Friday, February 10, 2017

Ep. 54: Other Marc

Josh and Emily are trying to start up a new hashtag this week (#firstfavorite) as they return to one of the podcast's original themes: ***nostalgia***. Join them and think back on a world filled with KB Toys, Where's Waldo books, official video game customer service lines, and birthday parties at local arcades. They also come up with yet more potential business ventures for the VGMJB brand, including a radio station! So grab a pepperoni pizza, swig some rootbeer, and tune into KLJM for a relaxing and low-danger kind of Friday.

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This episode was made possible by:
Game Track Title Composer(s)
The Legend of Zelda:
Link's Awakening
Sword Search Minako Hamano, Kozue Ishikawa
Chrono Trigger Scattering Blossoms (Twinkling) Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu
Kirby's Dreamland 3 Ripple Field 3 Jun Ishikawa
MOTHER Wisdom of the World Keiichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka
Pokémon Black/White Accumula Town (piano & drums mix) Shota Kageyama, Go Ichinose, Hitomi Sato, Junichi Masuda, Minako Adachi
Devil's Course BGM 1 Yumi Kinoshita, Shigekazu Kamaki

...and listeners like YOU.


  1. Loved the episode. Lenticular printing is what creates 3D images on Cookie Crisp. Learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_printing

    1. Lenticular! Thank you. My brain just cannot hold onto that word for some reason; I actually have a friend whom I ask to remind me what the proper term is almost every year.

  2. -DEEP NOSTALGIA ALERT- So let me tell you about my First Favorite Food. It's called Bonitza(or Banitza or Banitsa), and it's a traditional Bulgarian pastry. My Great Grandfather, whom I love deeply, came to Oregon from Bulgaria via Ellis Island. He lived to the venerable age of 106, although he would swear he was only 103 because he always lied about his age. We attributed his longevity to his genes, and to the fact that he ate a clove of garlic and drank a glass of brandy for breakfast every day. He also kept a garden well into his 90's.

    When I was young, my mom would take me to visit him in Salem, or he would come to stay with us for a few days, and although he was nearly deaf and spoke rudimentary English, it was always a joy to see him. He was about 5'6", walked with a cane, and looked quite a bit like colonel Sanders. He'd wander around the house, and when my parents weren't looking, he'd let me take a sip of his brandy, just to see my face twist into a knot.

    He took my mom to Bulgaria when she was a teenager, where she acquired the language and a love of the culture. One of the ways this was expressed was her love of Bonitza. It's an eggy, bready pastry that can be sweet or savory, by filling it with either fruits or vegetables and spices.

    My mom couldn't cook Bonitza by herself, so my Great Grandfather's visits were even more special, because he would often help her make it. I can't describe to you how it tastes, because I don't consciously remember....I just remember loving it so much. He died in the early 90's, and I lost that part of my childhood. HOWEVER, a few years back, I was going through my apprenticeship and I met a Bulgarian also going through the classes. At some point, the topic of Bonitza came up, and he brought some for me the very next week. Although it had been about 25 years since I'd tasted it, I felt this wave of intimate familiarity, and that part of my childhood which had been forgotten came back to me as if it had never left.

    As an interesting side note, I grew up in a Pentecostal-ish Protestant faith background. Around the time I turned 19, I began a five-year spiritual quest that ended up with me converting to Orthodox Christianity. As I was preparing for my baptism, it suddenly occured to me that my Great Grandfather must have been Orthodox. I called my mom to ask, and she confirmed to me that yes, he was indeed Orthodox, and when he took her to visit Bulgaria, she visited and spoke with one of the Metropolitans there(a Metropolitan is the head Bishop of a diocese in the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria).

  3. I was puzzled when Emily suggested that the town's music might change based on the person, specifically based on the baby's gender. If gender is a social construct, and gender identity is something individuals ultimately choose for themselves, then how can a baby have a gender?

    1. I'm puzzled by the fact that you're puzzled. City Jams is all about responding to social constructs.

    2. The honest truth is, I used the wrong term! I meant "biological sex," but as a kid I was (erroneously) taught that "gender" was the polite way of saying the supposedly scandalous word "sex," and I'm still retraining myself out of that reflex. It's a work in progress!

    3. But Josh, how do you respond to something that doesn't exist?

    4. Emily,
      That makes sense. It does bring up a fascinating thought experiment, though. If the baby's sex determines how the tune differs for that person, then does the resultant music change correlate to gender stereotypes? And which gender stereotypes would the music follow? Would they be mean(average) global, national, or regional stereotypes?

      Thankfully, music is not as stereotypically gender biased, although general trends of male-aggressiveness/female-love song-vulnerability could be invoked for US audiences......but this being a VGMJB app, I would hope not!

    5. And this brings up another thought I've been having lately. One of my favorite pop songs in recent years is Sia's "Breathe Me". The thing I love about this song is her willingness to be completely vulnerable and frail. It is so frustrating and unfair that fragility and vulnerability are stereotypically seen as unacceptable male traits in music(alternative show-gazing notwithstanding).

      This is penultimately true in rap. I grew up listening to hip-hop, and I love its potential, but I can't stand the male posturing that is almost synonymous with the genre.

  4. KB Toys was fun. I liked that it usually had some sort of robot dog doing backflips on a display in front of the store. I spent a lot of time staring at video games behind the front counter while trying to awkwardly dodge sales pitch conversations from the store clerk.

    My main toy store as a kid though, was Lionel Playworld. Did other states have this store, or was it just a Utah thing? It had a kangaroo mascot and the slogan "turn that frown upside down!" The one in Salt Lake City had a giant wall of Sega Master System and NES games that was the stuff of '80s dreams. :)

  5. Catching up on my VGMJB backlog here (been super busy). My first favorite food was chicken nuggets. Homemade, frozen, from any restaurant, made in any style. I didn't care. But the most important factor was the dipping sauce. It had to be honey. Not "honey sauce", not "honey dressing", not "honey mustard". It HAD TO BE REAL HONEY. My drink of choice was called a "suicide". It's where you take your fountain drink cup, and fill it with a little bit from each drink option on the fountain. One day, my tastes buds slapped some sense into me, and I stopped doing this. "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?", they asked me.

    KB Toys was awesome! They had an amazing bargain bin for PC games. I bought my very first CD-ROM game from there! It was Microcosm, by Psygnosis. It had Redbook audio music by Rick Wakeman! But strangely my version of the game, only played the Redbook audio between the levels. During the levels, was Ad-lib only music. I was quite let down by this. There were many different versions of this game, I wonder if another version has the Redbook audio in-game.

  6. I loved the details. For natural gender selection, there's a proven guaranteed way. It's really amazing to have a child of your desired gender. You too can try it.