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Subject:And A Maiden All the While
Time:12:09 am
Current Mood:productiveproductive
Those who know me are probably familiar with my love for cross-dressing ballads, and those who don't know me could probably guess. This is a mix I made back a long time ago, and I've been adding to it sporadically as I find more cross-dressing ballads to love.  Download here: And A Maiden All the While. Tracklist under the cut...Tracklist under the cut...Collapse )
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Subject:An unfinished song
Time:11:10 pm
I met the end before the end:
When I had fled both foe and friend
I laughed and laughed until I wept;
And when I stopped, I may have slept
And if I slept I may have dreamed
I stood within a space which seemed
Fortress or temple, dark and vast
The wind was chill as wintry blast
And yet dull warmth pulsed through each limb
Like aging fire, banked and dim.
My heart leaped up. "Can gods forgive?
If I can burn, then I will live!"
A darker thought then spoke in turn
"If I would live, then I must burn."
Above me in the storm-lit air,
The stone-winged seraphs, pair on pair,
Wheeled with a noise of drums and gongs,
One dropped toward me with iron tongs,
Touched to my lips a coal unlit
I felt my fire go into it.
The chill spread out from lips to heart
I have not learned the bush's art
Of burning while remaining whole
Embers my body, ash my soul.
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Subject:Beltenebra's Fallen London Mix
Time:12:43 am
At last it is here. You seize the shimmering disk, your fingers trembling. What secrets lie within?
Well, this mix, for one. Fallen London is the world of Echo Bazaar, a browser-based game of extraordinary atmosphere. By turns whimsical and horrifying, it's a game where you might find yourself leading an archaeological expedition, being introduced to the Traitor Empress, or gambling your soul for your heart's desire. Consider this mix an audio tour of this stolen city. It can be downloaded here


The Price of Shadows: A Fallen London Mix
All liner notes taken from the sidebar text of the Echo Bazaar game.
 
He Moved Through The Fair - The Chieftains
The Bazaar is located at the heart of Fallen London, in the Neath, a cavern of impossible size, by the Unterzee, a tremendous saltwater lake. They say it's the skull of some defunct pagan god. That doesn't sound very likely. Although it would explain the dreams.
London Calling - The Clash
Welcome to Fallen London, delicious friend.
Modern Mystic - Seanan McGuire
Veilgarden: A haunt of poets, prostitutes and other low types, and location of the notorious Singing Mandrake. Elderwick is famous for its booksellers. Hollow Street offers the best honey-dens in the city.
Let Go - Frou Frou
What is prisoner's honey? The most delightful secret of Fallen London: a substance which physically transports you to a dream. It is gathered by bees from the black roses which grow here. There is another kind of underground rose from which honey may be made, but that's rather less safe
Eli the Barrow Boy - The Decemberists
The ragged old market of Spite is known for its silk-weavers and its pickpockets. Blythenhale is notorious for its feral cats. Flowerdene Street is the heart of the worst rookery in Fallen London.
Deep as You Go - October Project
Where does the river go? The Stolen River that flows into the Unterzee - the one they used to call the Thames - passes through Hell. That's one reason why you see so many of the dead at the Bazaar. Which in turn is one reason why being dead round here is an inconvenience, not a disaster.
Song of the Ripper - Kathy Mar
The lunatic murderer Jack-of-Smiles earnt his name by his fondness for cutting throats, but also for his humourless demeanour. He takes himself very seriously. Not everyone else does, although a certain class of newspaper reports his exploits with some enthusiasm. Don't call him 'Smiles', they say. He hates that.
The Scorpion Departs, But Never Returns - Phil Ochs
The broad Unterzee: far calmer than any surface sea: black glass stretching to the fathomless depths of the Neath, glimmering with the light of false-stars. Beautiful in the way that only mirrors are, and deserts. Also positively stuffed with monsters and nine kinds of pirate.
Sit Down By the Fire - The Pogues
Before the Fall, gentlemen did not usually say 'damned'. The word is in more common use now. Given the proximity of Hell, it seems coy to treat the word with such caution.
Too Much to Dream - Electric Prune
You dream that you're sitting on a flat piece of ship's deck, on a calm sea, under a sky of brilliant stars. Heaped on the deck are piles of sand. You reach down to pick up a handful of the stuff, and find your fingers wound in your bed-sheets instead. You open your eyes. Someone has scratched on the headboard of your bed the single word: NORTH.
You can't be sure whether it's your writing. You don't often write on beds.

