I've been re-watching the Connor S3-4 arc over the past few days to get inspired. I just... DUDE. Connor! Feral, determined, screwed by religion, unloved and trained to hate and kill, had a nickname of "The Destroyer" and his eyes light up like a Christmas tree when he eats his first Ring Ding. What's not to love? And for the record, this list is RESTRAINED. There are no light-hearted songs, funny, etc., because it didn't lend itself. Also, do you know how hard it is to find songs about betrayal and mistrust that aren't from a woman's perspective? I think all of the others (that aren't by Gwar or other cheesy frat/metal bands) are here. So. Consider yourself heads-upped: dark, introspective, angry, righteous anger for the most part.
Born in an Alley
1. Of These, Hope (reprise) - Peter Gabriel It's no secret I love this man. I've used this song once before, but it's so PERFECT for Connor. This is off the Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack - the hope for salvation, redemption, etc. all tied up in the fate of one man. Gah. That is a great hour of television right there: Darla sacrificing herself for her son.
2. Ave Maria - Sinead O'Connor This is an interesting version of this piece - it's very melancholy. She recorded this after she declared herself a priest, btw. For those not down with Catholicism and choral music, an Ave Maria (musically) is a 3-part prayer sung that ends with "pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death." I imagine when the lights were out, Angel cradling his baby to him and praying for Darla. And for his baby. And for himself.
3. Lullaby - A Perfect Circle This may be one of the best bands for Connor music EVER. *cough* Anyone remember that FANTASTIC vid? This is the band. Just a whisper of "go back to sleep" but it's trippy and dreamy and strange, and baby Connor was NEVER going to be safe, was he? Holtz was still vengeful. No, Connor was never going to be held with love again.
4. Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima - Penderecki I've used this before: Fred. If this isn't what it must feel/sound like to be sucked into a portal, then... I get chills when I think of Fred's reaction to the baby being kidnapped and taken through that thing, and straight into hell. It obviously damaged her psyche, and she was an adult. Connor was one month old. (check out my notes on the "Fred" playlist if you're interested in the history of this song. It's amazing in its own right.)
5. Lullaby for Cain - Sinead O'Connor Well. Holtz would sing the baby songs to sleep, wouldn't he? Nice and twisted and dark and biblical? Sure he would. He was making the perfect weapon, afterall. And who doesn't want a bedtime story about murder and how your family hates you and it's all God's will?
6. Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm of the War - A Perfect Circle THIS. This is the best damn song. And yes, this is the song for that fantastic vid by... someone help me out here? ([ETA]: Vid by millilicious, H E R E.) Stephen grows up in Hell with his main objective just out of reach: The Son Will Kill The Father. But one day, my Stephen, one day you'll make your father Holtz proud, won't you?
7. Did You Know Him? - Michael Andrew Okay, technically this is back in LA. This is Angel - shell shocked - standing in front of a burned crib. This song is from the Donnie Darko soundtrack (which is excellent, I might add) and there are some nice parallels there between the characters and not being able to fight their fates/destinies.
8. Everyman Is An Orphan - The Bogmen I've used this one, too, for Buffy , but I like the methodical percussion as hunting/warrior music. Stephen earns his name The Destroyer. (Can I break? I've never been broken before.)
9. Had A Dad - Jane's Addiction "I had a dad, he was big and strong. I turned to look, man, and now my Daddy's gone." He's always being poked and prodded to fulfill his mission, isn't he? Holtz never let him NOT remember he was a bastard of two evil things. And Holtz, in his Christian duty, took him in to raise up a strong generation unto God, yea verily. (I also like to think that in quiet moments, Stephen would sleep and Connor would wonder why he remembered a smile and hands that didn't hit and his chest would ache and he would feel weak and then knuckle away the moisture on his cheeks and Stephen would wake up and take the controls.)
