allchildren: kay eiffel's face meets the typewriter (Default)
Amy Ponds of the 99% ([personal profile] allchildren) wrote2010-02-25 12:43 am


Yay, I finished something for [ profile] help_haiti! For her donation [ profile] latropita requested a fanmix for the lost girls: the female vampires of The Vampire Diaries. Fanmixes are something I take so seriously I almost never finish them (hahaha, I wish I were kidding) so this was a special project, for many reasons.

zip of all songs, plus bonus track, plus an .xml playlist for iTunes joy: mediafire megaupload
(to use the playlist: after unzipping the folder and importing the songs themselves into your library, in iTunes go to File > Library > Import Playlist > lostgirls.xml. Then it will magically appear in your iTunes playlists in the correct order.)


1. Jesca Hoop/Whispering Light (mp3)
2. St. Vincent/Laughing With a Mouth of Blood (mp3)
3. Joanna Newsom/Colleen (mp3)
4. Abigail Washburn/Song of the Traveling Daughter (mp3)
5. Tori Amos/Enjoy the Silence (mp3)
6. Dead Man's Bones/Young & Tragic (mp3)
7. Michael Armstrong/Bachelorette (mp3)


1. My Brightest Diamond remixed by Alfred Brown/black!Black!BLACK! (mp3)
2. Patti Smith/Gloria: In Excelsis Deo (mp3)
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Kiss Kiss (mp3)
4. Laura Marling/Old Stone (mp3)
5. Neko Case/Polar Nettles (mp3)
6. PJ Harvey/Catherine (mp3)
7. Lady Gaga/Teeth (mp3)
8. Bikini Kill/Rebel Girl (mp3)

BONUS TRACK! Jonathan Richman/Vampire Girl (mp3)

I am always convinced I have chosen the worst possible lyric to represent any given song in a fanmix, and spend hours on that part alone, so this time I decided to skip posting lyrics completely. Sorry! Most of these should be easily googleable. The thing is, when I make a fanmix I am trying to tell a story in songs (yes I am going to be at least this pretentious about the whole thing -- this is your warning to grab the zip and bail now if you don't want to read my fanmix meta). So this time I am not just removing emphasis from the packaging, so to speak, but also trying to present it a whole. There are definitely benefits to downloading the zip rather than individual songs, is what I'm saying.

BTW: the commentary contains vampire-girls-related-only spoilers for the show through "Fool Me Once."

About the art: due to irreconcilable differences between pictures of Pearl and all the modern lost girls, and my own limited skills in Photoshop, I could not include everybody. I made an aesthetic choice which is is no way intended to shun Anna, Lexi, or Vicki (who in fact did make a small appearance, if you spot it) from the musical content. But the obvious visual bias for Katherine is not unintended, so... let's just roll with that.

Now, about the story.

When Katherine was revealed to have been a vampire in charge, rather than a passive prize to be fought over by the Salvatores, I was shocked and excited, because vampire girlfriends are much less common in popular culture than vampire boyfriends. I developed this thought. Female vampires in current popular culture tend to be much less important than male vampires, and they tend to fall into common types:

- sirens, seductive and decadent, that represent our male heroes' dark pasts
- eternal child
- evil lesbian

They also have a much worse survival/screentime rate than their male counterparts.

So I was happy that Katherine was powerful but I was also aware that she fell firmly into the first category, and at that time she seemed to be dead. Then there was Vicki, a chance to break the mold and moreover a second chance for a character who had been pretty thoroughly cast as a slut with no future -- and she died. Then there was Lexi, a ray of (har har) sunshine -- and she died. Lost girls was right, fuck.

This mix is split in two because I wanted to explore the vampire girl mythos from both sides: as girls who are in uncharted territory, removed from their former lives, exploring: lost in their own (doomed? not if Anna and Pearl can help it!) (after)lives; and as girls whose place in pop culture and in the eyes of the men who surround them tends to be limited to being harbingers of male doom, manipulative and hypersexual, yearned for but unhealthy or unattainable: lost to others. This mix represents a very small slice of musicians, but it was important that the focus be on women's voices and women's perspectives. That the Girls half of the project not just be about women as they are desired, but also as they express their own desire and pleasure and boredom and navigate their relationships with agency for good or for ill.


Musically, I struggled with a) maintaining a cohesive and lush sound (built around "Teeth" because from the moment I heard it I knew it was my Katherine theme) and b) challenging myself to think out of the box. Without thinking so out of the box that I wasn't working with music that was really meaningful to me. This is surely only an issue to me, but I desperately wanted to avoid what I see as my fanmix cliches. The most pointed example was Björk's "Bachelorette," which I could not bring myself to include. It's one of my favorite songs ever, from my absolute favorite musician and absolute favorite album ever, and it works perfectly lyrically -- but it was so expected. I expected it from myself. Luckily, alternate interpretations of Björk songs are not something I am short on, and the instrumental (actually intended as a lullaby!) version I used was beautifully creepy while still evoking the original song and its words. Also notable is Tori Amos doing "Enjoy the Silence," which she recorded for an album that was entirely covers of songs by men. I was not sure if I could a) use Tori at all (again, very expected), and b) use her essentially as a throwaway on a song that isn't hers and is probably the most obscure track in terms of the mix's purpose. But "Enjoy the Silence" is the song that plays as Damon and Vicki dance just before he turns her, and I couldn't resist.

I could talk forever but I definitely cannot type forever, so that's it. Enjoy and let me know what you think. :)
mllesays: John Singer Sargent painting (tvd // this witch)

[personal profile] mllesays 2010-02-25 01:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I have to run to work but I am going to come home and read all of this and dl and love it. I am the same about fanmixes, they are serious business!