Showing posts with label Friday Night Videos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friday Night Videos. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday Night Videos: Happy Summer Solstice!

Right now, as of this posting, the sun is rising over Stonehenge to celebrate the longest day of the year.  The Summer Solstice.

For some reason, I always want to play this song.



I would be lying if I said I never wrote an AD&D adventure based solely on this song.


Of course, "Solstice" means "Sun stand still".



Plus Aimee Mann was so cute in this video.  I had the biggest crush on her back then.


Though the Solstice means we begin the slow, inevitable fall to Winter.




Enjoy the sun while you can!


Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Night Videos: Happy Birthday Jon!

Wednesday, July 6 is the birthday of one of my oldest friends Jon "Flat Black" Cook.
Growing up Jon's birthday always meant that going over to his place and playing D&D until sunrise.  Great times really.

Since I have not posted one of these in a while I wanted to do this one for him.  Plus Jon always had a great collection of music.  He got me into Rush and Iron Maiden. He was the one that threw a copy of Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" at me and told me to listen to it and don't come back till I knew all about Eddie.
Metal, D&D and summer's hanging out with Jon were what made the early 80s for me.
Also this is more like Friday Afternoon Videos since I want to tag him on Facebook with this.

I'll admit it. During the height of the "Satanic Panic" Jon and I would do whatever we could to make matters worse. Playing D&D and listening to Iron Maiden was the norm. Thankfully for us we had parents that were neither impressed with two teens nor stupid.




I am not really sure who introduced me to Pink Floyd first. Jon or my late brother Mike.  I am inclined to give Mike the credit because Mike was really cool like that and that is how I want to remember it.  But Jon certainly introduced "Not Now John" from Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" to me.  I am in the minority here, but I rather enjoy the bleakness of this album. People say The Wall is depressing. That's a cake-walk compared to Roger Water's soul-bearing requiem for the post-war dream.
Fuck all that.  This is just a great song.




One of these days...I need to do a FNV dedicated to Pink Floyd.
One of these days I am going to dance with the grim reaper...or cut you into little pieces...never was sure hat he was saying here.




It is no doubt that Jon introduced me to Rush.  To this day I equate Rush and D&D so tightly largely due to these summers.  This was the first song I can remember him playing while we gamed.




Another group Jon played a lot of and I associate with gaming to this day is Blue Öyster Cult.  Veteran of the Psychic Wars from "Fire of Unknown Origin" might be the most D&D song ever written.



It wasn't all metal. David Bowie's "Let's Dance" was a BIG hit around this time.




Even years later as I was getting ready to go away to college Jon still had something new for me.  With his typical "you need to listen to this now" attitude he popped in a tape (yeah tape) of this new band he discovered; Guns and Roses.

No association with gaming here.  Just Jon once again being Jon and finding out about music when no one else in our little midwest town had never even heard of these guys.



So Happy Birthday JR!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Night Videos: Supernatural Soundtrack, take 2

Been meaning to do tthis for my kids for a while now.

This is an expansion of a similar FNV I did a while back.


I have taken some liberties with the song selections, but the spirit is there.

This is a long play-list. 25 songs, about an hour and half long.











Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Night Videos: Songs of the Aquarian Order

The Sisters of the Aquarian Order are full of idea I have had for a number of years.  Some of those ideas have come from the music I listened too while conceptualizing it and other from music I listened to while writing it.

So here is a brief selection of songs that get me in the mood to write and play.

First up is a favorite of mine, but a newer song.
The Sword know how to do witchy imagery well.  The protagonist of this song, "The Veil of Isis" is an Aquarian Sister if I ever saw one.




A lot in this book is what I like to think of as "left-over hippie shit".  The 70s were a heady brew of occultism, psuedo-science, emerging technology and science fiction. If that was the stew that fed my creativity then this is the broth.   The 5th Dimension recorded "Age of Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In" in 1969.  It featured prominently on the soundtrack for the musical Hair.  I never liked Hair, but this song I always kind of enjoyed.




True fact.  I love Psychedelic Rock, especially if it is in that sweet spot between 1968 and 1977.  If sounds like the band took a lot of drugs and traveled in space then I am there.   The Amboy Dukes really only had one hit, "Journey to the Centre of the Mind".  But it is exactly the sort of thing I enjoy.




