athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
Because I will never find this in Tumblr again:

A list of links to long-playing Star Trek bridge ambiance.
athelind: (Eye - VK)
On my morning commutes, I shift between the local jazz station, two different classic rock stations, and the news-weather-and-traffic station on the radio. A classical station or two will sometimes make its way into the mix, depending on my mood and how recently my mechanic has unplugged my battery and wiped my presets.

(Hush, you whippersnappers; I'll stop listening to the radio when they figure out how to cram traffic updates into podcasts.)

This eclectic morning mix has revealed a deep and hitherto unsuspected facet of my personality:

I can hear the William Tell Overture without thinking, "Hi Ho, Silver!"

I can hear Also Sprach Zarathustra without picturing black monoliths.

For the life of me, though, I cannot hear Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" without thinking of Watchmen; I grew up on top 40 stations in the '70s rather than any decent rock venues, and thus my first real exposure to the song was Moore and Gibbon's invocation in the climax of the miniseries. Zack Snyder's cinematic adaptation may have been uneven in its execution, but its translation of that scene was perhaps the high point.

I must confess, however, that while nothing can equal the classic Jimi Hendrix rendition as a rock anthem, I still harbor an affection for Bear McCreary's haunting interpretation for the rebooted Battlestar Galactica:

I would be honestly pleased if that version got the occasional radio airplay. It needs more love.

athelind: (work)
Ah, the life of a grown-up.

Long commutes, manic-depressive coworkers, unexpected bills.

When this song cued up on my MP3 player, it exactly fit my current mood.

One more compromise I won't be making ... )

Too many windmills in my way ... /center>
athelind: (no help whatsoever)
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I can't answer that! There's so much time that hasn't happened yet, and hundreds of thousands of years of music that never got recorded!

And that's just limiting things to Earth!

athelind: (clobberin' time)
Okay, new rule:

If a song has the name of a day of the week in the title, you should only play it on that day. You should never play it on the day before or day after.

Don't play "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" on Saturday, especially not early Saturday morning when people maybe just not-awake enough to be unsure about which weekend day it is.

Exceptions are allowed, of course, if the song mentions more than one day by name, and "Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend" is appropriate any day of the week.

Oh, and every Monday should include the Boomtown Rats in the playlist, by law.

athelind: (RPG: Setting the Stage)
Another song popped into my head as I was perusing responses to the last post.

It's "defiant and heroic", but in a very different sense than the rest of my examples.

... and definitely not "Wrong Publisher".

Superman never made any money ... )

And sometimes I despair the world will never see
Another man like him

athelind: (grognard)
I'm kicking around a playlist for the DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds game I'm going to be running Real Soon Now, and I'm looking for for songs with heroic, defiant themes.

This is what I've got so far:
  • Pat Benatar - Invincible
  • Muse - Victorious
  • Bonnie Tyler - Holding Out for a Hero
  • Queen - We Are The Champions
  • Remy Zero - Save Me (Smallville Theme)
  • Five for Fighting - Superman
  • Rush - New World Man

  • Vertical Horizon - Everything You Want
  • Blue Oyster Cult - Veteran of the Psychic Wars

Rejected suggestions:
  • Ozzy Ozbourne - Iron Man (Sorry, wrong publisher!)
  • The Beatles - The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
  • They Might Be Giants - Particle Man
  • Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

This is just ONE playlist, mind. Another (which will get more use) will be purely instrumental, and there may be adventure-specific lists.

athelind: (Eye - VK)

... I so need an MP3 of this.

It needs to play under the opening credits of the Next Big Cyberpunk Movie.

I would make a reference to VR.5, but only two people ever cared about that show, and I'm one of them.
athelind: (Default)
You know, Simon & Garfunkle's "Hazy Shade of Winter" is a very good "I am so fucking drunk" song.

And I am most definitely exceptionally inebriated.

On the company dime.

And you know something?

I've earned this.

Time, time, time, see what's become of me ... )

Ahhh, seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me

athelind: (Default)
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Which song makes you happy every time you hear it, and why?

"(Don't Fear) the Reaper".

Buck Dharma insists that the song is about eternal love. You really have to listen to the lyrics hard to really hear what it's trying to say, though:

Love transcends physical death.
Don't let the fear of losing your lover destroy your love.
You'll see each other again.

"Forty thousand men and women every day ... Redefine Happiness."

I wish I'd listened harder.

What you don't have to filter is the amazing music. If you've got a good stereo copy of the song, you'll note that they make very good use of the left and right channels. That distinctive opening guitar riff just swirls around you, and whenever I hear it, I smile.

It's a Rock Anthem: when it plays, you have to pull your car over, place your hand over your heart, and listen.

