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 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.

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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.

R.I.P. Sparky Anderson (February 22, 1934 – November 4, 2010)

Sparky Anderson, Baseball Hall of Fame manager, died yesterday, at the age of 76, of complications resulting from dementia. He was known for managing the Cincinnati Reds’ 1970s Big Red Machine dynasty, as well as the Detroit Tigers, who had an incredible 1984 season.

The Cincinnati Reds won the World Series under Sparky Anderson in 1975 and 1976. The 1975 World Series, against the Boston Red Sox, is considered to be one of the greatest of all time. The following year, the Reds swept the New York Yankees.
Sparky Anderson was hired to be the manager of the Detroit Tigers in the middle of the 1979 season. The Tigers became a winning club almost immediately, finishing above .500 in each of Sparky’s first three full seasons, but did not get into contention until 1983, when they finished second to the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.

Then the Tigers had a historic run in 1984. They won their first 9 games of the season, and were 35-5 after the first 40 games. They were in first place for the entire season from the first game all the way to the end. Relief pitcher, Willie Hernandez won the Cy Young Award and was chosen as the American League Most Valuable Player. The team also had great players such as catcher – Lance Parrish, 2nd Baseman – Lou Whitaker, shortstop – Alan Trammell, 3rd Baseman – Howard Johnson, Outfielders Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon and Larry Herndon, as well as starting pitchers Jack Morris, Dan Petry, and Milt Wilcox. The tigers finished with a record of 104-58, 15 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays.
They then went on to sweep the Kansas City Royals 3-0. And they beat the poor San Diego Padres (in the Padres first World Series), 4 games to 1. Sparky Anderson was the first manager to lead a team to a World Series victory in both leagues.
Here is a clip of Sparky Anderson receiving a phone call from President Reagan after the Tigers won the series:

The Tigers made the playoffs again in 1987, with the best record in baseball that year. However, they were upset by the Minnesota Twins.

Anderson retired from managing after the 1995 season, upset with the state of baseball after the nasty players strike from the 1994 and beginning of the 1995 season. But, it is widely believed that Anderson was pushed into retirement by the Tigers, who were unhappy that Sparky refused to manage replacement players during spring training in 1995.

Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 2000. His Hall of Fame plaque has him wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform. He chose to wear the Reds cap at his induction in honor of former GM Bob Howsam, who gave Anderson his first chance at a major-league managing job.

Survivors include his wife, Carol Valle Anderson, three children and nine grandchildren. At his request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

New Michael Jackson Album to be released on December 14

Sony Records and Jackson’s estate announced that a new Michael Jackson album, titled Michael, will be released on December 14, 2010. These will be songs recorded just before he died – not a greatest hits compilation. The first single is called Breaking News and will be streamed on www.michaeljackson.com for one week starting from Monday. A teaser of the song will appear on the site today (November 5). The album cover is shown here. It looks pretty awesome! The album can already be pre-ordered from the site. It looks like it is $12.99 and Free Shipping, or you can get the MP3 download for $10.99.

Here is the official press release from the web site:

MUCH ANTICIPATED NEW ALBUM FROM THE KING OF POP
MICHAEL TO BE RELEASED DECEMBER 14

Exclusive Teaser and Song to be Unveiled on MichaelJackson.com

New York, NY – The much anticipated album of newly completed recordings from Michael Jackson entitled MICHAEL will be released on December 14 by Epic Records in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson. Tomorrow, an exclusive teaser for the project will appear on www.michaeljackson.com; on Monday, November 8th the world premiere of “Breaking News,” a full track from the album, will stream on the site for one week only.

The creative process never stopped for the King of Pop who was always planning for his next album; unbeknownst to many fans around the world Michael Jackson was writing and recording songs continuously everywhere from a friend’s home in New Jersey to studios in Las Vegas and Los Angeles with a small group of handpicked collaborators. Now, through the unique stories that will be told about the songs that comprise MICHAEL, fans will get mind-blowing insight into how this artist worked and a chance to hear the songs he most recently created along with tracks that Michael had a desire to bring to fruition.

“Breaking News,” a never heard before song by Michael that appears on the new album was recorded in New Jersey in 2007 and recently brought to completion. Fans can begin pre-ordering the album on www.michaeljackson.com in the next 24 hours.

The attached image of the album cover of MICHAEL was created by painter Kadir Nelson in 2009. In the oil painting, Kadir – who is known for story telling through his art – takes us on a journey through some key moments and important people in Michael Jackson’s life.

Stay tuned for the worldwide launch of the official first single from MICHAEL later this month.

R.I.P. Sony Walkman (July 1,1979-October 25, 2010)

The Sony Walkman, one of the greatest technologies of the ’80s, has died as Sony announced that it has stopped production of the cassette tape player. It had been suffering from the disease of irrelevance since October 23, 2001, when the Apple iPod was released. It is survived by the very ill Discman, VCR, and floppy disk. The latter will have its production stopped this coming April.
The Walkman had a great life. If it was not for the Walkman, the iPod may never had been invented.
You could listen to your music while running or working out. Depending on your job, you could listen to the Walkman while you worked. You could also listen to it at home without annoying the rest of the family.
But, you could look like a fool by singing, really loud, to what you were listening to, and nobody else could hear the music. Here is an early commercial for the Walkman:

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80's Pop Culture and News

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