Thursday, 9 June 2022

7x7

null island: errant data lands at this imaginary place at the intersection of the equator and the prime meridian (see also)

miscellany № 95: assorted links from Shady Characters, including some emoji code for illicit drugs  

fairlight synths: Kate Bush rediscovered by new audiences with her 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill”—previously  

mullet sneakers: for mental health 

¶ the encyclopedia of light is a curious mode of escape:the strike-through as a form of shadow writing, contextual undoing  

linkroll: your friendly reminder to pay a visit to the cabinet of hypertext curiosities of the illustrious Mx van Hoorn—previously 

terra nullus: a tour of ten off-limits places

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Peaking at the top of US charts on this day in 1985, the lead single from the new wave pop duo from Bath, Tears for Fears’, second studio album, Songs from the Big Chair, originally had the refrain “everybody wants to go to war” and the rather jaunty tune addresses the anxieties of every age with the struggle for dominance and corruption and the misery it brings. The music video features bassist and lead vocalist Curt Smith driving an antique Austin-Healey roadster through southern California. One headline, why believe it?

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

und er lebt in der groรŸen stadt, es war in wien, war vienna wo er alles tat

The lead single from the artist’s third studio album with the eponymous title Falco 3 peaked on the UK charts on this day in 1986, holding top position for several weeks after hitting number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 at the end of March—still holding the sole German language title to have this achievement (99 Luftballons by Nena made it to the number two spot). Inspired by the popularity of the film Amadeus, the Neue Deutsche Welle number was initially released as an eight-minute version called the “Salieri Mix” before being trimmed to the more usual song length.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

project kansas

Lingering until the summer of 2002 (see next) and suspected by some as a marketing ploy to boost sagging sales of its flagship beverage—reintroduced and rebranded as Coca-Cola Classic, the reformulated version, New Coke, was introduced on this day in 1985 to much derision—with production of the original production halted later the same week. Under the titular code name (having polled the demographic considered Middle America but failing to take into account nostalgia and the attachment to tradition), the secret project to launch a new flavour of soft-drink was in response to test marketing that suggested that palettes preferred sweeter tastes and Pepsi (see also) faring better in new markets. Despite the sustained backlash, the corporation continued with aggressive commercial campaigns, including bringing on spokesman Max Headroom (previously—caution, flashing images) in 1986.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

8x8

squirrel monkey: imagining Wordle vintage 1985—see also  

ะผะธัั‚ะตั†ั‚ะฒะพ: Ukrainian art community despairs as invasion advances

rumble: the overlooked musical virtuosity of Link Wray  

snake island: Ukrainian soldiers stand their ground and face off a battleship defending a military outpost on Zmiinyi, the rocky islet where Achilles was entombed 

regression to the mean: a spate of controversial laws passed in the US to curtail discussions in classroom that would make straight, white cis people uncomfortable (previously)

existential crisis: dread creeps into the everyday and makes it difficult to focus on what’s vital and the ultimately inconsequential  

ะฐั€ั…ั–ั‚ะตะบั‚ัƒั€ะฝะพั—: Ukrainian designers and architects fight back against Russian incursion  

acrophobia: sociable early internet word game that solicited wrong answers only plus several contemporaries

Friday, 29 October 2021

speedrun

Via Waxy, we are treated to this blended super-cut of over five-thousand game plays of the original NES Super Mario Bros. compiled and edited in the course of a year. Click through to see more about the making of this mad scramble that illustrates the adage, in one commenter’s words: “The master has failed more times than a beginner has ever tried.”

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

shout it to the top!

Reaching its pinnacle on the UK charts on this day in 1984, this Sophisti-Pop ballad by lead Paul Weller was a hit single from The Style Council’s album Our Favourite Shop and was part of the score for Billy Elliot and the soundtrack for the 1985 Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino coming-of-age vehicle Vision Quest. The film is most remembered for a debut performance by Madonna in a local night club—prompting many markets to release it as Crazy for You, her signature piece in the scene.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

no one i think is in my tree

On this day in 1985, on what would have been the artist’s forty-fifth birthday, his widow Yoko Ono, who contributed significantly to the landscaping and upkeep through the years, and New York City mayor Ed Koch dedicated the one hectare memorial within Central Park to the memory of murdered former Beatle John Lennon.

Monday, 13 September 2021

1up

The anniversary distinct from Mario Day, on this day in 1985, Nintendo first released Super Mario Bros. (ใ‚นใƒผใƒ‘ใƒผใƒžใƒชใ‚ชใƒ–ใƒฉใ‚ถใƒผใ‚บ, Sลซpฤ Mario Burazฤzu) for domestic markets for their home gaming console as the continuation the franchise of characters first appearing in Donkey Kong. Scored by Koji Kondo and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takasho Tezuka of the Creative Department, the Jump-’n’-Run side scrolling video game debuted in foreign markets two years later and is hailed as one of the most popular and influential games of all time with over fifty million copies sold of this single instalment.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

