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22 July 2010 @ 02:01 pm
What the Winter Said [An Orpheus Fanmix]  
Without further ado, here we go. We've kicked off the third book in a bittersweet and triumphant atmosphere, so here's both a reminiscence and a look forward, in the form of music and dubious character babble. The title is a semi-clever allusion to T.S. Eliot, and the soundtrack is more a skein of themes than a cohesive group of character-based songs, but there it sits.

What the Winter Said

An Orpheus Fanmix

1. Oasis: Falling Down [ click ]

A dying scream makes no sound
Calling out to all that I've ever known
Here am I, lost and found
Calling out to all

Catch the wheel that breaks the butterfly
I cried the rain that fills the ocean wide
I tried to talk with God to no avail
Calling Him in and out of nowhere
Said if You won't save me, please don't waste my time

This is the one, the poignant, the inescapable piece of theme music for the latter half of the fugitive season. It's been played on many a repeat, so I'll just leave it here, with what to me are the choicest bits in lyrics that are fitting and brilliant in their entirety.

2. UNKLE: Lonely Soul [ click ]

I believe there's a time when the cord of life
Should be cut, my friends (Cut the cord, my friend)
I believe there's a time when the cord can be cut
And this vision ends (Let this vision end)

But I'm gonna die in a place that don't know my name
And I'm gonna cry in a space that don't hold my fame

Walking in the cold, just keep on flying
There'll be a searchlight, on the mountain high
God knows you're lonely souls
God knows you're lonely souls

More religious imagery from a group with some unusual sounds. If Falling Down is theme music, then this is my image song for the recent turns of plot and philosophy. Death has been in the air and among the orphans of Orpheus in devastating numbers. Is there someone watching even when your whole life, whether actual or metaphorical, tumbles to ruin around you? And yet, you can't stay down. There's no glory, there must be sacrifice, but in the end there can be justice through the quiet war that's raging on the night side of New York and beyond.

3. Massive Attack: Wire (Edit) [ click ]

And it's enough that you don't know
When all you needed was to care
And late is never again
Are you thoughtful
Are you simple
Are you beautiful
What will you do when it all falls down
What will you do when it all falls down
Let it all fall down (all fall down)

This is one of Rusty's oldest tentative themes, but it fits the present mood. She's wavered and broken down, she's held fast and frayed at the edges. She's still sane and standing, but becoming almost fatalistically set on the course she's figuring out she must follow. The stakes are too high for mistakes, so every new one feels like too much. Rusty is in something of a crossroads, mentally and also spiritually, so more than one path lies open if she only manages to see them.

4. The National: Secret Meeting [ click ]

I think this place is full of spies
I think they're onto me
Didn't anybody, didn't anybody tell you
Didn't anybody tell you how to gracefully disappear in a room

And so and now I'm sorry I missed you
I had a secret meeting in the basement of my brain
It went the dull and wicked ordinary way

Here's a slightly too mellow song for illustrating Rusty's current thoughts on Tito, and then some. This is for those moments in which there's still laughter in the Shack o' Misery, or in Jeanne or the Unnamed RV or the current Getaway Car of Fun. This for the spots of hope that the Captain, Forest and their ragtag band of guerrillas give Team FU. It's for the gallows humour you can find even in running from all the powers that be that are supposed to protect you.

But it's also Tito--the crackpot theories, the endless smart-mouthing, the sour support. Rusty does care for Tito a great deal, and trusts him more than she makes apparent. She would sometimes love to smack his face on a tabletop, but gentle dopeslaps upside the head are more likely. He's her criminal mastermind, bitching buddy, roadmap to the oddities of Doctor K, and sometimes, the wide-eyed post-teenager she needs to mother-hen. However, she also believes he's capable of much more, and is not-so-secretly proud of him when he shows it. They often clash over small annoyances, but Rusty still trusts Tito at her side in a tight spot. It's a team thing.

As for the Arlene thing? Great. Talk to her next time, Mr. Wise Guy.

5. David Gray: Fugitive [ click ]

Well, it's flesh and blood and camouflage
Into the wall, now something's gotta give
Just another act of sabotage
Seen through the haze of a mind-rot sedative

When will you realize my friend?
Lord, in the end, now you can't take it with
Got to live

The world that you're forsaking
Is surely more than just a lie
Got to try

This is both a snapshot of the general life on the run and a piece for Gavriil. David Gray has the sort of throaty whiskey-voice I associate with the good doctor, and the organic sound seems to fit his brighter moments.

Rusty agrees with Tito that Gavriil's stoic acceptance of his death can't keep. He's got his not-ladyfriend, who happens to be pregnant, and Rusty takes family seriously. She knows there's the potential for a lot of pain there (from personal experience), but to throw away the chance seems inconceivable. In the same vein, being outside the world you once lived in means being wary, being aware, gritting your teeth and keeping on trying. Whether living or dead, your resources are few, your allies precious, but no one can dictate the strictures of your existence. You stand and die some kind of free.

6. Bear McCreary: Kara Remembers [ click ]


This is also for Gavriil, in a way, what with the building piano. I've been listening to the McCreary cover of All Along the Watchtower a whole lot, but it's far too BSG in my mind. This track has the melody without the words that illustrates the old themes of purpose, drive, risk and sacrifice that, in the end, bind our bickering group of resistance fighters into a cohesive unit.

