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15 July 2008 @ 04:21 pm
Our Love is like a Powder Keg - A Zuko/Katara Mix  
Our Love is like a Powder Keg
A Zuko/Katara Fanmix

Cover made with art by sorceressmyr
Comments = love!
Spoilers up to "The Firebending Masters" only.
Featuring music from Mirah, The Mountain Goats, Azure Ray, Iron & Wine, and others, generally of the indie/folk persuasion.

Our Love is like a Powder Keg
A Zuko/Katara Fanmix

Cover made with art by sorceressmyr
Back made with art by Sora-ko
Thank you both!

Okay, so this mix was inspired by the lovely Mirah, patron songstress of complex and messy relationships. I just found a lot of her songs fit my attraction to the pairing of Zuko and Katara and it all built from there. The addition of "International Small Arms Traffic Blues" by The Mountains Goats, from which I got the title of the fanmix, cemented this project. These inspirations made for a mix with less dark and/or angry songs than you might expect from these two. I liked the idea of having such a potentially explosive relationship create a mellow, acoustic sort of mix.

This was inspired by canon up to "The Western Air Temple" and "The Firebending Masters" and then goes AU after that (ETA: Though I think it wound up applying to "The Southern Raiders" rather well). These songs are arranged in a simple little narrative arc, just one of the multitude of ways I could imagine things going down for them. It also has a focus on the physicality of their relationship cause, yeah, the chemistry, she burns.

I totally made this fanmix for myself and it ignores the usual rule of not repeating artists on a mix. I've included notes about each song but feel free to skip over the italicized sections if you get bored. Heck, you might have already started doing that. I think the lyrics are pretty self explanatory but that doesn't mean I've stopped myself from explaining them at length. I almost wrote drabbles, people! XD


1. Don't Die in Me - Mirah [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

The mighty continents divided it
For a second time in all history
They found themselves just floating free
From all responsibility
Without the weight of being whole
Some fruits evolved all on their own

Now here's an apple with a tougher skin
While you've got your pretty scales and fins, you say
See all the things that I can do
So perfectly my body grew

And if you want something back
All the things that got cracked
When I felt like you lied to me
And all the million mistakes
And the kicks in the face
But I don't want you to die in me

POV: First verse is from Katara's, second verse is from Zuko's.

I chose this as an opening track because the first verse of the song reminds me of Katara's monologue during the show's opening. It applies to both the mythology of the show and her place in the world (i.e. growing up "floating free" from the typical expectations of her tribe and finding her role in the war). The second verse reminds me of Zuko, since, yeah, I'm a sucker for the imagery of him as an imperfect "apple with a tougher skin" who sees Katara as a sort of beautiful, strange (perfect) sea-creature. And then, of course, this song is all about people who keep fucking up and hurting each other but still love each other regardless. I think that just sums up these two kids perfectly.

2. Under My Skin - Rachael Yamagata [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

I hesitate to say I was bait for you
Could that be something that you all would do?
I'd be lying if I did now say I wasn't intrigued
But timing is everything here, and for the moment the "we" is reprieved
But as I watch the girl unfold before my eyes, I discover
That I like her

Would you please get out from under my skin?
For I can't begin this yet
And I don't know what my intentions are
They're speaking in a different tongue
And deep inside, I'm not as tough as I seem
But I won't let you know
Until it's right, I'm gonna stay my distance
And you should go

POV: Zuko

Okay, how much is the first verse about him tying her to that tree? Hee, the sexy voice on "that I like her" is so his whisper to me. More generally, I think it speaks to Zuko being strangely intrigued by Katara even when they were on opposing sides and the only being increasingly drawn in as he pays more attention to her (and she gets increasingly fun to fight). But he's also totally unprepared to actually deal with these feelings as he really has his own shit to sort out first. :)

3. That's Just What You Are- Aimee Mann [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

In our endeavor
We are never seeing eye to eye
No guts to surface
So forever may we wave goodbye
And you're always telling
That it's my turn to move
When I wonder what could make the needle jump the groove
I won't fall for the oldest trick in the book
So don't sit there and think
You're off of the hook
By saying there is no use changing
Cause that's just what you are

Acting steady
Always ready to defend your fears
What's the matter with the truth
Did I offend your ears
By suggesting that a change might be a thing to try
It wouldn't kill you just to try and be a nicer guy
It's not like you would lose
Some critical piece
If somehow you moved point A to point B
Maintaining there is no point changing
Cause that's just what you are
That's just what you are

POV: Katara

This is my song for Katara's bitter thoughts about Zuko after his betrayal underneath Ba Sing Se. Oh, she pissed at him and rightfully so. This is what's still rolling around in her head when he approaches them in the Western Air Temple. I can just imagine this song ending with the sarcastic remark: "You're right, Toph; let's go find him and give him a medal -- the "Not-As-Much-Of-A-Jerk-As-You-Could-Have-Been" Award. "

4. Who Am I Hates Who I've Been (Acoustic) - Reliant K [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said that.
It's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again.
'Cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

POV: Zuko

It's WesternAirTemple!Zuko, reflecting on his past. He's come to regret his past decisions and he's berating himself about them (and talking to toads, probably). Now he's just left with trying to convince the Gaang that he really has changed and making peace with them. This is proving to be an especially tough sell in Katara's case.

