WALK .. is a trippy 1983 journey from one part of Minneapolis to another. It begins with a guy who can hardly move. He slowly gains stuttered motion and utters basic letter sounds, then begins a real and imaginary walk. His journey is from his view - floating. At the end of this walk, he meets a friend. Walk's film surface is hand worked and street noise is composed as music-concrete. 16mm B/W SLYT
[Absolute Beginners] has a glossy immediacy, and you can feel the flash and determination that went into it. What you don't feel is the tormented romanticism that made English adolescents in the 70s swear by the novel the way American kids had earlier sworn by The Catcher in the Rye. - Pauline Kael [more inside]
As a historical document the book is exhaustive and valuable. But I did not come away feeling that I knew or understood Hüsker Dü — the musicians themselves, their music, or any of the people around them — any more intimately than I already did. Earles’ writing is at once densely opinionated and emotionless. He expertly follows the chronology of the band’s tours and releases, but he never makes it understandable why some of us look back on this band so reverently, or why it would be worth somebody’s time to discover Hüsker Dü today. (previously)
Let the robot dancing begin! Yellow Magic Orchestra performs the oft-sampled "Firecracker" on Soul Train, 1980. YMO --". . . presently the most popular band in all of Japan"-- also perform "Tighten Up".
After 25 years I revisited To Live and Die In L.A. (1985), William Friedkin's cynical, fatalistic, hardboiled and high-energy crime noir about corruption and survival in the city of no angels. The script is literate, the characters are believable, the performances are brutally honest, the unpredictable twists keep coming, the action never stops, and the car chase is shot for real without any fake process. (spoilers)
Alex Cox: REPO MAN was made as a "negative pickup" by Universal at the time when Bob Rehme was head of the studio. At the time, the big deal over there was STREETS OF FIRE, and nobody really noticed our film [8 MB PDF] at all. Which was lucky for us, since Bob Rehme had "green-lighted" a film which was quite unusual by studio standards. (previously)
Melt your brain into goo on an overdose of crass 80s consumerism and TV without the TV shows at 80sCommercialVault. Superbowl 19 commercials. Commercials from Jaws. Saturday morning commercials. Daytime / evening commercials. [more inside]
Under the stewardship of Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, Cannon Films was responsible for many of the worst - and a few of the best - movies of the 1980s. Along the way it won an Academy Award and enriched the language. (previously) [more inside]
On March 15, 1993, The Truth Commission for El Salvador published its report From Madness to Hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador. The Commission attributed the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero to the death squads, as well as the deaths of the victims of the El Mozote Massacre. ... Five days after the commission issued its report, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved an amnesty law covering all the violent events of the war.
The French romantic thriller “Diva” dashes along with a pellmell gracefulness, and it doesn’t take long to see that the images and visual gags and homages all fit together and reverberate back and forth. It’s a glittering toy of a movie... This one is by a new director, Jean-Jacques Beineix... who understands the pleasures to be had from a picture that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Every shot seems designed to delight the audience. - Pauline Kael, 1982 [more inside]
Rock Scene magazine - scans of every page of all 54 issues from 1973-1982, featuring artists like Bowie, Queen Lou Reed, the Ramones, The New York Dolls, Blondie, Talking Heads, Willy DeVille, and more. (via Dangerous Minds)
You've probably heard Madonna's Holiday. You might be aware of the Dutch rap version by MC Miker G & Deejay Sven. What may be new to you is the Soviet parody. [more inside]
Pop quiz! What do these musicians have in common: Lou Reed, E Street Band keyboardists Roy Bittan and Danny Federici, rhythm section Andrew Bodnar and Stephen Goulding of The Rumour, dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, erstwhile SNL bandleader G.E. Smith, session horn section the Brecker Brothers, LaBelle alum Nona Hendryx, guitar virtuoso Adrian Belew, and David Johansen of the New York Dolls? Answer: they were (most of) the studio band on the 1981 album Escape Artist by Garland Jeffreys. Which raises the question, "Garland who?" [more inside]
SI has written an oral history about the making of the movie "Major League". Charlie Sheen was also interviewed for this piece.
