Posts Tagged ‘music’

The Shadow Commission Spotify Playlist

In the past couple of years, I’ve brought you Spotify playlist guides for my first Dark Arts novel, The Midnight Front (see its Playlist Guide), and its sequel, The Iron Codex (see its Playlist Guide). To complete the trifecta, I bring you the series’ third playlist, for book three, The Shadow Commission. (Visit its Spotify playlist now.)

Music is invaluable to me as a storyteller. It inspires me with new ideas, and when I’m working, movie soundtracks often help me maintain a consistent frame of mind and emotional state that’s suited to whatever I’m working on.

Once again, to give you a look into my brain’s creative relationship with music, and how it connects to the stories that I write, I have assembled this guide to The Shadow Commission’s playlist. Not all chapters or scenes have specific tracks associated with them, but those that do, I’ve done my best to annotate accordingly.

A review of the playlist reveals that the biggest musical influences this time, as with book two, were spy-movie soundtracks. Specifically, Skyfall and Spectre by Thomas Newman. Also making numerous appearances are tracks from the various Avengers movies’ soundtracks, as well as from some sci-fi classics and cult films, such as Children of Dune by Brian Tyler, Donnie Darko by Michael Andrews, and Stargate by David Arnold, among others.

The Shadow Commission will be published on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, by Tor Books.

Nota Bene: Not all of the listed tracks are available for playback on Spotify, due to ever-changing licensing permissions, etc. Those of you who collect movie soundtracks might own one or more of these discs already. If you can compile your own local playlist based on this, all the better.

Also note that the playlist guide contains spoilers, especially for the end of the book. This is meant as a companion piece to be enjoyed after reading the novel.


CHAPTER 1

Murder in the Morning
“Even for You”
Avengers: Infinity War (Alan Silvestri)


CHAPTER 2

Cade and Anja Get Bad News
“Wish You Were Here”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


CHAPTER 3

The Kennedy Assassination
“War Begins”
Children of Dune (Brian Tyler)

A Cardinal Demands Answers
“Child Emperor”
Children of Dune (Brian Tyler)


CHAPTER 4

Cade’s Fears Made Manifest
“Sins of the Mother”
Children of Dune (Brian Tyler)

Dallas Ambush by Hammers
“Exit Mr. Hat”
The Matrix (Don Davis)


CHAPTER 5

The Dark Circle Begins
“Je Suis de Sole”
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Lorne Balfe)

[ALBUM ONLY – NOT AVAILABLE ON SPOTIFY]

Exploding Mirrors
“Quartz Shipment”
Stargate: The Deluxe Edition (David Arnold)

[ALBUM ONLY – NOT AVAILABLE ON SPOTIFY]

The Siege of Naxos
“Fighting Back” / “Uprising” / “Outlook”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


CHAPTER 6

Talking to Oswald
“Keys to the Past”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


CHAPTER 7

Stealing from the FBI
“Springing Erik”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)


CHAPTER 8

Briet vs. the Golem
“Man vs. Beast”
Kong: Skull Island (Henry Jackman)


CHAPTER 11

Zona Rosa
“Welcome to Cuba”
Die Another Day (David Arnold)

Searching Rocha’s Pad
“Unauthorised Access”
Casino Royale (David Arnold)


CHAPTER 12

Luis’s Vision
“Living an Illusion”
Dark City (Trevor Jones)
[ALBUM ONLY – NOT AVAILABLE ON SPOTIFY]


CHAPTER 13

Silo Under Siege / Frank’s Death
“A Lot to Figure Out”
Avengers: Infinity War (Alan Silvestri)

Miles Is Summoned / He Says Good-bye
“Porch”
Avengers: Infinity War (Alan Silvestri)


CHAPTER 14

Miles Underground
“What Did It Cost?”
Avengers: Infinity War (Alan Silvestri)

Demonic Delivery
“Orphanage”
Blade Runner 2049 (Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch)


CHAPTER 15

Razing Monte Paterno
“I Am the Storm”
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Lorne Balfe)

Plotting Cade’s End
“Carpathian Ridge”
Donnie Darko (Michael Andrews)


CHAPTER 16

Ammo Factory Showdown
“Betrayal”
Thor: The Dark World (Brian Tyler)


