pop culture

From the fictional towns of Hill Valley, CA, and Shermer, IL, to the beautiful landscapes of the “Goondocks” in Astoria and the “time of your life” dirty dancing resort still alive and well in Lake Lure, NC, '80s teen movies left their mark not just on movie screen and in the hearts of fans, but on the landscape of America itself.

Like few other eras in movie history, the '80s teen movies has endured and gotten better with time. In Brat Pack America, Kevin Smokler gives virtual tours of your favorite movies while also picking apart why these locations are so important to these movies.

Marvel Comics

  From the tales of a certain web-slinging vigilante to the adventures of heroes in a half-shell and beyond, pop culture is more influential in society than ever. We’re on today with comics writer Ron Marz and professional geek Rick Marshall, and it’s time to talk comics!

RetConned: Scott Snyder On Batman V Superman

May 4, 2016
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Warner Bros. Pictures

With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters now, RetConned's Rick Marshall speaks to veteran Batman comic-book writer Scott Snyder about the two characters and their history as allies—and enemies—over the years.

RetConned is a program of assorted geekery - movies, comic books, video games and everything in between.

What is the truth about the millennial generation?

The new book, The Millennial Mindset, offers parents, educators, managers, and co-workers insights and suggestions on how to engage, prepare, and foster the Millennial generation in all aspects of life.

Through interviews with millennials and those who work with or otherwise engage them, Regina Luttrell and Karen McGrath offer ways for Millennials to better understand older generations and their peers so they can coexist without animosity in today’s fast-paced globalized world.

They also offer insight into Millennial characteristics, passions, and goals for those who work with, live with, or otherwise co-exist with Millennials.

Sister Mary Anne Nelson
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

If we’re lucky, each of us had a teacher or two who inspired us, mentored us, even changed our lives. Most of us wouldn’t be where we are today without them. 

Star Wars parade
Official Star Wars Blog / Wikimedia Commons

This week is history-making in the world of pop culture. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ hits theaters tomorrow, and legions of fans of one of the most successful movie franchises ever are lining up to see it. Pop culture journalist and professional geek Rick Marshall joins us to talk about the impact the ‘Star Wars’ franchise has on popular culture and society.

© 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  The first US exhibition to concentrate on artist Andy Warhol’s book work, Warhol by the Book opened at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) March 7 and will be on view through August 16.

  Historian Jill Lepore was researching an article for The New Yorker on the history of Planned Parenthood and a paper on the history of evidence when she discovered that both were connected to comic book hero - Wonder Woman. That led to her new book: The Secret History of Wonder Woman.

  The 10th season of “Frequency North,” the visiting writers series at The College of Saint Rose, rocks on with novelist and rock writer Marc Spitz. Spitz will read from his latest works tonight at 7:30 PM in the Saint Joseph Hall Auditorium in Albany.

SPIN magazine hired Spitz in 1997, where he wrote more than a dozen cover stories on artists as diverse as Axl Rose, Weezer, Trent Reznor and Franz Ferdinand. Dubbed the “hipster playwright,” Spitz’s plays include Retail Sluts, I Wanna Be Adored and P.S. It’s Poison.

In his new book: Twee, Spitz explores the first great cultural movement since Hip Hop: an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that’s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even some Baby Boomers; creating hybrid generation known as Twee.

dialbforblog.com

From the tales of a certain webslinging vigilante to the adventures of heroes in a half-shell and beyond, comic books have shaped popular culture immensely in the last few decades. With San Diego Comic-Con International coming up this weekend, we’re on today with Movies.com columnist and Professional Geek Rick Marshall about what's going on in the comic book universe and beyond.

  On Sunday, November 10, comic book and pop culture fans from around the region will gather at Albany Comic Con, now in its 6th year. WAMC’s Jessica Bloustein Marshall recently spoke with the man behind the con, show-runner John Belskis, who also owns Excellent Adventures Comics in Ballston Spa. 

For more information and tickets to Albany Comic Con, visit its website

Dan Ornstein: Buying Two Stairways To Heaven

Jul 18, 2013

A few months ago as we drove to an appointment, one of my daughters and I bonded around the British rock band, Led Zeppelin's 1971 classic, "Stairway To Heaven."  With some uninterrupted time and the windows rolled up tightly in the car, we let loose.  Every word, melody change, and voice inflection of lead singer Robert Plant's that we could remember, we imitated.  We even tried to imitate those famous instrumentals that build the song up in a crescendo from a quiet renaissance style recorder solo to a battle of angsting, angry guitars and screaming lyrics.  Finally, we put our voices together to echo Plant's heartrending acapella solo: "And she's buying a stairway...to heaven."

    Tonight the National Geographic Channel will premiere their 6-part miniseries The 80s: The Decade that Made Us.

The series is based, in part, on the book Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything by David Sirota.

WAMC's Sarah LaDuke spoke with Sirota in advance of tonight's premiere.