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Texas cowpunk in the '80s? It's more rank and file than you think

Hopefully you will be able to take advantage of the upcoming three-day weekend, but some will have to work. For those working this weekend, we salute you as you take your place in the rank and file with Rank and File.

Rank and File is a Texas cowpunk band started by brothers Chip and Tony Kinman. In 1982, Rank and File released their debut album Sundown with the lead single/video that was the same name as their band name.

The video for Rank and File covers a lot of ground from horse riding to sympathizing with the working class of waitresses and construction workers. Video highlights includes Tony's huge black cowboy hat and some glimpses of guitarist Alejandro Escovedo in a bright orange shirt. Rank and File would call it quits in 1987, however Escovedo has become a rock fixture in the Southwest, releasing over a dozen albums in the past 25 years. Despite only being six years older, Escovedo is the uncle of Sheila E. (The Glamorous Life) as his brother is famous percussionist Pete Escovedo, who is Sheila Escovedo's dad.

 

 

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This stray cat's strut led him to solo hit with southwest flavor

Yesterday with featured Los Lobos who are best remembered for their involvement in the movie La Bamba. In La Bamba, many '80s musicians acted in the film such as Marshall Crenshaw as Buddy Holly. Before portraying Eddie Cochran in La Bamba, Brian Setzer practiced this acting chops as the lead in his video for his first solo single The Knife Feels Like Justice.

In the early '80s, the Stray Cats resurrected rockabilly and restored it to the charts with iconic hits like Rock This Town and Stray Cat Strut, but by the middle of the decade, lead singer Setzer was eager to move on to other musical genres including Americana roots rock and the result was 1986's The Knife Feels Like Justice that was only a hit on the Mainstream Rock Charts. The video for The Knife Feels Like Justice has a Southwest feel and features E-Street drummer Max Weinberg on the drums even though John Mellencamp's personal drummer Kenny Aronoff plays the skins on the song. 

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John Cusack turns 50: Here are 20 great lines from 81 movies

John Cusack is 50 years old today. And kickboxing is still the sport of the future.

Born June 28, 1966, Cusack has compiled 81 acting credits. From playing “Roscoe” in 1983’s Class all the way to the 2017 movie Southern Fury, still in production.

He’s been nominated for only a handful of awards - a Golden Globe nod for High Fidelity and a pair of Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for The Butler and Being John Malkovich - and yet the ‘80s generation considers him one of our greatest. (Even though Cusack himself doesn’t feel the same about the ‘80s.)

How do you explain the long, rarely-wavering romance we have with Cusack? I think it comes down the wisdom that trickles from his lines in some of our favorite movies.

Happy birthday, John Cusack. Here are 20 things we all learned from a John Cusack movie. Not every line is from John himself, but we appreciate them all the same:

1. “It's not easy getting rides. Do you know what I mean? I mean most people are real afraid to pick up hitchhikers. I mean you never know who you might pick up. I mean I could be some crazed slime ball. I mean a real deranged, violent psycho. You know what I mean? I mean a guy who would rip out your heart and eat it just for pleasure.” (The Sure Thing)

2. “I think all you need is a small taste of success, and you will find it suits you.” (Better Off Dead)

3. “Suicide is never the answer, little trooper.” (Better Off Dead)

4. “Do you realize that for every lost doll there's a little girl with a broken heart.” (One Crazy Summer)

5. Everybody loves Menudo! (Tapeheads)

6. “Sometimes, when you feel right, there's a groove there, and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball and you feel that ball just give, you know it's going to go a long way. Damn, if you don't feel like you're going to live forever.” (Eight Men Out)

7. “I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.” (Say Anything)

8. “You must chill. You must chill.” (Say Anything)

9. “Who's a boy gonna talk to if not his mother?” (The Grifters)

10. “They say great men are embraced by thousands of strangers.” (True Colors)

11. “The only thing new about this world is the history we don't know.” (City Hall)

12. “A thousand innocent people get killed every day! But a millionaire's pet gets detonated, and you're marked for life.” (Grosse Pointe Blank)

13. “If you can't trust a South American drug lord, who can you trust, huh?” (Con Air)

14. “To hold on to sanity too tight is insane.” (Pushing Tin)

15. “Consciousness is a terrible curse. I think. I feel. I suffer.“ (Being John Malkovich)

