Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Thursday, August 8, 2019

#RPGaDAY2019: Obscure

Today's topic is Obscure.

Again I am going with a different version of the word because this made me think of Pink Floyd's "Obscured by Clouds".  A very, very underrated album and one semi-central to my D&D playing years.

Obscured by Clouds was released in 1972, a year before their landmark album Dark Side of the Moon.  Now I could write a dissertation on Dark Side, and many have.  But that is not today's post.

ObC was a softer album, but in it are the seeds of what the "new" Pink Floyd became planted in the very fertile ground of the older psychedelic Pink Floyd.

My first DM, the guy that ran me through so many adventures of D&D Expert combined with AD&D, turned me on to this album.  We were both huge Pink Floyd fans and Dark Side was my favorite album. I would go over to his house to play D&D but before we would play, like so many kids in the 80s, we went out on our bikes first.

He lived near the Capitol Records plant so we would rummage around the loading doc and always find a cassette or two that never made it on to the trucks.  Mostly things like Kenny Rogers, but every so often a gem like Iron Maiden or Kraftwerk (Capitol was EMI's American counterpart).  If we were REALLY lucky we would score a Pink Floyd cassette.  Especially since Floyd had left Capitol/EMI for Columbia/CBS Records in the mid 70s.

Obscured by Clouds was a soundtrack of sorts to the film La Vallée (The Valley).  But to my young and unsophisticated ears, it was the soundtrack of an older adventurer.  Someone that had adventured,  loved, lost and now lay dying only with his regrets.

Nothing characterized that better for me than the song Free Four.  Sure it is about the recording industry and Roger Waters singing (again) about his dead dad.  But in the early 80s it was more than that to me.

Floyd would continue to be an inspiration to me when playing although I can't draw a direct line from them to anything I have created like I can with Stevie Nicks or the Police or Led Zeppelin.

Still. To this day, listening to Floyd makes me think of D&D games gone by.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Five Albums, Five Days: Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age of Wireless (1982, 1983, 1984, 2009)

Very, very few albums actually reinvent themselves to me and stay with me over the years.  The Lion and the Cobra does, Dark Side of the Moon doesn't.  But this album(s) does.

Is it a synth-pop ode to the dawning of the computer age in the 80s?  Is it a proto-techno album? Is it a Steampunk/Diselpunk album? Or is it a screed against the very technology it seems to embrace.
Each new time gives it a different feel.

Album: Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age of Wireless

Of course depending on where, who and when you bought this album you could have something different.  Does yours have "She Blinded Me With Science" or "Urges" or neither of those? If your's had SBMWS then how long is it? Does "Radio Silence" feature a lot of synthesizer or guitars?   It took me a while but I tracked down most of these copies and they are now part of my collection.

When I was young I was in love. In love with everything. But now there is only you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Five Albums, Five Days: Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Continuing now to Day 3.  This album had always been there in the background noise of my life for as long as I can remember.  I am not sure who it was who first told me to listen to it in its entirety with headphones; likely my brother Mike or my friend and DM at the time, Jon Cook.  I am going to give Jon the nod since I know how much he loves this album and what it means to him.

Simply put this might be the greatest album of all time.

The Album: Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Five Albums, Five Days: Stevie Nicks - The Wild Heart (1983)

The search for my muse continues.

The year is 1983 and it is my 13th birthday.  There was was always a lot big "to do" about your "Golden Birthday" when you were a kid. That is when your age matches the day you were born.  I was born on a Friday the 13th in June and now I was 13.

Not sure what I got that day from others.  But I do know one.  My best friend Steven Todd gave me a copy of an album by an artist we both loved.  But in truth, I think he did it so I would stop borrowing his tape.  The artist was the immortal Stevie Nicks.
Last year for my birthday my wife got me the extend cut rerelease.   It was like listening to it for the first time again.

The Album: Stevie Nicks - The Wild Heart (1983, 2017)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Five Albums, Five Days: Sinéad O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra (1987)

Creativity still at a remarkable low.  But I figure I should type something.
Gaming stuff likely to comback around Gen Con.

I finally got tagged in one of these so I am supposed to post five albums (or was it supposed to be 10) that have deep meaning to me.
Instead of me tagging others to do this, I want to tag/mention people that share that meaning with me. Up first, and no surprise given the time.
The year is 1987.  I am in college and I just met this girl who was going to become in roughly this order, someone I could never beat at cards, my best friend, my girlfriend and as of yesterday July 22, 2018 my wife of 23 years.  So tagged here, for oh so many reasons, Natalie Brannan

The album: Sinéad O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra (1987)

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!

