Category Archive – Randomness

Week of Geek: Pentatonix CRUSHES the Star Wars theme

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Acapella group Pentatonix, who I’ve discussed a little before in this very blog, had a pretty awesomely epic and thoroughly geeky moment this last weekend at the American Music Awards.  In honor of the upcoming release of a little movie you may have heard about called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Pentatonix brought their instrument-free musical stylings to the original films classic score…before being joined by a full orchestra.  The whole thing gave me chills and made me even MORE excited for the new movie.  Let’s watch…

WOW!  A truly awesome moment for fans of music, Star Wars and movie soundtracks alike.

Also, LOVE the outfits they wore.

Stay tuned for more Star Wars news as it develops, and don’t forget to sign up for Escape the Library, coming this week!  Until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: The return of MST3K and why you should care

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Wazzup geeklings?  Happy Friday the 13th!

Anyone remember how last holiday season I posted a little something about an obscure cult TV show called Mystery Science Theater 3000?  What?  You don’t?  OK, that’s fair.

Well guess what?  THEY’RE BRINGING IT BACK!

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Or they’re going to try to, anyway.  Announced just this last Tuesday, the creators of the show are hoping to make new episodes through the awesome power of crowd funding.  They’ve started a Kickstarter campaign, as many artsy types looking to make a movie or show are doing these days, to reach a certain goal to start with, and then if more money comes in they’ll create more episodes.

Here’s the amazing, mind-blowing thing.  This campaign has been live for, oh, four days or so.  Know how much they’ve raised?  Their original goal is 2 million dollars.  As of the time of my writing this they’re at over 1 million 6 hundred thousand!  In four days!  And there’s still 28 days to go in the campaign.  This is the power of fandom, geeklings.  If we love something we will find a way to bring it back!  And if this keeps going, I think it’ll be pretty clear that the fans have spoken and we want this back!

So why should you guys care?  Well, aside from what I talked about in my holiday post, or the fact that MST3K constantly makes lists of top cult shows, it made Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Best TV Shows.  Basically, if you’re fans of sarcasm, glib remarks, gentle ribbing, zingers and just snarky commentary in general, and you like to take it with a dose of sci fi, this show is SO for you!  They do whole Thanksgiving marathons of it in the states!  It’s tradition!

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This is internet and YouTube commentary before either of those were things.

Want to give it a try and hop aboard the Satellite of Love?  We here at VPL have got you covered.  We have two DVD collections featuring episodes covering such classic films as The Leech Woman, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and Future War.  We also have the feature-length movie, ’cause yay!  And you can find a few episodes on their official YouTube page (I watched The Lost Continent the other night; stock-motion dinosaurs, the guy who would eventually play the Joker on Adam West’s Batman and so much rock climbing.  S’awesome!).

It’s a good week for snark, geeklings, and until next time, End of Line.

The October Songs: Part Four – Halloween Edition

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Not many people think Disney is overly scary.  As a company that has their fingers in film development, television, animation, music, a ton of stuff to buy and amusement parks, Disney is always seen as the family friendly entertainment giant.

But, like nearly anything else, if you dig a little deeper, you tend to find things that are…unsettling.  Even right from the beginning (see 1929′s Silly Symphony The Skeleton Dance.)

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Disney had kind of a Goth period from the mid seventies to the mid eighties where they were pumping out spooky live action movies.  And even some of their more generally regarded as benign films have moments that leave the kiddies trembling.  (One of my favorite examples is Pinocchio; I’m a full-grown adult and I still don’t want to re-watch that one, that’s how much it freaked me out as a kid.)

So since it’s Halloween, and we’re winding down our look at songs for October, I thought I’d bring up a few that Disney has thrown in.  Because, as with most everything they do, Disney does scary pretty well.

