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, July 19, 2024

Friday 80s Flashback for July 19, 2024


[Diamond Life] -- On July 16, 1984, the English band, Sade, released their debut album, Diamond Life. Sade assumed their moniker from the professional name of their lead vocalist, Sade Adu (Helen Folasade Adu).

I like to refer to Diamond Life as a jazz album masquerading as a pop record by way of R&B. And to make my case, I point out that this album peaked at #5 on the US Billboard 200, #5 on the US Top Jazz Albums, and #3 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Diamond Life also reached at least the top 20 in charts around the world, and it won the 1985 Brit Award for Best British Album. The album's third single, or its second in the US, "Smooth Operator," was a worldwide smash hit and music video. "Smooth Operator" reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. 

In my opinion, this is a record that largely holds up, even after 40 years. And that is largely due to Sade Adu's sultry contralto. 

Come for "Smooth Operator." Stay for "I Will Be Your Friend" and "Cherry Pie." 

FlashbackDiamond Life (July 16, 1984)




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, July 16, 2024

Scavengers Reign

 

After seeing so many people write about this series and how incredible they thought it was, I added it to our list. 

I have to say I almost don’t know what to say. 

It is truly original. The art is incredible. The music is a character all its own. It’s deeply depressing. It’s incredibly triumphant. It’s confusing and anger inducing. It’s what I would think a drug induced dream might be like. My heart and my head hurt sometimes each on their own but more times at the same time while watching. 

I do want to know what people loved so much about it. It definitely isn’t anything I’d add to my list to watch on my own but I am also not sad that I did add it and watch it. It is truly an experience, one I would never have had if people didn’t post about their love for it. 

Please let me know your thoughts on this show if you watched it. 

3 paws 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Frasier - 2023 series reboot


We came for Toks Olagundoye and left with a reminder of old friends, incredible belly laughs and even a few tears. Toks is hilarious in her role as Olivia Finch and is an excellent match for Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Alan Corwall. The comedic timing of the entire cast is truly amazing. I am glad Toks was in the show because I don't know if we would have watched and we would have missed out on some great comedy.

There are 10 episodes and there was only 1 we were not thrilled with (too much slapstick and cringe) and there is only one character that was a little out of place but by the end they found a way to make the character work. 

It was lovely to see the call backs to the original character of Frasier and the show Frasier. My favorite reference in the show is that the bar they frequent is called Mahoney's and that is to honor John Mahoney who portrayed Frasier's father in the original Frasier show and passed away a few years ago.

I am impressed with how they maintained so much of the original show and character even though we are quite a few years out from the original show. There are so many clever pieces to the show and probably some throwbacks that I might have missed. I do think it is best to watch if you have seen the original but it probably stands on it own too.

4 paws

Friday, July 5, 2024

Friday 80s Flashback for July 5, 2024


[Nickels in the Arcade] -- I'm showcasing two albums this week, Zen Arcade by Hüsker Dü and Double Nickels on the Dime by Minutemen. Both are double albums, which is kind of unusual for the punk genre. But that means you're getting a heap of musical content: a total run time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 10 seconds. And, no, sharing two albums isn't simply a case of me not being able to choose one over the other. The fact is that these two releases are forever paired in my mind. There are several reasons for that. 

First, both bands were power trios in the American punk and hardcore scene. 

Second, both records were released on July 3, 1984, 40 years ago this week.

Third, both records were released by the independent label, SST Records. In fact, they were sequential releases (Zen Arcade is SST 027 while Double Nickels on the Dime is SST 028). 

And, finally, both records appear on lists of great, or even greatest, rock albums, particularly from the 1980s (for example: Zen Arcade is #33 on Rolling Stone's Best Albums of the 1980s and Double Nickels is #413 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time).

So, if punk is your thing, and you like clever lyrics on a variety of topics, give these classics a proverbial spin. Particularly if you're a fan of blistering guitar and rapid-fire rhythms! 


Flashback #1Zen Arcade (July 3, 1984)

Zen Arcade, Hüsker Dü's second studio album, is rooted in hardcore punk. But it also showcases Hüsker Dü as a band that is growing and expanding. It's a concept album that tells the story of a young runaway who finds that the outside world is much worse than his unfulfilling home life (Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 by Michael Azerrad, p.181). There were no singles, or music videos, from this album. But standouts among the 23 tracks include: "Dreams Recovering," "Indecision Time," "Newest Industry," "Broken Home, Broken Heart," "Turn on the News," "Somewhere," and "I’m Never Talking to You Again." 




