Symphonic Album Mini-Game: Round 5, Heat 2 - U2 Feedback

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LemonMacPhisto 8 72.73%
namkcuR 3 27.27%
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:35 AM   #1
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Symphonic Album Mini-Game: Round 5, Heat 2

Please vote for the tracklisting you LIKE THE MOST.

Welcome to the second heat of the fifth round of the Symphonic Album Mini-Game. The object of this game is to see which forum member can create the best concept album no longer than 80 minutes.

This heat has LemonMacPhisto going up against namkcuR. Below are the playlists. An update on the standings will be posted after the completion of each round.

If you don't know the songs, or wish to hear how each tracklisting flows, leave your e-mail address and we'll help you out.

Forum name: LemonMacPhisto


This playlist is basically a hybrid concept album/film idea I've been tinkering with for a while, so what better way to finish it up here? It's a sci-fi-style idea (hence the 2001 and Star Wars references in the cover) about an astronaut lost in space who lands on an emotionally repressed planet in the classic Logan's Run/THX-1138 vein (with the Big Brother government and all). During his stay, he falls in love with a woman and they both experience love for the first time. This ideal awakens all of the repressed emotions in the rest of the people (hey, Awakenings!) and they finally strike back against the tyrannical government, oh man, it's pretty badass. In the end, the astronaut returns home with his girlfriend leaving the planet and its people finally at peace. It'll all make sense when you listen to it, I hope. It sounds a lot better in my head.

(Side note: If this were a movie, the astronaut would be Christian Bale, the girl would be Scarlett Johansson, the evil overlord would be Ralph Fiennes, the bad guy's main flunky is Tim Roth, the resident badass other than the astronaut would be Samuel L. Jackson, and some of the other characters are Zooey Deschanel and Ewan McGregor (partially making up for the eternally-shitty "The Island").

1. David Bowie - "Space Oddity" - Space Oddity (5:17)
2. Pink Floyd - "Astronomy Domine" - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (4:12)
3. Gorillaz - "Intro" - Demon Days (1:03)
4. M83 - "Don't Save Us from the Flames" - Before the Dawn Heals Us (4:16)
5. LCD Soundsystem - "Someone Great" - Sound of Silver (6:25)
6. Thom Yorke - "Analyse" - The Eraser (4:05)
7. Moby - "Porcelain" - Play (4:01)
8. Sigur Rós - "Untitled 1" - ( ) (6:37)
9. U2 - "The First Time" - Zooropa (3:45)
10. Liars - "Drum Gets a Glimpse" - Drum's Not Dead (4:16)
11. Massive Attack - "Teardrop" - Collected (5:30)
12. The Beatles - "Within You, Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows" - Love (3:07)
13. Radiohead - "You and Whose Army?" - Amnesiac (3:09)
14. The Flaming Lips - "Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung" - At War with the Mystics (4:22)
15. Explosions in the Sky - "The Birth and Death of the Day" - All of the Sudden I Miss Everyone (7:49)

Total Time: 1:07:54

Forum Name: namkcuR

Title: "Subconscious Chaos"

The Concept:

The concept here is intentionally ambiguous - that is to say, many parts of it can be left up to your imagination. I want to make it clear that you can get the gist of what the theme is about from what I'm about to say, but that there are literally hundreds of details here that are totally up to you. This is merely my interpretation of my own concept. It is based in my imagination, and your interpretation will be based in your imagination.

It starts off with someone who is young, maybe 20s or early 30s -
and lost in life. The character is deeply depressed, doesn't know who he/she is, doesn't know what the hell do with his/her life, and is basically feeling like his/her whole world his black. Hence, "Paint It Black".

The character sinks deeper, and feels as though he/she has no purpose in life, and is just one of many riding on the storm of life just waiting for death, the ultimate end. A dog without a bone, an actor out alone. These first two songs basically just set the scene. As the actual story starts, the character wanders to a night club of sorts.

