Hollows on TV? Input wanted!

It’s been a few weeks since I broke the news that the amazingly talented Dan Angel has picked up the rights to the Hollows, and whereas I’m onboard as consultant, there’s a lot of stuff that that I will have no control of. that said, there is still something you and I can do to help push this forward as we try to find a good home for the Hollows. If we can nail down talent, the chance to nail down a home increases dramatically.

We’ve already gotten a lot of great suggestions for Rachel. ( Cast call for Rachel. ) Ivy, too, has some great ideas. (Cast call for Ivy! ) Today, though, I’m asking for your ideas for the third leg of the Vampiric Charms Inc. And, so we don’t lose your good ideas and to make it easier for you to discuss with each other in a threaded format, I’d like to ask you to drop your suggestions here at the blog instead of FB or twitter. (Though if you drop them there as well, they will be seen twice as often!)

I usually focus on how a character reacts more than their physical characteristics, so my ideas are usually way off from everyone else’s. Hence, me really wanting to know who you see. A few things to keep in mind. Though Jenks is married and has a passel of kids, he’s only eighteen, so if you have an idea for an older actor or one who has aged out of his original role, I will know what you’re looking for if you preface your pick with, “I see someone like X in the show Y.”

With that in mind, a short summation of Jenks.

Jenks and dashboard dancer by Mark Rude

Jenks is a pixy, four inches tall, strong shoulders, blond hair, green eyes, dragonfly wings. He wears a red bandanna when he’s off the church’s grounds to keep other pixies from trying to kill him. His color-changing pixy dust gives away his mood, an as he gets older, it becomes more complex. He’s married, and his naturally large persona is tempered by his even larger family to provide for. He’s unique among pixies, being forward thinking and willing to break hard-core pixy traditions to better the lives of his family and especially his wife, Matalina.

Jenk is a smart dresser with elaborately detailed clothes that his wife makes him. He has a smart, almost crass mouth, often taking Tinkerbell’s name in vain as he tries to be taken seriously by those who don’t know him. He’s fast in flight, and very good with a sword, seeing as he has had to fight for everything he has, including his next meal–until he agrees to work as Ivy and Rachel’s backup and exchanges security detail for the rights to forage in their garden. He’s good with looping cameras, finding danger, spying, and especially talented at tactical defense as he marshals his kids into protecting the church and garden from big and small threats. Like most pixies, Jenks is surprisingly lethal when cornered, but he is loyal to a fault to who he trusts. Good soul, warrior poet, young, vulnerable, smart-ass. Definitely not comic relief, Jenks is the wise old man in an 18 year old body, often knowing what Rachel needs to hear to get her motivated again. He’s the glue that keeps them all together, having known great loss and the strength found in surmounting it.

So, your picks?

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Angel’s Song, a Harrison short to share

Raise your hand if it’s been an especially hard year. I debated whether to share my traditional holiday short story, but even an ugly cry does you good. Please feel free to share it with those you love.

However you celebrate the season, I hope you find joy, warmth, and a feeling of completeness.

Kim, Tim, and the boys

Angel’s Song
by
Kim Harrison

Silent night, holy night.
All is calm, all is bright. . . .

Humming, Kaylin held her coat close against the cold, more from habit than anything else as she dodged through the unseeing, evening shoppers. She was anxious to get home. Her work had seemed to stretch forever today, but finally The Boss had let her go. She couldn’t wait to see her daughter–it had been too long since the entire family had been together.

Slipping at the bus stop, she grasped the door to the bus, just making it on behind two tired women as the doors closed. The sound of their money jingling into the box chimed like bells, and the bus jerked into motion. Kaylin stood where she was, gripping the ceiling support as the gears shifted. Her gaze rove over the heads, looking for acknowledgment she existed. There, at the back where the heat didn’t reach, was a smiling face and a beckoning hand.

Though she didn’t recognize him, Kaylin went to sit with the old man. She smiled shyly, the anticipation of her coming evening prompting her to be more bold than usual. “I’m going home for Christmas,” she said by way of greeting as she jammed her gloves into a pocket.

