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…
Good morning, students. It’s time to put your boggarts back in their boxes and join us for an imaginary soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
After the Chamber of Secrets mix, wherein the connections were pretty self-explanatory, we get into something a little thornier, perhaps a little less obvious — so I’m adding a few notations this time. Let us know if you dig it, and we’ll keep doing it; or, if you prefer we let the mixes speak for themselves, let us know that, too. We do it all for you, y’know, and your comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome.
Some stray introductory observations:
- With this mix, we start to see some repeat artists. As you’d expect, that’s partly a reflection of my personal listening habits — but not entirely. The two Saga tracks in these mixes, for instance, are the only two Saga tracks I have in my library; it just so happened that they both fit the mood I was looking for at the time. And I’m delighted that they did, since the give the mixes an element of internal consistency.
- You may also notice that there are lot of cover songs in these mixes. Again, partly intentional and partly not. I like the covers in this context, because they help reinforce the feeling of the books — which is of a parallel world running just alongside our own.
- Tracks that appeared in earlier iterations of this mix, before it was finalized: “Not Even Jail,” by Interpol; “Wolf Like Me,” by TV On the Radio; “This Property Is Condemned,” by Maria McKee; and David Bowie’s “African Night Flight.”
Now. Put your wands away, have some cocoa, and make yourselves comfortable — but not too comfortable! Word is there’s a dangerous madman about…
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1:25:07)
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Thirteen – Elliot Smith
For Harry’s birthday. This is a cover of a song by Big Star.
Third Uncle – Bauhaus
Vernon Dursley — because it’s the third book, and the unfocused aggression of this track reminds me of his ever-simmering rage. Another cover; the original is from Brian Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).
The Magic Bus – The Who
I know I’m not the only listener to associate this with the Knight Bus…
Abracadabra – Judee Sill
The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy
A belated hello to Fred and George, them wild-eyed boys who had been away.
Sunday Papers – Joe Jackson
Prison Shoe Romp – Sixteen Horsepower
On the Loose – Saga
Sirius Black, dangerous fugitive. This was one of the first songs I knew I wanted for this mix.
The Bold Marauder – Kendra Smith
The word “marauder” always makes me think of this song, written and originally recorded by Richard and Mimi Fariña — though neither Sirius’ posse nor the Weasley boys were ever quite so malevolent as the narrator here.
Maps – The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
How To Disappear Completely – Radiohead
…with an Invisibility Cloak, naturally.
The Signifying Wolf – Bonnie “Prince” Billy
The unfortunate Professor Remus Lupin.
Predictions – Suzanne Vega
Divination, as taught by that appalling old fraud (or is she?) Professor Sybil Trelawney.
Black Eyed Dog (edit) – Nick Drake
Beware the Grim!
No Time To Lose – The Tarney Spencer Band
Specifically for the Time-Turner, but also for the overall sense of urgency in the climactic chapters.
Tear This Building Down (fade) – T Bone Burnett
The Shrieking Shack, allegedly the most-haunted building in all of Britain.
Even Rats – The Slip
Peter Pettigrew, a.k.a. Scabbers, a.k.a. Wormtail, former Secret-Keeper for the Order of the Phoenix.
Demons – Sleigh Bells
The Light Pours Out of Me – Magazine
Expecto Patronum! This was another early gotta-have.
Nite Flights – The Walker Brothers
coda: Hocus Pocus (radio edit) – Focus
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That’s about it for this time. Zack Dennis will be back in this space two weeks hence, with an aural extravaganza based around Matt Ruff’s cult classic Fool on the Hill. This is a book that holds a special place in my heart — it is set in a magical version of Ithaca, NY, where I used to live for a while — and I’m looking forward to hearing what Zack makes of it. As for me: I’ll see you in a month, when we’ll make our way through the trials of the Tri-Wizard Tournament with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Until then, keep your ears open, and don’t believe everything you see.