"Stranger In Moscow", although it has some more specific references in some of its lyrics that have little to do with the concept, in its broadest meaning is about being in a huge crowd and feeling like the absolute loneliest person in the world. That's what the character is feeling as he/she lurks around in this night club. Total loneliness, total detachment. The character has never felt this low. Spiraling down, he/she wants to ease the pain so bad that he/she turns to whatever booze and drugs he/she can get access to in this club.

"Mofo" is the character hitting absolute rock bottom. Looking for to fill that god-shaped hole. The character uses the booze/drugs HARD, and ALONE. He/she pleads to his deceased mother for answers in the middle of it all. Looking for the face he/she had before the world was made. The character keeps drinking and using and drinking and using until he/she passes out cold in an alley behind the club(or wherever your imagination says he/she should pass out). The character cries 'soothe me mother, show me mother' as he/she looses consciousness.

Now, the next eight songs are what I call the 'Dream Sequence', a sort of concept album within a concept album, if you will. The part of the story told in these eight songs is all a dream, dreamt by the character while passed out in the alley behind the night club. This sequence is, imo, the heart of the album.

It starts off with the Final Fantasy VII prelude(which itself is a variation of the prelude used in all the FF games). It is one of the most gorgeous video game pieces ever composed, in my opinion and the opinion of many others. The dream sequence is tells a story that is based in fantasy, and I wanted something that would do a good job of sounding dreamy, and beckoning the listener into the fantasy/dream land that the dream is based in.

The character finds him/herself in the middle of nowhere. Nothing as far as the eye can see in any direction except for snow, perhaps - at least in my imagination it's snow. "A Whisper", with lyrics like 'I hear the sound of the ticking of clocks, come back and look for me when I am lost' and 'Night turns to day, and I still have these questions, please just refray, should I go forwards or backwards', represent the character shouting at the sky, in the middle of nowhere, saying that he/she won't live forever and that he/she wants to figure out what to do with life and how to live it without this darkness before it's too late. The response is just a whisper coming out of the thin air. This is fantasy, remember. So the character begins to follow the sound of the whisper in hopes of finding the source.

"The Call Of The Ktulu" starts quiet and ends loud, and is long and instrumental. It just represents the whisper getting louder and louder, calling the character louder and louder and more clearly and more clearly. No words are neccessary here.

With "Kashmir", the source, which still hasn't been found, introduces itself to the character, who is still in the midst of his/her search:

"Oh let the sun beat down upon my face
Stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race
This world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait
All will be revealed"

"Kashmir"'s lyrics fit my scenario very well, I think. They paint the picture of an epic journey, and the imagery is really colorful and conducive to fantasy. It is the source saying 'All will be revealed' and 'movin' through Kashmir' and 'Let me take you there, let me take you there'. The character follows the source's voice through 'the storm who leaves no trace like thoughts inside a dream', a 'yellow desert stream', floating dust, 'across the seas of years', 'along the straits of fear', and eventually starts flying inexplicably(or maybe is just carried upward by the source - I can't say it enough, total fantasy), and so on.

"Great Gig In The Sky" represents the character finding him/herself, at the end of the journey, in the sky, surrounded by fog and mist. Here, the voice of the source just starts wailing and singing with no words. The source is making sounds that don't sound human. But it has many voices, as is soon found out.

"Tomorrow Never Knows" is the mist subsiding, and the source finally showing itself and offering the character the big payoff, its words of wisdom. "Turn off your mind relax and float down-stream", "Lay down all thought surrender to the void", "That you may see the meaning of within", "That love is all and love is ev'ryone", "But listen to the color of your dreams", "or play the game existence to the end". On and on.

When it is finished with its words, the source gives the character a ride on its back, back to Earth, so that the character doesn't have to go through the journey he took to get to the sky. This ride is 'Speed Of Life'.

"Wake Up" is the source letting the character off in a different part of the land from the vast nowhere the character started in. This place is populated with people who are a little younger than the character, perhaps teens, early 20s. The character here takes what he/she has learned and acts as a prophet and tells them to always let their emotions out, say what's on their mind, and learn to embrace their imperfections, because if they repress what they feel, try to be perfect for everyone else, and not act on their true feelings, they'll lose themselves, and never discover who they really are. After this, the character starts to leave, but realizes he/she doesn't know where to go. And that's the end of the dream.

