Friday, November 29, 2013

The Return of Retroguy !!

Hi everyone - been a long time since my last post but there's been much going on in my personal life that forced me to put this baby on the back burner for a little bit. Fear not ! I plan to be back posting regularly again and will update the look of the page hopefully soon. Thanks for all the kind words - it's appreciated and as always, drop me a line if you have any suggestions or comments.

For those of you that still spin or collect vinyl, I'm going to start listing some of my collection on eBay in the coming weeks. Various genres will be represented from the 70s through the late 90s and beyond. Here's the link to ebay site with my auctions:   djbreez eBay Auctions  Feel free to share the link with anyone you know who collects vinyl.

Check out the video to one of the classic Prince 12" singles listed on auction right now.  As always - Keep It Retro !



Sunday, August 26, 2012

R.I.P. Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) The Original Moonwalker



The first man you ever set foot on the moon, Neil Alden Armstrong, passed away on Saturday at the age of 82. Neil had a pretty amazing career before becoming an astronaut. He served as a U.S. Naval pilot in the Korean war, and then as a test pilot before joining the space program in 1962. He performed the first docking of two spacecraft during his first space flight aboard Gemini 8 in 1966 and then became the first human being to walk on the moon on his second and last mission on Apollo 11 in 1969.
  

When you think about the modern "daredevil" or stuntman and all the wild and dangerous things they do, nothing comes close to what the original astronauts of the early space program dared to do. Imagine strapping yourself into a small capsule, whose outside walls are as thin as a coin, and then lighting the fuse that will ignite the huge gas tank your capsule is sitting on and hoping for the best. Sure it was a bit more technical than that but consider that the average modern day calculator packs more computing punch than the first moon landing mission and you understand the scope of how amazing the accomplishment was.

 
There was a time when children looked up to brave men like Neal and vowed to follow in their footsteps and carry the torch of progress forward. Build on their accomplishments and push mankind to even greater technological feats. Some kids still do but sadly modern day heroes in our time take the form of sports stars, autotuned recording artists and reality TV wannabe stars.



Check out the original version of Space Oddity by David Bowie from 1969, the year of the first moon landing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Retro Heatwave Video of the Day - Hot In The City

People say that relentless heat can mess you up in many ways. It can make some people nauseous, dehydrate you, give you a headache, make you drowsy or in some cases, it destroys your ability spell ! I'm not bying itt thoughh. I thunck thets a lode of crips. 

Yup, it's been a pretty hot one this week with temperature records being broken, hydro grids being strained to the limit and people with air conditioning suddenly having friends over unexpectedly. You can actually buy a raw steak and cook it on your dashboard during the drive home. 

While some would say this heat wave is a result of global warming, others say it is the coming of the end. I just think it's a great excuse to hear a great summer retro classic !

 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Birthday I.B.M. - Thanks For Changing Everything


Back on June 16, 1911, a group of technology companies merged and called themselves the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Kind of catchy but later in 1924 they decided they needed something catchier and so renamed themselves International Business Machines which is now better known to the world as IBM. 


IBM has dominated the technology sector for most of it's 100 year history by having the uncanny ability to foresee where technology is heading and having the right product mix available to support the need. They also were smart enough to recognize a dieing technology or something well on it's way to being a commodity and got out of that business before losing money. 


Some examples of this would be getting out of the timeclock business, selling off their typewriter division to a little company called Lexmark ones they recognized the word processor was about to crush the once mighty typewriter, selling off their hard drive division to Hitachi even though they invented them, and one of the most surprising was selling of their PC division to Lenovo back in 2004 for a cool $1.8 billion. Considering how cheap and dirty the PC market has become, you can't say it wasn't a smart move on their part. 


Some other inventions to their credit include the web server, the punch card, electric typewriters, mainframe computers, laser surgical procedures and nanotubes to name a few. Although other companies come to mind when the subject of innovation comes up, the fact remains that in 2010 alone, IBM had a total of 5896 new patents to their name which is the most of any company in the world including GE, Apple, Google or Sony.

That's not to say they haven't made a few mistakes along the way. Back in 1981, when they introduced their Personal Computer, they hired a little known company to create the operating system. Since IBM believed that the hardware was mightier than the software, they agreed to allow the small company to keep the rights to the software and allow them to license the operating system, or DOS, as they wished. This little company was Microsoft and that deal helped make Bill Gates one of the richest men in the world.


Years later IBM tried to jump back into the operating system market and challenge Microsoft with their own version of an operating system but needless to say, Windows prevailed and IBM stuck to what it does best. 



 


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Retro Music Producer of the Day - Arthur Baker



One of the driving forces in early hip hop and Electrofunk was DJ / producer Arther Baker. Starting as a club DJ in the early 70s, he began experimenting with the new electronic sounds of the day and began producing remixes on analog tape. Long before digital took over, to create a quality mix required skill and patience since most of what you were doing was pretty much live. You needed mad skillz back in the day not like these days were software downloaded for free can create a remix on a whim.

Though you may not have heard of him, you certainly have heard his work since his collaborations include artists like Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force, Pet Shop Boys, Cyndi Lauper, Hall and Oats, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, ABC, Nenah Cherry and New Order to name a few. He was actually responsible for taking an obscure, instrumental piece from a 1984 New Order album "Lies, Power and Corruption" and churning it into the now classic Blue Monday.  



His style was easily recognizable with heavy emphasis on the rhythm track with heavy use of drum machines and 808 sounds that pretty much defined the genre. He brought some contemporary  artists to the mainstream with his remixes and also forces some artists to expand their horizons a bit by introducing new life into their usual style.



In 1985, he and Steven Van Zandt created Artists United Against Apartheid and created the anti-Apartheid anthem "Sun City" which helped raise global awareness of Apartheid in South Africa and was credited for being a major factor in it's eventual demise. (Who says music can't change the world ?)  


