frith_in_thorns: October Daye - "An Artificial Night" cover (OD Toby)
December 10th // Masterlist

From [personal profile] glinda: The Mechanisms! Perhaps tell me why I should (or shouldn't) check out their latest album. (I love Once Upon a Time in Space but have never got round to their subsequent work.)

So first of all, I should say in response to the specific question asked, that while the band's musical and recording talent has increased with their two successive, albums, I still love Once Upon A Time In Space the most, by quite a large margin. High Noon Over Camelot was lots of fun, and I really enjoyed that one. Not personally a large fan of Ulysses Dies At Dawn, although there are a couple of individual songs in that which I liked.

At this point I should probably backtrack and explain a bit for people who aren't already Mechs fans! The Mechanisms are an explicitly queer music band, all of whom have personas as a ragtag band of steampunk space pirates on the starship Aurora. (They're all literally bionic constructs, so are immortal.) Each album they release is a complete story with songs and narrative, supposedly each about a different civilisation the Mechs have encountered in their travels. (…"Everyone dies tragically" is quite a common theme here.) They're also personal friends of mine, which I always argue makes me less likely to give a falsely inflated impression of their talent — a couple of years ago I had regular practice sessions happening in the room literally right over my head, and Mechs staying in the living room every second weekend, and I still love their music! ;)

If you're free in Oxford or London (or at NineWorlds or the Edinburgh Fringe!) you really should watch them live. The CDs are good, but their show is amazing. If you're not anywhere near, all their albums are both free to stream and pay-what-you-want to buy on Bandcamp.

Their first album was Once Upon A Time (In Space), and is a reworking of fairytales. It tells the story of the bloody revolution against tyrannical Old King Cole, and the tragic love story of Rose Red and Cinderella.

When I was a little girl, my mother always told me:
"Someday a Prince will come, my love."
But as I grew I knew it was a Princess who would hold me;
I looked to the stars for you, my love.

Since it has revolutions and lesbians, I was definitely primed to enjoy it! But I really do love this album. The songs are all great, and ridiculously catchy. (Lots of them are riffing off traditional/folk songs.) I love the main characters; I'm deeply invested in them and have loads of headcanons about what happened after the end of the album. (I've written several fics for this one.)

Next up is Ulysses Dies At Dawn. This one I have more mixed feelings about. It's definitely more sophisticated, in terms of music and recording quality, than the previous. It tells a story set deep beneath the surface of a planet which is entirely city, and slums, and gangs, and horrific technology, and takes place over the course of the night. Ulysses is being tortured to open a vault, and the songs are about the history and stories of both Ulysses and xe's tormentors.

I have to say, I didn't really click with this one. The gritty, dark music style isn't what I enjoy, and also all the characters are just really awful people — there wasn't anyone I remotely wanted to "win", which is a real problem for me when it comes to enjoying a story. I have to like people, and I really couldn't here. Also I found the vault reveal to be rather trite. But this is lots of people's favourite albums, I know! I do know that this is most of the band's favourite album, as it's apparently the most fun to play :P But yeah, I definitely don't dislike it, but it just wasn't my style at all in music or story.

Their third album, released a few months ago, is High Noon Over Camelot; Arthurian tales played out in a space station long fallen into Wild West-style anarchy. With this one we were back to characters which I could root for, so yay! I also like the much more upbeat music style of this compared to Ulysses. There are some wonderfully catchy songs — Skin and Bone seems to be a general favourite, as well as Holder of the G.R.A.I.L. As with the others, the album is full of lovely little nods to the source mythos, and manages a lot of hugely funny moments in among the death! I especially appreciated the triad relationship of Arthur/Lancelot/Guinevere, which did not end in betrayal or otherwise fall apart :) Also the recording quality continues to improve, so on technical terms this is the best so far.

We're not pure of heart, but we're sure of aim
And our heads are filled with love and blood and whiskey.

There's also a small micellany of other songs, recently also released on Bandcamp as the album Tales to be Told. These include several origin stories for the Mechs themselves, which predate their first album release. Gunpowder Tim versus the Moon Kaiser is a great little mini-cycle, very atmospheric and funny. (Also I physics-picked/argued a lot about laser-based weaponry this, shhh I'm proud!) The Lotus Eaters is another of my favourites, and One Eyed Jack's, Jonny's origin song, is ridiculously catchy. Extreme mayhem cheerfully set to "When Johnny Comes A-Marching Home"!

In conclusion: best band of roving space pirates you're likely to hear. Go listen! Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention that their little fandom also has a dreamwidth comm, [community profile] the_mechanisms. :)
frith_in_thorns: An open black umbrella with small red hearts falling out of it (.Love)
Fandom stocking post! :D

My stocking is here, and it has fantastic things in, you should check them out. Massive love to everyone! ♥

Detailed list )
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Mechanisms - storybook)
Today is very much [community profile] the_mechanisms day. The début performance of Ulysses Dies At Dawn was a few hours ago and it was fantastic.

Therefore, I decided that this was definitely the impetus to post the fic I wrote for Once Upon A Time (In Space) which I have been poking at for way too long. (And now I'm trying to think of a good way to categorise posting fics for canons within canons, argh! I suspect this problem will have to wait until I write UDAD fic, or general Mechafic.)

