Categories
Culture

Go Get Yourself Some Cheap Sunglasses

Seriously, why spend money on expensive shades when you know you’re going to lose them or break them? An Ode to Gas-Station Sunglasses, Beloved by Dads Everywhere on Inside Hook.

No mention of the original ode to the thick black frames:

Categories
Music

TV Party: Black Flag

No, really, we’ve got nothing better to do. Another one of those songs I had forgotten about (until hearing it on the Friday Night Freakout). Fine, it was supposed to be ironic, but is it really?

Originally released on Black Flag’s 1981 album Damaged, then re-released on their EP TV Party with the actual tv show “Fridays” switched out for “Wednesdays,” for some reason, then included on the Repo Man soundtrack (yeah, I forgot it was on there, too).

That’s Incredible!

Vega$!

Categories
Culture Music

I Should Have Known You Weren’t There For the Music

Categories
Culture History

Members Only: There is No Excuse Not to Vote

Members Only, the makers of the now-classic 1980s racer jacket, encouraged Americans to vote in the 1988 elections using imagery that probably seemed overly dramatic at the time. The U.S. Constitution, the narrator intoned, “suggested a very simple way to keep fools like these out of our government.” The fools? Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini. The remedy? Voting. Some commercials are timeless.

That jacket is itself pretty timeless:

Members Only Stranger Things

Categories
Archaeology History

1970s London Archaeologist Culture

Archaeologists on a tea break in London, 1974. Source: Hobley’s Heroes.

Hobley’s Heroes is an online archive that shows something of life as an archaeologist digging in London in the 1970s and 1980s, including dig site photos and an fanzine-like comic/workplace newsletter. Brian Hobley, Chief Urban Archaeologist, was their boss. It’s a fascinating repository that includes some far out field fashion and a glossary of the digger’s argot (“If in doubt, rip it out” was in use at least as early as 1974).

Hobley’s Heroes, Issue 1. 1975. Source: Hobley’s Heroes

Categories
Diversions

Step by Step Fixing (and Flipping) a 1988 Toyota Pickup

 

1988 Toyota Pickup
1988 Toyota Pickup. Source: Jalopnik

Starting to look like old Toyota Pickups are the next Ford Bronco. Peter Monshizadeh on Jalopnik:

Here’s Exactly What It Cost To Buy And Repair An Old Toyota Pickup Truck

Check out that 4×4, indeed.

Categories
Music

Roadrunner: Joan Jett Going Faster Miles Per Hour

Joan Jett sings Roadrunner on the David Letterman show in 1987, switching out The Modern Lovers’ Massachusetts imagery for some New York-inspired lyrics.

Categories
Music

In the 1980s, Tom Petty’s Music Videos Could Get a Little Weird

Many of Tom Petty’s music videos in the 1980s were imaginative, visually rich movies that were inspired by earlier literary works.

Things get started in 1982 with You Got Lucky, in which the Heartbreakers motor through a presumably postapocalyptic desert and rediscover the boom box and electric guitar. The Mad Max aesthetic is more derivative than inspired, but the band demonstrates that they can wear hats well, and  Battlestar Galactica and an animated Chuck Berry make fleeting appearances.

His creative, ultimately disturbing, 1985 video with the Heartbreakers for Don’t Come Around Here No More has a very ’80s Alice trapped in Wonderland, with Petty as the Mad Hatter (top hats were a thing for him).  The song was written with Dave Stewart (Petty’s next door neighbor when an arsonist set fire to Petty’s house), who claimed it was inspired by a Carrollesque night he spent at a party at Stevie Nicks’ house.

Runnin’ Down a Dream, from his 1989 solo album, is a black and white animated video inspired by the early twentieth century comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. Petty is led through a dream landscape by a small, cigar-chewing figure wearing a crown, a clear homage to Slumberland‘s Flip the clown. On his adventure, there are allusions to Wonderland, Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon, and King Kong.

Categories
Culture

The Mysterious Toynbee Tile – Raise Dead Planet Jupiter

 

Toynbee Tile, Atlantic City
Toynbee Tile, Atlantic City

One of the many mysterious Toynbee Tiles. This one was seen stuck to the street  in Atlantic City, New Jersey, near the Forever 21 outlet store.

The tiles are cut from linoleum and stuck to the road surface. The words consistently refer to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, resurrection, and Jupiter.

They are found in and around Philadelphia, in New Jersey, and in many other cities primarily along the Boston-Washington D.C. axis, but also as far away as Santiago, Chile. The original ones, first sighted in the 1980s,  were likely the work of one individual, but new ones (probably including the one above) that have appeared in the last few years probably have been placed by copycats.

While many Toynbee tiles have been destroyed or covered over by road repaving, one government group, the Philadelphia Streets Department, at least made an effort to preserve some of them . Are they worthy of preservation? If you peel up ephemeral street art and put in a museum, is it still ephemeral street art? As the original Toynbee Tiles are threatened with extinction in the wild, they may live forever, if not on Jupiter, at least in cyberspace.

Categories
Culture

Da Da Da

Sticking with the 90s Volkswagen theme for a bit longer, 1997,  in addition to the Trek Bike joint venture, was also the year VW marketing scored with a commercial for the Golf that polished off the early 80s song Da Da Da (full title: Da Da Da, ich lieb’ dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha), by the band Trio.