My Dark California Dream. Confusing one’s own youth with the youth of the world is a common human affliction, but California has been changing so fast for so long that every new generation gets to experience both a fresh version of the California dream and, typically by late middle-age, its painful death. [more inside]
"There's a snideness about it that is in keeping with the experience and the inner life of being a certain kind of teenager. It's very anti-earnest. There was a moment after the period where that song came out where everything was humorless and grotesque. But after that, it seems like what happened was that everything got pretty earnest." Why Harvey Danger's '90s alt-rock hit "Flagpole Sitta" endures. [more inside]
Ayman Rostom had a penchant for nostalgic productions in his music, which isn't surprising given how he studied his brother's tapes of Yo! MTV Raps back in the day, which lead to his career as Dr. Zygote and his own Boot Records label (Bandcamp). More recently, he's taken the handle The Maghreban and embraced stripped-down house-type beats that he releases on his Zoot Records label, though in his new video for Now Easy, the focus is on his love of oldschool drum'n'bass. [more inside]
The Wheel of Time Reread by Leigh Butler [TOR.COM]
Hello! Welcome to the introductory post of a new blog series on Tor.com, The Wheel of Time Re-read. This is in preparation for the publication of the next and last book in the series, A Memory of Light, which is[more inside]
scheduled to bepublished this fall. My name is Leigh Butler, and I’ll be your hostess for the festivities. I’m very excited to be a part of this project, and I hope you will enjoy it as well.
Someday this country’s gonna be a fine, good place to be. Maybe it needs our bones in the ground before that time can come: An essay on the summer of the Atomic Bomb, by Joni Tevis. Originally published in The Diagram
Here's Dinosaur Dracula, a pop culture retro nostalgia site from the guys who formerly brought us X-Entertainment (currently "down for repairs"), the subject of many many MeFi posts. Some pages of interest:
- TV Guide listings for Halloween 1990
- Excerpts from the 1989, 1992, 1998 and 1999 Sears Wish Books.
- Comic Book Ads.
- The Masters of the Universe Slime Pit, which had great instructions, and the sliming of Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart. There's more....
Walt Disney - "An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers -- Walt Disney."
Sometimes I wanna take you down, sometimes I wanna get you low. 'Cause you're a human supernova. I'm looking for answers from the great beyond. You're older than you've ever been, and now you're even older. Oh, get off the air! I'm on the stereo, stereo. Now check-ch-check-check-check-ch-check it out: It's 90s Bands on TV. [more inside]
Megasoid started in the winter of 2006/2007 as a Montreal-based mobile soundsystem making aggressive street-bass and remix music. For the following 3 years Vaughn Robert Squire and Hadji Bakara spent their time playing their music out of vans, throwing amps in basements for live sets, lugging modular synths to rooftops of hotels, and setting up big PAs under bridges and at after-hours spots [more inside]
Ernest Cline’s Armada is everything wrong with gaming culture wrapped up in one soon-to-be–best-selling novel
Taking on the dreamy, compelling sound of the lost soul decades is a damn high bar to set for yourself. Soul revivalists usually don’t get very far in my book, because what’s the point of competing with the likes of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding? Listening to Leon Bridges made me do a 180 on that stance. See, if you actually can hold a candle to legends like Cooke and Redding — and Bridges can — then there’s no reason not to indulge in some nostalgia.NPR has a first listen of Coming Home, Bridges' debut album, and you can see and hear plenty more of him on YouTube, from a live cover of Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love" to a solo performance of "Lisa Sawyer," a reflective song about his mother. [more inside]
What did he do in Mark Lawrenson's kitbag ? Ian McIntosh of the Guardian's on-hiatus "Football Weekly" tells the evocative tale of proto-70's legend Robin Friday, soccer's first rock star. (SLGrauniad audio - NFSW)
"Why so Poky? The scourge of terrible canonical children’s books." by Gabriel Roth, Slate
Reading to one’s children is, as everyone knows, one of the great pleasures of parenthood. I love the creaturely warmth of my daughter snuggled up close and the feeling of giving her something intrinsically human and necessary. And Eliza loves being read to. She enjoys the stories and the pictures, but more than that, I think, she responds to the mental intimacy: the knowledge that she and I are looking at the same pages and interpreting the same sentences. It’s a balm for the terrible isolation that arrives around age 2, along with language and self-consciousness—the knowledge that one’s experience is inescapably private. And so the time I spend reading to her can feel, for both of us, like communion.[more inside]
Lomography is style of pop photography based around the quirky cameras by the Austrian camera manufacturer known as Lomo. There are several camera types that fall under the lomography genre. Among some of the more popular, are the Diana and Holga. These cameras, and (all of them in the Lomo line) are usually poor technical cameras. They are "poorly" built and often have light leaks, poor alignment of their lenses or other defects. [more inside]
"Some games make an enormous impact on you when you play them, and time and technology do little to diminish that impact. I feel that way about quite a few games: Elite, Super Mario Bros, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are three that immediately come to mind. Secret of Mana is without question a fourth." [more inside]
A grown-ass man replays Final Fantasy VII. The unfortunate part about replaying Final Fantasy VII is realizing that it is terrible. I mean, not terrible terrible, but it’s bad the way, say, a very old sci-fi movie is bad. It is enjoyable exclusively with mountains of qualifiers, with context and air-quotes and, preferably, your own reminiscences filling it in, making its absurdities lovable.
