I apologize up front for all of the extra noise during my talkie bits (hopefully the music beds drowned them out). Between the daughter shooting up the stairs (only to stop dead when she saw me recording) to the cat trying to jump on the chair next to me (and missing), to my phone getting a text message, it was a banner week for live mics in the Medsker house. On any other week, I would have re-recorded all of them, but then again, the sound of the cat scrambling to climb up the chair is pretty funny to me now, so it stays.
It did not surprise me one bit that I was only able to come up with about half as many songs about boys as I was able to come up with songs about girls. We’re just not as fun, or interesting, to write about as women are, and the numbers reflect that. There will certainly be another show about girls, but this will mostly likely stand as the only song about boys, at least by name, anyway. Face it, we’re gross.
I’ve been sitting on this as a show idea since I first
started doing themed shows. I did a Name That Tune with this theme 10 years or
so ago (excuse me while I reach for my cane), and because of that I put it
off…until I had over 400 songs from which to choose for a show. So here we are.
How to divvy up 400 songs, though? I thought about doing
it by decade, but ultimately chose to do it by genre because it gives me the
freedom to jump from decade to decade. Also, had I broken things up by decade,
the distribution would be a big bell curve peaking around 1985, and we all know
I have a sheet of paper that contains all of my show ideas. There are about 20 of them. This, oddly, wasn’t one of them. This just popped into my head one morning two weeks ago. And here we are. ‘World’ songs, ‘Planet’ songs, ‘Globe’ songs, they’re all here, along with one ‘Earth’ song and a song that is none of these things, but totally belongs.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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!