Archive for LEB

LL Cool J’s senses destroying debut in the movie Krush Groove

Posted in movies, music, rap with tags , , , on April 19, 2013 by Paxton

LEB

This week, The League is asking us —

“What moment in pop culture had you saying “Now, that’s how you make an introduction!”

One thing popped into my mind as the perfect example of a bombasic and awesome introduction.  This week I’ve been writing an article ranking Run-DMC’s studio albums in order of my personal preference as well as researching the group Run-DMC in preparation for the 25th anniversary of their album Tougher than Leather.  So that is why this particular movie introduction was on my mind.  I’ve talked about it several times on my blog. It happens during one of my favorite movies of all time, Krush Groove.

Krush Groove

Around the middle of the movie, Run-DMC and uber producer Rick Rubin are holding auditions. A young lady finishes singing a song and as they are escorting her out and are closing the auditions, a group of three guys storm in. The one in the middle is LL Cool J. Amongst the protests of Jam Master Jay and Rubin that the auditions are closed, and without preamble, LL yells “BOX!” at his friend who proceeds to hit PLAY on the suitcase nuke-sized portable stereo in his hand. The beat starts, LL paces the floor like a caged tiger for a few seconds and then proceeds to TEAR THE ROOF OFF THE STUDIO with the opening verse to I Can’t Live Without My Radio.

It’s hard now to really put this scene into the proper context of 1985. I saw this movie in the theater and the scene blew my young mind. LL’s delivery and aggressive lyrics mixed with the minimal bass-filled beats were like a jackhammer tearing away at my preconceived notions about rap. This scene made me an LL fan for life. And while LL has certainly mellowed over the years, he still has it in him to create an energy filled rap track.

Check out his most recent single, WHADDUP, with Chuck D, Tom Morello and Travis Barker.

Other top introductions from around The League:
Pop Rewind talks about being introduced to movie franchises like Batman and Terminator via their sequels
Brian at Cool and Collected talks about great 80s rock intros
Diary of a Dorkette talks about being introduced to She-Ra
Goodwill Geek talks about his introduction to Thundercats
Both Batcave Toy Room and Las Vegas Yankee talk about Superman: The Movie.

Muppet Treasure Island and it’s awesome soundtrack

Posted in movies, music, pop culture with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2013 by Paxton

LEB

So, this week’s topic for the League is “pirates”. Unfortunately, I’ve already extolled the virtues of one of my favorite pirate movies of all time, The Pirate Movie, during it’s 30 year anniversary last year. So, I can’t un-pop that cork. My next best option is to talk about Muppet Treasure Island.  And more specifically, the soundtrack.

Muppet Treasure Island was released in 1996.  It was the second of the Muppet movies, after Muppet Christmas Carol, to be made in partnership with Disney and after Jim Henson’s death.  It starred Tim Curry as Long John Silver and Kevin Bishop as Jim Hawkins.  The movie, financially, was a success earning a higher gross than the last three movies.

The movie itself is funny and clever.  Curry is great as Silver.  Bishop is, well, not awesome.  His voice is really high, like a 6 year old girl.  It’s really sort of annoying.  Other than that I enjoy this movie as much as I enjoy Muppet Christmas Carol.   In general, I see Muppet Christmas Carol as a better movie but Muppet Treasure Island has the better soundtrack.

Now, let’s take a look at that awesome soundtrack with a bunch of very catchy, totally Muppet-style songs that are all pirate themed.

Muppet Treasure Island soundtrack
This exists. And I own it.

Here are some of my favorite songs from the soundtrack.

Shiver My Timbers is the song that plays over the opening credits featuring pirates burying treasure on an island. Treasure Island. It’s very dark and is very chant-like. It’s probably my favorite song, and it’s totally pirate-y.

Cabin Fever is my second favorite song. It features the cast singing about having “cabin fever” while sailing out at sea. It’s absurd and over-the-top and completely bananas. That’s why I love it. It has a distinctly “islands” feel to it with the steel drums. My favorite lyric in the song:

“Cabin fever has grabbed us all aboard,
This once fine vessel has become a floating psycho ward.”