Slightly earlier, but no less awesome, was Procol Harum.  "Whiter Shade of Pale" is just one of the songs that seems to call out to me from some great distance of time and space that I can't quite transverse.  An echo of something I should have heard, but have no idea what it was and only have the memories. I think it is the Hammond organ to be honest.




On the other side is 1979's "Children of the Sun" by Billy Thorpe. It is almost so corny and campy that you would assume it was a parody song, but Thorpe meant it in all earnestness.  From the album of the same name it was one of his biggest hits in the US.  I can honestly say this.  The seeds of the Aquarian Order are here.  I remember the summer of 79, I was out riding my bike and I heard this song and thought about a group of Space Wizards. Interestingly enough the album was released by Capricorn Records.




Even getting further away, but still close enough to matter to me, is April Wine's "Sign of the Gypsy Queen".   Something about this song really gets to me.



If Stevie Nicks is an archetypical witch then Grace Slick is an archetypical Aquarian Sister.  I have had a long and complicated relationship with Jefferson Airplane/Starship.  "Winds of Change" hits a lot metaphorical notes for me.  From 1983 it fits into my timeline for solid D&D/Chill game playing.
"Sleeping, not yet dead."



Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Night Videos: Frog Leap Studios Metal Covers

No big theme tonight. Nothing to do with RPGs either.

Just a new artist I discovered this week.
Leo Moracchioli of Frog Leap Studios (which I think is just him and his wife, and sometime their daughter) does these amazing metal covers of popular songs.

You can find his cover on Amazon and iTunes.

Here are few I got a kick out of.




























Enjoy!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Night Videos: Women Rock!, Part 2.

A while back I posted a bunch of videos from women that rock.
It was quite popular.

I said then that a part 2 was in order.  So here it is!



K's Choice wis a band from Belgium that had some notoriety in the mid to late 90s.  The biggest album was 1995's Paradise in Me which gave us the hit "Not An Addict". This was a huge song for me during my Sojourn in Hell period, for what should be obvious reasons.  My biggest issue with K's Choice is that for years I swore they were Canadian.   This is the European version of the video which I prefer.




Speaking of the 90s, no one, and I mean no one, does angry like Tori Amos.  Don't think so?  Listen to her lyrics sometime, especially songs like "Me and A Gun", "Pass the Mission", "Spark" and "Cornflake Girl" or to a lesser degree "Crucify".  Taylor Swift sings about someone and it is fodder for Twitter. Tori Amos sings about someone and it is Primal Scream Therapy.
Though the song that always gets me is the first time I saw her.  "Silent All These Year" from the phenomenal Little Earthquakes.

My scream got lost in a paper cup
You think there's a heaven
Where some screams have gone

Never fails to get to me.




I am not all about pathos.  Last time I mentioned my love of Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees.  That is still true. But I was thinking back to the first song I ever heard of theirs.  Without a doubt it has to be "Cities in Dust".  I remember hearing this all the time in the hey of MTV. I actually sat down to listen to the lyrics once and realized it was about Volcano Day.




At this point do I really need to explain why I am including Stevie Nicks?  No. Ok good.  But I will add that this is my favorite song from the fantastic The Other Side of the Mirror.  This is a more adult and more mature Stevie.  This is a woman that knows who she is and where life is going.  At 31 she was more interesting than the "Wild Heart" girl of her early to mid 20s.




Last time I also mentioned Joan Jett, but I really need to give a shout out to the band that gave us Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie, The Runaways.  The Runaways have been given their due more lately. There was the bio-pic in 2010 and appearances of their signature song "Cherry Bomb" in both Lollipop Chainsaw and Guardians of the Galaxy.   The version from the movie is not too bad, but lacks something raw that original had in droves.




Taylor Momsen may have gotten her start as "Cindi Lou Who" but thankfully for all of us she sold her soul to darkness.  Just kidding...mostly.  Well years later she is fronting the band Pretty Reckless and she seems to be constantly trying to shed that wholesome image.  She is, in some sense, the spiritual successor to The Runaways.   She looks like Cherie Curry and tries to sing like Joan Jett.  She isn't bad and the band has some good songs.  "Heaven Knows" might be the most recognizable.




So who are your favorites?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Guest VJ Bruce Heard and The Calidar Soundtrack

Tonight is a very special night here at the Other Side.

I have +Bruce Heard  helping me out with the Guest VJ spot tonight.  He is sharing some of the songs and tracks that would make up a Calidar Soundtrack.

