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, December 29, 2017

Three of My Fave Comic Series of 2017

Over in a comic-loving Facebook group, we were presented with the question, "What are your top 3 favorite series of 2017 and why?" Now, I read over 80 different series released during 2017. Not all of them started and ended in this past year, but many of them did. And I enjoyed so many of them that I am hard pressed to pick three favorites. Still, I did whittle down the list to select three of my fave titles. So, in no particular order, I give you three comic book series that wowed me in 2017:

Friday 80s Flashback for December 29, 2017

[Goodbye 2017 in 1980s Style] -- It's the final Flashback post for 2017! In so many ways, this year has been a dumpster fire, particularly on the national and world stages. Sure, like any year, there have been some bright spots. And one of those bright spots is the opportunity to share my love of 80s music. So, how best to say goodbye to this past year in 80s fashion? Why, find a trio of songs such that each one, in one way or another, is about endings and changes. If you would like to know what those songs are this time around, you can read and hear more after the jump. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for December 22, 2017

[Christmas Blues] -- I love the 80s. I love Christmas music. And I love jazz. So, for this week's Flashback post, I thought I'd share an album that deftly combines all three of those elements. In 1989, Holly Cole released her debut recording, the Christmas Blues EP, with the trio she had formed in 1986.  Holy Cole (vocals), Aaron Davis piano), and David Piltch (bass) recorded as a trio until 1995, at which time they simply recorded under Holly's name. But I don't care what they call themselves, they sound great together. Holly's voice and Aaron's piano playing in particular are well-suited for each other. Christmas Blues has only four tracks, one of which is a wonderful, jazzy cover of The Pretenders' "2,000 Miles." Are you familiar with the other three tunes? Well, read and hear more after the jump!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for December 15, 2017

[Whither the Smithereens?] -- Perhaps you heard that Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens died this week at the age of 62. His health had been in decline since 2015 after he suffered a pair of falls that damaged the nerves of his right arm. When I saw the band in July 2016, Pat couldn't even hold, let alone play, a guitar. But he still put on a good show with his bandmates, his voice ringing clear with Jim Babjak's Marshall-driven guitar licks.

The Smithereens started in 1980 and they specialized in 1960s-ish power pop. That's not surprising considering Pat cited Buddy Holly as his biggest influence. Pat was one of the band's founders. More than that: He was their voice and primary songwriter (hence my theme, "Whither the Smithereens?", because I don't see where the band can go from here).  I can hear the Holly influence, but I wonder how many people missed that due to the Smithereens' much heavier sound. Unlike Holly, however, the Smithereens were criminally underappreciated. At least I feel they were. Anyway, in tribute to the late, great Pat DiNizio, I thought I'd flashback to the Smithereens' 80s catalog. Three of their ten studio LPs were released in the 80s, so I have plenty of fodder. Hmmm. Three albums, three flashback tracks. What will I highlight this weekend? Read and hear more after the jump. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for December 8, 2017

[Remembering John Lennon] -- John Lennon was shot and killed on 12/8/1980, 37 years ago today. I may not recall exactly what I was doing when I learned of Lennon's death, but I do remember understanding it as a blow not only to music, but also peace activism. He will long be remembered as a peace worker and an anti-war activist. Of course, John Lennon is primarily remembered as a musician, and he has an extensive catalog, dating back to 1962. As my focus is the 1980s, I wanted to commemorate John Lennon with a look at his work released in my favorite decade of music. I say released because he only had a brief window during which he recorded new material in 1980. Still, he was prolific, and he left behind enough material for two new records, one studio and one live. So, what have I selected for you this week? Read and hear more after the jump. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for December 1, 2017

[Change the Weather] -- When we hit the beginning of December, people in southeast PA usually organize into one faction or the other. The first faction cannot wait for a "Winter Wonderland." The other one mourns the loss of shorts and flip-flops weather. What I'm saying is that one group welcomes the weather change, while the other wants to change it back. Of course, more recently, the beginning of December has trended somewhat balmy, so that aforementioned second group of flip-flop wearers doesn't have to mourn all that much just yet. All of that is a long and not very interesting intro to this week's album, Change the Weather (1989) by Brit techno rockers, Underground.  Change the Weather is Underground's sophomore record, released 12/1/1989, and it is unique in the band's discography in that it did not chart. At all. Perhaps that lack of chart activity is due to a slight change in the band's approach (more 80s pop-rock than the electric techno of, say "Born Slippy .NUXX"). Maybe it was just a dry patch. Regardless, Change the Weather is a fine 80s gem that deserves more attention. So, read and hear more about the album's first three tracks after the jump.