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Adding To the Library: 1997 Picks

On 07/08/2020 at 09:05 PM by KnightDriver

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I'm still building this library of essential media little by little. I have to come up with the list first and that's what this is all about. I'm going year by year, taking about five years a month to complete it all by the end of 2020. I wonder why sometimes, but it's fun and it motivates me to write, if only very casually. 

What I did this year was be in a band called Lemon Loaf that no one has ever heard of. It was basically a basement band with two of my friends. I was the bass player. I'm going to listen to the album we put together again and see how I feel about it 23 years later. 

TV - Tenacious D

I like Tenacious D. i've seen all their movies and listened to all their albums. They make me cringe sometimes, but they make me laugh more often than not.  

Film: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Saw this in the theater and thought, "Wow, this has so many references to James Bond and other 60s films; it's like encylopedic." Mike Myers sure likes to cram every thing he can into his films. It's a good thing. There's so much more to see on replays. 

Game: Hexen

I really got into this for the dark fantasy vibe and the co-op. Not many games could do co-op back then. It's Raven Software taking the concept of Doom and turning it into a dark fantasy. The sounds in this game are still fresh in my mind like the frogs croaking and the omminous music. I love punching things in this game with the gauntlets; get all powered up and you smash everything into goo. Oh joy.

Music: Bruce Dickinson's Accident of Birth

I picked this up at random one day at a Goodwill or flea market and was surprised to find I loved three songs off this album, "The Magician" being number one. It's a bit like Maiden as you would expect, not a bad thing at all. It's surprising to me how I will come across some of my favorite songs in such unlikely places like solo projects by members of a famous band or late releases by bands more famous in the 80s like Cheap Trick. Their "Eight Miles Low" song from this year is another favorite. 

Book: Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel


This is a great book, even if everyone said it was so. Jared Diamond argues that all major changes in society has been as the result of the invention of weapons, influence of disease, and the processing of metals leading to steel. It's a fascinating arguement and makes a lot of sense when you read all the details when he lays out human history in this way. I've now become a Jared Diamond fan and have read all his books. 



Cary Woodham

07/08/2020 at 09:09 PM

1997 was the year I got a PlayStation.  I really couldn't afford one as I was just a poor college student, but it was one of the best gaming purchases I ever made.  After that, I was reviewing PlayStation games for the newspaper left and right.  The N64 just didn't have enough games!  The orignal PlayStation is probably one of my top favorite game consoles, but my favorite is still the SNES.

1997 was also the first year I went to E3 and it blew me away.  I think the most memorable game for me that year was probaby Klonoa on the PSX.


07/09/2020 at 08:08 PM

I don't remember exactly when I had any of those consoles. Maybe I had a PS in '97 and a N64, but maybe I got them a few years later when they were used and cheaper, which is probably the case because I never bought a console new until Xbox 360 in 2006. 


07/08/2020 at 10:46 PM

Final Fantasy VII.

That is all.


07/09/2020 at 08:11 PM

I remember at the time a lot of people were talking about it, and to this day still, but I think I wasn't playing much in the way of rpgs ro jrpgs at the time. Mark and I were playing shooters, and if it wasn't for that situation, I might have played more rpgs, because I love that genre. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/08/2020 at 11:17 PM

1997 I moved to San Francisco. My job was pretty laid back but I lived in the ghetto in rathole apartment with my roommate on the outskirts of the city. The commute sucked. Still, I had some good times there. 

I never got into Hexen, but it was on my radar. 


07/09/2020 at 08:15 PM

San Fran sounds interesting. I've never really been to the west except once on a family trip to the Grand Canyon in the 80s. Something to put on my bucket list to do. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/09/2020 at 09:40 PM

It's a really beautiful city, but it's not the same anymore. I lived there at the end of an era. Too much tech money there now. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/09/2020 at 03:07 AM

I was 7 in 1997, so the only story I have about it is getting an N64 and Star Fox 64 for Christmas. 

Did not realize Tenacious D had an HBO show in 1997. 

Definitely remember Austin Powers though. 

Hexen was not on my radar at the time, but love the sound design in the video. 

I like Bruce Dickinson a lot ... but in doses. 

That book sounds real interesting. Want to say I've heard of it. 


07/09/2020 at 08:22 PM

Cue a video of a kid freaking out after opening a N64 present at Xmas. 

Tenacious D were on late on HBO. No 7 year olds allowed. I want to say it was the first thing Jack Black got noticed for excepting the commerical work he did as a child in the 80s, but I'm not sure. He certainly blew up big soon after and was in a movie or two every year after that. Remember Shallow Hal? I wonder when that was? Seems like one of the first movies I saw him in. 

I have little interest in Bruce Dickinson at all, but I picked up this album somehow for probably a dollar and was surprised. I might get more of his solo work, but only if I find it cheap. 


07/11/2020 at 01:16 PM

I think a lot of people from bands when young but actually getting an album together, regardless of whether it's any good or not lol, is a significant accomplishment. Also, lemon loaf sounds yummy. Maybe throw some blueberries in there and put a light glaze on top. Mmmmm.


07/11/2020 at 10:10 PM

I might start a band camp site just for this stuff so I can link it. I'm wondering whether I have to get permission from my bandmates or not? I'm not selling anything. The other problem is that I don't have a good connection to them anymore. I'm thinking of just doing it though. I'm going to listen to the stuff again and see how I feel about it. 

I've sort of forgotten what lemon loaf meant, but knowing my bandmates sense of humor, I think it wasn't so tastey a treat. 

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