The Music Corner: Villainous Monsters

I started thinking last week that I know several songs about villains, monsters, or villainous monsters. Mostly owing to one of Jonathan Coulton‘s recurring themes being melancholic monsters. What then of songs that are more about being evil and reveling in it? Where the figure is not sad, or guilty, or repentant? I could think of a few.

So here is my mix of songs for Villainous Monsters.

Let us start with a more humourous song, though I would argue it’s no less disturbing. (And we’ll get the JoCo contribution out of the way promptly.) Zombies have been a thing in popular culture for a while, though I think they’ve never been quite as prevalent as they’ve become in the later years. Movies about zombies have been numerous for a long time, ever since George Romero set the scene with his Night of the Living Dead. There are different takes on them, with some being slow, some being fast, and some being merely diseased or infected rather than risen from the dead. Though as a general rule they tend to be dim-witted and straight-forward. Lacking complexity. So what if a zombie retained its brains (har har) and could talk, reason and try to negotiate with the still-living? Without further comment I give you Re: Your Brains.

Now Disney have made some great villains over the years. Considering they make movies mainly aimed at children this might be a little puzzling to some, but like a friend once told me: “Children don’t need to be told that monsters exist. They know they exist. Children need to be told that monsters can be defeated.” And that is one of Disney’s strong points. Showing the kiddies that monsters can be taken down. Which brings us to the Lion King. I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched that movie. And the bit with Mufasa (you know which I mean) still gets me every time. I don’t really know the sequel as well, but it’s a good film in its own right, and it’s from there I picked a song for this mix: My Lullaby. My friend Krellen (he’s a smart guy, you should check out his stuff) reminded me of this song, and he deserves the thanks for having it on the list. (He also pointed me at the Symphony of the Planets for the last mix, where I forgot to credit him, shame on me.)

As we reach the middle of the list we come upon a very direct track. Is ‘on-the-nose’ the expression you English-speakers use here? Voltaire is a musician who often likes his songs a bit dark, and When You’re Evil is the first song of his I ever encountered. In addition to music, he also makes comic books and has even written a couple of books relating to goths and the modern gothic culture. As for the song itself I am not sure what to really say about it, because it speaks very well for itself. Though since I’m a bit thick I have never been quite sure who the character of the song is supposed to be. Suggestions are welcome.

Speaking of gothic: In the middle of the 90s a show called American Gothic aired for a single season before being canceled. It was created by Shaun Cassidy and produced by Sam Raimi, and was set in the fictional town of Trinity, South Carolina. I have not seen the entire show, but I’ve seen enough episodes for the song to resonate with me. Dark Country is a song by Tom Smith made as a tribute to American Gothic and more specifically the character of Lucas Buck (Gary Cole) who is the town sheriff. As Tom Smith himself describes him: “smooth, suave, oh so helpful when you’re down on your luck, and quite possibly the most evil character in literary history.” And I can see his point there. Sheriff Lucas likes doing horrible things to people’s lives, either directly or indirectly, and he seems to have supernatural powers at his disposal. You should give the show a look if you ever find it.

And then we come to last entry in this mix, and I round it all off the way I started: With a more silly, if still disturbing song. Looking For Group is a webcomic that kinda exploded into popularity because it poked fun at World of Warcraft when most people still cared about World of Warcraft, be it love or hate. There were even plans to make an animated movie based on LFG, though it’s been a while since I’ve heard anything more about it, so I assume it’s been shelved indefinitely. Though a few animated shorts did hit the Internet at large, and the one that got the most notoriety was Slaughter Your World: an animated music video that supposedly shows part of the past of the warlock Richard before he started following Cale’Anon around. The video is well worth watching, but the song is all I’m embedding here. Maybe you recognise the melody?

Thus another Music Corner comes to an end. It became a little more wordy than normal, but hopefully people won’t mind. I love sharing. :3



Posted on August 24, 2012, in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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