Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Countdown to Halloween 2014 Opening Ceremonies


Yes it is! The Countdown to Halloween rises from the grave once again to terrorize another year! I've been getting the itch for the Countdown since August. I usually don't like to rush the seasons, but I love the Countdown so much, so I'm thrilled to take part once again.

Of course, I'm far from the only one taking part. There are literally hundreds of blogs participating this year. Please check out as many as you can, and if you are taking part, I hope to check out your Halloween treats too. That's the best part of the Countdown--people sharing cool stuff with each other and having a great time. Isn't that what all holidays are about? Isn't that what life is about?

Great thanks must go out to Countdown creators and curators John Rozum and Shawn Robare, who work their pumpkins off maintaining the Countdown site and organizing the participating blogs, as well as creating the cool badges we adorn. The Countdown wouldn't exist without them, so raise a glass of hard apple cider in their honor! Thanks gentlemen!

So, without further ado, let the 2014 Countdown to Halloween officially begin!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September's Underappreciated Music: Elton John, "Skyline Pigeon"

For this month's Underappreciated Music, I present three versions of one of my favorite Elton John songs, "Skyline Pigeon." The theme of a bird in flight representing one's search for freedom from whatever situation that is imprisoning them is an oft-used one, but I don't think it's ever been crafted into song as lovingly as in John's contribution. Here are three different recordings of the song by John, each with their own musical interpretation.

The first version is off of John's first album, Empty Sky, a small, independent release from 1969 that most fans didn't hear until it was re-released after John became a superstar. This version has a beautiful baroque feel to it that fits perfectly with the song.

The next version is a much more polished production that is much more in the style of his early 70s output. It was recorded during the sessions for his 1973 album Don't Shoot, I'm Only the Piano Player and released as a b-side to his hit single "Daniel."

Finally, here is the first version I ever heard, a live version recorded at Royal Albert Hall and released on the 1976 Here and There album. This is probably my favorite, as it's just Elton and his piano, pouring his heart out through the keys. It usually takes me a few listens for a song to really have an emotional impact on me, but I was hooked on this recording the very first time I heard it!

I hope you enjoyed this great song as much as I did. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ABC Network Fall Season Promos from the Early 1980s

This week is the first official week of autumn for 2014, as well as the first official week of the fall broadcast network TV season. With that in mind, let's look at some debuting series--but I don't mean brand new series, I mean the debut of series from the early 80s, particularly that on ABC.

ABC really went all out with their promos and imaging during this era, as the following promos will attest. Evening gowns! Stage lights! Helicopters! You name it, ABC put it to use in announcing their series. So if you ever wanted to see Danny Thomas in a white tuxedo dancing half-heartedly, today is your lucky day. Here are promos for ABC's debuting series from the 1980, 1981, and 1982 fall seasons. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Tumblr for Ya!

Hello all. Although I've been using Blogger since 2007, I'm certainly not averse to new Internet avenues. Therefore, I want to make you aware that I am now on blogging site Tumblr and have been for several months. My site is called Me and You Too (because it's like a sequel to this site, but I'm using the different Too and not Two, because it's like "Hey, it's me, and it's you also," see?) and you can see it here. You can also see recent post links to my Tumblr site along the right side of this blog, if you haven't noticed already.

Most of what I post there are simple images or video embeds rather than long form articles you see here. I also share material there I post on Facebook and Twitter. That's the nice thing about Tumblr; it has the capacity for full blogging while also having social media functionality.

I meant to announce it's presence here awhile ago, but better late than never. Plus, with the Countdown to Halloween fast approaching, I wanted to mention the site as it will also be taking part in the Countdown. Of course, I will always link articles posted on Blogger on the Tumblr site as well.

To recap, you can find the Me and You Network all over the Web!

Tumblr: http://phillyradiogeek.tumblr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brian.arnold.564

Twitter: https://twitter.com/phillyradiogeek

Instagram: http://instagram.com/phillyradiogeek

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115469322684912215123/posts

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzIAn2Cm11nHeoMFyp9sUhw


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Tales of Terror

Before I get to this week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film, I need to make an announcement--the Countdown to Halloween lives! For the sixth year in a row, I will be taking part in the multi-blog event that allows Halloween fans to raise our freak flag proudly in a month-long countdown to All Hallow's Eve. There were over 200 participating blogs last year, and I'm sure we will meet or exceed that number this year. To learn more about this event--or to get your own blog involved in the fun--click on the badge at the right adorned with the visage of the Creature From the Black Lagoon. Thanks to event curators John Rozum, Shawn Robare, and Jon K for allowing me and my fellow Halloween bloggers the opportunity to share our stuff with a great audience. The fun begins Wednesday, October 1st!

As a warm-up to the Countdown, here is a sample of what you can expect from me. This week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film is the 1962 horror film Tales of Terror!

Directed by Roger Corman and adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson, Terror stars Vincent Price in different roles in three stories loosely based on the work of Edgar Allen Poe. In the first tale, "Morella," Price meets his estranged daughter Lenora after many years as both face consequences due to the loss of the family matriarch in childbirth years before. In the second and most memorable part of the film, "The Black Cat," Price stars as a renowned wine taster in a battle with a drunken Peter Lorre over their love of both wine and Lorre's young wife. In the final tale, "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,"  Price voluntarily surrenders himself to the control of an unscrupulous hypnotist (Basil Rathbone)--a decision both men come to regret.

