THE DUET.

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A man and a woman trading vocals back and forth in a song. It’s called a “duet” and for some reason it feels like a lost art in the musical world. What happened?

All of TNUC’s favorite duets are at least 25 years old and I think a part of that is because so few beauties and beasts have taken a stab at it. It has to be a bold move for singers and musicians. There needs to be chemistry, the vocals need to blend just the right way together and some deep sexual tension never hurts either. You didn’t need to tell that last tip to Fiona and Kip Winger who in 1989 proved in the music video for “Everything You Do (You’re Sexing Me)” that sexual groping and grinding was very encouraged. Also no shortage of leather and hair. Watch that now..


The song itself is OK, but the real highlight for me is the fact that these two came together and busted out a hot and heavy, 100% duet. The video features Kip and Fiona swapping vocals and thrusts for over 4 minutes in one of those abandoned, upscale apartments that were all the rage during this era. Also as mentioned earlier there is tons of hair in this video. Could that be the missing ingredient holding back artists from making duets these days?

As far as the lyrics go, I think “sexing” translates to “teasing”. In a 2009 interview with Kip, he claimed that he never had a sexual relationship with Fiona, but there were rumors of an affair between her and Reb Beach (Winger lead guitarist).

Kip needs no introduction in the Land of TNUC. He not only fronts one of the most overlooked, underappreciated and talented bands from the heyday, but he’s also the innovator of the “heavy metal pirouette”, the infamous spin and kick move that he can’t stop doing in live performances and in Winger music videos. The guy is a twirling, roundhouse-kicking barbarian on stage and anyone who has seen the videos for Seventeen, Madalaine and Hungry knows what I’m talking about.

In an attempt to keep this entry holiday themed, here’s Santa Kip:kip santa

FEROCIOUS FORTRESSES.

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Christmas 1989. The horrendous day in history when Pops TNUC ran out on the little Manimal and forgot to leave a single gift under the tree.

Not just any gift, but the most massive and triumphant of all toys: the action figure PLAYSET, or FORTRESS as we like to call em’. Ever since Uncle T laid eyes on one of these sacred and gargantuan structures, he drooled over having one. Even the walls of his bedroom were plastered with pictures ripped out of the Sears’ holiday catalogue of these giant playsets. So when Christmas morning of 1989 came around and hopes were at their highest, ol’ Pops grabbed him by the shirt and said “smoke up little T!” and handed him a carton of cigarettes. Then he took off on his Harley, abandoning the family to join a naked biker cult up in the mountains.

In attempt to look past these dark memories and reflect with some shred of positivity, today we’re showcasing Uncle T’s top 6 most wanted FEROCIOUS FORTRESSES!

#6 SuperNaturals: Tomb of Doom!supernaturals ad

Year Released: 1987
Synopsis: This ancient tomb held the mysterious entrance to the world of SuperNaturals. To enter the “Ghostworld”, you laid your figure in the tomb, then inserted the key to make the figure disappear and also reveal a hidden hologram. The Tomb was also a stellar place to keep your SuperNatural Ghostling figures (little cloaked spirits, example here) on guard from from your sister and hamster.
Creature Features: Revolving tomb floor (on wheels for moving), skull flashlight, glow-in-the-dark goblin art.
Classic Commercial: http://youtu.be/bYlvdyBVc_gtomb pic

 

#5 Monster Castle!
eco monster castle

Year Released: Unknown (believed to be mid-80’s)
Synopsis: Little is known about the Monster Castle except that it was manufactured by a company called “Eco” and it doesn’t have ties to any known toyline. Rumors spread that it was a prototype playset from the Galaxy Warriors toyline because the back of the box featured a few of their figures. But from what I can gather that wasn’t true. The obscurity and simplicity of this fortress is what I really dig. Plus it reminds me of a funhouse/spookhouse that you’d see at a carnival or fair!
Creature Features: Who knows. There could be trapdoors or something in the back. DYING to know if that dangly hand does anything but just flop around.
Classic Commercial: I wish.castle box