So without further ado, here is Bruce!
--
Hi, I’m Bruce Heard, the creator of Calidar, a game world inspired from the Voyage of the Princess Ark stories I used to write for Dragon Magazine in the 80s and 90s.  Some of you may remember me as the direction behind the D&D’s Mystara Gazetteers at old TSR.

I had a chat with Tim regarding Calidar and the Kickstarter campaign for my present project, “Beyond the Skies.”  It is a massive compendium about the gods of this universe, their shenanigans, and a monstrous peril plotting their doom.  Writing about this conjures a number of thoughts in my mind, among which music takes an interesting dimension.  During the past decade I developed an interest in movie scores.  Keeping with my focus on fantasy, sci-fi, action, and adventure, my tastes target certain titles particularly.

As a go through “Beyond the Skies,” the first that comes to my mind is Highlander’s “Who wants to live forever.”  This is especially true with the first part of the book, which describes the gods, their personalities, and their motivations.  It also alludes to Calidar’s epic heroes brought up in the first book, “In Stranger Skies.”  They stop aging as long as they qualify as epic heroes, their first step before aspiring to become demigods in the service of a divine liege.



There are of course the dwarven gods, and I had a good laugh when I described them as steampunk space warriors.  The best score for this, in my mind, was from Jerry Goldsmith, Star Trek’s Klingon Battle theme.  Kragdûras dwarves sound a bit like Klingons and pretty much behave like them.  They’re just shorter and hairier.  They don’t use dilithium but rather a kind of coal they mine on their moon.  So yes, they use steam-powered dreadnaughts.


Other fine neighbors are Calidar’s version of the Norse, best described as space Vikings who collect abandoned alien weapons.  With their giant longships, they hurtle through the “Great Vault,” raiding both known and lost worlds, in search of fortune and forbidden technology.  Another one from Jerry Goldsmith, “The Warriors” theme from the 13th Warrior truly seized the image for me.



Naturally, when talking about the gods of the Norse, my hand reached for Thor’s “Sons of Odin” theme from Patrick Doyle.  The deities portrayed in Calidar are alter-egos of those from real world mythology, and they know it!  These gods are aware that they ascended from the minds of mortals (who’d been abducted to Calidar from the real world), and they debate whether they should endorse traditional sagas or forge for themselves an entirely new fate.  Some believe that Ragnarok still hangs over their heads while others argue that it does not have to be so.



There is a section of “Beyond the Skies” that dwells upon the Dread Lands, Calidar’s giant living wilderness that fights off intruders.  It is connected to the planet’s World Soul, a semi-sentient pool of magic binding the souls of all sapient creatures to the worlds on which they were born.  For this, James Horner’s theme “Climbing Iknimaya, The Path to Heaven” from the Avatar movie was unavoidable.



The Calidar series feature a recurring skyship theme, as they draw their inspiration from the original Princess Ark stories, D&D’s idea of what Star Trek would be in a medieval high-fantasy world.  This led me to enjoy various Pirates of the Caribbean themes from “At World’s End,” especially Hans Zimmer’s “One Day,” a big favorite of mine.



Another score that I do like a lot is Klaus Badelt’s “Time Machine.”  The movie itself wasn’t immensely popular, but the music is great for an adventurer/explorer genre, especially the “Eloi” theme. This one reminds me of forgotten worlds and the nature-loving tribes dwelling in the Dread Lands.  Their secret is that they’ve learned to adapt to this monstrously dangerous place and tap into the magic of the World Soul.



In the genre of lost civilizations, another well know score works well, and is also a favorite of mine: David Arnold’s “Stargate.”  It does fit well in that Calidar has an ancient culture generally inspired from ancient Egypt.  Though part of it was conquered by another power, another escaped into space where its people attempt to regain their lost glory.  Ancient Egyptians in space—no doubt about it!




The topics are endless.  For Calidar’s Arabian-style setting, I relied on “The Mummy” with Jerry Goldsmith’s “Camel Race” theme.  This also connects with the ancient Egyptian setting mentioned earlier.  These two genres are directly related in Calidar.  Many others come to mind, such as Maurice Jarre’s classic Lawrence of Arabia main theme.