10. For Whom The Bell Tolls - Metallica Okay, you can't have a mix for Connor without Metallica. The anger at religion, the kick ass guitars - there are snippets on the show, for Pete's sake! Sometimes I think about the throw-away line of "something punched its way between dimensions." And how there were NO portals to Quor'toth. And how angry/desperate Connor/Stephen must have been to make that possible. He is gearing up mentally to slaughter the evil that thinks of himself as Stephen's father.
Back In L.A.
11. The Outsider - A Perfect Circle (I told you this band was perfect.) Sunny. His first kiss (oh, god VK's SHOCK! I love him as an actor). Sunny dying - not getting what's happening. The confusion with this new world and demons and people and... Just read these lyrics, oh my god.
12. Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins "The world is a vampire." So, Angelus is evil, sure, sure. But... he kinda starts to like Angel. And his friends. And has a tiny little drop of hope creep out of the locked box that Holtz had him make. But he still loves Holtz, so he'll have to follow through with the plan. "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage." And Justine makes this easier for him by killing Holtz. God, that is some fucked up business, right there. I miss my show...
13. Exit Music (For A Film) - Radiohead Good god amighty. This is the most PERFECT song for that scene with the "casket" sinking to the bottom of the ocean and Connor standing tall on the deck of the boat as it pulls away. Here's how it plays in my head (and man, would I love for someone to vid to this song.): the quiet intro is Connor/Stephen mourning his dead father. Then he and Justine making their plans. The "Breathe... keep breathing." bridge is when he fakes being all smiles with Angel as he hears where Angel's heading - the cliffs. Drums/dirty bassline: "Let me tell you how I feel about that." As Thom Yorke starts to caterwaul (god, I love his voice) Angel wakes up bound in a box, his pleads fall on deaf ears, slips into the water, and Connor stands watching the final bubbles. "And now we are one." GOD DAMN. I love that creepy-ass song and my show. Um, this will be a theme. :) (Oh! Listen for the cacophony of voices in the background at the end - they sound like waves. Ack!)
14. Californie - Air Slightly odd, albeit a pretty song. I can imagine Connor sneaking away
Daddy's Coming Home
1. Devil With Wings - Mary Lydia Ryan (Aside: this song is so fucking sexy and awesome. Yes, I'm one of those weirdoes that likes the A/C angle. I'm broken.) But who didn't love the S4 opener? With all of the trippy dreams and rug pulling? This fits along with the surreal nature of that. Plus, I love the idea of "I'm not trembling with fear" for when Angel barks out "Stand up." And Connor doesn't flinch, because he is the Destroyer, y'all! Except he's a little scared of his dad.
2. Yeah! - The Golden Dogs Hunting on his own. Living on his own. All badass now, or is he? Hell yeah, he is.
3. The God That Failed - Metallica Come on! You kidding me? I wish they hadn't dropped all of the religious ferver for Connor, but they did pick some of it up again with the Jasmine story-arc. And don't you know that as he was shivering under an overpass wondering how he got where he was that Holtz's voice whispered nasties in his ear? And he questioned it all over again? The lyrics, OMG!
4. Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins Good lord. "The killer in me is the killer in you." and "I used to be a little boy..." What's a boy supposed to do? Well, he's gonna fall in love with the wrong person, that's what.
5. Venus as a Boy - Sneaker Pimps Okay, I like this by Bjork, but I LOVE it by the Sneaker Pimps. Ka-reepy. Weird. Oddly sexual. Not unlike the Cordy/Connor thing. (Okay, VK was totally giving that all he could, but he couldn't help that Charisma was pregnant and it CREEPS ME OUT, and he's CRYING as she kisses him, and holy shit, people!! CONNOR!! Poor broken human.) Sorry, I know most of you hate that scene/arc, and it's not my fave, but CONNOR in those scenes!! Angel WATCHING. What? It's awesome.
6. Talk Show Host - Radiohead It would not surprise me in ANY WAY to find that the writers at ME are totally into Radiohead. What's that, dad? You want Cordy back? You want to straighten things out to your liking? "Fucking come get me."
