Thursday, June 21, 2007

This Ain't No Party, This Ain't No Disco: The Demon Days Soundtrack, Vol. 3 (Music From and That Inspired the Game)

(The recap of our most recent Demon Days episode, "Not Dark Yet," will be posted next week. Steve's on his honeymoon, so there's no new episode this week.)

Yes, it's time for another Hunter soundtrack. I know, you're just excited as can be, huh?

Something a little different this time around -- this is closer to an actual soundtrack album, like you'd see for a real movie or television series. These tracks were all either used in the game or inspired certain parts of it; hence the title. Why the change in format? Because frankly, there are only so many songs to represent those characters.

Of the sixteen songs here, seven were actually used as soundtrack music in the game, and two more of them would have but weren't for various reasons I'll explain. The other tracks are songs that either I listen to when I'm running short on inspiration or songs that inspired specific elements of our game.

Here are your songs:

1. "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," R.E.M.
The other night I dreamt of knives
The quintessential apocalypse song. Used in "The End" (Season 1, Episode 1), when Lucy's iPod decided to become ironic and pump this song through the speakers at the Drowning Swan after the Hunters' imbuing.

2. "Life During Wartime (live)," Talking Heads
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around
Would have been the third Whole Group theme on the last soundtrack if I'd had room. I almost always come up with an idea for the game when I hear this song, a tale of a few survivors in an urban wasteland. This song inspired several not-used-yet plot ideas for season four, as well as the three-part "The Black Hand" arc that opened season three.

3. "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," Smashing Pumpkins
A beautiful instrumental that I listen to whenever I'm stuck for a plot. Unfortunately, bad things usually happen to the characters when I'm inspired by this song -- if you'd like to blame My Most Evil Deed on a song, this is the one.

4. "The Luckiest," Ben Folds
I know we belong
Mikey's stunningly appropriate song choice for Dean and Lucy's first dance at their wedding, during "Nothing Bad Happened Today" (Season 3, Episode 6).

5. "The Boy in the Bubble," Paul Simon
There was a bright light, a shattering of windows, the bomb in the baby carriage was wired to the radio
Another song that inspires me in the vein of "Life During Wartime."

6. "Blame It on the Boogie," The Jacksons
The devil's gotten to me through this dance
Not only was this song used in a episode ("1": Season 2, Episode 11), it was the entire plot of an episode. A disco-dancing ghost would only appear when this song played, resulting in the characters (and players, for that matter) hearing it far more times than is considered healthy.

7. "Crazy," Seal
Miracles will happen as we speak, but we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy
This song always gives me visions of the Hunters working as a team in harmony to wipe out some menace. It doesn't last very long in practice, largely because of the working-as-a-team-in-harmony thing, but it's a nice vision.

8. "It's Not," Aimee Mann
And from behind the screen it could look so perfect, but it's not
This song was supposed to have been used as the mood music for the conclusion of "The Black Hand, Part 3" (Season 3, Episode 3), but my power was out and I couldn't provide the soundtrack. But it would have been very moody, trust me.

9. "I Don't Care Anymore," Phil Collins
Well, you can tell everyone I'm a down disgrace, drag my name all over the place, I don't care anymore
This was used during the press conference in "Not Guilty" (Season 2, Episode 10), when Edgar was exonerated, the police apologized, and then Edgar knocked his brother out cold.

10. "Not Dark Yet," Bob Dylan
But it's getting there
Edgar's favorite song, which he requested (long before the fact) Lucy sing at his funeral. Which she did ("Not Dark Yet": Season 3, Episode 8).

11. "I Want It All," Queen
And I want it now
Would have been used as mood music to the Vampire Slaughtering Montage in "Under Cover of Afternoon" (Season 2, Episode 3), but my computer wasn't available. You might also consider it another one of Willem's themes.

12. "Building a Mystery," Sarah McLachlan
You're a beautiful, a beautiful fucked-up man; you're setting up your razor-wire shrine
At Simon's insistence, Lucy did some karaoke at the end of "The Chamber of 32 Doors" (Season 3, Episode 5). This is the song she picked, and it can certainly be interpreted as another of Dean's themes, at least as far as Lucy is concerned.

13. "Revenga," System of a Down
My sweet revenge
I'm planning to use this in an upcoming episode.

14. "How I Could Just Kill a Man," Rage Against the Machine
Didn't have to blast him, but I did anyway
Hearing this song inspired me to create a quick-tempered, cocky, violence-prone character who smoked like a chimney. But I didn't want him to excel at violence -- he'd really be no better at fighting than an average guy, but he'd think he was a fearsome badass. Of course, this character later became Simon.

15. "The Only Living Boy in New York," Simon & Garfunkel
Hey, I've got nothing to do today but smile
"Some of the gloomiest music ever recorded." That's how Lucy described Simon & Garfunkel to Dean, and it's true. This particular gloomy track was used in "Green" (Season 1, Episode 7), over our first end-of-episode montage. A weapons deal gone south, a few characters shot, Lucy blaming herself, and Edgar having a very uncomfortable argument with this soon-to-be-ex-wife.

16. "The Threat," Skid Row
I wasn't put here to be treated like some disease you hoped would go away if left alone
An all-purpose inspirational song that might find its way into an episode. The lyrics don't necessarily fit, but the theme and sound certainly could make it another Whole Group theme.

17. "Kiss That Frog (live)," Peter Gabriel
Princess, you might like it if you lower your defense
The song that inspired everything, more or less. See, back when I was still developing the story arc for this chronicle, I heard this song and thought it would be cool to do an episode about a Hunter turned into a frog ("Your Fairy Fucking Godmother": Season 1, Episode 6). To do that, I needed a good-but-unlikable character to turn, and thus Edgar was created. I needed a witch to turn him, and thus Sunday was created. And I needed a princess to turn him back, and thus Lucy was created. And with Lucy came Lucy's mother, the other composers, and most of the game's storyline. So, if you like our Hunter game, thank Peter Gabriel. Bizarrely enough.

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