Both of these works have been on my mind lately.  And not because I think they go together in any sort of planned way.  Sure we tried pairing a muted Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon a few times in university (press play after the third lion roar!!), but I know full well that they don’t actually go together.  The rumor that Pink Floyd planned them to match up is just a well publicized example of our ‘pattern seeing ape’ nature.  It is easy to find a pattern when you are looking for it - trust me on this, I have a psychology degree!

I recently borrowed the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire from the library.  It sat on my coffee table for a few weeks before I could get into it, so I decided to watch the Wizard of Oz movie to get myself in the mood.  I hadn’t seen that film (without the Dark Side audio anyway) since I was a kid.  I could hardly remember any of the dialogue, even though I am sure I have seen it at least fifty times.  I largely forgot it was a musical, and the song the Lion sings before they meet with the Wizard is a little over the top.  Overall, though, for being made in 1939, the movie is still pretty fun. It got me pumped to start reading Wicked.  I am only a third of the way into the book, but so far I am really enjoying the social themes and Maguire’s take on the origins of the main characters.  My brother-in-law says that it has a different impact if you read the original Oz books (which I didn’t) but even without the prior framework, I am really enjoying where Maguire is going with this untold story.

A few weeks ago someone posted this awesome re-make of Dark Side of the Moon, all done with sounds from 8-bit video games.  Growing up in the ’80’s, I definitely recognize many of the sounds used, and I couldn’t stop myself from watching the whole album done this way.  This tribute reminded me how fond I am of Dark Side of the Moon, an album that I have listened to countless times over the years.

Last night I was home alone and I just happened to watch the Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon documentary.  If you haven’t seen it and you like Pink Floyd/Dark Side, check it out.  There is footage from when they were recording the album, along with some interesting commentary from band members, reflecting on the album thirty years later.  Immediately after watching the documentary, I put on my copy of Dark Side of the Moon, and listened to it on repeat three times in a row.  It is just one of those albums that doesn’t lose anything with repetition.  I have even listened to it a few times while writing this post.  I have a bit of an obsessive nature when it comes to music, so having an album on continuous repeat isn’t new for me, but I definitely have an extended appreciation for Dark Side of the Moon now, having seen the documentary.  I especially love Rick Wright, whose piano melodies define the album for me, and I was sad to learn he died a few years ago. I didn’t know his name until I watched the documentary, but he was definitely an integral part of what makes Dark Side of the Moon so memorable.

I absolutely love the timelessness of art.  Once it is out there, there it remains.  Even obscure bands and forgotten movies eventually find themselves on YouTube.  It doesn’t matter if you bought Dark Side of the Moon in 1973, or if you are just hearing it for the first time in 2010; whenever you want to listen, it will be there waiting for you.  The same goes for the Wizard of Oz.  I didn’t watch it until forty-five years after it’s release, and I was still able to watch it dozens of times as a kid.  It is only going to get easier for future generations to find and experience them too.  I hope that twenty-five years from now my nephew has a day where he re-watches the Wizard of Oz or really listens to Dark Side of the Moon.  I have a feeling they will still be as timeless as they are now.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, May 03, 2010 4 comments

4 comments:

  1. What do you mean "for 1939"? Old movies are the most fun of all (especially the weird-ass musicals from the pre-Hayes Code early 30s).

    I'm glad you're enjoying Wicked - I couldn't make it through that book, I found it so dry. I think Maguire has great ideas, but it read like a history textbook. I enjoyed the musical far more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Old movies are pretty fun. I love the sets and paintings they used to use as scenery. It is amazing! I also like that there aren't 1000 cut shots in 3 minute scene like they do now. :)

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  3. I'm a pretty big fan of Wicked. I found the storyline fantastic, and I really like how he deals with characters who are on the fringes of society. If you still like it when you're done, check out 'Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister', by the same author. You can borrow it from me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks buddy! When I finish reading the book let's definitely discuss! I love the fringe of society aspects too - it is interesting to think about these characters in that context!

    ReplyDelete

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