They call me Baby Driver

This post about the film,  Baby Driver, contains affiliate links. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Learn more in my Disclosure Policy. As always, thank you for your support.

Have you seen the trailers for the movie, Baby Driver? It looks like it could be a fun movie. It also looks like it’s similar to other movies with similar themes. But that’s OK. As of this writing, it has a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

And the American public is never wrong. Right?

Don’t answer that.

Every time I see this trailer, though, I expect to hear Baby Driver from Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. Are you familiar with this song? It’s pretty great. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I really think this song should be part of its soundtrack. I haven’t found it in any of the film’s soundtrack listings. That’s unfortunate.

If you haven’t heard it before, you should go ahead and check it out here. And if you have heard it, go ahead and click the link, too. Because I know you’ll want to hear it again.

I love this album. It was on regular rotation in the tape player in dad’s car. I learned The BoxerCeciliaBridge Over Troubled Water, Keep the Customer Satisfied,  Baby Driver, and the rest of the songs by heart. I was innocent enough that I took the songs at face-value.

This album entered my car stereo’s rotation when I crawled under my pop cultural rock and played my Metallica/Simon and Garfunkel mixtape quite frequently. I initially took the songs at face-value.

Then it happened.

I was driving along, minding my own business, when Baby Driver came on. I sung along with the lyrics when I came to the chorus. Paul, Art, and I started singing about engines and the skies parted before me and it was like my eyes had been opened for the first time.

I had to pull over.

I hit “rewind” and listened to the chorus again. Yes. I’d heard it right. I’d been singing it right the whole time. But I had misunderstood the song for years. Years, I tell you.

Much to my dismay, this song wasn’t about a kid who liked to play with toy cars. And it wasn’t about someone who likes to race cars. He wasn’t inviting someone to check out the car he’d been working on in his garage.

And he aint’ talking bout no race car engines.

Race car engine

Are you picking up what I’m laying down?

I was in shock. I was horrified. And I might have been a little bit embarrassed as I sat in my pulled over car, contemplating the song’s meaning that had been sitting right in front of me for years. Years, I tell you!

Baby Driver didn’t mean what I thought it meant.

I started to wonder what other songs didn’t mean what I thought they meant. Turned out that there were several songs on that album that weren’t quite as innocent as I originally thought.

Don’t even get me started on Cecilia

Has something like this happened to you? Did you misunderstand the meaning of a song or a phrase when you were a kid, only to find out much later that it had much more “adult” meaning?

Here’s what I love about Indy PopCon

What I love about Indy PopCon

I have been to several conventions over the years. Several of them were of the geek-related variety in Indianapolis. And what I can say without a shadow of doubt is that Indy PopCon is my favorite of the cons that I’ve attended. Due to the fact that we were moving that weekend, I was only able to attend for a little while during last year’s inaugural run. But I loved every minute I was there. And I can’t wait to return this year.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy about all the cons that are here. They are great for Indianapolis. And I think Indianapolis is great for them. But Indy PopCon? There’s something entirely different about it. And I love it.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s how the fine folks in charge of Indy PopCon describe the event:

PopCon was founded to celebrate all aspects of pop culture, rather than just hyper focusing on a specific genre. We have a wide variety of interests – just like our fans – so we created a con to celebrate them all in one awesome weekend!

I don’t want to miss this event. There’s a lot that I love about this event. And I’ll share some of those things in just a minute. But first, the rest of the basic details:

Indy PopCon
Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, IN
Friday, June 26-Sunday, June 28

You can go here to order your tickets. And if you use “ATRO” as a promo code, you’ll be helping out one of my palsplus, you’ll get an exclusive PopCon print.

Indy PopCon is a con of the people, by the people, for the people

I nifty little community has sprouted up in Indy. It began close to two years ago when they started making noise about the coming of Indy PopCon. The con’s Indy Popconcreators are local pop culture enthusiasts. And they wanted input from other local pop culture enthusiasts. A lot of dreaming, planning, implementing, and promoting has gone into this event.

The 2015 con promises to be exponentially better than the 2014 con. And the 2016 version will be exponentially better than this year’s. That’s because the organizers regularly listen to feedback and actively participate in the local community. They aren’t a group of outsiders just swooping in to Indianapolis hoping to make a quick buck. Like many of us, they love Indianapolis. They’re part of the community. And that shows by the quality of the event they strive to pull off.

You can be who you are at Indy PopCon

I love that Indy PopCon celebrates all things related to pop culture.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the genre-specific cons that focus on things like comics or gaming or Star Wars or Star Trek are great, great things. But I can bring my kids to Indy PopCon and use it as a teachable moment, reminding them that they can be whoever they want and love whatever they want to love. They don’t need to feel boxed in to one type of label. At Indy PopCon, YouTubers rub elbows with gamers who hang out with cosplayers who share a drink with film buffs who get to chat with artists. Seeing such diversity can encourage my kids to be more comfortable in their own skins.

Indy PopCon is a grand assembly of all things geek. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Movies! Tons of movies!

Have you seen how many movies they’re screening? Holy cow! That alone is worth the price of admission. I mean, where else can you see The Last Starfighter, The Rocky Horror Picture ShowRed DawnAlien, Gremlins, and The Princess Bride (just to name a few) in one place?

Oh, and did I mention that Flash Gordon himself is going to be there?

Edward James Olmos will be there, too.


Yeah. I’m kind of excited.

