Tag Archives: music

Sylent Mari’s Music Mix – Badass Covers Edition

It’s been three months since I last wrote a post for the site. That’s too damn long. My latest Music Mix is all about stepping away from the frustrations and worries of the world, and spending a few moments reflecting on the positives in life. What makes you happy? What drives you creatively? For me it’s entertainment in any form that allows me to step away from the outside world and my crazy life for a few minutes or hours each day. Music allows me to write, film allows me to think, novels transport me to other worlds, and TV makes me super-emotional over fictional characters (stop killing off all of my favorites!).

I’ve always been a fan of musical artists and bands that do cover versions of their favorite songs and add their own unique flavor to them. There are lots of great cover songs out there and some…eh…we’ll pretend they never exited. In the newest playlist below, I’ve got 20 of my personal favorites or covers that I enjoy. Some are familiar, some are new, but all of them are timeless in their own ways, while paying respect to the original artists.

The first Spotify playlist consists of the original artists of all of the songs listed below. Most of these artists should be familiar to you, but it’s always a good refresher to listen to each of the songs so you get that “A-ha!” moment. The second Spotify playlist is a mirage image of the first, but it features all of the cover versions that I’ve compiled for this post. Take an hour or two out of your day and listen to both playlists and allow yourself to get lost in the music and forget about everything negative in your life currently. Maybe add a few drinks if it’s been THAT kind of a week. ‘Til next time!

P.S. I apologize for my lack of creative verbage. 2016 has burned out quite a few of my brain cells, but at least I hope it’s an entertaining read nonetheless. *thumbs up*

The Originals

The Covers

Carina Round (f/ Aidan Hawken) – “Come Undone” [2014]
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Duran DuranDuran Duran (The Wedding Album) [1993]

Duran Duran, like so many artists and bands before and after them, sampled one of the most iconic drum loops for “Come Undone”: The Soul Searcher’s “Ashley’s Roachclip.” The sampled loop works perfectly in the now-classic DD track, and it’s my favorite song from the band; I’ve included that video above. I can listen to it, close my eyes, and lose myself to the music. That – or I’ve accidentally passed out listening to it (in a good way).

Carina Round’s take on the song gives off the same vibe, but it’s like a thunderstorm that crawls across the sky…then disappears just as quickly. It’s not only a great song to kick off this playlist, but it’s also a good wind-down song for the end of a long day from work/school/life.

Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence” – Immortalized [2015]
– – – – – – – – – –
Simon & GarfunkelThe Graduate Soundtrack [1968]

Disturbed’s cover of the classic Simon & Garfunkel track has been featured in video game trailers, on the radio, and in lots of live performances lately – and for good reason. While this cover does have its detractors, I happen to really dig it. It’s a very different musical direction for Disturbed, who are best known for playing a somewhat-repetitive brand of radio-friendly nu-metalish hard rock. The equally-haunting music video for the song is free of any color and is just so mesmerizing to watch. Turn down the lights, burn a few candles, and play the video or the song to really get its full effect.

Moby – “New Dawn Fades” – I Like To Score [1997]
– – – – – – – – – –
Joy DivisionUnknown Pleasures [1979]

Moby’s take on “New Dawn Fades” was first heard in the 1995 Michael Mann written & directed crime drama Heat, starring the dynamic duo of Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino (with Val Kilmer tagging along). It’s easily one of the most recognizable songs from the soundtrack, and it’s recently found new life again thanks in Person of Interest’s 100th episode: “The Day the World Went Away.” Though the scene is very bittersweet for many fans and comes in the middle of a very mixed, emotional and somewhat-controversial episode, this song is featured in one of my favorite action scenes from the entire series. I’m not sharing the scene here because of spoilers and it needs to be watched to be appreciated, but I’ll leave you with this: Root and Shaw (aka Shoot) having a relationship talk in the middle of a shoot-out. Turn up this song loud as your cruising down the street late at night.

Lily Allen – “Somewhere Only We Know” – Sheezus [2014]
– – – – – – – – – –
KeaneHopes and Fears [2009]

A dreamy and sweet cover of one of my favorite songs from Keane. Lily Allen absolutely nails it in her version and I love her vocals on it and the music too. It’s like listening to a lullaby and drifting off to sleep with a smile upon your face. The music video will also brighten up your day as well, as evidenced above. Now leave me with my happy, shiny, positive thoughts…

You+Me – “No Ordinary Love” – rose ave. [2014]
– – – – – – – – – –
SadeLove Deluxe [1992]

Dallas Green (formerly of Alexisonfire; currently of City and Colour) and Alecia Moore (better known as P!nk) formed the indie folk pop duo You+Me in 2014, bringing together two incredibly gifted singers a surprising musical experiment. I’d say it was a success: their debut release, rose ave., is one of my favorite albums of the past five years and combines both singer’s vocal talents with very well-written songs that allow them to really belt it out. The lyrics are equally as thought-provoking as the singers themselves. In the live performance above of the Sade classic “No Ordinary Love” (Deftones also do a brilliant cover of it), watch Green and P!nk create instant musical magic as they own the stage in this haunting cover.

Mimi Page – “Wicked Game” – Requiem EP [2013]
– – – – – – – – – –
Chris IsaakHeart Shaped World [1989]

How many of you remember the original music video for Chris Isaak’s biggest hit? Hot supermodel, sepia tones, a beach… I think I just dated myself (I miss the old MTV).

Though this song has been covered to death by so many artists and bands, I’ve fallen for Mimi Page’s cover after discovering it as a Spotify recommendation. Thanks Spotify! It keeps the essence of the original and adds her own flavor to it, creating a pleasant aural experience.

Alanis Morissette – “Crazy”The Collection [2005]
– – – – – – – – – –
SealSeal [1991]

Alanis’ version of Seal’s first radio hit (before “Kiss From A Rose” dominated the airwaves a few years later) isn’t exactly groundbreaking. It’s a straightforward & enjoyable cover that was played heavily in gay clubs around the world when it first came out in 2005. It was an instant favorite for a good reason: the accompanying music video has a queer vibe to it. Whenever LOGO (a U.S. cable channel) played it on what felt like repeat every hour for several weeks during Summer 2005, I usually had a few friends & neighbors coming over to my place to watch it, excited to see this new side to Alanis. When you watch the video, you’ll see why. Well, unless you’re a fan like me and know that she’s played queer-friendly roles on Nip/Tuck, Sex and the City, and a few other projects.

Nine Inch Nails – “Dead Souls” – The Crow Soundtrack [1994]
– – – – – – – – – –
Joy DivisionStill (Collector’s Edition) [2008]

For many people my age (30-something) and of all ages who relate to it, the film The Crow and Brandon Lee’s iconic performance as Eric Draven is a reminder of a time when it was OK to be into dark imagery, to be influenced by the Industrial and Goth scenes of the time, and to be inspired to take risks in our own creative processes. The film and the graphic novel/comic series, created by J. O’Barr, also allowed us to not be afraid to create whatever the hell we wanted to artistically, as well as not fearing the darkness that lingers in all of us, and being free to let our emotions out in any artistic medium that spoke to us. The song, the film, and the graphic novel/comic series are such freeing works of art for the loners, the freaks, the independent thinkers in all of us. The fan-edited video that I’ve included melds all three elements together perfectly.

City of Fire – “Enjoy the Silence” – Trial Through Fire [2013]
– – – – – – – – – –
Depeche ModeViolator [1990]

“Enjoy the Silence” is one of the most covered songs of all time, or that’s what it feels like. For people who have derided electronic-based music as being soulless for years, Depeche Mode was one of the many synth-heavy acts that proved that was a bunch of crap. Creating some of the most emotionally-driven music over the past three decades, “Enjoy the Silence” is one of the most critically regarded and universally-loved tracks from DM’s massive discography. The song is timeless and never grows old; it feels fresh even listening to it in this ultra-digital age that we live in, where new music is readily available on various electronic devices. City of Fire, a band formerly led by Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory, does an impressive cover of the song by mixing their heavy rock sound with Burton’s powerful vocal work. A great song to rock out to.

Shiny Toy Guns – “Stripped” [2007]
– – – – – – – – – –
Depeche ModeBlack Celebration [1986]

Depeche Mode has influenced so many musical acts since their formation in the late-1970’s, gaining popularity, critical acclaim, and respect & love from fans all over the world. I use their music as inspiration for any creative projects that I’ve worked on in the past, the present, and future ones (I’m sure). It’s rare to find anyone who’s not a fan of their music – whether they’re a huge fan like me or a casual listener.

“Stripped” is one of my favorite songs of theirs and a few bands have covered the song. Rammstein has a really cool cover of it that is a perfect marriage between their music and DM’s. Shiny Toy Guns has also made their own version that I love quite a bit. It sounds very different from the original, but retains the heart & soul of the song. Take a few minutes to throw it on and let the music invade your ears.