Then we have Calidar’s “bad guys,” at least from everyone else’s point of view.  The Nicareans are (very) loosely inspired from the early Byzantine with a strong strain of Spanish Inquisition-like behavior.  They are conquerors in their own right, and with them, when they march to war or line up their skyships for a fight in the Great Vault, it’s Vangelis’s “Drums of Gaugamela” from the “Alexander” motion picture that comes to my mind—huge, fearsome, glorious, and rousing!  It’s one that I play when I get discouraged or run out of steam.



This is turning into quite a long article, longer than I first expected, and I don’t believe I’ve made a dent in the pile of music that I can think of when writing for for this setting.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the elves of Calidar.  Their lunar empire of Alorea is more akin to a tree-hugging tyranny, somewhat like Star Trek Romulans turned totalitarian biologists, for which Hans Zimmer’s “The Battle” theme from the motion picture “Gladiator” works well.  Imagine a three way space battle between Nicareans, Kragdûras dwarves, and Alorean elves.  That’s an awful lot of drums!


The elves of Calidar’s main world, on the other hand, are much more peaceful, and their theme ends up being Howard Shore’s “Evenstar” composition, from Lord of the Rings’ “The Two Towers.”  We all know this one I’m sure, and it stands as a peaceful, friendly manner to part ways.  Hope you enjoyed this journey across fantasy, space, and popular movie scores.



--
Thanks Bruce! That is really an epic soundtrack.

Don't forget to check out his Kickstarter tonight as well.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ambreville/calidar-beyond-the-skies

Friday Night Videos: SNEAK PEEK!

Tonight is a very special night here at the Other Side.

I have +Bruce Heard  helping me out with the Guest VJ spot tonight.  He is sharing some of the songs and tracks that would make up a Calidar Soundtrack.

Please join us tonight at 11:30pm Central time to see his list of epic songs for Calidar.

Don't forget to check out his Kickstarter tonight as well.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ambreville/calidar-beyond-the-skies

Bruce has a lot of great music tonight.  For me though Calidar has more of a mystical, prog-rock feel.  My Calidar soundtrack includes Uriah Heep's "Traveller in Time".


See you all tonight!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Celebrating 3000 posts

Well I did not have much time today to get videos together or a theme.  So I figure why not take a moment and celebrate the fact I have made 3000 posts.

That's a lot of text really.

So let's celebrate this milestone with some videos about hit the mark, getting there or 3000 in general.

Let's start with the best known, if only, 3000 in the music business.  That would be Andre 3000 of Outkast.  Here is "Hey Yeah" with a multitude of 3000s from their epic two album release The Love Below.




Can you imagine me training for this?  Running up steps, punching keyboards hanging from the ceiling?  Tangling with other games and blogs? No. Ok maybe not.  But let's be honest "Eye of The Tiger" from Survivor is an awesome fight song.




All month, I have counting down to this.  You know what that means, right?




In truth not only can I not complain, but I get to do something I enjoy AND others seem to enjoy it too. So as long people want to keep reading what I have to say I'll try to keep saying it.  Like Joe Walsh says, "Life's Been Good to Me (So Far)".


Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Conceptual Continuity

Welcome to the Friday Night Videos salute to Frank Zappa.

Earlier today I posted some people and things from Frank Zappa's Conceptual Continuity.

Here are the songs and videos that inspired them.
Note: Not all of these are part of Zappa's actual Conceptual Continuity, but they are good for this.

My python boot's too tight.  "Stinkfoot" appears on the 1974 FZ album Apostrophe ('), which is now usually sold as a combo CD with Over-Nite Sensation.   Stinkfoot is very much part of the Conceptual Continuity. I also think it might have been the first Zappa song I ever heard.  I am sure that my brother Mike was the one that introduced me to it.




One the same album St. Alphonzo and Father O'Blivion can be heard on "St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast" and "Father O'Blivion" respectively.    Funny thing, the next song on that side "Cosmik Debris" was one of "inspirations" for the Aquarian Tradition of Witchcraft.






Speaking of the Aquarians.  Over-Nite Sensation from 1973 introduced us to The Short Forest in "Camarillo Brillo" a tale of a magic mama that could throw a mean tarot.    I decided that the woman in Camarillo Brillo was the same as the Witch of The Short Forrest and likely Dinah-Moe Humm from the same album.  Camarillo Brillo, by the way is not the witch's name, it describes her hair.




The idea of her sister drowning comes from Zappa's 1982 album Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.  This is the album that gave the world "Valley Girl".




