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, November 18, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for November 18, 2016

[Early Huey] -- Before Huey Lewis and the News had their breakout hit with "Do You Believe in Love" in 1982, they released their eponymous debut album in 1980. The band had actually signed their recording contract with Chrysalis Records as Huey Lewis and the American Express. However, due to the label's concerns about litigation by a certain credit card company, the band changed their name to Huey Lewis and the News prior to their first album's release. Their debut album had two singles, but neither of them charted. Nor did the album for that matter. Still, you can hear the combination of doo wop and 80s pop, and see the goodnatured slapsticky humor, that would become staples of the band's reputation through the mid to late 80s. And, yes, I admit: I have a serious soft spot for this album. Read and hear more about it after the break. Maybe you'll come to feel that Huey Lewis and the News is an underrated and unfortunately unappreciated album.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for November 11, 2016

If we hired people the same way we elect them (Non Sequitur, 1/25/2008)

[Post-Election Blues] -- We knew going into Tuesday that, whoever won the 2016 election, it was going to be an historic outcome. And, I must remind my fellow US citizens, that for each person who is disappointed about the results, there is one who is rejoicing. Also, if you add in all the eligible voters who skipped the election, then way more voters did not cast a ballot for your candidate than who cast one for your candidate's opponent. And this applies no matter who got your vote! (If you're confused about how that works, contact me and I'll explain it to you.)

At any rate, how about a few tunes to help us process this latest exercise in what amounts to rearranging deck chairs for this grand experiment called America? Read and hear more about this week's selections after the break. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for November 4, 2016

[Heavy Metal Hippie] -- From 1974 to 1978, German-born Uli Jon Roth was the lead guitarist and primary songwriter for the Scorpions. But near the end of his tenure with the band, Roth was not happy with their commercial direction. So he left them after the 1978 tour. His departure was timely as the Scorpions rocketed to the apex of their heyday after 1978. Given his reason for leaving the band, I'm guessing Roth is OK that he didn't have to deal with the Scorpions' overwhelming commercial success in the 80s anyway.

Upon exiting the Scorpions, Roth formed his own band and named it Electric Sun. They recorded and toured for three albums between 1979 and 1985. Electric Sun's first two records were Earthquake (1979) and Fire Wind (1980). Beyond the Astral Skies ( 1985) was the their third and final album, and Roth retired the band's name in 1986.

Beyond the Astral Skies is also the best known of the trilogy of Electric Sun records. I don't know if that distinction came about because it was the final album, or if it was more due to the record's ensemble nature. But after listening to these records, and seeing some photos and footage of Mr. Roth, I do know one thing: Uli Jon Roth is a heavy metal hippie who fancied Jimi Hendrix and new age cosmic trippiness. From his headband, to his bluesy riffs, to his rough and folky vocals, Roth was something else. And nowhere is this more apparent than on Beyond the Astral Skies. Think of it as a rock opera for the Kumbaya crowd. Or, as Winston Arntz writes, it's "a cross between Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy and eighties hard rock." So, if that description has made you curious what nuggets I've selected for this week's playlist, read and hear more after the jump.