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The Real West: Kenner’s failed western toy line from 1980

Posted in 80s, Billy the Kid, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on January 15, 2013 by Paxton

LEB

I’m a big fan of westerns.  Movies, books, comics, toys.  Whatever.  If you listen to episode 68 of the Nerd Lunch podcast, you will hear me lamenting the lack of good western toy lines on shelves today.  The best western toy line is probably the Gabriel Lone Ranger toys from the 70s and 80s.  Most especially the large scale toys and accessories.  Here’s an ad for a western town for the Gabriel 3-3/4″ Lone Ranger toys.

Gabriel Lone Ranger

Gabriel also released a 12″ scale Lone Ranger series of figures.  Both were extremely popular and set the standard for well done western figures.  However, there aren’t many other toy lines that even tried to create western figures, other than generically packed cowboy figures on sale in the discount aisles of Wal-Mart.  See the True Heroes Wild West Action Figure Playset 5-Pack.  To be fair, the True Heroes stuff is actually fairly well made for generic figures.  Check out the True Heroes Wild West Sheriff’s Town Playset.  Like I said, actually not that bad.  But it’s generic.  I want a figure line that’s more specific.

The toys I actually want to talk about today I briefly mentioned in the latest episode of Nerd Lunch.  I consider it to be the closest we’ll get to an actual, well realized “Legends of the Old West” action figure line.  It was first made by Kenner in 1979 as a tie in to the movie Butch and Sundance – The Early Days.  The movie was a prequel to the classic 1969 western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, respectively.  The movie had a nice compliment of stars.  Tom Berenger played Butch, William Katt played Sundance, Peter Weller played La Fors, Christopher Lloyd played Carver and Brian Dennehy played Hanks.  The studio had high hopes for the movie and created a toy line featuring figures of the characters.  Here are pics of the carded figures of the title characters.

Butch Sundance
(via Toys You Had)

There were also figures of La Fors, Sheriff Bledsoe and Hanks.  Kenner also produced the hero’s horses, Bluff and Spurs, as well as an awesome armored stagecoach called The Mint Wagon.  Here they are in a Kenner catalog from 1980.

Horses and Mint Wagon
(Via Plaid Stallions)

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Some of my geeky shelf displays

Posted in books, pop culture, Star Wars with tags , , , , on November 30, 2012 by Paxton

LEB

New League assignment from Brian this week. We are to present a shelf display of things in our collection that showcases our love of pop culture.

My displays are not what they used to be. I used to have an entire downstairs filled with Star Wars memorabilia. However, since I moved to Florida, that all went into storage and now I only have a few out of the way spots where I can display some of my favorite items.

One of those spots is a bookshelf in my closet.

My book corner

This bookshelf houses the books on my “To Be Read” pile.  And the shelves are double stacked.  Some are books I’ve never read before and some are re-reads.  Within this shelf you’ll find movie novelizations, comic book novels, Star Trek and Star Wars novels, Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman books, etc, etc.  But, as you can see, there are more than just books here.

Hanging on the wall in back you can see the Muppet Christmas Carol poster I have up for the holiday season.  That poster changes a few times a year.  For Halloween I had up From Dusk till Dawn.  On top of the shelf on the left side I have a stack of comic trade paperbacks including some of the Marvel Ultimate books and several Fantastic Four collections.  On top of the trades is a shadow box display of my running medals.  It includes the bib and medals I received for finishing my first two marathons and several other half-marathons.

Next to those on the right side I have two DVD sets.  The black box is the complete Six Million Dollar Man set from Time-Life.  It’s awesome.  I’ve currently watched through Season 1.  On the far right is the Buffy Chosen Collection DVD set featuring all 7 seasons.  I really love the first 3.5 seasons of this show.  But I’m currently selling it on eBay right now, so if you want it, you can try to buy it.

One other display that I have is a small divided section curio containing some of my Star Wars figures.

Star Wars curio

It features a mix of new and vintage figures.  I tried to theme each section a bit.  In the upper left is the stormtrooper section.  Lower right is the vintage bounty hunter section.  Various Lukes are in the lower left.  I should probably switch these figs out a bit more to change up the displays but I haven’t.

Essentially, those are the only shelf displays I really have left.  Someday, I’ll post a pictorial essay of my previous “Star Wars Room” pictures.

