How do you build a playlist? What's your process?
My playlist process really depends on that character that I am building it for, since a lot of the rules that I set for the playlists are mental structures for the characters as well. Some are more structured, some are less, some are just emotive sounds/feelings I want to put to paper.
For instance, for Vega - I knew right off the bat that I wanted a mix of contemporary classical, especially piano pieces, and a mix of R&B and rap. That kind of dichotomy is really central to her character and I wanted to reflect that musically. That mix of well off and educated and still very down to earth and street. I very intentionally opened up her playlist with an overture that shifts into Renegades and then an up tempo cello mix of Wake Me Up. (I couldn't find a lyrical version of that song that did what I wanted. It has great lyrics though, which is what drew me to it.)
Ian was a little more loose. I was really looking more deeply at the lyrics, since he's a poet, as well as the feeling under the song. I lucked out in having two pop up back-to-back on the radio for him one day. haha. His structure is more emotional, balancing that hopefulness that I feel is really at the heart of his character with an encroaching cynicism.
Diego is a lot more latin rhythms and dance tracks. Also ENDLESS Self-Confidence.
The song collection process is very much working off grabs me though. Or what Kez throws at me. We do a lot of song swapping. I'll usually save the tunes later and arrangement into the right pattern later. Oh! I do love having mutational songs, though. So there is at least one of those per playlist.
Is your playlist in an order? What is it? They are! The order varies (surprise!) by character. Regardless of internal order, I will usually start a playlist with a character 'suite' and then close on a strong song really fixes on a major part of the character. There is also usually an emotional arc of highs and lows. Vega's was originally all orchestrated into suites, but I shifted them to be chronological so they flowed a little better. Being my main, her's is the most considered. However, Vega and Diego's both start with a character suite and then are loosely chronological, Ian's is the outlier as it shifts into darker thoughts and feelings before settling on an up note.
Vega's playlist goes:
Character Suite: Overture - Wild Things
Vega's Accident/86th Street: The Way He Looks at Me - Machine
Recovery: Lucky - Light Me Up
Technopath to Cop: Harlem's Nocturne - Technical Difficulties
Staten Island & the Aftermath: The Hunted - Keeping Your Head Up
Game Start/Cop: Seven Nation Army - Titanium/Parvae
Russian Plot/Professional Crumble/Struggles: Pompeii - Feet Don't Fail Me Now
Ass-kicking/Determination: A Light that Never Comes - Heads Will Roll
Closing Suite: Higher - Free
Ian's whole thing is kind of a long character suite.
Character Suite: The Remedy - Be as You Are
New York: Bad Case of Loving You - Hold on to What You Believe
Closing Suite: Hold On - Simple Man
Character Suite: Pasadoble - Me Too
Youth: Timber - The Hurt
X-Force: Be Somebody - Skyfall
Post-X-Force: Run - Streets of Paris
Relationship with Micaela: Ready to Go - Love you Crazy
Closing Suite: Beat of my Drum - Loco de amor
If you had to pick one song to best represent your character, what would it be and why? This is hard.
Oh, it's just me, myself and I / Solo ride until I die / Cause I got me for life / Oh I don't need a hand to hold / Even when the night is cold / I got that fire in my soul [Me, Myself & I - G-Eazy, Bebe Rexha]
I can't ask for your permission / I can't wait for it / Because I was born free /I ain't taking shit ['I Love What I do - Ellie Goulding ]
Vega: I don't have an easy answer for her. The other two were actually pretty easy in comparison, partially because I think they're a little less complex. But one of the most accurate songs for her is Me, Myself & I. It's that indefinable fire and focus that drives her as a character, to become a cop, to accomplish amazing feats of technology, to do the right thing when her career is about to crumble beneath her. She is driven by that internal fire and that guiding compass. Similarly, I Love What I do.
'cause if you've gots the poison, I've gots the remedy / the remedy is the experience. / this is a dangerous liaison / I says the comedy is that it's serious. [The Remedy - Jason Mraz ]
Ian: The tumult of words in this song feels a lot to me like Ian's poetic outtake on the world, but the core of it is what resonates for me. The refusal to bow under all the messed up things in the world. That it's a 'Remedy' is just a great little nod to his medical minded focus.
