90s State of Mind #16: "The Day"
Welcome to Episode #16 of the 90s State of Mind podcast - a collaborative project between 4ever in Electric Dreams and Blue-in-Green:RADIO. This podcast series sees Imran (London, UK) and Rhonda (California, USA) delve into some of their favourite releases from the 90s and for this episode, the pair celebrate the 1996 album from the legendary singer/songwriter/producer Babyface, 'The Day'.
'The Day' is the fourth studio album by American R&B singer Babyface. It was released by Epic Records on October 22, 1996, in the United States. The album peaked at number 6 on the US Billboard 200 and number 4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, also reaching the top ten on the Dutch Albums Chart. 'The Day' was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and received Grammy Award nominations for Album of the Year and Best R&B Album respectively.
Imran & Rhonda delve deep into this definitive 90s hip-hop classic looking at the project, the singles, the collaborators and subsequent remixes.
Blue-in-Green:RADIO is a London-based online internet radio station which celebrates 21st century soul, jazz, funk, Latin & hip-hop music.
Welcome to Episode #2 of the 4ever in Electric Dreams podcast series - Supple & Lean | A Geekcast.
Imran Mirza from London, UK, connects with Vahé Vishapakagh Koshayan from Melbourne, Australia, to delve into a series of conversations continuing their unwavering fandom for all things TMNT, Marvel, music and undoubtedly more! This episodes continues in the show's adoration of IDW's reimagined TMNT lore this time focusing on the 4-part miniseries, 'The Secret History of the Foot Clan'.
Boasting a typical abundance of Ninja Turtle discussions throughout, we also take time to delve into the third feature film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), to decide whether the film is an overlooked masterpiece or a best forgotten entry into the pantheon of TMNT films.
ALSO, in the last episode, we unveiled the Vahé-produced/performed/written theme to our podcast with* 'Supple & Lean - Geekin' (Theme To S.L.A.G.)'. Now with the intention of creating a new topic-relevant track per podcast episode, the Mighty Vahé gifts us with the phenomenal 'Saki's Bane' exclusive to listeners of this podcast.
Ten years after the original Apocalypse Survival Guide Series - as released via our close-knit affiliates over at Infiniverse Media - the Liberation Frequency Editorial Team get the band back together and have a retrospective look at how mankind could possibly survive the end of the world.
Finding a hefty dose of inspiration from a certain global pandemic - that went on to usher in the era of quarantine, face masks, home schooling and an abundance of hand sanitizer - the first in the Liberation Revisited series features Denis-Jose Francois, Bernice Watson, Dan Collacott and Imran Mirza revisiting The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide.
For the original episodes in the series, you can listen here:
LF007.1 The Zombie Apocalypse Cometh
LF007.2 The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide
With this episode initially starting out as a follow-up to Imran and Vahé's Close Encounters Minicast episode of IDW Publishing's 'The Last Ronin' graphic novel (episode #6), this conversation inadvertently - but excitingly - spun out into a new podcast series for 4ever in Electric Dreams marking the inaugural episode of Supple & Lean | A Geekcast.
Imran Mirza from London, UK, connects with Vahé Vishapakagh Koshayan from Melbourne, Australia, to delve into a series of conversations continuing their unwavering fandom for all things TMNT, Marvel, music and undoubtedly more! As mentioned however, this episode delves into the compelling story of Ninja Turtles foil, Shredder, now navigating his sins and life choices while enduring the mental and physical torment of hell but finding himself aided by an unlikely ally.
With a bucket load of TMNT-based discussion which unpacks the original 1980's Turtle lore and compares it to IDW's reimagined take on events, we also discuss the three feature films and other on-screen Turtle iterations.
ALSO, with massive excitement, check the episode out to hear the frickin sensational theme song for the podcast as performed and produced by Vahé, 'Supple & Lean - Geekin' (Theme To S.L.A.G.)'.
This episode of the Close Encounters... Minicast sees friend of the show Stuart Giblin join Dan Collacott and Imran Mirza to discuss some of our favourite road trip movies.
The beloved movie premise which finds a group of sometimes unlikely travellers engaging in a trip that is often more about the journey itself than the destination. The proverbial metaphor for self-discovery just as much as geographic, we look at films that have created some fantastic journeys born of some incredible on-screen chemistry and brilliant storytelling. Join in as we engage in some of our favourites.
