Monday, November 26, 2012

The Carcosa Soundtrack: Part I

So I actually had a friend I don’t see very often email the other day, basically all, “Where the eff is Book III already?” 

We’re working on it—I promise.  But we always knew that it would take the most time—we have always expected it to be the longest and most complex book of the series, with all of the heroes and villains reunited in one world.  The world in which it takes place, Corbenic, is also very complex and detailed, filled with a whole new cast of characters.  Corbenic has been under development for nearly eight years now.  We hope you find it is worth the wait.     

In the meantime, to tide you over, I have compiled my soundtrack for Carcosa: The Order of the Four Sons, Book II.

It’s actually two soundtracks—I managed to narrow my extensive playlist to 30 songs.  So sue me, all right?  Nothing’s too excessive for my beloved characters.

So, here’s the soundtrack for Part I of Carcosa


1. Bathory’s Bath – She’s Always a Woman to Me, Billy Joel

“. . . she'll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin' . . .”

A dangerous woman ahead of her time?  Whether you call her Erzsebet, Elizabeth, Eliza or Mistress, it’s totally Bathory’s theme song. 

2. The Cantina – Roadhouse Blues, the Doors

Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer
The future's uncertain, and the end is always near . . .”

What remains of the team, Kate, JD, Murphy and Doug, find themselves in a little cantina on the edge of nowhere.  At least there’s booze. 

3. Cecil’s Funeral – Dust in the Wind, Kansas

All we are is dust in the wind.”

David Morgan’s eulogy, as sung by Kate.  A little uncomfortably close to the Yellow King’s observations, wouldn’t you say?  “The taste is dust.  It always is.”   

4. The Rosslyn Chapel/St. Matthew’s Field – Mysterium, Libera

“. . . the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away. . .

We love the juxtaposition of pagan and Christian imagery with the Rosslyn Chapel and St. Matthew’s Field.  It fits the Order very well, since it’s an organization that embraces pretty much all world religions since ancient Egypt. 

5. Glacier Songs – Landslide, Smashing Pumpkins

“And I saw my reflection in a snow covered hill . . .”

This one’s kind of an inside joke between Coyote and me.  There’s an old Russian member of the Council of Names, Kovach, whose sole purpose in the Order is to guard a transdimensional gate in the Arctic.  We think he and his glaciers have an unhealthy relationship.  We imagine that, as he is sitting at the table in the board room, he is thinking, (in a thick Russian accent, of course), “Can we hurry these proceedings along, please?  I need to get back to my glaciers . . .”

Ok, maybe only Coyote and I think that’s funny.

6. The Dormitory/Terminus – I May Not Awaken, Enya

“Even from a child
A wish is not enough
For me, for me the sky may fall
And even from a child
A dream is not enough
Could be, could be the sky may fall
Could be, could be the night ends all . . .”

Is it any wonder that so many Oracles commit suicide, when one of their defining characteristics is the Terminus Revelation-- a vision of their own demise?  Things start to look pretty pointless when you have a countdown on your life.

7. Slothzilla –  Aenima, Tool

Lyrics are unimportant.  When it comes to the roaring Cuisinart with fur, it’s all about volume. 

8. JD – Bad Like Jesse James, John Lee Hooker

JD Garnett.  Bad like Jesse James at any age.  And, incidentally, one of my favorite songs of all time.

9. The Desert - Mean as Hell, Johnny Cash

And the devil said now I got all what's needed to make it good hell and he succeeded
He began by putting thorns all over the trees
He mixed up the sand with millions of fleas
He scattered tarantulas along the road put thorns on cactus and horns on toad
Lengthened the horns of the Texas steer put an addition to the rabbits ear
Put a little devil in the bronco steed and poisoned the feet of the centipede
The rattlesnake bites you the scorpion stings
The mosquito delights you with his buzzing wings
The sunburst are there and so are the ants
And if you sit down you'll need have soles on your pants
The wild boar rooms on a black chaparral it's a hell of a place that he has for hell
The heat in the summers are hundred and ten too hot for the devil too hot for men . . .

It’s like Johnny is singing about the red wastes of Carcosa—if anything’s alive in that place, it can probably kill you.  Or at least make you wish you were dead.

10. Clayton & Alyssa – My Darling, Wilco

“We were a family, my darlin’
Right from the start.”

Aww, Clayton and Alyssa.  Of course, you know their song had to be short, but very, very sweet. It kills me every time he calls her “child of my heart.”

11. Doug’s Passing – Ave Maria, Andrea Bocelli

Farewell, Doug.  You will be missed.

12. Overdose – Neither Can I, Slash’s Snakepit

“I'm sorry so much
For bringing my own living hell to
Your door
But things had gotten heavy
Everything was deep
Nothing really mattered
So I just went to sleep . . .”

Oh, Bill.  Accidental overdoses are nothing to fool with.  Thank God for Murphy: “Oh, he so needs a stomach pump.  Can we get two?  Can we make it a double?”

13. The Cobar – Lose Your Soul, Dead Man’s Bones

you're gonna lose your soul, tonight . . .”

The Cobar is one of our freakier creations.  It’s a dead gate, standing in the middle of the Carcosan desert:

. . . a massive, bowl-shaped depression.  The earth inside it was a pure salt-white, utterly smooth, with no rocks to mar its dead perfection.  A few yards below her, around the outermost edge, was a ring of tiny, desiccated corpses: lizards, snakes and rodents, their papery flesh fused together in a hideous tangle, all pointing at the center of the bowl.  Concentric rings of death with progressively larger animals, getting closer and closer to a pair of stones in the center, leading to an opening she recognized with a sick jolt. 

It was a gate . . . was a gate-- past tense.  She wasn’t sure what it was now.  At one time, there had been an archway there.  Now only the ragged standing stones remained, and something between them that she could sense more than see.  A fissure, pulsating unpleasantly . . .

14. Vickers – Put You on Game, Lupe Fiasco

“I am the American dream,
The rape of Africa
The undying machine,
The overpriced medicine,
The murderous regime,
The tough guy's front,
And the one behind the scenes . . .”

When you get right down to it, Aaron Vickers is a gangster, pure and simple.  So, for me, his song had to be a song about greed and corruption.  He’s also based on a boss that I had who had a penchant for sports analogies, so the phrase, “put you on game,” seemed entirely fitting.

15. The Prophecy – There Are No More Tickets to the Funeral, Diamanda Galas

“And on that holy day
And on that bloody day
And on his dying bed he told me
‘Tell all my friends I was fighting, too . . .’”

The Order’s Oracles share a collective vision.  That can mean nothing good.

16. The Eerin – Return to Innocence, Enigma

“That’s not the beginning of the end . . .”
This is another instance where the mood of the song meant more to me than the lyrics.  I find the Eerin, despite their rather gruesome history, to be a source of hope in otherwise dire circumstances.

Stay tuned for Part II of Carcosa, where we hit the five towns—and Nathan DePriest.