Tarot Playlist: The Songs that Bring Down the Magician

This is the second half of the playlist for Tarot: The Magician. Here, Kassandra finds herself trapped inside the tarot cards. She journeys card to card on her way to the Magician card, the home of Luke Rykell.

The Hanged Man

Gabriel has been hanging around (literally) for nearly 600 years. Boy, does he have a story to tell. He’s also been tormented for centuries by his guilt of the death of his secret love. For this, I imagine “Julia” by The Beatles. The song commemorates the death of John Lennon’s mother in a car accident. His sadness and love is evident in the song.


Kassandra enters the Force card and must face her pain of cutting head on. Her fears take the form of a lion, so I had to use “Roar” by Katy Perry.

The Wheel of Fortune

Kassandra finds Auntie Jo here, only to be forced to leave her behind. This scene takes place in a faux New Orleans, which always reminds me of Paris. I imagine Rufus Wainwright’s “Complainte de la Butte” playing.

The Fool

Kassandra lands herself dead center in the worst card in the deck: The Fool. Here she risks slipping into nostalgia. “Fool for Love” by Sandy Rogers fits this well.

The Magician

Before Bradley wrote the theme song for the novel, I had envisioned Portishead’s Glory Box as the song for this card (and the book trailer).

I hope these songs have inspired you as much as they did me.

Tim Kane

Make it Habit. Make it Happen. (Adventures in Success)

Who says self-help needs to be serious? When you’re Will Powers, you can spout affirmations and amuse at the same time. Take a gander at a few of the nuggets that will transform you into a better person.

You are an important person. a rare individual. a unique creature. there has never been anyone just like you and never will be. you have talents and abilities no one else has. in some ways you’re superior to any other living person. the power to do anything you can imagine is within you when you discover your real self by practicing a few simple laws of success.

Curious? This song (as well as the Will Powers persona) is the brainchild of New York photographer Lynn Goldsmith. In 1983 she released an album titled “Dancing for Mental Health” with the lead song being “Adventures in Success.” The song doled out psychological advice using Lynn’s electronically tweaked voice. The goal was to make her sound androgynous. Everything was set to electronic dance music.

“I used a vo-coder to be Will. The point was to make my voice sound as if I could be either male or female – where will comes from is for both sexes,” she says. “It’s the one and only comedy self help dance record made by someone who is living proof that where there is Will, there’s a way….. take from it as you Will.”

Now, ready yourself for the full experience:

When Lynn wasn’t expounding on the virtues of self-love, she was a damn good photog. She snapped shots of everyone from the Beatles to Michael Jackson.

Ozzy Osborne

Ozzy Osborne

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Gene Simmons from Kiss

Gene Simmons from Kiss

I will always cherish the advice of Will Powers. He/she always cheers me up when the song pops up on my iPod. Under the Will Powers persona, she could give Stuart Smalley a run for his money:

Tim Kane

Keep Your Distance

Nothing is worse for an artist than taking critiques personally. I know that for myself, when folks tell me I need to change some of my manuscript, I get these little squirmy worms in my chest that wiggle around. I don’t want to change anything. But then I sit back and think. Give it some time to sink in. That’s when I know that the changes will only make the writing stronger.

Think about those artists who were given total control. Few can deliver. For example, the reason why the first three Star Wars movies (IV, V, and VI) were so great was that Lucas had to answer to the producers. The greatest Han Solo line of all time (I know) was an ad lib. Lucas would have cut it, but the producers saw gold and kept it in. Yet when Lucas made the prequels (I, II, and III) they lacked the spontaneity of the older films. They were too controlled. Sure, they followed his vision, but had no spark.

Then there are the Beatles. I’ve a big fan and always find it obvious which songs were written mostly by Lennon and which were by McCartney. Yet the credits always say Lennon and McCartney. Even though one of them must have taken the lead, the other probably played the Devils advocate—critiquing and adding.Even by there last recorded album (Abbey Road) when they were pretty much working independently, the songs still have that collaborative effort. When they split, both John and Paul had their own hits, but none rose to the level of earlier Beatles songs. They had no alter-ego critiquing.

The message: Let people read and critique your work. Only make sure that these people are professionals. You can gain nothing by reading sour reviews. Don’t go there.

Tim Kane