Subtitle: “It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off.”
Tonight was the first time I’d DJ’d Dance Ecstatic in a while – in fact it was the first time I’d danced in a while period. I’m really, really hoping not to go that long again. It had been a month since I’d been to Nia, too, and I Did Not Like how hard it was on my body. I think my primary goal for the month of November will be getting my movement practice…moving again. When I’m not moving, my chakras collect stagnant energy like the Presidential race collects bug-eyed whackjobs.
“Prana Groove” – Stevin McNamara
1 ~ “Hey Jupiter (Dakota Version)” – Tori Amos
2 ~ “Barton Hollow” – The Civil Wars
3 ~ “Rehab (Hot Chip Remix)” – Amy Winehouse
4 ~ “Marjaani Marjaani” – from Billu (Bollywood soundtrack)
As my Facebook fans have no doubt noticed, I’ve been posting songs that contributed to the mood or characters of Shadowflame, and now that it’s Book Eve (yay!) here’s the entire playlist in one go, as I did with Queen of Shadows. Below the list are some notes on the songs.
That sound you hear in the distance is me squeeing all over the place that my second novel comes out tomorrow.
1 ~ Tori Amos (covering Joni Mitchell) – A Case of You. Ideally the version I’d have here is the one sung by Caroline Lavelle, but it’s impossible to find on YouTube. This is one of two songs that are actually in the book; this one, Miranda sings to David as a lullaby.
2 ~ How to Destroy Angels – A Drowning. A lot of bad things happen in this book. People make terrible mistakes, and there are far-reaching consequences. This song reflects the feeling of being overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control – as well as by your own choices.
3 ~ The Constellations – Perfect Day. I imagine this as a background song for several possible scenes involving Kat and Miranda (or Kat and David, as in the first chapter where they’re bonding over beer). It has a very Austin-y feel.
4 ~ Ani DiFranco – Falling is Like This. The second song that’s in the book. Miranda sings this one with her guitar while trying to unwind after a rough night of work.
5 ~ Matchbox Twenty – Bed of Lies. I know it’s dreadfully uncool to say I like Matchbox Twenty, but I do, so there. Hey, I never claimed to be hip. This song gives me chills, particularly the line “I know that it’s weak, but God help me, I need this.” It has that sense of hopelessness when you realize you’ve done something hurtful you can never take back.
6 ~ Katie Melua – I’d Love to Kill You. Katie Melua has such a sweet voice that the violence of the lyrics become almost cheeky – except that you can hear the seriousness beneath them and it’s a little unsettling. This strikes me as something Miranda would cover on stage. There are several people in Shadowflame I imagine she’d love to kill.
7 ~ Natalie Walker – Colorblind. This one’s mostly mood music; the piano line sounds very Miranda to me, so she might be playing it in the Music Room at the Haven at some point.
8 ~ Garbage – Push It. I was listening to this while I was writing a particular sparring scene between David and an old friend. Shirley Manson is magic.
9 ~ Tori Amos – Lust. More mood music.
10 ~ Massive Attack – Angel. This is a stalking-around-Austin-in-a-long-black-coat song. My characters tend to do that a lot. It might also play during one of David’s standing-on-a-tall-building-being-Mr. Broodypants scenes.
11 ~ Adam Lambert – For Your Entertainment. It’s not so much that this song belongs in Shadowflame as it is that Adam Lambert’s look in the video inspired me to completely change the appearance of Prime Deven, who appeared briefly in Queen of Shadows and is a major player in Shadowflame. Originally he had long hair, but I found I liked his character better once I goth-and-glammed him up a bit with piercings and tattoos. Some of Adam’s facial expressions in the snake handling bits of the video remind me strongly of Dev, too, although to my knowledge Deven has neither a snake nor a pimp cane. (Also the line, “Your fallen angel swept you off your feet” sounds like Deven to me.)