Monday, August 15, 2016

RPGaDAY2016: Day 15

What types or source of inspiration do you turn to most often for RPGs?

I have mentioned it before, and if you hang out here for any length of time it is obvious, but music and horror movies are my primary sources of inspiration for games.

Yes. I am a voracious reader and I devour fantasy, horror, history and psychology books to feed my game ideas.  But those ideas usually come from a place when I am listening to music or watching a horror movie.

Many of my games even have a "Soundtrack", often known only to me, but they do.
For my "The Dragon and the Phoenix" Buffy game I posted many of the songs here. The Dragon Slayers also had/have a soundtrack.

Ghosts of Albion was written on a steady of diet of Hammer Horror films and Black Sabbath.
The Witch was written with a playlist full of "witchy" songs, from the obligatory Stevie Nicks, to Garbage, Third Eye Blind, and Love Spit Love.

I pretty much lay my muses bare for all to see.

This is going to be a fun one to read from others!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Releases Tuesday. Witch Edition.

It's Tuesday and that means new releases.

Today I am very excited to report that The Witch is now available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.

I am going to be staying up tonight to see this one.

Also out is the third book in Barb Hendee's Mist-torn Witches series, To Kill a Kettle Witch.

While not exactly a new release for today, it was released on Friday.  Rob Zombie's The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser.

On the D&D/OSR side of things The Rogues Gallery is now out.
I remember getting this and being quite excited.  I remember years laters rediscovering it and recognizing some of the names.

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, 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.


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 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.

Conceptual Continuity: The World that Frank Zappa Built

Today is sad day. 22 years ago one of the greatest performers in music died.  Frank Zappa.
ETA: We also just learned that form leader singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland has also died today.

I love Zappa's music after being introduced to it by both a friend and my older brother Mike.  Zappa was a genius and I could spend the next dozen posts talking about him, his music and his contributions.  But instead in a move that might amuse Frank himself I am going for the cheap (but well thought out) gag.

Here are some Zappa inspired items, people, places and things for your game.

Oh I can't explain Conceptual Continuity. It is something that has to be experienced.

Barking Pumpkin
This looks like a normal jack-o-lantern, but once lit it acts an alarm ward. Anyone approaching withing 10' of this pumpkin will cause it to starting barking like a large dog.   Only the command "Sit, Fido, sit." followed by "good dog" will stop it from barking.

Python Boot (magic item)
These boots look like they are made of a skin of a large python.  They give the wearer a +2 on any roll that might involve Charisma (though not magical rolls).  It is assumed that anyone wearing such a boot must be interesting to talk to.

Python Boot, Stinkfoot (cursed)
This cursed version of the Python Boot gives the same powers as a regular python boot.  Though the wearer will not be able to remove them.  Once they try the boot will begin to emit an order like a Stinking Cloud spell.  All Charisma based rolls are now at a -4.

St. Alphonzo (and his Pancake Breakfast)
Saint Alphonzo was one a kindly friar that believed that breakfast was the most important meal of the day.   Special pancakes blessed by the saint keep adventures full and warm till nightfall when consumed in the morning.
St. Alphonzo's is currently run by portly cleric by name of Father O'Blivion, who may or may not be plagued by leprechauns.

Camarillo Brillo by farlo
The Witch of The Short Forest
13th level Witch, Aquarian Tradition, Female (Neutral)

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 13
Wisdom: 10
Charisma: 18

Death Ray or Poison:  9
Magic wand or devices: 10
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 9
Dragon Breath: 12
Rods, Staffs and Spells: 11

Hit Points: 41
Alignment: Neutral
AC: 5 (Ponch [equal to Leather Armor], Amulet of Protection +2 )

Occult Powers
Familiar:  Snake
Herb use
Lesser: Astromancy
Minor: Moon Blessing

Cantrips: Chill, Daze, Detect Curse, Object Reading, Open, Sound
First: Cause Fear, Charm Person, Chill Touch, Sickly
Second: Agony, Evil Eye, Levitate, Rose Garden
Third: Bestow Curse, Bewitch III, Dispel Magic
Fourth: Animal Growth, Emotion, Withering Touch
Fifth: Baleful Polymorph, Bull of Heaven
Sixth: Eye Bite, True Seeing
Seventh: Wave of Mutilation

The witch of The Short Forest is notable for many reasons. First are her looks. Her hair is bright red and curled. Her skin is gray-green and all she seems to wear is an old poncho and an amulet.  She is also sometimes seen with her snake.  She will attempt to read your fortune with a deck of old tarot cards.  Or she will try to seduce any male, particularly adventurers but especially Bards (she loves the guys in the band).  If asked she will play a pair of castanets.
She lives in a small two story hut in the valley in the middle of the Short Forest. She will tell you she was born there and that makes her a valley girl.
She had a sister that drowned and doesn't want to talk about it. She will mention many times that she doesn't want to talk about it. (Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch).

