pop2k
your source for all things 90s and the millennium

Aug
19

In August of 1991, the video game world was changed. Nintendo released their newest game console to North America… SUPER NINTENDO. When it first was released, it retailed at $199 USD and only a few games were available. Super Mario Brothers shipped with the console but other titles included F-Zero, Sim City, Gradius III and Pilotwings (pictured below) which used SNES’ Mode 7. Mode 7 was Nintendo’s first attempt at 3D rendering.

This console was released at the height of the game console war between Nintendo and Sega. At the time, Sega advertised their Genesis as the “cool console” and bashed Nintendo in their ads offering more mature titles for older games.

However, Nintendo struck a home run when they converted Capcom’s game, Street Fighter II long before the Genesis.

To date, 49.1 million Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems were sold worldwide. Super Nintendo was also the best selling gaming console of its era. Who out there had a SuperNES? Who remembers blowing on the cartridges and pressing that RESET button? What was your favourite game?

Aug
18

Big Mountain is a reggae band from the US who hit it big with their smash single in 1994. Remember it? Here’s a clip of their music video.

“Baby I Love Your Way” became a Top 10 hit when it hit #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #2 in the UK shortly afterwards. The song was also featured on the soundtrack to Reality Bites. The band has since broken up but Joaquin McWhinney has made news on his own. He began to teach at Olympian High School which received the highest test scores on their CAHSEE exams. Joaquin has a new solo project called Quinazo. It features an 8 piece band with San Diego’s top brass and rhythm performers. Their debut album “La Offrenda” dropped in May of 2009.

Aug
17

I made this program a part of my Friday ritual for a long time in my teens and I even had a theme birthday based on this popular dance show! You all recognize the logo. Its ELECTRIC CIRCUS!

Electric Circus started before I even started watching MuchMusic or even TV for that matter. It began airing on September 16th, 1988 and was also simulcast on CityTV and MuchUSA. The name Electric Circus was derived from a nightclub that used to operate in CityTV’s first studio in Toronto.

The show was hosted by Monika Deol until the show was revamped in 1996. The show rotated hosts with some of MuchMusic’s popular VJ’s like Juliette Powell, Rick Campanelli (known as Rick “The Temp”) and Namugenyi Kiwanuka.

The original show held high acclaim with a minimalistic set and few dancers that became fan favorites. As the years went on, the show became over produced with a more elaborate set, crazier costumes and the quality of the dancing declined.

Big artists did make live appearances on the show however, like Britney Spears,  Eiffel 65, Pink, Aqua, and more. The show made its final appearance on December 12th in 2003, but came back to life on December 26th, 2006 for an EC Christmas special.

Did you watch Electric Circus? Do you ever wear any of the outfits you saw on the show? Lets discuss.

Aug
16

Its official! Britney is coming to Glee in more ways than one. Her songs are being used in a tribute episode to the pop princess herself and she will also “appear” in the episode in a “Where’s Waldo” like way. In lieu of this tribute, I’ve decided to make Britney my Music Monday spotlight.

Britney Spears got her start in the music industry appearing on Star Search in 1992 and that December, was cast in The Mickey Mouse Club. (Did you know this was her second attempt after being rejected at an Atlanta audition in 1990?) After the show was cancelled she moved back to Kentwood and went back to school there where she played point guard for her basketball team. In 1998, Britney was in talks with Lou Pearlman to join a girl group but after her mother got a second opinion from an entertainment lawyer, they backed out. Britney recorded a demo of a rejected Toni Braxton song and travelled to New York to meet with record execs to find a deal. She was turned down multiple times until JIVE Records heard the demo. They assigned her a vocal coach to work on her vocals and when she was ready, she was sent to Sweden to record half of her debut album with hit master Max Martin. In January 1999, …Baby One More Time was released to the population and exploded. It debuted at Number 1 on the  Billboard 200; an extraordinary feat for a new female artist at the time. She embarked on her first national tour and before you know it, Britney Spears becomes a household name.