“First time?” the old man murmured, his brown eyes going sad in memory.

She nodded. “Since my accident. I can hardly wait to see everyone together.” Kaylin put her hands in her lap, glad she couldn’t feel the cold anymore.

The man met her eyes. “See that boy up there?” he said, pointing with his chin. “I’m spending Christmas with him. He’s a college student on his way home. He needs all the help he can get, and my family doesn’t miss me anymore.”

Kaylin bit her lip and fussed with the hem of her coat’s sleeve, uncomfortable with the idea she would eventually be forgotten. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. Make the most of the time they remember you. As it’s said, it came to pass.”

She didn’t know what to say. “This is my stop,” she said, glancing out the window to the colored lights.

“Best hurry. The door won’t wait for you.”

Giving him a hesitant smile, she hastened to the front, edging to the sidewalk past the three girls giggling about the presents they had gotten for their boyfriends.

Kaylin’s mood went soft as she took in the familiar street gray with twilight. The curb was jammed with cars. A noisy, joyful reunion on her front steps had the dogs barking. Excitement tingling to her toes, Kaylin waited on the walk, following the last of the children inside.

Her shoulders eased as she stood in the entryway, basking in the cheerful clutter and the too-noisy greetings. She waved as she spotted her grandmother in a corner, deep in the thick of it. The old woman’s eyes sparkled as they met hers. Her fingertips again had a rosy glow, and the blue tint Kaylin remembered was gone.

“Jasmine is in the kitchen!” her grandmother called over the noise. “Go on. We’ll talk later.”

Relieved her grandmother understood, Kaylin followed the smell of heated punch into the kitchen. She stopped in the open doorway as her heart clenched.

Jasmine stood on a chair before the counter, stirring a cup of green frosting. “I can’t do it, Daddy,” she complained, her high voice clear over the excited babble of relatives. “It’s too hard.”

Kaylin’s hands reached out, but she stood unmoving, forcing back the unexpected tears as her husband set aside his dishcloth and went to their daughter.

“Mommy always helped me, Daddy,” the child said around a sniff as his hand covered hers atop the spoon and they stirred together. “I want Mommy. I miss her.”

“Hush,” he said, the pain in his voice causing Kaylin’s throat to tighten. “I miss her too, sweetheart, but look. She’s everywhere, especially tonight.” Eyes bright, the man pointed to the dusty Christmas candles Kaylin had refused to burn, sitting on the kitchen windowsill. “There are her candles, right where she always put them. And the mistletoe above the doorway? She made that just last year. And the bow? Remember her spending an hour on that to get it to look just like the one in the store window? And you can smell her touch in the gingerbread men and taste it in the fruit punch. She’s everywhere.”

“No, Daddy,” the small girl protested. “It’s not the same. I can’t see her at all.”

“But I can,” he said, giving her a hug. “I can see her in you when you cut out your star cookies, I watched her hand move yours when you hung the ornaments on the tree, and I can see her eyes when I look at you. So, Jasmine, she is here.”

“I can’t see her,” Jasmine said, sniffing as she licked the frosting from a finger.

Kaylin ached. The Boss had warned her it would be hard, and she thought she could handle it. But this? This tore at her. Kaylin came close to stand behind her daughter and nudged a cookie, as if she could make the star any less lopsided. Perhaps . . . . Perhaps she could pretend.

And so she was a silent participant, each moment harder than the previous, a bittersweet mix of memories. She hovered in the kitchen while dinner was prepared, blowing on the gravy to keep it from boiling over until someone remembered it. She watched the rolls brown through the oven window with Jasmine, admonishing the child they weren’t done yet when Jasmine pronounced them finished. She stood in the archway to the living room and worried about the carpet as paper plates overflowing with food were balanced on knees. She sat at the kitchen table while the dishes were washed, catching up on the women’s gossip with her fingers curved around a forgotten cup until it was whisked away.

