monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… What’s With All These Strange Songs About Family Members?

Harken back in time, my friends, to the year 1996, years before this website existed.  Relive the days when “blog” was a misspelling of “bologna”; experience the moments before Al Gore began his work inventing the TripleDoubleU… (P.S. click on the song’s names below to see the video)

I predict this CD will stand the test of time.

Time spent shopping for cassettes has never been… weirder.  Don’t get me wrong – I like these songs musically.  And even the hooks seemed fine.  But upon repeated hearings in my truck, I’m not so sure these songs about family members are healthy.

This song at first seems like a lovely ode from a brother to a sister, but check out some of these lyrics:

Half of me breathes in you/ Thoughts of love remain true

Entwined you and I / Our souls speak from across the miles

I considered putting this song in my pocket to play at my own sisters’ weddings (if they ever get married), but I think I’ll pass.

Everybody knows this fine ditty.  Little Tracy isn’t too happy with her life, and she’s taking it out on her poor poor mother mother.

Sure, this song is about two years old, but not only does it suck – IT’S NOT EVEN TRUE!  Juliana Hatfield is an only child!  If only I had some way to prove it…  (Seriously, this song is horrible!)

Talk about depressing!  (And irony by using an explanation point.  By the way, I wish people would be more ironic.  It’s so funny!)  This song from a three years back is about child abuse and kids with learning disorders, which thankfully, is still rare.  Once again, depressing!

Obvious story from a decade ago.  (Man, does time fly, or what?)  Girl gets “with child”… gets in fight “with papa”… I think that’s what it’s about, at least.  You could probably read more into it.  You could probably read less into it, too.

Another song about sisters… this time in the form of a cautionary tale about becoming a whore.  Released two years prior to Papa Don’t Preach (which is surprising considering its sound style), it could have been better titled, Brother Don’t Preach.

There are no songs I could think of that had brother in the title or son…

…maybe because most brothers and sons are healthy.

(SIDENOTE: I “finished” this blog post a year before Everclear’s Father of Mine was released in 1997, otherwise it, too, would have been included…)

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monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… To All The Songs I’ve Had Crushes To Before

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way… Le sigh…

Life is incredible when there’s music.  Songs can take you back to summers past, moments lost.  They can also take you back to former crushes, loves lost.  Here’s a collection of tunes through the years that still remind me of certain people.

I could go into specifics, or share stories, but I’m behind on blogging, so the music will have to speak for itself:

  • Janet Jackson’s When I Think Of You
  • Boy Meets Girl’s Waiting For a Star to Fall
  • Vertical Horizon’s Everything You Want
  • Lifehouse’s Hanging by a Moment

Wow… either my drinking has erased everything since the year 2000 (and possibly in between these), or I’ve gotten away from theme song crushes.

If I think of more, I’ll post them in the comments.

Not that you care.

Not that anybody cared…

Le sigh, again…

monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… What Kind Of Class Song Is This?

Here’s what I would have might have written if I had a blog in 1993.  It’s what I still think today.

Abandoned Slogan: "Good thing she drives him crazy."

When I graduated grade school four years ago, the song She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals was selected as our class song, and I was completely against it.  The only problem?  I had no other suggestions.  What does She Drives Me Crazy have anything to do with leaving the eighth grade anyway?  Is it a critique of our teacher?  Even FYC’s Good Thing would have made a tad more sense, as in:

Good thing we’re graduating.

So as my high school graduation approached, talk of a class song came up.  I wasn’t going to get super involved, of course, but I knew one of the girls that was.  So I decided to throw a song idea her way.

She stated the group was considering Billy Joel’s This is the Time, which I agreed with, but it was already seven years old.  Plus, it trudged up memories of grade school… why didn’t I think to suggest that song?

She continued to add that Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle’s A Whole New World was another option.  Again, I wasn’t against it; my standards were pretty low.  But I still had my suggestion to float.

Then she brought up Amy Grant’s I Will Remember You.  I’ll admit it – I had a crush on the Christian-rocker-turned-pop-star, so I almost didn’t share my idea.  I said almost.