Bedlam Boys - Diane Linn
The Royal Bethlehem Hotel - where one goes when the nightmares become too much. The manager of the Hotel offers free rooms to guests of particular note or interest. He irritably denies the suggestion that he might be 'collecting' them.
Shaking of the Sheets - Steeleye Span
Your wounds have proven too much for you! You collapse. It's like going to sleep. If going to sleep really hurt.  You find yourself on a slow boat passing a dark beach on a silent river.
If You Want Me - The Swell Season
You dream that you're standing in front of a polished brass mirror. Your reflection is watching you. You dare not move: if it sees you move, it might lose patience and leave the mirror.
See Who I Am - Within Temptation
There are some things we were not meant to know, they say. But you wouldn't be down here if you took that seriously.
Avalanche - Thea Gilmore
What is the Correspondence? They say it's the map that connects every glimmer of moonish light to a star. They say it's the key that unlocks the secrets of bat-flights. They say it's a trap that someone found inscribed on a wall in the First City, and if you decode its complicated patterns you inevitably decide you're God, to the considerable detriment of your social life.
Whisper - Evanescence
The Forgotten Quarter is the last remnant of the Fourth City, which the Bazaar acquired five hundred years ago. Statues of warrior-kings line silent avenues. A fountain shaped like a silver tree stands before a ruined palace at its heart.
Take This Waltz-  Gabrielle Louise
With so much business in Fallen London, you can't expect the inhabitants of Hell to go home at the end of every day, can you? The Brass Embassy is a cosy hell away from hell which, they say, holds the best masked balls in the city.
Lullaby of London - June Tabor and the Oyster Band
Fallen London: once capital of the British Empire, now home of the Bazaar. Deep. Dark. Expensive. Marvellous. Here you can find everything from immortality, to unnervingly good mushroom wine.
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Subject:Apopcalypse!
Time:06:43 pm
Current Mood:visionary
You remember that I promised everyone an additional mix to make up for the fact that I totally re-used an earlier mix to illustrate to the color grey? Well, here it is...

It's the end of the world as we know it!Collapse )
 
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Subject:Thick Dark and the Sudden Dawn
Time:11:12 pm
Current Mood:bitter as chard
I loved the theme for last mix exchange: colors. Being a synaesthetic type myself, I've never had trouble associated colors with sounds (or concepts, textures, or numbers....) I had Grey, for @[info]putsoneinmind. But there was a problem. . .

Oh no! What was it?Collapse )
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Subject:Mix Review: Impatience of Dishonor
Time:12:33 am
Current Mood:none, or other
I loved all of the historical figure mixes, but this one, for its combination of a strong narrative thread and a really spot-on song selection, is maybe my favorite.

"No One Mourns the Wicked" - Wicked

As in the original musical, I see this as introducing a flashback. Whether it's being sung after Alcibiades' exile, or after his actual death, we see a terrible breach between a man and his people, and know there must be more to the story...
"Cum On Feel the Noize" - Quiet Riot
Handsome, arrogant, ambitious and slightly debauched - this is the Alcibiades who would go about smashing herms.
"It's All Been Done" - Barenaked Ladies
The "before the fall of Rome" line is kind of genius.
"Whipping Post" - The Allman Brothers
Is Alcibiades being overdramatic about all that his city puts him through? Not exactly - it does put him through a lot. But he is also asking for it. And as the sensuality of this song makes clear, he enjoys it. Who knew that the Sicilian Expedition could be so kinky? Though, come to think of it, "The Sicilian Expedition" sounds like the title of a romance novel.
"Love is a Battlefield" - Pat Benatar
I see this song as something of the keynote for the first half of the mix.
"Crazy Ground no Ousama" - Arashi
[A King on Crazy Ground]
"Wild World" - Cat Stevens
And now we hear the voice of Athens.
"Stars" - Les Miserables (Javert)
I really enjoyed the contrast between this song and the previous. Both, I think, are from the city's perspective. On the one hand, Alcibiades is cherished son and lover, launched into the world with wistful regret. On the other hand, he's an outlaw, traitor, and fugitive, and he's going to get what's coming to him.
"For No One" - The Beatles
This song works both ways, I think. I first heard it as Alcibiades heartbroken that his city can get on without him, but I think Athens is also none too pleased at how well its defected hero seems to be getting on in Sparta.
"Objection (Tango)" - Shakira
The introduction of Sparta as the third party here is high-grade mix plotting - and the great thing is how well it works musically as well as thematically. The urgency (of war/love) is back, without the arrogant certainty of the first part of the mix.
"You Won't See Me Coming" - Gankutsuou Ending Theme (Jean-Jacques Burnel)
Now Alcibiades doesn't just want attention - he wants revenge.
"Kokou no Tsubasa" - Atobe Keigo/Prince of Tennis
[Wings Aloof]