I’ve only scratched the surface

There is so much going on at Indy PopCon that I can’t even begin to cover it all! You’ll just have to make a visit to downtown Indy and check it all out. So when will I see you there? Let me know and we’ll get together! Or we can just hang out at the Awkward Twitter Mingle.

The Force will be with us as we live long and prosper at one con to rule them all. So say we all.

Indy PopCon: One con to rule them all!

Indy Popcon Header

Imagine 300,000 square feet of convention space packed to the brim with all things pop culture: Internet, comics, fantasy, cosplay, sci-fi, gaming, anime, art & music, and tv/movies.

Imagine a place where the 7th Doctor, Bad Luck Brian, Joel Hodgson, Battlestar Galactica’s Anastasia Dualla, a comic book with the original appearance of Superman, a Minecraft recreation of the city of Indianapolis, and Rupert, the lovable Survivor contestant and former candidate for the state of Indiana could be brought together under one giant tent.

Imagine no more.

Indy PopCon will have it all.

I must admit that when I first heard about the vision for Indy PopCon, I was a bit skeptical. Don’t get me wrong. It was a great idea. But it sounded a little too broad. Like maybe the fine folks who were putting this convention together were biting off a little bit more than they could chew. But the more I learned about their efforts and the more I saw the project starting to come together, the more excited I got about it. So although I was unsure at first, I’ve totally bought into what they’re doing. In fact, I believe in it so much that I joined their Street Team.

As we lead up to the convention’s launch this coming Friday (May 31), I’ll be highlighting a few things that excite me the most about Indy PopCon. In the meantime…

What are you waiting for? It’s going to be amazing!

Presale tickets are ending soon. So hurry on over and buy your Indy PopCon ticket(s) before it’s too late! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Do you already have your tickets? Awesome! Let me know what day(s) you’re going! I’d love to hear about everyone’s experience at Indy PopCon: the One Con to Rule Them All.

 

 

 

My Ultimate Christmas Playlist: Yo! Ho Ho

Yo! Ho Ho Christian rap Christmas album

Ah, yes. Early 90s Christian hip hop Christmas music. Yup. There was such a genre. It was very niche-specific. And I think it only consisted of one album. And I owned that album. Don’t judge. It was the early 90s.

Yeah, the song’s kind of corny. But so is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, when you really think about it. I can’t help but smile when I listen to this song. I even find myself chuckling at times. Sometimes it’s because the song’s so corny. But there are other times it’s because this song brings back some fun memories from 1990-ish.

If you followed DC Talk at all during their early days (pre Jesus Freak), then this song will probably put a smile on your face, too.

But wait, there’s more! The album also contained the audio track of this song without the vocals. You and your friends could be the hit of all the Christmas parties.

Flannel shirts, Miley Cyrus, and pop culture

pop culture

It was the fall of 1991. I wore a flannel shirt to school. Towards the end of the day, this guy who was obviously way cooler than me came up to me during passing period. To say we were friends is an overstatement. We did, however, have some mutual friends, and we knew each other. So it wasn’t unheard of for us to say “hey” to each other on occasion. During this passing period, he did something different. He comes up to me, points at my flannel shirt, and laughs.

“Why are you dressed like a lumberjack?”

Then he walked by and disappeared into the sea of people. I didn’t have a chance to defend the comfort of my choice of shirt for the day. And I wasn’t going to go after him to state my case because that would make me late to class.

A funny thing happened just a few weeks later. Nirvana had grabbed the world by the throat with Smells Like Teen Spirit, influencing almost every aspect of pop culture. The grunge movement had come and it was a dominant pop cultural force. And that includes the fashion world.

So guess what that guy who called me a lumberjack was wearing just a few weeks later. That’s right. I saw him walking down the school hallway with a flannel shirt. What was once uncool had suddenly become cool.

This could possibly be another instance where I was a trendsetter. Just a man ahead of my time. But my eyes were opened that day. That’s when I realized that I really didn’t understand the fleeting nature of pop culture. And I didn’t really care to try.

Instead of trying to up my coolness factor, I chose to enter a pop cultural bubble. It’s probably better described as crawling under a pop cultural rock – especially when it came to music. I think I was the only person in high school at the time with a DC Talk/Metallica/Simon and Garfunkel mixtape that I’d play over and over and over again.

Last night, the American Music Awards reminded me how I’m still living under some type of cultural rock. It was Miley Cyrus who opened my eyes to this fact. Don’t get me wrong. I actually appreciate the song, Wrecking Ball. It kind of wrecks me sometimes (see what I did there?). But that performance.

Oh that performance.

With the lip syncing kitty cat who was so moved with the songs that tears started flowing. Like a faucet. And Miley crying because she’s wrecked. It was so….

strange.

I didn’t get the juxtaposition of heartbroken Miley with oh-so-precious and cute-as-a-button kitty cat that makes you go “Awwww” because it’s just so stinkin’ adorable. And then when that kitty cat winks and sticks out its tongue? It melts your heart. Because kittens.

Miley Cyrus and the crying kitty cat singing Wrecking Ball
image via Disney Dreaming

But I have been told that Miley’s performance at the AMAs proves several things. She won the night. And the Internet. And even life itself. So it has become clear to me that I still don’t really understand pop culture. Maybe this makes me an old fuddy-duddy. That’s OK. I’ve probably been an old fuddy-duddy for the last 20+ years. I think I’m pretty OK with that.

Now excuse me while I go re-create my epic mixtape on Spotify.

And get off my lawn.