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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Movie Review: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

The first time Phil Lord and Christopher Miller take a whack at a story idea, they tend to knock it out of the park. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “21 Jump Street,” “The LEGO Movie,” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (that last one is credited solely to Lord, but Miller executive produced) were all top-notch films, each one funny, heartfelt, clever, and possessing a much larger scale than one would have a right to expect.

Awesome
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Dizzy Heights #50: Heat Beneath Your Winter – Dreams, Vol. I

The idea came, as a lot of my ideas do, from a Duran Duran song. Do I have enough songs to do a full show about dreams? As I quickly discovered, the answer was no. I have enough songs to do five or six shows about dreams.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut this week include Asia, Alice Cooper, Bram Tchaikovsky, Cliff Richard, Daryl Hall, A Flock of Seagulls, Freiheit, Paul Williams, The Posies, Pseudo Echo, Rainbow, and Emily Browning courtesy of the Sucker Punch soundtrack.

Thanks for listening!

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Movie Review: Mary Poppins Returns

Let us get one very important thing out of the way, shall we? 1964’s “Mary Poppins” is delightful, and rather ahead of its time in terms of production and art direction, but it’s not a perfect movie. The dancing is largely clumsy, the children who play Jane and Michael are not very good actors, and Dick Van Dyke’s performance, God love him, will likely go down in history as the worst accent ever put to film. So let’s not talk of “Mary Poppins Returns” having an impossible task following up the first film. It doesn’t.

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