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Before I begin, here’s 350 of the Shufflecomp songs I collected into a single youtube playlist. Probably best put it on shuffle otherwise everyone will end up listening to /Hack and not go the twenty+ hours to Zedd ft. Liz.

Shufflecomp has had an unexpected impact on my listening habits and has led me to a genuinely intriguing game-story idea… but I didn’t actually produce a viable Shufflecomp game. I came very close, even submitting a game for the first deadline. By the time the final deadline had come around I had a pretty lousy short game and the kernel of a great concept to do with manipulating misheard lines. I decided to take the idea and develop it more fully at a later date.

I was given the following 8 songs. This breakdown is mostly for the 8 people that submitted them, so they might know their mix selections didn’t entirely go out into a void.

JASON LAUTZENHEISER – Mr. Bojangles – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-LVXR6rjXs#aid=P–4baFBeyY

Apparently this was quite famous but I never heard it before. I liked it immensely because many of the men I looked up to as a younger man were these travelling eccentrics. The full true story was the singer was in jail after trying to convince a woman of love at first sight. Evidently, the authorities took as dim a view of that as I do.

JAKE WILDSTROM – Billy Chambers – Fallout Shelter – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhkiadQeX80

A lot of the fifties doomed lover pop was a reflection of American anxiety over the Atom bomb; this song is a more literal take on that. Pop music involves the most absurd idealisation of love and here it’s taken to the point of absurdity with the chorus “I’d rather die with you than die without you and I hope that you feel the same”. Singer has a nice voice though.

PAPERBLURT – Lorez Alexandria – Send in the Clowns – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VWnB-OM-GY

A nice take on the jazz standard. Like a lot of this kind of jazz, the lyrics are a vehicle for the voice rather than the other way round. Smooth.

CHRISTOPHER BRENT – Kill la Kill – BlumenKranz – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWhcTesRFq0

I ended up watching about a third of the Kill la Kill series. Probably won’t go back but it was interesting experience. Joyously over the top but literally bursting at the seams with the more eyebrow raising anime tropes, but tightly plotted for all that.

A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER – Wire – Another the Letter – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqELYB7sxp4

Short, intense, intelligent and based on a woodcut, definitely checking out some more Wire.

A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER – Dar Williams – What Do You Hear In These Sounds – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwrQXI4_mgo

Introduced me to Dar Williams, this was actually the song I used for my abortive attempt at a game and I reserve the right to use it again on the successor project. As a song, I can leave it musically but take it lyrically, same with a lot of her stuff. This indirectly introduced me to As Cool As I Am, which I love.

ZACK JOHNSON – Warren Zevon -I Was In The House When The House Burned Down – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVRqTUOz1TcSolid song, probably the best on Life Will Kill Ya. There’s a lot to the images and it might have made a good game but I couldn’t pin down how.

CALEB WILSON – Robyn Hitchcock — Adventure Rocket Ship — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFQcANdb6E0
In theory I like Robyn Hitchcock, and I certainly like his voice and the style of these songs, but lyrically this one was goofy and the music video is incredibly ugly. Actually, before this I could only name Filthy Bird, which I don’t like, and The Devils Radio, which gets my vote for the opening, “Darlin’, you don’t have to call me Stalin”.

The pseudonyms I was given were Dragon’s Breathmint, Team Ambivalence, Word Girl, Tim Facility, Lady Envelope, Wasser Leben, Sipho Ngoepe, and Wren Carlow. I liked Wren Carlow the best, with Sipho Ngoepe a close second as they were both plausible names and they sounded good too.

In case anyone’s interested, I submitted:
Tom Waits – Soldier’s Things — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNwC8ETa0pg
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – White Corolla – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3dUgPvkYnw
The Gothic Archies – How Do You Slow This Thing Down? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPolb5NT0Rk
Joanna Newsom – Bridges and Balloons — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQbgIy2bj9Y
Grandaddy – Broken Household Appliance National Forest — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSM4EBf5T9U
Vashti Bunyan – Where I Like To Stand – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3aZvWlRTDk
Lambchop – Cowboy on the Moon – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NOyg7PETw0
Silver Jews – Candy Jail – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YX3u51S20k
Three of them were used fairly prominently so I’ll chalk it up as a win for my tastes. (Also, thanks guys for picking them!) There’s more I want to say about the puzzles in Holy Robot Empire in particular but I need to order my thoughts more on this point.
And my 8 Pseudonyms were:

Bill Dobbin
Catherine Shrub
Mackenzie Couteau
Belle Jingles
Virgil Caine
Olga Landsign
Reginald Ghost
Sydney Civil

Four of the above are just riffs off of artists names, three are derived from song titles and Virgil Caine, the only one to be picked, is actually the protagonist and first word in The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.