And then it was done. Kaylin knew the signs: the last swallows of coffee, the slowing conversation, the children collapsing in their mother’s arms. Kaylin sighed. She didn’t want it to be over.

Jasmine was slumped in her frills and white stockings in her father’s arms, too sleepy to be anything but content. Kaylin sat on the arm of the couch beside them, running her fingers unfelt over her daughter’s hair. There was one final tradition as yet undone, her most cherished part of the evening, and Kaylin’s heart fell when the first of the coats appeared. They had forgotten.

“Wait, Daddy.” Jasmine stirred as her father rose to say his good-byes. “We didn’t sing yet. Mommy always sings. Please?”

Kaylin waited, hoping.

“Of course, Jasmine,” her father said, giving her a hug. “You’re such a clever girl for remembering.”

Coats were dropped to the couch in the sliding sound of nylon. Her grandmother beckoned, and Kaylin joyfully edged closer to the piano. Jasmine wiggled down to sit on the long bench before the battered keys, her father standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders. Kaylin could see a glimmer of tears in her mother’s eyes as she took Kaylin’s usual spot before the piano and began to play.

“Silent night, holy night.
All is calm, all is bright.

Tears pricked at Kaylin’s eyes. Her favorite. Voice quavering, she joined her voice to her family’s.

“Round yon virgin, mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild.”

“Daddy,” Jasmine whispered, her face upturned as she pulled on his sleeve. “I can hear Mommy singing.”

Kaylin’s throat nearly closed, and tears slipped down her cheeks. Angels could sing. And on Christmas Eve, they could be heard by those who listened.

Her husband knelt and gave Jasmine a tight, fierce hug. “So can I, sweetheart,” he whispered, rocking her. “So can I.”

“Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.”

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Cast call for Ivy!

Last week I asked who you saw for Rachel, and wow, did you answer. I love all your suggestions for who could convincingly play our itchy witch, and after a few days of sorting, I narrowed it down to a handful of actresses that you can give your yay or nay to for me to take to Dan! If your favorite isn’t there, it might be because she is too mature and world-wise (Remember Rachel is 24 when we start Dead Witch Walking.) Or the actress in question focuses on movies rather than series TV and wouldn’t even consider the role. It helps if the actress is well known, but not so expensive that we can’t afford to have her. It’s a balance, but all your suggestions are very appreciated because I can still go to Dan and say “someone like “XXX” even though XXX only does movies, and he will still get a feel for how you see Rachel in your mind’s eye.

Now, what do you think about Ivy?

Short recap, she’s far more world-wise than Rachel, closed, passionate, dangerous, loyal, good with her fists and feet…and is dangerous, even to her friends. She’s a living vampire, so she can go into the sun and won’t get her really long teeth until she dies. She likes high-quality leather and silk, dresses like a model and looks like one, too. Her heritage is half Anglo-Saxon and half Asian, but she clearly takes after her mother and her hair is long, straight, and black. She’s moody, smart, and her definition of broke means her bank account it down to five digits. Ivy is always in control except when her instincts get too much and then she’s still sort of in control, just willing to give in to her passions. She desperatly wants to find a way to like herself, and she sees Rachel as her way out of the vampiric trap she was born into. She is bi, and very comfortable with it.

So let me have it, keeping in mind she’s not much older than Rachel, svelte, and knows how to take a man down without a sound. We’re looking at 24-30, but suggestions of older actresses are helpful to get an idea of who you’d like to see.

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Hollows on TV? I want your input.

As most of you know, the amazingly talented Dan Angel has picked up the rights, and between all the stuff going on in the background that I have no control in or a part of, (and there is a lot) there is still something you and I can do to help push this forward as we try to find a good home for the Hollows. If we can nail down talent, the chance to nail down a home increases dramatically.

So, over the next few weeks, I am asking your opinion on what TV actor you think will play the best character, and so we don’t lose your good ideas and to make it easier for you to discuss with each other in a threaded format, I’d like to ask you to drop them here at the blog instead of FB or twitter. (Though if you drop them there as well, they will be seen twice as often!)