She created the Barking Pumpkin and has a many of them outside her home.  She also has a cat (not a familiar) that speaks fluent Chinese (a language she does not know).

The witch's real name is Dinah, but she never answers to that.

Goblin Girl
Armor Class: 14 (5)
Hit Dice: 1 (6 hp)
No. of Attacks: 1 weapon (dagger)
Damage: 1d6
Movement: 20' Unarmored 30'
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: Fighter: 1
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: R
XP: 12

Goblin Girl is a short, kind of pretty little goblin lass. She isn't evil, per se, but she does tend to get into a lot of mischief.  She is very fond of ale, and for a sip she will help out adventurers.  She is also overly amorous and will adopt a "boyfriend" in the party very early.  She will get upset and even suicidal if affection is not returned.  She won't actually kill herself, but she loves the attention.
She wears a green dress and a black witch hat.  She isn't really a witch, she just likes the hat.  It also covers up her head, which is flat on top.

She is friends with the Witch but has been kicked out of St. Alphonzo's many times for stealing margarine.  She has a boyfriend that is a hobgoblin, but she will claim they "are not serious".

Discorporate (Absolutely Free) (spell)
Level: Witch 5, Wizard 5
Duration: 1 hour + 10 mins per level
Range: Touch

By means of this spell the witch can leave her body and project herself anywhere on the current plane she is inhabiting.  She can not affect objects or people unless they are also astral, ethereal or in spirit form.  She can pass through walls and travel great distances, but she must return to her own body before the duration ends or be lost.
The witchcan bring the astral forms of five other willing creatures, provided all subjects are linked in a circle at the time of the casting. These fellow travelers are dependent upon the caster and must accompany her at all times. If something happens to the caster during the journey, her companions are stranded.
Like the Astral Spell, a physical body is left behind attached by a silver cord.
Material Component: A bit of velvet.

Zomby Woof
Armor Class: 15 (4)
Hit Dice: 4+1 (20 hp)
No. of Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 2d6
Movement: 20'
No. Appearing: 1d6
Save As: Fighter: 4
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: None
XP: 270

This is a large werewolf zombie stuck in mid-transformation. It is very ungainly and moves slow. It's right foot is larger than the left one and only one paw has claws.
It is a mindless monster that attacks anything in The Short Forest.
A Zomby Woof is turned as a ghoul.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Long Live the Queen!

Not really 100% yet, but I am sitting here at home reading through some witch material for Strange Brew. Which also has me thinking of my War of the Witch Queens adventures.

So I think then is a very good night for one of my favorite groups ever.  Queen!

Queen might not be the first band you think of when you think about RPGs, but I played the hell out my Queen tapes back in the day.  So lets start with some good game-mood setting songs.

Not a lot of talk tonight. Just music.

Since this is a Queen mix I always begin with "Let Me Entertain You" from Jazz.

Here is "Dragon Attack" from their first 80s album, The Game.
Ok I am pretty sure the song is about heroin and not actual dragons.

"Ogre Battle" was always one of those songs that painted a very cool picture for me.  So much so that when it came time to do an epic battle in my game the army was full of ogres.  From 1974's Queen II. If you really want some music, listen to the first three Queen albums.  Freddie was a lyrical god.

From the same Album is the short, but mystical, "Seven Seas of Rhye".  Both songs were later sampled on Queen's own The Works album 10 years later.

Speaking of The Works, one of the best songs on the album is "Hammer to Fall".  Played at the first Live Aid nobody had ever heard it before and Freddie got everyone to sing along.  That's showmanship.

A Kind of Magic might have been one of their biggest albums.  At least in terms of over the top theatrics.  "Princes of the Universe" was something a of D&D anthem or least for our characters.  Yes, this is the song from Highlander.

"I Want it All" is another anthem from a now dying Freddie. I am not trying to be maudlin here, Freddie's death really shook me.  Another "character" anthem it is easy to relate to the "adventure seeker, on an empty street."  From The Miracle or as friends of mine working at EMI at the time used to say "it will be a miracle if it sells".