He held the world record for the longest-running talk show in history, interviewing everyone from notables to nobodies from 1950 to 1993, continuing to work on NYC radio up until his death. He was an early advocate of film preservation and got his start selling jokes to the likes of Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson.
Joe Franklin has died at age 88. [more inside]
Joe Franklin has died at age 88. [more inside]
Like beer and pop music, it was easy to make do with what’s cheap and available, only to look back on a life of Dave Matthews and Bud Light and wonder why I’d gotten by on “good enough.” Because I am aging, and because I have the memory of the original Tamagotchi, I am profoundly grateful to have these clear, high-resolution photos of the people I loved and love. [more inside]
Royal Mail 'special stamps' have been produced in the UK for fifty years since 1965, when the new postmaster general, Tony Benn, expanded the criteria for commemorative stamps to include representations of British life and culture.
Search Engine Land (December 27, 2014): "The Yahoo Directory, the core part of how Yahoo itself began in 1994, officially closed today, five days ahead of when Yahoo had said the end would come." The Internet Archive save of Yahoo for October 1996. [more inside]
"Rankin/Bass made 18 specials, of varying length and ambition, between 1964 and 1985. Nearly all of these films revolve around the performance of some Christmas song or another. Nearly all of them deal with the crippling scars of childhood shame. And nearly all of them are completely off the rails insane." Vox's Todd VanDerWerff watches, and ranks, all 18 Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials.
"With Christmas not far away, you may start seeing ads for video games that try to marry the VCR with traditional board games. Unhappily, that marriage more often resembles the bickering Lockhorns than the mild-mannered Nelsons. Here's a look at three of the games now
out in 1986." But that's only a snapshot of the dynamic world of VCR board games, which peaked in the early 1990s with the Atmosfear series, known as Nightmare in Australia, where the game series was a huge cross-media empire, bigger than "Crocodile" Dundee. Another significant game was Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game, if for no other reason that it is canon and expands the story of the second Death Star. There are less than 100 VCR board games, and the videos for many of them are currently online, with more game documents and details on Board Game Geeks. By the end of the 1990s, the VCR was on the way out, replaced by DVD board games. Let's browse the isles of toy stores past, thanks to the crowd-sourced nostalgia that is the internet. [more inside]
Groove Is in the Heart celebrates the ritual of recording a compilation tape in the days before the infinite jukebox of the internet. [5-minute Guardian microplay] [more inside]
"If you want to hear music, you know what you do - you turn on the radio, put on a CD, or even go to a concert. But as the age of the info superhighway inches forward, you can even get music from your own home computer." That's the intro to a short CNN segment on IUMA, the Internet Underground Music Archive, which opened in 1992 as an effort for unsigned bands to share their music on the world-wide web, for free. Unfortunately, it fell the way of many early 1990s online entities: it was bought out, then the new owners couldn't keep up with changing times, and the site went dark. Except before IUMA disappeared, John Gilmore grabbed much of the material and backed it up on tapes, and turned to (MeFi's Own) Jason Scott and Archive.org to bring back IUMA. They did, and you can now browse through over 45,000 bands and artists, and more than 680,000 tracks of music.
If you were a child in the 70s who dreamed of being Boss Hogg or an 80s baby desperate to be a Rubik’s Cube, your dream could come true for less than $5. For that was the Golden Age of Ben Cooper and Collegeville Costume. Relive their glory days by perusing some vintage catalogs. [more inside]
If you're looking for a zombie webcomics with a bit of gore and a lot of kitties, you may enjoy Flynn Gleason's Zombie Apawcalypse. Flynn's work may be vaguely familiar to you if you remember a Calvin and Hobbes type comic from the mid- to late-1990s, called George and his Pencil, with archived comics still in their rough pencil-drawn form. [more inside]
Has your day been woefully free of potentially irritating nostalgic sitcom earworms? Worry no more, because they're all here, just waiting for you to press play. [more inside]
In 2004 Joseph Kahn directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
With Saturday being the 15th anniversary of the tragic departure of the Moon from Earth orbit, it's a good time to visit The Boneyard, home to all the disassembled remains of the Eagles used in the Space 1999 series. [more inside]
In the 1960s, the city of Sheffield redeveloped their neglected market square into a Hole in the Road. "A small early forerunner to Meadowhall-type malls; but with more drunks and dodgy smells," the Hole was filled in and paved over in the 90s. [more inside]
Many of you Americans will be familiar with that certain kind of pop/country song that looks back on the good old days of yesteryear, those carefree, reckless days of mythical youth: driving Camaros, drinking Boone's Farm wine, singing the hit songs of the day, and, yeah, all that. Well, here's a song that springs from that same place in the heart, but in an Afghani version, and a wee bit more political in its message, here and there, than the American versions: it's Farhad Darya's Oo Ghaitaa, translated as "Those Were the Days".
