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It's Halloween! My very favorite holiday. Or, well, it will be Halloween, in a few days, and why restrict the best holiday to a mere 24 hours? As is sort-of tradition (but which I mean I always intend to do this, but only actually manage it about half the time), I've put together a mix of scary music. This year's theme is the Devil, with the musical genres being folk and indie folk.

Halloween 2016: Let Your Devils Sing )


Jul. 15th, 2016 04:24 pm
brigdh: (Default)
Last weekend, I went to see the off-Broadway production of "Hadestown", a 1920s-esque folk opera retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice. That's a lot of elements for one show, but yes, really. And it works. It's based on a 2010 album by Anaïs Mitchell, which you can listen to here, but which is fairly different from the show as it exists now.

It is the best thing I have seen/heard/read in ages, and I want everyone I know to see it immediately so that I can talk about it with more people. Which I realize is a problem, because a) most of you don't live in NYC, and b) it's only running until the end of the month. So! Let me tell you about it.

The Orpheus/Eurydice plot plays out fairly close to how it does in the myth: we see them meet, fall in love through Orpheus's music, Eurydice descends to the Underworld, Orpheus chases after her, they convince Hades and Persephone to let them leave – with, of course, the caveat that they only escape if Orpheus doesn't look back – and then the tragic ending. The biggest change is in how important the Hades/Persephone relationship and myth is to this play; they become at least co-leads, if not the central figures.

The setting does a lot of work, though it's more in feel and symbolism than plot points. Orpheus is the great musician, still – but he's also a penniless romantic that is not particularly concerned with figuring out how to support himself and his new wife, which is a problem in the Depression-esque "Hard Times" of this story. His eventual look back that loses Eurydice – I don't want to spoil too much, but whew, the show has no sympathy for him. It's absolutely savage. In the first act, he's strongly paralleled to Persephone. She seems to be the same sort of feckless dreamer as Orpheus, and Amber Gray, her actress, plays Persephone as a drunken flapper girl who treats summer like an unending party with her as the star. Here's a photo.

Hades, on the other hand, is the god of work and railroads and industry and factories; "Who makes work for idle hands?" he sings at one point, and yes, he is also much more of a Devil figure here than in the original Greek myth. His underworld is a place where dead souls endlessly build a wall – there's no particular need for a wall, you see, it's work simply for the sake of work.

We build the wall to keep out of the enemy, Hades tells his followers, in a catechism-like song, and then asks, "What do we have that they should want?"

The response is:
"We have a wall to work upon!
We have work and they have none
And our work is never done
My children, my children
And the war is never won
The enemy is poverty
And the wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free."

(YES I KNOW. But this song was written in 2010 and is not actually about the Trump campaign, despite any and all horrifying similarities.) Here's a link to the show's version of this song, which everyone should absolutely listen to.

In this version of the story, Eurydice does not so much die as sell her soul to escape hunger and cold – that's her belting out the final verse of Why We Build the Wall, zealous in her temporary seduction by the underworld's affluence. She and Persephone are both quite explicitly creatures kept in gilded cages, trading freedom for luxury. And they are both, in different ways, furious about the world that took away their choices. They both feel lied to by the men they're in a relationship with (this show really has no sympathy for men in general, it's amazing). The difference between them is that Eurydice still has hope for Orpheus, while Persephone hates Hades in the way that only comes from love that's died.

However, Persephone is after all a goddess and vastly more powerful, and when Eurydice and Orpheus's story has ended, hers still goes on, repeating its summer/winter cycle forever. It's ambiguous as to how complicit she is in the humans' fates; there's more than a tinge of A Midsummer Night's Dream here, the supernatural creatures playing out their own cold war through the proxy of hapless mortals. Persephone loudly announces her hatred for the underworld and Hades throughout the show, but her constant use and pushing of alcohol called to my mind the tempting forgetfulness of Styx. In one song she sings to a nameless soul, half-promising and half-mocking:

"Come here, brother, let me guess
It's the little things you miss
Spring flowers, autumn leaves
Ask me, brother, and you shall receive.
Or maybe these just ain't enough
Maybe you're looking for some stronger stuff
I got a sight for the sorest eye
When's the last time you saw the sky?"

