Tag: Popdose

Cross-Pollination: Top 5 Holy Grail Playset Toys of the 1980s (on Popdose)

Cross-Pollination: Top 5 Holy Grail Playset Toys of the 1980s (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
Surely the internet doesn't need another list of cool toys from the '80s does it? Well too bad, because you've got one now. For this post I looked at the big mamma-jamma playset toys that most of us who were kids in the 1980s could only dream of owning. Sure, I had some cool sets like the COBRA Terror Drome, but nothing like the stuff on this top 5 list. Some may take issue with my inclusion of two She-Ra sets at number five, but I simply didn't want to have blinders on and make this a list of toys for boys only. Because I'm all sensitive and progressive like that. I have to admit though, the TV ads for those She-Ra toys bear a striking resemblance to soap ads from the same period. Witness this spot for the Crystal Falls playset: Anyone who knows anything about '80s toys will...
Cross-Pollination: Five Musical Autobiographies I Want to See (on Popdose)

Cross-Pollination: Five Musical Autobiographies I Want to See (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
When Popdose Grand Poobah Jeff Giles asked me to write a list article for his site, I couldn't say no. The only question I had for him was, "what content restraints am I working under?" He said, "none." I'm sure he'll come to regret that answer in the coming weeks, but hopefully not now. For today my chosen topic is music autobiography, or musiphy as it's known in the industry. We've seen some great ones in recent years -- Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, Ace Frehley's No Regrets, and Bob Dylan's Chronicles just to name three. But what about all the legendary musicians we haven't heard from yet? Like James Hetfield of Metallica, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, or... well, you can read all about that on Popdose.
Album Cover of the Week: Jackie Gleason, Music for Lovers Only

Album Cover of the Week: Jackie Gleason, Music for Lovers Only

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Last month I reviewed a new CD reissue of Jackie Gleason's Music for Lovers Only album at Popdose. I meant to feature the album cover as part of this series but got distracted by something bright and shiny. So let's look at it now! Beautiful, ain't she? While many of Gleason's albums of "mood music" from the '50s and '60s tried to recreate the same feel, I think this is still the best of the bunch. Put another way, there is absolutely no doubt as to what the music on this record will sound like, even if you were totally unfamiliar with Gleason's style of orchestral pop.
Cross-pollination: The Popdose Guide to the Beach Boys

Cross-pollination: The Popdose Guide to the Beach Boys

Blogstuff
My latest article for Popdose -- and one that I'm pretty proud of -- went live yesterday. It's the Popdose Guide to the Beach Boys, a piece I started putting together this past spring. It's a lengthy read (make sure to check out both pages), although I would have been perfectly justified in making it twice as long as the finished product. And of course, as soon as it was published I thought of a dozen things I wanted to say or change. But that's life as a writer I suppose. Still, the response has been overwhelmingly positive thus far and for that I'm grateful. One of the aspects of writing the Beach Boys piece that I enjoyed was the chance to really dig into their later 1970s output. I'd avoided a lot of it since I became a fan about a dozen years ago, mostly because of the albums' poor
Cross-pollination: “Are We Still Rolling?” book review (on Popdose)

Cross-pollination: “Are We Still Rolling?” book review (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I offered to review Phill Brown's music career memoir, Are We Still Rolling? Studios, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll – One Man’s Journey Recording Classic Albums. I had never even heard of Brown before, although he was apparently already well-known to music aficionados. It ended up being a very good read, even though it did get a bit bogged down in technical blather -- but after all, Brown spent the bulk of his career as an engineer. One of the more pleasant and unexpected benefits of reading the book was that I got turned on to some albums and artists I might otherwise have continued to ignore. For instance, it turns out that not only is Robert Palmer's debut LP -- Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley -- a really well-produced and engineered album, it's al
Cross-pollination: Beyond the Wonder (Right Said Fred) on Popdose

Cross-pollination: Beyond the Wonder (Right Said Fred) on Popdose

Blogstuff
It feels like it's been ages since my last entry in the Beyond the Wonder series, which covered Bertie "Key Largo" Higgins' debut LP. In fact, I had a piece for Right Said Fred's 1992 debut album -- Up -- in draft status but kept putting it off forever. Dance pop isn't really my thing so I didn't want to judge the record too prematurely. I'm glad I waited, as it turns out it was better than I thought on first listen. Well, parts of it were anyway. It seems that Up is a strange hybrid of canned, forgettable dance pop (minus the immortal "I'm Too Sexy" of course) and surprisingly decent mainstream pop. But you can read all about that on Popdose now. In the meantime, let's get sexy! Related articles Cross-pollination: My favorite instrumentals (on Popdose) (grayflannelsuit.net) ...
Cross-pollination: Ruminations on the Norway tragedy (on Popdose)

Cross-pollination: Ruminations on the Norway tragedy (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
I debated with myself over the weekend on whether to publish my opinion piece regarding the recent terrorist attacks in Norway on this site or another. I ultimately decided to publish it on Popdose in an effort to stick to my mission of keeping things fairly light on this site. So for those interested in reading my thoughts on what went down in Oslo and Utøya last week, you can do so on Popdose. I will say this much here with regards to Anders Breivik and the atrocities he reportedly committed on July 22 -- he provided all of us with yet another stark reminder that hatred manifests itself in many forms, and as soon as we think we know what they look like we're proven sadly wrong. If someone who looked like Breivik boarded an airplane and sat next to you, you probably wouldn't even think
Cross-pollination: My favorite instrumentals (on Popdose)

Cross-pollination: My favorite instrumentals (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
It's been a long time since my last super-awesome Popdose mixtape, so I decided to jump in again. I imagine this week's mix would win the approval of Eddie Van Halen, noted hater of lead singers (he did coin the phrase Lead Singer Disease after all). Of course my inclusion of one of VH's lesser-known tracks ("Sunday Afternoon in the Park") helps. Here's one track that didn't quite make the cut, although it is certainly as worthy as the others. It's "The Sheltering Sky," from King Crimson's Discipline. And yes, I threw Kiss into the mix. Related articles The Popdose Podcast: Episode 18 (popdose.com) The Popdose VIDEO Interview: Nick Offerman ("Parks & Recreation") (popdose.com)
Listening booth — Wings, “Must Do Something About It”

Listening booth — Wings, “Must Do Something About It”

Listening Booth, Music
Today's listening booth is inspired by a recent posting on Popdose, which highlighted Denny Laine's gems during his solo career and his time with Paul McCartney's Wings. One of the gems mentioned was "The Note You Never Wrote," which is indeed one of the best cuts from Wings at the Speed of Sound. But I'd like to focus on a non-Laine number now. Tucked away on the lesser second side of the album is a rather doleful pop ditty called "Must Do Something About It." Although Macca wrote it, he handed lead vocal duties over to drummer Joe English, whose less polished delivery lent the song the extra bit of pathos it needed. English, who had joined Wings in 1975, left the group during the recording sessions for 1978's London Town. So anyway, enjoy "Must Do Something About It." I sure do. ...