"Goblin Girl", is not really a goblin, but gobbling or gobbl'en.  What she is gobbling...well you listen and decide.  But it is one of the best songs on the completely fantastic You Are What You Is from 1981.  For me she looks like Gren Razortooth from YAFGC.




Her suicidal behavior comes from the same album in the form of "Suicide Chump" and "Jumbo Go Away".






Going all the way back to 1968 we have the classic Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention album We're Only In It For The Money.  One of my favorite songs on this album  is "Absolutely Free" which teaches us that "discorporate means to leave your body."




We go back to Over-Nite Sensation and end with Zomby Woof, which should be self-explanatory.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Paint it Black

In "honor" of Black Friday here are some of my favorite songs/videos about black.


At least make an effort to stop at your FLGS this weekend.




"Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones takes us all the way back to 1966.  I will contend that this is the first "Goth" song recorded.




"Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin




"Back in Black" by AC/DC




"Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles.  Alannah Myles was the hottest thing on MTV for a while. She still is.




"Black" by Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam was the biggest thing in the 90s. This is either one of their most iconic performances or one of their most self-indulgent.  Either way cool song.




"Black Sunshine" by White Zombie. I do enjoy some White Zombie.




"Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden.




"Blue on Black" by Kenny Wayne Sheppard




And of course no discussion of black is complete without "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" by Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention


Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Women Rock!

Growing up I had a friend that knew every actress' name, movie she was in all these details about their lives.  In college I had another friend who did the same thing with all these supermodels.

When asked who I found attractive or "liked" I would always say names like Stevie Nicks, Deborah Harry or Joan Jett.  For me it was always about the rock girls.

It is also no surprise that most of the female PCs and NPCs I have or have had were based on the women whose albums, tapes and CDs I would buy.

So with the new Supergirl show on now and Jessica Jones on tonight in the US here are some of my favorite ass-kicking superheroines.

This should not be a surprise to anyone I have already featured great performers like Shirley Manson of Garbage, Stevie Nicks,  So here are a just a very few of my favorites.

I have always loved Joan Jett.  She is just so goddammed cool and can rock with the best of them.  She has SOOO many great songs, but this one always gets me going.  Plus it is the "theme song" for the Grazzt/Iggwilv love affair.  That's their dirty little secret...they actually love each other.




Ever hear a song and thought "man I need to do something with that!",  Pat Benatar's "Shadows of the Night" from 1982's Get Nervous was always that song to me. It is very, very likely that the "Midnight Angel" later became Nox.  I always loved her and yes I did have a witch character that looked like her in the 80s.   I never liked the video for it to be honest.  If had been thinking about this I should have made my own video with footage of her on Charmed.  Yes. She was on Charmed for an episode.




Speaking of Nox. "Because the Night" was written by Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen thanks to the manipulations of Jimmy Iovine (who is immortalized in my games as well).   Patti Smith is such a powerful singer that most people can't do this song justice.  Bruce can.  Natalie Merchant did a good job, so did Shirley Manson.  But they can't compare to her version.   This is one of my favorite songs.




I was once asked if I thought Siouxsie Sioux was attractive. I said yes without hesitation and then I showed them the video for "Kiss Them For Me".  It's not the most iconic Banshees' song, but I really like it.




One of my favorite bard characters looks just like Aimee Mann. What can I say, she is so damn cute and more talented than a truckload of pop-princesses.




Even Darth Vader loves Blondie.  "The Tide is High" is not really related to any gaming, but damn. Deborah Harry in her prime.




What do a Gateway 486, an HP Desk Jet and Hormonally Yours all have in common?  They were the essential ingredients to the first time I sat down to collect all my notes for the Witch class.  I mention the printer because I still have that printout with a couple hundred hand written notes.
Hormonally Yours was the second album from Shakespears Sister featuring former Bananarama singer Siobhán Fahey.  "Stay" was a big hit with me in 92. I thought she was so hot back then, still do in fact.




Very, very, very few people (not just singers) have left such a mark on my psyche as Sinéad O'Connor.  Seriously. I can divide time into two very distinct and very different points. The time before I heard The Lion and The Cobra and the time after.  I have talked about Sinéad before, but the amount I have talked about her doesn't reflect what her music has meant to me.  "Troy" is not my favorite song on this album, but it is damn close.



I think this a good place to stop.  I can do a part 2 later!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Guest VJ Jason Vey

Tonight we have a special guest VJ Jason Vey!