12 ~ A Perfect Circle – Passive. Mood music; possibly background in a bar or club, or even during a fight scene, just for grins. I’m not a big fan of A Perfect Circle but this song is in one of my favorite crappy movies, Constantine, and I’m a sucker for angel/demon mythology, Rachel Weisz, Keanu Reeves, and Tilda Swinton.
13 ~ Dido – Hunter. This is the “Miranda’s had a Very Bad Day Indeed” song.
14 ~ Alanis Morissette – Everything. I’m not one for giving my characters schmoopy love songs, but I think that the chorus of this one in particular captures something about David and Miranda’s relationship. That’s the essence of a soul-mate pairing in the Shadow World universe: it means having someone who will accept you even when you’re “an asshole of the grandest kind.” As I’ve said before, bad things happen both to and between the two of them, but nothing can destroy their love for each other, except perhaps for death (and maybe not even that). Neither of them is perfect, and they both screw up and say things they shouldn’t and make poor decisions, but at heart, they have what I consider a good relationship because they are able to accept all those flaws and still respect each other. Love without respect is doomed to massive therapy bills.
It’s been a long while since I DJed at Dance Ecstatic, but since I finally dragged my butt back to Nia this week it seemed like a good time to dip my toes back in the dance mix waters.
Tonight’s mix didn’t really have some deeper mystical meaning; it’s all about celebrating the self, and it’s a bit sexy and a bit silly and a lot of fun. I think it was a bit short, so I might tweak it a little and add a few more tracks, but everyone at the dance seemed to enjoy it.
Ani DiFranco – Joyful Girl
1 ~ Stealthcello – Dark Eyes
2 ~ Jem – Keep on Walking
3 ~ Marvin Gaye – Got to Give it Up
4 ~ Goldfrapp – Ooh La La
5 ~ One at Last – Palmonte
6 ~ Lily Allen – Not Fair
7 ~ Sarah Vaughan – Fever (Adam Freeland Mix)
8 ~ Bond – Ride
9 ~ Pink – Fuckin’ Perfect
10 ~ Dido & A.R. Rahman – If I Rise
11 ~ Vas – Unbecome
Just for fun, I made a playlist of songs that either inspired particular scenes in the book, or that I heard after the fact and thought, “If they ever make a movie of it, that song goes here!”
I’d never used Mixpod before, and many of the tracks I found are either live versions of the songs I was looking for, or sung by a different artist. I had to make do, so it’s a bit wonky, but you get the gist. I may add to it later if I come across another track that strikes me as belonging.
Below the mix I’ve listed the songs and some notes on why they’re on the list; minor spoilers for Queen of Shadows apply.
1 – Hallelujah – This song features prominently in the beginning of the book; Miranda has it stuck in her head, though the version I had in mind was sung by Brandi Carlile. This one is lovely too.
2-4 – Mood music. I imagine “Broken Bridge” as one of those “walking around the city” sort of songs, and “Hello” as something that would be playing in the background in one of the Kerbey Lane scenes. I would have vastly preferred the studio version of “Falling for You,” but I couldn’t find it.
5 – Rain – Another that’s actually in the book; David eavesdrops on Miranda playing it.
6 – All the Same to Me – For some reason makes me think of Sophie.
7 – Silent All These Years – again, played by Miranda while she’s staying at the Haven, this time on the Bosendorfer.
8 – My Boy Builds Coffins – Mood music for one of the city scenes, probably with Kat.
9 – Witness – I’ve always thought this song should accompany a love scene.
10-12 – More mood music. The version of “Man in the Long Black Coat” I was looking for was performed by Joan Osborne. I had no idea it was a Dylan cover until I started looking for it on Mixpod. You learn something new every day. “Help I’m Alive” seems like it should be the background for the beginning of Miranda’s fight training with Sophie, possibly during a montage of some sort.
13 – Silence – Waaaaay back in 1999, this song inspired the very first version of Queen of Shadows. It would play during the end credits if QoS were a movie.