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New podcast: Songs for an '80s Halloween playlist

It has to start with Thriller, right? No spooky song playlist from the '80s omits the Michael Jackson classic. Well, our list doesn't. (Though we do give Thriller its due.) Instead, this week's podcast aims for picking some more unusual tunes. (Okay, and a few obvious ones too.) 

This week's show also marks the return of 867-5309 Game Time, which will soon be renamed "Shall We Play A Game?" Jen with One N had some head-scratchers in this week's challenge. You can literally hear our brains melt with growing frustration during the seggie.

Oh, and don't forget: We want your suggestions for an '80s Halloween Playlist for our next show. Send your song nominations to podcast@sit80s.com. 

This week's podcast is brought to you by BarkBox and HelloFresh. Special offers from both partners can be found inside the show. 

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Donald Fagen was a master of music (not video) in the '80s

When Walter Becker died last month, it was sad since Steely Dan was my first favorite band. Unfortunately, Steely Dan only had one album in the '80s and certainly had no intentions of making music videos. However, Becker's partner in Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, did make music videos so today's nostalgia was a song about '50s nostalgia called I.G.Y.

While Steely Dan is played plenty on classic rock radio and are the unofficial kings of Yacht Rock, solo Donald Fagen material doesn't get much play except an occasional spin of I.G.Y. , which was the first single off of Fagen's glorious LP The Nightfly from 1982. …

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The Hawaiian Pups enjoyed the dog days of the '80s

It was just over a year ago, when we had a lot of fun profiling a very little known band called the Hawaiian Pups with their cougar song Young Boys. While there is not a whole litter of Pups songs out there, the fun continues today with their equally loveable Baby Judy.

The New York-based Hawaiian Pups only had one EP to their credit called Split Second Precision in 1983. A video for the previously mentioned Young Boys (that the band hated, but I love) was produced for promotion, but many college radio stations gravitated to the song Baby Judy on the EP. This gave birth to compiling a video for Baby Judy out of outtakes from the domino-themed Young Boys shoot and additional stock cartoon and movie footage. The results are tremendous and could be the best three and a half minutes of your day.

The lyrics of Baby Judy are so silly as the modulated voice reads a mock Dick and Jane-type children's books with the focus on Spot the dog and a jumping baby named Judy. After a little toddler talk, the song vacillates back and forth between chants, and shout outs to dance parties and going-ons in the country of India - that while weird, all oddly works together.   …

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As you wish: Five things you didn't know about 'The Princess Bride' on its 30th anniversary

When it comes to casting the characters for an epic tale like The Princess Bride, you need some really big actors. REALLY big. 

Director Rob Reiner reportedly considered several actors for the role of Fezzik, the lovable giant who eventually is coaxed into helping our hero Wesley rescue Princess Buttercup. Among the names: Arnold Schwarzenegger (too expensive), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (too busy with his NBA career) and even Liam Neeson (too short at “only” 6-foot-4). 

And so it would be pro wrestling legend “Andre the Giant” - author William Goldman’s first pick all along - who would step into the role. 

Released on Oct. 9, 1987, The Princess Bride is celebrating its 30th anniversary by returning to the big screen. Fathom Events is staging screenings of the movie on Sunday, Oct. 15, and Wednesday, Oct. 18. Click here to find a theater near you.

Here are five more things you probably didn’t know about The Princess Bride on its 30th anniversary.  …

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An '80s tune about terrorism? Listen to 'First We Take Manhattan'

Unfortunately, terrorism is in the headlines pretty much every week these days. Even though we pine for simpler and less threatening days, that doesn't mean terrorism wasn't a topic back in the '80s. In fact, it was even songs like Leonard Cohen's First We Take Manhattan performed by Jennifer Warnes.

Jennifer Warnes only hit the Top 40 twice in the '80s, with the anomaly being that both hit No. 1. In between the 1982 duet with Joe Cocker - Up Where We Belong - from An Officer and A Gentlemen and the 198 duet with Bill Medley - The Time Of My Life - from Dirty Dancing, Warnes worked on a project she had been championing to recording executives for years - a tribute album to Leonard Cohen.

