Tag: Music

And now a musical interlude…with explosions and swords

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Had to post this, ’cause if it’s got tough-as-nails women, things that go ‘boom’, fire and karate kicks, then I’m so on board.


Check out the character posters here to see all the famous faces who popped up during the clip, and place a hold on Taylor’s latest hit album here.

Week of Geek: Truly, truly, truly outrageous…

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jem and the holograms Photo

This may come as a shocker.  Everyone brace yourselves…your favorite blog writer (me) is actually a bit older than y’all.


I know, right!  Who knew?  But it’s true.  And I mention that so that when I go into this whole thing about a character named Jem, you’ll know I’m coming from a position of experience in this matter.  So here we go…

We got a trailer for a movie due this October that features a fictional girl band that was a pretty big staple during my childhood.  Observe…

Yup, Jem is coming back!  As in Jem and the Holograms, who first appeared in the animated show Jem all the way back in 1985 (30 years ago; totally dating myself here).  It was about Jerrica Benton, a young girl who inherits both a music company and a foster home for girls from her late father, and uses her dad’s invention, an AI program named Synergy, to create the holographic illusion of Jerrica’s alter-ego Jem, who leads the band The Holograms, consisting of Jerrica’s younger sister Kimber and their adopted sisters Aja and Shanna.  The Holograms are constantly up against rival group The Misfits, who act as the main villains of the show, along with a greedy rival music head.  Here’s the opening titles…but you might want to shield your eyes a bit here.  These are some very strong neons coming at you!

Yeah, I know.  It was a different time, people!  Sure the animation was crummy, the songs were half-baked at best, the whole thing was cooked up by Hasbro to sell toys (that was the goal of just about every cartoon back then) and the colors alone are enough to give you eye strain.  Having said all that, this still holds a place in my heart.  It was glamorous and exciting for kid-me to watch on syndicated TV back in the day.

So what do I think of this new film version, people may or may not be wondering?  After watching the trailer, I greet this with a resounding ‘meh’.  Actually more of a disappointed ‘meh’.

Seems to me that the only thing that’s survived the original storyline was four girls, a band and bright pink.  Otherwise this could be any run-of-the-mill girl-doesn’t-know-she’s-talented, girl-finds-out-she’s-talented, girl-lets-fame-go-to-her-head-and-we-all-learn-a-valuable-lesson movie.  Where’s the artificially intelligent program that uses hologram-based entertainment tactics that adds a nice Sci Fi touch to the proceedings?  Where’s the girl trying to save her company and her family?  Where’s the over-the-top fashion and glamor?

I may be protective of this, but I don’t think I’m being too biased.  Especially since I saw a recent reboot from another medium that is just way, way cooler than what this trailer is hinting at.

8314f6e6 2644 48d2 a73c 06ababa83eea PhotoIDW Comics has come out with it’s own Jem and the Holograms series.  I’ve read the first issue, and gotta say it made me love The Holograms all over again.  This series focus’ on Jerrica and the band trying to get their first big break but Jerrica has a crippling case of stage fright, to the point that the band is running out of money and on the verge of breaking up.  But then the girls discover Synergy, and Jerrica now has a way to hide behind the Jem persona and become the star her sisters need.  But it’ll bring a whole new set of troubles, I’ll wager, especially going up against reigning girl group The Misfits.

See?  Much more interesting.  And the artwork is great, super colorful without being to grating.  This is what I’d expect a reboot of The Holograms to look like.

So not all hope is lost when it comes to taking an 80s icon and rebooting it for the new millennium.  I just hope the movie isn’t as dry as it seems to be.  Will you guys give either of these a go?  (The comic is still in it’s initial run but once it’s out as a graphic novel we’ll see if we can get it in for VPL).

For more info on this decade of painful fashion and hair choices, but with long-lasting influences in other mediums, check out some of our books, like Movies of the 8os, Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1980s, VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave and The Times of the Eighties: The Culture, Politics and Personalities that Shaped the DecadeThere are also documentaries like 80s Tech (so much of the technology you use everyday got it’s start during that decade).  And, above all, you gotta check out the music.  Try Sounds of the 80s, which features contemporary artists trying their hand at 80s hits.  Or, for a sampling of the originals, try The 80s.

