Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The World I Live In (The Playlist Project - Part 3)

Continuing on with Fifty Years Running - The Doctor Who Playlist Project. Here are Tracks 21-30

(Part 1 is here)
(Part 2 is here)

Track 21: No Rain by Blind Melon

And I don't understand why I sleep all day
And I start to complain that there's no rain
And all I can do is read a book to stay awake
And it rips my life away, but it's a great escape

I guess if I had to characterize myself right before I discovered Doctor Who, it would be sheer and utter boredom. I’ve told the story extensively, so I won’t go into it too much here, but I sometimes wonder if that’s where the seeds of fandom are sown - you’re looking for something remarkable in your life and it never materializes, so instead you look for something remarkable in fiction and you integrate it into your life. You obsess over it, you become a scholar of it, you annoy your family and friends with it - but it was just always there for you.  I suppose this isn't unique to Doctor Who fans, but it's where I found my outlet, so this song represents that aspect of fandom for me.

Track 22: The Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

"This was exactly you. All this, all of it. You make them so afraid. When you began, all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you'd become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name? Doctor: the word for healer and wise man throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are, what might that word come to mean?" - River Song, from "A Good Man Goes to War"

These next two songs represent some of the darker stories Doctor Who has told and, indeed, some of the darker aspects of the Doctor himself. Especially a post-Time War Doctor, but also to remember that the Doctor is not generally a nice person.  Even going back to the very beginning, he's pretty much the antagonist of the first episode of "An Unearthly Child" (though, I suppose, we can forgive his actions since he was protecting his granddaughter and his ship - more on that in a future post).  And this dark side of the Doctor isn't relegated to long before we knew him - it surfaces throughout all his lives. From contemplating genocide in "Genesis of the Daleks," to breaking Ace's faith in him in "The Curse of Fenric," to the gloomy Eighth Doctor stranded in the Divergent Universe stories of Big Finish all the way through to New Who and those terribly scary moments that lie beneath his silly, eccentric exterior. So, it's fitting that I fit in a song that has a distinct '60s sound, yet isn't the happy-pop-bubblegum type of music, but a very somber and shadowy piece that is still considered a classic.

Track 23: Mercy by OneRepublic

Before just the daylight
Come and I stand by
Waiting to catch the quickest plane
Fly me to nowhere
it's better than somewhere
That's where I've been and nothing's changed
Angel of Mercy
How did you find me?
How did you pick me up again?
Angel of Mercy
How did you move me?
Why am I on my feet again?
And I see you

Okay, this one gets a little schmaltzy, but I like it.  I said that this and The Sounds of Silence represent the darker aspects of Doctor Who stories.  I likened Silence to the darker parts of the Doctor himself, but this song could be for the sadness in him as well.  All the losses and failures - of which there have been many (probably as many as his successes, I would guess).  He's made many mistakes and had many regrets - yet he's still a symbol of hope for so many people.  Maybe not a symbol of hope, but a symbol of a friend - of someone who can make things be all right again. That things will get better because the Doctor's out there in the universe doing amazing things and inspiring people to be better.  And even when he does screw up, he still listens to his friends and comes back down from the edge. Because they need him and he needs them.

Track 24: Perfect Time of Day by Howie Day

I love this song because it sort of feels like you’re coming out of a bad place and into something good. Like you've turned a corner and things are going to be better. That fairly well sums up my relationship with Doctor Who. Even though there still are bad times, they are made less-bad because I have something that I enjoy in my life (hey, I don’t have a boyfriend - something's gotta be there for me in my life ^_^)

Track 25: Me and My Cello (Happy Together) by Steven Sharp Nelson of The Piano Guys

Well, we've been serious - time to have some fun! What better way than with a video that shows a guy having the time of his life - with the most important non-human object in his life? THe only this video could have been better is if the Doctor and the TARDIS were skydiving right along with Steven and his cello (man, now I want a fanart of the Doctor and Idris at the disco. Any of you artist-types feeling inspired?)

Track 26: The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) by Jason Mraz

Non-sequitur, silliness, the drunk giraffe dancing at a wedding - sometimes, you just need to relax with a big bowl of fish fingers and custard and let the universe take care of itself. In the mean time - you've got a swimming pool to find in the TARDIS library.

Track 27: Starlight by Muse

One of the first things that really piqued my interest in Doctor Who was actually a fan-made video to this song. Oh, I’d seen various mentions of Doctor Who on LiveJournal and such, but one of my LJ friends posted this video and I gave it a watch. I really don’t know why I did. I don’t have any real attachment to Muse or anything like that. And it turns out - I’m not really into the Doctor/Rose ship (though I don’t hate it and I don’t begrudge the people who do like it. It’s just not something I get overly excited about). Still, this video intrigued me enough to want to start watching Doctor Who. And it is a really good song, so it fits in the playlist.

Track 28: Back in Time by Huey Lewis and the News

Tell me, Doctor, where are we going this time?
Is this the '50s or 1999?
All I wanted to do - was play my guitar and sing

So take me away, I don't mind
But you better promise me, I'll be back in time
Gotta get back in time

An unusual example of a song that’s straight-up about time-travel. It’s from the Back to the Future soundtrack, so that’s not surprising (and *cough* it's something I made, so I have to put it up, don't it? ^_^) The lyrics almost feel tailor-made to Doctor Who (and there is many a fan-video out there with this song), which makes it a prime candidate for inclusion on this playlist

Track 29: The World We Live In by The Killers

I had a dream that I was falling down
There's no next time, alone
A storm wastes its water on me
But my heart was free

I guess it's the world that we live in
It's not too late for that
This is the world that we live in
And no, we can't go back

You know, some of these songs I've been all deep and analytic about. And for others... I just like the song and I think it fits, though I have no hard-and-fast reason for it. This is one of those times (and hey, it's The Killers! I've got to have at least... three... of their songs on any of my playlists). This song just has overtones of living in the real world, yet still allowing adventure and imagination have a prominent place.  And, I guess, that's what Doctor Who is for me. I live in the real world and do what's expected of me there, but I like to escape somewhere else through stories - which is something I've done since I was a little kid and I've never grown out of it.  It's really the best thing in the world.

Track 30: Wheel in the Sky by Journey

I've been trying to make it home
Got to make it before too long
I can't take this very much longer
I'm stranded in the sleet and rain
Don't think I'm ever gonna make it home again
The mornin' sun is risin'
It's kissing the day

Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'

Here are my '70s classic rock roots showing again! (my brother will be annoyed that I used this one because it's one of his favorites and he doesn't like Doctor Who and he takes every opportunity to give me crap about it.  But that's okay because I can turn around and give it right back. Which may explain why I enjoy this game of "Poke the Grumpy Fanboy Bear" so much).

Two thing influenced this choice: the title “The Wheel in Space” and the lyric “I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.” If that doesn't sum up the Doctor’s inability to steer the TARDIS (or the TARDIS’s determination to get the Doctor and company into places where they never mean to go - take your pick), I don’t know what does.  And it's just a great song, so there's that.

And with that sort of lackluster ending, that's it for this section - I'll have the next up soon. Ten more days until the 23rd!

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