He is here to share songs that influenced him or motivated him while working on Brimstone & The Borderhounds RPG.

Jason and I have known each other for years. We worked on Buffy together, playtested each other games and respected each other enough to say when a bit of game design was total shit.

I was a playtester on this in the early days but I really can't say anything about it other than I am REALLY excited it is coming out.  So without further rambling on from me, here is Jason.


--

Greetings, night stalkers, vampires and Weepers! I’m definitely NOT Kasey Kasem. I’m Jason Vey(sem) and I’ll be your guest veejay for this week’s edition of Friday Night Videos on the Other Side.

Tonight I’m going to talk about the music of Brimstone and the Borderhounds – my RPG that’s currently in Kickstarter through Troll Lord Games. I’d like to share a few little ditties that are inspirational or otherwise appropriate to this particular game which falls solidly in the urban fantasy genre. But before we do that, here’s a quick primer from the Kickstarter itself:

Forget everything you know about the afterlife. Good guys don’t always go to Heaven and bad guys don’t always end up in Hell. The multiverse is one giant amalgam of giant corporations that humans know as afterlives. Heaven. Hell. Valhalla. The Happy Hunting Grounds. Some might look prettier than others, but in the end they’re all at war for the greatest commodity in the multiverse…Human souls.

It doesn’t matter much where you end up when you die; your lot in life is one of slave labor in one of these afterlives, doing whatever you might have done best (or didn’t know you were best at) in life. That could be constructing buildings or architecture. It could also be mopping up in a strip club. In Hell these human souls are called Weepers. Some win their freedom and earn a meager living in the dregs of society. Others try to escape, either to join terrorist groups known as Kittens, or to get out to another afterlife or even back to Earth. When that happens, crack teams of bounty hunters called Borderhounds are sent out to the Wastelands to bring them back in. The best of these teams is known as XiBalba and is led by Brimstone, the half-demon son of Hell’s Grand Architect.

Using the acclaimed and easy-to-learn SIEGE engine mechanic, the Brimstone and the Borderhounds RPG lets you play as Brimstone and his allies, as a new team of Borderhounds hunting down escaped Weepers and battling corporate espionage from other afterlives (or engaging in a little of your own), or play as a psychic, mystic, occult investigator or Earth-bound hero, battling supernatural incursions from the other worlds as our planet becomes a battleground in the greatest corporate war the multiverse has ever seen. Wield Helltech weapons, call upon Forza Infernis (the powers of Hell) or draw forth alien magic and psychic energies. The sky (or the Pit, as it may be) is the limit when you play in the world of Brimstone and the Borderhounds!

So there you have it, kids. Brimstone and the Borderhounds is an urban fantasy game using the same rules that power Castles & Crusades and Amazing Adventures. If Buffy-meets-Cyberpunk-in-Hell sounds cool, then B&B is just for you!

Now let’s take a look these happy little numbers that were inspirational or are otherwise appropriate for this game.

1. The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
A classic of heavy metal by one of the most important bands in the genre, this nightmarish story about a guy hunted through the woods by the devil himself is uniquely suited to a game about, well, souls escaping from Hell!





2. The Road to Hell - Bruce Dickinson
This may be cheating, since it’s by the lead singer of Iron Maiden and sounds a bit Maiden-ish, but it’s a relentless, driving tune that’s perfect background music for chasing down those Weepers or battling incursions from the other Afterlife Realms!



3. Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer
Sensing a theme, here? What did you expect? It’s a game set in or revolving around the theme of HELL! This is a classic of dark thrash metal from 1990. Its minor key and chilling, dark vocals are a great mood setter for a campaign revolving around those first discovering how the multiverse works.



4. All Nightmare Long - Metallica
Kind of a new record, and sure, Metallica has probably had better tunes, but this one is a worthy entry into their oeuvre. The video is as chilling as the lyrics and like Road to Hell, it’s relentless and driving and would be great for that climactic battle against whatever enemy your GM cooks up.



5. Faster - Within Temptation
Led by singer Sharon den Adel, Dutch metal masters Within Temptation are one of the more underrated symphonic rock bands out there today. This song is actually a single from their album The Unforgiving, which would completely unto itself act as a great soundtrack for a B&B campaign. It’s also tied to a comic book limited series, which you should totally check out as it dovetails neatly with the themes in Borderhounds.



