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, August 30, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for August 30, 2019

[Not Toto-ly Solo] -- I'm a fan of Toto. I mean the band, though I suppose that little dog is cool, too. Now, much of what I like about Toto's recordings comes down to the fret work of cool hand Steve Lukather. Even before Toto released their first record, Lukather was a regular guitar slinger in recording studios. He can be heard on countless records for a variety of artists. But until very recently, I did not know that he had recorded his first solo album and released it August 28, 1989 -- 30 years ago this week! It came about because Toto mutually decided to take a bit of a break after 11 years together. But it wasn't a fully solo project. No, Steve Lukather took the songs he had written, songs that had not yet appeared on a Toto record, and worked them with such recording luminaries as Eddie Van Halen, Steve Stevens, Richard Marx, and Jan Hammer. He even included fellow Toto members, Jeff Porcaro and David Paich, in the mix. As far as I can tell, Lukather (1989) features no singles, but a promo video was made for one of the songs, "Lonely Beat of My Heart." So, outside of that link, I'll feature the album in its entirety for this week's Flashback. 

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, August 23, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for August 23, 2019

[Jefferson Tuna] -- This week in 1989, thirty years ago, Jefferson Airplane released their eighth and final studio album, Jefferson Airplane. There can be some confusion surrounding the whole Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship details, particularly in terms of who was in which band at which time and who owned what. Even here, vocalist Grace Slick had left the 80s rock band Starship, and a few other folks had been recording/touring as the KBC Band or as Hot Tuna. And I think that pretty much shows in the final project which ends up sounding closer to Hot Tuna (sort of?) than anything previously identifiable as Jefferson Airplane. Rolling Stone equated this reunion record with watching your favorite ballplayers trying to play well past their prime. Maybe there's something to that description. Anyway, there were three singles from this record, which itself peaked at 85 on the album chart (Billboard Hot 200P). Only two of the three singles charted, and only two received the music video treatment. Do you remember any of them? I have to admit that I didn't. But, as usual, you can read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for August 16, 2019

[Lucifer] -- I'm heading to LA today. The wife and I have tickets for A Salute to Lucifer, a convention for Lucifans. Now, across its four seasons, Lucifer, has been known for showcasing some excellent music. Check out the songlists here or here. But for the most part, there has been very little from the 80s featured on the show. So, I'm here to correct that oversight by offering up a few devilish tunes from our favorite decade. I tried to find songs that could still make sense if actually played during an episode. And that meant ruling out quite a few, shall we say, of the more metallic variety of songs. Still, I think I have a few overlooked gems for you, and one super popular song that I'm sure you've already guessed. Wondering if you've guessed correctly? Well, read and hear more after the jump! (And don't worry; Lucifer has been on Earth, so you're not jumping into Hell. Not yet anyway.) 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Love Letter to Jane the Virgin

From Dangrdafne

There are no words to describe my grief over the series finale of this show. Jane the Virgin starring Gina Rodriguez tells the story basically of a Grandmother, mother and daughter and how they navigate the world we live in, all under the guise of a Telenovela.

To say that I love these characters, this show and their stories is an understatement. This show covers so many incredibly important topics and makes them so accessible. From virginity, to religion, to love, to friendship, to sex, to ageism, to racism, cancer, everything. I kid you not, this show has covered so much and so well. It is so sad that these stories will end and we will miss out on all the magic they create.

Gina Rodriguez is spectacular as Jane. She is my best friend and we don’t even know each other. She tells my stories as a woman and I learn about her life and struggles as a woman of color. But honestly that isn’t even part of the story any more. These are just people who speak a different language but speaking the exact same language as all of us. Humanity. All they want is love, friendship, peace and a place in society. Isn’t that what we all want?

Yes, there are crazy things that happen in this show but that is also what I love most about it. The “mundane” mixed with the “crazy”, sounds like life to me. I love that there are no punches pulled, they all land squarely where they should but resolutions are always around the corner. The mysteries are twisted and complicated and I have yet to figure one out but maybe I just don’t try as hard with this show because I WANT it to surprise me and challenge me and make me yell out... and believe me I have yelled at this show many times and I love it.

I already know that just because it has Telenovela attached to it, people will choose not to watch but I implore you to just go with it. Enjoy the crazy, enjoy the amazing writing, enjoy a 7 minute uncut dialog performed by Gina Rodriguez this season... but AFTER you watch all the episodes in all the years before it. You will be blown away by her talent and that of the writers and all the other actors and everyone involved in the show. You will definitely have moments where you think they are in your head and stealing your thoughts and I relish those moments.