 

#4 Thundercats: Electronic Cat’s Lair!
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Year Released: 1986
Synopsis: In the series, this mega fortress was carved out of a natural granite mountain to house the Thundercats and provide an indestructible sanctuary to help them fight off Mumm-Ra and his mutant pals. The toy fortress itself stood 20 inches high, with a pivoting cat’s head sitting on top of a pearly-white playset, ready to destroy. The ‘electronic’ part was for going toe-to-toe with your friend (the enemy) in a battle to score as many direct hits as possible against each other.
Creature Features: Flashing laser lights, piercing sounds, trap doors leading to underground jail to trap enemies, moveable cat paws, pivoting head.
Classic Commercial: http://youtu.be/Iprr-GJSxoIcats_lair_box1

 

#3 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Sewer!$_57 (1)

Year Released: 1989
Synopsis: Don’t tell our mutated amphibians that Krang’s Technodrome is technically the mightier fortress of the TMNT universe. To them, there’s no place they’d rather spend scarfing pizza, meditating and hearing stories from their rat sensei than the sewer lair. The playset was released during the height of Turtles mania and was an absolute crucial piece for any collector.
Creature Features: It’s double-decker layout featured an upper “street” level (fire hydrant, manhole cover, telephone poles for hanging) and underground level featuring a punching bag, sewer pipes, elevator and periscope (which attached to the hydrant!).
Classic Commercial: http://youtu.be/QO-pb2cohwg
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#2 Masters of the Universe: Castle Grayskull!castlegrayskull1

Year Released: 1982
Synopsis: Call me typical, but there’s no way this wasn’t making this list. The one, the only…the grandaddy and probably most memorable of them all: CASTLE GRAYSKULL. This powerful fortress of mystery and sorcery had more beastly features and details than any kid at the time could possibly imagine. The frontside was beautifully detailed with a mouth-like entrance and jaw bridge which simulated teeth and a tongue. The backside was the interior of the castle which included a series of rooms, a dungeon, throne hall, armory, elevator and “supercomputer”. The playset closed up like a briefcase and was totally durable with help from a cavity which worked as a handle for carrying. Any kid with a handful of He-Man figures and an imagination would be busy for days on end with this iconic toy.
Creature Features: Working jaw bridge that lowered and locked using power sword as a key, ancient throne/secret lever to release trap door, weapons rack, working elevator.
Classic Commercial: http://youtu.be/02YgW1xvclo
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#1 Masters of the Universe: Slime Pit!EvilHordeSlimePitDJF

Year Released: 1985
Synopsis: I’ll admit, I thought I could finish this little countdown with ignoring the Slime Pit just because it’s not a fortress or full-figured playset like the others. But stepping back and realizing truly how incredible this toy is, I had to give in. If you’re discovering it for the 1st time right now, the Slime Pit is Evil Hordak’s torture chamber to turn his victims into gruesome, oozed-over zombies whenever he felt like it. Included in it’s box was a canister of green slime, which I believe started all the slime/ooze/toxic waste/gak rage in the 80’s and early 90’s. So whatever action figure you felt like punishing (or rewarding) would be positioned under the dino skull, then slime would be poured through a secret compartment in the head to dowse the figure. The slime’s consistency had just the right amount of “stick” and “pull” that it could be collected for repeated fun. *I can’t help but imagine how great it would be if this thing was real and lifesize, so I promise that if TNUC ever opens his own traveling carnival, one of the main attractions will be TNUC’s SLIME PIT: an actual “step right up and get SLIMED” pit of destruction.*
Creature Features: Moveable dino skull and SLIME ACTION.
Classic Commercial: http://youtu.be/bHncoxvxRO8

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To get as close as possible to the actual experience of this thing, head over to Slime Pit historian Dinosaur Dracula’s website.

