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June 21, 2006

Melonhead

melonhead.jpg

This is a fairly accurate pictorial representation of how I feel today, thanks to staying up late late late to finish a magazine article (this is part of the whole "other side of my writing life" all y'all don't know all that much about). It also means that just about the most complex thought I can hold in my head at the moment is "I like gum."

So in the absence of me being of any particular use in the thinking front, here: A site with 1,400 videos from the 80s, including massively obscure favorites I haven't seen in 20 years, like "Belly of the Whale" by Burning Sensations, and ones I never did see at the time, like "The Big Picture," from Y Tori Kant Read, the absolutely terribly band Tori Amos was in before she became, you know, Tori Amos. Lots of fun for those of us who were there are the time, and if you were too young to have seen these when they first showed up, well, you get to be entirely appalled that such things exist in your world. Sorry, man. At the time, they seemed cool.

Posted by john at June 21, 2006 04:19 PM

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Comments

CoolBlue | June 21, 2006 05:01 PM

What I liked about this period was MTV. And what I liked about that was that it was so new that they were starving for videos to play because back then they played, you know, music videos 24/7/365. And what I liked about that was that just about any garage band who could beg, steal, or borrow a video camera could make a video and have it played in MTV.

And that's precisely what happened.

There was some real garbage but it was so much fun to watch.

And Melonhead sure sounds like a great band name for that period of time....

Ron | June 21, 2006 05:07 PM

They definitely get points for Red Rockers "China" and Altered Images "I Could Be Happy," but I was really hoping I'd get to see "Guitar, Talk, Love & Drums" again.

CoolBlue | June 21, 2006 05:24 PM

Well I am seeing Aztec Camera again and I'm thinking, what a great sound they had, at least with their "Love" album and "Somewhere in my Heart" is a great tune.

Not much of a video, but it's all about the music, right?

Makes me wonder how I lost track of what Roddy Frame has been doing all these years.

Liz | June 21, 2006 05:52 PM

My god. So many hours of my life are going to be lost on that site.

Steve Brady | June 21, 2006 06:54 PM

the most complex thought I can hold in my head at the moment is "I like gum."

Sometimes, that's all you need.

Lisa | June 21, 2006 07:04 PM

Yeah, Liz, Ditto.

For a very brief, brief period in my life in say, 1981-2, I was cool. Why? Because we had a different cable company than almost everyone else at my school (we lived just outside an Omaha, Nebraska boundary of some sort) and ours had MTV and theirs didn't.

I knew of groups and song and videos that the local radio station didn't play for months because of early MTV. I remember "I could be happy" and "Space Age Love Song".

Good times, good times.

Ryan | June 21, 2006 07:10 PM

Her band was Y Kant Tori Read, actually. Your melonheadedness has apparently affected your word order.

Natalie | June 21, 2006 07:22 PM

I had no idea that James Marsden was the lead singer of Survivor. The things one learns...

I am sad that there is no Guadalcanal Diary. I would love to see the video for "Watusi Rodeo".

And I am not sure that Matthew Wilder was ever cool, not even in the 80's. Because, wow.

sam young | June 21, 2006 07:46 PM

thanks for the link, john. so much for getting any work done today...

Chang | June 21, 2006 09:16 PM

It's wicked awesome until you realize that when you turned the volume down earlier on some other youtube time dump, you can;t turn it up now ebcaue it sends you to one of the paid links below or something. I mean, I'm sure the woman in the lin si nice but I wanted to see ALien Sex Fiend!!! (not the one from John's forthcoming book)

Paul | June 21, 2006 10:00 PM

Killer Dwarfs rock!

Ann Vallier | June 22, 2006 10:23 AM

You're an evil man, Scalzi. Now I'll never get anything done at home. It's a good thing the computer at work doesn't have sound or I would be so busted.

Tripp | June 22, 2006 11:22 AM

Forgive me -

staying up late late late to finish a magazine article

Once you learn to read without moving your lips it goes much faster!

You have to admit you pitched that one slow over the middle of the plate.

Jon H | June 22, 2006 12:32 PM

John,

When your head deflates, and you get some free time, you should check out Inform 7 - it's a sweet GUI app for OS X (and Windows) for making interactive fiction text adventures. It'd be interesting to see what you and the small one could come up with.

You write the game as something approximating natural language. For example:

The War Room is a room. "The War Room is where ths software development takes place. You see a mass of tables crowded with computers. You see a mass of overworked programmers, all alike. It is hot here." The war room contains a viking hat. The viking hat is wearable.

instead of examining the viking hat:
say "[The noun] is a distinctive and fierce helmet, crafted of the finest Scandinavian plastic and faux fur."

Instead of wearing the viking hat:
say "[The noun] can only be worn by the bravest of men. Not for you!"


You type this in, click "Go!" and it is compiled into a runnable text adventure. In this case, with only one room and a viking helmet, but you get the idea.

I haven't tried the Windows version, but the OS X version has a pretty slick interface.

Jon H | June 22, 2006 12:33 PM

Oops, I forgot the link.

You can get Inform 7 here.

Robert Rogers | June 23, 2006 09:44 AM

I just got done wasting my morning on that site.
Thanks for the link Bro.

Jeff Porten | June 25, 2006 03:39 PM

Hey, here's a question. Considering the large number a Scalzi maniacs who inhabit this site, why don't you have a bibliography page telling us where your magazine and other writings are being published?

Hell, you could probably get us to read your trade writing on industrial lubricants, if you still do that sort of thing.

John Scalzi | June 25, 2006 03:43 PM

Mmmmm.... industrial lubricants.

To be honest I often don't keep track of the magazine/other writing after I've written it; it's often a few to several months later that the stuff shows up (excepting of course, the long standing OPM and DDN columns).

Also, I'm doing less of it overall at the moment -- most of my writing is either novels or blogging right now. This is not a bad thing.

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