So back in March we cheerfully yattered on about the latest infernal news: a fellow in black, mask covering face, attempted to flirt (?) with a subway passenger by handing her his cellphone with the message, “I AM SATAN” on it.
We thought, “…well, that’s awkward.”
And then we thought, “How could we make this…more awkward?”
“I AM SATAN….and I made you a mix tape.”
We also wanted to kick back and have some pop culture fun after a very long series of episodes on Mesopotamia, so we hope you enjoy this digression, we had a lot of fun making it.
Cards on the table: this mix is very white and very male-driven. Given the story, and the characters we’d built in our heads, this was a nose dive we couldn’t pull out of. Next time, we’re letting Lilith pick the tracks.
But we’ll start with some drinks. We’d love to serve up the definitive “Devil’s Haircut” (we think it’s rum, champaign, bitters, Absolut Citron vodka), but the internet is definitely giving us mixed messages there.
He is Vigo!
It is Vigo!
Jamin is enigmatically taken with Vigo brand authentic creamy avocado lime rice. With real avocado. Acording to the website, “Vigo Creamy Avocado Lime Rice is a flavor-packed side dish of deliciousness. A powerhouse of nutrients and flavor, avocados are the headlining taste of this dish along with other simple ingredients including real lime and sea salt. Our creamy avocado rice has no preservatives, no artificial colors , no artificial flavors, no MSG* added and is Vegan and gluten free as well. It is versatile and pairs nicely with grilled fish, chicken, seafood and Mexican inspired dishes.” So there. Anyone know if Vigo is taking sponsorship deals? Of course, why pay for what they’re giving away for free?
Jacob, meanwhile, is once again blowing his podcasting millions on another demonic kickstarter. This week, it’s Jim Pavelec’s Ars Goetia tarot deck. Pavelec has done a number of pieces for Magic: The Gathering, and his tarot/goetia work has some of that high-end RPG art vibe. The kickstarter runs through 5/8/21 so there may be time to catch it! As a fan of Buer, we are thrilled that Buer is the cover model for this deck. And somewhat saddened that he looks like a man in a funny hat.
And sitting at the intersection of science and the occult…or at least the imaginative…Jimena Canales’s book “Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science” is going on our wish list, post haste. A history of metaphorical demons used to illustrate thought experiments…is using a demon to solve a scientific riddle so terribly different from using it to execute a magical working? (yes. Yes it is.)
Jacob got two books slightly confused – one was “Science in Wonderland, the Scientific Fairy Tales of Victorian Britain,” by Melanie Keene, a little tour through a period when fairy tales were used to illustrate scientific concepts; the second was “The Fairy Tales of Science,” which he learned about from the former. Given that this book has a chapter on the Realms Infernal, this may come back again at some point in the future.
This really was a lot of fun…playing with the strange little news story, turning it into a character, and reinterpreting his journey through music, both as the mix tape he might give to his intended (classic awkward demi-romantic gift that it is), and also, the film score to the weird encounter itself. We hope you enjoy the journey with us. Obviously we don’t own the copyright to any of this music, and we hope the very brief samples serve as illustration and encourage you to throw fists of money at both these artists and recording artists in general. Anyone with a microphone really. Anyone.
BTW, feel free to press pause on the episode and enjoy the music without our feckless meandering, but with ads, over on Youtube and Spotify.
#1: Sympathy for the Devil
Where else could we possibly begin? This 1968 classic by the Rolling Stones seemed like the best possible way for an urbane devil to introduce himself. The Legends of Music has an article about some of the literary inspiration for the song and its creation. They don’t specifically name the short story of Baudelaire’s that was part of the inspiration, but “The Generous Gambler” seems like a likely source.
#2: I Wanna do Bad Things With You
Surely the greatest honor in any musician’s career is to be nominated for a Scream Award. Which Jace Everette’s “Bad Things,” and presumably by extension Jace Everette, was. Or were. Were? The scream awards didn’t even have a category for best song. So they must have really been tickled by this one We are unsure what “bad things” are, as the lyrics do not specify. Identity theft? But you don’t really do identity theft to someone, although I guess you could conceivably do identity theft with someone. It’s nice when couples do things together. (Note: Jacob, please don’t write the show notes at midnight. Ever again.) Callout to the Ramones, “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You.”
#3: The Devil Went Up to Boston
Surprisingly contentious! And don’t blare this one at work, it’s got your daily quote of fuck-words. It was actually quite hard to find ten solid seconds without an F-bomb here.
This parody of “Devil Went Down to Georgia” is by the Adam Ezra Group, who’ve been playing Boston bars and venues for 20 years in a very “no major label” way. Jacob was particularly impressed with the story of how they responded to the Covid-10 panic: a full year and continuing of live streaming shows. Wow.
Some DWDTG trivia: It’s based heavily on the 1925 poem/song, “The Mountain Whippoorwill (Or, How Hillbilly Jim Won the Great Fiddler’s Prize.”) Nice sung/spoken interpretation of this by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
#4: I Must Be The Devil
The Box Tops were formed in 1967, performing a mix of soul and light pop. And they were, indeed, originally called “The Devilles,” though that seems a bit of a stretch, and also there was a band called The DeVilles, which is definitely going to cause search engine optimization problems and there’s no way to emphasize the “V” in that word. And yes, they did cover “Whiter Shade of Pale.” I don’t know what face the guy on the bottom is making, but is the redhead at right trying to do a smouldering “bad boy” or a confused and guilty labrador retriever?
#5: Lucifer Rising
This very danceable bit of blasphemy is from Rob Zombie’s album, “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor.” It sounds like the critics were generally unkind to Rob, who seems to have had trouble escaping his genre. But he does his genre so well. Members of Mr. Zombie’s band: Zeuss, Piggy D, John 5. Great names.
Oh! And over on Youtube there’s a nice compilation of clips from the Flametrick Subs and Satan’s Cheerleaders! Thank you, Sarah, and thank you, The Internet!
#6: Kiss the Go-Goat
The narrative conceit of this one: Kiss the Go-Goat is a remastered “from the vaults” find from 1969 by Papa Emeritus Nihil. To be a Ghost fan you really have to embrace the fiction, Ghost’s “kayfabe” involves hereditary papal lines, masked ghouls, medieval elemental theory, and kazoos.
Originally Tobias Forge was the front man for Stockholm death-metal band “Repugnant,” so do with that what you will
The band’s extensive metafiction, according to Tobias, is a way to reconcile and merge the stifling and oppressive world of religion with joyful and magical memories of his childhood, recapturing a dream.
Points for references: “osculum obscenum” or “osculum infame” is the alleged “devil’s kiss,” that part of the highly fictional medieval sabbat wherin the devil’s ass was literally kissed.
Image from the Compendium Maleficarum, 1608.
A few musical callouts from Bedazzled (1967). Bedazzled’s plot is that the looserish character Stanley Moon trades his soul for a handful of typically broken wishes. In the “fame and fortune” wish, the main character is incarnated as a rock star for the desperate number, “Love Me”, and the devil himself plays in the band Drimble Wedge and the Vegetation for the more laconic (and successful) “Bedazzled.” Both here. Jacob willfully misunderstands so that he can mention the leaping nuns of St. Beryl. Interestingly St. Beryl may make a reappearance in Pratchett/Gaimen’s “Good Omens,” as the patroness of the satanic order of the Chattering Nuns of St. Beryl. Coincidence? Uniquely British name?