CHAPTER 17

Cade & Briet in the Lake
“Camille’s Story”
Quantum of Solace (David Arnold)
[ALBUM ONLY – NOT AVAILABLE ON SPOTIFY]

Luis’s Disciples in Rome
“Goodbye, My Son”
Man of Steel (Hans Zimmer)


CHAPTER 20

Cade & Anja by Moonlight
“Severine”
Skyfall (Thomas Newman)


CHAPTER 21

The Bank Job Begins
“Frankenstein’s Monster”
X-Men: First Class (Henry Jackman)


CHAPTER 24

Cade Faces the Old Man
“Kite in a Hurricane”
Spectre (Thomas Newman)


CHAPTER 25

Yasmin Conspires with Niccolò
“Recruiting Psylocke”
X-Men: Apocalypse (John Ottman)


CHAPTER 26

Kizkalesi

“The Mission Is Terminated”
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Lorne Balfe)
[ALBUM ONLY – NOT AVAILABLE ON SPOTIFY]


CHAPTER 27

Cade Breaks Free
“Silhouette”
Skyfall (Thomas Newman)


CHAPTER 28

Monks and Mages Arm for War
“Steps Ahead”
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Lorne Balfe)


CHAPTER 29

Alpine Combat / Hellhounds
“Snow Plane”
Spectre (Thomas Newman)

Violent Attrition
“The Bloody Shot”
Skyfall (Thomas Newman)


CHAPTER 30

Cade & Lila / The Old Man
“Culmination”
Iron Man 3 (Brian Tyler)

The Betrayal and the Sacrifice
“Hinx”
Spectre (Thomas Newman)


CHAPTER 31

Spirit Hammer
“Can You Stop This Thing?”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Danny Elfman)

Cade Dies
“Redemption”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Anja & Briet Take Revenge
“Darkest of Intentions”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Leveling the Chalet
“Execution”
Stargate: The Deluxe Edition (David Arnold)
[ALBUM ONLY – NOT AVAILABLE ON SPOTIFY]


CHAPTER 32

A Tragic Return
“What Beach?”
X-Men: Apocalypse (John Ottman)


CHAPTER 33

A Bittersweet Homecoming
“I Feel You”
Avengers: Infinity War (Alan Silvestri)


CHAPTER 34

Anja’s Warning
“The Grim Reavers”
Logan (Marco Beltrami)


CHAPTER 35

Three Sisters Scatter
“Don’t Be What They Made You”
Logan (Marco Beltrami)

The Iron Codex Spotify Playlist

One year ago I brought you the Spotify playlist guide for my first Dark Arts novel, The Midnight Front. I’ve chosen to reprise that effort by putting together another Spotify playlist for the second book in the series, The Iron Codex.

Music is invaluable to me as a storyteller. It inspires me with new ideas, and when I’m working, movie soundtracks often help me maintain a consistent frame of mind and emotional state that’s suited to whatever I’m working on.

Once again, to give you a look into my brain’s creative relationship with music, and how it connects to the stories that I write, I have assembled this guide to The Iron Codex’s playlist. Not all chapters or scenes have specific tracks associated with them, but those that do, I’ve done my best to annotate accordingly.

As a quick review of the playlist will reveal, the biggest musical influences this time around were spy-movie soundtracks. Specifically, Kingsman: The Secret Service, by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson; Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace by David Arnold; and Skyfall by Thomas Newman.

Also, a fun bit — at the end are two “bonus tracks.” Neither informed any particular scene, but they were instrumental to me in defining the “headspace” for two characters in particular: Cade, whose heartbroken, soul-shaken state is evoked by John Fullbright’s earnest “Until You Were Gone,” and Briet, whose need to earn some kind of redemption is expressed by Brandi Carlile’s hit “That Wasn’t Me.”

Nota Bene: Not all of the listed tracks are available for playback on Spotify, due to ever-changing licensing permissions, etc. Those of you who collect movie soundtracks might own one or more of these discs already. If you can compile your own local playlist based on this, all the better. (more…)

The Midnight Front Spotify Playlist

I’ve written and spoken many times about how important music is to my creative process as a writer. For decades I have used motion-picture scores to inspire my work.