To help reduce the confusion, we’re going to take it one character at a time. Save your ideas for Kisten or Trent! Today, we’re going to talk about Rachel. Everyone’s idea is valid, so no poo-pooing other reader’s ideas. Me, I usually focus on how a character reacts more than their physical characteristics, so my ideas are usually way off from everyone else’s. I really want to know who you see.

With that in mind, a short summation of Rachel.

Pale skin, freckles that come and go with her charmed pinky ring. Wild red hair that is usually tamed to a sleek silkiness under a charm. Athletic build, expressive features. Every thought she has shows on her face. Able to take a fall and give a solid hit. Able to laugh at herself, and take it as well as dish it out. Dry sense of humor. Painfully strong moral compass, but has been known to steal a candy bar or two if she can rationalize it. Unique, often inappropriate dresser unless working, and then its leather–sometimes inappropriate as well. Takes things to heart, gives too much but has been taken advantage of too many times to be hoodwinked easily. Like dangerous men, and maybe dangerous women. More empathy than is probably prudent due to troubled past. Will go out of her way to down bullies. Accepts everyone as having something to offer because she’s been sidelined too many times. Smart, but too erratic to get the formal degree. Good with both schools of magic. She’s the girl next door with pixy dust in her hair, a wand in her hand, and butt-kicking boots on her feet.

So, your picks? I’m looking at Kate McNamara…

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The Soul of the Hollows–and the music it resides in

In case you missed it, the Hollows playlist, all matched up to the characters they relate to! The entire list is at Spotify. https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21   You don’t have to upgrade to see/hear the list.

Al: Lilac Wine: Jeff Buckley
Sympathy for the Devil: Guns and Roses

Jenks: Red Tape: Agent Provocateur

Ivy: Pearls: Sade
New Years’s Prayer: Jeff Buckley
Short Skirt, Long Jacket: Cake

Takata: Rockstar: Nickleback

Trent: DOA: Foo Fighters
Viva La Vida: Coldplay
The American Way: The Crystal Method

Ceri:Filii Neidhardi: Corvus Corax

Rachel: Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper
Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple
The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails

Kisten: You & I: Jeff Buckley
Never Say Never: Queens of the Stone Age
Living Dead Girl: Rob Zombie

Newt: Every Day is Exactly the Same: Nine Inch Nails
Only: Nine Inch Nails

Pike: Bury Me Face Down: Grandson

Piscary: Lullaby: A Perfect Circle

 

 

 

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Hollows Playlist: Rachel

The songs I’ve found that I feel relate to Rachel cover a wonderfully wide span.  “Suicide Note” by Johnette Napolitano on the Underworld soundtrack casts long shadows on Ivy and Rachel’s ever evolving, complex relationship, as did “Thinking of You,” by A Perfect Circle.  Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” and Coldplay’s “Lost” seems to fit Rachel pretty well just on their own. In regards to her other relationships, “Believe” by The Bravery, fit her and Al’s earlier relationship, and “Metal Heart” by Garbage used to work well for her and Trent until they began to understand each other, and then “Temptation” by Garbage took over. Breaking Benjamin’s “Breathe,” captured Rachel after Kisten almost perfectly.

As her story progressed, NiN’s “Down in it” took on a a special meaning, as did “Kinda I Want To” and “Sin,” and when she found herself pulled deeper into the Hollow’s underworld, “Fields of Innocence” by Evanescence was a good mirror.

But the three tracks that made it onto the Hollows playlist are the ones that relate to Rachel’s unchanging core, the part that is her, and not how she survives or loves those around her:  “Your Own Worst Enemy” by Alice Cooper, “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple, and “The Line Begins to Blur” by  Nine Inch Nails.

Which leaves me “Not Going Away” by Ozzy Osbourne. I’m not entirely happy that this is the song I relate to the most. There are others I’d like to cleave to, happier ones because I’ve been told happy sells, hardship doesn’t when your name is Kim Harrison. But after the last four years of unwanted manuscripts and downward spirals from meh sales of books that don’t feature Rachel, it is a sentiment that I will wear like a belligerent badge. Do what you will, I’m still here.