Who's that sexy thing I see over there? / That's me, standin' in the mirror / What's that icy thing hangin' 'round my neck? / That's gold, show me some respect [ Me Too - Meghan Trainor ]
Diego: There is only one choice for this man's impossible confidence. PASSION. And knowing how to make himself look good.
Do any songs represent events in your character's life? Which ones, and what do they represent? Oh hey. I already answered this. But here is some more.
For Vega is this song is really fixed on her relationship with labels and her determination to make her city a better place. She pushed off the idea of amputee, the idea of mutant, and fixed her mind on her goals.
But I do that to pass the torch and put on for my town / Trust me. on my I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T hustlin' / Chasing dreams since I was 14 with the four track bussing / Halfway cross that city with the backpack / Fat cat, crushin labels off / Yeah, Nah they can't tell me nothing [Can't Hold Us - Macklemore ]
In contrast The Way He Looks at Me is really the sounds of Vega waking up after the 86th station incident. The electronic and noise remind me of the sounds of the hospital, the drip of the iv, the pulse of the heart monitor, and the deeper awakening of her technopathy with it. It is her mutational awakening as well as her finally returning to consciousness.
Superstar is Diego's matador premier track for sure, though. That big explosion of lights and action.
Do any songs represent people or relationships in your character's life? Which ones, and who do they represent? Yes.
Keeping Your Head Up - Birdy/Don Diablo
Times that I've seen you lose your way / You're not in control and you won't be told / All I can do to keep you safe is hold you close / Hold you close til you can breathe on your own.
This song is about their relationship after the events of Staten Island and the death of Irene's husband.I think this is the moment when their partnership-friendship became something deeper. Vega was there for Irene when her world caved in and saw what it did to her invulnerable and impossibly fragile friend. She was there until Irene could keep her own head above the water.
Pompeii - Jasmine Thompson (cover)
I was left to my own devices / Many days fell away with nothing to show / And the walls kept tumbling down / In the city that we love
This song is the moment that Vega and Irene's world as officers falls apart in the wake of the Russian's. Their partnership ended. Irene exposed. The burden of secret laid at Vega's feet. The sanctity of the police station gone. It's not a romantic heartbreak, but it is the end of an era and one all the same. They are left in a new world - yet to refind each other.
Cannonball - Skylar Grey/X Ambassadors
Cannonball, cannonball, cannonball. / And when they light their torches, when they scream and yell / I'm gonna raise my flag and gonna give 'em hell.
This is - as I put it to Kez once - Irene and Vega's fight song. It was for the Russians. It is now.
Ian's song for Ciel. (Because that GIANT CRUSH got a song)
Bad Case of Lovin' You - Robert Palmer
You had me down twenty-one to zip / Smile of Judas on your lip / Shake my fist, knock on wood / I've got it bad, and I got it good
There's not a deep meaning behind this. It fit his crush when I was working on the playlist and stays because it makes me laugh. Ian falls hard and sweet and even though he's over the crush now, that tension remains.
Parachute - Chris Stapleton
You only need a roof when it's raining / You only need a fire when it's cold / You only need a drink when the whiskey / Is the only thing that you have left to hold // Say the word and I'll be there for you / Baby, I will be your parachute I have a lot of songs for these two, but this one in particular speaks of Diego's devotion. As much as he's a playboy and a flirt, he is all in and committed to anything that he gives his heart to. He was devoted to X-Factor, he was a devoted matador, and despite appearances he is an incredibly devoted husband.
Loca de Amor - Juanes
The lyrics for this are in spanish, but it is about being so crazy in love with someone you go a little mad. Accurate.
Would your character listen to this playlist? What song would be their favorite? Vega: Maybe.Of everything, she'd like the rap and piano pieces best. (She'd definitely like Me, Myself & I)
Ian: Yes. It has Mumford and Sons. THAT WOULD BE HIS FAVORITE. He's a dork.