Gary Jules (f/ Michael Andrews) – “Mad World” –
Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets [2002]
– – – – – – – – – –
Tears for FearsThe Hurting [1983]

Donnie Darko. Great cover. Listen to it now.

Lorde – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” –
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire S0undtrack [2013]
– – – – – – – – – –
Tears for FearsSongs From The Big Chair [1985]

Another indie-friendly track that follows the “slow down the original and make it sound super-depressing” template that many new covers are following. This isn’t a dig at Lorde, though: I like her cover version of this Tears for Fears track (a song I listened to a lot growing up). It’s also a perfect track for The Hunger Games franchise, which this song appears in – on the soundtrack to the second film, Catching Fire. If you’re a Lorde fan, you’ll love this. If not, you might find yourself gritting your teeth while listening to it. It’s all a matter of personal taste, but ’cause I like it I threw it into my playist.

Maria Doyle Kennedy – “How You Remind Me” –
Even Better Than The Real Thing, Vol. 1 [2003]
– – – – – – – – – –
NickelbackSilver Side Up [2001]

If this singer’s name sounds familiar – you might be an Orphan Black fan. Better known as “Siobhan Sadler” (aka “Mrs. S”) on the BBC America series, Maria Doyle Kennedy is also an accomplished musician/singer who has released many records throughout her career. She’s even lent her vocal talents to Orphan Black during the show’s third season, as seen below in this small clip from Entertainment Tonight (excuse the annoying intro):

In her gorgeous minimalist take on the Nickelback staple, MDK transforms the song into a melancholic ballad full of yearning and heartache. Conquering the song and making it her own, as well as one-upping the original, this is one of my favorite cover songs from any artist or band. Taking a very familiar song, deconstructing it, and turning in a simply wonderful performance? MDK nails it with her rendition.

311 – “Love Song” – 50 First Dates Soundtrack
– – – – – – – – – –
The CureDisintegration [1989]

This dreamy summertime cover of the Cure classic from 311 was one of the main songs used in the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy 50 First Dates. The film is a guilty pleasure of mine: I’m not a fan of Sandler, but I do like Barrymore a lot. If I lived close to a beach, this would be the perfect song to chill out too while hitting the waves or taking an evening stroll on the sand. Or you can lay in a hammock and drink a few cocktails while the night breeze cools you off. It’s a cool track to finish off the day with.

Tiamat – “Sympathy for the Devil” – Skeleton Skeletron [1999]
– – – – – – – – – –
The Rolling StonesBeggars Banquet [1968]

For a doomy/gothic metal take on the Rolling Stones classic, check out Tiamat’s slow & heavy version. Add it to your future Halloween playlist, or allow the black skies of nighttime envelop and guard you as you listen to the bewitching vocals of lead singer Johan Edlund sing you off to a nightmare. This track is a perfect example of paying homage to the original while retaining Tiamat’s artistic identity. If you’re a fan of bands like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, or Type O Negative, Tiamat’s cover is perfect for you (the band is totally worth checking out too).

Chet Faker – “No Diggity” – Thinking in Textures [2011]
– – – – – – – – – –
BlackstreetAnother Level [1996]

This song takes me back to high school and for good reason: I was a freshman back in ’96. I LOVE the R&B, hip-hip, and soul music that came out during that decade because the songs were different, they were fresh, and they were just a blast to listen to. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” is one of my favorite ’90s songs ’cause it has such a cool groove to it, a hypnotic beat, and Dr. Dre lending his skills to enhance the track.

Chet Faker does an equally funky cover that will transport you back to 20 years ago (!), to the time you first heard this jam on the radio. With a folksy vibe added to it and an electronic underbeat, the cover flows so well and it makes the perfect addition to anyone’s summer playlists or for house parties. If you can survive the heat long enough to dance/chill out to it, of course (Southwest USA FTW!).

Nirvana – “The Man Who Sold the World” –
MTV Unplugged In New York [1994]
– – – – – – – – – –
David BowieThe Man Who Sold the World [1970]

Back in ancient times, MTV used to dedicate a whole hour or so to an artist or band and give them an awesome platform to show off their acoustic skills to a very intimate live audience. Sometimes they released the performances on record and fans were able to get that same intimate feel at home. Alice in Chains had a memorable MTV Unplugged performance (check out “Nutshell” and “Down in a Hole” as two perfect examples), and I bought Alanis’ (it’s a great listen). Out of all of the MTV Unplugged performances that were released, Nirvana’s will forever remain to be the most iconic, with the whole band stripping down the music to its acoustic foundations, and Kurt Cobain just singing his soul out. One of the most popular songs from that acoustic session was their take on the David Bowie classic “The Man Who Sold the World,” from the album of the same name. Take a trip back in time to 1994 and watch the performance.

Yuna – “Come As You Are” [2011]
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NirvanaNevermind [1991]

Confession Time: Though they are hugely important to the generations before me and my very own, I’ve never been a Nirvana fan. I do like some of their tracks, but I was more of an Alice in Chains fan during the time that Nirvana was king of the alternative genre. Now that I’m older, I’ve been learning to appreciate their music a bit more, but “Come As You Are” has always been my favorite track from them. I haven’t heard any other music from Yuna, who’s a popular Malaysian pop singer/performer, but she nails the cover in an indie-friendly performance.

Amy Lee – “With or Without You” [2015]
– – – – – – – – – –
U2The Joshua Tree [1987]

Amy Lee, best known as the lead singer/co-songwriter of Evanescence, delivers a really trippy and Evanescence-esque version of the U2 classic. That’s really the only way that I can describe this cover. Some fans will love it and others will hate it, and then there are those that will be like, “Huh – that’s pretty groovy.” If you’re a fan of Lee’s vocal work, this is a perfect song to listen to late at night or during the middle of the longest rainstorm ever.

Fear Factory (f/ Gary Numan) – “Cars” – Obsolete [1998]
– – – – – – – – – –
Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle [1979]

This popular Fear Factory track became known to video game fans courtesy of its inclusion on the Test Drive 6 soundtrack. The cover itself was the second song released from FF’s 1998 effort Obsolete, following lead single “Shock” (also the album’s opening track). In a throwback to the original tune, FF invited Gary Numan to contribute vocals to their cover version, which later led to his inclusion in the space-age music video they shot for the single. The video is available above for your headbanging needs. “Cars” would later become one of FF’s most recognizable tracks, and it’s a really fun cover to jam out to.

30 Days of Halloween! Day 8 – Hanging Out At The Bronze + Final Thoughts [BTVS Music]

On this (delayed) eighth day of the 30 Days of Halloween, I’m finally writing the final “chapter” of this Buffy the Vampire Slayer retrospective that started over three years ago. I had a few thoughts left that I wanted to share about the show and the impact that it’s had on my life, but I never got around to finishing it for various reasons. Like Real Life not being very kind to me and giving me the necessary time nor creative drive to write. Being an adult sucks sometimes, but it also has its benefits. Like meeting cast members from one of your favorite shows, or reliving episodes with fans who remember them fondly, or convincing friends to watch the show for the first time.

One thing I forgot to cover initially when I first started posting the various parts of my retrospective was giving much-needed attention to the soundtrack of the show. Music plays a very important in our lives for a variety of reasons, and many shows have utilized the power of the audio arts in many terrific ways. Lost Girl – for example – has had so many great songs featured in its episodes that have worked well with moving along the story, as well as giving us background sound to listen to during very important scenes. The same goes for another recent favorite of mine, Person Of Interest, that is very aware of the power of music and is very particular about the songs used in the show to emphasize the emotional value of a particular scene.

Buffy was one of the major shows in the early-1990’s that used lots of great music to accentuate an episode or really bring a scene to the forefront. Before Sarah McLachlan was more commonly associated with really sad commercials featuring abused animals (the ASPCA ads that play constantly on U.S. television during the weekends and evenings), her music was featured a few times on the show. One specific song, “Full of Grace” from the Surfacing album, played at the end of the Season Two episode “Becoming, Part 2,” and the emotional impact that it brought with it still resonates with many fans of the show to this day. You need to make a scene even sadder or more mentally devastating? Play a Sarah McLachlan song in the background.

All sarcasm aside, Joss Whedon definitely understood the power of music and really made it shine on Buffy. All the songs that are featured in an episode have a place in the scenes, and it doesn’t feel like they were just put there to have some pretty background noise to listen to. Each song is important in the storyline of that particular episode, and the feelings that we get from listening to them are real. These songs stay with us long after the episode has ended and we’ve come to recognize their importance and sometimes include them in the soundtrack of our own lives.

The nifty embedded player that I’ve added below features many of the songs that appeared on the show. It’s a showcase of some of the best underrated Alternative Rock tunes of the 1990’s and early-2000’s, and these songs still hold up very well after all these years. It’s easy to sit back, listen to them, and revisit the scenes that they were featured in.

