Consumption Junction – Fantasia, Invisibilia, Uptown Special

First of all, no, Consumption Junction is not the name of a tiny town that built up around the grave of one of your kids in Oregon Trail.

You know, the one you always gave a stupid name to, aka “Poop has died of consumption.”

No, dear reader, that would be just silly. Instead, Consumption Junction is what I am calling little mini updates on the things I am consuming; games, books, movies, music, theater, whatever else strikes my fancy. So it’s similar to, but not quite a full review.

Shall we continue?

Hey, guys did you know that Fantasia is streaming on Netflix? Well, it is.

Fantasia is one of those movies that I’m not sure I have ever seen to completion, but it so thoroughly permeates our cultural memory that I feel like I have. That aside, it is easy to forget what a remarkable technical achievement that movie is, coming as it did the same year as Pinnochio, and featuring painstakingly and lovingly rendered art and animations. I love the music, particularly “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Dance of the Hours.” And when these guys showed up?

The look of pure joy on my daughter’s faces was priceless.

I started listening to gaming podcasts, like  GFW Radio and The Gamers With Jobs Podcast in 2006 to relieve the crushing monotony of my job as an accounting clerk. Little did I know that a whole new world would be opened up to me, as podcasts became my near constant companions throughout the eight years since. A little too constant, truth be told, as I have cut down over the past 3 years, mainly by not listening to them as I fall asleep.

But this has been a good year for new, and specifically NPR-affiliated, podcasts, first with the juggernaut that was Serial, and now with the introduction of Invisibilia.

Launching in January 2015, Invisibilia (Latin for “all the invisible things”) explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by NPR’s Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, who helped create Radiolab and This American Life, Invisibilia delves into a wide array of human behavior, interweaving narrative storytelling with fascinating new psychological and brain science. Listen and research will come to life in a way that will make you see your own life differently. Produced by NPR News, Invisibilia turns the dry and scholarly into utterly captivating storytelling.

It clearly has the same DNA as Radiolab and This American Life; musical interludes, narrative journalism, talking-head commentary. It remains to be seen if Invisibilia will carve out it’s own unique identity, but if the first episode, The Secret History of Thoughts is any indication, they are well on their way.

My first entry to the best music of 2015 has likely arrived. Mark Ronson’s new album, Uptown Special, has arrived. I absolutely LOVE the first single, “Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars”, and the rest of the album has the same effortlessly cool, funky vibe.


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