After all, what stops you from escaping more than a little false relief?

The casting is diverse – both Eurydice and Persephone are mixed race black women, in another parallel – and all of the acting was amazing. Nabiyah Be (Eurydice) does so much with tiny facial expressions that felt like they shouldn't carry out to the whole theater, but she was absolutely magnetizing. And I haven't even had a chance to mention Hermes (Chris Sullivan)! He, along with the three Fates, works as narrator and storyteller and Greek (ha) chorus, and is also fantastic. The show is done as theater in the round, and all of the actors frequently wander up and through the audience, but Hermes in particular is a literally felt presence. He stomps on the boards, shaking all of the seats, to underline both the beat of the music and the thump-thump of a railroad.

Everyone was great! I desperately want more people to see this, mainly for selfish reasons including but not limited to: they will write interesting meta for me to read, they will produce a cast album, they will make this the next big theater fandom. I know it's a bit pointless for me to recommend this, since again most of you probably won't be able to see it, but I can't help but do so. It's just so good! If you have an chance, absolutely check it out.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Parks & Rec
6.01-6.06: This season has been so fantastic so far; I've loved every single episode. The evil father of Jean-Ralphio and Mona Lisa! Ben's thing for women on roller skates! The cute new doctor Tom is dating! EVERY SINGLE THING about April, but especially her relationship with Andy! It's all great.

I already posted about the latest episode of Sleepy Hollow last week, but I did see two movies. I've possibly seen The Addams Family a million times, but it's been so long that I'd squished parts of it and the sequel together and forgotten other parts. It's an excellent, hilarious movie that is still so good. This is totally a minor thing, but I was amused by how dated all the other people looked, while the Addams's clothes haven't aged at all. Gomez and Morticia are still the best couple ever, and I love the whole family.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire, on the other hand, I'd never seen before, one of the only Disney movies I hadn't seen. The story was sort of shallow, but the characters and world-building were great. It has a huge cast, which can be a problem – it's hard to give everyone enough time to make them interesting - but I would have liked to know more about every character. But it wasn't a musical! I demand my Disney movies be musicals, dammit. I liked it overall.
brigdh: (Default)
Fandom Snowflake! It's not too late to join!

Day 3: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

I recommend a lot of fanfiction (I have a whole tag for it!), so I figured for this post I'd do something different. Here are three of my favorite fanmixes:

Three Wishes by [livejournal.com profile] opheliahyde. Game of Thrones, Robb Stark/Jon Snow/Jeyne Westerling.
Musical genre: Indie-est of the indie. I'm not even ashamed.
Despite it being a fanmix for an AU that doesn't actually exist and for a pairing I don't particularly ship, I love this fanmix SO MUCH. I listen to it an embarrassing amount of the time. The music is just so delicate and lovely and angst-y and beautiful that I never tire of it.

The Red Mix by [livejournal.com profile] petronia. (The mix was originally posted here, but that post is locked to members of [livejournal.com profile] fst.) Swordspoint, Alec/Richard.
Musical genre: Electrohouse, dance pop.
As the creator put it, "For several years I've been making a (still-ongoing) series of character mix CDs I call "DJ mixes". Rather than straight-up "I think the lyrics of this song are about X" they're impressionistic sketches, or genre exercises - what the character might play on the radio in an alternate universe, perhaps." I love the idea of Alec as an AU DJ. And I love this fanmix. It is absolutely the music to listen to if you ever need to dance 'til dawn due to a combination of drugs and angst.

