Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Towel Day 2012!

My Photo from Towel Day 2010

Woolly Krackers! Yet another Towel Day has come upon us!

May 25 is Towel Day, an annual celebration of the life and work of Douglas Adams, the man behind H2G2 (among other stories). You can get great background on the day and the man at http://towelday.org/ or scifimafia.com. Then surf over to asitecalledfred.com to read a lovely compilation of tributes. By the by, today is also Geek Pride Day (in honor of the first Star Wars film, which was released on this day in 1977. Wired's GeekDad reviews the results of the latest Geek Pride Day Survey. It's two years old, but the Daily Caller's summary of the basic rights and responsibilities of geekdom (May 2010) is a good read as well. And, in the best spirit of geeky mashups, ThinkGeek is having a fun photo contest with cool geeky prizes.

May 25 is also, strangely enough, World Tarot Day. My guess is that Douglas Adams would be somewhat amused with this intersection of superstition and intellect. But, hey, I know many geeks who also dig the tarot in one form or another. How about the Lovecraft Tarot, dedicated to the horror writing of H.P. Lovecraft, or the Vertigo Tarot, a limited edition deck with images celebrating the characters of DC Comics' Vertigo line, hmmm?

So, my hoopy froods, don't panic and always keep your towel handy. Who knows, maybe the Force will be with you as well. (If you're not sure about that, just find your friendly local occultist for a tarot card reading).

Oh, and because Towel Day falls on a Friday this year, you have the added benefit of a Friday 80s Flashback!

Friday 80s Flashback for May 25, 2012

Picture of a Poppy by Ian Britton (freefoto.com)
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

~ Moina Michael (who wore the first Memorial Day poppy)


[Remember the Heroes Redux] -- A benefit of having more than a year's worth of published flashback posts is the convenience of re-use. This is not only a benefit for me, who gets to save some writing and research time, but also for folks who have only recently come to know of my weekly musical sojourn to the 80s. A flashback of a flashback, if you will, provides newer visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a post they may have missed. Plus, sometimes a previous post is good enough, or maybe just topical enough, to warrant a repeat airing. Such is the case with the Memorial Day Weekend post from last year (May 27, 2011). I now re-present that post in its entirety...

We have arrived at the "official" kick-off for shorts season: a 3-day weekend that culminates in the observance of Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day (check the history). Now, you might recall the 80s as being rife with anti-conflict, protest songs, so you may find it hard to believe I could find some tunes appropriate for the occasion of honoring this nation's war dead. But the 80s were as patriotic or reflective as other decades. So my only real problem was in narrowing the selections down to my usual three. So, are you wondering what gems I have chosen in tribute to those who have died while serving the United States of America? Wonder no more. Read and hear more after the jump. 

Last Week's Flashback Theme

As you may recall, the theme for the 5/18/2012 Flashback was left for folks to guess. Only two 80s-philes made the attempt to determine what tied the three songs together (my good friend Heidi offered a guess on my Facebook wall, while @Ursula_9 posted a comment on the actual blog post). Each had a reasonable idea, but neither really captured it.

Are you ready to learn the 5/18/2012 Flashback theme?

It was: Advertising (80s tunes in TV commercials)!


Go Go's song was used in a Pantene ad. (Head over heels for hairspray?)

The Cure's tune was used in an HP Printer ad (and this was probably the best, almost appropriate, use of the three).

Devo was used in a Swiffer ad. (Talk about a devolution!)


Now, go check out the latest Flashback!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for May 18, 2012



[This Flashback Has No Theme] -- The first few Friday 80s Flashbacks (posted back in September 2010) had no theme tying the featured songs together. Since then, every Flashback has had a theme which guided my song selection. Until today. Well, that's not entirely true. There is no stated theme for today's Flashback. But there is something that logically, perhaps loosely, bonds today's three tunes in holy flashback matrimony. Perhaps you can guess the theme after you sample today's offerings. If so, submit your best guess in the comments. But there is no need to play the guessing game to simply enjoy the tunes. All you really have to do is read and hear more after the break.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for May 11, 2012

[Word to the Mothers] -- This weekend we in the U.S. observe Mother's Day. I don't know if you've ever looked for "mother" songs before, but there are many, many songs with some variation of "mother" in the title or lyrics (mother, mama, mom, etc.). However, the subject matter of the vast majority of those tunes, particularly in the 80s, was not exactly fodder for Hallmark. And, on top of that challenge, two songs that I thought were perfect for the holiday were not recorded or released in the 80s. They both came out in 1991. So, I've been scrambling to fill out this week's playlist. I think I have successfully crafted a flashback set that honors mothers, recognizes folks who have less-than-perfect relationships with their mothers, and gives a nod to something that most mothers believe about their offspring at one time or another. So don't just sit there and wonder what three songs I have for you this week. Read and hear more after the break!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for May 4, 2012


[Oh, That Sugary Treat!] -- Some people observe Star Wars Day on May 4th ("May the Fourth Be with You!"). But if a date is good enough for one offbeat holiday, it is good enough for any number of them. And I have learned that May 4th is also considered National Candied Orange Peel Day. I don't know about the "national" aspect of this holiday as there seem to be no congressional records or presidential messages about it. However, the orange peel is used in many Chinese remedies, and it is regarded as a digestive aid, so maybe this could be an international day. Whatever the veracity of this holiday, it gave me the idea for this week's Flashback theme. No, it's not orange peels, candied or otherwise, although I could have kicked off the weekend with a little Orange Crush and followed up with any two of several great recordings from the Peel Sessions. But, no, I decided this week's them is candy! So, let's indulge our sonic sweet tooth and check out songs that involve candy in some way, shape, or form. If you want to make your own candied orange peels, you can check out these two recipes for starters: Candied Orange Peels at UseRealButter.com or an older recipe for Preserved Orange Peel courtesy of Baking History. If you're wondering what sweet treats I have in store for you, then you can read and hear more after the break.