Smash Hits! was a UK music magazine, first published at the end of 1978. It charted the progress of pop styles, including the rise of 2-Tone, and included a number of freebie discs, first as flexi discs, and later on CDs. The magazine faltered in the 1990s, and closed shop in 2006. Since then there have been a few one-off "special editions," first a 2009 tribute to Michael Jackson, and then a Lady Gaga special in 2010. 30 years after the first issue went on sale, a fan posted the first issue online. So far, new scans have been posted fort-nightly, following the original release schedule. 73 issues are online to date, each three decades after they first were sold. (via MetaChat)
30 years later, Neil Peart breathlessly recounts, track by track, the making of Rush's seminal album Moving Pictures.
An oldie but a goodie: Don Reese, then of the San Diego Chargers, talks about his own problems with cocaine and the widespread drug use in the NFL at the time. [more inside]
Youtube channel of early/mid 1980s alternative rock music recorded in Estudios Roma, Madrid [more inside]
Threads (1984). (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) Testament (1983). (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) [more inside]
Il était une fois... les technologies du passé. (YouTube) Adorable Francophone kids will make you feel old as they try to figure out technology from the 1980s.
The pumpkins are mouldering or smashed, candy wrappers are strewn about, and your costume is tossed aside. Keep the mood going for a bit longer with some Halloween mixtapes, from film composer Alan Howarth (credits, IMDb), and three(tracklist) streaming mixes from electronic/breakbeat producers Evil Nine. If you are looking for more beats and rapping in your mixtapes, here are three volumes of Night of the Living Dead (NSFW), from Cookin' Soul.
"[T]he most important decisions you make are not the things you do – but the things that you decide not to do."
"He’s a minimalist and constantly reducing things to their simplest level. It’s not simplistic. It’s simplified. Steve is a systems designer. He simplifies complexity." John Sculley On Steve Jobs, The Full Interview [via]
I'm Remembering has pics of things that people aged 30-40 will remember from their childhood and adolescence. Who could forget Tiger Handheld games, Hypercolor shirts, Paint With Water books, Surge soda, Scholastic Book Club, Slice cola, Madballs, Ring Pops, and, last but not least, Zack Morris's cellphone?
Mallory's Clothes. As per the Tumblr description, a comprehensive rundown, in chronological order, of Mallory Keaton's outfits from the series Family Ties (1982-1989). Found by Matthew Perpetua (behind the Fluxblog mp3 blog), then also discovered by Justine Bateman herself.
Retrospace will bring back all those memories. '70s home decor. '80s teen comedies. Lifestyle magazines from 1977. And so much more. So very very much more. [more inside]
io9 decided that Firefly needed a "tight-ass killer 1980s intro." So they cut one together: the article, or just the intro itself. A fan's end-credits, even with a nice slight soupçon of MTM at the end. Firefly fans might find it more interesting, though, that io9 noted a little later in the day that Nathan Fillion had tweeted on Wednesday night a picture of Joss Whedon, Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, and Adam Baldwin all looking upward into a bright light, with the text "Together. Again." But ... no, it doesn't mean that, unfortunately. [Still, if you need your Simon or Kaylee fix, look to Warehouse 13 next Tuesday, as Maher and Staite are guest-starring together in "Mild-Mannered" (trailer).]
From 1979 to the end of the '80s, Sam Hurt produced a strange and wonderful little comic called Eyebeam. I'm very happy that the entire archives are up, as well as later additions. About the drab but sometimes very weird life of the eponymous character, the comic addressed a wide range of topics, including the decor of Chinese restaurants, wearing the wrong clothes to work, beach gidgets, job security, male answer syndrome, not-quite-vegetarianism and time travel. It managed to be pretty wise while still being funny. Just don't take it too literally.
They'er ugly! They're weird! They're tiny! They're terrible! And they're pink! They're Kinkeshi, er MUSCLE Things!
"As a child, there was nothing to me more fantastic than than the M.U.S.C.L.E. toys. I don't know if it's just my love for the weird, or the fact that I like pro-wrestling that makes it so special to me, but there's something about a guy from outer space with a fin on his head who would fight against a walking, talking urinal. That's right, a urinal." In the US, they were known as Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere, or M.U.S.C.L.E., but they were basically bendable plastic duplicates of Kinkeshi, a line of collectable erasers from Japan. More than peachy-salmon colored minifigs, they were based on the world of Kinnikuman, which started as manga in 1979, then an anime series, and more, and more, and more... [more inside]
Hydorah is a delicious shump inspired by the likes of "Gradius, Castlevania or R-Type, but also from other classics treated worse by the time: Turrican, Enforcer, Space Manbow, Hellfire, Guardian, Hydefos, Armalyte and many others...". Also, "There is a single dificulty level, based on the 80's standards." Translation: try not to cry on your keyboard. [Windows] [via Destructoid]
Too Much Horror Fiction: "Covering horror literature and its resplendent paperback cover art, mostly from the 1960s through the early 1990s. Mostly."