The love stories are the best they can be. Soulmates, true love, amnesia, familial love, all of the love. This show consistently breaks my heart but in the most delicious ways. I have cried more tears for Jane than for This is Us (and we all know how much we cry at that show). This has become my family and I will miss them so much when they are gone. The fatherly love Rogelio has for Jane is the most precious love I have seen. I pretty much just assume this is a real family and they are just filming their lives for us.

I so want the cast and crew to see this post and to see my love for them and to hear my gratitude I have for them sharing everything they have with me/us. From the beautiful sets, colors, clothes, backdrops, writing, filming and acting, there will never be another show like this. I wish I could put my thoughts together better but I don’t know how. I just absolutely love this show and I want everyone else to love it to. I want you all to see what I see and feel the glowing heart that I feel with every episode. I will miss having Spanish spoken in my house every week and seeing what my friends are up to in Miami and the Mirabella.

I wish they could just keep telling me stories and making my heart glow until the end of time. Sounds like a Telenovela...

Thank you for everything.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for August 9, 2019

[Overkill] -- I came across Men At Work twice within the last week. Once in a TV show, and once again in my newsfeed. I figure that's good enough to make them the subject of this week's Flashback. Most people might recall their 1983 single, "Overkill." I would wager that many might think it was the only single from Men At Work's sophomore effort, Cargo (1983). Those folks would, however, be in error. "Overkill" was the second of four singles from that album. But it was the most successful of the four, being an international top 10 hit in Canada, Ireland, Norway, and the US Billboard Hot 100. In 2003, Men At Work vocalist, Colin Hay, released a solo album that featured an acoustic version of "Overkill." That acoustic version had also been featured on the NBC series, Scrubs. And this week, Sonic More Music posted Colin Hays' isolated vocals from the original recording of "Overkill" [Update 4/28/2023: the previous isolated vocals video is gone, but I found another one]. 

I hope you enjoy all three versions, which you'll find just after the jump. 

Neon Future #1

Still catching up on comics I picked up during SDCC 2019. Here's one that was handed out for free at the company's booth: Neon Future #1.

This debut issue from Impact Theory Comics presents a world in which those with tech enhancements (the Augmented) are on the verge of war with those who shun such enhancements (the Authentic). The title of the book is the name of the resistance movement that wants to show how the future can be peaceful and harmonious: Neon Future.

The resistance movement takes desperate action in their bid for this future: When Clay Campbell, a reality TV star and darling of the Authentic, dies, Neon Future's leader, Kita Sovee (based on Steve Aoki), uses tech to bring Clay back from the dead. The hope is that this new Augmented will shift the balance in the ongoing struggle. Clay, of course, isn't exactly on board with this plan, but he will be forced to make a choice. And forced is the correct word, especially as he doesn't exactly know what his augments enable him to do ... yet.

The concept is compelling, and the art is beautiful (particularly the "after-life" Clay briefly experiences before his return).

Check out the video trailer.

Digital version of Issue #1 is available for free at the Impact Theory site. Be certain that Digital Copy PDF (Cover A) is selected.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for August 2, 2019

[Hot Doggie!] -- I don't know if it's the weather, the thought of going back to school (which is where I first heard the tune), or something else, but "Hot Doggie" has been popping up in my mind for a while now. So, I'm going to share it with you as a very special Flashback. Colourbox was an English electronic music outfit active from about 1982 through 1987. They were on the 4AD label, the home of more etheric, gothic, dream pop acts like Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil. But Colourbox was nothing like their labelmates. Their more popular tracks were mishmashes of pop, rock, and other genres with soundbites from film and TV.

Case in point, the aforementioned "Hot Doggie." It seems to be a simple track of (synthesized?) guitar, bass, and drums, with dialog from The Evil Dead (1981), Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), The Last Starfighter (1984), Death Wish 3 (1985), and Lifeforce (1985) sprinkled throughout. It's the lead track off the 1987 compilation record, or is it a concept albumLonely Is An Eyesore (the album cover shown at the top of this post). And as I previously mentioned Colourbox being quite different from the rest of the 4AD bands, this record really nails that difference. After the upbeat intro of "Hot Doggie!," the rest of the record, though brilliant, feels like a bit of a muddy slog. For me, the best way to enjoy the atmospheric brilliance of Lonely Is An Eyesore is by skipping "Hot Doggie!" And the best way to enjoy "Hot Doggie!" is all by its lonesome. So that's the one and only embedded track this week. Let's hear some music!

Flashback"Well hot doggie!"

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!