[DLN] Noir Music

All discussions about the new Noir setting for Deadlands and Savage Worlds. It's 1935 and the only thing that isn't in short supply is trouble.

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Pirate Spice
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[DLN] Noir Music

#1 Postby Pirate Spice » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:15 pm

I'm super excited about Deadlands Noir, and I'm trying to prepare for it even now. Mainly, I want some good mood music. I'll certainly check out Pinnacle's music, but I like to have a lot of variety. Sadly, I haven't actually seen all too many noir films, so I don't have a good sense of where to find really good background music for the genre. Any suggestions?

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#2 Postby Neal5x5 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:39 pm

I've been exploring this for a convention game of Day After Ragnarok set in Los Angeles I'm going to run. There's not a lot that's labelled 'noir' and what there is tends to be very period-specific. However, I found a few gems that I think will make some nice backgound music:
    The LA Noir soundtrack - A great set of ambiance music and some excellent vocal tracks by Claudia Brucken that have a real smoky sexy sound. You can hear some on YouTube.
    The Twin Peaks soundtrack - This dreamllike music has a real noir feeling, but also some disturbing ambiance that would go along with Cthulhu
    LA Confidential soundtrack - This is a pretty good album if you like scores, but I actually liked LA Noir better
    Loius Armstrong - What a Wonderful World and Mack the Knife
    Henry Mancini - Peter Gunn Theme (it's actually 1950s but it's so iconic you'd be hard pressed to tell)
    Sara Vaughn - Peter Gun Theme (yes, there are actually words to the song, pretty cool ones, too)
    Ella Fitzgerald - I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good, That Old Black Magic, and The Lady is a Tramp

There's probably more by Armstrong, Vaughn, and Fitzgerald, who made awsome music. Other ones to look at are Nat King Cole, Tommy Dorsey, Dizzy Gillespie, and just about anyone in the jazz era. Look for "Torch Songs", too.
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#3 Postby StJason » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:46 am

As above. Look for swing-jazz and play it low in the background. Dizzie Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzerald, Cole Porter. Also look for Django Reinhardt. Actually, you should look him up anyway, as he is the king of awesome.

For a more dixieland vibe, consider the Mardi Gras standards: Doctor John, Professor Longhair, The Wild Magnolias, The Wild Tchoupitoulas.. For a bit more fun, throw a bit of Screamin' Jay Hawkins in there too (and there is nobody who does campy/spooky like Screamin' Jay...). Anything zydaco is golden as well. To cool it off a bit, sprinkle in some delta blues, especially the old stuff. Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son Volt... all have songs full of hellhounds and deals with the devil and 'killin' yer woman'...

Above all, get ahold of some noir movies and watch them. While there is some music there, it's not the focus of the genre. Mysterious powers acting against you, untrustworthy or non-existent government. Crime, graft, corruption. Bad guys who are hard to tell from the good guys... keep those elements in mind and your game will boil.

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#4 Postby Pirate Spice » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:09 pm

Huge thanks to both of you! This gives me a lot of great places to start.

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Re: [DLN] Noir Music

#5 Postby Scott A. Woodard » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:07 am

So much authentic (and period) New Orleans Jazz and Blues to choose from, it boggles the mind!
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#6 Postby StJason » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:47 pm

I started a Spotify list with a lot of the stuff I mentioned...

http://open.spotify.com/user/jasonalang ... HwQA49GZ23

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#7 Postby John Goff » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:14 pm

I recently picked up the soundtracks to both Hollywoodland and The Black Dahlia. Very nice--moody, yet subtle.
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#8 Postby Kurt Wiegel » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:37 pm

Its hard to find these days, but the soundtrack to Angel Heart (my favorite horror movie ever) is perfect, but it is interspersed with dialog from the film. Its worth it thoughto hear De Niro purring some of his lines.

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#9 Postby Sweeper » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:33 pm

One thing's for sure, The Blues will definitely be taking a a slightly different path in the 20s and 30s of Deadlands than in the real world. Most prominent being better access to recording studios.

Hmm.... Makes me wonder, Did Mr. Johnson really sell his soul to the Devil at the Crossroads?

Hmm.... again. I think I have the beginnings of both a mini campaign arc and possibly some variant trappings on AB: Blessed. Must ponder this.
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#10 Postby StJason » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:30 am

Sweeper wrote:One thing's for sure, The Blues will definitely be taking a a slightly different path in the 20s and 30s of Deadlands than in the real world. Most prominent being better access to recording studios.

Hmm.... Makes me wonder, Did Mr. Johnson really sell his soul to the Devil at the Crossroads?

Hmm.... again. I think I have the beginnings of both a mini campaign arc and possibly some variant trappings on AB: Blessed. Must ponder this.


Oh, heck yeah.
Also: Why was everyone after that Maltese Falcon again?
Did all those things that Nazi scientists discover during the war just fade away, or are they still out there?

What about back home?

Noir is going to be so aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawesooooooooome!

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#11 Postby Sweeper » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:36 pm

Did The Great War happen? Who won? The Primary thing that allowed Hitler and the National Socialist Party rise to power is the abysmal state Post-War Germany was in. A state, I might add, exacerbated by the fact that the Allies, particularly the Europeans, were not gracious victors.

While I can't see the Union or Confederacy sending formal forces to the War in Europe, (they still have each-other to worry about), Volunteer companies from both Countries could be a possibility. I could see The Union siding with the Central Powers (Austria and Germany) simply because of the CSA's ties to England (and by extension), the rest of the Allied Powers; I would hazard a guess that the USA never quite forgave the UK for siding with the South in the Civil War. There was still quite a bit of animosity even during WWI between the US and the UK.