7x7

wait for the beep: a growing collection of found-sounds in the form of answering machine narratives—via Memo of the Air  

potatopoty: superlative tubers  

yaxety sax: string ensemble performs the 1968 instrumental from Spider Rich and Boots Randolph 

the metz address: Philip K. Dick (previously) speaks to an audience in 1977 at a sci-fi convention in France 

say taliban, move your minivans: November 2001 Saturday Night Live sketch “Kandahar Dance Party” recirculating to mixed responses 

dateline: Merv Griffin’s short-lived 1985 game show Headline Chasers  

dear friends of mine, please write a line in this little wash tubbs book of mine—help me keep you in my mind: a comic scrapbook chronicling the Great Depression, via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see there)

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

programming block

Admittedly more of a nostalgic indulgence than graphic design inspiration, Regan Ray (previously) brings us a treasury of titles hosted on the original oldies cable network—from the marketing team that produced MTV’s commercial bumpers, that debuted in 1985, replacing A&E (the Arts and Entertainment network) that formerly occupied this nocturnal slot of Nickelodeon. Peruse a gallery of sitcoms that aired on the channel at the link up top. 


 

Monday, 21 June 2021

i have always valued my lifelessness

Along with many other anniversaries of great pith and circumstance, this day also shares its anniversary—according to our faithful chronicler, with the 1985 general release in US cinemas of Return to Oz, starring Fairuza Balk as Dorothy Gale on her continuing adventures over the rainbow, a loose amalgam of L. Frank Baum’s other books and not intended to be a sequel to the 1939 production. Committed as delusion by Aunt Em for her talk of Oz and confined in an institution about to undergo shock treatment, a mysterious inmate helps Dorothy escape by jumping from an embankment to a rushing, flooded river, washed away towards the Deadly Desert with her now talking chicken Bilina. Finding the Yellow Brick Road and Emerald City in ruins and all its people petrified (turned to stone), Dorothy is menaced by marauding packs of creatures with wheels for hands and feet. Cornered, escapes again and winds-up a mechanical sentry called Tik-Tok who relates to her how the kingdom has been overrun by the minions of the Nome King and Mombi, the Wicked Witch of the North. Though initially panned by American critics for its dark nature and twisted portrayals, it was quite popular outside of domestic markets and has since gained cult status.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

guilty feet have got no rhythm

Just ahead of the duo’s ground-breaking pair of concerts in China, the first Western pop band to play to this venue, Wham! released its album Make It Big in Chinese markets—with the hit singles “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Freedom” and “Careless Whisper”—on this day in 1985. Having taken a break from the studio George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley embarked on an extensive world tour that included coveted stops (see previously) in Beijing and Guangzhou. Knowing what a publicity coup the concerts meant, the negotiations with authorities were not entirely above-board, as one of Wham!’s managers later owned up to, admitting that he presented his group as pleasant, clean-cut and conservative whereas with the competition, Queen, he emphasised the flamboyance of Freddie Mercury, also securing approval over the Rolling Stones.

Friday, 1 January 2021

video hits one

Among many events of pith and moment, as our faithful chronicler informs, this day also shares the 1985 launch of the MTV sister channel aimed at adult contemporary listeners of popular music VH1 in order to fill market niche left by the discontinuation of the short-lived rival network, the Cable Music Channel from the Turner Broadcasting System.

Staple artists from the first years included Billy Joel, Sting, Kenny G, Rod Stewart, Michael Bolton and Tina Turner with programming blocks dedicated to vintage variety show footage, clip specials and Motown, R&B, Sophisti-Pop, smooth jazz and New Age. The eighth video aired was Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” In that first hour of broadcasting, songs played were “Nobody Told Me [There’d be Days Like These]” by John Lennon, Diana Ross’ “Missing You,” “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling”—the Hall & Oates version, “I’m Alright” from Kenny Loggings and “Joanna” by Kool & The Gang.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

les mis

Formally opening at London’s Barbican Centre on this evening in 1985 after a week of preview performances to mixed critical reception, the stage musical collaboration of Victor Hugo’s Les Misรฉrables from Claude-Michel Schรถnberg, Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel—translated by Herbert Kretzmer is one of the West End’s and the world’s longest-running performance—in good company with Cats (previously) which coincidentally saw its Broadway premiere on the same day three years prior. Following the storyline of Hugo’s 1862 novel, informed and inspired by the Artful Dodger and company of street urchins’ song and dance routine in Oliver! (Twist), doggedly determined police inspector Javert (relatedly) pursues Jean Valjean for breaking parole (sentenced and having served nineteen years hard-labour for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s staving baby) and are carried away with a cast of characters to a Paris on the brink of revolt and revolution. 
 

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

that's why they call me mister fahrenheit

To celebrate what would have been the artist’s seventy-second birthday, we look through Dangerous Minds’ archives and find footage from Freddie Mercury’s legendary bash held at Old Missus Henderson’s club (closed in August 2008) in Mรผnchen in 1985. Invited guests were instructed to dress for the drag ball in black and white and parts of the party’s proceedings were incorporated into the music video for Mercury’s Living on My Own. At the time, Mercury lived on the nearby Hans-Sachs-StraรŸe in the borough of Ludwigsvorstadt where Oktoberfest is held.