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, March 15, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for March 15, 2019



[What is Love?] -- In light of the racially motivated terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers, I just don't have the heart to go forward with my planned Flashback post. Instead, I'm taking a single track that was featured in my 11/4/2016 post on Electric Sun (Heavy Metal Hippie). To my knowledge, "What is Love?" was never released as a single. And I believe the world is poorer for that. Musically, this track muscles its way through nearly three and a half minutes of tasty guitar runs and just enough of a beat to bob your head or tap your foot in time. Roth's lead vocal isn't amazing, but the harmony vocals provided by the combo of Michael Flechsig, bassist Ule Ritgen, and Rainer Przywara more than make up for Roth's shortcomings. Lyrically, well, it lacks in philosophy, but it has that plaintive seeker mojo in spades. Or is that in crystals? You tell me.

What is love? Well, it's not in the actions of those cowardly stains who feel the need to gear up and shoot people who are guilty only of looking or worshipping in a different way. I do see love, however, in the outpouring of support for this and other maimed communities. This must increase. We must all strive for peaceful solutions in defusing hatred. We must believe that one day we can and will live together in harmony. If you're interested in that, too, click on over to New Zealand's Give Nothing to Racism campaign.

And now, let's give a spin to "What is Love?" from Beyond the Astral Skies (1985) by Uli Jon Roth and Electric Sun!

Flashback"What is Love? | Does anybody know the answer?."




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!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for March 1, 2019



[RIP Mark Hollis] -- This week we lost Talk Talk co-founder and enigmatic pop singer, Mark Hollis (1/4/1955 – 2/25/2019). Hollis was Talk Talk's primary songwriter and lead singer. Under his direction, the band moved from its New Romantic and synth pop origins in 1981 to increasingly more experimental outings in their 10-year history. Compare the pop stylings of The Party's Over (1982) with the art rock of, for example, Spirit of Eden (1988). After five studio albums and 23 singles, Talk Talk disbanded in 1992. Hollis recorded and released one self-titled solo album in 1998, but retired from music, and largely disappeared from public life, shortly thereafter. His death this week came "after a short illness from which he never recovered."

To commemorate Hollis' death, I'm taking a cue from Gordon Skene's site, Past Daily, and sharing the audio of Talk Talk's Hammersmith Odeon appearance from May 8, 1986, as broadcast by the BBC:




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, February 22, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for February 22, 2018



[In the Spirit] -- Last weekend I attended a retreat as a member of the staff of the School of Sacred Ministries. In my preparations for that retreat, I found myself with no time to post a Flashback. Before I go on, let me discuss the retreat topic. For that retreat, students of the School of Sacred Ministries focused on their "Religions of Origin." The idea being that, whether we are still part of the tradition we were raised in, it has had and continues to have an impact on us, upon our psyche. That impact can be positive or negative, and is often both. And you need to examine the impact and own it. Then and only then can you move on, taking what you need from the past and discarding the rest. So, this weekend, I present some songs inspired by last week's retreat. These tunes have religious and spiritual themes to them. What those themes are might be obvious in some cases, and hidden in others. I'll try not to spend too much time in spelling any of them out. Like with most art, interpretation should be left up to the observer. Or, in this case, the listener (and music video viewer). If you're curious as to what tracks spirited their way onto my latest playlist, read and hear more after the jump. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for February 8, 2019



[Workin'] -- I've been thinking about working and employment this week. Both in terms of having work to do and being unemployed (or even underemployed). It's all we can do to stay one step ahead of the mortgage, or healthcare bills, right? I don't recall if healthcare costs were problematic in the 80s, but finding and keeping decent jobs was definitely high on the social anxiety meter. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh? So, with this in mind, I opted to feature songs about work and working in this week's Flashback. There are no party anthems like Loverboy's "Working the the Weekend." But this week's playlist isn't strictly somber, either. So, which workhorse tracks made the cut this week? Read and hear more after the jump!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for February 1, 2019