6. Welcome to my Nightmare - Alice Cooper
Seriously, need you ask? What game about hell and monsters is complete without a song about the gradual degradation of sanity and the horrors of the madhouse? Nobody has ever captured the mood of horror and nightmares in music like Alice Cooper, and likely no one ever will. Here’s a creepy live clip of that one.



7. Holy Wars - The Punishment Due – Megadeth
The connections here are several. Thematically, this is about terrorism in the Middle East…and the Marvel Comics’ character The Punisher. Strange pairing, but there it is. The idea of “holy wars,” however, is a great fit for a game about corporate espionage between Heaven and Hell, and the driving, never-quit force of it is another excellent soundtrack for action and adventure, while the comic connections are obvious.


There you have it: seven songs to get you in the mood for Brimstone and the Borderhounds, Kickstarting now! Check it out—back if you like, and spread the word!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/brimstone-and-the-borderhounds-rpg

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Scary Songs

And now some scary songs/videos with a strong Halloween theme!


So here are 13 Scary songs and videos to keep you going till Halloween. Presented without comentary for your enjoyment.
Play at your hHalloween Party!


Not scary, but part of the season.




































And what I consider the first goth song.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Spooky Songs

Very loose theme tonight. A bunch of "Spooky" songs and songs that remind of an old friend who has a birthday coming up this weekend.


So without further ado....

When I think "Spooky" I think Classics IV.
I used to have this on a 45 rpm.





Is it spooky? Not really, but it has a cool vibe to it and it is the Season of the Witch. Plus Donovan is cool.




Raven hair and ruby lips, sparks fly from her finger tips...What is not to love about that?




Cream are pretty much rock and roll royalty.  This is one is one my favorite songs of all time.




For the previously mentioned spooky friend here is some of her favorite band.



Find some wings.



She's come undun.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Thomas Dolby

October 14th was Thomas Morgan Dolby Robertson's birthday. Known in other circles as Thomas Dolby.

Why should that concern you?  Well Dolby and I go WAY back.
I got his first album "The Golden Age of Wireless" when it first came out. It was the album that introduce America to TMDR's breakout hit "She Blinded Me With Science".  It was something of my "theme song" back in the day.

I also picked up all his albums that followed including the rare European version of "Golden Age" that did not have "SBMWS".

But what strikes me now, 33 years later, is that Dolby was so far ahead of his time.  He had one of the first websites on the internet and one of the first virtual reality websites. He help design the software used in cellphone ringtones and tons of other geeky things.

But how does that relate to gaming?  Well Dolby was also pretty much the first cyber-punk musical artist and one of the first steampunk looking ones.  I have been inspired by many of his songs in may games.

"She Blinded Me With Science" is the theme song to every mad-scientist everywhere.  This is the 12" single version that also appeared on the first recordings of Golden Age of Wireless (there are five versions of that album, I own them all, I won't get into which version of "Radio Silence" is better).  This is the 7-minute long version.  I also feel cheated when I hear the short American-radio edit cut.  Growing up I thought I would become the scientist like Dolby was playing here, but instead I became the psychologist.




Another song from Golden Age, "One of Our Submarines" sounds steam-punky, but is filled with Cold-War agnst. Today it is easy to forget that for a time in the 80s the Russians were going to nuke us while we played D&D in our basements.




The Flat Earth is a totally underrated album in every sense of the word. It is softer, but darker and far more mature.  "Mulu The Rainforest" mixed with some articles I was reading in Dragon and this old horror story I read from India of all places about a small, furry vampire.  Rainforests can be scary ass places.



Also from The Flat Earth, "I Scare Myself".  No reason. I just really like this song and this album.



Aliens Ate My Buick came out when I was in college and endless opportunities were open to me. I really loved this album, but it lacked the punch of Flat Earth.  "Budapest by Blimp" was featured here during my vampire songs marathon back in April.  It's eerie and haunting.  You could almost think of it as a requiem for the Cold War.




The fact that more people don't know about Astronauts & Heretics is criminal.  Actually I get it, it was very experimental even for Dolby. The world wanted Grunge in 1992 not experimental electronica.  We had to wait almost 10 more years for that from Moby.   "I Love You Goodbye" is one of the best songs on the album really. The cajun vibe of the song inspired two different adventures during my long Buffy campaign; The Enemy Within and Under a Cajun Moon.



Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Night Videos: The Pale Emperor

ITS OCTOBER! THE MONTH OF HALLOWEEN IS HERE!!!

Can you tell I am excited?  Something about a crisp chill in the air makes me want to pull out the World of Darkness books and play Vampire or Mage.
(BTW have you seen the Mage 20th Anniversary edition? I looks insane!)

Fall make me think of World of Darkness and WoD makes me think of Marilyn Manson!

There is just something about Manson singing "This is Halloween" from the Nightmare Before Christmas. It seems so perfect.



From Smells Like Children.  I always loved this cover.


The World of Darkness is all about drugs. Blood. Magic or what have you these are the drugs of the game and that is what the games are all about.



Another great cover, but also a pretty cool video.   Reminds me a bit of Cult of Personality. Well if "Living Colour" was a heavy goth band.  Course the original by Depeche Mode works just as well.


I have featured this one before.   Likely will again.



There are more. But this is good for now.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Happy Birthday Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner

Today marks the 64th birthday of Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, better known to the world as Sting.

Growing up (and still now) I was a HUGE fan of the Police.  In fact my first folder I kept my character sheets in had the symbols from Ghost in the Machine scribbled on them.

When Synchronicity came out it was such a shift in my thinking that I can barley quantify it.  From this I read Jung, which would lead to degrees in psychology (undergrad and graduate). I read Lolita (thanks to "Don't Stand So Close to Me") which lead me to read other literary greats.
(Seriously. Read Lolita. It's dark, messed up, and brilliant.)
When I got married the song playing "for me" was Sting's "Fields of Gold".

So yeah. I am a fan.
Plus he went to St Cuthbert's Grammar School, so how could I *not* associate him with D&D?

But there are a lot of good songs I associate with gaming.

Back when I was working on the Buffy RPG we were working on a series of linked adventures about a Djinn.  The first few appeared the core books and my adventure "The Dark Druid" was supposed to be Episode 1.  It never quite came together for the reasons these things don't but I wrote a lot for it.  Some of those adventures later became part of "The Dragon and the Phoenix" and "Season of the Witch".

"Desert Rose" from Mercury Falling was one of many songs I listened to then to get me in the mood.  This video represents that crossover.  In both the Djinn arc and Season of the Witch the characters have to find their answers in the desert in the adventure Desert Rose.  Plus I love the bits from Algerian Raï singer Cheb Mami.  Sounds so cool.   Plus is that the same driver from the Duran Duran video "The Chauffeur"? (no I know it's not...but I imprinted in the 80s).




Often with me music will inspire some idea, plot or character.  Sting's "Shape of my Heart" from Ten Summoner's Tales is not his most upbeat song.  I remember listening to it and thinking of a man who was a gambler decided to deal with fate. He became the instrument of fate, loosing his eyes in the process and everyone he loved.  He knows that the fortunes he deals for others are just as much about him and one day he will find what he lost.  That character became The Dealer and he can be found in Halfway.




The Soul Cages might be Stings best sounding album from a audiophile perspective, though I also like the vinyl version of Dream of the Blue Turtles.  It is also (naturally) a dark album.  Lots to do with death and transitions and how fathers die and sons become fathers in turn.  Nothing lays the pathos bare better than the song of the same name, "The Soul Cages".  I always considered this a "Ravenloft" album.




What do Zenyatta Mondatta, Dream of the Blue Turtles and Bring on the Night all have in common?  All have a slightly different version of Sting's own "Shadows in the Rain".  The later, jazzy versions don't share the darker edge of the 1980 Police version, but all are still good.  This song also was the inspiration for a rather pivotal episode in both the Buffy Djinn arc and later in the Dragon and the Phoenix.





Anytime I want to get in the mood for some Celtic-themed gaming you can do worse than listening to the Chieftains.  The Chieftains and Sting together is something rather special.  Having them sing "Mo Ghile Mear" is fantastic.  I swear I can hear Éire herself singing.




Speaking of hearing Éire.   Going back to Ghost in the Machine for a bit, the Police's "Invisible Sun" has haunted me for years.  I have wanted to use the imagery from this song for years.  It was one of the many influences on my Ghosts of Albion adventure Blight.  It is a main part of my current D&D 5 game, Come Endless Darkness.   I like the Ghost version best, but here is an extremely gratuitous version with Sting and Bono.  No one chews up a stage like Bono.


Happy Birthday Sting!
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