UPDATE – I forgot to include a pic of my “soda shelf” that I keep at work. It features soda cans from the 80s, 90s and today.

soda shelf

Other posts from around the League:

– Tim displays a very geeky shelf of books.
– Fellow TAG Network podcaster Chris Lockhart showcases a drool-worthy Masters of the Universe collection.
– Reis over at The Dork Horde showcases some sweet bobblehead dolls.
– The Goodwill Geek literally has not one more iota of space left on his shelf.

5 school supplies from back in the day that I couldn’t go to school without

Posted in nostalgia, personal, pop culture with tags , , , on September 4, 2012 by Paxton

LEB

New assignment from The League.  The assignment says simply, “Back to School”.

Back to School
(Via UKnowKids.com)

I had a ton of fun during the summers of my youth. I practically lived at the community pool and one week each summer my family would go to Myrtle Beach with my cousins. It was awesome. But, then comes the last few weeks in August. The city swimming leagues have finished up their seasons, the pools are closing and the stores have put up their “back to school” displays.  I loved this time.  As much as I enjoyed the summer, the idea of going to K-Mart or Green Valley Drug Store for “school supplies” elicited no end of excited fist pumps from my elementary school self.

So, thinking about back to school, I wanted to take a look at how a young me would “gear up” for the school year.  So, here are 5 things I couldn’t start my school year without back in the day.

Trapper Keeper front Trapper Keeper inside
1. Trapper Keeper – Thanks to Shawn for the pics.  I had several Trapper Keepers during my schoolyard  life.  I usually gravitated towards the solid color Keeper (blue, red, green, etc).  However, the “Designer Series” was always very eye-catching.  I loved the side pockets in the folders.  Amazing design decision.  And the clipboard in the back was awesome as well.  I loved the zipper pocket you could hook into the 3 ring binder and the plastic slider used to open said 3 ring was whisper silent.  This is probably the greatest achievement in school supplies since the erasable pen.  Speaking of…

Bic Erasable pens
2. Bic Erasable pens – I loved these things and couldn’t begin a school year without at least 1 new package.  It has been my Holy Grail for the longest time to find a Bic Erasable pen from the 80s. It was my pen of choice throughout elementary school and high school. They came in solid body colors (red, blue, yellow, green, etc), wrote in blue ink and didn’t clump.  Check out a commercial for them here.  Scripto also made an erasable pen but in my eyes it was inferior.  The ink globbed  up into a mess everytime you started to write.  Go Bic Erasable or go home, ladies.

college ruled paper
3. College-rule loose leaf paper – All of my friends were in love with college rule.  In our eyes, wide rule was for kindergarteners.    I think I liked it because when we’d have to write out vocabulary words or a report, it just looked neater and more professional on college rule as opposed to wide rule.  For instance, two book reports are identical in content but one is written on wide rule and one is written on college rule.  In my 9-10 year old head if the wide rule got a B, then the report on the college rule would get an A+.  And a Ferrari.  And maybe marry the hot chemistry teacher.

Mead 5 subject notebook
4. 5 subject notebook – They were like the Franklin day planners for elementary school kids.  FIVE subjects in one notebook?  It almost blew your mind to think about it.  And the manila dividers with pockets were just gravy, baby.  I lived and breathed these things.  No school year was complete without a few of these.

Sinister Scarecrow Shark Reef Skeleton Island
5. The Three Investigators books – Not a “school supply” per se, but these were essential reading for my friends and me in elementary school. During library time, we would literally fight and push each other down in the mad free for all that would ensue if we found a new book sitting on the shelf.  And if you were the first to read said book, you loudly spoiled the mystery ending as often as possible for everyone to hear in order to suck all the enjoyment out of anyone else reading it.  It was cutthroat and not for the faint of heart. But, to the victor go the spoils…

Other Back to School activities from around the League:
1. Green Plastic Squirt Gun gives an awesome timeline of the metal lunchboxes they carried throughout elementary school.
2. Good Will Hunting 4 Geeks gives us a lineup of his dream pop culture teachers from movies/TV. And yes, he includes Good Will Hunting.
3. Shez Crafti talks about an obscure song from the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie.
4. Rediscover the 80s talks about the thin line between school supply and toy.