In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
Exhibit A: "But avoid spilling red wine because you don't want him to remember you for the wrong reasons."
Exhibit B: "So there you have it, men. Feminism: It may just get you a striptease! Happy Valentine's Day!" (via Geameade)
Exhibit B: "So there you have it, men. Feminism: It may just get you a striptease! Happy Valentine's Day!" (via Geameade)
Rom: Spaceknight was an improbable comics success: Based on a toy series that consisted of one figure (Rom), the comics series debuted in 1979 and lasted an unlikely 75 issues, featuring art from such luminaries as P. Craig Russell and Steve Ditko (previously, previously and previously). The series was written by Marvel Comics mainstay Bill Mantlo, who retired from comics and became a public defender (the legal kind), only to suffer a tragic accident in the mid-1990s that left him in need of constant medical attention. A 2007 benefit for the writer -- Spacenight: A Tribute to Bill Mantlo -- will be followed by Spacenight 2, an auction of original Rom-related artwork that can be viewed here.
Michael Jackson penned and recorded lots of songs, many of which remain unreleased. Perhaps the most infamous, and rarest recording, is his version of Behind the Mask. Legend has it that upon hearing Yellow Magic Orchestra's original track, somewhen around 1979, Quincy Jones fell in love with the track, and he and Michael worked together on their own version. Jackson wrote new lyrics for it - adding to those of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Chris Mosdell - and eventually recorded it during his Off The Wall sessions. For unknown reasons the track never made the final cut of, arguably, Jones' and Jackson's greatest work. Not long afterwards Greg Phillinganes, Jackson's keyboard player, released his own version of the song, which was later taken up and re-recorded by Eric Clapton for his 1986, Phil Collins produced album, August. The track has since been recorded/remixed by Human League, Senor Coconut, Orbital and others. Does an original Jones/Jackson recording of the song even exist? Perhaps, as the world continues to mourn the star's sad death, someone will finally allow us a listen.
A handy rating guide to 1980s saxophone solos -- "I realized about 5 years ago that at some point in the 80s, lots of the popular music started incorporating saxophone solos into their songs. Some of them are fine, but most of them are ridiculous to have in the songs. I have attempted to separate the quality and appropriateness of the solos from what I think of the song as a whole..."
Artist Stephen R. Bissette dissects the making of Saga of the Swamp Thing #20, the first American comics appearance of writer Alan Moore (um...previously), in a series of blog posts that feature much original artwork (by Bissette and others), as well as a sampling of Moore's apparently absolutely ginormous script for the issue. (Warning: Parts of Bissette's site are NSFW.) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street, let's take a few moments to honor those Sesame Street humans overshadowed by their Muppet counterparts. Check out Bob (Bob McGrath) singing Danny Boy in Japanese on a 1966 broadcast of To Tell The Truth or singing a Japanese ballad. Watch Gordon (Roscoe Orman) as the big pimpin' title character in this original trailer for the film Willie Dynamite. See Maria (Sonia Manzano) as a lady trucker on B.J. & the Bear or getting menaced by Jeff Goldblum in the movie Death Wish. And Mr. Hooper (Will Lee) plays Pac-Man in an Atari commercial. Meanwhile, the Muppet stars of Sesame Street have gone some interesting evolutions as well in their career. [more inside]
Julie Brown, Chris Elliott, Kathy Griffin, Bobcat Goldthwait and others spoof Madonna in Medusa: Dare To Be Truthful: Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
1980s pop music hasbeen + swing big band = OMIGOD NO MAKE IT STOP.
Not all groups with synthesizers in the 1970s and 1980s were lame Top 40 acts with keytars. Some groups of the era used synths for spastic keyboard bleeps, herky-jerky tempos, and angst-ridden aggression in a style now classified by record collector geeks as synthpunk, minimal synth, or minimal wave. Several famous New Wave acts dabbled in the style before providing soundtracks for Molly Ringwald movies (OMD, Electricty) or singing about waitresses in cocktail bars (the Human League, Being Boiled), but vintage videos from synth punk acts all over the world can be found all over YouTube. [more inside]