This film is a step above the kind of b-movie fare that Corman is usually associated with. The production values, while certainly low budget, are higher than expected, and the performances of most of the cast are top-notch. "The Black Cat" is easily the most enjoyable of the stories, with a heavy dose of comedy to balance out the macabre aspects of the rest of the film. The wine tasting scene between Price and Lorre is alone worth the time spent viewing the film.

Despite the movie's title, Tales of Terror isn't exactly terrifying, but it's certainly creepy and entertaining, and is well worth your time. It's readily available on DVD and streaming services. The film's trailer is below. Thanks!

Friday, September 12, 2014

List O Links for Friday, September 12th, 2014

Hello everyone! Sorry for the radio silence this week, but being Back to School time as you know, I've been busy with both my kids starting their first full week (they started last Wednesday), plus my wife, a teacher, starting her first full week as well. And on top of all that, my kids returned to dance school this week as well. And Tuesday was my wife's birthday. I was busy, folks.

But enough about me, let's get to some links I've discovered lately!

Darwyne Cook is an awesome comic book artist. If you're not familiar with his work, check out these variant covers he's created for some upcoming DC Comics issues. Beautiful!

This week being the 13th anniversary of 9/11, here is a fine article on AOL on the subject.

This August and September marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first US tour. Here is some footage and audio of the boys from the tour's stop in my hometown, Philadelphia.

Astronomically, it's still summer for another 10 days or so, but in the minds of most people, it's already autumn. For many, it's their favorite time of year, and it's hard to argue against that. For you autumn lovers out there, I highly recommend the Tumblr site Cold Hands, Warm Hearts, featuring beautiful autumn photos of foliage, food, holidays, and other seasonal delights. Check it out!

Finally, is Raiders of the Lost Ark the most perfect film ever made? The Retroist reports, you decide!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 5, 2014

List O' Links for Friday, September 5th, 2014

For the first time in a long time, I'm posting a List O' Links to round out the week. I hope you find these links as entertaining as I do!

Sticking with the Back to School theme this week, the retro 70s site Plaid Stallions showcases a sampling of back to school attire from the polyester decade. As bad as 70s fashion often looks, I kind of wish people still dressed like this!

If you're a fan of animation like I am, you've no doubt heard of the legendary Don Bluth, the former Disney animator who broke out on his own. Learn more about his story here thanks to the Onion AV Club.

Now that it's September, General Mills is once again offering its Monster Cereals for the adoring public. This year, Frankenberry, Chocula, and Booberry get redesigns from top DC Comics artists Jim Lee, Terry and Rachel Dobson, and Dave Johnson. Take a look!

One of my favorite video games growing up in the 80s was the Activision classic Kaboom! Thanks to modern technology, I can play it again online (even though I have two Atari 2600s at home). You can play too!

Finally, this link is almost a good year old, but still worth checking out: amazing Jaws-themed alternative art. As is the shark movie Jaws. Not artwork about human jaws. Because unless you're a dentist, that would be boring. And even if you are a dentist, that might be boring.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Go Back to School---The Peanuts Way!

I love the comic strip Peanuts. You know it, I know it, your grandma knows it, and if you don't know it, you know it now. You also know I'm doing a Back to School theme this week, so without further comment, here are several fun Back to School-related Peanuts images I've amassed over time. 

No one knows the stress and anxiety school can generate for kids better than Good Ol' Charlie Brown and the gang, so who better to share our grief with? Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to School Hip Hop

Yo yo yo, whassup? Continuing Back to School Week, I offer a streetwise celebration today. I have two clips that embrace Back to School time with a hip hop flare. Let's get widit!

First, this commercial from Kmart sells the store's back to school wares hip hop style, courtesy of two musical cafeteria ladies. My school lunches were never this fly!

And here, a real life family prepares for the new school year to the tune of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back," renamed "Baby Got Class." They do a great job!

Today was my kids' first day of school. Have a great year guys! I love you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Blackboard Jungle

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the long Labor Day weekend. Summer is over, or at least that's what society tells us. Considering it's 90+ degrees outside, I beg to differ. However, the time after Labor Day is indeed Back to School time, when we turn our thoughts from beaches and barbecues to books and binders. It's a busy time and an anxious time, but here at Me and You, I try to find the positive and the entertaining in the situation. Case in point: this week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film, the 1955 classic Blackboard Jungle.

Based on a novel by Evan Hunter, Blackboard Jungle stars Glenn Ford as a high school teacher trying to bring education and hope to the angry, delinquent students in his class. Classmates include future legend Sidney Poitier, the late Vic Morrow, and M*A*S*H alum Jamie Farr (credited in the film by his real name, Jamille Farrar). Despite being rejected by both the students and by the staff around him, Ford sallies forth to show the students a better path.

Blackboard Jungle is one of the first in the "teacher making a difference" subgenre of drama, and is a template for future films such as Stand and Deliver and Dangerous Minds. The film is also interesting in that we get to see big stars in their earliest roles. Finally, it introduced the song "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets to the mainstream, helping the rise of rock'n'roll.

The movie is readily available on DVD and streaming services, so it's easy to track down.

There's the bell--don't be late for class!