I have a list (actual piece of paper and everything) that currently features over 20 ideas for shows. This was not on the list. It just popped in my head, and had too much potential to do later. No, this must happen now.
The best thing about these themed shows is that I can spread the wealth musically (though a certain band appears for the fourteenth time), and so nine acts make their Dizzy Heights debut this week. Never thought that would happen three years into this experiment. I thought I would have used everything up by now.
I’m taking a small break after this to work on some non-DH mixes for friends, but I should be back in late April or early May. I highly recommend checking out the following shows while I’m away, and even after I return, obviously.
In the 14 years between 1995’s “Toy Story” and 2009’s
“Up,” exactly four men had sat in a Pixar director’s chair. Starting with
2010’s “Toy Story 3,” there was a concerted effort to spread the wealth, and
founding fathers John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Pete Docter, along with
unofficial Pixar brother Brad Bird, only directed one film each over the next
decade, while seven others helmed the rest.
This is where a rather disturbing pattern emerges. Of those new directors, the only one to make films on par with Pixar’s best work was Lee Unkrich, who directed “Toy Story 3” and “Coco” (and won Oscars for both) after serving as co-director for Lasseter, Stanton, and Docter, and clearly learning a few things along the way. Remove the films made by Unkrich and the founding fathers, and you’re left with “Brave,” “Monsters University,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Cars 3,” and “Toy Story 4.” That’s the Pixar movie marathon that runs nonstop on TV in the Medium Place.
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