6 Albums and 3 Compilations later, Britney Spears is still one of the most influential artists of all time. What’s your favorite Britney track? Here is … Baby One More Time just to take a peek at what got her career started from the very beginning!

Aug
14

Looking for a light comedy for the weekend? How about some classic Jim Carey in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”. This movie makes me pee every single time I watch it. There are so many good one liners in there that you can use for years and years and never get old (to me anyways).

Ace Ventura was released in 1994 and is considered to be the film that launched his career. This film grossed $107 million dollars at the Box Office worldwide with a budget of $11 million. The success spawned the sequel “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” which was released in 1995. This movies budget jumped to $30 million and it grossed over $295 million worldwide.

Don’t know the story line? Here’s a crash course on “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”:

He’s the best there is. In fact, he’s the only one there is! He’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Ace is on the case to find the Miami Dolphins’ missing mascot and quarterback Dan Marino. He goes eyeball to eyeball with a man-eating shark, stakes out the Miami Dolphins and woos and wows the ladies. Whether he’s undercover, under fire or underwater, he always gets his man . . . or beast!

I give these two movies more than 5 stars for a goofy laugh to make your weekend a good one!

Aug
13

Pleather is the slang term used to describe synthetic leather made out of plastic. The term was coined by Amy Bach who was working for a fashion designer in New York at the time. She needed a way to market this new fabric and created the term from plastic and leather. The term pleather is often used as a derogatory term to refer to someone who needs to cut costs or cannot afford the real deal.

Not all pleathers are the same, so don’t get it twisted. Polyurethane pleather pants are machine washable, can be dry cleaned and are a little breathable. PVC pleather however does not breathe and can be very hard to clean. PVC cannot be dry cleaned either as the solvents in dry cleaning will make PVC stiff.

My most memorable pleather outfit is Britney’s jump suit in Oops! I Did It Again! Did you own pleather pants?

Aug
12

Super Soakers were brought into our lives in 1990. Originally called Power Drenchers, the creators of the first air pressurized water gun changed the name once TV ads and publicity started in 1991. The Super Soaker was invented by a man named Lonnie Johnston and the patent is now owned by Hasbro.

The Super Soaker has undergone many changes and models over the years and celebrated its 20th anniversary with a new version of the original Super Soaker 50. (seen atop this article) This new version has a fixed reservoir for water filling. (The original had the green tank you had to screw on and off to fill).

A man named Chris Reid has a collection of all the Super Soakers ever released. Here is a photo of him with his collection. How many Super Soakers did you own?

Aug
11

Its One Hit Wonder Wednesday! Today’s choice had one big smash hit in 1999 when he brought mambo back to mainstream.

Lou Bega’s “Mambo #5″ reached number 1 in eleven major countries and number 3 in the US. This catchy little number had everyone dancing and don’t lie… you knew all the words! His album “A Little Bit of Mambo” peaked at number 1 in the Canada but only hit number 3 in the US.

Lou Bega is a native of Germany and continues his career some what “successfully” overseas. He just released a new record entitled “Free Again” which hasn’t seen any charts expect its 73rd spot in Germany. The newest single “Sweet Like Cola” has a cute music video but the song leaves something to be desired.

Where did you hear Mambo #5 for the first time?

Aug
10

Come on. We all watched it. I watched it every Saturday morning. I even watched the spin-offs.

This show almost didn’t have  a very long shelf life. The original pilot was called “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” and NBC dropped the project. Disney Channel picked it up but cancelled after 13 episodes. A little known fact is that Jaleel White (Steve Urkle) and Brian Austin Greene (90210) were in the original pilot episode. NBC reconsidered, revamped it and suddenly, we had “Saved by the Bell”.

Did you know? The original title of the show before deciding on Saved by the Bell was “When the Bell Rings”! Doesn’t have the same “ring” does it.