It wasn’t even my idea, anyway.  My buddy’s graduating class chose Van Halen’s Right Now, so I thought it would make a great statement to our teachers.  A rockin’ anthem of moving on; a slamming slight against our private school establishment.

Just like She Drives Me Crazy.  (Lesson learned.)

Well, even though Right Now was good enough for Crystal Pepsi, it wasn’t good enough for us.

In fact, none of those songs made the cut.  Our class song ended up being Alphaville’s Forever Young.  I’ve never even heard of that song!  They didn’t play it at graduation, so where else am I supposed to hear this stupid song?!  It’s not like I can command the radio to play whatever song I summon…

MODERN SIDENOTE: It would take many, many years for me to eventually hear Forever Young.  Man, does it suck or what?  Even the cover version sucks.  Also, want to know why I never heard of it?  The German synthpop song was already nine years old in 1993.

monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… The Toys That Got Away

The year is 2006.  The 20th Anniversary Edition Optimus Prime has just been released.  Upon hearing this, something else might have been released… in my pants…

When I was a child, there was nothing I wanted more than Optimus Prime.  The problem was that he cost $20, and I had a difficult time saving up a score of buckeroos.  There was always something else I wanted that cost exactly what I had, so alas… no Optimus Prime.

UNTIL NOW:

Hellz yes.

My dream has been not only met, but exceeded.  This celebratory edition may not include the weapons base trailer, but he looks just like the cartoon – in robot and vehicle form!  It’s an insane representation!

So what broken dreams are left floating around my adolescent heart, you wonder?

They are, in no particular order:

  • Centurions – Wild Weasel

This went to Sam Rockwell, right? It was Jake Rockwell? Oh well.

You might not remember Centurions for their cartoon or toys (there were 65 episodes produced!), but I will never forget this cool vehicle idea.  In retrospect, the real world application of it wouldn’t fly roll past production, and in further analysis, I probably liked it because it reminded me of TRON (you probably don’t remember that old 1982 movie either).

  • Star Wars – Tatooine Skiff

Everybody wanted this; nobody had it.

This one still didn’t live up to the Desert Skiff we all wanted with every fiber of The Force, but it was better than what was originally offered.  And too bad it came out after I started collecting M.A.S.K.

  • M.A.S.K. – Razorback

This car could arch its back. For some reason.

I still consider M.A.S.K. the best toy collection of my youth (StarCom was a close second), plus I was blessed in prolonging my longing for the vehicles I missed the first time around when they were getting dumped in KayBee Toy Stores years after they were gone from store shelves… on clearance.  I never got a second chance to get Razorback, but I still have dreams about finding them still (this is 100% true).

  • Transformers – Grimlock

Me, Sean, want Grimlock badly.

Perhaps there’s a 20th Anniversary Grimlock on the horizon?  How about 25th30th?

monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… First Toy In Each Collection

Omigodomigodomigodomigod!  This post imagines what my blog might have looked like if I had one when certain things happened.  This edition takes us way back to 1995…

Omigodomigodomigodomigod!

I am loath to admit this, but I’ve literally dreamed of this day for years.  Or at least for the years that there were no new Star Wars action figures on the shelves of stores.

THERE ARE NEW STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES ON STORE SHELVES… er, I mean… HOOKS!

This is the first one I’ve purchased:

Imagine James Earl Jones saying: "This... is Chewbacca."

This got me recollecting (ha!) about the first toys in each of my collections.  Join me as I walk down memory lane…

  • 1985 – M.A.S.K.

Secret raiders working overtime fighting crime!

Let’s be honest – it’s not really been ten years since I’ve purchased toys.  Having a little brother to spoil means never having to stop.  But this is definitely the last collection I had that was my own, and it all started with Condor.  I remember asking for this, not even really knowing what it was.

  • 1984 – The Transformers

More than meets the eye!

