Real Music for Imaginary People



Any excuse to mix and burn CDs for friends (Lewis owes me a few-- his taste is now so rarified he's afraid any mix he makes will cause a rift in the space time fabric.) A couple of Christmases ago, Marte gave me a book of recipes from the Napoleonic Wars, "Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian". Chefs Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas researched the book not for profit but out of love for the novels,
The Iron Chef panel might make smacking noises over "sea urchin roe like mother used to make", but some of these recipes might give them pause. It's wonderful to read through, especially if you wanted to know how those underfed midshipmen actually prepared "millers" (rats) for dinner.
In the same spirit, Essay Recordings has several albums of music performed in the novels by Jack Aubrey on violin and Stephen Maturin on cello.
Hear Some

So why not create playlists for imaginary characters or historical persons we admire, to try and evoke their personalities for friends? (Nudge: ALWAYS WITH MUSIC THAT WE PAID FOR, ahem.) Pat Hanavan has never watched an episode of "Buffy" or "Angel", so Darling Violetta's theme from "Angel" and Bill Kennedy's Stiff Records collection (Costello and Pogues) turned into a mix called "Blues for Wesley Wyndham Price". (The less said about my mental state and Wesley's near the end, the better.)
BLUES FOR WESLEY WYNDHAM PRICE; playlist:
1. "Allison", Elvis Costello
2. "Watching the Detectives", Elvis Costello
3. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", Elvis Costello (Oh, Fred...)
4. "The Sick Bed of Cuchulain", The Pogues (Wes finds his balls again)
5. "Dark Streets of London", The Pogues
6. "Sally MacLennane", The Pogues
7. "Words that We Couldn't Say", Yoko Kannon and the Seatbelts (Cowboy Bebop)
8. "Call Me", Yoko Kannon and the Seatbelts (Gunn: "What happened to you, man?" Wes:"My throat was cut and my friends abandoned me.")
9. "The Real Folk Blues" alternate version, Yoko Kannon and the Seatbelts
10. "Space Lion", Yoko Kannon and the Seatbelts
11. "Bela Lugosi's Dead", Bauhaus (goes without saying)
12. "Call Me", Blondie (Wes's relationship with Lilah)
13. "Dreaming", Blondie (Lilah's relationship with Wes)
14. "Tank!" Yoko Kannon and the Seatbelts (Wes going Chow Yun Fat on your ass)
15. "Good Morning Heartache", Billie Holliday (goes without saying)
16. "Bye Bye Blackbird" (any version with all the lyrics)
17. "Oh Sinner Man", Nina Simone
18. "Angel Opening Title Theme", Darling Violetta

RIPPER aka RUPERT; playlist for Giles
1. "Me and the Devil", Robert Johnson
2. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", Tears for Fears
3. "Cemet'ry Gates", The Smiths
4. "Behind Blue Eyes", The Who (Anthony Head sings this himself in one episode)
5. "Standing" (Giles' lament from "Once More With Feeling")
6. "I've Got a Theory" ("It must be bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, BUN-NIIEEES..")
7. "Frankly, Mr, Shankly", The Smiths
8. "Me and My Big Ideas", Tears for Fears
9. "Walk Through the Fire" (Buffy cast again)
10. "Falling Down", Tears for Fears
11. "What You Feel" (Reprise) Hinton Battle, "Once More With Feeling"
12. "Where Do We Go From Here?", Buffy Cast, "Once More With Feeling"
13. "West End Girls", Pet Shop Boys
14. "Hounds of Love", Kate Bush

None of these are cast in stone, and Suggestions/additions/deletions from these are welcome. As time wasting and impulse allow, I'm thinking about mixes for Travis McGee (Buena Vista Social Club, La Pistola y el Corazon, Paul Desmond, etc.), Albert Camus (Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, but which songs? and what else?) Frida Kahlo, Harlan Ellison...

Writer Reginald Hudlin has been asking readers for playlists to go with the new "Black Panther" comic. HIGHLY recommended and issue 6 has some good tips on afro-pop titles. Let's see some lists and links.

2 comments:

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

Supplemental: From Patrick O'Brian's "The Ionian Mission" , set in a time when the world has forgotten J.S. Bach:

'Did you ever meet Bach?'

'Which Bach?'

'London Bach.'

'Not I.'

'I did. He wrote some pieces for my uncle Fisher, and his young man copied them out fair. But they were lost years and years ago, so last time I was in town I went to see whether I could find the originals: the young man has set up on his own, having inherited his master's music-library. We searched through the papers -- such a disorder you would hardly credit, and I had always supposed publishers were as neat as bees -- we searched for hours, and no uncle's pieces did we find. But the whole point is this: Bach had a father.'

'Heavens, Jack, what things you tell me. Yet upon recollection I seem to have known other men in much the same case.'

'And this father, this old Bach, you understand me, had written piles and piles of musical scores in the pantry.'

'A whimsical place to compose in, perhaps; but then birds sing in trees, do they not? Why not antediluvian Germans in a pantry?'

'I mean the piles were kept in the pantry. Mice and blackbeetles and cook-maids had played Old Harry with some cantatas and a vast great Passion according to St. Mark, in High Dutch; but lower down all was well,
and I brought away several pieces, 'cello for you, fiddle for me, and some for both together. It is strange stuff, fugues and suites of the last age, crabbed and knotted sometimes and not at all in the modern taste, but I do
assure you, Stephen, there is meat in it...'

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