The connection to gaming and this next song is thin at best.  But I don't care. The album Innuendo was Freddie's good-bye to us all. Who else gets to write their own Requiem?   The title track is epic as anything he ever wrote in the 70s or the 80s.  Musically it is the flip side of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and it is as good as a send of as anyone should hope for.   Plus a ground breaking video from a bad that HATED doing videos.  You can see clips from previous videos in this one as well.

Long live the Queen!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Urban Horror / Soundtrack of the Apocalypse

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos! Urban Horror edition.

D&D is metal. But the gritty Urban Horror I enjoy is Rap with Metal. Two great tastes that go great together.

Make sense to me really.  I was getting into more urban horror in the 90s when rap and hip hop were huge and nu Metal was on the rise.
Personally I believe that Metal and Rap/Hip-Hop have far more in common than they differ.

So how about we start where it started. More or less.
Anthrax and Public Enemy are as about as different as you can imagine.  That is till you dig beneath the surface and realize they are saying the same things to their audiences.  Public Enemy is more politically charged than Anthrax is.

Judgement Night.  Not just a sub-par Emilio Estevez film, it is also a great urban battle song.  Personally I always felt this was a better soundtrack for an apocalyptic battle scene between humans and demons.

Ozzy + Trick Daddy.  Ok, Ozzy is only sampled in this.  But this was one of the songs I had on repeat when working on the Ghosts of Albion game.  My understanding is that Ozzy rather liked this.

I won't lie. I listened to Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" on pretty much repeat all throughout my time working the Buffy game. When I began work on Ghosts of Albion I switched over to "Meteora".
Linkin Park is pretty much the archetypical Nu-Metal band. An alchemy of rock, rap with bits of punk and grunge.  Absolutely part of my soundtrack of the Apocalypse.

For shear oddness you can't beat the Gorillaz.  One part Blur, one part LSD trip and a bunch of  Del Tha Funkee Homosapien.  This doesn't really fit in the "hard rock" mode, but the trippy video is pure "All Flesh Must Be Eaten" crossed over with "Terra Primate".

I am still taking applications for Guest VJ!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Night Videos: 2,000,000 Other Side fans Can't Be Wrong!

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos!

Tonight we do a little self-celebrating and mark 2,000,000 hits to the Other Side blog.  Yeah I know, a little self-aggrandizing, but hey. I pay the bills here.

I have talked about the history of this place before, so no real need to do that again.  Let's just get to the videos.

I am not 100% sure, but it is likely that the name "The Other Side" came from this Moody Blues song.  I had a newspaper article in my school newspaper back in 86-87 named "The Other Side of Life".  My first web site was then called The Other Side.  Kinda anti-climatic isn't it.  But still I like the Blues and this was a good album for 1986.
Like the song, thought the video was a little lame.

Interestingly enough the next Other Side, my website, came out a little after this Areosmith song did. It was from 1994, the same year I moved to Chicago to work on my Ph.D.

I have been a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers since "Mother's Milk".  The Otherside came out at a very, very weird time for me.  I might talk about it sometime. or not. Have not decided yet.

Here is a new one for me. Sirenia.  I know nothing about Norwegian symphonic metal, but I like the sound of this.  It certainly has all the elements of things I like.  This video is kinda cool.

If I had to be honest. Really honest. Well then I would have to stick with the Moody Blues story above.  But I was rewriting my personal story then this is the song that really motivated me to name my lexical outlet to the world then I would have to choose The Doors and "Break on Through (to the Other Side)".  Total cheat on the title too.

Red Sun Rising is another new band for me.  They have this Alice in Chains feel about them that I really enjoy.   I heard this one on the radio the other day when trying to come up with tonight's theme.

Hope you are all with me for the next 1,000,000 hits.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Guest VJ Paul "Wiggy" Wade-Williams

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos!

It is my pleasure to bring you another Guest VJ.   Tonight we are honored to have Paul "Wiggy" Wade-Williams.  He will be playing videos that relate to his newest RPG book "Leagues of Gothic Horror".

So here is Wiggy.

Hi! My name’s Wiggy (also known as Paul Wade-Williams) and I’m the creative director and a partner at Triple Ace Games. Tim has invited me to guest VJ and talk a little about the music I listened to while designing and writing LEAGUES OF GOTHIC HORROR, which launched on Kickstarter this week.

