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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Maleficent - Mistress of Evil

 Dangrdafne review


Beautiful to watch. Absolute full on eye candy for everything. Incredible costuming, amazing scenery and Angelina Jolie was glorious. Simply beautiful. 

That said, I preferred the first movie over this one. The story was just too harsh for me. Perhaps if I saw this before the pandemic I would feel differently but it just didn’t hit me right. Too much carnage when real life has too much right now. 

It was a traditional fairy tale though and I won’t deny them that. Traditional fairy tales are not pretty and this story certainly wasn’t. 

But again I could look at the costuming all day every day. 

2 paws overall 

4 paws for costumes and scenery 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday 80s Flashback for September 24, 2021


[Something Kool] -- 40 years ago today, Kool & the Gang released their 13th studio album, Something Special. Although lead singer James “J.T.” Taylor and co-founder Ronald Bell performed the main writing duties on this record, the whole group contributed as composers. That kind of teamwork would continue, particularly as the band took more control of their recordings. But for Something Special and its follow-up, Brazilian jazz-dance producer, and artist in his own right, Eumir Deodato helmed the production duties just as he had for the prior two releases, Ladies Night (1979) and Celebrate! (1980). Kool & the Gang were definitely responsible for carrying disco's torch into the early 1980s! 

Something Kool  became the band's third Platinum album, following in the footsteps of the two prior Deodato-helmed records, and it was their first top ten record in the UK. In the US, the album peaked at #12 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and #1 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart. As far as singles went, "Take My Heart" was a #1 hit on the R&B chart while peaking at #17 on the Pop chart, and the infectious "Get Down On It" reached #4 on the R&B chart and #10 on the Pop chart. "Stepping Out," the first single, reached #12 (R&B) and #89 (Pop). Additionally, "Stand Up and Sing" found its way onto the soundtrack for The Pirate Movie (1982).

I've embedded KoolandthegangShow's video playlist. They compiled the album's original eight tracks plus a bonus track ("Stop!") from the 1998 CD reissue. Enjoy!

FlashbackSomething Special (Kool & the Gang, 1981)




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!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday 80s Flashback for September 17, 2021

 

[A-B-A-C-A-B] -- Genesis has been in the news lately, primarily because they have a reunion tour in the works. But drummer/frontman Phil Collins' recent comments have also drawn attention: This tour is likely his swan song due to his ongoing health problems

So, this might be a good time to revisit a record from when he was in his prime. And, in September 1981, 40 years ago this week, Genesis released their 11th studio album, Abacab. The title track took its name from how an early version of the song was structured (i.e., the order of sections assigned a letter of the alphabet). According to guitarist Mike Ruthorford, however, the final version was more like ACACACUCUBUBUGA than ABACAB (see Genesis In the Studio, YouTube, 2006). 

Abacab marked a shift from Genesis' progressive roots into a more pop-oriented sound, but those roots are still somewhat evident. And it was a big success; it was the band's second #1 album on the UK Albums Chart as well as their first to peak in the top ten of the US Billboard 200. Of the four singles, "Abacab" and "No Reply At All" were the most successful. "Abacab" peaked at #26 while "No Reply At All" peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100. "No Reply At All" also reached the #2 position on the U.S. Top Rock Tracks chart. Back in the day, my favorite track was probably the fourth single, "Man on the Corner," but these days I gravitate more to an unreleased track, "Dodo/Lurker." Though I still have quite a bit of love for "No Reply At All." Feel free to share your favorite Genesis track in the comments!


FlashbackAbacab (September 18, 1981)



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!

Friday, September 10, 2021

Friday 80s Flashback for September 10, 2021

 


[Rage in 40] -- Forty years ago this week -- on Friday, September 11, 1981 -- Ultravox released their fifth studio album, Rage in Eden. It reached #4 on the UK album charts, and #144 in the US, while also peaking within the top 50 albums for a few other European countries and Australia. Rage in Eden produced two hits: "The Thin Wall," which kicked off side B, and "The Voice," the album opener on side A. "The Thin Wall" peaked at #14 in the UK Single Charts, while the much stronger (in my opinion, anyway) "The Voice" peaked at #16. None of the singles charted in the US. But all told, Rage in Eden was a finely crafted piece of New Romantic, synth-driven rock. The lyrics are more introspective, even mysterious, than those on previous releases, but perhaps the band felt they had reached a point where they could stretch a bit and experiment lyrically given that their previous record, Vienna (1980), was such a commercial breakthrough. Also, Midge Ure, who had previously worked with Ultravox keyboardist Billy Currie before joining the band on Vienna, now had over a year of experience with his new bandmates. 

Whatever the case, Ultravox continued to mine the sound of their third and fourth releases while going a bit more surreal with their lyrics. And it works. Even if the record wasn't terribly popular at the time, I say this is a recording that has aged well, perhaps even being a masterpiece of 1980s synth-rock. 

