Dizzy Heights #67: Wizards of Oz

The idea for this show came around the same time as the Scotland show. I know that the timing of its release looks gauche, like I’m trying to capitalize on the horrific wildfires that Australia is enduring. I’m not; I’ve had a thing for Australia since I first read “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day.” Then MTV happened, and I wanted to move there. Still do, sometimes.

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Dizzy Heights: The 2010s, Volumes I-IV

The plan was to chill over the holidays, and not make any shows for a good six weeks. Instead, I made four.

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I Has Thoughts: Movies of 2019

This is the first time I have put a year-end list together since (checks notes) 2015. It seems longer than that – I was convinced I hadn’t done one of these since 2011. Some of that has to do with the fact that I’m no longer doing the writing thing on a full-time basis. Some of that is because it’s been several years since there was a batch of movies that got me truly excited. That 2015 piece that I wrote? That was not a great batch of flicks. Good, but not great.

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Movie Review: Jumanji: The Next Level

That the makers of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” could find time in their schedules to write and shoot a sequel, with all eight of the principle characters, two years after the original, is simply unthinkable in this day and age. It took Disney six years to follow up “Frozen,” and it took Sony a decade before “Zombieland: Double Tap” happened. They must have had a can’t-miss idea ready to throw at audiences, right?

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Movie Review: Frozen II

Disney has a ridiculous amount of power at the moment. In addition to owning Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, they also purchased Twentieth Century Fox’s film catalog, which terrified “Rocky Horror Picture Show” fans in particular, who were concerned that the Mouse House would no longer allow late-night screenings of the film. (So far, it appears that Disney will allow business as usual on that front, as they should.) They’re also pulling a lot of their content from streaming sources in order to consolidate their properties at Disney+. They’re basically one or two more moves away from becoming a Bond villain.

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Dizzy Heights #66: Great Scots

The ‘song title’ thing was painting me into a corner. I needed a new angle, and despite doing a show about cities around the world, I didn’t have the idea to do geographically specific shows until about 18 months later. Sometimes it just takes that long for my brain to make the connection. Zzzzzt.

I started with Scotland for two reasons. One, I’ve somehow managed to interview a fair number of Scottish musicians (all of whom are in this show), and on top of that, it’s the strongest bloodline in my wife’s family, so we’re always talking up Scotland around the house. Once I discovered how many Scottish singers fronted non-Scottish bands, this show practically put itself together. And I have more than enough bands for a second volume, someday. This has been quite the educational experience.

Thank you, as always, for listening. Dizzy Heights is taking the rest of the year off, and will resume in January. Have courage and be kind, people.

Note: I mentioned that a band had six Top 10 singles from one album. They had six Top 40 singles. I regret the error. I also didn’t mention the Soup Dragons by name. I regret that, too.

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Dizzy Heights #65: Certain for the Very Last Time: Flashback Chill Mix, 11/25/95

Here’s where I take that good will I earned over the past four weeks and throw it out the window with a chill mix. Having fun yet?

This is a digital recreation of a mix tape I made in late 1995 (Maxell XL II 100, if you’re curious). Those who read my Mope Like Me column on Popdose will not be surprised to hear that four of the songs that I covered can be found here. Mixing this again, I was instantly transported back to that winter in Chicago, which was bittersweet to be sure. There are some bands here that I’ve since left behind (BNL, DMB, CTD), but it’s really nice to hear a lot of these songs after not playing some of them for decades. Decades. My god.

Thank you, as always, for listening. One more show after this and then Dizzy Heights is taking the rest of the year off. Cheers!

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Dizzy Heights #64: ‘90s UK Alternative, Part III: The Pop Mix

We bring the ‘90s UK Alternative series to an end with, in a twist, the bands that had the most success on the charts. Several acts here – if not these songs, though most of these songs fared well – hit Number One, and strangely enough, some of these songs fared better on the US charts than they did on the UK charts. Del Amitri and White Town, we’re looking in your direction.

This series was such fun to put together, and I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #63: ’90s UK Alernative, Part II: The Dance Mix

For the record no, it is not lost on me that my show about UK music opens with artists from Ireland and Germany.

This is not the first time that I’ve ventured in these waters. In early 2011 I put together a 1991 beat mix for Popdose, and in the interest of full disclosure, I lifted a three-song set wholesale from that mix, along with two other songs. I also play a song that I just played two months ago. I try to avoid that when I can, but it just belonged here.

When I was working in the clubs, well, most of these songs didn’t exist yet, but even if they had, I was working in pop clubs that only dabbled in alternative, so I would have been fired on the spot for doing a set like this. Putting this show together wasn’t just fun; it was cathartic.

Coming up next: ‘90s UK Alternative, Part III: The Pop Mix. That might sound like a contradiction in terms, but I promise you, it’s not. What is alternative, after all, if not unpopular pop? You think these bands wanted to be cult bands? They didn’t. They all wanted to be superstars.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

Oh, and as a bonus for hitting my little site, this show will be temporarily available to download here. Get it while you can. This link will not live forever.

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Dizzy Heights #62: ‘90s UK Alternative, Part I: The Rock Mix

When this goes live on Popdose, it will be my mom’s birthday, yay! She would not like this show. 

I wanted to take a break from the title-themed shows, and for whatever reason, UK ‘90s is the first thing that popped into my head. Maybe that’s because most of the shows are inherently UK ‘80s shows, and I wanted to share the wealth, as it were. I say that despite the fact that I’ve already played at least three of these songs in previous shows. Still, eight bands make their debuts here, so…progress?

Oh, and I also voice a thought that will be quite unpopular with nearly anyone who likes this show. Hot take ahoy! Who knows, maybe some of you will agree with me (it comes in the second talkie bit), but I’m guessing most of you won’t, and that’s OK.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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