Rocking a Wee Bit Too Hard

8 11 2007

Can you tell I’m a little Rock Band obsessed? Despite my worries of it letting me down, I’m into it, desperate, waiting… only 2 weeks to go… Itch, Itch, ITCH.

Ahem.

To prove my ricockulous devotion, I’ve taken to studying character creation videos and planning out my soloists and band members. I had to rewrite / redesign a few times, particularly when it became clear that solo tours will highlight character name only and will rotate members out with generics… so the character backstories had to take that into account, and names had to sound like a person’s stage name OR a band name, so it’d look good in lights. Ahem. So. Here’s my insane-o roleplaying writeups!

VOCALS (Solo Tour)
Name: Ghostwriter
Hometown: Boston
Attitude: Rock
Weight: Average/Skinny
Height: Average/Tall
Face: Rocker or Stone Jaw
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Short Punk or Fauxhawk, Blue/Purple
Clothes: Wristbands, Rings, Buddy Holly Glasses

Backstory: With a journalism major, Ghostwriter (real name, Daniel Greene) took a help wanted post as his college newspaper’s rock critic. Although a talented writer, his first and foremost love was for music, particularly the indie scene he wrote about.

Despite being a card carrying rock critic, Ghost rarely actually criticized anyone, since he was known to enjoy everything he heard. Nothing was bad in his book, because everything had some redeeming factor… the sound, the passion, the innovation, even blatant mainstream appeal could make a song worthwhile in some aspect. This lack of venomous writing should’ve gotten him canned — critics are expected to be savage and brutal.

However, due to relentless attendance of just about every indie gig in town (the man allegedly never sleeps) Ghostwriter made deep friendships with dozens of Boston bands… moving from event to event, getting backstage because he knew a guy who knew a guy, all the while giving them press coverage them and talking them up through his writings. His encyclopediac knowledge of the scene made him a good read, despite his inability to be a bastard.

Eventually when the lead singer of a band fell ill, Ghost (who happened to be backstage relating Led Zepplin trivia) was encouraged to step up and gave it a shot… and found his ridiculously deep knowledge of rock and good ear for music made him a natural frontman. Soon, other bands invited him on stage to jam for a track or two, and an appearance by Ghostwriter was like a good luck charm on the local scene.

He moved from being a special guest to an opening act, with a rotating cast of his friends, with whoever happened to be available that night and ready to jam. Eventually Ghostwriter became his own headliner, albeit one with a constantly shifting cast, with fans turning out to see him and the mixture of other popular local rockers supporting him. Ghost always took time after every gig to give massive props to his bandmates, telling the crowd who they were and what groups they played with.

Now, he’s got an eye on winning a van so he can take his gig on the road — and more importantly, meet other local bands across the world. His goal in life is to explore the musical scene and get to know as many sounds, as many people as possible. Peforming is secondary… the journey is what matters. Ghostwriter’s blog detailing his touring experiences is not widely popular, but is feverently visited by those in the know.

GUITAR (Solo Tour / Stomach Contents Band World Tour)
Name: Pollyanna
Hometown: Seattle
Attitude: Goth (It’s more subtle than Rock/Metal)
Weight: Short (Teenager)
Height: Average/Thin
Face: Artsy / Belladonna
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Little Pigtails, Dirty Blonde
Clothes Possibility: Flannel, Grunge, Tomboy

Backstory: Pollyanna’s life can be divided into three phases… birth, childhood, and awakening.

She was born to Nick Trawling, a founding “grunge” musician from the Pacific Northwest scene of the early 90s. Nick’s band, Stomach Contents, was one of the hottest acts of 1991… his pained, strained vocals and passionate guitar playing laid bare the deep depression of his life. Unfortunately, that depression eventually claimed said life, as he committed suicide by voluntary overdose of heroin. His wife vanished soon after, abandoning their one year old daughter Pollyanna Trawling in the process.

The child grew up in a series of uncaring, unloving, or simply boring foster families. Shuffled from school to school, moving through her days in what she later termed a ‘grey haze’. She was well known for not being very well known, just another quiet girl in the back, existing only in a series of class photos as the one filling the category of “Other Student”. Her grades were average. Her life was average.

However, three years ago at age 14, when a legal issue arose over the rights to the Stomach Contents recordings and band name, she discovered the truth about her birth parents… and the musical legacy she was heir to. Curious, before homeroom, she took up a discarded acoustic guitar someone had left lying in the music hall… and played her first chord.

It saddened her. Which was unique, because she claims she can’t really remember feeling much of anything prior to that point. Every day after school she’d practice on a broken down electric guitar she got at a pawn shop, using headphones through a tiny amp, to avoid annoying her foster parents. And at age 15 she’d already recorded a demo album, titled Lost Girls.

As the legal holder of the Stomach Contents IP and with the band’s former manager in the wings, she was launched into stardom immediately. Being underage, she was protected / coddled / leeched on by all manner of music industry veterans eager to ride alongside her newly founded career. All of this she largely ignored, focused entirely on writing music and playing guitar and exploring these strange new emotions.