Has your neighborhood become 'upscale'? Take a San Francisco gentrification quiz from 1985 and find out. In 1985, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a tongue-in-cheek quiz allowing readers to see if their neighborhood had turned upscale. It's interesting to see how many of these types of business no longer exist (travel agencies!) and to think about what some of the others have morphed into almost three decades later.
But in addition to our retreat into wishfulness, something else was brewing: a sense that the past was not only better than the present, but that the past’s predictions for the future were also better than what had actually become the present. No longer content to live in (or through) our memories of the past, we also yearned to live in the past’s vision of the future. We were nostalgic for yesterday’s prognostications: You could say that we succumbed to prognostalgia. Living with our backs to the future, on the cultural fixation with past dreams of the future, on the 50th anniversary of Isaac Asimov's write-up on the 1964 World's Fair, which is still being reviewing to track Asimov's hits and misses [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Throwing a theme party? Need some background music whilst checking out your ex's facebook pics? Do you pine for times gone by? Step into the Nostalgia Machine!
Iron, Steam and Coal. Photographer Matthew Malkiewicz captures the timeless beauty of the steam locomotive and steam trains - the steam, the tracks, the folks who run them and just the folks who love them. (Via Petapixel)
The World's Most Dangerous Amusement Park Opens Its Gates Again: (Class) Action Park, perennial MetaFilter favorite, is back in business! [more inside]
“Would you like to – solve mysteries? belong to a secret club? ride, swim, travel, go to parties with the best friends in the world? Then the wonderful adventures of Trixie Belden are written just for you. Don’t miss a single one!” [more inside]
“Je Suis La Jeune Fille.” “Yes, that’s French they’re speaking. But no, these children aren’t French – they’re American!” If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or watched children's TV programming from that era in the US or UK, no doubt you saw that commercial for Muzzy (formally titled Muzzy in Gondoland). The show was first produced by the BBC in 1986 to teach English as a second language, as seen in this playlist of five videos, and later expanded with Muzzy Comes Back in 1989 (six episode playlist). The shows were both translated in to French, German (playlist), Spanish (and the Spanish vocabulary builder), and Italian (Muzzy in Gondoland, Muzzy Comes Back).
During the late 1970's and 1980's, Glen A. Larson's lighthearted television dramas were incredibly popular: Knight Rider. B.J. and the Bear. The original Battlestar Galactica. Quincy M.E. The Fall Guy. Magnum, P.I. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Larson had hit after hit and it seemed he could do no wrong. But he did produce three flops in the 80's, (and another in the 90's that managed to last two seasons): Automan, The Highwayman, Manimal and Night Man. [more inside]
Twenty years after originally forming, the English electronic/ rave/ big beat group The Prodigy were back on tour for their fifth studio album, Invaders Must Die. On July 24, 2010, the "40-somethings bounce around a stage like men half their age, owning festival-sized audiences" like rising dance stars wish they could. The performance was recorded and released the next year, and you can see the hour plus of World's On Fire in full on Vimeo. (NOTE: NSFW lyrics) [more inside]
ALT/1977 is a series of advertising mock-ups which imagines modern products with the aesthetics and production of 1970s consumer electronics. Faux-wood paneling, angular fonts, and more orange than you can shake a stick at.
"Geek Love touched a nerve at the beginning of the ’90s, as grunge rock poured from the Pacific Northwest and independent movies like Reservoir Dogs (1992), Clerks (1994), Kids (1995), and Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) flourished. In the same way that punk and grunge felt real—not like slick stadium rock, big-budget studio movies, hokey scripted TV—Geek Love achieved a fresh kind of authenticity. The Binewskis felt real, even as their lives and their story were fantastical. There was something about the idea of a freak show, an entertainment that hadn’t thrived in American culture for generations, which felt just right in the early ’90s."
On Not Going Home "Logically, a refusal to go home should validate, negatively, the very idea of home, rather in the way that Said’s idea of exile validates the idea of an original ‘true home’. But perhaps the refusal to go home is consequent on the loss, or lack, of home: as if those fortunate expatriates were really saying to me: ‘I couldn’t go back home because I wouldn’t know how to anymore.’ And there is ‘Home’ and ‘a home’. "