His influence is still felt today and continues to inspire new artists and DJs as well as producers and remixers. Here's a few more classic examples of his early style.







  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Retro Video of the Day - Babe We're Gonna Love Tonight


Growing up in Canada in the 80s exposed me to many Euro inspired music groups and to be honest back then I wasn't that in tune with who was who in the music world so every once in a while I'd pick up on a group and think they were some avante garde, new wave group from the U.K. or France. Lime was one of those groups. 

Formed in Montreal in the early 80s by the husband and wife team of Denis and Denyse LePage, they took full advantage of the exploding electronic music scene and created a bunch of Euro-disco inspired tracks. The story of Lime does have a few twists in it though (Lime twist.....get it ?....never mind) with some speculating that Denis and Denyse were in fact the same person that recorded both the male and female parts himself and used two attractive people to front the band when touring kinda like Milli Vanelli ended up doing years later. Regardless, they did leave behind some club classics.

Babe, We're Gonna Love Tonight is one such classic from their second album Lime II released back in 1981. It reached #6 on the U.S. Dance charts in 1982 and the video has all the classic elements of music videos from the early 80s. Cheesy graphics, awkward edits, cheap effects, bad lip syncing, boring dance routines and the list goes on. Not sure if the couple in the video are the actual band or the "attractive" people chosen to front the band on tour. Either way though - this track sounded great in a crowded club and always got the party started back in the day. 






Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When Weiners Were Hot Dogs

It kind of sucks when things you grew up with and liked or possibly loved get twisted into something different and are forever tied to some stupid act or worse a really really really really dumb guy. When I was a kid, Oscar Mayer was synonymous with delicious hot dogs or bologna. A wiener was something you looked forward to at a ballgame or a cookout. Now, when someone says wiener, you immediately think of:




Oh sorry, that's a picture of a twit not a wiener........ or is it both....... hmmmm, so confused now. Honestly though, who could have seen it coming. Anthony Weiner always looked so confident, so professional and well adjusted. A man of power and resolve. Why would there be any reason after enjoying moderate political success that he'd crave and need the admiration of young women to feel powerful and accomplished? I'm sure as a young lad he got his ya ya's out so that as an adult he could keep his libido in check. After all the action he must have got in high school and college he'd surely be able to keep his wiener in his pants right ?


   Oh snap.......... never mind. 








Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doomsday To Do List - So Much To Do, So Little Time



As you've no doubt already heard, today is the end of the world so if you have any unfinished business to attend to, get moving and get er' done. One thing's for sure, it's not like we didn't have any warnings about the inevitable coming of the apocalypse. Signs were everywhere.


Still not convinced ? If you were an almighty power and gave your creation free will to take all the beauty you've given them to go forth and enhance life on earth and harness the wonders all around you and the best we come up with is this:


Wouldn't you cash in the chips and move on to something else too? Still not convinced ? How about this:


Granted - he is amusing but holy cow, where the hell do we go from here ?!?! So again, the end is literally around the corner so here's a list of things to do (or not to do) in lieu of the coming destruction.

1. Don't pay any debt. (Why bother?)
2. Run with scissors. (What's the worst that can happen, you're gonna die anyway)
3. Tell the neighborhood bully he's an idiot. (Even if he beats the crap out of you it will only hurt for a few hours)
4. Tell your office mates you're the one secretly passing the silent but deadly ones. (You think they're going to care at a time like this?)
5. Call you're cable company and order all the premium channels. (If you're gonna die, may as well have an awesome selection of viewing options)
6. Use real butter. (Seriously, you're going to worry about your cholesterol now ?)
7. Order and actually eat a baconator. (After eating one, world's end won't come quick enough)
8. Mix your recyclables in with your regular garbage. (No amount of recycling will save us now)
9. Rent a Ferrari and drive the bajeezus out of it. 
10. Do something really stupid.......... but what ? 




In the event that the world doesn't end, do not attempt anything on the previously mentioned list. They were only suggestions anyway. Yup - it's over folks. However you choose to spend you're last day on earth, hope you enjoy doing it and if at all possible - Keep It Retro !











R.I.P Randy "Macho Man" Savage (1952 -2011)



Sad news today from the world of professional "real" wrestling. Randy "Macho Man" Savage died tragically after suffering a heart attack while driving his SUV in Tampa, Florida. His wife, who was in the car with him, only suffered minor injuries.

Randall Mario Poffo held twenty championship titles during his professional career and along with Hulk Hogan was one of the primary drivers behind the success of the WWF and bringing professional wrestling to the mainstream.



He brought a unique style to the ring along with his raspy voice and trademark "Ohhhh yeaaah" and took full advantage of the marketing machine that was the WWF (now the WWE) and became one of their biggest stars. In typical wrestling form, he shifted side many times during his career going from bad guy to good guy making and breaking various alliances along the way and was "managed" for most of his career by his wife Elizabeth Ann "Miss Elizabeth" Hulette who died of a drug overdose in 2003. 



Wherever you stand on the subject of whether wrestling is real, you can't deny the incredible fitness required to survive in the ring and the punishment a body must endure. He was an athlete and he reinvented himself many times and always managed to climb back on top both in the ring and out. His greatest match without a doubt was in Wrestlemania III with Ricky Steamboat in what arguably the best match in wrestling history. 

 





Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Royal Wedding Retro Copycats

Time and time again there is evidence that nothing is new. It's all been done before. Everything is a remix. There are very rarely new and original ideas. Need more proof ? Check out the picture below of the recent Royal wedding of Will and Kate and the other classic Royal wedding in Cinderella which was a Disney movie from 1950.



Honestly, you'd think the British Royal family could come up with an original thought !!