Coming to you in living color, from the heart of the global communications network to the darkest recesses of your imagination — this is the Popdose Conceptual Theater of the Airwaves.

Pull down the screen inside your head. Open your ears.

Are you comfortable? Then let’s begin.

Close your eyes…

And watch….

I’ve got to admit: This is probably my favorite of all these mixes, the one that I think succeeds best at building, sustaining, and modulating its mood throughout it run time. It’s not necessarily my favorite book in the series, but it’s the one that translates to music in the way that I find most satisfying.

It’s also where the correspondences get slippery. Does “Spellbound” evoke the various instances of the Imperius curse throughout the book, or the love spell conjured by Merope Gaunt? Is the psychopath of “England Made Me” a stand-in for the young Tom Riddle, or for Severus Snape — or, perhaps, even for Draco Malfoy? Is “The Butterfly Collector” Professor Slughorn, surrounding himself with a coterie of bright young things? Or is it Dumbledore himself, drawing his intricate plans with little apparent regard for who gets hurt?

It could be any of them, or none of them, or all of them. In the end, it’s only about the atmosphere. That’s why I’m offering this one up with no notes. Give it a listen. Puzzle it out. Tell us what you think. That’s why we do these, you know.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (1:24:12)

PLAYLIST

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Brave Boys Keep Their Promises – The Teardrop Explodes

I Was Made To Love Magic – Nick Drake

It’s Grim Up North (part 1) (edit) – The JAMs

Book Of Brilliant Things – Simple Minds

Spellbound – Siouxsie and the Banshees

The Butterfly Collector – The Jam

In the Cauldron of Love – The Icicle Works

England Made Me – Black Box Recorder

The Dark Pages of September Lead to the New Leaves of Spring – Paul Weller

Men of Good Fortune – Lou Reed

Failure Before Luck – The Distance Formula

Seven Souls – Material with William S. Burroughs

Cavern – Liquid, Liquid

Island – The Edge with Michael Brook

Zombie Stomp – Ozzy Osbourne

Ring of Fire – Wall of Voodoo

Severance – Dead Can Dance

Disappear? – The Church

Funeral Chant – Not Drowning, Waving

Someone Great – LCD Soundsystem

coda: “Jerusalem” (It’s Grim Up North, reprise)

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Zack Dennis returns, two weeks from today, gettin’ all highbrow to treat us to an imaginary soundtrack for The Sun Also Rises. I’ll see you in May, when we’ll wrap up my first run in the Conceptual Theater with the final mix in this series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (unlike the movie, we’re not splitting it into two parts). Until then, keep your ears open, and don’t believe everything you see.