atolnon: (Default)
( Mar. 5th, 2014 02:58 pm)
Doing any work besides what needs to be done around here is still difficult, but I was checking my notes against my reading of Pattern Recognition and started to compile some writing that demonstrated something I'd suspected but hadn't really gotten around to putting my finger on yet. I was reading an interview from the Paris Review, I think, and Gibson stated that he doesn't really plan his novels out in advance. He's also a guy who gets asked a lot of the same questions, over and over again, and has done a good number of interviews - especially in the last ten or fifteen years. He never really seems to get tired of answering the same questions, but over time, his answers change in subtle ways; I think that because he's asked the same questions so often, he's had a lot of time to think about them. So, when I see an interview with a similar question answered with a similar answer, it's easy to conflate it was a previous interview he's done. Specifically, he ends up talking a lot about the nature of the cyberpunk designation, marketing, the future, dystopian fiction and the nature of dystopia, and the nature of technology and its uses.

What I see in his writing - especially in the Blue Ant novels - is that the stuff he says in the interviews personally is often mirrored in what his characters say. He'll quote characters and characters will occasionally come dangerously close to simply quoting him. While I'm a firm believer in the concept of death of the author, in terms of overt themes, I think the stuff that Gibson says specifically are good indicators of themes in his books, and that those themes are intentional. I mean, intentional in that Gibson is often writing a book about dealing with certain themes where the plot is just an overt mechanism to display those themes at its most realized and almost something of an afterthought in others. 
The title is a little hyperbolic, but the subject's pretty silly.

Basically, I like to put together playlists that are CD-sized for characters I've played in past gaming scenarios. It's really just a thing I do when I get tipsy and bored, because it's pretty much just me actively listening to music - often music I haven't listened to in a while, because I got into a rut. It kind of adds one more reason for me to search out new music - just in case a song happens to match a character perfectly. None of it is a primary concern - just something fun to do when I'm bored and too tired to really make myself do something productive.

It's a weakness.

Anyhow, weird stuff like this from other people occasionally makes me search out new music to listen to. I've talked a lot about Panahon in the past (though not lately, because why would I?) and I've got her rough track list, so here it is.

01. Venus Hum - I Feel Love
02. Metric - The Police and the Private
03. The Smashing Pumpkins - By Starlight
04. Interpol - Always Malaise
05. Blood Red Shoes - It's Getting Boring by the Sea
06. Metric - Stadium Love
07. Broken Social Scene - World Sick
08. Interpol - Pace is the Trick
09. Venus Hum - Surgery in the Sky
10. Metric - Combat Baby
11. VAST - I Know How To Love
12. Thievery Corp. - Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes
13. Smashing Pumpkins - Age of Innocence
14. Frank Sinatra - The Girl From Ipanema

14's an in-joke. Panahon, because of three dots in Savant and two dots in Sail I purchased as an explanation behind her becoming a fisherman in her youth (gendered pronouns are all correct, here) was the second-best pilot in the group, but not the leader. So, when we left the airship, she was left behind to make sure the craft wasn't bogarted by GM-fiat. (Because Pana would easily murder almost any would-be thief in Creation.) This happened so often, we started humming elevator music as half-hearted protest, since we joked that the craft had exactly one musical selection - a copy of the Girl From Ipanema stuck on repeat for eternity.

After that, who wouldn't want the Neverborn to succeed?

There's an awful lot of Metric and Venus Hum on this playlist. I think I have [ profile] baronsamedi to thank for introducing me to them via this very website.
Many of these songs have a reference either oblique or obvious to themes of fate, fleeting love, stars, fighting, or the color blue. It's a little too much for me to make an explicit list, but many of them have references to several of these. Those that don't tend to have an appropriate tone or fit Panah's history or themes in other ways. (Trouble youth, living in Yu Shan's decadent splendor, ect, et al.)

Age of Innocence is Panah's namesake. Panahon ng Kamumusan is a reference to the song title in Tagalog, albeit probably mangled.

This is incredibly lame, but it'll probably happen again.
atolnon: (Default)
( Mar. 5th, 2011 04:31 pm)
I've been putting together a concept CD for my Sidereal character I expect to play in the upcoming Exalted game, both to get me in the right frame of mind before a game, and because it's been kind of a while since I've taken the time to really put together a mix CD that I really enjoy. Most of them had been real quick and dirty affairs - a rough collection of songs I wanted to listed to right at the moment without any real regard for flow. As I write this, I feel my eyes drawn to a pair of really old mix CDs that I occasionally still pull out. I'd compiled the songs in high school, more or less based on if I felt good or bad that day.

One was orange and the other purple - orange was ostensibly the feel-good CD, but most of the songs are pretty wistful - Incubus' Steller, Wish You Were Here, some tunes from BoA, Counting Crows Long December, Smashing Pumpkins' Here's to the Atom Bomb and 1979. The purple CD is mostly Deftones, Garbage, NIN, and Stabbing Westward. My chief feelings, looking back, were anger and a sense of wistful placidity. That's pretty clearly depression, there. But they hold up well, even if it reminds me of how young I was at the time.

It's an interesting exercise, so I might actually write more on it later.
I got beat up by Persona 4 today. I keep backup saves for these types of games that I really only end up using one or maybe twice, where the game's time sensitive and I make a decision to spend my time in a certain way, and I feel like that's a virtue that comes in handy. It is totally possible to come to a situation where you can't proceed and, without the backup, sometimes you find yourself watching the tutorial again at minute 1 of gameplay.

