The Music of Apocalypse World

edited July 2010 in Story Games
Can we talk about good soundtracks for Apocalypse World? What sort of music do you think works for the game? I've got the Deadwood soundtrack cued up, along with some stuff from Firefly and Lustmord for the creepier moments.

What's everyone else got?
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Comments

  • edited July 2010
    I love music!

    I heard someone reccomend Tom Waits, which is oddly appropriate. Songs like The Earth Died Screaming are thematically in line with the game and the music often sounds industrial (not as in the genre) and sort of tribal, like it's being played on stuff found on the junkyard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UIfCpq1gWU

    Can't go wrong with some apocalyptic post-rock.
    GY!BE - Dead Flag Blues

    Maybe some alt-country:
    Woven Hand - Dirty Blue

    Or apocalyptic folk:
    Spiritual Front - Jesus Died in Las Vegas
    Current 93 - All the pretty little horses
    Angels of Light - Promise of Water

    Also, Bill Fay's Time of the Last Persecution is the ultimate apocalypse song, but I cant find it online.

    I wouldn't play this stuff during the session but maybe during the setup.
  • My favorite song to create Fronts to is Killswitch Engage -- Numbered Days. Though sometimes I kick it oldschool with Biohazard -- Punishment. :)
  • edited July 2010
    Luke Crane turned me on to Murder by Death. When I did the bulk of the writing for the game, they were on fast repeat, sharing time with Nick Cave (of course), especially his soundtracks with Warren Ellis, Tom Waits, and, funnily enough, Squirrel Nut Zippers.

    During final editing and layout, it was all Joy Division all the time.

    -Vincent
  • edited July 2010
    Oh, darn, yeah, Nick Cave, obviously. Also, Cash.

    Also also, the whole Dead Man soundtrack by Neil Young: 1, 2, 3

    And maybe for something more strange, the Ravenous soundtrack: 1, 2, 3
  • I'd use lots of Nine Inch Nails as the staple music. Personal taste, of course.
  • I've found a mixture of heavy metal, punk, Johnny Cash, and Spaghetti Western soundtracks work for me.

    So, for specifics, Metallica, The Transplants, Johnny Cash, and Ennio Morricone, respectively.
  • If you go the Western soundtrack route, you might also want to pull in the last couple of Earth albums (Hex, or Printing in the Infernal Method and The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull). They are the soundtracks of perfect Westerns that haven't been made yet.
  • When I ran Apocalypse World, some of the soundtrack music I had in my head was:
    Slayer -- South of Heaven (string quartet version)
    Gallows - The Vulture (Acts I & II)
    Songs: Ohia -- Ring the Bells
    And the last At the Gates album, Slaughter of the Soul.
  • That Slayer arrangement is amazing!

    Thanks for all your input.
  • edited July 2010
    Tool - Lateralus.

    And for those rare moments of hope & beauty in Apocalypse World--

    The Tallest Man on Earth - Love is All.
  • I've been playing against my initial impulse to use, like, lots of Metallica and The Project Hate to get in headspace for the AW game I'm starting next week. In addition to, as already mentioned, Johnny Cash for a "quieter" mood, I've been getting a lot of mileage out of some Jimi Hendrix ("Hey Joe," "All Along the Watchtower," and "Castles Made of Sand" are on my AW mix) and Gorillaz. I'd wanted to use K'Naan's "Great Depression" as the lead track/theme song for the game, but it doesn't seem to exist anywhere but as attached to the video - so instead I think I'll be going with Kate Miller-Heidke:



    I'm doing my best to follow the "don't impose your vision" advice, but it captures the sort of disappointed yet forward-looking I've been grooving on in thinking about the game.

    For what it's worth, and as long as we're mouthing off about our musical tastes, of course.
  • The Last Pale Light in the West

    Rest of the EP is ... ok. But, that song? Killer.
  • This thread has cost me money.

    In a good way. Thanks for the recommendations.
  • If you're gonna listen to Nick Cave, other good ones (at least according to the Genius mix iTunes puked up when I selected "Red Right Hand") include Leonard Cohen, PJ Harvey, Tom Waits (already mentioned I think), Neil Young, and Sisters of Mercy.

    Other Genius recommendations were, uh, spottier -- Morrisey (arguable), The Pixies, The Breeders (bwuh?), Soul Coughing (very occasionally), Sonic Youth, The Cure, Foo Fighters. That first list is better.
  • Slim Westerns: A Small Good Thing, Vol 1 & 2

    I've used this for Dogs and Dust Devils but it'd be even better for most Apocalypse World games.

