Blog Archives

Rocktober – Tricked Out Treat

A Halloween thrill costumed in a different genre… but first, a word from our sponsors about all your favorite Halloween songs by tonight’s featured artist –

 

“Thriller” 1930s jazz style –

 

 

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City Pop Radio

I posted a City Pop collection by Van Paugam a while back. If you liked it, he’s now got a streaming YouTube channel, City Pop Radio, described as –

Streaming City Pop classics 24/7! Come with us on an endless drive through the streets of Japan while listening to over 30 hours worth of the best City Pop records from the 80s. Travel back in time through the haze of memories that aren’t your own, and melodies frozen in a particular place in history.

It’s been running for almost 2 weeks now. There’s a live chat on the sidebar, if you want to discuss City Pop music or ask questions about it. The playlist is randomized and updated weekly. There’s also a donate link, if you like what you hear. The driving video is kind of neat to watch (no, not the cheeky pic in the thumbnail, a real vid), I’m not sure how long it runs before looping back to the start.

They Shouldn’t Have Cut Those Music Classes

My wife: Do you not like Queen, or just “Don’t Stop Believin'”? (pause) or, is that…?

Me:  That’s Journey. I don’t know how you got those two mixed up.

My wife: I don’t either!

71717

A palindromic date after a week of palindromic dates, and still a couple days to go. Next year it will happen for ten days in August.

‘Tis a fine blue sky on a Monday here. Which is a hopeless segue into the song “Blue Monday” by New Order. If you don’t know the song (and unless you’re under the age of 20, how couldn’t you? Did your parents hate good music?), give it a listen.

It was redone a few years later, sounding a bit different and released at “Blue Monday 88” (another palindromic number, if only just barely),* which also garnered much airplay.

Taking it to an ultra-blue level, Orkestra Obsolete has covered the song in retro style using only 1930s instruments.

Jazzy, in an art-deco-on-acid kind of way.

  • 1988, or “88,” is an unusual number, given that 1+9+8+8=26 and 2+6=8. And the 8s are sideways Infinity symbols. No, there’s no point to this information.

 

Saturday Night Studio Bonus – City Pop Summer Edition

80s City Pop for long hot days on the beach, skating down the boulevard under a blue sky, and driving into the sunset on an infinite highway…

City Pop Summer Edition just dropped. It is most excellent.

 

Playlist posted by Van Paugam. He’s done a number of other City Pop collections, give them a listen.

♪ Track List (with associated anime clips):
♪OFF SHORE – 角松敏生Toshiki Kadomatsu (0:00) Waves gif from Neon Genesis Evangelion followed by Maron from Dragon Ball Z”
♪土曜の夜はパラダイス – エポEPO (5:11) “?”
♪RIDE ON TIME – 山下達郎Tatsuro Yamashita (9:18) “City Hunter”
♪HIGHWAY OF THE SUN – パイパーPiper (14:46) “Creamy Mami”
♪Dancing Tonight – 国分友里恵Yurie Kokubo (19:06) “Akira”
♪Streets Are Hot – 藤原美穂Miho Fujiwara (22:04) “Megazone 23”
♪Paradise Island – 中原めいこMeiko Nakahara (25:50) “Bubblegum Crisis”
♪Sky High – 松原正樹Masaki Matsubara (30:37) “Dragon Ball Z”
♪TRANSIT IN SUMMER – 杉山清貴&オメガトライブKiyotaka Sugiyama & Omega Tribe (34:10) “?”
♪そよ風のエアメール – 石川秀美Hidemi Ishikawa (38:26)
♪DEAR BREEZE – 杉山清貴&オメガトライブKiyotaka Sugiyama & Omega Tribe (42:42) “?”
♪Summer Connection – 大貫妙子Taeko Onuki (46:35) “Cowboy Bebop”
♪あこがれのSundown – 桑名晴子Haruko Kuwana (51:00) “Sailor Moon”

Saturday Night Studio – Joe Jackson

So I saw a headline that said Joe Jackson is recovering from a car accident. Turns out it’s not the Joe Jackson I was thinking of, but rather, Michael Jackson’s dad.

Well, glad he’s ok and all that, but who cares? Of much greater interest is the pianist Joe Jackson.

He released his first single in 1978, titled “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” I’m sure every guy has been able to relate to that at least once in his life.

A fun live version from 1980 can be heard here.

When asked about the origins of the song, Jackson stated –

Now, that is just one of those songs that started with the title. I heard that phrase somewhere and I thought that could be a kind of funny song about gorgeous girls going out with monsters. It just started from there. It was just a funny song, or supposed to be funny. It was a great surprise to me when some people interpreted it as being angry.

The full interview is worth reading, and can be found here, which ranges from his tribute album to Duke Ellington to the pointlessness of restricting 16 oz. sodas.

Another well known Jackson song is “You Can’t Get What You Want (Til You Know What You Want) –

Rumor has it that he recorded the song because record contracts at the time stipulated every artist must record at lease one song with Rock Parentheses in the title.

Jackson was touring as recently as last year. This isn’t the best sound quality, but it’s still pretty good.

The first song of his I ever recall hearing back in the early 80s – and one of the earliest music videos I ever saw – was “Steppin’ Out,” which is undisputably a timeless classic. It was on the radio constantly back then. You can’t listen to this song and not want to go out for a night on the town in style. The video is absolutely pitch perfect, allowing anyone to see their story reflected in it.

In this age of sampled, looped, AutoTuned empty beats, not only doesn’t anyone make music like that anymore, I’m not sure anyone even tries.

You Never Know Someone

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, one of my favorite comics writers was Gerard Jones. At the time, he was writing some really fun – and sometimes really different – stuff in the trio of Green Lantern-related books. He did some Batman work, which I could take or leave, and he worked on a Justice League comic (at first with a co-writer and later solo) that was pretty funny. He was clearly liberal, but he was a lot more intelligent than most lightweight armchair libs writing comics, and even went against the liberal line at times. Mostly, his work was just smarter than the usual by-the-numbers crap that was and still is being published.

His work seemed to take a dip around 1993, though, and in a few years he didn’t seem to be writing much for comics anymore, if at all. I believe part of that had to do with clashes with editorial, which was undergoing changes at the time. I saw his name again in the local newspaper’s comics page around 2000 – he was writing a Pokemon strip.

He wrote a few non-fiction books in the 2000s, but I didn’t keep up with those. I heard very little about him after that until today, when I discovered he was arrested about a week ago for possessing kiddie porn and uploading it to YouTube.

I’ve long learned to separate the art from the artist. And he hasn’t been proven guilty yet. But there are limits. I doubt I’ll ever really enjoy his work again.

Saturday Night Studio – New Year’s Eve

Have some music to rock out the old year and ring in the new!

See you in 2017!

When Did Russia Become The Moral Leader?

 

In Current Year, Russia criticizes you for being Godless.

Vladmir Putin’s Christmas speech criticized the West for abandoning its Christian roots (video from iBankCoin.com) –

I grew up in the 80s, when things were quite the opposite. A short and not-really-exaggerated summary –

The Last Christmas

I just read over at Vox Popoli that George Michael of Wham! died today, Christmas Day.

I liked some of their music back in the 80s, and this has been a perennial radio staple this time of year ever since it was released –