Singing along is optional.

athelind: (Default)
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If you were a country, what would be your national anthem?

... amazing timing. I was going to post this today anyway.

The amusing revelation about my recent posts is that all of the things I'd been "doing wrong" with my life—bouncing from job to job, having a resume full of scattershot experiences, even letting myself get distracted by my leisure time pursuits—are the things that opened up this new opportunity.

Mr. Steinman, it seems, had a point: sometimes, a "wasted" youth may just be better than falling lockstep into the ill-fitting social role of "Grown-Up" (a concept distinct and entirely different from becoming an adult).

Here, then, is the National Anthem of the Sovereign Principality of Athelind:

A wasted youth is better by far / Than a wise and productive old age ... )

The runner-up, for the record, was Rush's "Freewill".

athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
And so, another year ends, and Your Obedient Serpent will be more than happy to be shed of this one. I bid 2010 adieu with two upraised middle fingers and a shout of defiance.

It's time to face forward.

I've mentioned that sometimes, the radio talks to me, that the station I most often tune to has a tendency to play certain songs over and over again, and sometimes, the songs that cycle into that repetitious rotation are ones that directly address my moods and circumstances.

Back in November, as I was preparing to move a lifetime of belongings out of [ profile] quelonzia's garage, this one played nearly every day.

I was going to post it tomorrow, but it played again, just minutes ago.

This, then, is my New Year: No Resolutions, Just Resolve.

I've got a world and a life and a future in front of me.

And it's mine.

I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams ... )

Happy New Year, one and all!

athelind: (Eye of Agammotto)
One of my co-workers brought in a CD of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's A Very Scary Solstice.

I found that it works best if you play it just low enough that listeners can identify the jolly holiday tunes, but can't quite hear the lyrics.

Of course, since I mentioned these songs, I have to link to the music videos for two of them:

athelind: (no help whatsoever)
For those who think you're sick of Christmas Carols:

I work in a mall.

And this time of year, on the nights that they don't have one badly out-of-tune local chorus or another, they feel the need to fire up their usually-dormant PA-Muzak system and pump the mall full of Holiday Cheer at volumes that, alas, drowns out our store's poor, feeble stereo.

I think they have, at most, three CDs of carols, each of which only has three songs, because any given night, it seems like I keep hearing a given song over and over and over and over. It's a different song every day, but ... yeah, "Little Drummer Boy" is the worst. It seems to play non-stop on the nights it plays at all.

There's also a cover of "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch", where the vocalist is a female tenor. That's just wrong. If you can't at least make a stab at imitating Thurl Ravenscroft, do not attempt this song.

To my own surprise, I do a pretty decent Thurl Ravenscroft. I only discovered this in the last week, as [ profile] the_gneech and some others started posting "additional verses" to "Mister Grinch".)

Please note that I don't hate Christmas music in general. I hate badly-performed music, and repetitive music, but by and large, I find Christmas music catchy enough that I'll often absent-mindedly sing along.

I have to watch myself, though, because the lyrics I learned in grade school aren't always ... standard.

Chipmunks roasting on an open fire ... )

I have no idea where I first heard this, but in junior high, everyone else heard it from me. One year, with a suitable edit to that last line, the school Madrigals actually performed these lyrics in the holiday pageant, and got a standing ovation.

athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
There are a few days in both Spring and Autumn, almost exactly at the midpoint between Equinox and Solstice, where the sun is at such an angle that, if the day is clear, there's a strange quality to the light that makes the world seem ... not so much unreal as hyper-real.

Today is one of those days, one of those high-definition days, and the oddness of the weather makes it moreso. Last night, around sunset, the winds came in off the desert, south-east of us, and brought a wave of warmth; it was actually warmer an hour or two after nightfall than it had been in the late afternoon. Since then, the wind has shifted again, coming from the Northwest, and, while it's still warm today (around 80), the forecast tells us that these winds will soon bring us a front from Alaska.

And you can tell. When you step outside, there's a strangeness in the air, more than just the light, more than just the wind.

Maybe it's just that there's so much change in my life right now, that these strange winds blew in at the end of a long and strange weekend.

I can feel it, though, like a tangible thing.

There's change in the air.

There's no shelter from the wind ... )

athelind: (Eye: RCA Magic Eye)
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Which songs have been covered better by artists who didn't originally sing them?

Joe Cocker's classic Woodstock rendition of "A Little Help from my Friends" accomplished the amazing feat of improving upon the Beatles, and did it at the height of their popularity.

Few artists have so completely made a song their own, with such a distinctly different take on the original arrangement.

I also confess a particular fondness for the Shiny Toy Guns cover of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)". Yes, the one from the car commercial. Shut up.