    Sample Hole In The Heart, Godforsaken, Twice As Evil As You, and Scorched Earth.

    Yeah, this thread is going to cost me a few sawbucks. Thanks a heap.
  • edited July 2010

    The lyrics to Pray for Rain by Massive Attack makes me think about opening your brain to the world's psychic malestrom.

  • I just compiled a YouTube playlist of all the specific songs suggested in this thread. Right now it weighs in at 31 songs.

    Enjoy.

  • Just saw The Desert Song by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and while the song was borderline AW-ish, the video really struck me as Psychic Maelstromy. So, neat.

    Also it's really good, so that helps.
  • Ive been listening to quite a bit of Steven R Smith lately, I certainly think its got an Apocalyptic vibe going for it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAOURIGNk7I
  • edited July 2010
    I can't believe no one has said Godspeed You! Black Emperor [Edit: Except Gregor] yet. Them, Apocalyptica, (early) Nick Cave (or heck, even Birthday Party), Tom Waits (I like "Rain Dogs" best of his albums), (early) PJ Harvey should just about do it.
  • Posted By: nemomemeSlim Westerns: A Small Good Thing, Vol 1 & 2
    Just started listening to this, but so far it's really good. Thanks!
  • Lots of great stuff has been listed already. I'll just add the Half-light Symphony album by Battle Circus. Evocative, haunting, intense and dramatic. Apocalypse themed as well.
  • Flying Lotus, Prefuse 73, Skream, Venetian Snares' "Rossz csillag alatt született"

    Cash, Cave, Waits
  • Tim Hecker for sure. Others, also, that I can't remember just now. Maybe a couple of Sunn 0))) tracks? Burial, I think, too.
  • Posted By: skinnyghostTim Hecker for sure. Others, also, that I can't remember just now. Maybe a couple of Sunn 0))) tracks? Burial, I think, too.
    I cant believe I didn't think of Sunn 0)))!
  • edited July 2010
    "Raiford (The Felon Wind)" by Earth. I love me some Sunn O))), but this seems more thematically appropriate, if you're going to just pick one postmetal thing.
  • Sunn O)))
    BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRM

    If you dig Hecker, grainy soundscapes and stuff, how about Fennesz, his Endless Summer album always makes me think of sun-blasted landscapes.
    Rivers of Sand

    And if you're doing a cold apocalypse, how about Tenhi. Nothing says empty frozen landscape like Tenhi.
    Etaisyyksien taa
    Soutu
  • Miley Cyrus. The end times are coming and she shall be their herald........
  • Posted By: ChristopherMiley Cyrus. The end times are coming and she shall be their herald........
    Anarchy in the USA!




    (obv. sung to the tune of Miley's Party in the USA)
  • Posted By: Mcdaldno(obv. sung to the tune of Miley's Party in the USA)
    Right, cuz who DOESN'T know that song?
  • Some other post-moderns which might fit:

    Daturah
    This Will Destroy You
    Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble

    Oh, and The Tallest Man on Earth is the most wonderful thing I've found on these forums. Love it!
  • I haven't seen Apocalypse World yet (Gen Con, I hope), but here's the playlist I made for Razed, my forthcoming post-apocalyptic GUMSHOE game. Some of these tracks might be appropriate inspiration or background music for AW, too.
  • Posted By: TeataineSunn O)))
    BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRM

    If you dig Hecker, grainy soundscapes and stuff, how about Fennesz, his Endless Summer album always makes me think of sun-blasted landscapes.
    Rivers of Sand

    And if you're doing a cold apocalypse, how about Tenhi. Nothing says empty frozen landscape like Tenhi.
    Etaisyyksien taa
    Soutu

    Hells yes. All that shit.
  • I just stumbled across Aun and thought it fit in too!

    http://www.myspace.com/aundrone
  • edited July 2010
    I just discovered "Till the old world's blown up and a new one is created" a collaboration that includes a member of Radian and Christian Fennesz.

    Here's a sample track, featuring western-ish guitar strumming and fuzzy distortion. Very apt.
    me son
  • Good thread! I was on a road trip today, listening to Murder by Death that this thread had moved me to get.
    Then Diamond Dogsby Bowie came on.
    So, yeah, the whole Diamond Dogs album is like my custom funky apocalypse soundtrack. The whole album.

