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, December 7, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for December 7, 2018

[Madness] -- I don't know about you, but I find myself using "mad" or "madness" as a descriptor often these days. And I don't mean a pleasant kind of off-kilter oddness as exemplified by the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. No, I mean, "Aaaaaah! The world is off its godsdamned rocker and we're spiraling downward to oblivion!" In times like this (have we ever been in times like this before?), I like to turn to some of the odder tunes from my staple of 80s artists. Well, odd but yet upbeat. So, this week we'll feature three songs from across Madness' career. I've chosen two you might not have heard (or at least not remember hearing), and one song that I'm fairly sure you will recall. I have not, however, included what is likely their best known song. Post your guess as to what that song might be in the comments, which you can access with this week's playlist ... after the jump.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for November 23, 2018

[Black Friday -- Redux] -- 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, 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) 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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Dangrdafne Review - first “season” only

While I was away on vacation I had some free time. I had heard so many good things about this show that I decided to check out and hey it was Halloween week.

I was a little nervous because I do not like really scary or gory things. Luckily, this was just right. It reminds of Goosebumps for kids. Lots of suspense and some scare and “gore” but nothing I couldn’t handle.

I really liked the show. Kieran Shipka is excellent as Sabrina but sometimes I can’t stop seeing and hearing Hermione from Harry Potter (although to me, that isn’t too bad of a thing).

I love the chemistry between Sabrina and Harvey and appreciate the more open relationship when it comes to feelings and thoughts for teenagers, refreshing overall.

The friendship between the 4 teens is also a highlight for me. It is nice to see kids getting along and fighting for each other and seeing the bullies get their due.

My most favorite part of the show... Michelle Gomez as Ms. Wardwell. She is incredible. Terrifying, wonderful, hilarious, just perfect.

I am looking forward to “season” two but not sure when I will get a chance to see it. I recommend this show and even if you are prone to scare or gore, I think you will be ok. I think it is worth it for the great story and actors.

3 paws

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for November 9, 2018

[Strength] -- In October of 1985, the Alarm released their second studio album, Strength. Where their first album, Declaration (1984), had been rough and rambunctious, Strength was more polished ... but still rambunctious. And music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic.com considers Strength to be the Alarm's single best album. It's probably my favorite of their releases. Doesn't matter if we're talking about the original album tracks, the remixes, or an incidental acoustic version, I love the songs on this album. Songwriter and lead singer Mike Peters was in rare form for this one, folks. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for November 2, 2018

[Peace, Love, and Understanding] -- Some of you might know that I am an interfaith minister as well as an 80s music aficionado. In my capacity as the former, I am attending the Parliament of the World's Religions 2018 in Toronto, Canada. It started yesterday, and runs through to next Wednesday. In honor of the Parliament's commitment to cultivating harmony and peaceful dialog, I have chosen Elvis Costello & the Attractions version of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" as this week's one and only Flashback tune. Originally a b-side for Costello's "American Squirm," it became a hit and was added to the band's US release of Armed Forces (1979).   

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?
And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony
'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry
What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?
So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony
'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry
What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh what's so fun about peace, love and understanding

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.

If you are interested in the Peace Love & Understanding sign posted above, you can find it on Etsy.

I'll see you in seven!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for October 26, 2018

[TOTO-ly Platinum] -- The fourth studio album by session sidemen turned bandmates, Toto IV (1982) was a multiplatinum surprise. It might have even surprised Toto themselves, as their prior two records had a marked sales slump compared to their eponymous debut of 1978. Toto IV's lead single climbed to #2 and stayed there for several weeks while the third single became the bands first and only #1 Billboard hit. Even the fourth single, released almost a year after the first single, peaked in the top 10. Ultimately, four of the album's five singles were top 40 hits and the album itself secured the #11 position on the US Billboard 200. This is one of those records that successfully crosses -- or, perhaps, blurs -- the lines between AOR and jazz. So much so, that it's one of the few rock records that my father purchased in the 80s. We listened to it together quite a bit, and he delighted in pointing out just how meticulous the arrangements on this album really are. I still own his vinyl copy. Now, if you're wondering which tracks hit those #2, #10, and #1 slots respectively, you can read and hear more after the jump.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Dangrdafne review

Amazon Video has made a masterpiece. A clever, hilarious, crazy fun show about ... stand up
comedy at its heart. A story of real life in the 50’s but on a stage of stand up comedy and being a woman. It’s about strength, courage, despair, family and laughter.

The casting is impeccable and it deserved every award it won in this past year. I loved getting lost in their world. From the costuming to the perfect details of the homes. I feel like I could write forever about this show but I’ll just tell you to go watch it. You’ll understand.

4 paws and a tail!!