Diego: Some of it. I can definitely see him getting ready and dancing to Juanes, Justin Timberlake, and Meghan Trainor. 'He's bringing sexy back.' Poor Micaela lives with this.
From: Vega Zhan
Subject: Chelsea Gallery Thieves - Client: Mila Svoboda
Fraser-Urquhart and I provided an escort to Ms. Svoboda last night for her Chelsea opening and noted no immediate attempts or accurate technology to stage a theft. It is very likely that any potential thieves may have been casing the joint to review the security and the set up. Ms. Svoboda has requested that we do that same and try to foil any attempts in addition to the original negotiated contract for the night.
As Ms. Svoboda's art is high proprietary in nature, integrating a new artistic technology it is possible that the theft may be motivated by future forgery or recreation for monetary needs. It is also possible that someone unable to afford the exclusive work may resort to acquiring it for their personal collection.
[Link to articles about her work]
While the gallery has a reasonable security system, it is likely that the theft will either be made when a) The work is in transit to the client b) If there is a blackout and shutdown of the systems.
I've set up some monitoring in case of the latter. Ms. Svoboda would like some accompaniment on the shipments in case of the former.
This is likely to be moderately dangerous in case of theft, so please be aware of that should you choose to get in on the job. Let me know if you have any questions.
A voicemail is left for Luka, at his Open Hands number, Sunday night after the attack at Oddball.
"Hello this is a message for Luka."
"It's Vega. I wanted to check in and see if you and Maryanne were okay after the attack at Oddball. Hopefully you weren't hurt."
"We've uncovered some information about one of your volunteers being tied to that attack that I think you're going to want to hear. Call me as soon as you get this. My number is..." The number is listed and the message ends.
From: Vega Zhang
Subject: Job This Weekend - Out of City
Good Evening All,
So I had a job come in that via a family connection I can't actually participate in myself due to other work commitments. It is going to pay pretty well for a weekend of work with travel upstate and back included. You also get bragging rights for staying in some old rich person's house.
The situation as I understand it is this: An independent research group, Spiro, has recently acquired an old estate via an undisclosed donation that has housed an extensive collection of greenhouses unknown to the general public for years. The flip side of things is that there is something odd about them that they aren't quite willing to explain over the phone. They are looking for a group to come in and help collect samples and hopefully help clear up the issue.
Interested? Contact's name is: Dr. Georgiana Marcos. I've included her details below. She's looking for a number of people willing to head up tomorrow. She's willing to bus the group up as well.
(Side note: Let me know if anyone has a desperate need for a discounted Holo-Mariah Carey god knows what tour shirt. I can get it for you cheap.)
Keep me in the loop if you need anything, Zhang
To: Luka Zdravkovic
From: Vega Zhang
Subject: Flower Delivery
I got the flowers. Thank you. That was very considerate, although very unnecessary. I was happy to help you guys out any way I could, considering all of what has been going on.
I just checked the feed this morning and that link I sent you still seems to be working just fine. I have the recording backing up to a server, so that will be available to access if you ever need it again. I hope that it is never necessary, but always better safe than sorry. It looks like we're going to be working together a bit in the future, I saw the posting that was made through X-Factor. I'll be there if and when you need the or just a little extra security.
Do you ever listen to a song and just think "Gosh, that reminds me so much of _____"? (And then you totally forget to tell _____).
Do you totally already have playlists for your character? Or do you just want to know what reminds people of your character? Or let them know what reminds you of theirs?
Then this Meme is for You! Open for: Vega & Ian
RULES: Post this into your feed. Commenters can then leave comments with links to songs (spotify preferred) that remind them of your character. Bonus points for explaining why. THE END
RP Scavenger Hunt! Complete as many off the list below as possible and link the scene which completes it.
Yes, scenes can count for more than one item. If you complete the list by November 8, send staff a +request and a link to your entry for a bonus luck point!
RP in 5 different neighborhoods (On-grid or using the TP Rooms) Ethical_Accidents Have a scene in a TP room, complete with a saved desc for the location. RP using a +scene prompt. RP using a +gmscene prompt. Have a scene where you use the combat code. Have a scene that results in +graffiti. Have a scene that results in +scuttlebutt.