Music Video of the Week – 11/17/10

This week’s selection, in honor of Ronnie DeVoe’s 43rd birthday, is “Cool it Now” by New Edition:

“Cool It Now” was released in 1984 as the first single off of New Edition’s second album, New Edition. The song was the group’s first top 10 pop single, peaking at number four on the pop chart, and their second number one R&B hit. The original members included Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell. Bobby Brown left the group in 1985 to go on to a successful solo career. New Edition continued on with four members for a while, until Johnny Gill joined them in 1988. In 1990, the group when on hiatus while the went on to their own projects. Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant had solo projects, and the remaining members formed Bell Biv Devoe, who were successful with the song and album Poison.
New Edition has reunited in 1996 for a short time, and again in 2004. There are rumors that they will reunite once again.

On December 20, 2009, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill joined New Kids on the Block onstage at a House Of Blues benefit show for Toys For Tots in Boston, performing Full Service and This One’s For The Children.

Johnny Gill confirms that New Edition will reunite once again and will sign with manager Irving Azoff. They are currently signed with Geffen Records and Interscope Records.

Trivia Tuesday – 11/16/10

Question: What was the second music video that aired on MTV?


Last Week’s Question: What television show featured a time traveler whose job it was to travel throughout Earth’s past, present, and future fixing “mistakes” in time. (It’s not Doctor Who or Quantum Leap)

Answer: Voyagers!

Voyagers! aired on NBC for the 1982-1983 season on Sunday nights, and starred Jon-Erik Hexum as Phineas Bogg and Meeno Peluce as Jeffrey Jones. Bogg used a hand-held device called an Omni (which looked much like a large pocket watch) to travel in time and ensured that history unfolded as we know it. When the Omni was red, they knew something wasn’t right and needed to fix it. Once it was green, they were good to go.
Here is the opening:

Bogg and Jeffrey first met when Bogg’s Omni malfunctioned and took him to 1982, landing him in the apartment of Jeffrey’s aunt and uncle, who were caring for him after his parents’ death. Jeffrey accidentally fell out of a window, and Bogg jumped out to rescue him by activating the Omni. Bogg’s Guidebook, which contained a detailed description of how history should unfold, had been grabbed by Jeffrey’s dog Ralph so Bogg had to rely on Jeffrey (whose father was a history professor) to help him.

Over the closing credits of each episode, Meeno Peluce (Jeffrey) said in voice over: “If you want to learn more about {historical element from the episode}, take a voyage down to your public library. It’s all in books!”

Voyagers! was successful, but it did not get picked up for a second season because NBC thought they could challenge CBS’s 60 Minutes with another news program, called Monitor. Apparently that didn’t work out too well because I forgot about Monitor, and I still remember loving Voyagers!

Jon-Erik Hexum went on to star in another show called Cover Up. On On October 12, 1984, while on the set, Hexum was fooling around and played Russian roulette with a handgun that still had blanks in it. The force of the wadding from the blanks hit him in his temple with enough force to hatter a quarter-sized piece of his skull and propel the pieces into his brain, causing massive hemorrhaging. He underwent five hours of surgery. But on six days later, on October 18, Hexum was declared brain dead. His mother gave permission to pull him off of life support. Several of his organs were donated to ailing people.

Meeno Peluce was devastated by the death of his Voyagers co-star and close friend. In 1998, Peluce spoke about the accidental shooting on Mysteries and Scandals: The Death Of Jon-Erik Hexum.
Peluce is married and has two children. He has also worked as a writer and director. He is half brother to Punky Brewster‘s Soleil Moon Frye. Their father is actor Virgil Frye.
Peluce is a photographer, and showcases his photographs, along with writings, at his website.

Steve Perry Wants to Reunite With Journey?

“Don’t Stop Believin'” Steve Perry and Journey fans. The rumor mill is starting up once again. According to Pollstar, London’s Daily Star an a short piece saying Perry had asked to rejoin the band after seeing “Don’t Stop Believing” performed by cast members on the hit TV show “Glee.” Or maybe he got re-energized after this performance at a Giants playoff game in San Francisco a few weeks ago:

But Journey founder/guitarist Neal Schon said, “He seems to be enjoying the spotlight a little too much. The fact is he’s no longer the lead singer. He walked out.”

Also, Journey already has a new singer, Arnel Pineda, and the band has an album scheduled to be released in 2011, and they plan on a world tour.

Nintendo: “It’s On Like Donkey Kong”

Nintendo, creator of the classic arcade/video game, has filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to trademark the pop-culture phrase, “It’s on like ‘Donkey Kong.’ ”

According to CNN, Nintendo claims that the catchphrase “is an old, popular Nintendo phrase that has a number of possible interpretations depending on how it’s used.”

“In addition to Nintendo’s use, it has been used in popular music, television and film over the years, pointing to Donkey Kong’s status as an enduring pop-culture icon and video game superstar,” they said Wednesday in a written release.

According to the Urban Dictionary, rapper Ice Cube first popularized the phrase in 1992 with the song “Now I Gotta Wet’cha.” Since then , the phrase has been heard in many television shows and movies.

Could this be a publicity stunt? On November 21 this year, the newest Donkey Kong game – “Donkey Kong Country Returns” – is going to be released.