To give readers a glimpse into that corner of my brain, I’ve decided to share the Spotify playlist of music that inspired my latest novel, The Midnight Front.

But just linking to the music isn’t enough. In order to help you connect individual pieces of music to specific moments in the story and passages in the text, here is my Guide to The Midnight Front’s Spotify Playlist, broken down by chapter and scene.


Chapter 1

The Murder of Nando
“Escape”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 2

Siegmar Communes with Kein
“Frozen Wasteland”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)


Chapter 3

The Sinking of the Athenia
“Time’s Up”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Battling Leviathan
“Invasion of Asgard”
Thor: The Dark World (Brian Tyler)


Chapter 7

Cade’s First Conjuration
“Paul Takes the Water of Life”
Dune (Toto)


Chapter 8

Cade Studies Magickal Combat
“Training the Supersoldier”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)


Chapter 9

Niko and Stefan Leave Eilean Donan
“Hope (Xavier’s Theme)”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)


Chapter 10

Stefan and the Gestapo on the Train
“Saigon – Logan Arrives”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Niko Comes Home to Paris
“He Lost Everything”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Cade’s First Battle
“Arcade” [track not available on Spotify]
Man of Steel: Deluxe Edition (Hans Zimmer)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/arcade/642515245?i=642515587


Chapter 12

Niko and the Maquis Are Ambushed
“Storm Is Coming”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Stefan Questions the Dabblers
“The Attack Begins”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)


Chapter 14

Cade Infiltrates the Demonic Brothel
“Rules of Time”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)


Chapter 15

Massacre at Babi Yar
“The Rig”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 17

Cade Meets Kein
“Hat Rescue”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)


Chapter 19

Stefan Witnesses Chelmno nad Nerem
“Immortan’s Citadel”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 21

Stefan at Auschwitz
“Redemption”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 24

Niko Attacks the Drancy Train
“Hydra Train”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)


Chapter 25

Stefan Halts the Drancy Train
“Fighting Back”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Kein Attacks Eilean Donan
“Seoul Searching”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


Chapter 26

Kein Interrogates Cade
“Keys to the Past”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Adair and Anja Rescue Cade
“Uprising”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Stefan’s Sacrifice, Anja’s Grief
“Many Mothers”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 30

Cade in the Paris Catacombs
“Brothers in Arms”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 32

The Night Flight of Silver Sadie
“Terraforming” (the first 3 minutes)
Man of Steel (Hans Zimmer)

Cade’s Revenge
“Rain Fire Upon Them” and “Motorcycle Mayhem”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)


Chapter 39

Anja Loses a Sister
“Claw Trucks”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 41

Niko’s Last Run
“Darkest of Intentions”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


Chapter 44

Cade’s Ranger Training
“Howling Commando’s Montage”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)


Chapter 45

Anja’s Bitter Homecoming / Piotr’s Grave
“The Last One”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


Chapter 49

Adair Watches the Armada Deploy
“Enterprising Young Men”
Star Trek (Michael Giacchino)


Chapter 50

Cade and the Rangers on D-Day
“Storming New Caprica” [album not available on Spotify]
Battlestar Galactica: Season Three (Bear McCreary)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/storming-new-caprica/338004960?i=338005339

Cade Defuses the Demon Bomb
“Paul Kills Feyd”
Dune (Toto)


Chapter 51

Cade’s Journey Above and Below
“Vision”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


Chapter 58

The Karcists’ Battle in Dresden
“Chapter Doof”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Cade Closes the Hellmouth
“Sacrifice”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)


Chapter 59

Cade’s Return
“Join Me”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Adair’s Last Words / The Funeral Pyre
“My Name Is Max”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)


Chapter 60

Cade’s Warning to Briet
“Do What You Were Made For”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)


Bonus Track:

Music for the Future TV Series Trailer
“What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?”
Man of Steel (Hans Zimmer)

I engage with “Digressive Obscenity”

A few weeks ago, I traveled to a gritty corner of deepest, darkest Long Island City here in Queens, NY, to sit with actor, writer, and incredibly tall guy Paul Guyet for an in-depth podcast interview unlike most others in which I’ve taken part over the years.