Flashback #2Double Nickels on the Dime (July 3, 1984)

Minutemen had originally recorded a single album's worth of material for their third studio release. But upon hearing Zen Arcade from their labelmates Hüsker Dü, recorded a month earlier, they decided to write more material. In the liner notes for Double Nickels, "Take that Hüskers!" is meant to give the Hüskers credit for the idea to make a double album (Double Nickels on the Dime 33⅓ by Michael T. Fournier, p.9-10). Not that Minutemen actually had a unifying concept for the double album, expect maybe (loosely) their cars. Similar to Zen ArcadeDouble Nickels on the Dime boasts neither singles nor music videos (unless you count their super-brief cover of Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"). And with their much shorter songs, this collection clocks in with 45 individual tracks (though only the original vinyl release has the full set of songs). It wasn't commercially successful, but it has had a lasting legacy: It was included in the book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, and (as I mentioned earlier) it appears on multiple "best of" lists. Not bad for a band with only five years of total activity. 




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, July 2, 2024

Obi-Wan Kenobi - mini series

There is one main reason I wanted to post about this fantastic show.

Vivien Lyra Blair!!

She portrays 10 year old Princess Leia Organa and I would almost swear she is Carrie Fisher reincarnated! I 100% believe she will grow up to be Carrie Fisher's Leia. In fact, as we watched the last episode I kept crying because it made me miss Carrie Fisher so much.

Vivien is a key piece of this series and she holds her own so perfectly alongside such incredible actors: Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Smits, Joel Edgerton and so many more.

I guarantee I missed a ton of great inside pieces in this show that linked to the movies, etc but it stood on its own to me even without knowing all the ins and outs. I did ask Brainwise a few questions to keep me on the right page though.

If you are a Star Wars fan, this is a must see. If you just a casual Star Wars fan, I still say this is a must see. It is well put together and it fills in some gaps and provides us the most perfect 10 year old Leia.

4 paws

Friday, June 28, 2024

Friday 80s Flashback for June 28, 2024


[A 40-Year (Purple) Reign] -- Perhaps some music fans, and maybe even some critics, would point to this week's album as the moment Prince had climbed to the top of the mountainous music scene. They would, however, be mistaken. He had already showed his chops and seized his mainstream crown with Controversy (1981) and 1999 (1982). But in 1984, 40 years ago this very week, Prince began to shift the cultural landscape with Purple Rain, his sixth studio album.  

Released on June 25, 1984, Purple Rain was a blend of funk, swirling synth beds, and shredding rock. In other words, this was the true debut of what was fast becoming Prince's signature sound. This record also served as the soundtrack for the movie of the same name, a movie that would hit theaters a month later. In the eyes and ears of many fans, the movie and the album are forever bound together in a marriage of audio and video. 

The album topped both the US Billboard 200 (where it spent 24 weeks) and the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. And it reached the top 20 or better in charts around the world. Two of the singles, "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy," topped the US Billboard Hot 100. The third single, the title cut, "Purple Rain," peaked at the #2 spot. Purple Rain was critically and commercially a runaway success, and it is regarded as one of the best albums of all time (not just the 1980s). 

Because I linked the individual music videos for the singles in the previous paragraph, I'm embedding a single video featuring the "2015 Paisley Park Remaster" of the 1984 album in its entirety below. 

What is your favorite track on this album from The Purple One? 

FlashbackPurple Rain (June 25, 1984)




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!

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Happy 35th Anniversary to Tim Burton's BATMAN!


Happy 35th anniversary to Tim Burton's BATMAN, which hit theaters on June 23, 1989. 🦇🃏🎥

Starring Jack Nicholson as The Joker and Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne, this 1989 movie went on to earn $411.6 million at the box office and a solid place in cinematic and comic book history.  I had a small hand in those box office proceeds; I saw BATMAN in the theater multiple times that summer (no small feat as the theater was a 45 minute drive out of town)!

Oh, and remember the protests when Keaton's casting was announced? Now, Keaton is as solid and cherished a part of the Batman mythos as the late Kevin Conroy (BTAS, etc.). 

Reports on Keaton casting: batman-on-film.com

BATMAN teaser trailer: YouTube 

Film vs novel: batman-news.com