Friday Music

Hoping to get back onto a regular schedule with these, now that the madness of Summer is drawing to a close.

A couple of weekends back, I found myself listening to the local alternative radio station’s “Resurrection Sunday” broadcast: a four-hour block of “classic alternative” (i.e. what we used to call “new wave”, “punk”, and “college rock.”), which had me digging back through my collection, and has led me to a desire to do an 80s-themed Friday Music. I hope you bear with my sad, 40something nostalgia.

First up, my favorite track from Berlin’s Pleasure Victim album, almost always ignored in favor of the far more popular “Sex.” This song, though, remains not only my favorite from that album, but my favorite Berlin song, period (narrowly edging out “The Metro”). Berlin – “Masquerade.”

Spooky, ethereal, odd, and just plain KATE. Before “Who Let the Dogs Out”, she was pretty much one of the only folks who could get away with vocalizations of barking in a song… Kate Bush – “Hounds of Love.”

I discovered Shriekback through the Michael Mann movie “Manhunter.” This soon became my favorite song of theirs. “Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals, everybody happy as the dead come home…” Shriekback – “Nemesis.”

The lead track on a mix tape given to me by my high school girlfriend. I knew it was The Church, and I knew the title of the song, but it took the invention of the Internet for me to track down the album. The Church – “Unguarded Moment.”

The first song I ever heard from Sinead O’Connor’s debut album The Lion and The Cobra, before she became mainstreamed, the butt of jokes, and villainized for being one of the first to protest the Catholic Church’s cover-up of the abuse of children. Her anger, her energy, her howl, it’s all in this first single. Sinead O’Connor – “Mandinka.”

One of my favorite pieces of music from Genesis, a little-known instrumental track from their Invisible Touch album, which I discovered when it was used with chilling effect as backing music to a scene in a Magnum, P.I. episode where he’s gone a bit off the deep end and is preparing to murder an old enemy. Genesis – “The Brazilian.”

I’ve always loved story songs. This odd bit of noir-ish narration from Robbie Robertson struck that chord in me, and I’ve always loved it as a result. Robbie Robertson – “Somewhere Down The Crazy River.”

There you go, kids — enjoy. Back with more next Friday.

Casting Monday: DOCTOR STRANGE

Kicking off a potential new regular feature here at the Monologues: Casting Monday.

One of my favorite geek pastimes has always been speculation and discussion along the lines of “if they were going to make a move about ‘Geek Property X’, who should be cast?” So I figured that it would be fun to bring that to the blog. I present my choices below. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments. If this takes off, we’ll do it every Monday.


One of my all-time favorite comics — it’s been done as an awful 1978 TV-movie, an expired-option-turned-into-serial-numbers-filed-off direct to DVD film in the early 90s called Doctor Mordrid, and most recently a not-too-shabby animated version released on DVD. Reports are that Marvel Studios is now working on a Doctor Strange film as part of their line-up.

So, how would I cast this?




Doctor Strange: Guy Pearce.
Pearce has the necessary combination of thin features, otherworldly intensity, and aristocratic bearing.
Clea: Romola Garai.
Well, I mean, just look at her. She’s brilliant in the BBC TV show The Hour as an independent career woman in 1950s Britain, and I think she’d bring the same strength to the Daughter of Dormammu.
Baron Mordo: Rufus Sewell.
Mordo needs to be the dark reflection of Stephen Strange. He needs to be what Strange could have become if his arrogance and thirst for power had overwhelmed him. Sewell can definitely hang in there with Pearce, and makes a good pairing, in my opinion.
Dormammu: Tim Curry.
Obviously, the Dread Dormammu would be a CG creation (and hopefully wreathed in flame far more convincing than that which appears in Ghost Rider. He needs to have a great voice, though — powerful, commanding, dripping with venom and arrogance. Tim Curry’s past performances as Darkness in Legend and Cardinal Richelieu in Disney’s Three Musketeers informed my choice here.

So there are my choices. What do you think?