As under the radar as the news seems to have been, it would appear that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, currently due out this week, is to serve as the official start of the MCU's Phase Five, which means Phase Four came to an end late-2022 with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I always assumed there to be a larger gap in between phases but that doesn't appear to be the case this time round so I thought it would be only right to spend a few moments discussing the expansive and ambitious Phase Four which may prove to be Marvel's most tumultuous phase yet.
Perhaps the most pertinent observation for Phase Four is its reliance on Disney+ and how much of the MCU content was specifically geared towards their new streaming service.
You may remember the eerie timing of Disney+'s launch coinciding fairly well with a certain global pandemic that relegated millions around the world indoors with not much else to do but dive into MCU's WandaVision, Falcon & The Winter Soldier and Loki. While the timing may have proven effective for their TV shows, unfortunately their movies were off to a difficult start with Black Widow's debut solo offering's panic placement on Disney+ causing all kinds of legal and personal issues between Disney and one of its longest-serving cast members in Scarlet Johansson. (All amicably - and financially - resolved in the end though.)
While Disney+ proved very much a lifeline for Marvel it also afforded them the opportunity to maintain complete creative control of its content via its one-stop shop representation of its shows without everything being divided amongst various networks, streaming sites, etc. The absolute positives weren't without their repercussions however so while the Disney+ gift reaped undeniable rewards, the inevitable criticisms led to ultimately "too much content!"
Let's put that into perspective as we consider that Phase One comprised of a modest six films in comparison to Phase Four which comprised of seven films, eight TV shows and two TV specials. Or to convey that in a simpler way, Phase One comprised of 744 minutes while Phase Four came in at a whopping 3501 minutes. Yes, that's a heck of a lot but when the plan is world domination then it kinda makes sense to see it all the way through.
And such was the scope of Phase Four that amidst the array of new characters we were introduced to from Shang-Chi, Kate Bishop and Moon Knight, Marvel seemed to intentionally seek to broaden their demographics beyond the archetypal comic book fan and action movie enthusiast that Phases One-Three seemed tailor-made for. Ms Marvel and She-Hulk serve as great examples of shows aimed at fairly specific female-focused demographics and respective age groups perhaps resigned in the fact that the show may not appeal to the typical MCU fan.
So while not everything may have connected with its intended audience [we'll get to that shortly], the high points were undeniable. Film-wise, it would be hard to argue for anything ranking higher than Spider-Man: No Way Home - the third in Tom Holland's outing as Peter Parker lovingly - and spectacularly - pays homage to the actor's predecessors in Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield with a universe-clashing character mash-up endearing itself to fans the world over. Dr Strange's Multiver of Madness deserves credit for the sheer boldness of its creative decisions and genuinely scary Sam Raimi-inspired frights, and of course for a jaw-dropping Illuminati ensemble! And of course the ill-fated Black Panther sequel that managed to deliver an incredible movie despite the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman that, thanks in large part to the film's wonderful cast and characters, paid loving tribute to the actor and elevated Letitia Wright into the titular role - a transition she carries out beautifully.
The era of the multiverse has naturally led to some fantastic moments like the aforementioned examples and lays the groundwork for numerous possibilities going forward but one of the most thrilling moments came in the form of episode #5 of Hawkeye which brilliantly introduced Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin into the narrative via the platform of a Disney+ show which pulled characters from the films, the show and Netflix's Defenders series to inspired effect doing justice to everything Marvel had developed up to that point.
But as with all things that point to a balance in life, where is good there is bad and unfortunately Phase Four delivered more bad than it had ever done so before.
Eternals served as Marvel's first perceived failure in some years revolving around a team of super-powered Eternals trying to save the world after having watched it suffer for thousands of years. A swathe of mixed reviews meant that director Chloé Zhao’s future within the franchise was uncertain as was future instalments of the Eternals franchise.