Donkey Kong burst onto the Arcade scene in 1981, and was one of the most populat games of the ’80s. It was the first appearance of the iconic Mario. In the original game, Donkey Kong captured Pauline, and you control Mario to climb up the girders to rescue her. In the meantime, Donkey Kong would throw barrels at you, and fling hammers up in the air. You would have to time the barrels and jump over them. When you reach Donkey Kong, he grabs Pauline, and goes to the next screen. The original Mario was actually named Jumpman (similar to “Pac-Man” and “Walkman”), and he was a carpenter instead of a plumber.

This should bring back memories:

Donkey Kong spawned the sequels Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3, as well as the spin-off Mario Bros.
In 1982, Coleco liscesed Donkey Kong, and included it in the pack-in cartridge for all the ColecoVision consoles. The game was very similar to the actual arcade game, so it sold well. There was even a hand-held Donkey Kong game.
In 2007, a popular documentary called The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was released. It follows Steve Wiebe as he tries to take the world high score for the arcade game Donkey Kong from reigning champion Billy Mitchell.
Over the years, Donkey Kong has transitioned very well with all the newer video game systems. As I mentioned earlier, there are still new games coming out, as “Donkey Kong Country Returns” is coming out on November 21.

New Michael Jackson Single to be Released and Album Track Listing Announced

MichaelJackson.com has announced that the first official single from the upcoming Michael album will be released this coming Monday, November 15th at 12:01am EST. The song is called “Hold My Hand”. It will appear on http://www.michaeljackson.com and will then go on sale digitally. The song, a duet with Akon, was recorded in 2007. Jackson had a handwritten note indicating that he wanted this song to be the first single to be released on his next project. The unfinished version of the song was leaked in 2008.Akon recently completed the new and final production of “Hold My Hand.”

Akon comments, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols.”

The new album, Michael, will be released on December 14. Here is the track listing:

1. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon)
2. Hollywood Tonight
3. Keep Your Head Up
4. (I Like) The Way You Love Me
5. Monster (Featuring 50 Cent)
6. Best Of Joy
7. Breaking News
8. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
9. Behind The Mask
10. Much Too Soon

Music Video of the Week – 11/10/10

Since tonight is the Country Music Awards show, this week’s selection is “Is There Life Out There” by Reba. Even if you’re not a Country Music fan, you can still get an ’80s fix as Huey Lewis has a big part in the video:


“Is There Life Out There” was released off of Reba McEntire’s 1991 album For My Broken Heart. The song debuted at #64 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and peaked at #1 for the week of December 21, 1991, and it stayed at #1 for two consecutive weeks. This video is one of the first country music videos to include significant amounts of dialogue that portray the song’s storyline. According to Entertainment Weekly, Reba and her label (MCA Records) received complaints from the television network CMT over the video that she was “putting message ahead of music”, and it was almost banned from the network. Maybe they never heard of Thriller? The video then won Video of the Year at the 1992 Academy of Country Music awards.
Reba starred in a 1994 television movie on CBS, also titled Is There Life Out There?, which was based on the song’s storyline. Instead of co-starring with Huey Lewis, Keith Carradine starred along with Reba.

New Bon Jovi Greatest Hits (with 4 new songs) Released Today

“Raise Your Hands” if you are going to buy, or have already bought the new Bon Jovi Greatest Hits. No, that song isn’t on there, but if you get the Ultimate Collection version of this album, there is a very good combination of Bon Jovi’s classics, and their more recent hit songs. You can see the list of songs here.

The down side of this collection (for those of us who download legally) is that you need to purchase the whole album in order to get the new songs. That is probably a good idea business-wise, but not cool for fans like myself who already own everything else they ever came out with! If you just download the “1 disc” version, you only get 2 new songs. But I coughed up $15.99 of my iTunes credits to get the Ultimate Collection, which contains 4 new songs, and I do have to say that I’m not disappointed!

“What Do You Got?”

The first new song (Track 15 on disc 1) is a very good slower tempo song. This is also the first song released off of the album as a single. The video is part of the package of the “Ultimate” collection. It is a typical timeless Bon Jovi song, and worthy of being part of this collection.

“No Apologies”

The second new song (Track 16 on disc 1) is a great fist pumping rocker. It is kind of similar to “We Weren’t Born to Follow” from their last album The Circle. It is about standing by what you believe in. It is a very anthemic song.

“This is Love This is Life”

Track 11 on the second disc is a very good up-tempo song. There is some throwback vocoder in it. It kind of has a “Born to Be My Baby”, “Livin’ On a Prayer” feel to it.

“The More Things Change”

And they saved the best for last. It is kind of autobiographical, and also suits us ’80s fans. With lyrics like this:

If you hang in long enough they say you’re comin’ back
Just take a look, we’re living proof and baby that’s a fact

this was a perfect song to end the album with.

So, I would say that if you are a Bon Jovi fan, this is a great album to add to your collection. It is better that their last Greatest Hits compilation – Cross Road, and is not as overwhelming as the box set, 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong.
This is also a great album for any younger music fans who are beginning to get into Bon Jovi.

Trivia Tuesday – 11/9/10

Question: What television show featured a time traveler whose job it was to travel throughout Earth’s past, present, and future fixing “mistakes” in time. (It’s not Doctor Who or Quantum Leap)


Last Week’s Question: What was the date in 1955 that Marty arrived on in Back to the Future?

Answer: November 5

Marty McFly used the DeLorean time machine to escape Libyan terrorists and accidentally traveled back in time to the very day Dr. Emmett L. Brown conceived of the possibility of time travel: Nov. 5, 1955. Where the Twin Pines Mall would someday stand, Marty arrived at the Twin Pines Ranch and crashed into Otis Peabody’s barn.

80's Pop Culture and News

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