Rage in Eden received a 2008 remaster with 13 extra tracks (live recordings and extended versions).

FlashbackRage in Eden (1981)




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, September 7, 2021

The Suicide Squad

 Dangrdafne review 


From my photo choice, you can see what or rather who was my favorite part of The Suicide Squad. Followed closely by Ratcatcher 2 and Bloodsport … oh and I can’t forget Rick Flag. 

What an insane and wild ride this movie was. It was ultra violent and gory and while I didn’t watch most of that, it wasn’t actually gratuitous, it is exactly what I would expect from a movie called The Suicide Squad and based on the source material.  

I was not spoiled at all even though it took us quite some time to see this movie. I also didn't watch any trailers or any coverage of the movie before we saw it and I am so grateful. I didn't know what was going to happen or who would die and while I am not happy about only one of the deaths, I am glad I didn't know anything before seeing it for myself. I get why it all happened but it doesn't mean I have to like it (and I don't).

The story was typical for the most part but James Gunn always finds humor to break the tension and to add to the crazy. I loved that I felt like I was watching a comic book and I loved how each song matched the scene it was in and added to the story. I also loved the scene and title breaks, they were very clever and added to the comic book feel.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is just glorious to me and she shined so brightly in this movie. Her story was exactly what was needed for her and I appreciate it. I found myself literally cheering and clapping on my couch for her.

Overall I liked the movie and I would watch it again, mostly for Harley and Sebastian but I still wouldn't be able to stomach all the violence and gore to watch those parts just as I didn't the first time.

3 paws

Friday, September 3, 2021

Friday 80s Flashback for September 3, 2021 (Flashbackiversary!)



[Flashbackiversary!] -- I started posting the Friday 80s Flashback on September 3, 2010. That makes today my 11 year Flashbackiversary! (I missed celebrating the 10-year milestone, but it was 2020, so it's kind of par for the proverbial course). To celebrate, let's turn back the clock -- er, calendar -- 11 years and revisit that very first flashback which appeared on Prophet or Madman (I moved the weekly Flashbacks to Bookended by Cats on 6/24/2016). I'm struck by the sparsity and simplicity of my initial foray into weekly pop-culture ruminations. In fact, that very first flashback has no commentary whatsoever! There isn't even a theme! The weekly theme didn't become part and parcel of the flashback until the fourth entry, on September 24, 2010 (a two-fer: Angry Edition and Uplifting Edition). Sample lyrics first appeared in the November 5, 2010, flashback (Politics Schmolotics). On December 10, 2010, we saw my first attempt at incorporating a header image with the Flashback (Winter Holidays: Week 2). 

For the text and videos shared in my 9/3/2010 Flashback, read and hear more after the break.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday 80s Flashback for August 27, 2021


[Sorry Ma!] -- This week, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Replacements' beautifully messy 1981 debut, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. If you are not familiar with The Replacements, here's the intro for a previous flashback that served as a brief retrospective of their 12+ year career (over on Prophet or Madman): 
The Replacements formed in Minneapolis in the late 70s. According to drummer Chris Mars, the band's name reflected their sense of a secondary status: "Like maybe the main act doesn't show, and instead the crowd has to settle for an earful of us dirtbags" [Azerrad, Michael. Our Band Could Be Your Life. 2001. p. 199]. They were never commercially successful, but they did receive critical accolades and have been cited as a major influence for many bands.

The Replacements (or, simply, The 'Mats to their fans) are probably my favorite of what I call the "sloppy" American rock & roll bands. Their sound was informed by a combination of the arena blues-rock of their collective youth and the post-punk that was in vogue when they took up their own instruments. Now, they never achieved a high level of proficiency as musicians during their time together, but they did evolve from garden variety garage band to a genuinely tight if oft-times shabby outfit. Their songs touched upon the pains of growing up, hating your job, and relationship issues, and they did so in their own loud but tuneful manner. 
And they released their debut 40 years ago this week. With only one track exceeding three minutes, they were able to pack a total of 18 tracks onto this record. The lone single was "I'm In Trouble," released on August 7, 1981. An outtake track, "If Only You Were Lonely," was the B-Side; it was included as one of the 13 bonus tracks on the 2008 reissue. "I Hate Music" is the only song on this record to receive the music video treatment, and then only recently as something of an advert for RHINO's 40th anniversary deluxe edition of Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. The new video, even as part of an obvious (obnoxious?) cash grab, does nothing to diminish my love for "I Hate Music." My other fave tracks include "Shiftless When Idle," "Shutup," "Something to Dü," "I Bought a Headache," and "Careless." Feel free to mention your faves in the comments ... after you reacquaint yourself with this hardcore classic. This post's embedded YouTube playlist has all the tracks included on the 1981 release. 



FlashbackSorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981)




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!