Heartbeat Radio by [livejournal.com profile] suchaprince. Zombies, Run!, Jack/Eugene.
Musical genre: Mostly Brit-pop.
Apparently Zombies, Run! is an exercise app? I don't even know. But this mix is delightful and makes me so happy. I could listen to it endlessly. [livejournal.com profile] suchaprince is a wonderful mix-maker in general, and everyone should check out her other mixes as well.


Nov. 3rd, 2013 02:34 pm
brigdh: (Default)
I have re-uploaded the zips for a couple of my old mixes, if anyone is interested in downloading them.

Halloween 2011: Looking for Evil
Halloween 2010: Your Favorite Nightmare
brigdh: (Default)
It's Halloween! Which is the best holiday of all the holidays, because of course my personal opinion is objective truth. And so, as is tradition, I've put together a mix of scary music, full of monsters and killers and the undead. This year I've gone with music to dance to– mostly rap, pop, and techno– anything to get you jumpin' jumpin'.

Halloween 2013: Dance Up the Dead )
brigdh: (Default)
I made a fanmix for my new obsession! Well, also for [livejournal.com profile] waywardmixes' "Heroes & Villains" round. It is a combination of mostly Classical music and African drumming, which turn out to go surprisingly well together. Let me know if you like it!

Music for Benjamin January )
brigdh: (Default)
Hey, livejournal. What is up? I know I haven't posted in ages, but I'm still around, so feel free to comment or email if you ever want my attention. I blame the not posting on, well, everyone else not posting. Which is a terrible excuse, I know. I could follow fandom to Tumblr, but I don't like Tumblr. It is fine for pictures of cute animals (which is an important part of the internet), but I don't like it for conversation, or fic, or making friends, which are the things I want to do.

Anyway, who else is panicking about Yuletide? Hopefully not just me! At least my story is already 1,300 words long, so I will have something to upload by this evening, even if it's not a masterpiece. I may be looking for a beta later.

Also, I have a favor to ask. I'm looking for a few songs that I used to have, but have lost in past computer crashes/ipods inexplicably erasing all their music/lost thumb drives/etc. If anyone has any of these songs and is willing to upload them for me, I will be eternally grateful.
Massive Attack - Safe from Harm (Live in Berlin '03) I'm not sure the parenthesis on this is accurate, but I remember it was a lot more acoustic/guitar sounding than the album version.
Spoon - The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine
Head Automatica - Please Please Please (Young Hollywood)

Matthew Herbet - Birds of a Feather
Shout Out Out Out Out - Self Loathing Rulz (Malente Remix)
Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Part of Town
Freezepop - Bike Thief (Tubeway Mix)

Freezepop - Mastermind (Manipulate Mix)
Kaiser Chiefs - Every Day I Love You Less and Less (Boys Noise Remix)
Stars - He Lied About Death
The Spill Canvas - The Tide
Magnetic Fields - No One Will Ever Love You
Peter Mulvey - Ithaca

Mindless Self Indulgence - You'll Rebel to Anything (As Long As It's Not Challenging)
Rufus Wainwright - Greek Song
Regina Spektor - Fidelity (Blockhead Remix)
The Hold Steady - Citrus
Bif Naked - Lucky
Madeleine Peyroux - Dance Me to the End of Love
Bowerbirds - In Our Talons
Moses - Beautiful Gun

Professional Killer - KMFDM
Hannah Fury - The Necklace of Marie Antoinette
Suede - Attitude
Bell X1 - Flame (Chicken Lips Mix)

Steeleye Span - Boys of Bedlam
Ryan Adams - New York, New York
Nump featuring M.I.A - Grapes (Remix)

What a strange list. Also, if anyone has anything from the Alec FST I made a few years ago, I would really, really appreciate it. I'm so sad that I put all that work into it and then lost the whole thing.
brigdh: (Default)
Last year I posted a Halloween mix of techno/electronica music. This year, I decided to go in a different direction! This is a mix of folk/acoustic/indie music, with a heavy emphasis on serial killers (fictional and non), though there's some werewolves and mummies in there, too. Let me know if you like it!