Those emotions were, however, quite bleak. In interviews, she freely admitted that she felt the depression which claimed the father she never knew was likely to get her as well, and expressing herself through her sound was the only way she could try to avoid that end. Medical specialists suspect that depression simply runs in her family, and the catalyst unlocked its dormant chemical gloom. On a positive note, unlike many Emo Kids her age, she’s aware her pain and suffering are hardly unique and special, and that grim mundanity by itself is rather painful. And that won’t stop her from channeling it into her music, of course.

Whatever the reasons for her awakening, Pollyanna tours through cities now, with a rotating cast of supportive musicians who knew her father well. Since her guitar style is very similar to her father’s, they sync nicely on stage. This roving adoptive musical family insulates her from the money-mucks while she sits quietly on the tour bus, building up inside, waiting for the next chance to play her heart out on stage.

DRUMS (Solo Tour)
Name:
Hometown:
Attitude:
Weight:
Height:
Face:
Eyes:
Hair:
Clothes:
Backstory: Haven’t decided yet. Not sure if I’m gonna go with a guy or a girl here. Maybe I’ll write something later tomorrow.

VOCALS (Stomach Contents Band World Tour)
Name:
Hometown:
Attitude:
Weight:
Height:
Face:
Eyes:
Hair:
Clothes:
Backstory: This’ll be Jen’s singer, so she’ll design it.

DRUMS (Stomach Contents Band World Tour)
Name:
Hometown:
Attitude:
Weight:
Height:
Face:
Eyes:
Hair:
Clothes:
Backstory: This’ll be Andy and I’s drummer, so I’ll let Andy design it.

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9 responses

8 11 2007
cmdr_zoom

You are a total (RP) geek, and I love you for it.

8 11 2007
meagenimage

Agreed, on both counts.

8 11 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I feel a strange mixture of pride and shame.
I may need to edit those two. GW’s damn close to a Mary Sue… but it’s a video game where I AM the sole focus of attention! (Due to the crappy way they make all band members generics except your solo guy)

8 11 2007
lirazel

Gotta Love Boston!
You want to make it more real, have GW spend time reminscing about the Rathskeller, known locally as the Rat–local beloved music spot. Wikipedia says it closed in ’97, but I think that must be when the original owners sold it, as I remember stuff happening there right up until it was torn down.
I never went there, though. Not a club girl, even back in the day. But it was in the news constantly.
Another name to drop: T.T. The Bear’s Place. Another spot that any Boston music person will know, and they’ve had a Goth Night once a week for some time now.

8 11 2007
jengagne

You have a naturally strong anti-Sue paranoia… but no worries, it doesn’t apply here. After all, by its very nature the game is self-insertion, ain’t it? It’s YOUR ability channelin’ in there.
And anyway, GW is only like you in the sense that he’s a writer/blogger with a general love of music. That’s a pretty loose correlation.
SO frothy-cited about this game. :D I’ll have to come up with somethin’ for singerishness. Presumably a gal since my voice = audible… I’ll have to get a visual look down and figure out the rest, methinks.
Hmm. She could have a sordidly convoluted past, could secretly BE the mom who ditched (or was otherwise removed from) Poly and now she somehow imagines she can make up for it as part of this “adopted” band/family.
(OTOH, being in a band with your MOM is not very rockin’…)
(Speaking of “PolyAnna” I assume the “Poly” is a deliberately shifted spelling of “Polly”?)

8 11 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

…no, that’d be a typo. c.c I’ll fix.
I guess a Sue makes sense because, like I cited above, the game is very much centered on self-gratification of having an awesome rock god at your command, being worshipped by the virtual millions. So having a vocal prodigy who’s universally loved kinda works. And since this is just wacky fun time-killing writey foo it’s not like I have some community of RPers to piss off with my overpowered twink. :)
As for your dudes, the way the game works is first you pick a physical motif (build, hair, etc) and then you go clothes shopping in a variety of genres. May have to earn some money first through gigs to avoid looking like a Ruth style n00b.

9 11 2007
helenangel

Completely and utterly off-topic
One of my Second Life friends turned me on to your Sailor Nothingness story. I just finished reading it and I LOVE IT. LOVE IT LOVE IT. I also immediately caught the TMBG reference. =) I was going to email you about it, only to see you have a LiveJournal- and hence why I’m here. I also discovered that we have mutual friends.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I loved your story, to say hello, and I hope you don’t mind if I add you to my friends list.

9 11 2007
helenangel

Re: Completely and utterly off-topic
Sailor Nothing, not Sailor Nothingness. Nothingness is her attack. Argh. You know what I mean. I’m tired. I’m very tired. =)

9 11 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Re: Completely and utterly off-topic
Hah. :) Thanks! I’m really glad you liked it.
I’ve got an In-SL readable library for my next project (which I really need to be getting back to…), “i am ikon”. Head to Seven’s Selections at Flotsam Beach and buy the free book, or get the $150 one that’s the same but much snazzier and donates a little cash to the author. :)
Also good, Unreal Estate, at http://pixelscapes.com/unrealestate — don’t let the “draft” labels on the last chapters fool you, they really just need a.. VERY long overdue.. spellcheck.

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