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Monday, November 24, 2008

War and Fruit...

... another in our ongoing efforts to come up with audience-attracting blog titles. No, no, actually War was last week's episode and Fruit is going to be the theme for the November 26th show according to several Dreamtime correspondents who took the time to write to us (and thank you).

If you were listening to the premiere airing of the War episode last Wednesday you found that the closing credits were missing. The stock Outro was added in later "encore" rebroadcasts, which is how we came to know that Fruit will be this week's show. At least one of our correspondents heard the title as "Fruit Bowl," but I suspect that it is simply Fruit, as that was the title of one of the "lost" episodes from Season 2, announced by XM Radio but never released.

And that leads to several interesting questions. Is Fruit an un-aired show from Season 2, or did the TTRH team never get around to recording it until this season? Will we eventually get to hear the other lost episodes - Streets; Something; and Nothing? I had always figured the last two a joke cooked up by Eddie Gorodetsky, pressed by XM Radio to give them something for their Season 2 press release, and a sideways nod to Seinfeld. But who knows, maybe there will be a TTRH show about nothing.

The fact that XM is airing Fruit and the missing - and then added - Outro, also leads to some speculation about TTRH production, although it's a very trivial thing of interest only to the completely demented like me.

Much of TTRH seems geared to specific times/dates - holidays and seasons and so on. But there are many shows that could be used at any time, and apparently which show that will be is sometimes a last-minute decision by XM. Go back and re-listen to various TTRH episodes, a pleasurable task in itself, and you'll hear several Outros where the name of the next show has obviously been edited in. The fact that the Theme Time home page has still not been fully updated - perhaps they laid off all the Web designers during the recent purge - and the reported turmoil in the XM Washington offices could lead you to believe that the task of adding the War outro fell through the cracks last week. I hope someone over over at XM is still keeping their eye on the ball with TTRH, but the evidence isn't pointing that way.

Outside of having one of the stronger TTRH playlists - although I could have lived without ever having to hear Buffy St. Marie's Melanie-like, wailing Universal Soldier again - the War episode was a unique TTRH in several respects...

* It was the first 90-minute show. There's been three 2-hour specials - 10 points to you if you can name them - and then there's the weird Time show, which ran into overtime, somewhere between 70-80 minutes as I remember, but never a full 90-minute show until War.

* It was the second show not to feature Ellen Barkin's voice (again, I'll leave finding the first as an exercise for the TTRH fan), and the first not to use the "Night in the Big City" intro.

As much as I love hearing Ellen Barkin, I think the intro could use a nice rest after almost 80 variations. Something like the audio collage used for War would be a welcome change - although obviously a lot more work. And what the hell would they do for a show like Fruit?

* Although it's now looking more like a glitch on XM's part, the missing Outro would have made War the second TTRH not to have closing credits (maybe I'll put together a quiz of TTRH production trivia), and I think the first to feature only Dylan's voice alone. There were no telephone calls or additional commentary from actors, comedians, or musicians. Again, kind of refreshing, although I was surprised that there wasn't a def poetry reading given the subject and Dylan's liking for poets such as Stephen Crane. And am I the only listener who misses regular def poetry? Bring it back, Bob! Not all of them have to be as long as The Raven.

* Regular Dreamtime correspondent Heddy points out another oddity that I missed: There was no "... sponsored by Cadillac" announcement before the show. Another XM glitch?

Enough rambling. The Dreamtime team is on holiday for the next couple of weeks, even the under-employed take the occasional vacation, so don't expect the next post or an update of the widget until early December. For those celebrating it, as does Jailbait, Curly, Bear, and Your Host, a very Happy Thanksgiving to our readers, and to all others, may you also have a very happy and productive next couple of weeks. Go hug your loved ones, if you haven't lately. They're the main thing to be thankful for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are right on as usual Fred! This show FRUIT seems to be from last year. During "e-mail" he mentions the recent Trains show.