Monday, January 21, 2019

MA-135 - One Word 80s

In my vast and purely subjective survey of pop music from the 1980s, one clump of songs leapt out at me for a simple reason:

They all have one-word titles!

01 - People - F-Systems - 1980   (3:40)

02 - Freak - Bruce Foxton - 1983   (3:23)

03 - Dance - Odd Stories - 1981   (2:22)

04 - Aggression - Secret Life - 1985   (2:48)

05 - Downstream - The Rainmakers - 1986   (3:31)

06 - Observer - The Stripes - 1980   (2:33)

07 - Vanity - Trial Offer - 1981   (2:49)

08 - Bug - Cleavers - 1980   (2:22)

09 - Mundane - The White Liberals - 1985   (3:26)

10 - Television - The Modes - 1985   (3:55)

11 - Now! - Cement Trampoline - 1989   (3:25)

12 - Amnesia - Fingerprintz - 1980   (2:44)

13 - Secrets - The Staff - 1981   (2:31)

14 - Girls - The Orchids - 1980   (3:28)

15 - Breakout - Drinking Electricity - 1982   (3:25)

16 - Radio - The Lookalikes - 1980   (3:05)

17 - Carefully - Krisma - 1983   (4:37)

18 - Sanctuary - New Musik - 1980   (4:15)

19 - Cameras - Motifs - 1982   (3:54)

20 - Voices - 17 Pygmies - 1986   (3:06)

21 - Channels - I Spy - 1982   (2:21)

22 - Intimacy - Linn Vann Hek - 1982   (4:01)

23 - Intercontinental - Afraid of Mice - 1981   (2:54)

24 - Jungle - Significant ZerØs - 1981   (3:13)

The background Wall of Words is from the October 13, 1988 Bush-Dukakis debate.

The background text for the disc art is from a Gorbachev speech on December 7, 1988.

Visit the One-Word 80s.

Those of you familiar with the 1982 film Megaforce and its slogan will find something familiar here too.

See you on Thursday, fellow mavens!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Celebrating the Big Show: Haunts of Showbiz

Haunts of Showbiz

          Horror and show business are often intertwined by devilishly inventive creators . . .

           The Phantom of the Opera, familiar in novel and film form, concerns a cast-off fellow named Erik.  After a stint with gypsies in their freak show, Erik moves into the catacombs below the Paris Opera and begins a reign of terror as he searches for the owner of the perfect female voice.

          “Return to the Sabbath,” by horrormeister Robert Bloch, first appeared in 1938.  In this creepy little tale, a film producer tracks down the star of a disturbingly realistic horror film and signs the fellow as his next acting discovery.  Trouble ensues as we discover that the devil worshippers in the original film are real, and want their revenge.  
          The story was adapted in 1964 as “The Sign of Satan” for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, starring Christopher Lee as the horror actor whose death’s-head role becomes all too true.

          Fritz Leiber’s 1965 story “Four Ghosts in Hamlet,” first printed in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, concerns a traveling company that accrues an extra ghost in the cast while performing Shakespeare, due to some too-successful Ouija board sessions.

           While the trail of deaths that followed Karidian’s Shakespeare Troupe in Star Trek’s 1966 “The Conscience of the King” were decidedly non-supernatural, the uncertainty and suspense conjured by Barry Trivers’s story make for a fun and unsettling hour of sci-fi TV.

          The 1980 horror film Fade to Black features a psychotic movie buff who is spurned by a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.  He decides to take revenge on his boss and other enemies, dressed as early movie starsKarloff’s mummy, Cagney’s Cody Jarrett, and Lugosi’s Dracula, among others.

           Perhaps the ne plus ultra of showbiz horror is Bradford Tatum’s 2016 novel Only the Dead Know Burbank.  It tells the story of Maddy Ulm, an adolescent German girl whose death in the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic is only the beginning of horrors.  She rises, undead, in a Berlin ravaged by WWI.  After joining a German film company, she singlehandedly creates the templates of film horror as she journeys to Hollywood and Universal Studios.  She cuts the final version of Chaney’s Phantom; her traveling partner, a wounded WWI soldier, inspires Jack Pierce’s design for the Frankenstein Monster.  Maddy also inspires the writer of The Wolf Man, and in other unbelievable ways lays the foundation for the horror-media industry.

Perhaps now, through your knowledge, some of these ghosts have been laid …

Monday, January 14, 2019

From the 1970s: Oil Transforms Bartlesville!

In my attic I came across a box containing this Public Service Ad about my hometown, Bartlesville, OK.

That oil (funneled through Phillips 66) fed, clothed, and raised a few tens of thousands of folks in B'ville.

I remember hearing rich folks say, "Fill 'er up with Flite Fuel!"  Of course, we just got regular gas.

See you once more on Thursday, fellow seekers of truth.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Three Sgt Pepper Reviews from 1967

While looking for something in the attic, I came across a box of articles I nabbed from various mags.

Here is the august New Yorker's review of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on June 24, 1967:

Below is Newsweek's survey from its June 26, 1967 issue:
Obviously, at some time in my past, I cut out the image (probably the album art).  It may have been for a cassette dub of the album.  This would have been when my version of a tape dub was achieved by dangling the cassette-corder's wired mic between two speakers. The speakers were face-to-face, with a blanket draped over them.

High Fidelity's August, 1968 issue had this to say:
Another case of a cutout illo.

See you again next Monday, folks.

Monday, January 07, 2019

From 1981: Coleco's Table-Top Pac-Man

With or without spousal approval -- I honestly do not recall -- I spent about 50 bucks in 1981 at the JC Penney in OKC's Shepherd Mall for this beauty:
Here are scans of the instructions:

I took the picture at the top of this post on New Year's Day a week ago.  The thing still works!

As proof, herewith is an experimental first -- the first video posted on the Super Blog.  One word of warning:  The video was shot with the same ten-year-old Pantech phone as the photo.  So, the video tech is about one-third as old as the game!

Enjoy this trip down memory lane.  See you on Thursday!

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© by Mark Alfred