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[Interest / Recruitment] Velvet Generation — Real Plastic Trees

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
For Mock:
Argonite is Love Interest
Jack is friend, maybe they knew each other back in the day
Rubix is probably rival since he knows Argonite from way back... but could be a friend, too. Mock is an easy going guy most of the time.
 

inoshiro

Registered User
Validated User
I think for Rubix's relationships:
  • Argonite: I think they've been friends from the crèche, maybe were on the verge of a Love interest (for Rubix; less emphasis on the romance, more on Rubix imagining one day carrying a set of her fertilized eggs inside his internal egg sac and birthing them when they come to term). I figure all that—whether it was illusion or something that might've happened—sort of fell apart when they got to Earth, but they've maintained a friendly relationship and she's still a Love Interest for Rubix. (If that's cool.)
  • Mock: I can totally see musical respect being sometimes marred by a sense of rivalry regarding Mock's relationship with Argonite, or his status as a possible competitior for her affections or whatever.
  • Jack: I feel like Rubix would appreciate Jack's intensity, authenticity as someone who's survived the horrors of the system, and his commitment to Revolution, enough to outweigh its wish that Jack would sit and woodshed (er, practice) more, so he could be the musician he has it in him to be. ;)
I feel like Rubix doesn't quite understand what it's like to be human: it's got some muddled assumptions and sort of fancies itself as having "gone native" with all the presumptuousness and blind spots that usually come to mind when someone describes themselves as having done that. It's got some illusions about what it means to be human, vaguely analogous to the whole "noble savage" trope, and part of what makes Rubix adore (and long to be) human is that it's ignorant of what it really means to be human.

As for all those musical genres/tags: yeah, it's going to take some doing to reconcile things so we're functional.

That said, here's some easy intersections I can see, though maybe I'm overthinking what is ultimately a mechanical consideration:
  • Avant-garde + Cabaret: There's a super-long tradition of this. Lots of avant-garde musicians grab circus and cabaret stuff as a sort of raw "kitsch" material and play with it in bewildering ways.
  • Avant-Garde + Rock: I mean, that's prog, math rock, and stuff like John Zorn (the Painkiller stuff, say).
  • Glam + Cabaret: Really, for me, what makes glam rock "glam" is mainly about the makeup and costuming (and overt androgyny) plus the peculiar lyrical content. Cabaret has always messed with costuming and how it works off gender codes; there's also a shared emphasis on the lyrical content over musical complexity a lot of the time.
  • Political + Cabaret: been linked since the beginning, usually with subversive politics in the lyrics and other stuff.
  • Mystic + Cabaret/Circus Music and Glam: Cabaret music was at its peak when the occult was way more mainstream, and it's always flirted with that. Some glam music also flirts with the occult/mystical (Bowie's a big example).
  • Political + Mystic: Millennarian prophecies can easily slide into being overtly political, after all... "It's been long foretold, the man's gonna fall in the end times... and baby, what time do you think it is?" ;)
Mash that all together and you likely end up with something relatively more weird and niche, but... I mean, we're a rock band that's half aliens, so maybe that's hardly surprising.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
Thanks for the analysis! Don’t forget that it’s a post-apocalyptic setting, musically, so you’re not competing with the Top of the Pops or Taylor Swift’s latest. If you live in small town, you probably have a limited selection of local bands.

From the list of genre’s I’m getting a sense of something eclectic and theatrical, sometimes downright weird, but with some real head-banging tunes, too.

Kind of like Queen, really.
 

inoshiro

Registered User
Validated User
Right, so you have whatever survives in little caches of hidden, jealously guarded recordings, and whatever the Starchildren grew up listening to on the way to Earth, picked up on transmissions. Much easier to end up with odd mixes of stuff and also people emulating and fusing in all kinds of stuff out of the blue.

I'm thinking of Khruangbin with their Thai funk thing based on some tapes of old Thai music in someone's basement, or Jah Wobble's doing dub fusion with Lao and Chinese music in various projects. Or the back dancers and costuming of Sun Ra's arkestra in live shows, for that matter! (There's a great weird old South Korean band that comes to mind, who use to do a lot of spaceman/ancient Chinese imperial-looking costuming—like, ripped out of some space epic kung-fu extravaganza or something—and fuse weird old Korean pop singing with rock and even the odd bit of shamanic spectacle onstage. Just... jam stuff together and mix!)

(... or for that matter me as a kid listening to old Art Ensemble of Chicago LPs and deciding that going atonal was the best way to achieve the harsh, brain-shattering edge I needed to pull off the cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" that my jazz fusion trio was preparing for the high school talent night. True story!)
 

inoshiro

Registered User
Validated User
Ha, if it makes you feel better, I totally know how you feel: I'm fairly out to sea with all the mainstream rock music references, since that genre is (with some exceptions) alien territory to me. I could sing you a bunch of old murder ballads but you'd laugh so hard if I tried to sing a Bruce Springsteen or Led Zeppelin song for you.