I was dying to get any Transformer for what seemed like forever.  I really wanted Optimus Prime, but he cost twenty bucks!  Having read the giant-sized coloring book long before these figures were released, I really took a shine to Jazzz (he had three Z‘s in the coloring book).  The trick was this – my mom wasn’t too keen on me starting new collections that were similar to other one’s I started.  I already had Gobots, so Transformers were kind of off the radar… until my aunt took my sisters and I shopping.  I had the eight dollars it cost, and I begged her to let me buy it.  She used the payphone to double-check, and my mom relented.

  • 1983 – Gobots

We came out before Transformers!

Memories are fuzzy, and so it goes with this.  The way I recall it all, there were animated commercials advertising Transformers long before they came out.  AND THOSE COMMERCIALS BLEW MY EIGHT YEAR OLD MIND.  Robots that transformed into cars and planes and guns?  Sign me up!  Well, they were nowhere in sight, so the Gobots had to do.  And they did.  Until I got Jazz.  I still think Leader-1 was one of the best, but Gobots could never overcome their horrible names (Scooter the Scooter, Tank the Tank, Cop-Tur the Helicopter, Loco the Locomotive…)

  • 1980 (?) – LEGO

My first set

I don’t remember exactly when I started getting “big kid” LEGOS, but I know this was my first set.  The reason I say, “big kid,” is because when I first saw the LEGO spacemen at one of my parents’ friend’s houses prior to getting this set, that’s what I was told.

  • 1979 – Star Wars

Obviously, my figure said "Star Wars" - not ROTJ.

I distinctly (and weirdly) recall receiving this from Santa, and I was fascinated by this strange action figure.  Was he a space policeman?  He had a gun and a helmet.  Was he a space fireman?  He was wearing orange.  All I know is that I hadn’t seen the original film yet, and I was hooked.

I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE PREQUELS!

monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… That Hits The Spock!

This series of posts imagine “what if I had a blog back then?”  I originally was not ever going to use YouTube videos if the post took place before the site’s inception, but– it’s my blog, so I can change my own rules.  You could presuppose that if there was a forum to blog within back in 1981, there would have been a version of YouTube… and I would have been six years old…

It reminds me of CBS' Special Presentation logo.

According to the dictionary, Magnavox translates to “great voice” in Latin.  I think it should translate into “great products.”  First, they invented home video game machines, with the Odyssey.  Then they came out with neato-peato 19-inch color TV’s.  Then they made the Odyssey 2!

I can’t wait for their newest product… the Laser Disc.  They look like shiny records, or something that Spock would have played Frisbee with on Star Trek.  That’s probably why they use Actor! Leonard Nimoy in the commercials.  Since he went off In Search Of new technologies, he probably never thought he’d be stopping at one place.  And that one place is MAGNAVOX!

If this is just a small sign of the wonders they can accomplish, they will be industry leaders for years – and decades – to come!

REFERENCES:

  • Odyssey Video Game System commercial
  • Odyssey 2 Video Game System commercial

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SCeTpWzpys&h=300&w=400]

  • 19″ TV commercials
  • Magnavision Laser Disc Player commercial
  • CBS Special Presentation shirt

This kind of reminds me of Magnavox's logo.

monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… Aliens Separated At Birth

This post would have taken place back in 1985… if I had a computer… or access to the TripleDoubleU

When I was a little kid, back in 1983, there was a movie that meant a lot to me.  It was called Return of the Jedi, and it completed the Star Wars trilogy about Luke Skywalker.  The whole series was about him figuring out who his family was and who his friends were.  This guy was not one of his friends:

Nikto

While that was in theaters, a new TV show started about aliens coming to Earth called V.  This lady was one of the visitors:

Diana

Last year, The Last Starfighter came out (which was incredible), and that film introduced us to this guy:

Grig

Doesn’t he look like he could be Nikto and Diana’s kid?

(SIDENOTE: The spaceships in The Last Starfighter were animated with computers, just like the vehicles in Tron.  I don’t think it will catch on, though.  The ships in Star Wars are waaaay better.)

Well, Grig might have another brother in this winter’s Enemy Mine:

Jeriba "Jerry" Shigan

All we need to do is find out Nikto or Diana’s last name… or Grig even.  Why don’t more aliens have last names?

"Gorn is my last name. My first name is Leslie."