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Music recs: Mikey Wax, Mylène Farmer, Nightwish October 19, 2019

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Hey, if you’re checking out the songs in these roundups, drop a comment and let me know? I’m going to finish off the list either way, just for the personal fun of it, but I’m curious who else they’re reaching.


Mikey Wax: fun modern pop/rock with top-40 catchiness. (Mikey Wax playlist.)


Mylène Farmer: dreamy pop, electronic rock/dance, mostly in French, occasionally with gay themes. She holds the record for most number-one hits in the French charts. (Mylène Farmer playlist.)

This one is a live concert performance where she sings the whole song, then the instruments and the dancers keep going, she says (in French) “One more time, all together now!”, and with minimal prompting gets the audience to sing the whole song back to her:

And this last one is just straight-up Little Prince filk:


Nightwish: Epic, symphonic goth metal. They’re Finnish, but the lyrics are mostly in English — and if they need a full orchestral accompaniment, they’re happy to call in the London Philharmonic. (Nightwish playlist.)

Music recs: Lorie, Marc Almond, Michael Stanley [Band] September 24, 2019

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Lorie: fun, catchy, energetic ’00s teen pop (mostly French). She’s also the French VA for a bunch of animated characters, so you can imagine any of these being sung by, say, Tinkerbell or Violet Parr. (Lorie playlist.)

This first one is a cheesy bilingual song about a cross-cultural romance:


Marc Almond: synthpop, new-wave, drag-show cabaret. He was the lead singer of Soft Cell (i.e. the Tainted Love guy); this is mostly the solo stuff he did afterward. (Marc Almond playlist.)

This last one is a heartfelt song about the drag scene:


Michael Stanley [Band]: classic ’70s and ’80s rock with a working-class Midwestern heart. It’s like if the E Street Band was from Ohio. Their highest-charting single even got Clarence Clemons on sax. (Michael Stanley Band playlist.)

Music recs: Kansas, Laura Branigan, Lifehouse September 13, 2019

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Kansas: classic rock with complex symphonic arrangements. All we are is dust in the wind, man. (Kansas playlist.)


Laura Branigan: pop-rock, synthpop, dance, heartfelt hurt/comfort love songs. (Laura Branigan playlist.)


Lifehouse: Post-grunge alt-rock. Some of the songs have spiritual overtones, but they’re not a religious band. (Lifehouse playlist.)

This first one is an eerily-perfect “Stephen Colbert” theme song.

Music recs: Jean-Jacques Goldman, Julia Ecklar, ABWH September 4, 2019

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Jean-Jacques Goldman: pop-rock, currently the highest-grossing French-language artist alive in the genre. (Jean-Jacques Goldman playlist.)


Julia Ecklar: filk (SFF-themed folk music produced by fandom), in between being a sci-fi writer. Covers the gamut from “earnest odes to space exploration” to “comedy songs about tribbles.” (Julia Ecklar playlist.)

(See also: To Touch The Stars playlist, a multi-artist album of space-exploration tribute songs.)


Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe: progressive rock, four former members of Yes that released a single album as their own group. No specific homages (that I know of), but IMO it has the same general weird/hopeful/cosmic vibe of ’70s-’80s SF. (ABWH playlist.)

Music recs: Icehouse, Jack’s Mannequin, Jann Arden August 23, 2019

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Icehouse – new-wave synth-pop, lots of romantic ’80s earnestness. Originally known as Flowers, published an album titled Icehouse, then changed their band name to Icehouse, because why make things easy. (Icehouse playlist. The end has a bunch of videos with lyrics, but apparently-random instrumental audio.)

Jack’s Mannequin – 2000’s California alt-rock. Touching, melancholy/hopeful — the frontrunner retired the name in part because these albums were “wrapped up in a whole lot of turmoil and tumult in a very difficult time in [his] life.” (Jack’s Mannequin playlist.)

Jann Arden – romantic pop, lot of yearning ballads. (Jann Arden playlist.)