The character wakes up in the alley behind the night club just as dawn is breaking. He/she remembers the dream vividly, every last detail. It seemed so very real. It has affected the character profoundly in a way that he/she can't really understand just yet. 'Morning Bell/Amnesiac' is the character walking home at 5/6/7 AM, hungover, in a fog, stunned by the power of the dream.

"Who You Are" is the character just sitting around his apartment all day, trying to get over the hangover, strumming a guitar maybe, watching something on TV perhaps, listening to music, stuff like this, but more than anything reflecting on the dream. The character realizes that he/she learned in the dream that he/she really has to find and embrace who he/she is in order to lead a fulfilling life, but that he/she still hasn't actually figured out who he/she is. Another journey must be taken to figure it out.

"Personal Jesus" is the character finding something to have faith in before discovering him/herself. It could be religion, it could be deceased loved ones, it could be something spiritual, whatever. Totally up to the listener. The task of figuring out who you are is so massive and overwhelming and awesome(in the truest sense of the word) that it is difficult to know where to begin. This is the character's starting point. Finding faith in something.

"Soul To Squeeze" is the character setting out on the adventure of a lifetime, to find him/herself. For the first time in a LONG time, the character has some hope, but is a LONG way from knowing himself. "Where I go, I just don't know, I got to, got to, gotta take it slow'. The last words of the album are 'When I find my peace of mind/I'm gonna keep it for the end of time'. This adventure is life, and the character is still not sure what the fuck to do with it, but at least he/she can now try to live the adventure - finding him/herself - without wanting to die.

That's it. It's ambiguous as hell I know, but that's the way it came out.

As for the cover's supposed to be an abstract representation of the chaos and turmoil in the subconscious of the character and, indeed, of anyone.

1.The Rolling Stones - "Paint It Black" - Forty Licks (3:45)
2.The Doors - "Riders On The Storm" - L.A. Woman (7:15)
3.Michael Jackson - "Stranger In Moscow" - HIStory Past Present An Future Book 1 Disc 2 (5:44)
4.U2 - "Mofo" - Pop (5:49)
5.Nobuo Uematsu - "The Prelude" - Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack (2:50)
6.Coldplay - "A Whisper" - A Rush Of Blood To The Head (3:58)
7.Metalica - "The Call Of The Ktulu" - Ride The Lightning (8:53)
8.Led Zeppelin - "Kashmeir" - Physical Graffiti (8:28)
9.Pink Floyd - "The Great Gig In The Sky" - Dark Side Of The Moon (4:44)
10.The Beatles - "Tomorrow Never Knows" - Revolver (2:57)
11.David Bowie - "Speed Of Life" - Low (2:47)
12.Arcade Fire - "Wake Up" - Funeral (5:35)
13.Radiohead - "Morning Bell/Amnesiac" - Amnesiac (3:14)
14.Pearl Jam - "Who You Are" - Rearviewwindow (3:55)
15.Depeche Mode - "Personal Jesus" - The Singles 86>98 Disc 1 (4:56)
16.Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Soul To Squeeze" - Coneheads Soundtrack (4:55)

UP NEXT: phillyfan26 vs. CuteIrishBono

Competition master list.

Have fun!

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Old 10-04-2007, 03:00 PM   #2
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NamkcuR in a tough vote. I love his concept and effort.

Good luck to the both of you!

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Old 10-04-2007, 03:26 PM   #3
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LMP for his solid combination of great song choices and fascinating concept.

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Old 10-04-2007, 03:47 PM   #4
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LMP this time.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:36 PM   #6
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Got to give it to LMP here. Considering that namkcuR's tracklist would probably appeal to a fair few people here, I'm surprised the margin's so big at the moment, 8-2.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:52 PM   #7
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Same here. I thought it would be closer.

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