Monday, March 10, 2008

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 41: The There be (Dungeons &) Dragons Mixtape

Interestingly enough, this episode got its start as an actual mixtape. A group of my friends from high school do a regular CD swap a few times a year, and this was to be one of my submissions. Unfortunately, it sort of ran out of steam and set unfinished for months, silently mocking me from its seemingly insignificant folder on my desktop.

Given that my free time is further dwindling due to the eminent birth of our new arrival, I struck upon the idea to turn it into a podcast, to build on what I already had and make a second RFH mixtape. The WFWFTW mix was, by leaps and bounds, my most popular episode to date and folks regularly ask me for another. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to give the people what they want.

And then, right in the middle of my fevered editing, Gary died, making this edition a little more relevant.

The final product is, in part, a memorial to Gygax. However, in a broader sense, it’s more a love letter to the tabletop gamer.

Some of these tracks are explicitly about or specifically mention Dungeons & Dragons. Some are about other, related games. Some of them simply contain the sort of fantastic storytelling and toothless aggression that we dice-slingers know and love. And some ably mock our pastime and our attitudes. But let us remember, that in order to properly scorn the geek lifestyle, one must have an intimate knowledge of our culture and rituals. To adequately crack wise at our expense generally outs you as one of us. We’re bulletproof in that regard.

This episode feels a bit less cohesive than its predecessor. In fact, it sounds to me more like a collection of loose musical vignettes bound together by the dialogue from that classic Dead Alewives bit. A series of modules, if you will, which I imagine most of you may find fitting.

As I know you might not be intimately familiar with all of the included tracks, here are the customary show notes to let you know those responsible for the musical portion of this mix. Some of them might seem almost profanely ungeeky, but trust me; they each play a role.

Questions and comments regarding this edition (or damn near anything else you may find of interest) are encouraged, and your time and consideration are, as always, appreciated.

And for the record, you won’t be punished with an experience penalty for listening to this across multiple sittings. I am nothing if not a fair DM.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 41: The There be (Dungeons &) Dragons Mixtape [hosting provided by Antisocial] Size: 68.3 MB Running Time: 1:14:40

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)” / funky49 – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (Cover – Redux)
I decided to include the “theme song gets fucked up because it’s a mixtape and not a regular edition” motif again. My pal funky49 was nice enough to do his own cover version of the track, and this seemed like good time to use it. If anyone else is interested in putting their own spin on the theme, I may decide to make using alternate themes a habit for special mixtape eps.

Background Music :
The background music used behind Crystal’s introduction is from the classic D&D arcade/Saturn title Shadow Over Mystara. It seemed only fitting.

Track 1: A Tribe Called Quest – “Scenario”
Busta Rhymes spouting “Raaaahr raaaahr like a dungeon dragon” is universally agreed on as one of hip-hop’s nerdiest moments.

Track 2: The Misfits – “London Dungeon”
I decided early on that, in addition to songs about/referencing gaming, I also wanted some songs about dragons. It seemed only fitting, then, that I also had some about dungeons.

Track 3: Frontalittle Squad – “Saving Throw
Yes; that really is Tycho rapping the last verse. He is multitalented.

Track 4: Shael Riley – “Down with Bane
Not only does this one cover D&D, it also references a number of classic White Wolf franchises. Shael has tabletop acumen to spare.

Track 5: Jay-Zeezer – “Allure in the Garage” / Weezer – “In the Garage” / FLomid – “In the Garage”
This is what I like to call my “In the Garage” medley. Sure, many of us actually gamed in the kitchen or den, but I felt it worked in context.

Track 6: ZeaLouS1 – “Double Dragon (feat. Super Dragon X)”
From Z1’s Collaboc1de; this one features SDX of Metamystiks. It is fierce.

Track 7: Swollen Members – “Red Dragon Whoa”
Swollen are another act that ain’t exactly “nerd music,” but I love the band, the song, and the way that it rolls out of the “Double Dragon.” Plus, I’ve always thought that MMI and Swollen Members have a certain level of lyrical aggression in common.

Track 8: Brad Neely – “Be Aggressive Brad”
A last minute addition, I’m almost shamed to say. In retrospect, I don’t know why it wasn’t on the original playlist.

Track 9: Queen – “Dragon Attack (1991 Bonus Remix by R.A.K. and Jack Benson)”
What can I say? What nerd doesn’t love Queen?