Looking for the entire playlist of the Hollows? I’ve got it here: https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21  (You don’t have to upgrade from free to see it.)

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Hollows Playlist: Newt

Newt is an odd one. She is frustrated that her power has been trapped by  jaded men, guilty that she killed all her “sisters,” and irate that she can’t remember why. But that’s not to say Newt is helpless. She is, or was, rather, the ever-after’s most powerful demon, and her memory clears enough to remind them of that from time to time. That she became the elves’ goddess is sweet justice, and ties into a long running, series encompassing thread that is so subtle it’s basically there for only me.  Writing is a close-to-the-soul thing, and as we circle in towards Newt, Rachel, and the one track for me, I find they can be shuffled like cards and still fit.

But Newt’s soul has a definite feel. She’s angry at the system as she struggles to overcome artificial blocks. She holds a tremendous amount of power, even if it is being stifled. (Mmmmm. Sound familiar?) Her tracks on the Hollows playlist are all from NIN, whose sound encompasses those very things. “Only” (which touches on her anger at being held down) and “Every Day is Exactly the Same” which highlights her magically induced memory loss and her ability to see the future because it will be no different from today. Ah, NIN is not always work safe, so if you have small ears in the room, you may want to wait to listen.

Tomorrow I will give you Rachel’s music and the one I threw in there for me.

Remaining songs:

Not Going Away: Ozzy Osbourne
Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper
Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple
The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails

Looking for the playlist of the Hollows? I’ve got it here: https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21  (You don’t have to upgrade from free to see it.)

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Hollows Playlist: Kisten

Ah, Kisten. You get three entire tracks on the Hollows playlist. Three tracks, and they don’t come close to your simple/complex soul. (And I have to apologize. Somehow one of his tracks got dropped from the list of remaining tracks yesterday, so think of it as a bonus.)

Kisten was originally a walk-on, a way to show Rachel the danger in the vampire, but I fell in love, and  he became so much more, a way to show the broken side of the vampire coin, the manipulation, the addiction, the fragility and strength. A study in high and low contrasts, he is likely the most real character I have penned, and I’m not sure I ever did him justice.

He wasn’t supposed to die, and in truth, he didn’t until the editorial rewrite when I looked farther down Rachel’s road and realized that Kisten couldn’t help her. It had to be an elf or demon. I am sorry, Kisten. I still miss you. Pike will never take your place. I promise.

Not surprisingly, I found a lot of music to reflect Kisten’s soul. “Thinking of You,” and “Weak and Powerless” by A Perfect Circle work great, but the three that made it onto the Hollows Soundtrack are “You and I” by Jeff Buckley, “Living Dead Girl” from Rob Zombie, and “Never Say Never,” from Queens of the Stone Age off the Punisher soundtrack. The depth of “Never say Never” probably fits Kisten’s hidden soul the best. I’ve always felt the strength of the music is hidden by the ego-testical attitude of the refrain–just like Kisten’s depth is shrouded under a carefully constructed front to disarm and beguile. “You and I” by Jeff Buckley is Rachel and Kisten, the soulful, almost lustful voice just screams Kisten to me.

And then there’s “Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie. This one is here not because it relates to his soul, but because every time I hear it, all I can see is Kisten line-dancing with twenty or so beautiful vampires behind him. They were free for those three minutes. He gave that to them. All of them free of their master’s demands, free to be what they wanted, instead of what they had been made into. That was Kisten’s legacy and why I miss him so much.

Tomorrow I will give you Newt’s music.

Remaining characters:

Rachel (3), Newt (2) … and one for me–my theme song after a hellish couple of years now dumping into one hellish year for everyone.

Remaining songs:

Not Going Away: Ozzy Osbourne
Only: Nine Inch Nails
Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper
Every Day is Exactly the Same: Nine Inch Nails
Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple
The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails

Looking for the playlist of the Hollows? I’ve got it here: https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21  (You don’t have to upgrade from free to see it.)

