Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for May 29, 2015

U2, Kim Wilde, and Chris De Burgh: In the Top Three this Week in 1987

[This Week in 1987] -- It is now a week after Memorial Day weekend, and we are getting ready for another summer. Schools are letting out (at least those schools that no longer have to make up snow days). At this time in 1987, I was on the cusp of my very first summer as a college guy. That is, I had wrapped up my freshman year and moved my gear back home from the Penn State campus. I'm sure it felt a little strange to be back in what had been considered "home" for 18 years, particularly as I had come to regard State College in general, and University Park in specific, as "home." Music, of course, helped with the transition. So, what was hot on the radio 28 years ago this week? If you want to know, read and hear more after the break.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for May 22, 2015

[As Falls Wichata] -- I'm changing things up ever so slightly for this week's Flashback. And it's going to start out a bit sad. But at least I warned you ahead of time and you can bear with me, right? Right! So, here we go.

Today, May 22, 2015, would have been my father's 69th birthday. I say "would have" because I lost him two years ago this very month. He passed away due to complications with his second bone marrow transplant, which had been done in 2010. Some of you may recall reading updates about Dad's final journey, which started around the middle of March 2013 and ran through to his death on May 4. I'm not saying you need to go back and read those posts. Really, you don't. I've done it for you. It's what I do now as Winter winds into Spring.

However, although he is physically gone now, Dad was very much alive in the 1980s, and ever ready to help me with my musical appreciation. I'm sure he was at least slightly worried that I would be hopelessly lost to new wave, heavy metal, or synthpop. He wanted me to be grounded in the classics (er, classic rock) and jazz. And genres that incorporated elements of jazz (jazz fusion, world music, etc.). Read and hear more about my father's influence after the break.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Hate(d) My Lawn

So, I'm listening to DruidCast as I mow my lawn, but I can't help thinking, "I hate my yard." Next thing I know, the two-doors-down neighbor drops by to talk. Before leaving, this neighbor tells me, "Your yard is beautiful." I was so focused on my yard's flaws (burnt out patches of grass; vole damage, my makeshift walkway extension, etc.). But my neighbor didn't know about my laundry list of complaints; just saw the whole of the yard, and thought it was beautiful.

That gave me something to think about whilst I went about the rest of my errands.

From this vantage point, my yard doesn't look so bad, right?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for May 15, 2015 (Farewell to a King)

B.B. King performing in New York in the late 1980s
Photo Credit: "BBKingNY" by Ronzoni - Own work.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

[Farewell to a King] -- I'm taking another break from following the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1981 and 1987 this week. The reason this time: To honor the passing of a legend: B.B. King – born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925 – died on May 14, 2015, at the age of 89. He started his recording career in 1949 (with his famous guitar, Lucille). And, at the time of his death, he had a discography that consisted of 43 studio albums, 16 live albums, and 138 singles. He is also credited on countless other releases by other artists. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. You can visit The Guardian for BB King: chairman of the blues – a life in pictures. And you can check out a few of his 80s highlights after the break.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for May 8, 2015

[Kick Some Flash!] -- Another weekend, and time for another Friday 80s Flashback. But on this weekend, I'm attending the Philadelphia Comic Con (also known as Wizard World Philadelphia). Now, what might be an appropriate way to celebrate both? I know! How about using some great music from Queen, who did the soundtrack for the 1980 movie, Flash Gordon, based on Alex Raymond's comic strips! The campy 1980 film was a hit in its native UK, and even performed well in Italy, but fared poorly as an export overseas. Poor Sam Jones, the title character, was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor. However, the film received fairly positive critical reviews, and it has developed a cult following. A sequel was discussed, but didn't happen. But after 35 years, a sequel could be in the works

Friday, May 01, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for May 1, 2015

[Hits from My Birthday Week in 1987] -- I have been remiss in posting Flashbacks, but I had to come back and take a look at what topped the charts during my birthday week. 28 years ago this week in 1987, Ronald Reagan was the US President, The Secret of My Succe$s was number one at the box office, actor Hugh Dempster died, U2 was on the cover of TIME magazine, and I was turning 19. I was living in the North Halls residence area at University Park, but I was probably spending more time holed up in a vacant classroom so I could study for finals. So, it is rather unlikely that I cared what was on the radio right then, but that's what flashbacks are for, right? And if you'd like to know what was ruling the airwaves that week, read and hear more after the break.