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Thanks for sticking around to the end of our countdown! What FEROCIOUS FORTRESSES would you hold as essential? Share em’ on here or on our Facebook page.

FORBIDDEN DREAMS.

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When certain people from certain generations hear the name Yanni, visions of 90’s moms come to mind. Or it’s visuals of foreign men with huge manes who look like they leaped right off the cover of a Walgreen’s romance novel. The mere thought of this man can also stir up memories of the nature store at mall that sold purple-crystal rocks and rain sticks.

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It wasn’t until our friend Kurt Sloan pointed Uncle T in the direction of a track called “Forbidden Dreams” where I began to grasp the power of this Greek beast. Before hearing my first bit of Yanni’s music, just seeing the title “Forbidden Dreams” made the little hairs on my arm stand up. This intrigue lead to me to play the song and then, beyond my control, drift into a phantasmagoric dreamscape. I realized that if this was a reflection of even 1/4 of the man’s musical catalogue, what a foolish peasant I was for not tuning in earlier. It was around this time that Kurt and Uncle T happened to be working on the Deep Mountain Meditation Mix, where the song can be heard during one of the final training regimes in the mix. Let’s revisit:


Yanni – Forbidden Dreams [download]

This allowed me to discover ‘Keys to Imagination’, a record which is currently blowing my mind on a daily basis. The 8 tracks on the album feature little piano at all (if any), which was initially the only instrument I associated Yanni with. Instead, the long-locked stallion gets heavy with synthesizers and other electronic instruments, creating a progressive sound that delivers an extremely dramatic and passionate story from start to finish. The music is just as imaginative and mystical as the artwork suggests.

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“Looking Glass” is another stand-out cut from the album. Press play and maybe just stare at the artwork for the duration of the song.


Yanni – Looking Glass [download]

My days of musical ignorance towards New Age music or at least “judging a book by it’s cover” have long since passed. If you love the work of synth scholars like Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give this album a chance. It’s currently the only Yanni music that I’ve heard thus far but it’s definitely my gateway drug to MORE YANNI.

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MYSTERY MEAT MIX.

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turkey man 2“You’ll Laugh. You’ll Cry. You’ll EAT.”

Over the past few decades Uncle T has made quite a name for himself during the holiday season (not in a good way). Usually the breaking point during any given night is when he face-plants into the Christmas tree after eating 9 boxes of Whitman’s Samplers and drinking all the eggnog in the house.

This year, in an attempt to harness his inner-manimal and try to behave, he strapped on a “Kiss the Cook” apron and headed straight into the kitchen to cook up a mysterious meat spread that’s sure to put his guests into the ultimate food coma. His relatives feel confident that as long as he’s distracted by preparing dinner, they won’t need to worry about dragging his lifeless, trench-coat covered body through the living room to kick out the backdoor when he barfs up that half plate of yams all over the carpet.

But what Uncle T is super stoked about is one particular meat plate which happens to be made up of ingredients he refuses to speak of. To accompany this ruthless roast, he delivered the MYSTERY MEAT MIX, a 40 minute casserole of classics that was specifically crafted for all walks of life to enjoy. Meaning, this mix is comprised of songs playable at virtually ANY holiday gathering, for any audience. We’re giving you a complain-free and honk-free guarantee with this one. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas, don’t worry, this ferocious feast is plentiful enough for any occasion. Think of it as a “comfort food” that no living breathing human could turn away from.

Happy Holidays disciples!

Track-list:

Munchin’ Intro
The Cars – Go Away
Keith Forsey – Love Theme
Glenn Frey – The One You Love
Journey – Only the Young
Dream Academy – Power to Believe (instrumental)
Eric Carmen – Make Me Lose Control
The Moody Blues – Your Wildest Dreams
Hugh Harris – Rhythm of Life
Jerry Goldsmith – Gremlins
Mavis Staples – Christmas Vacation (radio version)

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