Monday, June 4, 2012

JOE VAMPIRE: The Soundtrack

Music is an essential for me when I write...posted about that a while back.  Music is an equally essential element in JOE – it’s a refuge for him after his vampire ordeal, and something that helps him balance out the rough stuff.  To add a layer of experience to reading the story, I thought I’d throw down my personal soundtrack to the tale, a sort-of story in song using tunes that underlie Joe’s journey.  When the book becomes a film, much of this music may be used to create the actual soundtrack.  Until then, I’ll be hearing the playlist below when I imagine America’s most sarcastic vampire up on the big screen. Links to the songs are on every title...click away, kids.

MORTAL LONGING Sleepthief ft. Jody Quine The newest magic from Mr. Thief and his melodic muse.  "I'm just human; my body, my soul..." The title fits, the theme of the lyrics fit, the aching tone of the song fits.  Joe feels himself to be some sort of half-living thing, and his mortal longing is in full effect.  Justin and Jody make a myth-legend-fairytale film of their own with the stunning video. Watch this one all the way til the end…beautiful surprises appear throughout. 

AMERICAN MONSTER  Mike PallanteMike is a genius…he’s a writer/musician/artist all-around creative magic guy who inadvertently wrote a song that tells the interior of Joe’s feelings about the whole vampire trip.  AMERICAN MONSTER sums it up perfectly.  I imagine this playing behind the opening credits…

SOMETHING I’M NOT Penguin Prison – I discovered Penguin Prison inadvertently, when their clip appeared on You Tube behind another clip I was watching.  A lucky accident, if ever there really were such a thing.  This song, in title, spirit and energy captures Joe’s ill-fated attempt at getting back on the horse when he shows up at Pomme for his “date”.  I hear it throbbing over the dialogue as things progress…great stuff. 

EURYDICE (UNDERWORLD ACAPELLA MIX)  Sleepthief ft. Jody QuineMy favorite indie music folk will be all over this soundtrack, starting with this most haunting mix of one of their best.  Jody Quine is the voice of life itself, leading Joe away and then back again as he struggles to retain his humanity.  She is his call to return to the world. The mix mentioned is a special one, almost hymnal in its loveliness.  The full production mix is awesome as well, and the video is cinematic. 

THREEWAY OF LOVE  Vomiting Nonsense - Joe’s techno-sleaze band, is known for their horrible music.  When the idea of JOE VAMPIRE began, this blog was to be an interactive conceptual art project that allowed a window into Joe’s life – including his music.  And since his band Vomiting Nonsense makes really, really, REALLY bad music – and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find what I was looking for.  So I made some myself.  All loops, no original performances…and nobody to blame for it but me.  There’ll be something similar,  yet more horrible, for the film version.  For now, there’s this. 

THE WAR  Coury Palermo – Another favorite of mine, and also from a top-notch indie creative dude.  Coury’s music speaks with plaintive, honest emotion, and this song fits perfectly behind Joe’s dashed hopes where the Orange Envelope of his love life reboot is concerned.  Those who’ve read will know exactly where this goes; no spoilers here for those who haven’t. 

TENUOUS  Sleepthief ft. Jody QuineJoe’s real dream is to make music that sounds awfully similar to what Justin Elswick creates as Sleepthief…in fact, his music would be Joe’s music, in the scenes illustrating Joe working on his own tunes.  And when things get rough, he retreats to his haven of songcraft.  “Tenuous”  is a perfect example of the sound Joe hopes to capture: lush, melodic, haunting – and standing in stark contrast to the noise parade Vomiting Nonsense creates.  The recurrence of Jody’s voice is a perfect repetition of the motif of her being Joe’s guide toward life

FREAKS  Live - Joe struggles with the idea that losing control of his vampire impulses would turn him into something completely sub-human.  In that sense, he refers to himself as a freak on several occasions.  The melodic edginess of Ed Kowalczyk and company express this in spades.

HEAL IT UP  Concrete BlondeThis one speaks for itselfJohnette’s whiskey-honey vocals climbing whisper-to-a-scream style pleading for healing.  Joe’s pretty cool on the surface, but his inner mantra railing against the Vampire Within definitely sounds something like this. 

HALF-LIFE  Sleepthief ft. Jody Quine and Coury Palermo - They don’t realize it yet, but the most auspicious closing section of the film version of JOE VAMPIRE would be reserved for a brand-new composition crafted especially for the project by Sleepthief, Jody and Coury, in whatever musical brew-mastering process works best for them.  Justin and company are brilliant at creating urgent tunes featuring lyrics that encompass the emotional landscape of a literary character, especially when it comes to interpersonal complications - check out EURYDICE, ARIADNE, and LABYRINTHINE HEART for proof of this.  I can’t think of a musical crew who could better summarize the Joe Vampire Experience than these folks.  All I would give them is the title - HALF-LIFE - and let them run with it.  I have total faith that whatever they’d come up with would be magical.  Will be, magical, in fact…business cred allowing once we reach the JoeFilm stage, I intend to commission them to create this song to be used as the love theme over the end credits.   

Dig in and try any or all of this and let me know what you think.  And feel free to throw in your own musical suggestions in the comments section.  I’ll be eager to see what the JoeFolk out there come up with.


Thanks for rockin' and rollin', y'all.  


You make this blogging thing a whole mess of fun.  






1 comment:

  1. I've recently found the magic of "soundtracking" my scenes - and it really does set the mood and tone, doesn't it?

    (Love this!)

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