Truth be told, I’ve mainly been watching movies and listening to Gothic audio dramas while pounding away at the keyboard and watching the shadows for werewolves and vampires, but there is always time for music in the creative process. Maybe I’m a little anal, but I often create a playlist to match the product I’m working on, rather than accept whatever random tune my player throws up. Here are some of the tracks in that list.

Blue Oyster Cult — Magna of Illusion

This track is from my all-time favourite album—Imaginos. The lyrics are laden with layers of hidden meaning and weird significance—ancient prophecies, magic mirrors, alchemy, astrology, witches, magical ships! I’ve always had an interest in the occult(not to be confused with Satanism) and the entire album was essential listening—I never tire of listening to it! I love it so much there are references to it scattered throughout LEAGUES OF GOTHIC HORROR.

Sheelanigig — Lost in Transitvania

My music tastes are quite eclectic. Most of my playlist is heavy metal or rock, but nestled among the albums are 80s pop, folk, movie soundtracks, and Mongolian throat-singing. I came across this band at the Shetland Folk Festival only a few months ago and immediately fell in love with their stuff. Writing can be a boring process, even if you love what you write, and this song gave me an excuse to chair dance while absorbing the Eastern European folk vibe that transported me at least part way to Transylvania.

Ozzy Osbourne — Bark at the Moon

It’s Ozzy, the Prince of Darkness himself! This song met all the criteria when writing a book on Gothic Horror—the heavy metal I love and an atmospheric (if occasionally camp) video replete with elements of the genre. I’ve listened to Ozzy for many years, and regardless of my mood there’s always a song to suit.

The Unguided — Deathwalker

Remember I said my tastes were eclectic? Well, here’s some Swedish melodic death metal for you! I admit I am not without bias in choosing this track—the band based it on my Hellfrost fantasy setting and I was lucky enough to collaborate on the lyrics. Despite its fantasy origin, the track concerns the rising of a powerful lich and his gathering support from the undead, an apt enough topic for Gothic Horror.

Iron Maiden — The Number of the Beast

Iron Maiden, the first heavy metal I ever listened to. This track, from their third album, always reminds me of one of my favorite horror film—The Devil Rides Out. The beat is fast, hardly fitting for the creeping terror of Gothic Horror, but the content, Satanism, was perfect for writing the magic section. The track also reminds me of school (I was 12 when it came out), especially since 1982 was the date The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was published, the book that got me into gaming.

Dalibor Krigovský — Moriens Spiritum

Conveying mood to the reader is an essential part of writing. Gothic Horror isn’t slash and gore. It’s dark and moody. It reeks of decadence and decay. Capturing that unique flavour so GMs can convey it to their players in words was essential. Often I can get into the right mood without much thought—it is part of the job being a full-time author working on varied projects—but there are times when I need a boost. This track is heavy and brooding, perfect for immersing myself in Gothic atmosphere.

J. S. Bach — Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

More mood music! I’ve always loved this piece of music. Maybe I’m odd, but it immediately conjures up images of the lonely figure of Dracula (or Strahd von Zarovich) seated in front of an organ in his desolate castle or the Phantom of the Opera. It’s a very powerful and emotive piece that ebbs and flows, never failing to drag my mood along as it does so.

(ETA: This is one of my favorites as well! - Tim)

If you like the playlist and you’re interested in our Kickstarter for LEAGUES OF GOTHIC HORROR, please check it out here:


Thanks so much Wiggy!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Night Videos: The Sword

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos.

Tonight I want to focus on just one band, but one that I really identify with the entire OSR and nostalgia D&D movement.

The Sword hit my awareness in 2008 or so with their album "Gods of this Earth".  Right around the same time this blog got going.

Like the retro-D&D/OSR/Nostalgia movement The Sword was a new thing that sounded like an old thing from the 70s.  In this case a band that had a similar vibe to Slayer to sound like Black Sabbath.  In any case it worked.

Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians was the first single from "Gods of the Earth".  It sounds old school and the video is something right out of Ralph Bakshi.  The biggest influence is obviously Bakshi's Wizards.  Confession time. I am not a fan of Wizards.  Never saw the appeal. I also don't care for rotoscoping.

If any song captures this retro-feel of The Sword the best it's How Heavy This Axe. The video even looks like something filmed the same day Black Sabbath filmed Paranoid or Iron Man.  Plus this was also the theme song to +Zak Smith and gang's "I Hit it with My Axe".  That gives it OSR street cred right there. Or it gave them cred.  Not sure which.

