Monday, June 13, 2011

Forecast calls for Daft-y conditions

Woops, wrong Tron: Legacy again.
I've been frequently flipping to The Weather Channel lately, and I've noticed the channel's "Local on the 8s" forecast interstitials have ditched most of the smooth jazz instrumentals that would usually accompany the temperature graphics for slightly edgier music like the beat digger favorite "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" from Isaac Hayes' 1969 Hot Buttered Soul album.

When I first heard "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" during "Local on the 8s" a few months ago, I was like, "I have no idea which Weather Channel employee picked 'Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic,' but I'd like to buy that person a beer or--and this would be more fitting because of its presence in DJ Quik's 'Born and Raised in Compton'--a 40."

Then last month, I noticed Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy end title theme, the "End of Line" theme for the club of the same name in Legacy and John Williams' "Theme from Jurassic Park" were added to "Local on the 8s" rotation (those three tracks still turn up during the segment even though they're intended for May airplay and it's not May anymore). I thought I was imagining things. I wasn't:

If The Weather Channel starts adding 'Now You're a Man' from Orgazmo to 'Local on the 8s' rotation, I'll buy ANYONE from The Weather Channel a drink.
Jurassic Park's stately and warm-toned main theme isn't really surprising as a choice for "Local on the 8s," but the propulsive grooves from Tron: Legacy are a surprise (by the way, the Legacy end title theme, "End of Line" and "Solar Sailer" can also be heard during A Fistful of Soundtracks' "Assorted Fistful" block, along with other Legacy tracks like "C.L.U.," the ubiquitous but still-awesome "Derezzed," "Outlands," "Rinzler" and "The Game Has Changed"). Someone in Atlanta or wherever the "Local on the 8s" updates are produced has great taste in film and TV score albums.

Somewhere, Dark Helmet is looking at this photo and experiencing helmet envy even though his helmet is bigger than theirs. He's probably whining aloud to himself, 'They light up and they come with a vocoder! Why can't my helmet do those things?'
There's an explanation behind the channel's move towards less bland-sounding instrumentals during "Local on the 8s." In a 2009 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about the segment's switch from artists like Spyro Gyra to folks like The Stones, a Weather Channel exec said, "I think we've been doing an injustice to our viewers playing, for the lack of a better word, elevator music on the segments for all these years."

The calming shores of Spyro country were causing "Local on the 8s" viewers to doze off or lose interest.

"People would have it on but they wouldn't be watching and they wouldn't be listening," said the exec. "We wanted music that would get their attention--and this has."

An Idolator blogger who was impressed with the "Local on the 8s" playlist upgrades joked in 2009 that "I never thought, ever, that I would see former Yankees great Bernie Williams and the Smiths on the same playlist--but that's just an amuse for after 8 p.m., when things get really crazy and Phish gets added to the proceedings. Whoa Nelly!"

Hold up. Did he say Phish? Let's look at that May 8pm-1am playlist again:

The instrumental portion of 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone' has been getting tons of 'Local on the 8s' airplay. I don't know why. I assume it's because the tornadoes have been pulling dick moves on people in the Midwest much like Papa did to his family.
Things are way past crazy now.

It's a madhouse over in Hotlanta.
(Photo source: TWC Today)
Unlike that short-lived experiment where The Weather Channel added movies like The Perfect Storm and Misery to its programming last year, this is a change I can agree with.

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