Dizzy Heights #49: Hot Dog, Jumping Frog, Albuquerque: Royals, Volume I

I make a mention, right away, that I hadn’t played every possible royal family title in a song, which was a complete lie. The first five songs cover them all. I had about 10 minutes to record those first two bits before it was time to pick up the girl at soccer practice. Mistakes were made.

Speaking of the girl, this was her idea. Every song references one royal family member or another (by title, not specific people), and the biggest surprise? How few songs there are with ‘princess’ in the title. I thought there would be tons of them. I had maybe four.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut this week. ABBA, Charli XCX (as a solo artist), The Dukes of Stratosphear, Jude, King, The Kings, Juice Newton, and wait, Neil Finn?!?!?! What? (This is actually his ninth time on the show, but his first as a solo artist.)

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #49: Songs about Days of the Week, Vol. I

“Sunday Sunday, here again, a walk in the park…”
“Monday, I could wait ’til Tuesday, if I make up my mind, Wednesday would be fine…”

I’ve been toying with this one for months. So many choices! Most in the titles, but some in the lyrics. Everyone likes referencing days of the week, although Thursday needs to fire its publicist, because virtually no one sings about Thursday.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut: Bay City Rollers, The Easybeats, Kenna, Morphine, The Pogues, and Soulwax.

Oh, and here’s the clip I reference at the very end.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #47: Don’t. Just…Don’t (“Don’t” Songs, Vol. I)

Here’s another Name That Tune idea carried over (I’m afraid to even look to see how many of the same songs I used). There are LOTS of songs that start with the word ‘Don’t,’ and even after doing this massive, two-hour show, I still have 220 songs in iTunes set aside for future volumes of this theme. That is not a typo.

Bands making their Dizzy Heights debut: The Alan Parsons Project, The Communards, David Byrne, Devo (WHAT), Elvis Presley, The Flirts, Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds (one guess), Husker Du, Kenny Loggins (with special guest), Jane Child, Los Lobos, Michael Jackson, Night Ranger, Paul Carrack, Phil Collins, and Wang Chung. Dang, that’s a lot of debuts.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #46: Never, Ever, Always, and Forever

The idea comes from an old joke that an ex-girlfriend made long ago: “We should never use the words ‘never,’ ‘ever,’ ‘always,’ or ‘forever’ when describing us.” She was not wrong, but from the ashes of that (spectacularly) failed relationship comes this show, and over half of my defunct Mope Like Me column, so at least something good came from it.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debuts this week: The Assembly, The Association, Shirley Bassey, The Buzzcocks, Aretha Franklin, Deborah Harry & Iggy Pop, Raphael Saadiq, The Stranglers, Walter Meego, and my cat Harvey! He hops up at the 1:05:55 mark.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #45: The Alliteration Show

No talkie bits this week. First day of school for the kids, birthday celebrations, picking the boy up at camp, blah blah blah.

This idea is definitely a one-shot thing, at least in its current form. I went after song titles that were two words, each starting with the same letter. And I went A to Z, almost literally (with apologies to the letters Q and X). Of course, I broke my own rules twice, when I used a song with an ampersand (hey, it was the letter U, I got desperate), and in one instance, I used a title that was the same word twice, which is not alliteration but repetition (again, letter Y, got desperate).

Multiple people asked me to use “Disco Duck.” And believe me, I thought about it, then thought better of it.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut this week: Ben Folds (solo), Burning Sensations, Elvis Costello (WHAT), The Go-Betweens, The Go-Go’s, Guided by Voices, k.d. lang, The Kinks (this cannot be happening), Neurotic Outsiders, Stone Poneys, Tasmin Archer, and Tom Petty. Seriously, thank goodness for Tom Petty, or I don’t have a ‘Z’ song.

Bands coming back for another tour of duty: Basement Jaxx, Franz Ferdinand, The Housemartins, The Jezabels, Joe Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, Propaganda, The Rolling Stones, Squeeze, The Ting Tings, The Trashcan Sinatras, and Tribe. Speaking of Tribe, I pull a segue that my 1993 self would high-five.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #44: ‘Blue’ Songs, Vol. I

This was originally supposed to be one show featuring songs with colors in the title, but about 600 suggestions later, it was clear that the colors needed to be split up into their own shows, and even then there is enough material to do multiple shows of the primary colors, and maybe the secondary ones as well.