But while the failure of Eternals could be surmised as a blip - an expensive blip - the ramifications of Thor: Love and Thunder cut considerably deeper for more committed long-time fans. Where Taika Waititi scored in an inspired reinvention of the character in Ragnarok, he failed in being able elevate the character outside of his perceived comedy value and opted to hurl him further into absurdity strategically side-stepping the potential for some wonderful moments. It was perhaps an inevitable destination for the character who, in Ragnarok, ultimately loses everything from his father, the Warriors Three, Mjolnir, Asgard and what must have been thousands of Asgardians, his eye and even his hair... but ultimately delivered the funniest movie within the MCU. As entertaining as Ragnarok is, that sentence really shouldn't make any sense.
Hence the divisiveness of Phase Four containing some of the MCU's greatest moments alongside their definitive worst. That's an incredibly negative and bleak statement but it's really only said due to the incredibly high standard that we all hold Marvel to since the first Iron Man movie. Phase Four is a triumph - in scope and in achievement - and I really don't mean to imply anything otherwise.
While much of Phase Four was about establishing its new front-line of Shang-Chi, Kate Bishop, Ms Marvel, Moon Knight, Shuri as Black Panther and Sam as Captain America amongst others, Phase Five seems to be diving straight in further establishing Kang's burgeoning dominance across what is likely to generate more multiverse glory and set the path for the fifth Avengers movie.
This episode of the Close Encounters... Minicast sees friend of the show Stuart Giblin join Dan Collacott and Imran Mirza discussing the art of the movie montage.
In around 60 seconds, with an abundance of cinematic fades and some inspirational music, great things can happen; in a mere 60 seconds we have seen street bums become heavyweight boxing champions... unskilled wimps become karate experts... and werewolves win basketball matches... we are of course talking about the humble film montage. Some might say an overused but much relied upon technique and in this episode we discuss some of our absolute classic examples of montages that made us all feel we could not only take on the world, but actually win in doing so.
ALSO, see how you fare in our 80s movie montage quiz.
90s State of Mind #15: "CrazySexyCool"
Welcome to Episode #15 of the 90s State of Mind podcast - a collaborative project between 4ever in Electric Dreams and Blue-in-Green:RADIO. This podcast series sees Imran (London, UK) and Rhonda (California, USA) delve into some of their favourite releases from the 90s and for this episode, the pair celebrate the sophomore studio album from the R&B trio TLC, 'CrazySexyCool'.
'CrazySexyCool' is the second studio album by American girl group TLC, released on November 15, 1994, by LaFace and Arista Records. The album was met with critical acclaim and commercial success, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, where it spent over two years. It has been certified 12-times platinum by the RIAA, making TLC the first girl group in history to be awarded diamond status. 'CrazySexyCool' has since sold over 15 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by an American girl group. The album has since been featured on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and was listed as a "New Classic" by Entertainment Weekly in 2008. The album was also ranked as the seventh best diamond-certified album of all time by Billboard.
Imran & Rhonda delve deep into this definitive 90s hip-hop classic looking at the project, the singles and the collaborators.
Blue-in-Green:RADIO is a London-based online internet radio station which celebrates 21st century soul, jazz, funk, Latin & hip-hop music.
This episode of the Close Encounters... Minicast sees friend of the show Stuart Giblin join Dan Collacott and Imran Mirza discussing some of Hollywood's most iconic roles and looking at the actors that almost played them.
Ralph Macchio as Marty McFly? Eddie Murphy as Winston Zeddemore? Will Smith as Neo? All decisions that were incredibly close to coming to fruition ultimately before the final casting decisions were made. Would we even have wanted to see anything differently? Al Pacino, unquestionably one of the greatest actors of all time, but would anyone have bought into him touting the Millennium Falcon's distinction of having made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs as Han Solo? Join us for a chat about the actors who made characters their own and see how you fare in Dan's surprise casting quiz to kick off the show.
CENK #65: "A Whole New World"
Episode #65 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Imran and Tee-J turn their attention to resolving all of society's woes...
Tasked with the responsibility of establishing a new settlement to ensure that humanity survives, what would you do to make sure the same mistakes aren't replicated - would you focus on stopping war, outlawing religion, controlling childbirth? And what elements of human civilisation would you try to preserve? No easy task so tune in to hear which of us becomes a raging communist, an unwitting dictator and an affectionate nostalgic.
The 4Ever team...
Welcome to 4ever in Electric Dreams which is the virtual HQ and home to our burgeoning podcast network spearheaded by our flagship series, Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind (C.E.N.K.).
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