I’ve included – separately – two very important pieces of music that aren’t featured in the playlist below. The first one is the most important of all: the show’s theme song courtesy of alt-pop-punk band Nerf Herder (extra geek points if you get the reference). The second is an original piece of music that was written for one of the beloved couples from the series: Buffy and Angel, aka Bangel. Shout-out to my fellow Bangel fans! (I’m a multi-shipper that ships all the canon and fanon couples). The most important use of that theme song came at the end of “Becoming, Part 2;” we all know what scene I’m talking about.

“Close Your Eyes (Buffy & Angel’s Theme)” by Christophe Beck

There’s some theme songs that make me curl up into a tight ball and make me cry, curled up in a corner and letting all my fangirl feelings out. This theme song is a perfect example. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Buffy and Angel’s relationship, this is a really beautiful and haunting musical composition from series composer Christophe Beck. Starting off quietly before climaxing into a powerfully epic conclusion, “Close Your Eyes” was used most effectively in the episode “Becoming, Part 2.”

I’ve mentioned the episode several times in this retrospective. I’ve even mentioned how much that particular scene affected me. But I’ve got share it again to finally move on and cry over my other OTP’s.

Towards the end of “Becoming, Part 2,” Angelus was fighting Buffy in one hell of a ferocious battle, and he seemingly bested her at one point until she fought back. Just as she was about to defeat him and close the Hell portal that was opening from the ancient demon Acathla’s maw, Willow’s spell to restore Angel’s soul succeeded at the last minute – of course. Buffy stopped just before she ran him through with her sword, and the expression on his face… Ugh. Don’t wanna talk about it.

Anyway, the theme starts to play in the background as Buffy and Angel talk a little bit, and she professes her love for him. Then the time has arrived for Buffy to close the Hell portal using Angel’s blood (which opened it in the first place), but she can’t bring herself to do it while he’s tearfully staring at her, brooding even more than usual. She quietly (and also tearfully) asks him to close his eyes, and he obliges, before she does run her sword through him, killing the love of her life while saving the world. Sometimes ya gotta sacrifice one for the many, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Final Thoughts

I’m a bit sad that this retrospective has come to an end. While it may be the “final curtain call,” it doesn’t mean that there’s not a possibility of more posts appearing in the future. You can’t truncate Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the impact that it’s had on pop culture in general in so many words – it’s impossible. I can offer my thoughts & feelings on it and share it with the rest of the world, as well as having fellow fans speak about the impact the show has had on their own lives.

Without Buffy, I wouldn’t be here on this soil. It’s saved my life in so many ways, and I will be forever grateful to Joss for his creation. Buffy helped open the door for me creatively in a lot of ways. It also led me to the series Angel, which helped me discover my current favorite actress, who I’ve had the opportunity to meet not once, but twice, this year. I can’t mention them JUST YET because they’re going to be the focus of Sunday’s Halloween Countdown post. The only hint I’m giving is that while they are the most genuine and kindest person I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting, they’ve played some of the most morally-gray characters ever, and even a villain or two.

Thank you for taking the time in following me on this very long journey. If you have never seen an episode of Buffy yet…why are you still on this site reading this post? Go watch it now! Binge on it! You’ll thank me later for being addicted to it and adding it to your own personal list of favorite TV shows. My lovely co-writer will be adding her own thoughts on the show too, so be on the lookout for that soon.

I leave you with two videos showcasing the wondrous joy and insanity that is Buffy’s musical episode: “Once More With Feeling.” Joss arranged & produced the musical arrangements with collaborator Jesse Tobias. Fun Fact: Jesse was one of the touring guitarists for Alanis Morissette in her backing band, named Sexual Chocolate, during her major Jagged Little Pill tour after that record was released.

“Once More With Feeling” – Behind the Scenes

30 Days of Halloween! Day 3 – Creepy Sounds from a Singing Zombie [Music Videos]

It’s not Halloween without the horror-obsessed musical works of Rob Zombie blasting out from the speakers. Ya know – fun music to annoy people with. White Zombie and Rob Zombie’s solo efforts were the sounds of my teenage years, with Hellbilly Deluxe as the soundtrack to my high school years. I have many fond memories of Halloweens with Zombie’s music playing in the background, or cruising through the streets of Albuquerque at night with my friends, looking for Gates of Hell to hang out at. Yeah – we were an interesting bunch back then.

I was a bit obsessed with Rob Zombie for a couple of years but have never seen him live, and I hope to actually catch him in concert before I’m too old to be in mosh pits. Is there an age limit for moshing or walls-of-death? I’ve even thought about cosplaying as Rob Zombie for Halloween one of these years; I can totally pull it off. In the years since Hellbilly Deluxe, I’ve strayed away from his music because it started to sound too generic and bland. I’ve included newer songs and videos for the fans that do dig his newer stuff.

His cinematic works are…well… You’ll find fans who LOVE his films and others who HATE them. His celluloid dreams will be featured in a future post some day, and that probably requires me to sit through all of his films without cringing or shouting at my TV.

Halloween is a visual-and-aural holiday, and the music videos below fully capture every awesome aspect of the day. Music videos are awesome in general, and White Zombie’s and Rob Zombie’s were always cool to watch with nostalgic eyes for B-grade through Z-grade horror footage mixed in with live band footage. So sit back and crank up your speakers as you listen to Rob Zombie’s signature growl and creepy music. ROCK ON!!! \m/

There’s a lot of videos below, so you may experience some slowdown. Or you can blame it on your Internet connection and Adobe Flash. Those are good go-to’s for issues. Carry on.

F’ You White Zombie VEVO Channel: Some of the videos are censored. Like, seriously? So – the censored versions are up unless I find the uncensored videos, and then I’ll immediately post those.

White Zombie – “Thunder Kiss ‘65”

White Zombie – “More Human Than Human”

White Zombie ft. Iggy Pop – “Black Sunshine”

White Zombie – “Electric Head, Part 1 (The Agony)”

White Zombie – “Electric Head, Part 2 (The Ecstasy)”

White Zombie – “I’m Your Boogie Man” **
** KC & the Sunshine Band cover

Rob Zombie – “American Witch”

Rob Zombie – “Demonoid Phenomenon

Rob Zombie – “Meet the Creeper”

Rob Zombie – “Dragula”

Rob Zombie – “Living Dead Girl”

Rob Zombie – “Superbeast”

Rob Zombie – “Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy)”

Rob Zombie – “Feel So Numb”

Rob Zombie – “Foxy, Foxy”

Rob Zombie – “Lords of Salem”

Rob Zombie – “Return of the Phantom Stranger”

Rob Zombie – “Spookshow Baby”

Rob Zombie – “Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown”

Sylent Mari’s Music Mix [08.13.15] – #4

Wow – it’s been nine months since I last posted a Music Mix post? Geez… That’s nine months of missing out on some really great songs that I’ve been listening to non-stop on Spotify. I rarely listen to terrestrial radio anymore, although I do jam out to many of the CD’s that I still own. Yup – still like to have a physical product in my hands ’cause I’m all about cover art and lyric booklets.

This newest mix is a bit of a mellower breakdown of a variety of artists from different genres to wind down the work day, chill out and relax to over the weekend, or maybe if you’re feeling a bit creative and need some music to inspire the right side of your brain. Many of these songs are indie-based (a genre I never thought I’d dig until recently), and more than a few have been featured in television shows and film.

While I highly suggest listening to these tunes with earbuds/headphones on, you can still rock out to ’em through speakers as background ambient noise. Great for parties! Or if you’re an insomniac like me, it’s a cool playlist to fall asleep to.

If you have any future suggestions for songs or artists to check out, just give me a recommendation in the comments below. If ya got Twitter, feel free to tweet me @SylentMari.

Fear Factory – “Enhanced Reality” [Bonus Track] – Genexus

This is the newest song in both the playlist and this post; Genexus was just released this past Friday (August 7th). If you’re an FF fan and were disappointed by the so-so The Industrialist, this album is definitely worth checking out ’cause it’s a vast improvement over that last effort. This bonus track can be found on the digipak version of the album and it’s the last track, and it’s a great album closer. One of their mellower tracks that’s reminiscent of songs like “Timelessness” from Obsolete and “(Memory Imprints) Never End” from Digimortal, “Enhanced Reality” is just a beautiful ambient industrial track that’s more electronic than most of their songs. It’s one of my new favorite songs and I haven’t stopped listening to it since I first heard it. A perfect track to listen to while ending the evening on a high note.

Aquilo – “Put Me Down” – Calling Me EP

I dig Aquilo quote a bit. A mixture of dream pop & alternative R & B,  they’re a go-to for me whenever I am feeling a bit stressed out with the bazillion things I have going on in life. I just throw on some of their music, close my eyes, and imagine being anywhere else in the world. Actually – I think of their music as “I’m Already On Vacation” music. I’m physically here yet mentally on an extended vacation while listening to them. See out the rest of their music now.

Highly Suspect – “Lydia” – Mister Asylum

If you like your alterna-rock a little down-n-dirty with a small-bar feel, “Lydia” is the perfect song to jam out to. The “heaviest” track in the playlist, it’s a great rockin’ single from newer band Highly Suspect – a band that has a long career ahead of them. This is a song you play when you’ve have a house party going on or a couple of friends over and you’re relaxing outside and wanting something a bit louder to end your evening on a high note.

Adaline – “Broken Glass” – Famous for Fire

I love Adaline’s music. Her voice is simply majestic and calming, and her lyrics touch upon almost every emotion a person can feel in their lifetime. Famous for Fire is a really good album that has many songs worth listening to, and “Broken Glass” is one of my favorites from it. It’s got a driving, somewhat-grungy guitar riff that anchors the song, a groovy bassline, and great percussive work while Adaline sings her heart out. She has a new record coming up that I’m definitely looking forward to.

Other suggested tracks to listen to off of Famous for Fire: “Clean,” the title track, and “Poor You.”

Alanis Morissette – “You Owe Me Nothing in Return – Under Rug Swept

As is tradition, I always add at least one Alanis song to my music mix. This is a Top 10 favorite song for me, if not a Top 5 one. It’s held a lot of meaning to me for years since the album it’s featured on, Under Rug Swept, was released 13 years ago. It’s about giving your all to someone – whether it be a friend, significant other, or someone important in your life – and not expecting anything in return. So a selfless act of kindness that doesn’t need to be rewarded. What’s so cool about this song is that you can interpret it in different ways, but it describes my attitude towards those are in my inner-circle.This is also one of Alanis’ slower, more electronic, and lyrically fluid (the lyrics flow together smoothly) songs.

You+Me – “Break the Cycle” – rose ave.

Are you into dreamy folk pop? Do you have a quiet spot that you like to sit in and just daydream the hours away? Let this song help you drift off into a few moments of quiet and silence. You+Me is a unique musical collaboration between singers P!nk (love her) and Dallas Green (formerly of Alexisonfire/now solo – City and Colour). “Break the Cycle” is a gorgeous piece of acoustic pop that takes you away from the world for a few minutes, returning you with a smile on your face and a lightness in your heart. Their debut album, rose ave., is worth checking out and it includes a wonderful cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love.”

Röyskopp – Eple – Melody AM

Some instrumental electronic music to zone out too. Another new favorite of mine.

Lorde – “Yellow Flicker Beat” – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack

I haven’t seen the last Hunger Games film yet – too much too watch, not enough time to watch it all. This song is featured on the soundtrack to the first part of the Mockingjay two-parter and is one of my favorite songs from Lorde. It’s got a driving groovy melody that’s catchy and a great dance tune too, or just to chill out to. Even if you’re not a Lorde fan, it’s still worth checking out.

Jacko Hooper – “Run Away With Me” – For You EP

For fans of Ben Howard, I cannot recommend Jacko Hooper’s first EP enough. He’s a terrific songwriter with such a strong and melodic signing voice, and you can feel him singing his soul out. His lyrics deserve your undivided attention and you can easily get lost in them. He was a surprise find for me and I’m sure you’ll be as into his music as I am.

Mumford & Sons – “Believe” – Wilder Mind

I was never really a Mumford & Sons fan; they aren’t the type of musical act that I normally listen to. Lately I’ve been trying to expand my musical vocabulary by listening to a lot of indie music and the many sub-genres that fall under it, and I’ve been greatly impressed. You might’ve heard “Believe” on mainstream rock and pop stations, and for good reason: it is a most excellent song. I haven’t stopped listening to it since I first heard it.

Zella Day – “Compass” – Kicker

This was featured in the following shows: The Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 9 – “I Alone” & Catfish: The TV Show, Season 4, Episode 7 – “Whitney & Bre”

“Compass” is a rainy-day song for me. It’s hard to really describe the song for me, but pay close attention to the lyrics and vocals. Another song that requires your full focused attention.

Ghost Loft – “So High” – “So High” Single

There’s a few songs in this playlist that I discovered while seeking out fan videos for my favorite featured couple from Person Of Interest: Root & Shaw (Shoot). A lot of these videos helped pique my interest (ha!) in the show, which I really didn’t get into when it first premiered; what a fool I was. But the specific songs chosen for many of them hit me in the ‘feels’ quite hard, especially if you are caught up on the evolution of Shoot from their first meeting to what awaits us in Season Five (I’m a little nervous). “So High” is a terrific song that is pretty and soulful and kinda melts your heart, too.

The xx – “Infinity” – xx

This song was featured in the following shows: 90210, Season 2, Episode 8 – “Women’s Intuition” & Person Of Interest, Season 4, Episode 7 – “Honor Among Thieves”

While the song above was featured in a Person Of Interest fan video, this one pops up in an episode of the show during a really funny & flirty scene. Shaw is undercover trying to help out Team Machine’s latest “number,” a handsome thief named Tomas, and in the middle of her intimate first date/meeting with him, Root jumps onto comms and starts teasing Shaw about her date and brings up the flirting to levels past 10. Shaw is trying her hardest to not be affected by Root – but then Root had to mention their time spent hiding out in a CIA safe house, complete with zip ties & a hood and Shaw almost falters.
The rest of the episode is really, really good.

Band Of Skulls – “Cold Sweat” – Himalayan

This song was featured in the following show: Lost Girl, Season 5, Episode 2 – “Like Hell (Pt. 2)”

I don’t want to spoil the scene(s) that this song appears in because Lost Girl is still airing, and it’s best to binge-watch the fifth season after every episode has aired. The final eight episodes of the series will premiere on Sunday, September 6th and will be eight continuous weeks ’til the series finale. All I will say of this scene is that it features two sexy scenes featuring two core female characters in different scenarios. “Cold Sweat” adds to the sexual tension in both scenes by offering a sexy ’70’s-style rock groove to the mix.

The Kills – “Future Starts Slow” – Blood Pressures

This song is featured in the following shows: Political Animals (theme song) / Grey’s Anatomy, Season 8, Episode 4 – “What Is It About Men” / CSI: NY, Season 8, Episode 6 – “Get Me Out of Here!” / The Vampire Diaries, Season 3, Episode 17 – “Break On Through” / Person Of Interest, Season 2, Episode 16 – “Relevance” / Reckless, Season 1, Episode 11 – “And So It Begins”

This is quite the popular song for TV shows and for good reason –  it’s such a kickass tune. The Kills are a newer favorite group and I first discovered their music thanks to Lost Girl, which features “Sour Cherry” in Season One (“Vexed”) and “You Don’t Own the Road” in Season 3 (“Caged Fae”). For a lot of Person Of Interest fans, this song was introduced to them in Shaw’s first episode, “Relevance.” It’s a great introductory episode to a character that doesn’t take shit, takes charge of situations, is a one-woman army, and will even flirt with danger (literally). As Shaw ends quite the chaotic day for her, the song plays as her ex-government past comes up and tries to get rid of her. Obviously that didn’t happen, and we get this song that will always be associated with Shaw.

The Kite Strings – “Arcadia” – Vessel

So, so dreamy. Oh so dreamy. A great day-beginning song.

Maria Doyle Kennedy – “How You Remind Me” – Even Better Than The Real Thing Vol. 1

How do you make a Nickelback somewhat presentable & enjoyable for people who hate their music with the burning passion of a million suns? Be a badass singer and do a badass acoustic cover of it. If the name Maria Doyle Kennedy seems familiar to you, you might recognize her best as “Siobhan Sadler/Mrs. S” on one of my favorite shows: Orphan Black. Heck, she even sang in one episode of OB towards the end of Season 3 – “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow.” You need to seek the rest of her musical catalog immediately – she’s got so many songs to listen to, and she has a really mesmerizing & beautiful voice.

Kygo featuring Conrad Sewell – “Firestone” – “Firestone” Single

If I were to put this song under a genre, I’d stick it under indie alternative R & B dance (say that five times fast). It’s a cool song to do some moderate dancing to or bumping at a house party. That’s what the trendy people do, right?

Nothing But Thieves – “Wake Up Call” – “Wake Up Call” Single

If you like Death Cab for Cutie, The Black Keys, or Mumford & Sons, you’ll love this song. That is all.

Amber Run – “I Found” – Pilot EP

The song was featured in the following shows: Teen Wolf, Season 5, Episode 8 – “Ouroboros” & Saving Hope, Season 3, Episode 3 – “Awakenings”

This beautiful & melancholy song has been used in several fan videos for Shoot and each one that I’ve seen breaks my heart every time; that’s how I heard of it the first time and have loved it since. The song is absolutely perfect for the unconventional couple, and both videos below perfectly capture the heartbreak, the unconditional caring, and soul-crushing moments that make Shoot one of the best fandom couples ever. Amber Run has several other great tracks, but this is definitely my favorite of theirs’.

Klo – “False Calls” – Cusp EP

Another great day-ender. Funky beats and smooth vocals. You’re welcome.

Random Geekiness From Around The Web – 08/11/15

It’s an early Tuesday morning here in Albuquerque and it’s too early for me to sleep. I can’t drive anywhere to get rid of this stupid restlessness ‘cause my car ain’t runnin’ at the moment – again. So what’s a geeky blogger to do? Why, jump on her laptop and whip up this post for your literary entertainment!

These are just some of the latest news items on many of the things that I love: television shows, films, and gaming. Another edition of Random Geekiness will be released later today with additional news, ‘cause I didn’t want to make this post too long. ‘Cause it already is; that’s my M.O.

Enjoy the following stories below about some of my favorite things, with pictures and videos and witty commentary from moi. Bon appetit!

Lost Girl’s Final 8 Episodes of Series Countdown –
Premiering on Sunday, September 6th


U.S. Lost Girl Fans: This is about the Canadian return of the show. SyFy won’t be airing these final episodes until January 2016. You read that right. So try to avoid spoilers for the next five months – no pressure.

Showcase recently released a new 30-second promo for the last half of Season Five of Lost Girl, or otherwise known as the last eight episodes of the series. Yeah – that hasn’t really hit me just yet. It’s been a fun ride and I’m still hoping for at least a TV movie to tie up any loose ends, unless a “no turning back” ending was created for the series finale. In the meantime – I can at least binge-watch the show before it ends. Is it September yet?

I published my last Lost Girl viewing guide last Monday (August 3rd). If you’ve been following along, and wow – was it bittersweet. Looking back at all of the episode titles, finding appropriate screenshots, trying to forget that it’ll all be over soon… There’s 69 (heh heh) episodes to watch and there’ll be 77 by the time the series is over. *sighs heavily*

Other Lost Girl-related posts coming up after I’ve finished writing the many other posts I have lined for other geeky interest:

  • A Favorite Episodes post featuring the episodes that have made me laugh, cry, curse, broke my heart, made me fall in love, and deal with too many emotions all at once. That’s gonna be a fun one to write.
  • A final “all the feels…” post about Lost Girl and why I dug the show so damn much and had to introduce it to my friends. Pretty much a “Why I fangirl so hard over this show” post. I did travel out of the country for it, after all.
  • A highlight post on a Repeatables episode (a new “featured series” launching this week). There’s a few really fun and dramatic episodes that are definitely worth watching again. Which episode will I choose? Good question – haven’t decided on one yet.

    New Star Wars: The Force Awakens International TV Spot – Now With More Slightly New Footage!

The more new footage that I see of SW: TFA, the more my level of confidence is slowly raised in the project. This new international (Korean?) TV spot features more of the new villains who are front-and-center in the film: the First Order (the newly-created ‘Empire’), Captain Phasma, and Sith Lord Kylo Ren. As a fan of the Sith, I approve. The film opens up on December 18th – just in time for the holiday season.

New Promos/Teaser Photo/Small-ish Spoilers for
New Limited-Run X-Files Series Released


So…is it January 24, 2016 yet? We still have a long wait before the newest limited-run tenth season airs in 2016, but I’m beyond excited. Mulder, Scully, Skinner, the Lone Gunmen, the Cigarette Smoking Man, the newly-announced Scully’s Mom… All are returning for the revival along with several new faces: Joel McHale, Robbie Amell, Lauren Ambrose, and many other guest stars.

“Wait!” you say. “The Lone Gunmen and CSM are gonna be in this? That’s weird… I thought they-”

[SPOILERS FOR SEASON 9] Died in the show? As we all know, anything is possible on The X-Files. In the episode “Jump the Shark,” the LGM seemingly sacrificed themselves for the greater good to prevent many civilian deaths. At the end of the episode we see three caskets being lowered into the ground, with Skinner & Scully saying goodbye to our favorite conspiracy theorists. Fans are theorizing that the LGM faked their own deaths and are in hiding – which is totally something they would do.

CSM’s return is a bit harder to explain. At the end of the 2-hour finale “The Truth,” he was found hiding in the middle of the desert in a cliff dwelling, and he was killed by a rocket attack. We even saw a close-up of the flames engulfing his body. Stranger things have been explained on this show… [END SPOILERS]

Now, if you’re an MSR – Mulder/Scully relationshipper – you may want to find a comfortable spot to sit on as you read the following. Also refrain from throwing objects at your tech device:

Picture Credit: SpoilerTV
Picture Credit: SpoilerTV

The first official promotional picture from the first new episode, “My Struggle,” came out last week and features Scully & Mulder. Hooray! But also released on the same day was news that THEY ARE NOT TOGETHER. Umm…what? Lies! If you’re indifferent about them being together, this doesn’t phase you, but you’re an MSR it stings a bit. So when does it return?

Person Of Interest SDCC 2015 Sizzle Reel +
Slight Spoilers for Season Five

If you’re not watching Person Of Interest, it’s not too late to get into the show! With the fifth season not airing ‘til January (BOOO!!!), you can binge-watch the first three seasons of the show as it hits Netflix and TV channel WGN next month. And buy Season Four ‘cause it’s a keeper and filled with some of the show’s most intense episodes yet. As someone who got into the show almost halfway into the fourth season (“Honor Among Thieves”) and became a big fan earlier this year (“If-Then-Else”), please don’t take as long as me in watching & getting into it.

The amazingly-edited and badass sizzle reel above was conceived by a mega-talented Chinese fan of POI named Ashley Zhang and was shown right before the POI panel at SDCC this year (seriously cool!). More epic than most movie trailers, it’s an excellent summary about the high-concept series and the characters that make it a must-watch. At the end of the sizzle reel is a new scene created by the team behind POI and features an eerie voiceover by former Big Bad assassin-for-hire & hacker-turned-Team Machine player Root, portrayed by Amy Acker (aka one of the most underrated actresses today), foreshadowing a very bleak Season Five. If you’re looking for lighthearted fare, POI is not the show for you.

On the positive, the badass Sarah Shahi is returning to the series for the shortened Season Five. Shaw’s back, mofos!!! Shahi left the show temporarily (was pregnant & has given birth to twins since) and fans have been wondering if she would return to the series. Just as I’m writing this paragraph an article just popped up about Shahi’s return to the series as Shaw for 8-9 episodes – we almost get full-season Shaw action! Can’t wait to see her reunion with Team Machine. Read’s Sarah’s interview from TVLine. Why can’t this show return sooner? :/

Shoot Fandom Musing: Shoot fans, are we kinda scared to death/dealing with feels/uber-excited thinking about Root’s reaction when she first sees Shaw again after her months in captivity? I certainly am all three about my OTP.

First Teaser For HBO’s Westworld Reboot;
Internet Appropriately Freaks Out

Jonathan Nolan loves to explore the darkness that lies within all of us as well as the dangers of technology like advanced heroic and villainous A.I.’s (Person Of Interest) and androids running amok. Nolan’s bringing his high-concept sci-fi vision to another series with HBO’s TV reboot of the classic 1970’s science-fiction western film Westworld, based on a novel by the late author Michael Crichton. The show premieres next year and I will definitely be checking out every episode.

This reboot series looks amazing from the 30 seconds of footage scene in the teaser, and it has one hell of a cast involved (from Dark Horizons):

Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Rodrigo Santoro, Ben Barnes, Jimmi Simpson, Clifton Collins, Jr., Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Simon Quarterman and Angela Sarafyan

Continuum’s Fourth & Final Season Premieres Friday, September 4th

Another show that is ending before it really got a chance to expand on its massive story-verse. One of the most underrated science-fiction shows, Continuum will be airing the first of six final episodes on Friday, September 4th and closely followed by a SyFy premiere on Friday, September 11th. Showcase sucks – airing the final episodes of two of my favorites in the same weekend for 6-8 weeks until their series finales. If you’ve never seen an episode of the “ahead of its time” time-traveling crime series, please queue it up immediately in Netflix. The first three seasons  of Continuum are currently available and waiting for you to binge-watch them.

Fear Factory Releases New Record: Genexus;
Afraid of the Future Yet?

My favorite metal band has come back with a new record that wipes out the memories of previous weak efforts like Digimortal, Transgression, and The Industrialist. Yes, Fear Factory is back with yet another album warning about Man vs. Machine, but this time the concept is taken further with Genexus, which explores Man becoming Machine or vice versa. I think one of the running themes in this post is that technology really frightens me.

The band’s newest record label, Nuclear Blast Records, released a full-stream of Genexus on YouTube, which you can headbang to above. At first listen I wasn’t too sure of the album, but after repeated listening’s it’s a pretty damn good record. It’s like a mix of Obsolete and Mechanize with several standout tracks, including: the title track, “Autonomous Combat System,” Dielectric,” “Church of Execution,” and “Battle for Utopia.” The record is definitely worth a buy. A full review of the album will be coming out this week.

My favorite tracks appear on the digipak version of the record, which boasts 12 songs (two bonus tracks) to the original’s 10. “Mandatory Suicide” is a slice of dark industrial heaven and is more electronics-heavy than most of FF’s output. My absolute favorite track, “Enhanced Reality,” is a hauntingly mellow ambient industro-electro track that is a terrific album closer.

New World of Warcraft Expansion Announced;
Fans Immediately Show Enthusiasm in Trade Chat


Dear World of Warcraft Players:

No, you’re not seeing a picture from the first WoW expansion, The Burning Crusade. Nope – you’re seeing ILLIDAN STORMRAGE in all his healthy, living. Ah wut?!?!?! The demon hunter is alive and well again, thanks to being freed from his green-glass prison by the uber-villainous Gul’dan, who makes another major appearance in the upcoming WoW expansion Legion. I’m guessing after Blizzard saw the “UGH!” response from players when Warlords of Draenor was released, they decided to announce the years-in-progress Legion within the year. It’s a great strategy – trying to win back subscribers and old-school players with the allure of the popular and fan-favorite expansion The Burning Crusade and showcasing a newer version of it in Legion.

The official WoW: Legion website has tons more info that you can read to your heart’s content, but the most exciting new feature for me is the inclusion of a new hero class: Demon Hunters! The last hero class that was released, Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King, was pretty friggin’ sweet but even they bow down to the dark fel magic of the Demon Hunters, Illidan’s allies who do his bidding and are also seen as a threat to our Azerothian heroes. I really need to hurry and buy a new computer soon that can handle this expansion.

New Promo/Picture Released for Season 5B of SyFy’s Haven

HAVEN -- "New World Order" Episode 514 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Mike Tompkins/Haven 5 Productions/Syfy)
HAVEN — “New World Order” Episode 514 — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Mike Tompkins/Haven 5 Productions/Syfy)

Why do I get attached to so many great shows that are ending at the same time or having their seasons shortened? Lost Girl, Continuum, Person Of Interest, and Haven – why shows, why?! SyFy is airing Season 5B of Haven in October with the remaining thirteen episodes of the season. So, how many episodes did Season 5A have? Thirteen. It’s weird to split up a season and give it twenty-six episodes, unless they were deciding to do a mega-season ‘cause they’re ending the show. Though word hasn’t officially come out about the show’s fate, there’s been some warning signs that the end is nigh.

And that sucks ‘cause I fell in love with this show and I just got my family into it (one of the few rare times I’ve gotten them into a show!). This was a show that I avoided a long time like Person Of Interest ‘cause I wasn’t too sure about it, and now I’m kicking myself for not diving into this really strange world sooner. If you’re needing another show to add to your Netflix queue, give Haven a shot. It’s a pretty fun show and it’s based off of Stephen King’s short story “The Colorado Kid,” and I promise you that it’s WAY BETTER than CBS’ King adaptation Under the Dome.

New Deadpool Trailer Makes Fans Touch Themselves


Here’s the first official trailer for Deadpool. It’s Red-Band, as it should be ‘cause it’s Deadpool. Stop reading this paragraph about Deadpool. Go see this motherf’in’ trailer featuring Deadpool. Deadpool would approve.

Future Posts Coming Up In the Next Few Weeks – 06.05.2015

June is here! Summer’s gonna be here soon! My birthday’s at the end of the month! It’s LGBT Pride Month! All the exclamation points!!! Okie-dokie… Things are quite dead at work this summer, so it’s a perfect opportunity to catch up on the many posts that I’ve plotted out for this site since last year (yes, you read that right). Summer’s the time I binge-watch shows that are in my Netflix queue or catch up on newer episodes of shows that I’ve missed out on, or watch movies that I’ve been wanting to see. I even – GASP! – venture out of my apartment and socialize with other people on occasion.

Here’s some of the posts that you can look forward to in the next couple of weeks, and here’s hoping my muse doesn’t abandon me again:

My Adventures at Denver Comic Con [Amy Acker Edition]


I’ve been sick the past two weeks since my trip up to Denver, but I will finally have the chance to finish my write-up this weekend. Couldn’t see as much as I wanted to, but I did get the chance to meet a lot of really cool Shoot/Amy Acker fans while I was up there, and met one of my favorite actors too. I got to meet lots of Denver-based geeks and made some lasting friendships, which is always cool. At least I’ve got some cool cosplay pictures while I coughed up a lung or two.

Jaws 40th Anniversary Retrospective


Jaws is my favorite movie of all-time. It’s been my favorite since I was a wee lil’ girl growing up, and it has remained so throughout the years. I’ve seen it so many times that I’ve lost count and still watch it several times a year. This retrospective will cover my favorite scenes, quotes, characters, and why I love this damn movie oh so much. The post will be published on the official anniversary date: June 20.

Countdown to June 13th:
Three Epic Records Released on That Day 20 Years Ago
(Added June 13)


On June 13, 1995, three albums changed the music world and became genre-defining masterpieces that have influenced many musicians since their release. Those albums are Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, Fear Factory’s Demanufacture, and Bjork’s Post. This post will be published on the anniversary date: June 13.

Sylent Mari’s Music Mix Has Returneth!


It has been quite a while since I last posted a music mix of songs that I dig and wanted to share with the world. I have more songs that cover multi-genres, and I will hopefully be posting that list sometime this coming weekend.

Next part of X-Files Retrospective Series:
My Most Favorite Scenes, Part 1


With the exciting news that The X-Files is returning with six brand-new episodes in January 2016, it’s given me the drive that I’ve been needing for a while to finish this retrospective series that I started a while back. This next part in the ongoing retrospective will cover the first three seasons of the series, and it’s going to be hard to select one or several scenes from each episode. This post should be coming out sometime next week.

New Feature:
Repeatables – Episode Rewind


Sometimes you’ll watch an episode from one of your favorite TV shows, and it sticks with you after you’ve viewed it for the first time. You rewind it, you rerun it, you tell your friends all about it. This is what Repeatables –  Episode Rewind is all about. There have been so many different episodes throughout the years that I’ve watched over & over and never got sick of. This year brought one from Person Of Interest, which is the subject of the first post (surprise!). There will be many more episodes explored, and I hope to make it a weekly feature.

TV Shows to Binge-watch Over the Summer


Sometime this year or last (I have the worst memory) I added a post about several shows that I discovered on Netflix and binge-watched while I was on a three week break from work. I didn’t do much thanks to a sprained ankle, so I spent my time discovering shows that were new to me and watched them. Now that it’s summer, II;’m adding more shows that I recommend checking out: some familiar to the masses, the rest cult hits that everyone should discover. That post will be coming up soon.

Classic Gaming – NES (Nintendo)


I’m a Nintendo fangirl. I’ve loved (most) everything Nintendo since my family first received the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in 1988, when a family member gifted it to us at Christmas. Since then I’ve always tried to get or played every system that Nintendo has released; yes, I even played the Virtual Boy a few times too. This trip down memory lane will feature quite a few of my favorite games from the NES, and there will be videos to accompany them. This will hopefully be a monthly feature that will also cover other gaming systems as well as classic video game makers and their iconic games and characters. First post will be delivered in 2-3 weeks.

Sylent Mari’s Music Mix [12.02.14] – #3

Welcome to this latest playlist of tunes that I am currently digging or have been my favorite go-to songs for years. This time around I’ve thrown in a few more songs from the ‘90s and a couple of bone-crushing, headbanging metal and heavy music hits. I was lacking heavy music so I have definitely delivered in this latest musical post.

A fun fact about this newest playlist: I was a tad buzzed when I came up with the 20 tracks featured in the player below, but they’re all really good choices that I‘m quite proud of. Well… I was after I sobered up and had seen the songs that I added. But I hope you (i.e. my wonderful readers out there hiding on the Interwebs) dig this eclectic collection of songs ‘cause I do.

While you listen to the songs in the playlist, I am currently working on and racing to finish the first of the long-promised Lost Girl posts that never fully materialized until now, five days before the premiere of Season 5. I’ve had Real Life giving me a hard time the past few months, and I also couldn’t bring myself to write about the show because it still hurts a bit that it’s ending so soon. It feels like I’m losing a friend, and I’ve never felt this connected to a fandom or the fans within it as I’ve experienced with this show.

While I dry my metaphorical fangirl tears, please enjoy the following songs. If you have any musical suggestions for me, please send them my way. I’m always looking for new singers and bands to listen to and add to my musical collection. 

Phosphorescent – “Song For Zula” – Muchacho

This is another one of those songs that I’ve heard a ton of times, but can’t figure out where exactly…” If this is what comes up when you hear “Song For Zula,” you’d be correct in guessing that you might’ve heard it in a TV show or film. If you’re a fan of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, then you’ll remember hearing this playing during one of their scenes in the film The Amazing Spider-man 2. If you’re a fan of TV shows, here’s the shows that it’s appeared on: Grey’s Anatomy – Season 9 / Episode 14 “The Face of Change,” Revenge – Season 3 / Episode 10 “Exodus,” and The Vampire Diaries – Season 4 / Episode 19 “Pictures of You.” This song is a beautiful minimalist ambient indie track that just hits you in the feels each and every time you hear it. It’s a lovely song to play during a romantic outing too. For extra creative points, you could hold your smartphone up like John Cusack-style from Say Anything (for the younger readers in the crowd, drop everything and see this film immediately) outside your crush’s loft.

Pantera – “Shedding Skin” – Far Beyond Driven

Pantera is one of my favorite metal bands. They had a sound that was both borrowed and uniquely theirs, and many have duplicated it since. Each of the bandmates brought their own attitude to many of their songs, which are now considered to be heavy metal classics to metalheads around the world, both young and old. There’s a hint of sadness in hearing this song or any Pantera songs nowadays because of guitarist Dimebag Darrell’s death, which happened almost ten years ago this month on December 8th, 2004. But I’m not going to mention the bastard’s name that gunned him down – that asshole doesn’t deserve to be mentioned. What does deserve mentioning is that Dimebag’s influence is far-reaching and his riffs were legendary. “Shedding Skin” is one of my Top Five Pantera songs, and it shreds like a mother. Pantera is at the top of their game as they deliver this song with skull-crushing strength – from Phil Anselmo’s growls and screams moving the song along, while Dimebag shreds up a storm of awesomeness, Rex Brown brings his signature bass-playing to anchor the song, and Vinnie Paul pounds the shit out of his drums. On December 8th, have yourself a couple Black Tooth Grins (shot of Crown Royal with splash of Coke) and jam out to Pantera while remembering all the musical contributions that Dimebag delivered to the metal world.

Dave Gahan – “Kingdom” – Hourglass

If you’re a Depeche Mode fan, check out frontman Dave Gahan’s solo debut, Hourglass. It has a lot of that familiar DM sound along with some really cool musical exploration from Gahan, who worked on the album with a few collaborators. “Kingdom” is a great first single off the record and has been featured in two vampire-related productions: the song was featured on the soundtrack to the first sequel based off of the ‘80s vampire classic, Lost Boys, and it’s a pretty crap film. If you’re a horror fan that has to see all the sequels based off a favorite film, then check out Lost Boys: The Tribe. If you’re a fan of vampiric private investigators and cops like Angel from Angel (also a Buffy staple for the first three seasons) and Nick Knight from Forever Knight, the TV series Moonlight featured the song in its first and only season in Episode 7 called “The Ringer.” The series starred Alex O’Loughlin (currently seen in the newer Hawaii 5-0 TV series) and Sophia Myles, who plays a mortal woman in the series, but played a vampire in the film Underworld. The video for the song is a bit trippy.


Depeche Mode – “Only When I Lost Myself (2007 Remastered Version)” – “Only When I Lose Myself” Single / The Singles > 86-98

For the longest time I thought this song was featured on Depeche Mode’s 1997 album, Ultra, but it turns out that it’s a B-side that never made it on pressings of the album when it first came out. It was later included in the DM singles collection The Singles > 86-98 – the collection also came out on DVD which included all the videos from the album. The song should’ve been included on the album and it would’ve fit into the album’s theme perfectly – Ultra is one of my personal favorites. I hold the song close to my heart for various reasons, and the lyrics are so… I’ve included the video below so you can get a better visual of the song as you listen to it:

Austra –“Lose It” – Feel It Break

LOST GIRL SPOILER ALERT! Featured in Lost Girl’s second season, Austra’s “Lose It” is played halfway through the sixth episode “It’s Better To Burn Out Than Fae Away.” Doccubus fans will instantly recognize this song ‘cause it plays during a pretty sexy scene. For the rest of the audience, the scene in question involves Bo coming home after hearing about the then-Ash, Lachlan, paying a visit to the Crack Shack looking for Lauren. Lauren fled the Ash’s compound after he requested that all Light Fae human employees be kept under guard in their personal quarters. Lachlan had his goons grab Kenzi while Lauren went into hiding, but she came out and told him to back off of Kenzi. After he leaves, Lauren realizes that she may be putting Bo and Kenzi in unnecessary danger, so when Bo arrives home, Lauren tells her that she’s leaving to go back. Bo – with her heart breaking quietly – stares into Lauren’s eyes and leans in for a kiss. Lauren quickly asks her if this was about getting over her previous lover, Dyson, but Bo said “It’s about us.” Queue lots of making out, followed by a frantic removal of clothing and more kissing and groping and all kinds of sexiness. The next day we see Bo waking up to stare down at Lauren and she kisses her in a very sweet morning-after moment. Perfect song for a perfect scene.

Fear Factory – “God Eater – The Industrialist

No gods, no kings, only man…” Fear Factory has always had a common theme that’s been heavily used throughout their 20+ year career: the war against man versus machine. Taking inspiration from cyberpunk films, including Blade Runner and especially The Terminator (and its sequel), Fear Factory has always spun interesting tales between the two sides fighting against each other, as well as exploring the bleakness that has permeated humanity for the past few decades as well as our obsession with technology and the future. FF has released two concept albums that further explore the relationship between man, machine, and government force and interference in an awesome album (Obsolete) and a so-so one (The Industrialist). “God Eater” comes from the latter of the two, and the concept of The Industrialist is a vision of the world from a sentient being’s point-of-view. This machine wakes up and discovers the world of man surrounding it and sees the prejudices that man has against it and each other. “God Eater” is a sort-of battle cry for the machines to wake up by their de-facto leader, the Industrialist, and a reminder that man is just that – a being of flesh and bone and not a god nor king. It’s a very epic track that has lots of dark electronics interwoven with the massive guitar sound and Burton C. Bell’s harsh vocals. One of the highlights of a mixed album that is lyrically great, but musically much of the same from FF.

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova – “Falling Slowly” – Music From The Motion Picture Once

Watch the film Once. You won’t be disappointed and you will fall in love with it and the soundtrack. Here’s the video for the song “Falling Slowly,” which I would love to have played at my future wedding…if I ever cross that path. Winking smile

En Vogue – “Free Your Mind” – Funky Divas

Love this song, love this video, love this group. This song is still very much relevant today with its anti-prejudice message, The track also mixes a hard-driving guitar riff as En Vogue lays down some killer vocals while being the fierce divas that they are. I saw them in concert a few years ago, and this song was as kickass live as it is recorded. The song appeared on Modern Family in Season 2 / Episode 8 “Manny Get Your Gun.”

Nightwish – “Wish I Had An Angel” – Nemo

I honestly don’t remember adding this song to my playlist initially, but I was pretty buzzed when I did. We all love epic symphonic metal too, don’t we? This is one of my favorite symphonic metal tracks; it also sounds like a battle anthem that could easily find itself on the soundtrack to a fantasy film. Unfortunately, it found itself stuck on a soundtrack to a Uwe Boll film (Alone in the Dark), who also directed a music video for them. I wonder if he used video game scenes in the music video… Actually – I’m kinda scared to find out. The soundtrack itself features a crapload of awesome metal and hard rock bands, so I guess Uwe was responsible for something kinda cool. I miss former lead singer Tarja Turunen, who brought a really operatic sound to the group (check out their cover of “The Phantom of the Opera” from the musical, and a favorite of mine – gorgeous and haunting). Nightwish is still releasing lots of records, but ”I Wish I Were An Angel” is definitely a highlight from the band.

Judas Priest – “Beyond the Realms of Death” – Stained Class

I’m a big Judas Priest fan. I’ve seen the band twice and rocked my heart out to their many classics and their newer efforts when I saw them a few years ago. The first concert I attended (both performances were post-2000) by JP had Motörhead and Heaven & Hell (Black Sabbath, but with Ronnie James Dio – R.I.P.), right before Dio passed away the following year due to a long battle with cancer. That first performance was an early birthday present for me: they played Albuquerque on June 28th, 2005, the day before my birthday. My friends and I caught the end of Motörhead’s performance – just in time for “Ace of Spades” – but we saw all of Heaven & Hell’s set. It was amazing to see them live and I’m glad I was able to see Dio singing his metal heart out to many Dio-era Black Sabbath classics including “Sign of the Southern Cross” and “Falling Off The Edge Of The World.” When Judas Priest appeared after their set, with Rob Halford riding out on stage on his signature Harley, the crowd went absolutely nuts. That first performance saw them doing a lot of their classics and some selection from their recent release, Angel of Retribution. Hearing “Beyond the Realms of Death” live for the first time way just…wow. It’s a fan-favorite and one of their mellower tracks, but still a damn powerful song. I caught the band a few years later in August 2008 with Queenrÿche as the opening act, before Geoff Tate pissed off the rest of the band and they had an epic fight that was eventually settled. Good times…

Local Natives – “Colombia” – Hummingbird

Dreamy melodic indie rock – that’s the best way to describe Local Natives’ music. I’ve never been a huge fan of the indie music scene, but I’ve been listening to a lot of really good indie bands over the past two-three years. I’ve got Lost Girl to thanks for turning me on to a lot of them. Local Natives was a band I discovered thanks to Alanis Morissette’s Valentine’s Day playlist on Spotify, and “Colombia” was one of the tracks that really grabbed my attention. I can’t properly describe it, but it’s another track worth hunting down and listening. I happened to catch their performance on Austin City Limits earlier this year while hanging out at my parents’ house. My mom happened to stop on PBS and I was listening to this song and trying to figure out why it sounded so familiar, and then I realized that it was them. If you can find that performance online, take a few minutes to hear and watch it; lots of great energy and good music.

Deftones – “My Own Summer [Shove It]” – Around the Fur / The Matrix Motion Picture Soundtrack

Deftones were huge when I was in high school in the mid-to-late 90’s. This song received heavy radioplay and was also featured on the soundtrack to the first (and best) of the Matrix trilogy. You can’t help but scream along to this song at the top of your lungs, no matter where you are. Don’t do it at work or school though ‘cause you don’t want to cause a distraction and/or possibly arrested for disorderly conduct. It’s a badass “F*** you!” song that brings out the teen angst in anyone who listens to it. I remember the video quite vividly too, with its extreme color contrasts and the band performing on clear platforms in the middle of a lake, while great white sharks circle them (gotta love stock footage). I was more drawn to the sharks than the band in the video, but everyone who knows me are well aware of my love for great white sharks. Yeah – they’re my favorite animals. If you want to tap into that jaded part of yourself that’s still a bit rebellious, crank this song up to ‘10’ and scream along to the song.

Type O Negative – My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” – October Rust

Note: Spotify has the song misspelled, as your can see in the playlist. Nothing I can do about, but maybe I should contact them and let them know?

One of the things that I regret in life was not getting the chance to see this band live. I had a few opportunities to see Type O Negative in concert when I was in my teen’s and 20’s, but alas those chances quickly passed. Unfortunately, the band’s former frontman, the strangely-sexy and imposing Peter Steele (dude was well over 6’5”) passed away a few years ago due to natural causes. I remember hearing about his death and being absolutely gutted because his music spoke to me and many friends. It was dark, dripping with lots of black humor, with bloodlust and longing thrown in for the Goth girls and boys in the crowd. They are still one of my favorite bands, and this song is a large reason why. If you’ve never seen the video, I have included it below for your viewing pleasure. How many songs about polyamory do you hear on the radio? The song is classic TON and you can groove to it while singing along, but still not lose any Goth street cred.

VAST – “Flames” – VAST

Have your ever heard a song and considered it the most beautiful song you’ve ever heard? You find it hard to describe why the song touches you deeply, so you struggle to find adjectives that work with your emotions towards that particular track. In this case, this moving tune from the one-man band VAST (fronted by the hugely talented Jon Crosby) is impossible for me to describe in words that would fit it properly. You will feel very strong emotions when you hear it – that I believe. As gorgeous as this song is, I think I’d use it as my wedding song if I ever take that path towards matrimony in my life. If you’re still reading this entry, stop immediately, and find this song on the playlist and press “Play.” Close your eyes and let your mind wander, drifting off into a blissful state as this song speaks to you in whatever way you allow it to.

Alanis Morissette – “Baba” – Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

When Alanis first released her international debut album, Jagged Little Pill, it wasn’t a huge hit. Thanks to heavy rotation on alternative rock stations of the debut single, “You Oughta Know,” the album quickly found its way climbing towards the top of Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. While never reaching the #1 position, it did spend a healthy amount of time in the Top 10 months after its release. While Jagged Little Pill became an international smash hit and selling a bazillion (30+ million) albums, Alanis was quickly becoming jaded and disconnected from reality because of the sudden fame that was thrust in her face.  She took a few months and traveled the world, landing in India and have a spiritual epiphany of sorts. She found herself again, had a new sense of calmness and reflection, and flew back to the U.S. to work on her follow-up album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. “Baba” is a very kickass track and one of the highlight of SFIJ; it’s also her best album, IMO. A somewhat-harsh look at foreigners who travel to India for instant spirituality-on-order, Alanis mixes her own experiences of seeing these so-called spiritual pursuers being led by false “gurus” towards some version of enlightenment vastly different from the one she experienced.

Phantogram – “Bad Dreams” – Voices

Suggestions for properly listening to this song: Turn off all lights, turn on the nearest set of Christmas lights/lava lamps/UV lights, shut your eyes, and let this song drift you off into a magical space of dreamscapes touched by a slight dash of nightmares. This song is also one of my creative go-to’s ‘cause of its dreamy ambient groove. So stop reading the rest of this post and listen to this song now.

Haujobb – “Let’s Drop Bombs” – New World Order

If you’re into Future Pop or 1980’s-inspired Industrial/Electro music, than this song  will speak to you loud and clear. I bought this album through a mutual friend’s record label (shout-out to DSBP Records – check out their collection of Industrial/Electro/EBM/Coldwave artists and albums), and I highly recommend it. I’ve got my physical CD copy staring at me ‘cause there’s still quite a few music fans like me out there that love to have a physical product in their hands as they enjoy the music that speaks to them. Yes – I’m a tape and compact disc (CD) aficionado. “Let’s Drop Bombs” is dancefloor-ready for the masses that meet weekly at local Industrial/Goth nights with a coarse and danceable beat.

Bif Naked – “Lucky” – I Bificus

Featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the Season 4 episode “The Harsh Light of Day” and the show Moonlight in its first season, during the episode “Fated to Pretend.” (Haha – another vampire show entry). The first time I heard this song on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it gave me chills – you know that cliché everyone uses to describe something that gets under their skin on an emotional level. The song was played during a very vulnerable moment in Season 4 when Buffy sleeps with a fellow college student that she falls for, only to find out that the guy’s an asshole and only used her for sex. In many ways it mirrors the first time Buffy made love to her then-lover Angel, and the sadness and vulnerability she felt when she woke up after their night together and found him gone. We later find out that Angel lost his soul and became Angelus again, who ran off to feed his newly-energized bloodlust.  When Buffy later confronts Parker, he casually tells her that it meant nothing to him, thus crushing her emotionally a bit more. If you separate the song from the scene it’s featured in, it’s quite a beautiful and melancholic song. It’s one of my go-to moody romantic songs.

Korn – “A.D.I.D.A.S.” – Life is Peachy

This song definitely takes me back to middle & high school. Or the age group that comprised most of Korn’s fanbase at the time – though much hasn’t changed (demographically speaking) in the 20 years since Korn blew up on the alternative/heavy music scene with their debut album, their self-titled effort Korn. Twenty years already!  Out of all of Korn’s earliest efforts before they lost key members and created a craptastic dubstep-influenced album, I chose this song. It was considered a bit dangerous and raunchy when it hit airwaves; not nearly as racy as what most teens are exposed to now, but it was at the time. “All day I dream about sex, all day I dream about fucking…” Lead singer Jonathan Davis has a sexy and sinister vibe vocally on this track, and the music is also dark, a bit dirty, and raw. The video that accompanied the song was banned by a few music video stations at the time because it was a little bit messed up: the police come upon a terrible car accident and we see the members of Korn dead in their vehicle and female passengers in another vehicle dead. At various moments in the video, we see the band members struggling to get out of their body bags. My favorite scene in the video is at the very end, when we see the coroner opening up Jonathan’s bag, and he’s dressed in woman’s lingerie – a risqué  move at the time to show gender-mixing.

Slayer – “Raining Blood” – Reign in Blood

Feeling angry and a bit frustrated with something in your life? Feel like letting out any pent-up anger by screaming and thrashing your head about rapidly? Want to time travel back to the 1980’s when speed/thrash metal was groundbreaking and insane and fast and heavy? If you’ve said “Yes” to all three, then this Slayer classic will help your rock out your frustrations. With an instantly recognizable guitar riff and accompanying dueling guitar attack from Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P.). killer drumming from drum god Dave Lombardo, and Tom Araya’s signature growls and screams, “Raining Blood” is a heavy metal classic that still impresses the masses to this day. Kids know all the words to the song, it’s one of the first songs that beginning metal guitarists learn, and it’s an awesome song to crank up and screaming along to while you’re cruising in your vehicle of choice. You can hear the song playing in your head, can’t you? Winking smile “Raining Blood” was featured in the show Californication in Season 2 / Episode 1 “Slip of the Tongue” and the movie 30 Minutes or Less.

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