(Not that here's no rock music I dig, but musically my most comfortable home territory is in other genres. More of a jazz, classical, early music, and world music guy, to be honest.)

I did do a few years in an indie rock band, and decided that was more than enough for one lifetime. Still proud of one or two of our songs, though:

 

MrPrim

Bleak Academic
Validated User
I have a feeling Rubix and Argonite are going to end up butting heads musically:

Argonite is much more about spectacle over substance, her music certainly tends more towards the digestible and catchy over the sonically experimental. She can play guitar, but relies on charisma and flashing lights and a somewhat inhumanly resonant voice to carry her.

She doesn't even have Perform Music, she's a Pose-driven Diva.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
I dig Sun Ra, although my jazz days are mostly behind me. I think the whole stage show -- alternate world -- pop culture reference -- subversive political aspects are really inspiring for this game, if the band is going to evoke an alternate reality (which might or might not be influenced by Starchild culture, whatever it is).
 

The Tim

God-Machinist
Validated User
This is going to be a wild band.

Since the essence of the band is in the tags of it and the songs, I don't think you can really over think it.

In terms of the music landscape, the extended setting info from the original RPG says that the Ministry and its sibling institutions are mainly aimed at emotional regulation through artistic regulation. Especially music. There is cultural expression still, it is either underground or engineered by the appropriate Ministry. Official musicians perform official pieces pre produced and preselected for them.

(What follows is extrapolation) So you have what amounts to elevator music present in most places to keep things level, with uptempo variations in workspaces and so on. Approved gathering places are silent unless there's a rally or the like going on. Rallies and so forth are essentially Sousa arranged in a way to give a full on fascist vibe. So, yes, you and the few other bands on the local scene and so on are going to be radically different from that stuff. And any hidden caches of older music are likewise going to be very different and sound like they're from an entirely different world as well.
 

inoshiro

Registered User
Validated User
I have a feeling Rubix and Argonite are going to end up butting heads musically:

Argonite is much more about spectacle over substance, her music certainly tends more towards the digestible and catchy over the sonically experimental. She can play guitar, but relies on charisma and flashing lights and a somewhat inhumanly resonant voice to carry her.

She doesn't even have Perform Music, she's a Pose-driven Diva.
I can definitely see that happening!

Rubix probably thinks there's room for many paths and all that (because of its mysticism) and would assume lead singers often lean more on pose than on perform (instrumentalist bias, and all that) but would be annoyed if she were so bent on Posing everything that she ended up not leaving room for, er, "real music." Meanwhile, I imagine she's likely to get annoyed anytime she feels he's "stealing too much of the spotlight," even if he just believes he's contributing to make the show better by playing his best.

That said, if you prefer to frontload it, we could start with them having Rivalry instead? Especially if we feel it's too much to have two characters who have her as a Love interest. If so, I'm happy to shift that to her being a Rival, or a Friend who's likely going to become a Rival as play progresses. I'm flexible there.

I dig Sun Ra, although my jazz days are mostly behind me. I think the whole stage show -- alternate world -- pop culture reference -- subversive political aspects are really inspiring for this game, if the band is going to evoke an alternate reality (which might or might not be influenced by Starchild culture, whatever it is).
Yep, that's what I was thinking. Space is the Placethe movie—plugs in there, but even more so the crazy live stage show, which was sort of circus, sci-fi extravaganza, but also political subversion and satire.

Which makes me think satire would be a fun thing to throw into the mix; like, building up towards these carnivalesque shows (think Flaming Lips doing those live Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots shows) but with an overtly political, subversive, anti-Ministry edge?

(Obviously we can't afford a stageful of a dancers on stilts and holographic suited Ministry leader caricatures in the beginning, but some inventive costuming and lyrics-writing could get us started down that road, with plans for recruiting folks into the stage show along the way.)

This is going to be a wild band.

Since the essence of the band is in the tags of it and the songs, I don't think you can really over think it.
Cool. And I agree, it's going to be a bit bananas.

In terms of the music landscape, the extended setting info from the original RPG says that the Ministry and its sibling institutions are mainly aimed at emotional regulation through artistic regulation. Especially music. There is cultural expression still, it is either underground or engineered by the appropriate Ministry. Official musicians perform official pieces pre produced and preselected for them.

(What follows is extrapolation) So you have what amounts to elevator music present in most places to keep things level, with uptempo variations in workspaces and so on. Approved gathering places are silent unless there's a rally or the like going on. Rallies and so forth are essentially Sousa arranged in a way to give a full on fascist vibe. So, yes, you and the few other bands on the local scene and so on are going to be radically different from that stuff. And any hidden caches of older music are likewise going to be very different and sound like they're from an entirely different world as well.
Ha, that official culture does sound like hell! (Also pretty much the perfectly dystopian extrapolation of the idea of "Corporate Rock" from those old bumper stickers "Corporate Rock Sucks" from way back when.)
 
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