16. “Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” (High Fidelity)

17. “What really matters is what you like, not what you are like... Books, records, films - these things matter.” (High Fidelity)

18. “Maybe the absence of signs is a sign.” (Serendipity)

19. “The universe lets your heart expand that way, and I think that's the function of all this pain and heartache that you go through and you gotta go through that to come out to a better place and that's how I see it, anyway.” (Must Love Dogs)

20. “Great White Buffalo.” (Hot Tub Time Machine)

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All our favorite bands are coming to ABC’s ‘Greatest Hits’ show

REO Speedwagon, Rick Springfield, Foreigner, Kenny Loggins and other ‘80s acts will be performing live on the new ABC summer series Greatest Hits.

Greatest Hits, hosted by Arsenio Hall, will honor the hitmakers of the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. Each episode highlights a 5-year period in music. The debut episode, honoring 1980-1985, airs Thursday, June 30, at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

According to bestclassicbands.com, Thursday’s episode features performances by REO Speedwagon, Kenny Loggins, Kim Carnes, Kool & The Gang and Ray Parker Jr. (Wonder what he’ll sing.)

I’m torn on this idea. As much as I love seeing ‘80s music highlighted on the networks, I also wonder if this means our generation has reached the Lawrence Welk barrier.

[ABC publicity photo]

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You can't build a wall around Los Lobos' 'One Time, One Night'

While the 1987 album By The Light Of The Moon by Los Lobos produced no singles that hit the pop charts, the album is solid enough that it has produced three featured songs/videos on Lost and Found with our latest selection being One Time, One Night.

With Hispanic roots, One Time, One Night is 100% Americana as the video shines the spotlight on the diverse colors, ages and appearances that make up America. One Time, One Night also turns the mic over to David Hidalgo, who shares lead vocals in the band with Cesar Rosas, but is less recognizable due to Rosas' trademark sunglasses and the fact that Rosas is the singer on their biggest hit - La Bamba.

One Time, One Night was also featured in the 1988 Dennis Hopper movie Colors that starred Sean Penn and Robert Duvall. Los Lobos continues to be active with their latest release Gates Of Gold coming in 2015.

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30 years later, ‘American Anthem’ proves never sometimes better than late

You probably don’t remember the movie American Anthem. Let me rephrase that. You shouldn’t remember American Anthem. If you saw it back in ’86, you should have immediately forgotten it. As in that same day. And if you waited on feedback before seeing American Anthem, well, you never would have gotten within a hundred yards of a movie theater.

Released June 27, 1986, American Anthem starred Mitch Gaylord as “Steve Tevere,” a former football player trying to make the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. Of course, in real life Gaylord was an men’s gymnast - a gold-medal winning one at that. But when it came to acting, the only award Gaylord would win was a Razzie for Worst New Star. (Runner-up? The actors playing Howard the Duck.)

But don’t blame Mitch entirely for this mess. Janet Jones was stiff as a pommel horse in this flick, playing Gaylord’s love interest. The plot was paper thin. The photography was questionable. And what’s with that stupid handshake the team gives each other?

The music? Actually the soundtrack - featuring tunes by Andy Taylor, Mr. Mister and John Parr - is pretty good. And probably to no surprise: American Anthem was directed by Albert Magnoli, who also gave us Purple Rain - another movie often criticized for being a better musical than a movie. But I digress.

To this very day, the movie holds a zero percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. To this day, it's strongest claim to fame is that American Anthem was released on the same day as three far-more-memorable movies: Labyrinth, Running Scared and Ruthless People.

The late Roger Ebert, writing in half-star review of American Anthem, noted: “The plot is dumb and predictable, but so what? Everything depends on dialogue and character. And American Anthem is a curious case: The screenplay seems to have been written by people who, on the one hand, were intimately familiar with every commercial and salable ingredient in every hit movie of the last five years, and yet who, on the other hand, had never heard a cliche before.”

Is it a cliche to say this: When it comes to watching some ‘80s movies for the first time three decades later, never is sometimes better than late. …

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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Politics askew in the '80s too

After a few weeks off, Lost and Found returns to parades and flag-waving - but the salute is not for me. Instead we take note of the upcoming patriotic holiday to get a slice of some apple pie and lost Americana '80s music this week starting off with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and their review of scandals in the '80s with American Dream.