The shows popularity grew and spawned NBC to discontinue airing Saturday morning cartoons and air live-action teenage shows. NBC created TNBC and brought new programs like “Hang Time” and “City Guys” to their roster.

“Saved by the Bell” followed the exploits of teens in high school and their relationship with their principal, Mr. Belding. This teen comedy was meant to be funny and dramatic and showcase teenage life, but with a message. The cast included some then unknowns. Zack Morris was played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. He is the charming schemer who always has “a plan” for everything. He was also a self proclaimed ladies man which got him into trouble with the ladies more than helping him out. AC Slater was played by Mario Lopez and was the token jock of the group of friends. He’s the school’s star athlete and Zack’s best friend. Kelly Kapowski was played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. She was the cheerleader and “All-American Girl” and dated both Zack and Slater. Screech Powers was played by Dustin Diamond. Screech is the school nerd and has an undying love for Lisa Turtle. Lisa Turtle was played by Lark Voorhies. She was the trendy, talkative fashion expert and the gossip queen of Bayside. Jessie Spano was played by Elizabeth Berkley and was the know-it-all crusader. She is Zack’s childhood friend and next door neighbor. She also dated Zack and Slater.

Where are these “Saved by the Bell Stars” now?
Mark-Paul Gosselaar was seen in a few primetime shows like “NYPD Blue” and HBO’s “Raising the Bar”. Mark’s next appearance is set to be on an episode of “Weeds” in the 2010/2011 season.
Mario Lopez received 2nd place on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2006. He also appeared on Broadway in “A Chorus Line” and is currently the host of “America’s Best Dance Crew” on MTV.
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen has made a few guest star appearances on a few shows but was on ABC’s “What About Brian” before it was cancelled in 2007. Tiffani now appears on “White Collar” on the USA Network.
Dustin Diamond has had a little bit of a rougher road. A few years ago, he was reported to be selling his personal items online to help make his mortgage payments on his home. He was also a member of “Celebrity Fit Club” in its 5th season.
Lark Voorhies was seen in the movie “How High” playing a Harvard student. She has also been rumored to play Whitney Houston in an upcoming biopic.
Elizabeth Berkly made a big splash starring in the movie “Showgirls” in 1995. She has made various appearances on “CSI”, “Without a Trace” and “Law and Order” (just to name a few). She is also the host of Bravo’s “Step It Up and Dance”.

Did you watch “Saved by the Bell”? How about the spin-offs?

Aug
09

Seeing how the Backstreet Boys were just recently in Vancouver, I thought it would be fitting for them to be my first Music Monday submission.

Music Monday’s are all about bands or artists how got their start in the 90′s but groomed their way to major success and create careers beyond their first singles.

I first remember hearing the Backstreet Boys on MuchMusic watching The Top of the Pops concert. They performed their first single “We’ve Got It Going On” to an arena of screaming teen brits. Not too soon after that appearance, the BSB became a force in the Canadian music scene, breaking into the charts here way before surfacing on Billboard in the US. Their second single, “Get Down” was filmed in Europe where their stardom was rising. The album was released internationally first and then hit Canadian shelves in the fall of 1996. It hit US shelves later on. Once the boy band wave hit, there was no stopping Kevin, Brian, Howie, Nick and AJ. The Backstreet Boys had become a household name.

After releasing 5 albums and Greatest Hits record, the boys took a bit of a hiatus and Kevin Richardson called it quits. AJ was having a tough time going in and out of rehab while Brian was dealing with personal health issues. Howie was busy in Canada signing music artist George Nozuka and Nick Carter was dealing with his own drug and family problems. The boys came back in 2007 (minus Richardson) with their album Unbreakable and in 2009 released This Is Us, the first album since Black and Blue that really went back to their boy band, synth-pop sound.

Over the years the Backstreet Boys have grown with their fans and according to reviews of the tour, do not disappoint. Here are 5 of my favorite BSB videos for your enjoyment! What’s your favorite BSB song/video?

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