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…
Saddle up, sports fans! Get ready to send up an almighty cheer, because today we’re wrapping our ears around an imaginary soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
This is where it all began, for me; the first incarnation of this mix was my first attempt to come up with an accompaniment for a particular book in the Harry Potter series — which turned into an eight-month project of assembling, curation, and endless tinkering. I’m still fond of it, even though it stands out a bit from the others in the series.
For one thing, it’s the only mix in the series that incorporates effects or found sound in any meaningful way. Which makes sense, sort of. Goblet is where the world of J.K. Rowling’s creation starts to open up, the first of the books to really bring Harry and friends out of the cozy confines of Hogwarts and into the larger wizarding world — and the first to deal with the consequences of Harry’s enormous celebrity in that world. (Not coincidentally, Rowling was herself just beginning to deal with the vicissitudes of fame as she wrote the book. It’s instructive to watch how the portrayal of the press grows increasingly unflattering as the series unfolds.) So when the music of his story is punctuated by the scream of cheering crowds, it feels right, on an intuitive level.
This is also the last mix in the series to have anything approaching a one-to-one correspondence with the events of the novel. As the books themselves grow increasingly long and complicated, I had to pick and choose what incidents and characters to highlight. From here on in, the mixes will get less on-the-nose, more impressionistic, conveying the big themes rather than the specifics of the action. Still fun to make, and (I think) still fun to listen to; but it’s a slightly different kind of fun.
On to this mix! As always, those familiar with the story will recognize the correspondences, so I’ll try to keep the notes to a minimum. If you’ve got questions or comments of your own, of course, we’d love to hear them. We’re doing this all for you, so be sure to tell us what you liked, what you hated, what you’d like to see.
The referee is blowing her whistle — it’s time to drop this quaffle!
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (1:23:42)
Conceptual Theater intro bumper
Magic – The Cars
Good Morning (fade) – Eggstone[sports crowd montage with Bulgarian women’s choir]
Music for Found Harmonium – Patrick Street
Sort of an audio-play version of the Quidditch World Cup. Ireland vs. Bulgaria, the song of the Veelas, the dance of the leprechauns… a splendid time for all, before it all goes bad…
Run Like Hell – Pink Floyd
Somebody Might Wave Back – The Waterboys
One more journey on the Hogwarts Express.
Immigrant Song – Trent Reznor with Karen O
The Durmstrang ship.
Cup of Wonder – Faux Pas[“We Are the Champions” montage]
Reward – The Teardrop Explodes
Bless my cotton socks, I’m in the news!
La Fille Atomique – Nous Non Plus
Fleur Delacoeur, y’all.
Poison Pen – The Hoodoo Gurus
The press enters the story, in the person of Miss Rita Skeeter.
Aerial – Chris Whitley
The Egg and You – Yoko Kanno
Behind Blue Eyes – The Chieftains with Roger Daltrey
For Mad-Eye Moody, of course. And remember what I wrote about cover versions creating the sense of a parallel reality, running just alongside our own? This is precisely the kind of thing I mean.
I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor – Sugababes
The Yule Ball. Another cover, this one of the Arctic Monkeys.
Bathtub – The Million Dollar Hotel Band
1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) (edit) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
David Watts – The Kinks
For Cedric Diggory; so perfect, so doomed.
Ghosts In the Maze – Richard Thompson
Power in the Blood – Alabama 3
Dead Souls – Joy Division
False Face – Siouxsie and the Banshees
I See Dark Times Ahead – Voices
Conceptual Theater outro bumper
Two weeks from today — which is about when the last notes of that Voices song will finish reverberating — the lovely and talented Zack Dennis will be in this space with a longform mix evoking Dashiell Hammet’s hard-boiled classic The Maltese Falcon. (Pretty sure there’s a movie of that one, too.) I’ll be back on March 13, with the giddy teenage highs and bruising lows of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Until then, keep your ears open, and don’t believe everything you see.