The D&D game wrapped up. Our DM was working hard on some mass warfare rules, which played smoothly. I actually do want to comment on it somewhat, because the rules seemed kind of rudimentary, but they were easy to understand, played with the rules of the game, and didn't take very long to execute. I talked to Matt at his wedding reception right before I left due to intense exhaustion (I'd been sick all week), and got a chance to discuss it briefly. There's not terribly much to get too far into since it worked for our needs but obviously every permutation of what could happen wasn't worked out. I brought it up to Frank, who just told me that I had made up the conversation though, which really befuddled me. I said,
"He asked me what I thought of the rules, and I said _____, which he brought up to me primarily because I pay more attention to the way the rules work then you do."
"Yeah. The rules don't matter. You're always talking about rules, and... you say something like 'Mage: the Awakening' isn't better or worse then Mage: the Ascension, because the ruleset is better*, but it's all about the setting."
"The rules matter."
"Rules are stupid. They don't matter. It's all the Storyteller."
Every now and then we have a conversation where the depth of our differences in opinion on gaming are made almost violently manifest. I say violently, because I kind of want to throw something at him when we have them.**

I know that some people are fans or are apt to be fans, so here's something that I heard on NPR on the way down to Columbia, IL the other day. Amanda Palmer released an album on her website called "Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele", which doesn't, as far as I'm aware, exist on a CD that's released commercially. Also, all the vinyl was surprisingly all sold out. What would nerdy, audiophile, retro-mad nerds want with one of a thousand collectible, cherry-red, numbered limited edition vinyl records? Yeah, I don't get it either. Good news for the perpetually broke, or just the miserly in spirit, though; you can just set your price in good, old, American dollars.

It's painless. You numbers get marginally smaller, and you get several songs where a punk cabaret nerd plays Radiohead songs on a ukulele. It's everything you always thought it could be. 

Ok, I'm going to bed now.

*Which isn't really my position. The games don't aim to do the same thing, so I don't feel it's appropriate to say one's better or worse without qualifying the claim so much as to be useless. Frank is of the opinion that they're fundamentally the same game, with some difference, and one's better.
**When I say this, I am mostly kidding. Mostly.
Apropos of nothing.

I found my CD case for Radiohead's Amnesiac in my stack of CDs the other day. The case was empty and the hinge was shattered, but the front and back still meshed together and held. I believe that I lent the CD to Brandon ages ago, and it's no surprise that I'll never, ever see it again. Even though I adored the art on the CD itself, music is music, and I spent the time last night to burn a disk with the songs in the correct order, and restored it to my collection.

Amnesiac was the second album I'd ever bought. Before that, it was listening to my dad's stuff, but really, I hadn't paid much attention to music at all. He was, and is, a bass player in a rock and roll band, and he really loves music. If a CD wasn't playing, he was asleep or practicing. Fundamentally, you could say that I took music for granted. I was 16 when that changed; driving home from a closing shift at a sandwich shop, and The Smashing Pumpkin's 1979 came on the radio. 1979 wasn't a new tune, it had been surfing the airwaves for years at that point, but that was the first time I heard a song and it was mine, not my dads. Sure, I'd heard stuff on the radio for years, and in cassettes, and on CDs, but this was the first time that the whole tenor of the world gradually shifted. It was like switching the tint on the TV, and suddenly the world was vivid and personal.

It was summer. The window was rolled down on my used, brick red Olds, and my world literally changed over night.

The Smashing Pumpkin's Machina and the Machines of God was my first CD. I bought it at Best Buy, and I didn't know how you could tell a CD you'd want from one you didn't. I only had the money I scraped up from working part time as that sandwich guy, and honestly, that's not a whole lot. I played Magic: the Gathering a lot at the time, trying to make it pro (so poorly), so buying a CD was kind of a big investment for me. I didn't know that the music world mostly considered Machina an overwrought, self-indulgent dud of an album; it wasn't what they wanted from the Pumpkins. But for me, that was my first in-depth exposure. Compared to the classic rock of my dad and what I heard on the radio, it was full of sandpaper and fishhooks, but it was also, to my teenage ears, full of musical truth. Every teenager in the world is going through a hard time, and that was the beginning of my music. I was house sitting at the time for my grandparents, so I'd go back and put my first CD in and turn the music way up. The Sacred and the Profane, Age of Innocence, and The Everlasting Gaze made the whole house vibrate.  

It took a long time for me to buy another CD. I had been getting songs off of Napster, but if you don't have a hint of what to look for, it's still easy to get trapped in a rut even if you have thousands of songs to choose from. I took a hint and listened to some Radiohead, but I wasn't sure. I'd heard of the band before, so I screwed up my courage and my wallet and took a guess. I came home on a cold, rainy autumn night having almost been hit by a car with Amnesiac. I didn't really know that Radiohead were supposed to be the saviors of modern rock. All I knew was that when I put the CD in, it didn't sound like music was supposed to. It was pandemonic; metal banging on metal, wailing voices with barely recognizable lyrics, and a beat that came and went. I couldn't say if I liked it or not. It challenged me, but I listened closely to it. Music, like literature, can be difficult. I hear music snobs, and I use that term affectionately, try to explain it, but they rarely have the language for it. Music takes work. Film takes work. Literature takes work, and all of art takes work to love.

My first music tag. I really have been derelict.


atolnon: (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags