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Avalon

I want to keep things focused on Dieslepunk since i leave in just a few days for London to record the wonderful vocalists. However, i just have to…

Understand that i am SO excited to be recording and mixing the Dieselpunk Opera. But the job to do is a production job. I love that angle. However it is very different from the grass roots creative angle. You know, the “coming up with shit from scratch” angle. The puzzle pieces are already put together. I go crazy without a puzzle to work on.

So the other day when i got the rough idea to do a Fairy Tale album about Faeries… the thing is i’m exploding with ideas. I know to do an album usually when i get an idea and then over the next… anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 days, ideas just start pouring. That’s what’s happening now.

I realized… this Faerie Tales album will be 8 little short stories, like i said before very much in the vein of Fairy Tales of the Lost and Wandering, but there will also be a larger story subtly told around the edges. All the stories will stand alone, but as you listen you’ll also realize there’s as larger story in there. Naturally the full nature of it won’t be clear until the end, but….

So i’m writing stories for it now. I’m not sure if i should post any. Maybe choose one and post it so you can see the process from beginning to finished product on the album.

So there’s that.

In the meantime here’s some artists’ representations of Avalon.

Avalon

Avalon

Avalon

Avalon

Avalon

Avalon alexandra Bach

Avalon cheery macaroon

Avalon

Avalon timbodon

Avalon

Avalon

Avalon

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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6 Songs About Fairies

by Mark Hadley

by Mark Hadley

It’s no secret i like Faeries. A lot. I think they get utterly misrepresented as good little new agey pretty things, when in fact faerie lore is kind of creepy. They have a moral ambiguity and an otherness that make them creepy, and some Fae creature are out and out malevolent. Their abductions of humans and especially of human babies are not cool. And yet their otherness, their enclaves deep in the forest, in their mounds, is enthralling.

You know, i should do an album like Fairy Tales of the Lost and Wandering but of nothing but actual Faerie stories, specifically about the Fae. Hell, i could make up some awesome Fae stories.

Huh…. that’s an interesting idea there…

In between the Dieselpunk Opera and the Atompunk Opera next year i could make an album in the vein of Fairy Tales of the Lost and Wandering… huh….

Anyway, before i get sidetracked, today we feature songs that feature fairies. There’s kind of no way to avoid songs where celtic and new agey sound converge, and for some that’s not a bad thing. For me it’s pushing the line, but…. i mean don’t get me wrong, i have a 4 year old and i…. i might be misleading him as to the existence of fairies (there’s a patch nearby we’ve dubbed The Fairy Forest and as far as he knows fairies actually live there and come out at dusk. He asks questions about them and i answer. It’s my version of Santa Claus. We’ll get to the truth when he gets a little older but for now…. i know it’s crazy but let him have a little fantasy and magic in his childhood.) Since he’s only 4 i don’t really desribe the creepy kind, sadly they’re more the new agey kind, don’t worry, as he gets older we’ll darken those faeries up, oh yes we will.

If i did a Faery album i would make it deep and mysterious, atmospheric, yes, but not new agey.Creepy. it’d be creepy and otherworldy. And yet there’d be a trace of celtic in there, just… there’s another direction you could go.

Realm Of The Fairies

Since you can’t get away from the over abundance of new agey faerie songs out there, we might as well start with one that does it right.

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Loreena McKennitt: Stolen Child

You know, i actually like Loreena McKennitt. I would sway about the room with my infant son on my arm playing The Lady Of Shallot. Like, every night for weeks. I’d be amiss to not include one of her faeie songs. This one gets the pick because it’s a rendition of the wonderful William Butler Yeats poem.

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Blackmore’s Night: Faerie Queen

You know, i’m starting to think more and about this Faerie album ideaq, because all the music i’m running across online is ALL EXACTLY THE SAME. Seriously. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of people who like this genre and style and i’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to it, i’m just saying… there could be more diversity in Faerie songs. They don’t ALL have to be celtic meets new age.

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Innisfree Ceoil: The King Of The Fairies

Ah, Here we go. This is nice! Traditional Irish goes down so much better. It’s a matter of soul. It has more soul

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Tchaikonsky: Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy

Yeah, you know what? This son rules. It’s so embedded in our psyche we forget it, but listen to it… it’s awesome. It’s beautiful and gentle and yet leagues above the syrupy smaltz that i keep finding on the net. Plus, damn this girl can DANCE. Who can’t use little ballet action in your day?

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Black Sabbath: Fairies Wear Boots

Oh, damn, Black Sabbath wrote a fairy song! Wow. There is no way i can’t put this on the list. here it is.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Leanan-Sidhe

Artists, beware. The Leanan-Sidhe is one amazing hot Faerie lover who loves artsy types. Seriously, artsy guys make her cream herself. She will inspire you to create the best works of your lives and she wants only to love you boys long time.

Yes, i know. It seems like a good idea at the time. But trust me, don't tap that.

Alas, she cannot love you long time. Because she will burn your wimpy little ass out in no time. If she doesn’t burn you out, then you’ll become so lovesick with longing you’ll basically drink or drug your own sorry self to death. Not to mention the moping. For the love of Pete, does the world really need another mopey artist?

Artists die young. We all know that. But why? Folks, the Gaelic have known why for millenium. Fucking faeries, that’s why. Specifically the Faerie Mistress, or Leanan Sidhe (lanawn shee).

She’s like Nancy (of Sid and Nancy) Courtney Love and Yoko Ono on steroids. And hotter. WAY hotter. She is the most awesome thing you’ll ever know, and you will never survive it.

Some say she’s like a vampire, but that’s not true. She doesn’t want to kill you, you’re just too weak to handle her. She a fucking FAERIE for fuck’s sake. You think falling for Tinkerbell is all cutesiness, but Tinkerbell will burn through you like a party of 7 year olds let loose on the birthday cake. She really doesn’t want you be such a pussy, she wants you to stay with her, but you suck. So now she’s sad and lonely again and has to find another artsy dude to seduce.

The whole “Leana-Sidhe are bloodsuck vampire bitches” was propagated by Yeats, and admittedly, he did had a justifiable bone to pick with her/them. His buddies died young because they fell for her and couldn’t handle her. No one can. His buddy Keats, dead at 25. Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley dead one month shy of his 20th birthday. I mean damn. That’s cold.

Yeats: “for theLianhaun shee lives upon the vitals of its chosen, and they waste and die. She is of the dreadful solitary fairies. To her have belonged the greatest of the Irish poets, from Oisin down to the last century.”

Well, let’s be honest, poetic types and musicians die young. Shit, even in these modern times we all know the 29 rule. If you’re a musician, fucking COOL it during year 29. Seriously, do drugs, party, go crazy at 28 and 30, but for your 29th year, man, go fucking straight edge vegan. If you can make it through 29, you’ll be okay.

Writers: you’re not so lucky, most of you die in your 30s. She likes her writers a little older.

The Leanan-Sidhe like em all, but the young ones are the most susceptible. Yeats made it to 73 because he never let the bitch in the door. Life tip: You got a potential Faerie problem, hang some mother fucking iron all over the place. Faeries HATE iron. It hurts the shit out of them. (One can rumintae about the ancient Celts coming up with this mythology as they used their iron age technology to pound the shit out non iron weapon wielding  enemies, like the Tuatha Dé Danann). When the Leanan-Sidhe tried to seduce Yeats he put his dick in an iron condom and that was that. She never bothered him again.

Iron, see? Iron fucks them up.

A writer gets all drepressed and kills himself or drinks himself to death? Fuckng Leanan-Sidhe. Seriously, i was going to hunt that bitch down after David Foster Wallce killed himself, because don’t think i don’t know what was going on. Unfortunately, i’m a musician and i’ve caught her staring at me through the window more than once. No, i can’t do it. I’d be her bitch before she even got finished blowing in my ear.

A banker needs to kill her. Some wall street guy.

Anyway, you’ve been warned. Rehab does not work, because drugs are not the problem. They’re a SYMPTOM. Duh. A symptom… of FUCKING FAERIES. Literally.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Bean-Sidhe (Banshee)

When someone dies, the Gaelic women wail a vocal lament. It’s called keening and it is singing, wailing and mournful. Sometimes a faerie woman will keen for a human, originally out of attachment to a particular family. Being a faerie, she’ll just start early. Like soon before they actually die. She is a Bean-Sidhe, a wailing woman of the Faerie Mounds.

Originally, the Bean-Sidhe is not a creature unto herself. She is just a Sidhe, a faerie, and in the most ancient days of Sidhe lore, would be certain faeries attached to a certain house and family. As we recall from yesterday, the Sidhe (Shee) started out as ancestral spirits and later evolved through story into a race in their own rights.

As said, when a Gaelic soul would die, there would be keening, and certain women with great voices would be much in demand to keen at the wake. Great families would have their own special keeners, but five of the greatest Gaelic house, the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the O’gradys and the Kavanaghs, had there own Faerie keeners. This Faerie keener, being all supernatural and everything, would begin keening shortly before the actual death, her wail also helping to guide the newly dead into the Otherworld.

Attached to the family (because originally she herself was a dead family ancestor) proximity was unimportant. If a family member was far away and died (or about to i assume) she would begin her keen no matter the distance and was often the first alarm that someone far off had died.

This is where the Bean-Sidhe came from. As these great families intermarried and outermarried the faeries presiding over their Houses multiplied and the Bean-Sidhe diversified.

She usually wears a green dress with a grey cloak. Her eyes are blood red from crying. She stands outside a house, usually near the woods. She has a silver comb she sometimes draw through her hair which relates to the tradition of tearing out ones hair in grief. This comb also appears in Gaelic mermaid myths. If you ever see a silver comb lying in the woods or near the sea, DON’T pick the damn thing up. If you do, they’ll come for you.

However, unlike mermaids, Bean-Sidhe are benign. They have a sister, the Lianhan Sidhe however who is not. The Lainhan Sidhe desires the love of mortal men, but if they fall for her they’re screwed. Their desire for her will consume  and destroy them. She will never bed them in this world, so they must come the Otherworld to have her. So you gotta die just to tap that ass. Not cool.

Numerous Bean-Sidhe wail when it is the death of some really important and it’s said the O’Brien family had a Bean-Sidhe named Eevul who had an entourage of 25 other Bean-Sidhe so you can imagine the cacophony if an O’Brien died.

There is a specific type of Bean-Sidhe called the Bananach, who only hang out around battlefields. Sometimes the Bean-Sidhe will appear as an old woman washing bloody garments.

The Bean-Sidhe has counterparts in both Scotland and Wales, although in Scotrland theirs is a Bean-Nighe,a and in Walesit’s is a Cyhyraeth, and moans instead of wailing.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Faeries: The Sidhe

I’ve always had a big interest in the Sidhe legends, long, long before i ever discovered i was Irish (long story, let’s not worry about it now) and I’ve incorporated the Sidhe into several works. While they don’t really come into play in the Steampunk Opera, they do get a shout out.

This subculture song that i’m working on, one which depicts a subculture during my third generation which has  appropriated Voodoo much like 60s british youth appropriated the blues, depicts the youth of New Albion getting together for parties that are more like Voudon ceremonies. These kids are not african, nor african descended, and since they’re pulling a cultural appropriation, it would make sense that they are not trying to call up african spirits, but their own ancestral spirits… the Sidhe.

The Celts believed in Faeries and  before the late 19th and 20th centuries pussified them into pretty little tinkerbell things, they were actually creepy as hell. Pronounced Shee, they incorporate a pantheon of creatures. The lordly, more human like creatures and the more monsterous, malevolent beings like the Leprechaun, the Phooka, the Merrow and the Banshee (bean-sidhe, get it?).

The lordly race, the Sidhe proper, live underground in enchanted mounds and in the Otherworld. In the stories, encountering them can be potentially hazardous, or quite fun. They are charming, but quick to anger if insulted or disgusted. They love beautiful things and will steal human babies, taking them to forever reside in their underground otherworlds, putting fatally flawed replacements in their place.

As lovely as it might seem to run off and play with the Faeries, it is actually extremely dangerous. Basically, you risk becoming an acid casualty. You know, one of the guys that has done way too much LSD and is just… not really there. Spaced the fuck out. If you’re a child, this is less likely to happen but more likely they will simply take you and let your parents die of a broken heart. Sometimes people can visit them and come back all right or even with a gift. Other times they come back deformed, messed up in the head, or kill themselves in order to return.

The Sidhe are often said to derive from the ancient worship of the dead, and originally were the ancestors of the Celts, who over time grew into numerous legends and mythologies. This works best for my purposes.

As far as more fanciful and historical legend goes, the Sidhe are said to be a race called the Tuatha Dé Danann, People of the Goddess Danu.  In the early Irish writings ‘The Book of the Dun Cow’ and the ‘Book of Leinster’ they are described as a race that is “gods and not gods”, pointing to the fact that they are ‘something in between’.

They were the 5th people to come to ireland, and they conquered the island from the far more barbaric Fir Bolg. Numerous stories of the battles and various kings and killings and betrayals abound, but eventually the Tuatha De Dunann ruled all of Ireland un til the coming of the Sons of Mil, the Milesians, who became the Celts. They eventually conquered the Sidhe and either drove them underground, or according to some legends, in dividing up Ireland with them after the wars, tricked them. They divided Ireland in half, but the Milesians got all the area above ground, and the Tuatha Dé Danann all the area underground.

The Sidhe were said to have come from four mythical cities: Falias, Gorias, Finias, and Murias. It was their that they learned all of their magic and skills from the druids, and were given four great treasures or talismans that showed these skills. The first treasure was the Stone of Fal, which would scream whenever a true king of Ireland would place his foot on it. The next was the Magic Sword of Nuada, a weapon that only inflicted mortal blows when drawn. The third was the Sling-shot of the Sun God Lugh, that never missed its target. The last was the Cauldron of Dagda from which a constant supply of food came forth.

Nowadays there are numerous books which incorporate Sidhe mythology. However, one of the best, in terms of pure awesomeness as fantastical fiction is Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Seriously, this is one of the most enjoyable fantasy books of the past decade and does the faery mythos proud.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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