On May 21st, Google celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Pac-Man. For those not present in the early 1980’s Pac-Man was a phenomenon that took the world by storm. Arguably the first video game since the invention of the format that created a pop-culture frenzy. Pac-Man machines were all the rage, everything from traditional arcade machines, to cocktail table machines, and even home machines modeled after the arcade model and even appearing on popular home gaming consoles at the time like the Atari 2600.
Pac-Man was hitting pop culture by storm, appearing everywhere such as t-shirts, lunchboxes, board games, toys, and several incarnations in the arcade including the very popular Ms. Pac-Man. The popularity even spawned the creation of a Saturday morning cartoon series based on the game. If people were excited about Pong, the first video game, Pac-Man was the equivalent of Beatlemania taking it to a whole new level. Pac-Man was so popular it even inspired a song entitled “Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner & Garcia and it even incorporated sounds from the popular video game. If you’re interested in hearing the song, I’ve included a YouTube clip containing the song at the end of this blog entry.
Continue reading Google Celebrates Pac-Man’s 30th Anniversary
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If you are lucky enough to live in the Portland, Oregon area, or happen to have an Internet connection (which I suspect you might if you’re reading this) then you had the opportunity on Thursday May, 6th, 2010 to tune into the Paula’s Picks program on KBOO FM during her program and hear her present “You Have To Be There” performed by Helen Sjöholm from the musical “Kristina.” “You Have To Be There” is written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. Paula Small is a friend of mine that I went to high school with and she moved to Portland and one of the fun things she does out there is host a radio program on the first and third Thursdays of every month for KBOO.
The last time I saw Paula was when she was back in town to visit some family at the end of 2008, so I took Paula to see the Xanadu production at the La Jolla Playhouse, and when I saw her online on Facebook and I said hello using the chat feature of Facebook, we ended up discussing some music. I was so excited about the live album “Kristina At Carnegie Hall” coming out and I’d just gotten it in, I sent her “You Have To Be There” to share my excitement about the show. Paula really liked the song and we both commented about how it starts out similar to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” but ends up being a much more powerful song. Paula thought it might make a great addition to her show the following night.
Continue reading Paula’s Picks Presents You Have To Be There From Kristina
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On a recent visit to Disneyland with some friends, we took the opportunity to see the return of Captain Eo, which Disneyland brought back as a tribute to Michael Jackson due to Michael’s death last year. The attraction is billed as the “Captain Eo Tribute” as opposed to just Captain Eo. And the attraction is replacing “Honey, I Shrunk The Audience” 3-D attraction which I think is what originally replaced Captain Eo in the first place when Disneyland pulled the attraction.
The attraction starts out with a “pre-show” which Disneyland highlighted was the original pre-show from when Captain Eo first premiered back in 1986. And I think the pre-show just really showcased how attention spans have gotten considerably shorter, as the pre-show just dragged on and on and on endlessly where the footage would have been sliced and spliced considerably more if it was being made for today’s audiences to keep the pace moving. It showcased some of the casting, the rehearsal process, and the making of Captain Eo. The pre-show was also hammering down the notion of how landmark Captain Eo is as a collaboration of Michael Jackson (arguably at his peak of popularity), George Lucas (still hot off the heels of the success of his original Star Wars Trilogy), Francis Ford Coppola (a legendary director) and of course, Disney. Okay, we get it, big names bring big expectations.
Continue reading The Return Of Captain Eo
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The year 2009 has really raced by way too quickly. It really seems like only yesterday the year just began and here it is so close to the end. While it’s been both a good and challenging year, Christmas time is the perfect time to take a moment out of it all to just think about family and friends.
This year, I kind of hit a milestone. This was the first year in ages that I’ve actually been in the mood to listen to Christmas music at Christmas time. I’d worked discount retail for far more years than I care to admit. Let’s just say Christmas time brings out the public’s worst behavior in discount retail stores and the non-stop playing of some of the worst versions of Christmas music non-stop during the month of December in the stores I worked in, I haven’t been in any mood for Christmas decorations nor Christmas music since the early 1992. I thought I’d never find the desire to hear another Christmas song at Christmas time again, but this year I actually wanted to hear some. It’s been six years since I last worked a Christmas in retail, so I’m guessing there’s hope yet for me to find the Christmas spirit again. It could take several more years, but I’m pleased by the sign of hope I had this year.
Continue reading It’s Christmas Eve In San Diego
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