Music for the moment.

Hello everyone! My name is Ian Dunn, I will be making this week’s content for Music @ the Moment. I’ll be showing how music combines with Dungeons and Dragons. Music is an excellent way to enhance my D&D sessions. Every session I have a Spotify playlist with songs for different situations and moods playing on a Bluetooth speaker. I often find songs from video games as music in games is designed to build atmosphere and to be repeated. Finding the right song in session can be a challenge. It only adds to the struggle that is running a game of Dungeons and Dragons. But if it adds extra work to an already busy job why do I do it? Because music adds so much!

Imagine any movie, or TV series, or video game and remove the music. You notice it’s gone. Music adds so much atmosphere and builds upon what is happening on screen. If you’ve played D&D with music and then the person with the Bluetooth speaker can’t come to session everyone notices it and misses them more.  It can be hard to provide an example but here’s a small exert from my notes for a session I ran a few weeks ago.

“You hear them before you see them. The rustling of leaves, breaking of foliage, the clank of metal armor and the call of a war horn. You and your allies draw your weapons and charge with the warriors emerging from the brush! But as you are about to clash blades you hear a strange clicking sound. All too late you realize your mistake as monstrous ant-like creatures emerge from the forest and from the ground spitting acid at the intruders to their nest!”

This already intense description is enhanced when some music is thrown in the mix. Reread the passage with Volatile Reaction by MacLeod. It’s one of my favorite songs for ambushes and ads to the intensity. Music can also be used outside of combat. When my players enter a city I often play a song from the Pillars of Eternity soundtrack by Justin Bell, one of my personal favorites is Defiance Bay.

 One final song is In Principio by Ludovico Einaudi. I love using it for moments when my players uncover secrets of the world’s lore and history. Speaking of lore, you can hear what Will has to say about some music lore on my blog, the Redstone Alliance. I hope to see you there!

Rat Boys

When you think of a band called Rat Boys, you might think of some pretty… gnarly?… individuals. Maybe not the first band you think of when your grandma asks you what you’re listening to, but what if I Rat Boys aren’t quite what you’d expect. Their lead singer is neither a rat nor a boy, their songs aren’t overtly crude, crass or crazy.

In fact, The Chicago based Indie- Rock band really surprised me with their technically proficient playing and relatively gentle vocals. It really caught me off guard, especially after last week’s show. Maybe it’s because I walked into this show completely blind and that I’ve never heard of Rat Boys prior, their songs are catchy and melodic. I think they’re worth a listen.

I suppose I should’ve known it wasn’t going to be quite as high-octane as the bar show I went to last weekend. The location alone changed the atmosphere. The show took place at the “Der Rathskeller” at Madison Memorial Union on Langdon street. Again, because I walked into this show with little to no preview of the band before going to this show I had no idea that it was going to be a gentle Bernie Sanders rally. The lead singer adorned a Bernie beanie which I’ve learned through research that the beanie is an integral part of the look.

If you asked me what the right atmosphere to listen to Rat Boys in. The quick list would consist of: jamming out home alone, driving around with your windows down on a nice day, or anywhere you’re not afraid to sing along. Granted all those places pretty isolated, and that might be because I can’t hit the same high notes as the lead singer. Otherwise, I can’t really see an inopportune time to give them a listen.

If you haven’t already taken a listen, and checked them out I strongly suggest you do. I’ll make it easy for you by putting their Spotify here, and dropping their Instagram here.


/ bo͞ol/. To have fun in ways that are often times mischevious and illegal.

This weekend I saw a band called The Bool Sponsored by Hamm’s TM. While I don’t believe these guys are sponsored by unrealistically cheap beer, I think they had ought to be. If not for the abundance of beer empty beer cans, then maybe for their number one listened to on Spotify appropriately named Hamm’s.

This energetic three-piece punk band out of Madison has much more say than just talking about their favorite cheap beer that’s meant to be bought in quantity, not for quality. The band also has widespread of politically charged songs as well. Covering various topics including the Alabama heartbeat law, climate change, and police brutality.

While The Bool may not be classically trained in their punk rock instruments, I’m privy to the information that they were at one point members of the marching band at UW madison. This might not seem like valuable information, but when you know about it, it makes you realize the don’t miss a beat. Even when the bass player has someone from the crowd pour him in his mouth or when he’s rumbling in the crowd while still playing he’s doesn’t miss a beat. Because they’ve become so accustomed to playing while moving they are able to give a lively and electric live performance.

This band is beginning to develop a cult following in the Madison area, and it’s already starting to expand as they continually play shows across the state. I’m begging to see people proudly wear cheap and haphazardly drawn on t-shirts to their shows. It’s only a matter of time before their songs get played on local.

In summation, This is the first band I got to see while starting this blog and they set the bar pretty high especially as far as a live performance is concerned. However, if you’re not into punk music I can see how there would be a disconnect.