In 1982, Crosby, Stills and Nash had hits with Wasted On The Way and Southern Cross. Absent was Neil Young, who vowed to stay away from the group until David Crosby cleaned up his drug habit. In 1986, Crosby went straight and in 1988 the quartet reunited for the first time since the early '70s with American Dream.

While the American Dream album went platinum, its lead title single was only a hit on the Mainstream Rock Charts. The video chronicles several of the biggest scandals of the late '80s targeting Jimmy Swaggart's hypocrisy, presidential nominee Gary Hart's "monkey business" with Donna Rice and the Iran Contra Affair with Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and his shredding secretary Fawn Hall. Cameos also include Eric idle.

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Did network TV jump the shark in 1976? Here are the year's top 25 shows

Our time machine to the year 1976 concludes today with a look at the 25 top TV shows of 1976. Many of these shows - Happy Days, Three’s Company, M*A*S*H - would continue to be chug into the early ’80s. Others - The Six Million Dollar Man and its spinoff The Bionic Woman - definitely feel like relics of the ‘70s.

Speaking of Happy Days, by now we all know that the term “jump the shark” came from this TV show. But do you remember what year it was when Fonzie tries to waterski jump over a shark? You want to guess 1976, but you’d be wrong. The episode - “Hollywood: Part 3” - aired on Sept. 20, 1977. According to lore, the term “jumping the shark” was developed in 1985 by University of Michigan students who were sitting around talking about moments when their favorite shows went downhill. Today, TV Guide has a section of its website devoted to the topic.

So what does this all have to do with 1976? Not much. But if you want a moment in time from Happy Days in ’76, on March 2, 1976, Pat Morita made his final regular appearance in the role of Arnold.

Here are the top 25 TV shows of 1976 ranked by rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

1. Happy Days
2. Laverne & Shirley
3. ABC Monday Night Movie
4. M*A*S*H
5. Charlie's Angels
6. The Big Event
7. The Six Million Dollar Man
8. ABC Sunday Night Movie
9. Baretta
10. One Day at a Time
11. Three's Company
12. All in the Family
13. Welcome Back, Kotter
14. The Bionic Woman
15. The Waltons
16. Little House on the Prairie
17. Barney Miller
18. 60 Minutes
19. Hawaii Five-O
20. NBC Monday Night Movie
21. Rich Man, Poor Man Book II
22. Monday Night Football
23. Eight Is Enough
24. The Jeffersons
25. What's Happening!!

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Okay, so, it's a dog: Listen to theme song for 'Ghostbusters' movie

Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott have crafted a new theme song for the upcoming Ghostbusters movie. And about all I can say is: Huey Lewis deserves another settlement check for this sucker. It's basically a grungy, overly-technified version of the original theme song from 1984.

By the way, not to pick a fight or anything, but Jezebel.com has a story online with the headline: "The Only Thing Problematic About The New Ghostbusters Is The Awful Theme Song." Yeah, well, the song, Hollywood's long losing streak with remakes/reboots AND the lousy trailer. To quote West Wing: Someone forgot to bring the funny.

Anyway, we'll see. Ghostbusters opens July 15.

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This list goes on breaking our hearts: The top songs of 1976

Yesterday, I celebrated the 25 top movies of 1976 in an tragic effort to someone reclaim my childhood. Today, I do the same with the 25 top songs of 1976.

Chances are few of these songs impacted us much at an age where it’s more likely we were listening to KISS (that was me) or Leif Garrett (everyone else). Some of the artists below - Queen, Elton John, Hall & Oates - would go on to great success in the ‘80s. Maybe a cooler older sibling or - dare I say it - a  hipper-than-usual parent played the cooler of these tunes in the station wagon on a summer road trip. (Not mine. I was subjected to the criminal work by felons such as Starland Vocal Band and Barry Manilow.)

Here are the 25 top songs of 1976, according to Billboard’s yearend Hot 100 list.