Halloween 2011: Looking for Evil )
brigdh: (Default)
So, yes, I realize that this is a little late; I meant to get it up last night, but it always takes longer to upload all the songs than I expect. But I figure Halloween is too good a holiday to let it be over just yet!

I tend to make a Halloween music mix every year, though they're usually pretty formless and rough, so I don't think I've posted one to LJ before. This one has an emphasis on slinky, techno/electronica dance music, and real-life horror (serial killers, stalkers) rather than supernatural horror. Let me know if you like it!

Halloween 2010: Your Favorite Nightmare )
brigdh: (too jaded for faith)
1. Tom Cruise auditions for New Moon. Video. Hilarious.

2. Stupid Callous Homophobic Hateful Legislation. Video. The best new version of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Is that spelled right? Who knows.

3. Tori Amos has a Christmas album coming out! You can stream it here, along with her thoughts on writing the songs.

4. Monday's Dinosaur Comics was the BEST THING EVER.

5. So, there's another tankobon of Yami no Matusei coming out! Probably? But it's just material from serials that had not yet been collected. But this may indicate a renewal of the series? [livejournal.com profile] yami_no_matsuei is suddenly very active. People seem to be really upset about potential changes between the serial-version and the tankobon-version, but, um, it seems to me that it's always that way. Every serial-to-tankobon comparison I've seen has had changes; it's not really that big of a deal, you guys.

These have been my thoughts!
brigdh: (music)
Oh, flist, source of all knowledge: give me recommendations for 'smart' hip-hop. By smart, I mean with lyrics about politics, culture, racism, sexism, art, religion, etc.* Links to downloads would be awesome, but are not necessary.

* This is not to say that there's anything wrong with hip-hop with lyrics about dancing, drinking, hooking up, Apple Bottom jeans/boots with the fur, etc. I love that kind of hip-hop also. I just love it to the extent that I don't need help finding it, and probably already have too much.
brigdh: (nothing will hold you)
Last week, [livejournal.com profile] lunatunes's theme was 'Apocalypse Songs'. Conveniently, I had been working on an Apocalypse Mix, off and on since the global economy collapsed last fall. Here, then, is what I've come up with (not exactly the same as what I posted to [livejournal.com profile] lunatunes, since I've been fiddling with it since then.):

Coming Storm )

Busy, busy

Jul. 27th, 2007 04:16 pm
brigdh: (*laughs*)
Heh, the problem with actually having a life is that it leaves me so little time to update LJ. Or perhaps it just feels that way since my computer's been broken for a while now. I'd brought my laptop with me to Cyprus in the theory that I was promised it would be safe, and there was always a chance I'd find it useful. Instead, of course, two weeks in, I was sitting with it at a table one day, someone tripped over the power cord, and the flow of electricity promptly stopped functioning. I didn't know if the problem was in the cord (in which case I'd just have to buy a new one) or in the computer itself (which would be a much larger problem); I could, theoretically, have taken it to a computer store in Cyprus to find out, but since it took me two weeks just to find a post office that functioned, I was reluctant to hand over my nice laptop. And so I had to wait until I returned to solve the problem: it was the cord after all, and now everything functions again, and after just two trips to a Best Buy. (Which would have been one, but I, uh, forgot to bring the cord with me the first time. Go me.)

I returned to New York late in the afternoon on Tuesday; Wednesday morning someone called with free tickets to a Broadway show. And then last night Racheline and I ate out at JoJo, since it is Restaurant Week here. Um. My life is not always so glamorous!

The show I saw was 110 in the Shade, which was very good, even if I didn't even know what it was about going in. (It's about 1930's small Texas town during a drought, and a girl who would like a husband, in case anyone else is as ignorant as me.) Audra McDonald played the lead role, but I particularly liked Steve Kazee, who played Starbuck, a conman.