Before Warnes scored her first Top 40 hit in 1977 with The Right Time Of The Night, she was a singer for Leonard Cohen. In 1986, she showed her appreciation of Cohen's work by recording her one and only album in the '80s - an entire album of Leonard Cohen penned songs called Famous Blue Raincoat. While the span of the songs on the album ranged from the '60s to the '80s, one of the tunes was a song that Cohen had never recorded before entitled First We Take Manhattan. …

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Apple, Steven Spielberg to reboot 'Amazing Stories'

Apple and Steven Spielberg together at last? It's an '80s miracle! The Hollywood Reporter says Apple and Spielberg have struck a deal to bring back Amazing Stories.

Amazing Stories, for those with short memories - well, heck, it was 30 years ago - was a short-lived TV series that ran on NBC from 1985 to 1987. Spielberg was the developer (and uncredited creator). Many of the episode's stories were written by Spielberg (especially during the first season. A series of series-associated novels were published during those years as well.

The show had mixed reviews, but still was nominated for a dozen Emmy Awards (winning five). 

No word yet on when production will begin and when we can expect to see the first fruits of this relationship.

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Yes, that classic '80s tune was by the Everly Brothers

This past weekend, I was listening to the American Top 40 Rewind (as I often do) and Casey Kasem was laying down some chart trivia, which I lap up like ice cream on a hot day. In the show that originally was broadcast in October of 1984, Casey mentioned the dominance of the Everly Brothers and added as a side note that the brothers had a current single in the Top 100. My own long distance dedication was answered as that mention took me back to 1984 and On The Wings Of A Nightingale.

If not for Hall & Oates, the Everly Brothers would still own most chart records by a duo. Still, their catalogue is impressive and influential as they racked up more than two dozen Top 40 hits in a little over a five-year span from 1957 to 1962, including No. 1 classics like Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have To Do Is Dream and Cathy's Clown. Their last Top 40 hit was in 1967, and they split up in 1973 until their reunion in the '80s. …

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Watch The Church's new video for the single 'Undersea'

It's always cool to see our favorite bands still putting in the effort to create music videos. Today, The Church released their newest vid. It's for the song Undersea from the upcoming album Man Woman Life Death Infinity (due out Friday.)

Singer, lyricist and bassist Steve Kilbey the new album is The Church's "water record." 

"I guess water is my element. I've always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain. It wasn't conscious at all but on reflection, it definitely is a preoccupation on this record. What that means, I don't know," he said in an official announcement today. "This is an album we’re really looking forward to exploring live."

Here are some of the band's upcoming U.S. dates. Check the band's official website for latest news:

10/10 - Omaha NE, The Waiting Room
10/11 - Englewood CO, Gothic Theatre
10/12 - Salt Lake City UT, The State Room
10/13 - Las Vegas NV, Brooklyn Bowl
10/14 - Phoenix AZ, The Press Room

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Watch 'The Last Jedi' trailer as Hamill explains the fate of Princess Leia

Are you overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the official trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi? I'll admit I got a little chocked up seeing Carrie Fisher again.

Mark Hamill, at the New York Comic Con on Saturday, explained how the actress' death has affected the franchise's plot.

"You’re going to really love her in (The Last Jedi)," Hamill said, according to a USA Today report. "I know they’re going to try and find a way to close her story in (Episode) 9 that gives her the respect she deserves, because (Han Solo) was more prominent in 7 (The Force Awakens), Luke’s a little more prominent in 8, and certainly Leia was meant to be more prominent in 9."

"Worldwide, everyone feels that gap she left," he added. "But we all have to hang in there."

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Eddie Money and family to start in reality TV show

Eddie Money apparently can walk on water. The ‘80s rocker has the green light for a reality show about his family and career. The working title is Real Money.

Deadline.com recently reported that AXS TV has agreed to a 10-episode season. Production began in late September and will concentrate on Money, his wife, five kids (all musicians or somehow involved with Eddie’s band) and eight pets. (Eight? Really?)

“We may not be the typical cookie-cutter family,” Money said in a statement. “But we have a strong sense of love and loyalty for each other that really shines through. It’s real, and it’s something I think everyone can relate to. We’re excited to share our lives with America, as they join us on this wild ride. I’ve only got two tickets to paradise, but I’m taking everybody!” …

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Sail with us on The 80s Cruise and pick the movie for a private screening

Here's some great news: If you booked The 80s Cruise with our promo code STUCK, you'll now be invited to a private movie screening onboard the Celebrity Summit. And our private group gets to pick the movie! We'll have an online poll soon to help choose the movie.