As for Gavriil, Rusty doesn't always know what to think. Gavriil is brilliant and troubled, capable of both great gentleness and ruthlessness without missing a beat. It's like watching her own emotional issues go on overdrive. He belongs firmly in the circle of her team in her mind: she trusts, relies on, and respects him in professional matters, and if there's need she will defend him from any physical harm over all his protests. The thing she's never said is that if their positions were reversed, she'd also trust him to protect her. It's a two-way street, but so far there's been no point in making an issue of that.

In the personal relationship area, it's all a tangle. Gavriil seems to best bend at the sort of vulnerability Rusty doesn't like to give him, as she feels (perhaps with extreme prejudice) that he keeps antagonising her whenever she shows weakness. So, she won't give and he won't give, and Tito and Jack are left to play messenger boy between them.

However, they are a fucking frightening sight when you aim them the same way.

7. Massive Attack: Aftersun [ click ]

When I was chasing the fear away
I forgot to breathe again
In this moment we shine
Burn to ember every time

Then we move back to old songs that found their places. This for Jack and for the skimmer side of things. Everyone in the crucible sometimes burns brighter than they are, but the flux and flow of life isn't quite as hectic for the sleeper or spirit as the skimmer. You push yourself, because you know you have your body to fall back on.

Jack, then. Rusty is kind of standing back to watch him right now, careful not to let him see her grinning. Rusty has an analytical eye for both performance and potential, and the former is finally matching up to the latter when it comes to Mr. Torres. Beyond that, Jack has come through some serious hurdles back into her confidence and care. She hasn't forgotten, but she's laid a few things to rest because doing so keeps her sane. He's her closest ally and shoulder to cry on; trust as a handful of pebbles, really bad whiskey, takeaway sushi and conversations about space. She doesn't mind him in hers, and that, in a word, is a comfort.

8. DJ Krush feat. Kazufumi Kodama: Day's End (After Dusk Mix) [ click ]


I feel like I picked this piece for a closing theme, then the last two sessions happened, and I'd blindly made a perfect choice. This is a quiet and melancholy track, but it seems to suit the atmosphere of coming in from the cold that reigned after the meeting with Blink and Dennison. In the dead of night, there is now the glimmer of real hope--lay your heads down for a while, you weary soldiers, vigilantes, roamers and fugitives, for morning is coming.
Psyche: geekygeeky
Noise: UNKLE - Lonely Soul
Heli: winter treeamphelice on July 25th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Brilliant work, as always. Currently listening to it and pondering upon making my own fanmix. <3

And holy shit, is that Bear McCreary track all that Gavriil is or what!

Edited at 2010-07-25 08:19 pm (UTC)
semicolon abuse hotline: on your shorehallowd on July 29th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
I saw you'd posted it! Beautiful cover, and a lot of lovely songs. Will comment over there in a bit.

McCreary makes brilliant whatever he touches, I'm convinced, and the piano just is totally Gavriil's instrument.
NeekerBreeker: dino-neverforgetskinship on July 29th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC)
Ha ha, Secret Meeting. Hi, twin-brain. That is one of my favourite The National songs ever. I freaking love it. I did chuckle at the lyrics once or twice, because they point my mind towards conspiracy theories and Tito as well, but figured the song is indeed too mellow to post here...
semicolon abuse hotline: doom and gloomhallowd on July 29th, 2010 08:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, the sound isn't 100% right, but I just couldn't resist the lyrics. They're freaking perfect, and I suppose the song is ironic enough to illustrate the more comical aspects of running from your government.
Icky Sticky Fingers: X-Files | WWMD?hollower on August 2nd, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
I come for the music, but I stay for the flavour text, babe. Lovely insights both t the game, the characters and best of all, how Rusty perceives things. She ain't a simple person, no matter how straightforward and honest she is.

You say that she's at a crossroads. She's the solid, dependable one, but does this mean she won't always be that way? It might be better for the team overall, but I'm quite eager to see a path with unseen twists and turns for her. Perhaps the rest of the team won't self-destruct when she's not on her guard. Or at least not blame her for not being the freaking glue all the time. It must get tedious. I can say that at least Tito will get more goal-orientated and even more driven to accomplish things. He'll also ditch some of his usual bitchiness. No time for non constructive things when there is an unknown number of Spectres still amassing. One blow can't stop the swarm.

Best track is the last one, a sweet find and a perfect fit to the mood where the game ended last time. Something new is being build in the ruins of Orpheus. A real shelter for those left in the cold and a place where all these faint flickers come together to form some light in the storm. And blah blah orpheuscakes. ;) It's that lonesome, somehow almost soothing saxophone...

Talk to her next time, Mr. Wise Guy.

Rusty Rockets just has to sneak into the secret meetings, held six minutes to midnight in the basement of his brain. :P
semicolon abuse hotline: inadequate substitute for caffeinehallowd on August 3rd, 2010 11:42 am (UTC)
I think having Rusty always be the reliable one is v. boring in the long run. She's definitely one of the pillars of the crucible, but she's got to sag and break sometimes. Crusade of Ashes kind of forced her to be the centre that holds, but it took its toll, and now that everyone else is slipping into their roles more comfortably, she's inevitably going to react to that. I'm kind of juggling where to take her right now, and also hoping the good Storyteller can nudge her where I want as soon as I figure out where that is. Basically, it's all push and pull; she can see she doesn't need to cluck over Tito like she kind of used to, so now he gets to be the recipient of her frustrated rants sometimes. X)

I found the last track on a complete fluke, so I just count it as serendipity. I didn't like the sax very much at first, but it grew on me until I thought it was about the best thing about the piece.

Rusty Rockets just has to sneak into the secret meetings, held six minutes to midnight in the basement of his brain. :P

Be very, very careful what you wish for. She could. :P