And if you think all of this is weird, and it is, just remember; it’s what was done in the 80s.

Showtime Synergy, and until next time, End of Line.

Animation Station: Foxy Animation in 2D

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Colour? Anthromorphic characters? Music? Flare? Is that 2D hand drawn animation?

*jaw drops with a clang*

For the love of cheese toast and fries! I haven’t seen something like this since…since…before Pixar won all the Oscars! It’s so beautiful. I can’t even right now. Just let me love this on repeat!

The animator and her team made this amazing video….for fun.

My mind is just blown away by the amount of time, effort, frustration and creativity that went into creating this little slice of heaven. I can’t stand the Kesha music video but this one makes me want to get up and dance through the stacks flipping my hair like I just don’t care. Such emotion, energy, and motion. And it’s all hand drawn!

Now I need to watch favourite old school 2D animation of my youth. Like Treasure Planet, Lilo & Stitch, Anastasia, Animaniacs, Land Before Time, and The Last Unicorn. Also check out The Secret Of Kells to witness the new evolution of beautiful 2D animation. It will astound you.

The Dean’s Teen List: Empire Records

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Empire Records Poster

The Dean’s Teen List is back and this time we’re making the jump to a generation that is a little closer to home. Long hair, baggy clothes, flannel, Doc Martens, and the high waist/bare midriff ensemble, the Nineties was a decade that issued in a major flux in the world of Teenage Culture.

Empire Records is a film that has become a generational cult classic. If there ever was a film that captured the sound and the essence of the mid-90′s teen era this is that film. It is not another high school romantic comedy with a side helping of teen angst added to the mix for kicks. There is no lead underdog with the classic awkward side-kick who longs for an out-of-reach crush from afar.  There is no John Hughes or a scrap of pink to be seen. Instead this is a film that looks into the complex lives of a group of teens who are all interwoven with each other because of where they work. An old record store is the hive and hub of some of the most eccentric characters ever to band together to put up a fight against “The Man”. The indie music chop shop, the home of the misfits and all things inspiring, is on the chopping block. When a big music retail conglomerate decides to buy the ailing place the co-workers, despite their differences, have to band together to figure out a way to save the place.

Read more…

This Lullaby

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This Lullaby cover imageEighteen year old Remy knows exactly when to bring out the break-up card in her relationships. She does not do commitment and after seeing her mother go through five different husbands throughout her existence it’s pretty easy to understand why. But of course that’s when love comes knocking in the form of a rock band musician named Dexter who knew instantly when he saw her that they were meant to be forever. But of course, it’s not like she would ever even think about admitting her strong feelings to anyone, even herself. She hates everything about him and yet she just cannot rub him off. But having seen her mother’s many, many failed relationships, she soon tries to pull the plug on her and Dexter as she had done with every other guy. It’s only when her world starts to crumble beneath her very own two feet that she realizes what she had really put on the line back then. Will she be able to save what she had once created with Dexter or has she broken the two too much to ever be able to repair?

Now let me start off by saying that the story This Lullaby does not follow the typical Sarah Dessen character. By that I mean the ones who prefer to be wall-huggers, the ones who prefer to sit back and simply observe the things around them. The character Remy is the complete opposite which brings something very unique and fresh on the table when it comes to Dessen. I feel as if Dessen came a bit out of her comfort zone when creating this character and I wish I could give her a high five for doing because Remy is just awesome spontaneous, despite her cold and occasionally catty nature. Moment of truth, she kind of reminds me of myself!

Another thing I should also mention is the meaning behind the title of the book which I myself was confused about until I finally got around to opening the book and flipping the pages. The title refers to a song that her father had written about her called  and it’s a song that really touches your heart.

This story has this element of music to it, it’s not as strongly noticeable as her other novel titled Just Listen, but it’s still there with her father and Dexter both being musicians and I love it. I happen to have a strong passion for music and having the element of music be so subtly and gracefully tied into the story makes me so happy.

Just writing about this book makes me want to grab it again and relive the adorable, sad, loving and heartbreaking moments you will find when reading it. Trust me, this book will not disappoint you!