A lead up to Halloween just is not complete without the opening track to A Nightmare Before Christmas.  Now, there’s a lot of debate over whether or not Nightmare is a Christmas or Halloween movie (The director, Henry Selick, came on the record recently that it is a Halloween movie.  I say nuts to that.  Though we start with Halloween at the beginning, what drives the plot is the discovery of Christmas, the whole movie is a lead-up to Christmas and the climax occurs on Christmas eve, therefore it is a Christmas movie.  Ipso facto.  And I will argue with the guy who made the movie).  Regardless of where you fall on that battle line, it’s hard to argue that the opening song does not just perfectly encapsulate this time of year.

(Marilyn Manson did a cover of the song for the Nightmare Revisited album.  Check it out!)

A couple more things to explore; try the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment of the film Fantasia, or “Friends on the Other Side” from The Princess and the Frog.

But the point of reference for all things spooky and Disney has got to be the classic theme park ride The Haunted Mansion.  The ride itself has a long, colorful history, but the story of 999 ghosts haunting a southern-style mansion and the special effects the Imagineers used to bring those characters to life is what make it so memorable, and for only the bravest souls to venture inside.  The song you hear as you roam the graveyard is “Grim Grinning Ghosts”.  Here it is sung by a quartet outside the attraction in California, which sounds loverly.

As you enjoy Halloween this year, crank whatever soundtrack goes with your spooky shenanigans.  Have fun, be safe, and be scary…sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective.

The October Songs: Part 3

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And now for more songs that capture October…

For this post I’ve really only got three words for you: Michael Jackson, Thriller.

Put it to full screen and crank it!  The bass line!  The dancing!  The special effects!  The Vincent Price “rap”!  It’s a classic for a reason.

But what if you were to take THAT song and add ANOTHER SONG to it?  Like say, this creepy number from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs?

Well, the show Glee did just that.  And, in this blogger’s humble opinion, the results are danceable and awesome!

However you Zombie Dance, do it with gusto!  And what are your song suggestions?  Post away in the comments section.  Dance on you undead people, dance on!

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Justin Trudeau: The New Prime Minister With Style

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justin 1024x769 PhotoSo if you have been paying any sort of attention to social media, Twitter, the News, cable TV, commercial attack campaigns, public lectures, newspapers, promotional signage on people’s front lawns for the last 78 days then you are probably aware that the race for the next Canadian Prime Minister has been going on. You know, the one with all the voting. Well, it ended last night with the Liberal Party coming away with the majority vote with the Conservatives and the New Democratic Party trailing behind.

What the heck does that mean?

We, the collective body of Canada, are getting a new Prime Minister. And doesn’t he look fantastic in a suit? I know right?!?!

Prime MinisterSo put your hands together for Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party and the eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Yes, that Trudeau that you learned about in your history and civics classes. Remember Trudeaumania. He’s married, has three adorable children, was once a high school Drama Teacher (I give him serious props and respect for that, former drama teacher to former drama teacher), a camp councillor, actor, engineer, and model before jumping into his old man’s polished leather loafers and taking up the family mantle of politics. Now he’s the Prime Minister at 43 years of age and the first son of a Prime Minister to ever be elected as Prime Minister. Needless to say, history in the making here.

Did I mention the fun fact that Justin has an epic Pacific Northwest Haida style Raven tattoo on his arm and once boxed the ears off his Conservative opponent in a charity boxing match back in 2012? Let’s just say that here’s a Prime Minister who is not afraid to throw down the gloves for a good cause. What else does this man do on his spare time? Wrestle grizzlies? Race in the Iditarod? Dance for charity?

Also believe it or not Justin is not the youngest person ever to be elected Prime Minister. That honour goes to Joe Clark who was 39 when he stepped up in the House of Commons back in 1979. Justin is, however from this blogger’s point of view, the most put together Prime Minister Canada has ever seen. Google Canadian Prime Ministers to see what I mean. Thank goodness the professional comb-over is now a thing of the past.

So big things are happening over at Parliament Hill these days and it is only going to get more interesting as the ball gets rolling. So stay tuned, stay informed, and stay amazed folks!

Here’s a picture of our Prime Minister in a canoe. Because Canada!Canoe