Movie Review: Aladdin

When Disney announced that it would be releasing live action remakes of three of the studio’s most loved animated films, all within the span of four months, that seemed, well, foolish. It’s one thing to release three films that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in one year; there’s a thread tying those stories together. There is nothing tying “Dumbo,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King” together.

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Dizzy Heights #55: They Will Never Find Me Here – The Sun and the Moon, Vol. I

I called an audible. Originally, the plan was to do a show about kids and children, after hearing a great show by Mixclouder The Show About… on the same subject, but one that left enough room for me to do a similar show without copying too much off of his paper.

Then he did a show about stars, and that reminded me of another idea that I had been flirting with for a while. This month, the sun and the moon. The Seeds of Love-era Tears for Fears fans know what the next show will be. Assuming I have enough material, that is.

Bands/artists making their Dizzy Heights debut: Aqualung, The Beloved, Matthew Sweet, Paul McCartney (solo), The Waterboys, Eggstone, The Merrymakers, Love & Rockets, Len, and somehow, I’m just now playing The Police for the first time.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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The Popdose Interview with Howard Jones

It was my great privilege to interview Howard Jones. Even better, it was great to discover that he is every bit the kind, thoughtful, stand-up guy that he appeared to be. One of my favorite interviews that I’ve ever done, for reasons that won’t leap off the page. He was just so upbeat and happy! My wife will attest: I was positively flying for the rest of the day.

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The Popdose Interview with Stine Bramsen of Alphabeat

They may play the bounciest dance pop this side of ABBA, but make no mistake, the members of Danish sextet Alphabeat take their band seriously. They turned down multiple offers that would have raised their profile on the global stage, and to hear co-singer Stine Bramsen explain it, she and her bandmates wouldn’t have done it any other way. Freshly reunited after a six-year hiatus, Alphabeat has signed their first US record deal (a mere 12 years after their debut album), and with Atlantic Records, no less, who promptly flew the band to Austin to showcase at South by Southwest. Popdose’s resident Alphabeat fan boy chatted with Bramsen about conquering America, and the importance of making sure the world knows that your pop band was not created in a boardroom.

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Dizzy Heights #54: Watch the World Argue – Songs About Dancing

I’ve been sitting on this idea for about a year. It felt too obvious, but then I ran into a really busy stretch, and then suddenly obvious sounded AWESOME. So here we are.

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Movie Review: Dumbo

Tim Burton and Disney have done great things together. Well, perhaps ‘great’ isn’t the right word. Tim Burton and Disney have made boatloads of cash together. Indeed, this whole ‘live action revival’ trend likely never gets off the ground if Burton’s 2010 adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” doesn’t make $1 billion worldwide. Sure, that movie was a hot mess, but $1 billion worldwide! And Johnny Depp at his commercial peak. Ahhhh, simpler times.

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Movie Review: Captain Marvel

Early in the MCU timeline, certain comic book story lines were completely scrapped for the sake of keeping things grounded. The Mandarin, for example, was not a drunken actor pretending to be an all-powerful bogeyman, but an expert martial artist of Chinese and English descent whose power came from alien technology. This switch is arguably the cleverest thing about Shane Black’s script for “Iron Man 3.” It was important, as Phase I of the MCU came to a close, that things didn’t get too ‘out there,’ for lack of a better expression. The characters, heroes and villains alike, needed to be relatable. If they had started arming every bad guy with alien hardware early on, people would have checked out on these movies years ago.

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Dizzy Heights #53: Gold

This show was originally going to be about shiny things. I thought of precious metals, and then opened things up to include any gem that would be included in jewelry. Gold, silver, rubies, diamonds, all that stuff.

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Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

It’s good to know when to walk away. This is not to say that the “How to Train Your Dragon” series has overstayed its welcome – it couldn’t possibly, they have only made two films up to this point, and both were critical and commercial smashes – but rather that it’s commendable that DreamWorks Animation chose to go out on a relatively high note and preserve the legacy of the franchise as a whole, rather than squeezing the cash cow for every penny before leaving it for dead by the side of the road (ahem, “Pirates of the Caribbean”).

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Dizzy Heights #52: Someday We’ll Be Happy Again – Breakup Songs Part 2 (The Ballads)

I’m bringing the mope this week, love birds. If I know anything about love, it’s that it dies a slow, painful death when the month of February rolls around. Seriously, for two Februarys in a row in college, all of my friends and I saw our relationships come to an end. The following year, we threw a party to celebrate it, and that annual party tradition carried on for another ten years. The breakups, thankfully, didn’t.

Bands making their DH debuts this week include Alison Moyet, The Bangles, Deon Estus, David Gray, Elliott Smith (what), Kate Bush (WHAT), Simply Red, Vitamin Z, and World Party. Wait, really? Sorry, Mr. Wallinger. I just assumed I had played you by now.

The March show is still being built, but I’ll give you a hint as to its theme: the giant crab in “Moana” would approve.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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