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Hollows Playlist: Jenks and Trent

Trent and Jenks, the two most important men in Rachel’s life at the moment. But it didn’t start that way, and that’s reflected in some of the music I relate to Trent.

Trent is another one of those characters who has been with us from book one, evolving a full 180 degrees as his and Rachel’s hidden, joined past twine with their future. When I first began working with Trent, I found “The American Way” by The Crystal Method fit his drug-lord persona perfectly, but as I began to learn more about him and the agenda behind the need for the large influx of money that Brimstone and illegal genetic medicine brought in, I found “DOA” by the Foo Fighters. The line “dancing with the bones of my buried past” just hit me as extremely apropos.  And most recently, since his fall, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. This track is about Napoleon, I believe, but hey, it fits!

And Jenks! There’s track ten on the Ocean’s Eleven soundtrack, “Planting the Seed.” “Peter Gunn” done by Henry Mancini is a great fit for when he’s on a run.   But the one track that made it onto the Hollows Playlist is  “Red-Tape” from Agent Provocateur, which is also on the Underworld soundtrack.  Yeah, I know the song isn’t really about little thieves, but inspiration is where you find it.  The power and drive behind the music fit Jenks perfectly  😉

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about Kisten. He’s got three of the remaining tracks.

Remaining characters:

Rachel (3), Newt (2), Kisten (3) … and one for me–my theme song after a hellish couple of years now dumping into one hellish year for everyone.

Remaining songs:

Not Going Away: Ozzy Osbourne
Only: Nine Inch Nails
Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper
Every Day is Exactly the Same: Nine Inch Nails
Never Say Never: Queens of the Stone Age
Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple
The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails
Living Dead Girl: Rob Zombie

Looking for the playlist of the Hollows? I’ve got it here: https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21  (You don’t have to upgrade from free to see it.)

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Hollows Playlist: Ceri and Piscary

We are up to Piscary and Ceri in the Hollows playlist match-up! I hope you are enjoying the look into how I create a character. I don’t have music on most of the time when I’m writing, but when I’m looking to free my thoughts just a little bit more…music does it.

Ceri, first. Ceri was an accident. I had the entirety of Every Which Way but Dead plotted out, and when I sat down to write that first chapter, Ceri walked out from behind the tombstone and blew it all away like dandelion fluffs.  But she was most welcome into the Hollows. Ceri was never far from her royal, ancient elven roots, and the music I’ve found to fit her wild, dangerous self is Filii Neidhardi by Corvus Corax. I found this group right about the time I began developing Ceri’s persona, and it just seemed a perfect fit.

Piscary, on the other hand… His character was a careful creation, a friendly uncle who has ugly tastes and an unparalleled skill for both gas lighting and manipulating. All his children love and hate him, and he really doesn’t care. There are a lot of tracks that bring up vampires in my mind, their power, their grace, their often-time beauty, but Lullaby by A perfect circle holds a disjointed disconnect that I have always felt encompasses a vampire’s hold on their prey.

I’m going to be bringing these to you faster this week to finish up Friday. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about Jenks and Trent’s tracks. Jenks has one, and Trent has three.

Remaining characters:

Jenks (1), Rachel (3), Trent (3), Newt (2), Kisten (3) … and one for me–my theme song after a hellish couple of years now dumping into one hellish year for everyone.

Remaining songs:

Red Tape: Agent Provocateur
Not Going Away: Ozzy Osbourne
DOA: Foo Fighters
Viva La Vida: Coldplay
Only: Nine Inch Nails
Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper
Every Day is Exactly the Same: Nine Inch Nails
The American Way: The Crystal Method
Never Say Never: Queens of the Stone Age
Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple
The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails
Living Dead Girl: Rob Zombie

Looking for the playlist of the Hollows? I’ve got it here: https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21  (You don’t have to upgrade from free to see it.)

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