I've always liked Schilling's original, but I think this band has the surreal spaciness nailed. The male vocalist doesn't quite click for me, but those haunting, resonant, slightly-processed female vocals on the chorus ... ooh.

And, call me a heretic, but ... I've always preferred Bonnie Tyler's take on "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" over the Creedence Clearwater Revival original. It irks me that this version never gets any airtime on the radio. Yes, I still listen to the radio. Shut up.

Finally ... I have the deepest respect for Jim Steinman as a composer and a lyricist, but any song he's released by himself has always sounded better when Meat Loaf sings it. I'm not just counting the songs Mr. Steinman wrote for Mr. Aday personally; I'm talking about the albums full of songs that later showed up on Bat Out of Hell 2 & 3. The only person who can handle Steinman's operatic bombast nearly as well as Meat Loaf is, in fact, Ms. Bonnie Tyler, featured in the above video with a non-Steinman song.

I would dearly love to see Mr. Aday and Ms. Tyler perform Mr. Steinman's classic duet, "Total Eclipse of the Heart".

athelind: (Eye - VK)
[ profile] normanrafferty pointed out this amazing video from Broken Bells.

It hearkens back to the Golden Age of MTV, when music videos were miniature movies that told stories—often science fiction stories. I think the opportunities of YouTube might bring that back.

athelind: (Default)
I was reminded today of the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which finds beauty in transience and impermanence.

Some things are more precious for their impermanence; some things are more perfect for their imperfections.

There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in ... )

athelind: (Default)
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What was the last song you couldn't get out of your head no matter how hard you tried?

"The Green Hills of Earth". I keep singing it -- in the shower, on the drive home, when work is slow -- and, of course, I keep singing it to different tunes.

Wow, I've done a lot of these lately.
athelind: (AAAAAA)
Last night's poll about "The Green Hills of Earth" inspired a wave of "Other" responses, all listing a different song in the Common Meter.

Some of them work for me; some of them don't. (The Yellow Rose of Texas? Seriously??)

But one thing's for sure: after a while of trying to sing these lyrics to all these different tunes, the tunes all start to run together in your head ...

athelind: (green hills of earth)
It's late, and we're in the hotel bar. Maybe it's the starport hotel, or maybe it's just this year's convention. It doesn't matter. It's late, and maybe we've been drinking a bit too much, but someone starts singing, and, by the last three verses, we're all singing along.

All of us who know the lyrics, anyway, and what philistine doesn't know at least the chorus of "The Green Hills of Earth", by Rhysling, Blind Singer of the Spaceways?

The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
And the lights below us fade.

Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet ---

We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.

[Poll #1625842]

... can anyone think of something a little more hard rock that uses the Common Meter?

And here's the X Minus 1 radio adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's biography of Rhysling.
athelind: (green hills of earth)
I've mentioned before that my preferred radio station tends to play the same songs, over and over. I'd listen to another station, but ... most of what KFOX plays is music I like, even when I hear it all the time.

Sometimes, though, a song will reach out and grab me, above and beyond the background noise of all the other songs I've heard every other day for the last six months. Oh, a song like "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" will always catch my ear, because, well, Reaper.

Other songs, though ... sometimes they just walk up to me and say, "Listen to me. I have something to say to you, personally."

Right now, there are two of them demanding my attention in that way, and they're both from the same band.

I have climbed the highest mountains ... )

On a bed of nails she makes me wait ... )

I'm listening.

athelind: (hoard potato)
Arnold Schwarzenegger sings "Crom!", from Conan: the Musical.

Slight spoiler warning, for safety:

[ profile] athelind spit-takes when it gets to the line where the guy is stepping on Conan's hand: [SPOILER DELETED]
[ profile] gatewalker: yes
[ profile] gatewalker: I'm so glad I didn't have a drink in my mouth when that line came
[ profile] athelind: HOT COFFEE MAN
[ profile] gatewalker: hahahahahaha

athelind: (Eye: RCA Magic Eye)
There are Seven Words that everyone dreads when talking to a gamer. They're not Mr. Carlin's famous Seven Words, but in casual conversation, they can often prompt a response that's every bit as extreme. After a few years, those of us who are capable of acquiring at least rudimentary social skills learn to avoid these words, for the most part, but every so often, they just have to slip out.

The words in question: Let Me Tell You About My Character ... )

This brings us to the Songs of the Day: Medley for a Reluctant Android.

1-0-0-1-0-0-1 ... )

I am the modяen man ... )

No, the similarities between "Kilroy" and "Kildare" haven't escaped me.
YouTube has the original, official videos for both of these songs,
but they're both just ... so ... painfully ... Eighties.

November 2016

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