1. Silly Love Songs, Wings
2. Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John & Kiki Dee
3. Disco Lady, Johnnie Taylor
4. December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night), The Four Seasons
5. Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry
6. Kiss and Say Goodbye, The Manhattans
7. Love Machine, The Miracles
8. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon
9. Love Is Alive, Gary Wright
10. A Fifth of Beethoven, Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band
11. Sara Smile, Hall & Oates
12. Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band
13. I Write the Songs, Barry Manilow
14. Fly, Robin, Fly, Silver Convention
15. Love Hangover, Diana Ross
16. Get Closer, Seals and Crofts
17. More, More, More, Andrea True Connection
18. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
19. Misty Blue, Dorothy Moore
20. Boogie Fever, The Sylvers
21. I'd Really Love to See You Tonight, England Dan & John Ford Coley
22. You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate
23. Love Hurts, Nazareth
24. Get Up and Boogie, Silver Convention
25. Take It to the Limit, Eagles

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‘80s Nostalgia stole show at Hall & Oates in Montreal

Hall & Oates and Canada aren’t two things you normally put together, but the dynamic duo is a touring force these days and this time of year, a visit up north sounds like a good idea. Our Stuck in the ‘80s Montreal correspondent Peter Ryan was on hand for Tuesday’s show at the Bell Center. Here’s his review:

Montreal’s Bell Center was transformed from hockey arena into an intimate concert bowl setting Tuesday night as Hall & Oates made a triumphant return to a city that they had not visited in quite some time. And while the show was not quite a sell out, it exceeded all expectations.

Following an exceptionally strong opening by Mayer Hawthorne, who incarnated several ‘80s classics (not the least of which was an excellent acoustic version of the Family Ties theme), Daryl and John (sans mustache) took to the stage, with fans young and old delighted to see them once again. Their opening comprised of several classics from our favorite decade, notably 1984’s Out of Touch, Maneater, Did it in a Minute and a spectacular rendition of Say it Isn’t So.

Following this volley of ‘80s excellence, the boys from Philadelphia dove back into some of their earlier work, performing superb renditions of She’s Gone and Do What You Want, Be What You Are. However, they soon went back to their best decade of hits whipping the audience into a frenzy with I Can’t Go For That (in which Daryl engaged with the crowd to sing the chorus) to finish off a great set. Not satisfied, two encores were demanded by music-hungry fans, which comprised of Rich Girl, Make my Dreams Come True, Kiss on My List and a superb finale rendition of the all-time classic Private Eyes.

Daryl and John promised at the end that they would be back to Montreal soon, and as ‘80s fans savored the superb evening of music, fun and nostalgia, it can only be said that a repeat performance would be welcomed anytime.

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An ape, panther, stallion and some Bad News Bears: The top 25 movies of 1976

If only I was stuck in the ‘70s. Think of all the advantages. I’d have experienced more of the glory days of print journalism. (Pica poles! Hot lead!) I could have waxed poetically about the Ford and Carter years. And I could have seen just as many great flicks (more or less) than I did in the ‘80s.

Among the top flicks: the first Rocky flick, several amazing horror movies (Carrie, The Omen), some classic comedies (Murder By Death, Bad News Bears) and at least one landmark sci-fi flick (Logan’s Run).

Those these movies didn’t fall strictly within the parameters of the ‘80s, many are masterpieces of the medium while others formed the foundation of things still to come. And for many of us, they are firmly engrained in our childhood memories.

Here are the top 25 movies of 1976, ranked by U.S. box office:

1. Rocky ($117.2)
2. To Fly! ($86.6)
3. A Star Is Born ($80.0)
4. All the President's Men ($70.6)
5. The Omen ($60.9)
6. In Search of Noah's Ark ($55.7)
7. King Kong ($52.6)
8. Silver Streak ($51.1)
9. The Enforcer ($46.2)
10. Midway ($43.2)
11. The Bad News Bears ($42.3)
12. Silent Movie ($36.1)
13. The Pink Panther Strikes Again ($33.8)
14. Carrie ($33.8)
15. Murder by Death ($32.5)
16. The Outlaw Josey Wales ($31.8)
17. Fun with Dick and Jane ($30.0)
18. Taxi Driver ($28.3)
19. Freaky Friday ($25.9)
20. Logan's Run ($25.0)
21. Network ($23.7)
22. Gus ($21.9)
23. Marathon Man ($21.7)
24. Mother, Jugs & Speed ($20.0)
25. Across the Great Divide ($18.8)

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Oh yeah! 30 years later, we're getting a 'Ferris Bueller' soundtrack

John Hughes movies are beloved not only for their characters but also for their music. You’re eyeing your Pretty in Pink vinyl right now, aren’t you? Okay, now browse around and find that soundtrack for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Can’t do it. It doesn’t really exist.