Title: Falling
Characters/Pairing: Cinders, Rose; Pre-ship
Rating: T
Word count: 700
Notes: Written for [personal profile] amaresu's [community profile] fandom_stocking.

Summary: The war is lost, and the Princess's surrender the only formality left.

The towers here are tall and slender )

- - -
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Mechanisms - storybook)
Ulysses Dies At Dawn

Steampunk space-pirate band The Mechanisms ([community profile] the_mechanisms) are crowdfunding for their second album, "Ulysses Dies At Dawn", following the overwhelming success of "Once Upon A Time (In Space)".

In their own words, what's in it for you if you help their efforts:

* A shiny album of dark musical storytelling?
* OK, you're a hard sell. Have a look at the list of perks. There should be something there to tempt you, from our personal remarks on your CD taste to an opportunity to have a small hand in the Mechanisms universe.
* ...We'll give you our eternal gratitude?
* Still no good? I guess you'll just have to move along, then. Sadness.

Seriously, these guys are fantastic musicians, and lovely people. And we need to encourage the musical sagas about Queer People In Space...
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Zundry - teacups)
Christmas is over, which I'm rather pleased about. I ran away to Esvan's after Christmas dinner (I'd forgotten how nice long walks in the dark through the countryside can be, even though I had to go by the roads because the fields were pretty sodden), and I'm still there. I have now finally seen The Avengers, and games of DOTA2 are currently ongoing.

Also I have been writing things for fandom_stocking while Esvan's been playing DOTA. So far I have White Collar fic and Mechanisms fics, for Once Upon A Time (In Space). Sadly only two people besides me requested Mechanisms fic, and it would probably be rude to write it for people who didn't :P But I am getting so into writing it! Particularly Rose Red/Cinders, because TRAGIC DOOMED LOVE AND SPACE BATTLES.

(On that note, [ profile] hedge_backwards and anyone else who's interested, stockings still seem to be being posted today, so you could still sign up!)

Also, I started out by trying to write quite long fics for the stockings. Considering I have an incredibly long list, this is not at all sustainable and everyone else is probably getting context-less h/c :P

And apparently we only have a few days left before this round of [ profile] hc_bingo is up! I... think I'm going for the amnesty period.


That is probably all for now. I should go do more writing.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Mechanisms - snow's forces)
Fandom_stockings are going up! Mine is here. And I have an entire browser window full of people I want to write things for. I think I'm probably going to use this opportunity to try and write things for people in tiny fandoms I don't usually write in (things like Fallen London, Eternal Lols Law etc). Because, since I'm actively trying to promote Once Upon A Time (In Space)/[community profile] the_mechanisms at the moment Sentient space pirate ships! Fairytale reworkings! Awesome women! All the canon femslash!, I think the least I can do is spread it around.


Unrelated: I also seem to have started making a fanmix entitled "dysfunctional Neal&Peter songs". So far it has "Lost Kitten" by Metric and "Piano Pieces For Adult Beginners" by Woodpigeon. I blame several people. (Most of them are me.)

This is apparently also the week in which I fail at getting to bed at sensible times...
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Mechanisms - storybook)
Attention all.

Due to some dubious decisions on their part, and some hacking on mine, I now have power over some of the flow of information/terror/debris left by the Mechanisms on their journey through Space. To wit, join [community profile] the_mechanisms, the soon-to-be hub of their growing fandom, for news, discussions, and fanart of Tim and Jonny fighting Harry Dresden on Twilight Sparkle.

Actually, that requires further illustration. (Click the above link for bigger.)

If any further introduction is required after that: The Mechanisms are a band of immortal space pirates, travelling the universe on the starship Aurora, spreading death and destruction, story and song.

In their first album, Once Upon A Time (In Space) they tell of how they stood witness to the rise of a rebellion, the fall of a kingdom, and the breaking of a heart.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (AtLA - Mai - blade glint)
- Two of my housemates today individually decided that since Katherine has a chest infection they were going to do the shopping for once! Sadly they didn't inform me (or each other!) of this and I went anyway, which turned out to be a good thing because they pretty much both only bought things you need for cooked breakfasts and none of the other groceries we needed. XD XD I love my housemates, guys. Also the look of utter surprise on F's face when I pointed out we could freeze one of the bottles of milk rather than try and drink all of them before the use-by date was rather priceless.

- Despite aformentioned being ill (which I still am, and it's So Boring) I was out late both weekend nights, because people I love had things on. First there was a Mechanisms gig, and then there was the panto by Lashings Of Ginger Beer. IE two nights in a row of Musical Queerness. Which is, of course, always epic. (If you are in Oxford and haven't seen either of these groups then I am clearly a terrible friend for not having dragged you along before.)

I'm now amused by how both groups involved a love story with Cinderella and another woman. Although the panto involved significantly fewer galaxy-wide-wars and death of pretty much everyone than the Mechanism's Once Upon A Time (In Space) cycle *points to song-lyric of the day*. (Yes, these are my friends. Also, they keep trying to get me to write fanfic of their band characters XD)

- Eternal Law has finished airing after only six episodes (if there isn't a second season I may cry) and I still haven't written my post about why everyone should be watching it. This is remiss of me.

- Best Idea Ever:


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