    As a bonus, I just found out there is a slick Beck cover of Diamond Dogs...time to pull out the wallet again...
  • Speaking of Sunn o))), later Earth (Hex and The Bees Made Honey...) does AW really well. Very much western meets drone doom and hit a perfect tone for AW.
  • Posted By: cathexisSpeaking of Sunn o))), later Earth (Hex and The Bees Made Honey...) does AW really well. Very much western meets drone doom and hit a perfect tone for AW.
    Aaaand as soon as I post this I notice that the other Colin in this thread has already suggested those two albums. Man, I am late to the party.
  • This thread is all kinds of awesome. I'm definitely using both those Earth Albums next time we play.
  • Dude, you guys rock. I've spent way too much money on music because of this, and the Tallest Man on Earth is something I've just been listening to for a week now!
  • Found something else.

    http://www.myspace.com/psychicills

    Psychic Ills - a bit droney, a bit middle-eastern, very creepy and with no lyrics to distract. Play it. It's perfect music for a turkish bath run by a crazed Maestro'D.
  • One more

    (careful, some jackass posted a metal song that opens immediately on their page. pause it and check out their actual stuf)
    http://www.myspace.com/tribesofneurot1138

    "Tribes of Neurot is an experimental ambient band that infuse tribal-like sounds into their music."

    It's the members of Neurosis, a sludge-metal band, but this is their weirdo side-project. Ambient and strange.
  • So, there's a lot of stuff in this thread that's very appropriate for Apocalypse World. But you've all been playing it a whole bunch, right? Perhaps so much so you're drooling over the various hacks on the AW forums. Or maybe you (like me, often) find that songs with lyrics are too distracting to listen to during play, but that stocking up on drone metal and black ambient isn't quite taking your game in a direction that is far enough away from the last AW game. Or maybe you saw Black Hawk Down or Generation Kill or Edward Burtynsky's photos of shipbreakers in Bangladesh recently, and all you could think about was Apocalypse World, Apocalypse World, Apocalypse World...

    Or maybe you just want something totally different from any other suggestion here? Okay, this is it:

    What you do, is you take these two soundtrack albums, at a minimum: Body of Lies by Marc Streitenfeld, and Green Zone by John Powell, and you put all the tracks on shuffle, and start playing a fairly tense and action-oriented game. That's it, that's the basics. But since you're probably playing for ~3 hours, and soundtracks have repeating themes, you might need more than just those two albums, especially over several sessions.

    So just add one or more of the following to your shuffle mix:
    The Insider by Lisa Gerrard and Peiter Bourke;
    Syriana by Alexandre Desplat (remove track 6);
    and The Kingdom by Danny Elfman (remove tracks 2, 9, 12, and 13).

    If you're a bit tired of high-paced action, and want a less-pounding version of this mix for some creepy landscape exploration, extended character development, or just a series of really quiet scenes, keep Body of Lies, but swap out Green Zone for The Insider, and add one or more of the following albums:
    Solaris soundtrack, by Cliff Martinez;
    Stalker and Solaris soundtracks by Eduard Artemiev;
    a Blade Runner soundtrack (by Vangelis) that doesn't have any dialogue on it (so not the esper edition);
    and any of the following Muslimgauze albums: Betrayal, Vote Hezbollah, or Azzazin.
  • All excellent suggestions, Johnstone - being able to pick soundtracks and scores from movies that aren't recognizable enough to be distracting (if I ever hear the soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian during a game it'll be too soon) can be tricky.
  • Actually the Syriana soundtrack is pretty low-key, you might want to skip it for the action scenes.
  • Oh also check out The Sword. Specifically "Gods of the Earth". It doubles as an excellent OD&D/Burning Wheel soundtrack.
  • There's a little known Detroit band called Speedball that put out a rock CD called "Do Unto Others Then Split" that fits AW pretty well.

    Track List:
    1. All Screwed Up
    2. Long Dead Gone
    3. Hog
    4. All Eyes Are Watching
    5. God Of Slumber
    6. Gypsy
    7. Piss And Moan
    8. See How They Run
    9. Sin
    10. Ass, Gas Or Grass
  • Having played some of the normal sweat and bullet AW (which rocked) I'm also longing to play a more desolate AW too where the named NPCs might be the -only- NPCs (hang on to them!)

    Lustmord
  • Posted By: Kripplera more desolate AW too where the named NPCs might be the -only- NPCs (hang on to them!)
    Aren't all NPCs in AW named NPCs anyway?
  • Lustmord is great.
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