I’m going to break one of my chief rules for One for Friday today, so let’s start with a modified version of the regular disclaimer. The track I post today seems to be available for purchase as a physical item, although its unlikely to be stocked as a matter of course in your favorite local, independently-owned record store. Instead, I humbly suggest that you consider contacting the proprietor of said store and asking if Home by Hothouse Flowers can be ordered. Perhaps you’ll be able to pick it up two weeks from tomorrow when there will be a lot of other stuff worthy of your attention freshly added to the racks.
This song may not be out of print, but there was little doubt in my mind that it was what I needed to post today, as an extension of yesterday’s remembrance. “Movies” by Hothouse Flowers served as the theme song for the first two years of The Reel Thing, the weekly movie news, reviews and interviews program I co-hosted at 90FM. As I recall, it wasn’t a choice we arrived at after a lot of arduous consideration of other options. The album Home came out the same year that we started the show, and “Movies” was already a minor hit at our college radio station. Besides, it had a nice long intro, always a highly coveted quality for those of us who spent ample time in the production studio. Exactly 30 seconds elapse before any singing starts, the perfect length for a promo. I don’t actually remember if we used it from the very beginning, but we adopted it quickly if it wasn’t there for episode one.
It was our song for a long time, week in and week out, playing as we got settled into our seats and prepared to turn on the microphones. It accompanied us trying our best to do what we’d seen Roger and Gene do so well. My recollections of our own time on air are all mixed up with memories of watching various iterations of Siskel and Ebert programs. When we were short of films for a week and needed a theme show to fill the airtime, we often started by brainstorming similar theme episodes done by our far more famous and successful colleagues in criticism down the interstate. We weren’t ashamed of the pilfering. Why would we be? We knew and readily acknowledged that we were walking in giant footsteps, and we were proud of our emulation. Hell, we may have even done a little bit better Oscars show than the other guys. Still, everything about our old show belongs in part–in large part even–to both of them. Including this song.
Listen or download –> Hothouse Flowers, “Movies”
(Disclaimer: I’ve basically covered this above. I will add this: as an attempt, however feeble, to make amends for posting a song that can be purchased through means I fully support philosophically–as opposed to online digital purchase, which is often set up to fleece the artist–I’ve gone back and removed a previous Hothouse Flowers song that went up in this space, which I’ve similarly discovered is in print as a physical item. Okay? Is that an okay compromise, record magnates? If not, and I’m contacted by a due authority insisting that it is not, I will gladly and promptly remove it from the interweb.)