JoJo was also excellent; I had the vegetable menu, which had four courses. There was gazpacho with tiny minced peppers and cucumbers and avocado, and big halves of cherry tomatoes in the soup itself; a salad with artichoke hearts and spinach leaves, pinenuts, and curls of lemon peel; a mushroom tart that was perhaps the best thing ever; and passion fruit Pavlova, which is a sort of sherbet thing, bright yellow with the passion fruit seeds in it, in a meringue cup, on cream. All so very good.

Random links:
I am so excited about this movie!
Blossom to Blossom- I posted this story last week, but I think perhaps LJ was doing one of its weird things. Or, uh, you didn't comment because you didn't like it. In which case, feel free to continue ignoring it!
Iron & Wine - Boy With a Coin Iron & Wine has a new CD coming out in September, and I can't wait for it. Luckily, they have already released a single, which is really, really good. It reminds me a bit of the style of Woman King, as opposed to their softer songs.


May. 14th, 2007 11:41 pm
brigdh: (ipod)
I posted these songs to [livejournal.com profile] lunatunes earlier today, but they lock their posts, so I am also sharing it here. The theme was 'Your Top Five Songs At The Moment'.

1. Head Automatica - Please Please Please (Young Hollywood)
You lick the hand that feeds you,
And kiss the blade that cuts.
I wanna fuck you in your god's hands
When your praying bites the dust.

Utterly trashy, cheesy club music, and yet I Cannot Stop Listening to this song. Seriously. Send help.

2. Lamb - Bonfire
Burn like a good bonfire
In whatever you do.
Just burn like a good bonfire,
And I know you'll come through.

Slower, but very intense, trip-hop song.

3. Rufus Wainwright - Everybody Knows (Cover)
Everybody knows that you love me baby,
Everybody knows that you really do,
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Give or take a night or two.

This is such a bitter, cynical song; I have no idea why I find it so fun. I much prefer this cover to the original.

4. Eliza Carthy - Rolling Sea
Oh, the wars will soon be over,
And the sailors all come home.
Every lass will get a lad,
She won't have to sleep alone.

From the Rouge's Gallery CD, a collection of traditional sea shanties and pirate songs, performed by modern musicians. This is my favorite song off of it; it's excellent to sing along to.

5. Iron & Wine - Gray Stables
Brave lady,
I could see you through the mosses,
Laid, shameless in the sun.
My lady
With her porcelain and her weightless face,
Pleasing everyone.

A gorgeous, slow folk song. All of Iron & Wine's songs are lovely, and often sad, but this is my current favorite.
brigdh: (art)
The Highwayman Alfred Noyes

Cut For Length )

Oh, I was obsessed with this poem when I was little. I adored it. Though I wanted a happy ending instead, for these two to live and go be dashing rouges forever. Musical versions I've collected:
Phil Ochs - The Highwayman
Loreena McKennitt - The Highwayman (I much prefer this version.)

Other things I've uploaded today: The Rogue's Gallery CD


Apr. 8th, 2007 10:31 pm
brigdh: (best thing evar)
Most of you probably already have Hinach Yafa by the Idan Raichel Project, because I've uploaded it multiple times in the years since I first found the song, which I've never grown tired of. It's a Hebrew and Aramaic modern version of the Song of Songs, and is one of the gorgeous pieces of music I know.

Given that I love this one song so much, I've always wanted to hear other songs by the group, but could never find any; their one CD for sale on Amazon lingered as 'unavailable' for years, I could never find a single additional song to download in all the internet, ebay never produced a CD for sale, etc. I gave up making an particular effort to search it out.

Today I was in a Barnes & Noble, trolling their poetry books for things to post later this month, when Hinach Yafa came on as the background. I hummed along for a few bars, thinking Oh, yes, I love this song, and then suddenly realized ...what the hell? I have never heard this song played in public! I have never seen any reference to this group from someone who didn't get it from me!