7. The Widow - Mars Volta I can't stress how much I love this band. Trippy, angry, weird, dreamy, angry... Fits those moods, you know? (And um... it totally fits in with my sick ideas of Angel(us) and Connor and I'm a bad bad lady.) Maybe... um, maybe don't focus on the lyrics too much if that horrifies you, okay? "I'll never sleep alone." Heh. I'm broken. Or, think about how he and Cordy live together under Angel's roof, or... How about you just dig the song? :)
8. Imagine - A Perfect Circle (I did not lie.) This is John Lennon's song, but is in all minor keys and the effect is AWESOME. I'll let this one sink in. I did NOT LIE ABOUT THIS BAND! They are the perfect Connor band. What's to come... "I hope some day you will join us, and the world will live as one." It's like a FUNERAL DIRGE.
9. I've Seen It All Before - Bjork and Thom Yorke (Again: I did not lie.) Oh, god. The horrifying scene of the innocent girl being killed for Jasmine and Darla pleading with him to not do it? (Which, canon aside - as it makes not a lot of sense and there are too many loose ends in this arc - that's an amazing bit of TV.) And the intro that sounds like a train passing through with the rhythmic rattling? I love how lonely this is.
10. Mad World (acoustic) - Tears For Fears Okay, I've used this before, I know. BUT. It's such a perfect piece of music. AND! AND! This is the acoustic version from Donnie Darko and it's just so much more powerful when it's plaintive. Hey, dad, thanks for ruining happiness. For everyone. Oh, and how about I punch my "child" right through the maggoty skull, which I found beautiful, because did you forget I grew up in Hell? Remember how we hung out and were happy and you ruined that? "Children waiting for the day they feel good..." "The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had..."
11. Heart + Soul - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Oh, god! Connor, crazed, broken utterly, willing to kill and die himself and just wanting it to be OVER. "I need you to save me!" or how about "I feel our selfishness will be the end of this?" Yeah. That's about right.
12. Ave Maria - Mozart (from his Requiem) Again, a prayer: pray for us sinners now and in the time of our death. Again, Angel's prayer. But this time, no baby to hold, just a long drive to a suburban home to see that his son
13. Hurt - Johnny Cash Are we all on the same page that perhaps Connor had dreams about the old life? No? I mean, with all of that super strength (they didn't change that). And then Wesley broke that box, and it all came rushing back. But the new life/memories didn't leave, did it? And he showed up at Wolfram & Hart and called Angel "dad." And walked away.
14. Someday You Will Be Loved - Death Cab For Cutie Almost a bit too twee for me, but it fits. As all of his memories come back, I wonder what he thought about Cordy. And his dad. And the attempted suicide. And his childhood, now mingled with tricycles and birthday parties and demons and being tied to a tree and his first pack of crayons and... *sob* I think he forgave Angel when he figured it all out.
15. Climbing The Wall - Radiohead with the Sneaker Pimps So.... here's the thing. Stanford. Dudes to play video games with. Cruising chicks. And... he's one of the strongest warriors on earth for the upcoming Apocolypse. I believe in my heart of hearts that Connor showed up in NFA after the battle started. We just didn't see him arrive. And he and Angel smiled at each other, because they both knew Connor wouldn't obey Angel's orders to stay away, and Angel probably choked back a sob as he said, "Hey, son." And Connor rolled his eyes and smiled, because he liked the sound of that. (Oh, ack! I'm such a sap.)
This Is The End
16. Agnus Dei - Mozart (from his Requiem) This literally translates to: Lamb of God. It's used (musically as a prayer) to beseech unto God for peace and mercy. NFA, folks. Interesting trivia about his Requiem: this was his final piece, incomplete (there's centuries old debate as to who finished it.) Rumor has it that a few of the pieces were sung to Mozart as he lay dying, and he cried with joy at hearing it finally. This is a perfect epic battle piece - slow motion, painful, vivid imagery.
And folks: we all have access to iTunes or shareware. Or you know: support the musicians and buy the CDs. They're all great. (All other character CDs are linked now in tags)