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Shelf Life: May 2018

May 04, 2018 11:52AM ● By Ray Burgess



Totally Hot—Olivia Newton-John

1978’s Totally Hot was her “bad Sandy from Grease” album. After years as fresh-faced girl-next-door country artist, ONJ pulled on the skintight black leather and started delivering smoldering up-tempo rock. Pro tip: Unless you’re super drunk don’t attempt “A Little More Love” at karaoke. Those notes are HIGH. 


Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John—Juliana Hatfield

I’m not saying Juliana made this album for me specifically, but this truly is the overlapping Venn diagram of my childhood and teenage obsessions. Hatfield covers early classics like “I Honestly Love You” and monster-hits like “Physical.” Spandex not included. What’s more, a dollar from every album sold goes to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre (ONJ Centre) 



The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The semi-autobiographical bestseller that became a hit movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower speaks truth to teen life, as withdrawn wallflower Charlie navigates the journey from high school to adulthood with the help of new friends, a dancefloor, of course sex, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show


Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

This highly anticipated sequel to Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (aka Love, Simon) is now a major motion picture. Leah on the Offbeat follows the adventures of Simon’s unapologetically real BFF Leah, a drummer with mad skills who holds the secret of her bisexuality so closely that not even Simon knows, let alone anyone in her friend group.  



Flash Gordon

In college, this was our go-to sleepover movie rental. A knuckle-headed football player and a ditzy travel agent go to outer space and well, as they say in the advertisements, hilarity ensues. Come for Max Von Sydow’s unforgettable Ming the Merciless, and stay for Queen’s AWESOME soundtrack. Flash Gordon is the best kind of movie cheese: the kind that doesn’t take itself seriously. 


Thor Ragnarok

With a color palette and a sense of humor that makes Guardians of the Galaxy seem pedestrian, Taika Waititi’s Thor Ragnarok blows the doors off ponderous superhero epics and brings a fun, batty ’70s Flash Gordon feel to the whole affair. Definitely check out the director’s commentary for even more unexpected laughs.

By Sharon Penny