GenCon Wrap-up

I returned home yesterday from GenCon 2011: 5 days of hectic schedules, around 18-20 total hours of sleep, roughly one meal per day, seminars, meetings, and lots of handshakes. Got back into town, did dinner with cat-sitting friends, popped into a bar for a meet-up of local media creatives, and then hit my own bed for 8 hours of sleep. Oy.

The picture at left is an example of the proper care and feeding of game designers: a bottle of Puerto Rican rum, courtesy of Roberto Micheri of the Puerto Rico Roleplayers, with the photo courtesy of Daniel M. Perez.

For the first time ever at GenCon (and this was my 20th anniversary), I didn’t see the entire Exhibit Hall, as I was far too busy. Also didn’t get to meet up with a bunch of folks that I’d hope to see (and this includes folks that I only managed quick hellos with, rather than the preferred lengthier talk). The whole show felt a bit like running to catch up, all the time. Exhausting.

The high point of the show for me was, without a doubt, the number of Far West Kickstarter backers who introduced themselves, and shared their enthusiasm for the project. I can’t count the number of times that somebody asked me “Have we hit 25 yet? I want that map!” Putting real faces to the numbers that I get to see online really made the positivity surrounding the project all that more real to me, which was nearly overwhelming. A wonderful experience. I even got to meet our top backer, whom I’ll be flying to visit and run his group through a specially-created game — and I’m still a bit star-struck. I hope I didn’t embarrass myself too badly.

Also was pleased as hell at the reaction to our Buckaroo Banzai announcement — the 100+ promo cards that we brought to the show were snapped up, with varying degrees of squeeing, hell-yes-ing, and other exclamations of awesomeness. Laura suggested that the tagline for the game should be: “Buckaroo Banzai: Because it’s about damn time.” It appears that many others feel the same way.

Swag-wise, I came home with the following:

  • A copy of the long-awaited illustrated novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes from Archaia, which I hadn’t expected to see (it apparently had been released at SDCC). As an old-school APES fan, I was on that like Taylor on Nova. (Get it? I slay me.) (And no, I haven’t seen RISE yet. Later this week.)
  • The Fortune and Glory board game from Flying Frog, which was my main target going in to the show.
  • A copy of the absolutely kick-ass Cosmic Patrol from Catalyst. This game features no GM, retro-finned Space Opera, and comes off like a combination of FATE and FIASCO, except delivered to you by Brian “Gordon’s ALIVE?” Blessed. I liked it so much, I bought the T-Shirt.
  • Quickly purchased one of the 100 copies of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple that flew off the IPR shelves, since I had missed the Kickstarter opportunity.
  • I couldn’t spend the entire weekend selling copies and not grab a copy of the absolutely gorgeous One Ring RPG from my filthy English overlords, Cubicle 7. SO PRETTY. — and, as an aside: One Ring designer Francesco Nepitello is charming, funny, almost intimidatingly brilliant, with an amazing memory for detail (bringing up a brief meeting between us 15 years earlier, and citing design characteristics of one of my games from that time). On top of all that, he’s handsome and lives in Venice. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t like him so much, I’d have to hate him just on principle.
  • In other C7 swag, got copies of Qin Bestiary and Mindjammer, to round out my collections.
  • Got a signed copy of Dave Gross’ new wuxia-riffic Pathfinder novel, Master of Devils, which I was honored to see featured Yours Truly in the acknowledgements. You never know what will happen when you encourage somebody’s love of wuxia film!
  • Finally managed to get a physical copy of Leverage to go along with my PDF. Was thrilled to hear of MWP’s acquisition of the MARVEL license, too.
  • After lusting at it from afar, grabbed a copy of the ENnie Award Winning Bookhounds of London. Can’t wait to dive into it.

I’d love to go into more detail about the good memories of the show (Dinner at Fogo de Chao, the Kickstarter seminar, the ENnie Awards, etc.), but I’ve got about a thousand emails to catch up on, consulting gigs to return to, and, as ever, Adamant to run. So, I’ll leave it at this.

Helluva show.