I chose to start with blue so I can play a song from Tom Bailey’s solo album Science Fiction that stabbed my inner lovestruck teenager in the heart. From there, I went, well, everywhere, but there is a thread of melancholy that goes nearly from start to finish. Blue is more than just a color, I guess.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut this week: Billy Idol (wait, what?), The Charlatans, David Gilmour, Electric Light Orchestra, Fine Young Cannibals, Gus, Michael Johnson, Peter Murphy, Real Life (wait, WHAT?), The Smithereens (I have no words), The Undertones, and Yaz (even fewer words).

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #42: With the Prepositions, Vol. I

Started this show late last Saturday after spending the entire day driving back home from Wisconsin. I only had a handful of song ideas. And then BOOM. The show was basically finished before I went to bed.

That has never happened before.

Today’s word class is the preposition! There are TONS of songs that start with them, and I’ve included 25 examples here. And I’m going to do something a little different. I’ve tried keeping my set lists secret, but I was asked to list the bands played, and that seemed harmless, so here we go.

Making their DH debut: Billy Squier, Fleetwood Mac, Green Day, INXS (wait, WHAT?!), Joseph Arthur, The Outfield, Propellerheads, Tin Machine, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Veruca Salt, and The War on Drugs.

Coming back for another tour of duty: Blur, The Boomtown Rats, Cheap Trick, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, The Divine Comedy, Kirsty MacColl, R.E.M., Robbie Williams, Roxy Music, Simple Minds, Sugarbomb, The Tubes, and Underworld.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #41: When You Think It’s All Over, It’s Not Over — Questions, Vol. I

Big, super-ultra-mega show this week, as there are scores of song titles that are also questions. And of course, what do I do but practically lead off with a song that I’ve already played. I keep a list of songs played to prevent this very thing from happening, but here we are.

I also also lucky enough to secure a couple of liners/bumpers/whatever those in the biz call them from Dizzy Heights-friendly artists. I’ll give you a hint: one of them, like Jim Kerr, is a fellow Scotsman.

Tons of artists making their DH debuts this week, including The Lonely Island, Jesus Jones, a (killer) brand new song from former Thompson Twin Tom Bailey, Zebra, The Three Degrees, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Tower of Power, Monaco, Love Spit Love, Ben Folds Five (wait, what?), Band of Horses, and Travis (wait, WHAT?).

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #40: I Know That Dude — Songs About Famous People

Once I started soliciting song suggestions for shows, suggestions for show ideas soon followed. When two friends of mine who had never met sent the same idea within a matter of hours (maybe days), that felt like a sign. Songs that name-check famous people. There are tons of those!

Here’s the funny thing, though: there are indeed tons of those and their suggestions were so good and so varied that I only had a handful of them. Leave it to your friends to remind you just how much you have left to learn about whatever it is that you think you know a lot about. This was an exercise in humility, to be sure.

Bands making their Dizzy Heights debuts this week: Van Morrison, The Replacements, MIKA, Gorillaz, Mojo Nixon, Eurythmics (!!!), Donna Summer, Bananarama, and Barenaked Ladies. And I’m pretty sure you know exactly which songs I played from each artist.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Dizzy Heights #39: The Devil Take Your Stereo — “(This) and (That)” Songs, Vol. I

Those who played along when I ran Popdose’s “Name That Tune” roughly a decade ago (*pauses, kneels over, takes a breath when he contemplates that those days were nearly a decade ago*) may see similarities with some of these theme shows that I’ve been doing lately. Yep, I’m recycling, but hey, it’s been ten years or so. I’d like to think that the statute of limitations has long since expired.

Much like the previous shows, I now have at least two more shows’ worth of ____ and ____ material already at my disposal, thanks to my awesome (read: much more knowledgeable) Facebook friends. I am not afraid to admit that the themed shows are better because my friends’ song suggestions are better than mine.

Many of the artists making their Dizzy Heights debuts this week, well, embarrass me, because they should have been played weeks/months ago. See if you can guess which ones I’m talking about: Adam & the Ants, Capital Cities, Death Cab for Cutie, Elle King, Joan Jett, John Mellencamp, The Ramones, Voice of the Beehive, Walter Egan, and XTC. That’s right – nearly all of them.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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