Urban legend has it that Hughes - sometimes as prickly as he was unpredictable - felt the songs in the movie didn’t flow well together, so an album wasn’t needed. That mistake is about to be fixed.

Salon.com reports that La-La Land Records has reached an agreement with Paramount Pictures to release an “authorized” soundtrack for Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Its release could come as early as September.

The track list hasn’t been finalized, but here are the songs that IMDB.com credits with appearing in the 1986 movie:

Bad
Performed by Big Audio Dynamite

Beat City
Written and Performed by Ben Watkins and Adam Peters (The Flowerpot Men)

Danke Schoen
Performed by Wayne Newton

The Bridge
Performed by Cactus World News

The Edge Of Forever
Performed by The Dream Academy

Children of the Revolution
Performed by Violent Femmes

I'm Afraid
Performed by Blue Room

Love Missile F1-11
Performed by Sigue Sigue Sputnik

March Of The Swivelheads
Written and Performed by The Beat (as The English Beat)

Oh Yeah
Performed by Yello

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
Performed by The Dream Academy

Radio People
Performed by Zapp

Taking The Day Off
Written by David Wakeling
Performed by General Public

Twist And Shout
Performed by The Beatles

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All the best '80s memories have Pete Townshend eyes

Usually every Sunday evening, I sit down with YouTube and my Chromecast and dive deep into an artist's catalog and let nostalgia just get the better of me. This weekend, it was the songs of The Who in the '80s and their solo work. I knew my old friend Dr. Dim was high on The Who, so I fed him Facebook messages as I wistfully went through the night. The next day, I got this blog item from Dim. Remember and rejoice.

I was chatting with Spearsy today and he mentioned he was watching videos by The Who and Pete Townshend nonstop. Talk about a man after my own heart! A few song titles were mentioned and Townshend's solo song Slit Skirts came up. As coincidence would have it, the album from which that song comes - All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes - was released 34 years ago this month.

Without going into too much detail, The Who and Pete Townshend mean a lot to me. They've had a great deal of influence on my life. Pete Townshend is my favorite songwriter. Period. And he was way back then in late 1983 when I received this album as a Christmas gift. …

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30 years later, one fan still fights for the honor of 'Karate Kid Part II'

Am I the only one out there who likes Karate Kid Part II? Released June 20, 1986, Karate Kid Part II pulls a Rocky and picks up right where Karate Kid left off - the All-Valley Karate Tournament where uber-tool John Kreese picks a fight with Mr. Miyagi after Daniel-San’s upset win over Johnny.

Ah. It just FEELS good to write about this movie! (Speaking of Rocky, we should all know by now that Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love was originally written for Rocky IV, not this movie.)

I know the reviews of Karate Kid Part II were mixed. The movie maintains a miserable 43 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it managed to pull in more at the box office than the original 1984 movie. Maybe it's Cetera's crazily '80s theme song. Or maybe it's the removal of the totally unplausible relationship between Daniel and Ali. Or yeah. Maybe I'm just a sucker for seeing the "clown nose bit" twice in the same movie. I will stand for the honor of Karate Kid Part II any day.

Here are five more things you probably didn’t know about Karate Kid Part II on its 30th anniversary, according to IMDB.com.

1. The opening scene, involving the fight in the parking lot, was actually in the script for the 1984 movie but it wasn’t filmed. Work on Karate Kid Part II actually started just 10 days after the original movie was released.

2. Though set in Okinawa, the boyhood home of Mr. Miyagi, the movie was filmed in Oahu, Hawaii for convenience.

3. When the writers sat down to write this sequel, they were divided on what topic to tackle: Miyagi’s return to Okinawa or the revenge of John Kreese. Eventually it was decided to tackle both - saving the Kreese storyline for Karate Kid Part III.

4. Why did Elisabeth Shue not reprise her role as Ali? Turns out the actress told a break from movie making to continue her studies at Harvard. She was supposed to return for a break-up scene with Daniel, but it was never filmed.

5. Did the actress playing Yukie look familar? Nobu McCarthy also played the fiancee to Pat Morita’s character Arnold 10 years earlier on TV’s Happy Days. That’s the glory of love.

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