Music recs: Gregorian, Hayley Westenra, Heart August 17, 2019

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Starting with a multi-artist cover band.

Gregorian – Gregorian-chant-inspired covers of pop/rock songs, full choir and all. They record in churches and only pick songs that are “translatable into the 7-tone scale,” which I assume is more historically authentic. (Gregorian playlist. Switches to non-cover-music Gregorian chanting around track 175.)


(Pink Floyd)


(Sarah Brightman)


(Celine Dion)


(Simon & Garfunkel)


(anyway here’s Wonderwall)


Hayley Westenra – operatic new-age classical-pop singer. Apparently has songs in over a dozen languages — including Maori, Japanese, Spanish, and (since she did a version of “May It Be”) Quenya. (Hayley Westenra playlist.)


Heart – classic ’70s rock, lots of big hair and power ballads. (Heart playlist.)

Multifandom recommendations (Temeraire, Red Dwarf, Good Omens, Good Place, Sailor Moon, Murderbot, Yuri on Ice) August 7, 2019

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  • Temeraire | Laurence/Granby/Tharkay, dragons | T | From, and To, and Why
    Laurence’s talent for repression, Tharkay’s for self-denial, and Granby’s for exploding when he just can’t take it anymore finally come to a head. Also, Temeraire and Iskierka nearly get everyone killed.
    series:temeraire,pairing:laurence_granby_tharkay,trope:polyamory,fic:one-shot,trope:hurt-comfort

  • Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | Mamoru/Fiore | M | Rose Seed
    After injuring Mamoru, Fiore takes him back to his home, the Flower Asteroid, and begins to heal him. However, healing Mamoru is not Fiore’s only intention. He plans to finally make Mamoru understand that he is his.
    series:sailor moon,fic:one-shot,trope:non-con,kink:tentacles,pairing:mamoru_fiore

  • Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | Usagi/Mamoru, Helios, Shitennou, Inners | G | Cardinal King
    This is the reversed story of Sailor Moon centering on Mamoru Chiba, aka Cardinal King, and his four Heavenly Kings as they search for the Earth Prince and the Golden Crystal. Aided by Helios and a mysterious figure named Jewel Tiara, they fight against an evil Queen and her four senshi henchmen, who also search for the Golden Crystal so that they could use it to unleash an ancient evil force to take over Earth once and for all…
    series:sailor moon,pairing:usagi_mamoru,fic:chaptered

  • The Murderbot Diaries | Murderbot, cargo transport | M | The Ship Who Vidded
    I might have sat there forever or at least until my power cells ran down if the cargo bot hadn’t started talking to me again. It was bored out of its mind. Well, obviously it didn’t have a mind, which was part of the problem. It was a sophisticated bot with a lot of processing ability and almost nothing to process.
    genfic,series:murderbot,fic:one-shot

  • Yuri!!! on Ice | Victor/Yuuri | M | Lonely Hearts Club
    Victor meets Yuuri after the World Championships in Detroit and mistakes him for a male escort. Yuuri fails to correct him. (Canon-divergent AU)
    fic:chaptered,series:yuri!!! on ice,pairing:yuuri_viktor,kink:identity porn

Multifandom Recs (Murderbot, Marvel, Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Pet Shop of Horrors, Labyrinth) July 31, 2019

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  • The Murderbot Diaries | Mensah, Murderbot | G | Circadian Rhythms
    This is the thing about your neural pathways expanding with practice. Sometimes you open your mouth and say a thing without meaning to, and it’s because you’re better at understanding humans than you thought you were.
    fic:one-shot,genfic,series:murderbot,trope:trauma

  • The Murderbot Diaries| ART | G | Need to Know
    All I wanted was for construction to be completed so that I could be launched and begin researching. Unfortunately, human illogic tends to delay things, and they were the ones running the project.
    fic:one-shot,genfic,series:murderbot