"Baby One More Time" - Roots of Nature
Hit me (with a phalanx of hoplites?) one more time.
"Within You Without You" - The Beatles
The mix takes an introspective turn with this song and the next.
"What You Are" - Dave Matthews Band
Definitely feels like Alcibiades thinking about himself. If nothing else, his sojourn abroad has given him that.
"Back in Black" - AC/DC
The mi x powers back up - I guess Alcibiades must be back in Athens?
"Be My Wife" - David Bowie
Can they make it work?
"I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" - Hercules
OK, this one just made me grin like a gibbon.
"Call and Answer" - Barenaked Ladies
This is such a perfect description of their relationship - a blend of tenderness and support with a willingness to turn against each other at the slightest offense, real or imagined.
"Duck and Run" - 3 Doors Down
Optimistic ("the world can't bring me down") with an edge ("because I'm already there"). A good coda to a dysfunctional romance between a man and a city.

I'd describe the person this mix is about as: fair in love and/or war
I'll listen to this mix when I: want to read a good story.
If I could add one song it would be: Jordin Sparks - Battlefield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suPlYwJ3YvM
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Subject:Thunder and Lightning Mix Review
Time:12:18 am
 
Science Fiction Double Feature, by Clam Chowder
The folky rendition makes this oddly authentic.
 
Science, by (I think this is Julia's original actually!)
A great 'title page' piece, setting the mood for the cheerful but dark-edged music coming up.
 
Trans-Polly U Fight Song, by Tom Smith
Setting up the blithely askew world of mad science and the inventor vs. inventor theme that will haunt Tesla'a life.
 
Part of Your World, from the Little Mermaid
The first lines of this song are just genius in this context. Poor misunderstood mad scientist! Who will love the Neat Stuff if he doesn't? 
 
Another Mad Science Love Song, by Seanan McGuire
Is this going to be an Edison/Tesla slash mix?!
I can't.... say I object.
 
Information High, by Yoko Kanno
A miniature epic in itself. The only true love is between Tesla and SCIENCE! To me, it also seems oddly innocent, as if our hero is so firmly persuaded of the rightness of his quest (for SCIENCE!) that he can't conceive of any problems other than technical difficulties on his path.
 
The Mechanicsburg Tourism Song, by Tom Smith
And he's right where he should be: a world shaped by his own creation.
 
What a Woman's For, by Seanan McGuire
And sometimes that world aids and abets. Our hero has a charming and slightly disturbing innocence about worldly morality as well.
 
Skullcrusher Mountain, by Jonathan Coulton
And can't understand why not everyone would see things the way he does! And yet, clearly they don't...
 
Maybe it's Crazy, by Seanan McGuire
Oh dear. Is Tesla quite all right? (answer: of COURSE not!) But science loves him right back.
 
Are You Out There, by Dar Williams
I have never heard this song this way before - a great way to use a familiar song in a context that quite transforms it. "You always play the madman..."
 
Bohemian Rhapsody, by Queen
Did something bad happen to him? This clearly represents some kind of climax and possibly turn in the mix. Loss of love? A critical failure? A mental breakdown?
 
Gonna Get Through this World, by the Klezmatics
Oh Tesla! Are you OK? The simplicity and humility of this song, with the radically reduced ambition (from ruling the world to getting through the world) is a startling contrast to the earlier attitude.

Age of False Innocence, by Blind Guardian
An introspective song - the first on the mix. Whatever has happened to him has caused him to turn his gaze inward for the first time, and despite the pain of what he discovers, he's not broken by it.

Catch the Tail by the Tiger, from Fraggle Rock
And the old optimism begins to reassert itself - not with the arrogance of innocence but with a rueful determination to do things the hard way. "Sometimes lonely, but living only for truth when truth may be gone."

Hope Eyrie, by Leslie Fish
And that hope is rewarded, though it remains tempered by a hard-won sense of perspective.

Mandelbrot Set, by Jonathan Coulton
And we return to what had been the whole substance: SCIENCE! But now we see it not as an instrument of power and delight but as one of beauty and insight - something that draws meaning out of a distressingly random world.