I fluttered over to the information desk and asked, "What CD are you playing! Is this for sale!" The guy called someone, asked, and informed me that it was a personal mix made by the music manager, who was not currently in the store, and so no one knew.

Disappointed, I decided to go poke around their CD section anyway, since I don't know any music managers of a Barnes & Noble, in the hope that she might have gotten it from a CD in the store. And! People, I bring you grand news: an Idan Raichel Project CD has indeed finally been released in the United States, and I now own a copy. Awesome.
brigdh: (you so cute)
Not that I think there are many people here who aren't already members of [livejournal.com profile] fst, but I thought I'd point out that I made a Richard St Vier (from Swordspoint! Yes!) mix for their current theme of 'Singles'- mixes that are only three or four songs. (Unlocked version posted here to [livejournal.com profile] _riverside.)

Wooooe, it's been far too long since I finished a story for them, but actually I have a [livejournal.com profile] springkink story due on Sunday, so I should shut up and go do the necessary finishing editing for that.

Currently I'm reading Swords and Deviltry, the first one of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd* and the Gray Mouser series, it being one of those books that I kept finding references to for the last few months, and had in the back of my mind that I'd need to buy if I happened to stumble over a cheap copy. This morning I was playing around on [livejournal.com profile] sans_daily, and found that they were apparently turned into a terrible comic in the 70's, which inspired me to walk over to the Strand and see if they didn't have a copy. (A decision probably helped in no small part by the fact that what I was currently reading this morning was Kim Stanley Robinson's Blue Mars, and I seem to have waited too long between the second book of the trilogy and this one, because I no longer care about any of the characters At All. Of course, a cast of hundreds might have caused the problem all by itself.) And oh, this book is awesome! It's funny and entirely in-tune with its wish-fulfillment, but most of all it's incredibly evocative of all the pulp fantasy I used to read when I was little. From the first paragraph, it was like finding something you used to love.

I didn't expect that at all. I expected it to be one of those things that are celebrated because they were influential and important, but which are not, actually, all that good. Like H. P. Lovecraft. (Um, don't kill me if you like Lovecraft. I like the idea! But I don't know how anyone can stand to read more than a handful of his stories; they all start to blur together and seem like the exact same plot over and over, to me.) But this isn't like that at all; it's fun and interesting, and sort of cheesy, but it knows it is and can laugh at that. I'm in love.

*How on earth is that pronounced?


Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:19 pm
brigdh: (dance)
I made a mix that I'm mailing out to people as part of [livejournal.com profile] audiography's Mix Trade, but I decided to share it with you lovely people as well. Locked only because I'm not entirely sure how that fits with the rules of the trade.

Concrete Jungle )

Okay. Now I'm going to go get some dinner, and then I really, seriously, oh-my-god-I-can't believe-it's-due-tomorrow have to finish that one story.
brigdh: (procrastination)
ARGH. I have five hours to finish a six-page paper (of which I've written two sentences) for a professor I hate. Mainly because she grades papers in this way: if I write a sentence such as "The noise of leaves, birds, and insects are important sources of such useful information as prey location for hunting and identification of place and time, and are conceptualized by the Kaluli as the ideal of beauty", she will leave a note saying "and water". Bitch, if I was going to list every single thing in the rain forest that made noise, I could have had six pages of that alone and forgotten the whole theorizing thing. Clearly I was mistaken in assuming which of the two you would rather have.

Anyway, I only have five hours to write this one (and clearly posting to livejournal is an excellent way to make progress on that) because then I have to go pick up one of new graduate students who is attending the university's Open House and staying with me for the rest of the week. Again, argh.

In the meantime I have posted some songs to [livejournal.com profile] audiography, whose current theme is 'your top five songs at the moment'.

Um. Are any of you doing anything interesting? Talk to me while I write this paper, people.

ETA: Hey, now I have more time! The girl's flight was delayed, thus providing the one example ever of airport troubles being to my benefit.


brigdh: (Default)

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