  • Captain America | Steve/Bucky, others | T | tin soldiers
    In his 2009 book on Captain America comic books, war photography, and American propaganda, Everett claims: “There is nothing to suggest that either the graphic novels issued during the war or the photographs taken during Rogers’ stay with the Howling Commandos can serve as a basis for a queer reading of Rogers and Barnes’ relationship. But even more importantly, there is nothing to suggest that such a relationship ever existed in the first place, and as such, those queer readings are not only misguided, but also libelous”
    fic:chaptered,series:marvel comics,pairing:steve_bucky,fic:socialmedia

  • Red Dwarf | Lister/Rimmer, Holly, cats | G | Three Million Years
    We all know the insufferable smeghead Arnold Rimmer was brought back to keep Lister, the last human alive, from going insane trapped in Deep Space, but what if there was more to the story? Three million years is a long time, even for the dead.
    series:red dwarf,fic:chaptered,pairing:rimmer_lister,trope:amnesia,trope:hurt-comfort

  • Red Dwarf | Lister/Rimmer, Holly, Todhunter | T | The Madness to his Method
    Only a few months into his time on board of Red Dwarf Dave Lister becomes witness to Arnold J Rimmer’s bizarre exam preparations. Everyone on the ship tells him to just ignore it, but fearing the Second Technician is in a very bad place Lister can’t. Soon it is clear he was right to worry.
    series:red dwarf,fic:chaptered,pairing:rimmer_lister,trope:hurt-comfort

  • Red Dwarf | Rimmer/Lister, Low Rimmer | M | Getting Low
    When Low Rimmer ends up on Starbug at the end of the episode, Lister decides to try and rehabilitate him. Can he really turn this work of pure evil from heinous to huggable?
    series:red dwarf,pairing:rimmer_lister,fic:chaptered

  • Labyrinth | Jareth, Sarah | G | Lucky 13
    “Won’t you even look at me?” he purred. She pictured claws sinking into her flesh. He’d spin her blood into rubies, hang them from spider’s silk, and wind them tight around her throat. A collar, a choker. A leash.
    series:labyrinth,fic:one-shot,pairing:jareth_sarah

Music recs: Full Blown Rose, Genesis, Giant July 27, 2019

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Well, this post came together fast. Mostly because of the first artist….

Full Blown Rose — polished, dramatic pop/rock. Turns out they never released a whole album, just 14 disparate songs (only a few of which got official releases on soundtracks). Surprisingly good songs for that track record! (Full Blown Rose playlist…such as it is.)

(Including good cover songs.)

Genesis – soft prog rock, vocals by Phil Collins, with a range from “mainstream romantic pop” all the way to “nightmare from the POV of a mouse.”

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is a deeply surreal fantasy/dream/psychosexual/anti-consumerist single continuous story that’s worth listening to in full. (Genesis playlist.)

Giant – eighties glam-rock power ballads. (Giant playlist…with some songs from similarly-named bands mixed in. They run out of glam-rock Giant by track 55.)

Music recs – Delta Goodrem, Emmy Rossum, Fefe Dobson July 24, 2019

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A string of female solo singers this time around. Didn’t plan it that way, it’s just how the alphabet lined up.

Delta Goodrem – contemporary piano pop-rock. My favorites are her wilder, more evocative songs, but she does more traditional-type love songs too. (Delta Goodrem playlist.)

Emmy Rossum – dreamy new-age hurt/comfort pop. Sadly, she’s only released one original album, along with one Christmas album and an album of cover songs. Apparently she’s too busy being an award-winning actress to do more.

Her voice sounds oddly processed in a lot of the original songs — not in a bad way, it gives them a distant ethereal quality, I just wish I knew what it was called. It’s not present in the cover songs, and her vocals do fine standing alone, so it’s more than just autotune. (Emmy Rossum playlist.)

Fefe Dobson – punk/rock power pop. She’s got a running thread of songs about “young woman’s anger about gender politics and how they screw with her relationships.” Mostly from a clear straight/cis point of view, but “if I was a guy, here’s all the [obnoxious] things I would do while dating girls” sure works on a lot of levels. (Fefe Dobson playlist.)