Track 10: Grandmaster Pink & Diabolik – “Rollin 20’s
This is the song that singlehandedly started the whole project. One of Pink and D’s best.

Track 11: Mazedude Kid Icarus Funky Dungeon OC ReMix
More dungeon-y goodness courtesy of OverClocked ReMix. I love the music from Kid Icarus, and this really drives home how enchanting those melodies truly are.

Track 12: DragonForce – “Storming the Burning Fields”
Nerd metal at its finest, or, at least, its most accessible. I think a lot of people probably never even realized this group existed until Guitar Hero 3. While their style is borderline obnoxious, you really have to respect their talent.

Track 13: Taika – “Shining in the Darkness: Down in the Dungeon Just Creatures and Me OC ReMix
Once again, when you want quality songs about dungeons, look no further than OCR!

Track 14: Dorothée – “Sourire du Dragon”
The theme song from the French language version of the old cartoon.

Track 15: Krondor Krew – “I Play D&D
I could not, in good conscience, make a Dungeons & Dragons podcast without including this one. Krondor Krew love them some RPGs. Shinobi’s bit at the end is one of my favorite moments of this podcast.

Track 16: Mastodon – “Crystal Skull”
Though obviously not a nerd metal outfit, Mastodon boasts some of the most dork-friendly sci-fi/fantasy concept albums of the modern age. They also appeared in the ATHF movie, which gives them nerd points whether they want ‘em or not.

Track 17: Lords of the Rhymes – “Orc Interlude
Technically, this song should’ve probably been about Ogres, but I think that a LOTR track was long overdue by this point.

Track 18: Beefy – “Tabletop”
From Beef’s forthcoming album Rolling Doubles. He was nice enough to leak the track to me for inclusion. Okay, so maybe leak isn’t wholly correct.

Track 19: Stephen Lynch – “D and D
I’m not a real big fan of Lynch, but the song was fitting. Plus, he’s funnier than Dane Cook. But then again, so are most things.

Background Music:
Crystal’s second bit is backed up by music from Tower of Doom, SoM’s sequel.

Track 20: Uncle Monsterface – “(thank you) Gary Gygax
Uncle Monsterface conceded to let me use their new tribute track as an outro. It seemed like a fitting place to end. Much thanks to the band for favoring me with the song.


Matt said...

No Rush? How could you include Queen and then leave out Rush?


Z. said...

Believe me, they were given much consideration. :)

Matt said...

It isn't like it would be hard to find a Rush track that has a D&D reference. Just randomly pick anything they did before 1980.

Z. said...

That summation is startlingly accurate.

Matt said...

Of course, depending on the track you may end up doubling the length of the cast. Damn, they wrote some long songs.

Snake Eyes said...

Hats off to you, sir, for including "Scenario". Apparently I need to go listen to Low End for the nth time.

Anonymous said...

definitely dug it. loved the new format with the robovoice and clips from "where's the mountain dew"


Z. said...

Oh yeah, Snake, Low End is required listening. Daily, if possible.

Glad you dug it, Hex. The mixtapes eps are fun, but damn are they time-consuming on my end!

Legendary Wizard said...

I'm gonna have to go with: this was an awesome mix. It's darn solid, sir, and I approve heartily.

Z. said...

Thanks, Wiz. I keep going back and forth as to whether I like this or the WFWFTW mix better, but I reckon they both have their strengths and flaws. Thanks for listening and for commenting! :)

Anthony said...

I am so digging the MazeDude track! Mostly because I have been kicking ass with Pit in Smash Bros lately (notice the last time GM4A was updated, that game is ADDICTIVE!)

Also, we'll be having MazeDude on our mario rpg comp!

And i KNEW you couldn't have a D and D mix without the glorious song by Shael. good call!

WildgOphers said...

"But let us remember, that in order to properly scorn the geek lifestyle, one must have an intimate knowledge of our culture and rituals. To adequately crack wise at our expense generally outs you as one of us."

Well said, I'll have to remember that.

Z. said...

Uh-oh, Ant, Pit's my character too. We're gonna have to see who is the superior cherub. :)

Feel free to snake it and call it your own, WildgOphers, Christ knows I'll probably forget I wrote it in a week or two anyway. ;)

Scott said...

This was truly awesome. You're doing God's work here. Which god I don't know, probably Loki's, but it's good stuff.

Z. said...

Thanks, Scott. And may I say its always nice to pick up listeners from the Carolinas.