[RIP James Ingram] -- I had something else in mind for this week's Flashback. But then I read the news of James Ingram's passing. He lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 66 on 1/29/19. Now, if the name isn't familiar, I'll bet his voice was. Ingram's smoothly soulful voice lent itself to a number of hits in the 80s and 90s. Interestingly, the vast majority of those hits were collaborative in nature. He was either a guest on another artist's record, or he was featured in a duet. He didn't score a solo hit until 1990. But you know his collaborations. "Baby, Come to Me" with Patti Austin in 1982. "What About Me?" with Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes in 1984, And "Somewhere Out There," from 1986's An American Tail: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack, with Linda Ronstadt. According to Wikipedia, Ingram scored eight Top 40 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, 13 top 40 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, 20 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart, and two Hot 100 #1 singles. If you want to know what tracks I've chosen to remember him from that spectrum of hits, read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for January 25, 2019


[Iceland's Daisy Hill Puppy Farm] -- Just before I left for Iceland last week, I posted a Flashback featuring the Sugarcubes. Well, I returned from Iceland very early this morning, so how 'bout we follow up last week's post with one about another 80s Icelandic band? If you're up for it, I've got just the thing for you, especially if you're into shoegazers and ear bleeders: Daisy Hill Puppy Farm! According to Rok (rokmusik.co), Daisy Hill Puppy Farm was active between 1987 and 1990. During that time, they released an eponymous 7" EP in 1988 and a 12" record, Spraycan, in 1989. And, yes, they were apparently named after the farm where Charlie Brown got his dog, Snoopy, in the Peanuts comic strip. The band's frontman, Jóhann Jóhannsson (9/19/1969 - 2/9/2018), became a solo artist and then a well-known TV and film composer. If you ask me, that is quite the career arc. If you want to know what his music was like before he composed the soundtrack for, say, The Theory of Everything (2014), you can hear more after the jump.  

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for January 18, 2019



[Iceland] -- I'm heading to Iceland today for an Astro.Tour. Well, my flight departs this afternoon, but I'll arrive in Reykjavík early Saturday morning. So, I figure this is a great time to highlight some 80s music from the Nordic island country. Now, if you haven't heard of, or don't recall, The Sugarcubes, you might recall one particular member of that band: Björk. Yeah, she pretty much broke out as an international artist after the Sugarcubes crashed and burned. She has nearly 20 albums to her credit (including live records and compilations), while her debut band has a paltry three albums in their catalog. But quantity does not always supersede quality. And the Sugarcubes' debut, Life's Too Good (1988), has a certain charming quality to it. Of course, all the songs are built around Björk's unique vocal prowess. You definitely want to delve into Birthday and Motorcrash. But why not just take in the entire playlist? You can enjoy the album at this link, or in the embedded video below.




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, January 11, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for January 11, 2019


[A Logical Animal] -- AllMusic.com refers to Animal Logic as an "experimental pop unit." That's as good a description as any for the trio that came together in 1987 and released their first eponymous album in 1989. Initiated as a potential collaboration between ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland and jazz fusion bassist Stanley Clarke, there was no actual band until the duo found singer/songwriter Deborah Holland. Animal Logic is the kind of band that was only possible in the 80s, or at least more possible. And this band should have thrived exploring that space that permeates between jazz and rock all while making heady music videos. But instead they're just one more band that didn't live up to their promise. Perhaps Animal Logic's output was a little too artsy, or maybe they came along too late in the decade. Whatever it was, they have been consigned to the great dustheap of forgotten CDs. As you might expect after that intro, the band's debut didn't exactly light the charts ablaze. So I'm just picking three songs I like from the album, and you can read and hear move about my selections after the jump.  

Friday, January 4, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for January 4, 2019



[New Year, New Possibilities] -- Yes, I realize we are now several days past New Year's Day. But 2019 still has some of that new year smell, right. Right? Of course, I'm right! Now, there really is no (formal) canon of great New Year's songs. However, I subscribe to the notion that New Year's songs, unlike songs about Easter or Christmas, are not about a particular event but are, instead, about an attitude. They are about letting go of errors and reaching out for renewal. They are about boldly striving forth and taking advantage of the proverbial potential that a fresh new year offers. And so, with that in mind, and with the hope that I can help a few people find motivation for their goals, I offer up three 80s songs to power you into 2019. To find out what these motivational selections are, you just have to read and hear more after the break.