Though Paul steered the later segment of the podcast toward a discussion of my work as a writer for Star Trek and other properties, the first part of our conversation was much more open-ended, exploring topics about which I am rarely asked in interviews.

Here is Paul’s capsule description of the show:

“I sit down with the author of The Calling, Wolverine: Road of Bones, and the New York Times bestselling trilogy Star Trek: Cold Equations.

“We also discuss his ‘benign mental break’ which manifested in an obsession with rabbits, the intricacies of David Fincher’s ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ music video, and how he would end things in the Star Trek universe.”

The result is a refreshingly different, offbeat, and candid interview that I think both my friends and my fans will find informative and entertaining.

So, if you’ve got a decent chunk of downtime to fill, point your browser at Paul’s Tumblr and either download or stream Digressive Obscenity, Episode 11: David Alan Mack.

 

John Fullbright rocked Joe’s Pub

As I posted back on April 7, I recently secured permission to quote a line of lyrics from John Fullbright‘s song Daydreamer as the epigraph for my upcoming novel A Ceremony of Losses. Since then, I had been looking forward to seeing and hearing John perform live. I’m happy to say I finally had that opportunity.

He delivered an awesome performance last night at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Not only is he a masterful songwriter, he’s a great performer and a wonderful musical storyteller. If you have a chance to see John play live, do so! If you miss his show, you should kick yourself. His live performance is even more exciting than his recorded work, full of improvisation and flourishes that add to the texture of his music.

This man is the real deal. He and his music defy easy categorization; he transcends labels, genres, and simple descriptions. His work is powerful, pure, and true. He writes songs that reach both the mind and the heart.

Kara-JohnFullbright-Me
My wife and I were lucky enough to spend a few minutes after his show last night hanging out with him backstage. He’s a true gentleman and a tremendously nice guy, and someone I look forward to meeting again.

New Music in the House!

It was a fun and bountiful Christmas here at Chez Mack-Bain. Many wonderful gifts were exchanged — some expected, some genuinely surprising and delightful — and much good food and wine was enjoyed. I was excited to receive on Blu-ray a copy of one of my all-time favorite movies, Chinatown. But I was amazed when I saw how much music I had received this year, and how eclectic a selection it is.

The first two albums I received were BBC Sessions by Led Zeppelin and ABC 1974 by Rush. These are both obscure live recordings of two of my favorite rock bands, albums I’ve been keen to hear ever since I became aware of their existence.

Next I unwrapped the three-disc set of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes. This is my jazz fix for the season, a collection of seminal recordings by one of the 20th-century masters whose work expanded and came to define the musical vocabulary of jazz itself.

My next musical gift was the digitally remastered, 20th anniversary edition of Paul’s Boutique by The Beastie Boys. I’d recently rediscovered my interest in this band, and my lovely wife indulged this curiosity by gifting me this milestone work of late-80s hip-hop.

Then I tore the paper from John Fullbright’s debut album, From the Ground Up. I’d already purchased via iTunes one song off the album, the beautiful and haunting “Nowhere to Be Found,” and I guess my adoration of that track led my wife to give me a chance to explore the entirety of this masterful work by a thoughtful and talented new country music artist from Oklahoma.

Rounding out the new additions to my music library are three movie soundtracks that I’m sure will be played often as I set to work next week on my next Star Trek novel: the deluxe version of Howard Shore’s score for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Hans Zimmer’s music for The Dark Knight Rises; and the newly expanded edition of James Horner’s famous score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

And yet I wonder why Amazon.com has a hard time making accurate music suggestions for me….

 

The Song Remains the Same has changed

A few days ago, at a friend’s house, I heard a Led Zeppelin live recording of “Over the Hills and Far Away” that I’d never heard before.

Long story short, I discovered that a remastered and expanded version of their landmark live album, The Song Remains the Same, was released in 2007. It contains six previously unreleased tracks and boasts an awesome new mix.

And it came out FIVE YEARS AGO. Dammit, why does no one tell me these things?

Fortunately, my copy of the 2-CD set just arrived, and it’s every bit as awesome as I’d hoped it would be. Excuse me for a while — I have to annoy my neighbors by blasting live Led Zeppelin at maximum volume for a couple of hours….