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    Entries in pop culture (23)

    Friday
    Nov242017

    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #2 - The Rocker T-Shirt You Used to Have

    For your 'Black Friday' reading and shopping pleasure, wanted to run out a fresh Gift Recommendation installment. For folks who may have missed the first shot at this last week, here is a quick reminder of what this series is about:

    It's the end of the year, things are a little quiet, and that, coupled with after almost a decade of blogging in one place or another, every topic I thought about hitting for the end of the week felt tired and played out, I decided to start a new series to run on Fridays until the end of the year - Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendations for 2017.

    Each Friday I will share something I would love to receive as a gift this season, and since according to my view of the world (and massive ego), if I like something, then you (and the people in your life), should love to receive as well.

    I will try to make the gift recommendations affordable, appropriate for pretty much everyone, and easily obtained. And finally, there are no affiliate links or kickbacks on any of these items. These are just cool gifts that I think anyone would love. And please, please resist your temptation to order and send these gifts to me. This is not what this is about.

    Wow, that was a long preamble. Here goes...

    Today I am not pointing you to one specific item, (the image on the right is just an example, but a cool one for sure), but rather a website that has dozens if not hundreds of cool, retro-style T-shirts and other items featuring rock stars and bands past and present - Rocker Rags.

    Take a quick look through Rocker Rags inventory and you'll find reproductions of such beauties as Aerosmith's 1977 'Boston to Budokan' Tour shirt, (I have that one), Journey's 1981-82 'Don't Stop Believin' Tour, and Soundgarden's 1994 'Superunknown' Tour. 

    And there are tons more vintage look band, concert, and performer shirts from just about every band you used to think was cool. And the neat thing is these kinds of classic shirts are even popular with today's kids - I know I have picked up a Clash shirt or two for the Gen Z'er on my list.

    So for today's Black Friday recommendation, check out Rocker Rags, relive that concert you went to in 1988, and get yourself or someone on your list something pretty fun, original, and neat.

    Have a great weekend!

    Monday
    Jun262017

    Get Lucky

    This weekend, a decent, reasonably warm beginning of summer weekend in Western NY, while in the car on my way to either the gym or the gun club or my volunteer work with the homeless, 2013's song of the summer, Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' came on the radio.

    You have to remember 'Get Lucky'. It was peppy, infectious, ubiquitous on the radio and on play lists just a few year's ago. The perfect summer song, probably. For some reason after hearing the song again, and for the first time in a while, I thought about a profile/interview of the guys in Daft Punk, (hardly anyone knows their real names, so I won't bother with them here), that ran in GQ, right around the time when 'Get Lucky' was on high rotation.

    If you don't know much about Daft Punk, you probably know at least this - 'Get Lucky' was their biggest commercial hit, and that Daft Punk are the guys who wear the robot helmets, and have almost never been photographed without them (see pic on right).

    The reasons for the helmets, disguises if you will, are as inscrutable as the performers themselves, but probably are not too hard to at least guess at.

    By wearing the helmets the Daft Punk guys get to concentrate on the art, not some kind of curated image, (actually it is a curated image, it's just one they define and control 100%), and also get to enjoy life outside of Daft Punk and the helmets as more or less 'normal' people. For international pop stars, the ability to walk down a street in New York or Paris or anywhere else and not be bothered by selfie-seeking fans has to be pretty valuable.

    But back to the reason why I thougth about this and wanted to write about a four year-old song and interview.

    In the GQ piece, the writer tries to learn more about how some of the songs on Daft Punk's new album were put together. Specifically, he asks which of the two Daft Punkians were responsible for a particular robot voice sound effect that is present on much of the material, as the effect stands out quite a bit.

    The answer from Daft Punk?

    "It doesn't matter.

    Love that answer. The two guys in Daft Punk have their partnership and process down so much, and are so comfortable with each other's position that they don't need to claim ownership of any particular aspect of the creation. 

    Can you imagine McCartney or Lennon answering a similar question about 'Hey Jude' the same way?

    If you are really, truly, going to have a successful partnership or a team, one that can withstand all the ups and downs that naturally are going to test you, I think the Daft Punk position of 'It doesn't matter who did what, just listen to the result" might be the most important and telling condition for that kind of success.

    If the robot on the left was interested in tying to make sure he got the credit and the acclaim for every element that he specifically contributed to the results, then you don't really have Daft Punk any longer. 

    You have two guys dressed in robot costumes.

    What's the song of summer 2017? 

    Have a great week!

    Sunday
    Apr302017

    Juniors, ranked

    There seems to be a lot more 'Juniors' or if you prefer, 'Jrs.' around lately. I am not really sure why. But I heard a couple of guys on a podcast toss around some of their favorite Juniors, I thought it made sense to take 8 minutes on a rainy Sunday to set down a marker.

    Thus, here is your unscientific, incomplete, unresearched, and 100% accurate break down of the 'Junior's that matter.

    10. Ed Begley, Jr.

    9. Cuba Gooding, Jr.

    8. Ken Griffey, Jr.

    7. Sammy Davis, Jr.

    6. Junior Mints

    5. Cal Ripken, Jr.

    4. Junior Soprano

    3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

    2. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    1. Junior's Cheesecake

    Of course you could disagree with this list, but you would be wrong.

    Happy Sunday.

    Wednesday
    Mar152017

    The Outsiders characters, ranked

    Over the weekend I caught the news that 'The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton is 50, that is five-oh years old.

    A classic, and long a staple of middle school reading lists everywhere, I think a fitting honor for the book's 50th is a treatment on the VERY popular 'ranked' series here on the blog.

    Reminder, these rankings are unscientific, unresearched, subjective, ill-informed, and 100% accurate.

    Here goes - (Note: Character name is followed by the actor or actress who played that character in the 1983 movie)

    10. The rest of the nameless Socs (various)

    9. Bob Sheldon (Leif Garrett)

    8. Two-Bit Mathews (Emilio Estevez)

    7. Cherry Valance (Diane Lane)

    6. Steve Randle (Tom Cruise)

    5. Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio)

    4. Sodapop Curtis (Rob Lowe)

    3. Darrel (Darry) Curtis (Patrick Swayze)

    2. Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell)

    1. Dallas Winston (Matt Dillon)

    Of course you could disagree with these rankings but of course, you would be wrong.

    Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

    Happy Wednesday.

    Friday
    Feb242017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 276 - The HR Happy Hour Oscars 2017 Preview Show

    HR Happy Hour 276 - The HR Happy Hour Oscars 2017 Preview Show

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, in what has become a beloved and annual HR Happy Hour Show tradition, hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane break down the major categories for the upcoming Oscars 2017 awards show, share their choices for the big categories, and generally have fun talking about the movies, the themes, and the big ideas in movies in 2017. There was definitely some disagreements and interesting discussions along the way as movies, like any art form, are really personal and impact everyone in a unique way.

    This show is essential prep to get you ready for Oscars 2017, and if you have not yet seen some of the big movies that are up for awards, Steve and Trish offer some ideas as to the 'must sees' of the year.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below (email and RSS subscribers click through)

    This is probably our favorite show we do each year, we hope you enjoy it too!

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app - just search for HR Happy Hour to subscribe and never miss a show.