Now, all that being said, The Reckoners would love the Nazi Party, Hitler would be War's little patsy in Europe, Himmler would do either Famine's or Death's bidding, Goebbels would on the side of Pestilence. And all that doesn't even take Russia into consideration.

Heh.... History and What-ifs are fun. :)
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#12 Postby StJason » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:30 pm

Ooh. Hadn't even thought of that. Without the American reinforcements, WWI would have likely been a much longer stalemate. WWII may have been just a re-ignition of a smoldering WWI...

This, of course, lets us tie Weird Wars into Deadlands cannon. Nazi commando werewolves? Check.

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#13 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:29 pm

The Great War went down basically the same. The USA and CSA both went in for the allied powers. An agreement similar to the Treaty of Versaille still happened, and Hitler still rose.

The conflict with Mexico was a CSA affair.

All this stuff is mentioned in various Hell On Earth books (Brainburners, Last Crusaders, probably a couple of others).
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#14 Postby Sweeper » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:10 pm

That's all assuming DLN shares the same timeline as HOE. They probably do, but one shouldn't limit their options like that. :)
I'm wise enough to know that I don't know half as much as I think I know. Y'know?

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#15 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:24 am

Sweeper wrote:That's all assuming DLN shares the same timeline as HOE. They probably do, but one shouldn't limit their options like that. :)

If it did not share that timeline then it wouldn't be Deadlands. Because Deadlands has one timeline and no paradoxes. No. Paradoxes. :razz:

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#16 Postby Sweeper » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:56 am

Some thoughts about music as a game effect in DLN.

When I mentioned the legend of Robert Johnson, it got me thinking about variations of the Deadlands Arcane Backgrounds to make room for Music. the 1920s and 30s were something of a continuing revolution; recording devices were improving at an unbelievable rate. Les Paul and others were busy working on ways to amplify guitars as a means to play in noisy locations, (like blue collar bars).

In the real world, this eventually led to styles such as the Iconic Chicago Blues, which was traditional Delta-Blues played through electric guitars as a matter of necessity, those Chi-town bars were crowded and loud.

Music has power in the Real World, few people would disagree with that. But in Deadlands, could that power take form?

Here are some (extremely) rough draft ideas of mine to reflect that
*note, I'm thinking this stuff up somewhat on the fly:

AB-Chanticleer (Blessed): Novice, Faith, Perform(instrument of choice)
Whether you're a member of a Band or Choir, or a lone Traveling musician, your music brings hope and happiness to those who hear it. You've seen the horrors the world around you and are determined to rail against it, note-by-note.

AB-Music man (Huckster): Novice, Spellcasting, Perform (Instrument)
Like your card-playing brethren, you discovered the secrets of magic in an old book on how to read music. You picture the being you get your power from as a rival musician that you play against.

AB-Con Man (Black Magic)
You've made a deal with the Devil to get the skills and you use them. (this one will take a bit of thinking over. Johnson would probably have this one)

AB-Soul Singer (Chi-Mastery)
Through intense study and discipline, you have discovered how to use your chi to add to to playing and performing ( think of all those MA movies with wandering MA minstrels and you get the idea)

Shamanism, for most part, has singing and performing already built into it, so tweaking the trappings is pretty simple, (if it's needed at all).

Weird Science Music would just be sonic based gadgets. A ghost-rock powered Calliope that did sonic based blasts, for example.

Like I said, these are just rough ideas that are in need of heavy refinement, but could be fun none the less.

Opinions?
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#17 Postby catalac » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:17 pm

you forgot voodooism which might be better fitted for the tittle soul singer.
i don't know about you but when i hear soul singer i think blues. and for some reason i don't think most chi minstrels sing blues.
on the other hand a new orlans voodooist singing the blues i can totally picture that.
i like the con man idea because that might be likely to happen a lot.

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#18 Postby J Gregory » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:19 am

Check out John Zorn's Spillane - really a kind of 'aural movie', and very hard-boiled.

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#19 Postby Sweeper » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:19 am

True, but the Style known a Soul wont get it's start for roughly another 30 years or so. Part of the origins of Chicago Blues, R&B, Motown, and Soul go back to the mass, for lack of a better term, migration North of many former farmers (majority of them Black) in search of jobs at the factories in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, and New York mostly during the Great Depression. Which hasn't happened yet unless I missed my guess.

I picked the term Soul Singer mostly because of the nature of Chi-powers. You draw Chi from your inner-self, basically your soul, so the name would fit from a non-asian POV if nothing else. Maybe if I changed it to the Mandrin or Canton.

As for Voodoo, it shares so much with Blessed in game terms, a musician getting power from a Loa wouldn't be that much different from one getting power from The Almighty. Only true differences would the same ones for the regular Blessed and Voodoo, Code of Behavior, Power Choice, and Trappings.

There's this novel called The Gutbucket, (good read if you ever come across it) that serves as a bit of inspiration for these archetypes. One of the secondary characters is a Bass player who practices voodoo and also happens to run a junkyard. One of his powers is the ability to "zombify" the wrecks in his junkyard. That guy is probably close to what you're thinking a Voodoo Bluesman should be.
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#20 Postby StJason » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:13 am

I'd think going for a separate AB rather then shoehorning existing ones. One of the fantasy books has a Bard AB, which might be a good base to work from. I kind of like the idea of a AB for 'sold your soul to the devil', maybe with something like AB: Superpower, but with some sort of 'sinning' requirement. Of course, you can always ask for more, but you'll have to pay more then...


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