What can I honestly say about Maiden Mother Crone?
Well for starters it is easily my favorite song from The Sword.  Plus there are great allusions to Pagan myths and witchcraft.  In true heavy metal cliche fashion it has a "mystical orb" at the end (3:30 mark).  I am sure that was done completely tongue in cheek.  But still it's pretty awesome.

I listened to this a lot when working on The Witch.

Tres Brujas or "Three Witches" came along later.  It mixes in elements of Westerns, sci-fi, witchcraft (again) and Kung-fu (the TV show).  So yeah...sounds a bit like the AD&D DMG.

Veil of Isis is a newer song.  The video reminds me a bit of some of the videos of the later 80s, before Grunge took over. Still it's a pretty cool song.

You can find The Sword on the web at

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Celebrate Summer with Rush!

We are coming up on the first day of Summer.

Ah Summer. When you are a kid there is nothing better.

I remember spending my summers playing outside, running around and of course playing D&D on the weekends all night long.
It was an innocent time really before we all discovered girls, drinking (drugs) and other ways to pass the time.  I don't regret and would not change a single moment of those times.

Let's start this right with Rush's "Time Stand Still" I think it sums up what I want to say rather well.
Plus "Solstice" means "Sun stand still" so yeah. Perfect song.
And Aimee Mann was damn cute here.

Let's keep going with Rush for a bit.  They are afterall the most "D&D" band I know.

"Subdivisions" spoke to everyone in my gaming group in a why that is difficult to quantify really.  I didn't grow up in the suburbs (though I live there now) but the feelings are the same.  Replace the video games in this video with RPGs and the message is the same.

Ok. So Canada in the Winter does not invoke images of Summer, but the video aside no song reminds me of playing D&D quite as much as Rush's "Tom Sawyer".  This was my DM's favorite song.  I think I have heard it 1000 times.  One more time would be good too.

Ok I lied.  "Fly By Night" reminds me of D&D maybe just a little bit more than Tom Sawyer.  I remember one of the first big "D&D Parties" we had in Jr. High.  My friend and DM Jon put a copy of Rush's Fly By Night into my hands and told me I had to listen to it.  He did that a lot.  It did change my life.

"Freewill" came to me at a very interesting time in my life.  The song was something of an anthem for me, but not one I could shout out loud.  1980, I was 10 and just learning to play D&D. I was also becoming what I would later know to be called an atheist.  D&D was my way to explore religious spaces; which is why I tend to play clerics, paladins and witches.

Fast forward to a little over 10 years later Rush releases a new album, Roll the Bones. I remember that some of the hard core Rush fans in college didn't care for it, but I loved it. I know some people hated the rapping in the song, but fuck them.
Isn't that what we do? Roll the Bones.

Enjoy your summer!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Guest VJ Chrys Fey

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos.

Tonight I want to welcome guest VJ Chrys Fey!
Chrys is the author a number of books including the her most recent The Witch of Death and the Ghost of Death.

I asked Chrys to come by tonight and share some songs whe was listening too or were inspiring while she worked on her books.

So without further ado, take it away Chrys.

Witchy Woman by Eagles

This song was done ten years (1972) before Liberty Sawyer was born, but it could be about her: “raven hair and ruby lips, sparks fly from her fingertips-” Although there’s the mention of the devil, which Libby doesn’t like, she can’t help but dance to this fun song in her living room.

Jillian (I’d Give My Heart) by Within Temptation

This is the song that really gets me, my muse, and Libby pumped up. Ever since we stumbled across it ten years ago, Within Temptation has been our favorite band. They are a Dutch rock/metal band. The combination of Sharon Den Adel’s angelic voice and the dark, beautiful music is spellbinding. And if you’re a fan of Serenity/Firefly, you’ll enjoy the video.

A Witches Song by Ordo Funebris

The odd thing about this song is that no one can find lyrics to it but because it’s so beautiful, eerie, and mysterious, Libby loves it. On top of that, the video features work by her favorite artist Victoria Francis.

You can find Chrys on the web at
And more about Libby at The Faux Fountain Pen and Tasha's Thinkings.

Title: Witch of Death
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Supernatural/Suspense
Format: eBook Only
Page Count: 45 (short story)
Release Date: May 20th, 2015
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.




Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost stalking the lead detective on the case. 

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.

Book Links:


Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.

When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next hurricane to come her way.

You can connect with her on Facebook and her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers! 

Author Links: 

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