The Phoenix, by Julia Ecklar
And Tesla can find salvation through becoming one with his machines. No! Really! It makes sense!

What is Eternal, by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
I think it was a mental breakdown - the thing that's happened to him. He's plummetted to a kind of moral awareness, and an awareness of the gulf between him and the world. The question remains: is his madness complete? Is he locked away entirely within himself, even his inventions doomed to be forgotten by a world that can neither understand nor profit from them?

Rocket Ride, by Tom Smith
In the final analysis, no. Terminally out of sync with the world, sure, but it's a productive distance. One that will be forever drawing other dreamers after him, and transforming mundanity into something remarkable. 
 
 
I'd describe the person this mix is about as: trying as hard as possible to be more machine than man.

I'll listen to this mix when I: work with my hands 

If I could add one song it would be: Well it would really kind of have to be Neil Gaiman's song about the man himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvc6zsUbNvI
 
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Subject:Enchantress of Numbers
Time:10:57 pm
Part of the reason it took me such a long time to get the other mix reviews posted (which I'm going to do before posting my new color one, sorry faithful mixers!) is that my little mp3 player for reasons best known to itself mixed up these songs in such a way that it produced quite a different impression that the mix in its correct order. The main difference had to do with who was the mix's protagonist, and whether Ada appeared as a young girl or as an older woman. It worked both ways, but here's the review for the right one....

Track 1. Pi 
Well, you can't do better when trying to suggest simultaneous cyberpunkiness and a distinctly archaic sensibility - a recitation of Pi in Japanese layered over a calm electronica track. The voice might be that of a teacher or a student - impassive, but not inhuman. 
        
Track 2. Conceiving Ada Title Theme 
 Intricate and optimistic.
         
Track 3. Causes and Effects 
Our heroine is introduced, with the innocence, prickliness, and genius of youth quickly sketched in a compassionate perspective.
 
Track 4. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) 
I see this song as Ada speaking for herself: cool, ladylike, and young, facing a world she's going to change simply by being herself.
 
Track 5. Wicked Girls
An expansion of the world-survey in the previous song, now applied more directly to the situation of a young woman.

Track 6. Apprentice
Now we see Ada as having established her place in society, finding a graceful integration of refinement and intellectual ambition. What? Then that can't be the central conflict of this mix! What is?

Track 7. 1864
A ha, here comes a mood-shifting piece. Focus moves from inward to outward. Technology?

Track 8 . Code Monkey
Aw yeah. Is this Babbage?

Track 9. Steam Brain
And the figure of the Prolific Inventor (yeah, I'm pretty sure it's Babbage) describes exactly what he is up to.

Track 10. Imaginations From the Other Side
But ah, what does this invention imply? From musical-theater exuberance to a cloudy, cluttered metal like visions of a future beyond imagination.

Track 11. E=mc 2
The cloudiness of the previous sound resolves into the hard-edged synthetic cadences of this song, expanding on the reality-bending power that Our Heroine is touching upon. The masculine and feminine voices fit with the two characters established.

Track 12. The Collars
I like how there are still a male and female character appearing to frame the narrative of the birth of artificial intelligence.

Track 13. Computer Eyes
This song build so slowly that it seems like it's introducing another shift in mood, but as it settles into its futuristic groove with the wild, lost woman's voice narrating the story, it makes it clear that it's continuing the trajectory already begun.

Track 14. World Inside the Crystal
We've left the ground entirely now. Surely Ada had never expected this travelling the world and the seven seas...

Track 15. Archetype Cafe
This coda pulls the mix right round to the beginning: what did it all mean? Will anyone ever know about it? And is that the part that matters?

I'd describe the person this mix is about as: a silicon flower
I'll listen to this mix when I: want to get back to the future
My new favorite song thanks to this mix is: E=mc 2
If I could add one song it would be: Bettie Serveert - Tomboy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaAXkwQBzYU
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Subject:The Unexpected Apocalypse
Time:01:54 am
Current Mood:heavy-lidded
Based deep in the heart of Texas, a secret brotherhood labored night and day to hold off the end of the world. For generations they toiled in obscurity, passing the mission down the years: prevent the apocalypse from overtaking the earth.

Only one of the members knew of the full extent of the organization, and almost none of its laborers knew its true mission or its history. No one knew its name - if indeed it had ever had one. It was known only as the Trust, which was coincidentally the only requirement that it had of its employees.