If you haven't booked yet, there are some new financing options to help you join us. First, The 80s Cruise now accepts PayPal Credit, so that's a nice benefit. Second, there's a special financing plan for our STUCK promo code:  

You make five equal monthly payments on the 1st of every month. The first payment of balance is due on November 1, 2017. The final payment of balance due on March 1, 2018.

This is the third 80s Cruise and you won't want to miss it. Performers include Rick Springfield, Loverboy, Billy Ocean, Mike + The Mechanics, Berlin, The Tubes, Katrina from Katrina & The Waves, Thomas Dolby and Tommy Tutone. Rick is also serving as the host for the cruise, and he'll be joined by original MTV veejays Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter and Mark Goodman. …

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No big surprises in Rock Hall of Fame's 2018 nominees

Hey, ‘80s fans, the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame has announced its nominees for the Class of 2018, and there aren’t many big surprises there. First-time nominees of interest this time around include the Eurythmics, Dire Straits, Judas Priest and Kate Bush.

Repeat nominees of ‘80s artists include: Bon Jovi, The Cars, Depeche Mode, J. Geils Band and LL Cool J. 

An artist or band is eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after releasing a recording. Voting begins today with more than 900 artists and music industry professions casting ballots. Fans can participate by voting at rockhall.com/vote. The induction ceremony is set for April 14 in Cleveland. 

The 2017 class was more noteworthy because it featured the inclusion of Journey with former lead singer Steve Perry joining his bandmates on stage. No such luck this year. (Sorry, Styx and Duran Duran fans.)

Here’s the full list of nominees:

 

 

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New podcast: Birthday albums by Rush, INXS, The Smiths

You'd think we'd learned our lesson about trying to cover the band Rush on our Stuck in the '80s podcast. We've done it before, and the Rush fans always explode over any tiny criticism of their favorite Canadians. Well, we've reached the 30th anniversary of Rush's Hold Your Fire album, and we went there again.

Truth is, I was once the biggest Rush fan of them all. I had the obligatory poster of Geddy and Alex with their double-necked guitars in concert on my bedroom wall. (I actually just bought a reprint of it, but haven't had the courage to hang it in the bedroom of a 50-year-old fan.) I owned and memorized 2112 through Signals, but then I stopped. Too much time has passed for me to know exactly why. I just moved on.

In the last year or so, I caught the Rush documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage and was instantly in love again. (It's still on Netflix if you want to catch it.) And I first heard the song Time Stand Still. I was floored. I smiled. I danced. I wept. 

Freeze this moment
A little bit longer
Make each sensation
A little bit stronger

My heart worked again. My brain was on overdrive. Those damn Rush guys sucked me again. …

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Watch this amazing '80s dance video starring woman stranded at airport

We'll never listen to Lionel Richie's All Night Long the same way again.

A recently stranged passenger who was forced to spend the night at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., decided to make the most of her situation and produced this dance video (with the help of airport staff and other passengers).

According to Tastefullyoffensive.com, Mahshid Mazooji explained: "I missed my connecting flight in Charlotte, and I didn't want to sit in anger all night long, so instead I did what makes me happiest...DANCE!! Oh, and I made some really great friends along the way! Thank you for dancing your troubles away with me!!"

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Watch entire Tom Petty concert in Gainesville from 2006

Tom Petty was born and grew up in Gainesville, Florida. Even though he was long gone by the time I started at the University of Florida in 1985, the town still worshipped Tom and rightfully so. He was one of them. One of us.

I still remember the thrill of visiting Dub's, the bar where Mudcrutch (the previous incarnation of the Heartbreakers) played regularly in the '70s. By the mid-80s, Dub's was hanging on as best it could. It was a real hike - even by car - from the university part of town. And by then, it was best known for Miniskirt Contest Night. I was dragged there by my first roommate one week night. I didn't "get" the idea of a miniskirt contest. Who cares? I sat on the floor because all the tables were filled that night. And once the festivities started, I finally "got it." The miniskirt (and the rest of the clothing of the contestants) didn't stay on much beyond the first chorus of whatever song they were dancing to. 

Tom would have loved it.  …

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