiece of electro-pop and new wave. It may be synthesizer driven, but there is nothing synthetic about Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

Flashback: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) [January, 1983]




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.

I'll see you in seven!