Those employees were scattered across America. "Great pay. Easy work. Telecommuting OK" ran the Craigslist ads that popped up, every seven years or so. "Must be willing to believe anything." The sort of people who answered this ad, fortunately, were mostly already guaranteed to meet this description. But the work of believing was harder than it looked - generations of experience had taught the leaders of the Trust that professional believers had a working life of about seven years before they wore out and had to be put on furlough.

That was all the Trust's workers needed to do: believe, with all their hearts, that the world was going to end tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that...

John Cavus, oil baron and founder of the Trust, could not have been called a believing man himself. But when he heard the preacher speaking of the day when earthquakes would rip apart the land and the true believers would be caught up in middle of the air, he decided to take steps. "You shall know neither the day nor the hour," he read in the Good Book, and he set aside a modest sum of money to ensure that someone, somewhere, would always know the day and the hour. Day after day, year after year, his Trust paid for a perpetual faith perpetually disappointed.

The organization fluctuated over time, of course, at times going in for hypnosis and at others polygraphy to determine the truth and force of their workers' belief. At times they tried preaching and at times persuasion, but the most reliable workers were the one who simply had the extraordinarily valuable quality of being able to believe whatever they chose to believe. And it paid - quite well - to believe in the end of the world.

Only the Master of the Trust knew that the organization's mission was not to prepare for the apocalypse, but to prevent it. Quality was difficult to ensure, however. Did the rolling years demonstrate the Trust's utility, or show only that it had not yet been tested? If believers had been promised an unexpected apocalypse, surely that meant that the apocalypse could be expected to arrive when it was not expected - a contradiction guaranteeing the world's perpetual existence.

It was probably only a coincidence that the world ended, quite unexpectedly, when the Trust's last worker reasoned that one out.
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Subject:Butterflies with bullet wings?
Time:11:46 pm
Current Mood:stuffed
 Flutter of Fire (An Oda Nobunaga Mix) by imifumei 

So I listened to this without the benefit of looking up the lyrics of the Japanese songs - and to my surprise I didn't feel the slightest lack. They meshed so perfectly in tone that when I came and looked them up I found myself saying "Oh, of course that's what they're saying."


1. The Times They Are A-changing – Bob Dylan
An "Oh boy here it comes" song.

2. Monologue – Nishikido Ryo 
The narrator is unfazed and in control while the guitars rage behind him.

3.Let's Kill Tonight – Panic! At the Disco
Walks fearlessly along the line between empowering and chilling. The 'pure romance' goes a way towards establishing our hero as an artist of war.

4. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
And this song, largely in its sound, highlights his cold, fierce strategic intelligence.

5. SAMURAI – Tackey & Tsubasa 
The echoes suggest a widening impact or a train of followers.

6. 1582 – Kamenashi Kazuya 
I like the way this mix builds emotional tension by switching between songs that suggest certainty versus uncertainty. (At least that's how I hear them - maybe a better dichotomy would be power vs. ambition)

7. Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
And this introduces a moral quality into the raw ambition present in the mix.

8. I Won't Back Down – Tom Petty
The relaxed sound of the music is a very effective means of highlighting the seriousness of the stand taken in the song.

9. All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
This picks up on the Dylan song at the beginning - another "Oh boy here it comes" song. Now I feel like the war's beginning in earnest.

10. Fight the Sky – Gavin Mikhail
This takes a step back to look at Our Hero from without, while raising the energy level of the music.

11. The Warrior – Patty Smyth
The switch back to first person is just perfect.This synthesizes Nobunaga's personal ambition, political dream, and bloody path to his present. 

12. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
A cool dash of contemplation and perspective contrasting with the previous outpouring of passion.

13. truth – Arashi lyrics available here
At this point Our Hero and his nation are locked into their fate.

14. Bullet the Blue Sky – U2
And for the first time there's a sense that the process he's set in motion is too big for anyone to handle.

15. 21 Guns – Green Day
Screw it, we'll fight anyway!

16. Indestructible - Disturbed
You know how most mixes build to a point of intensity and then fade? Every time I  think this mix can't rock harder, it rocks harder.

17. Dogs of War – Motorhead
And harder.

18. Dairokuten no Maou 
At once epic and elegaic - the perfect conclusion.

I'd describe the person this mix is about as: mother@#*ing metal.
I'll listen to this mix when I: need to conquer
If I could add one song it would be: The Decemberists "Why We Fight" 
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