5. Alpha in Tauris - The Mountain Goats [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

My hand brushes against the lock of hair that hangs down past your ear to your jaw
My hand brushes against the lock of hair that hangs down past your ear to your jaw
It's real neat, the moment's sweet but it's all wrong

And we're pictures of decency when we wave goodbye outside
We're pictures of decency when we wave goodbye outside
Yeah, I'm the model of composure out there
But you oughta see me shaking later on

My brain gets flooded six hours later
My brain gets flooded over six hours later
Rivers run with pictures of you as I stare up at the blood red moon
Lying out front on the lawn, hey

POV: Zuko

Just a little of what I see could happening after "The Firebending Masters". Zuko and Katara have reached some sort of truce for Aang's sake. Meanwhile, Zuko has developed a bit of a crush and there's all these deeper undercurrents between them and dear Agni, she's pretty. He's just one confused (and hormonal) teenage boy.

6. You've Gone Away Enough - Mirah [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

If the light takes you in, will you know where you've been all this time?
At the edge of a cliff you could almost just slip down the side
When there's so much to do don't you wish you could make up your mind?
But it knows it's elusive, it grows and it burns you inside

My trouble with everything always is nothing's just right
Just to figure out nothing could keep you awake half the night
Not to know what you want is a terrible thing you should fight
You just suffer for the face of the dark while you wait for the light

POV: Katara

To me, this song represents Katara's eventual forgiveness and understanding of Zuko. She gotten out some of her aggression (mostly by mocking, hopefully some sparring); he's proved himself to the group (choose your own heroic act). Now she's admitting to herself that Zuko really did go through a lot and he's already spent such a long time being conflicted and angry at himself. And with this train of thought, she just can't hold on to that anger anymore.

7. 99.9F - Suzanne Vega [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

99.9 Fahrenheit degrees
Stable now, with rising possibilities
It could be normal but it isn't quite
Could make you want to stay awake at night

Something cool
Against the skin
Is what you
Could be needing

POV: Katara

Okay, this one is just fun. They're still sparring and arguing but also getting along better than they ever have before. There's clearly an attraction between them but they aren't going so far as admitting to it. Things are getting... well, hot. XD

8. Boom Boom Ba - Metisse [Download Individually]

(I have to credit my friend vaega for making this connection. I loved it! <3)

This song is about the mood and rhythm of the song more than the lyrics, so much so I didn't even include them. Honestly, I don't even really know them and I think it's almost more fun to not know and catch snippets as you listen. I can so imagine Zuko and Katara sparring to this song. And then making out for a while. Rinse, repeat. Awesome.

9. Make It Hot - Mirah [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

There is one addiction
I like to keep the power and the heat

Make it hot
Take me over and over and over
Make it hot
Take me over and over and over

POV: Katara

Hah, yeah, not subtle. It's all about the sex. Which is a little desperate and angsty. If you're into this couple, you know you love it. ;)

10. We Exchanged Words - Azure Ray [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

We exchanged words
Through smoke-filled mouths
And then we found our bodies
Speaking loud
And our hearts pressed against the flesh
Trading stories
Of love's
And rivaling insecurities
When did we learn to speak without words?
And in tongues?
Maybe we should just stop here

POV: Katara

Gah, this is just so them to me. I can also really see Katara being the one backing off and having doubts, for a number of reasons (hurting Aang, hurting each other, a future together just not being plausible, the final fight is coming and it's kind of a lot of stress. Whatever you like!)

11. We're Both So Sorry - Mirah [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

I know you didn't mean it and you're sorry that I left
I'll go right on pretending I've got nothing to regret
Except all of the times we wasted giving only second best
You always seemed to lose the spark when I was only half undressed
I drove across a sea of flags to find my own command
The distance paid a lonesome price to see its motherland
Now if you would unbuckle sir, receive your reprimand
And hey I'm sorry 'bout so much baby but I know you'll understand

How can I ever apologize? I meant you no such harm
I never knew I could possess that fatal kind of charm
I just wanted to be good to you but I found I was disarmed
By a lifetime of disillusionment and the distraction of the stars
I abdicated now I'm just a prince without a land
My subjects all adore me but for this I had them banned
Now could I trade my guilt for a good flogging by your hand?
And hey I'm sorry 'bout so much baby but I know you'll understand

I can't understand why you refuse my one request
Just to press against my weaponry and then lay bare your chest
Challenges like these can be won or lost or laid to rest
Now we both agree to separate from the lonely castle steps
The kingdom is destabilized, the watchtower unmanned
The bedroom lies abandoned and the future is unplanned

POV: First verse is Katara's, second verse is Zuko's, third verse is both.

In my fanmix "story", Katara has stepped away from the relationship (with some harsh words exchanged over it) and now they're going into the final battle. "I drove across a sea of flags to find my own command/The distance paid a lonesome price to see its motherland" is all about her coming into her own skin as a powerful waterbender/leader but also letting go some of her connection to home and childhood because of it.

I think the connections to Zuko in the second verse are pretty self-evident... but I'll say something anyway. He's given up the dream he had as a child, of his position as the crown-prince being the way to find familial love and the respect he desires. His past actions have always thrown a wrench in his relationship with Katara and he regrets the way things have been left between them. I think the line, "Now could I trade my guilt for a good flogging by your hand?", applies to their relationship deliciously.

"Now we both agree to separate from the lonely castle steps
The kingdom is destabilized, the watchtower unmanned
The bedroom lies abandoned and the future is unplanned"

That so encapsulates what I imagine it would be like after Ozai falls and the war is over, with both of them regretfully thinking it's come time to go their separate ways.

12. International Small Arms Traffic Blues - The Mountain Goats [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

My love is like a powder keg
My love is like a powder keg in the corner of an empty warehouse
Somewhere just outside of town
About to burn down

Our love is like the border between Greece and Albania
Our love is like the border between Greece and Albania
Trucks loaded down with weapons
Crossing over every night
Moon yellow and bright
There is a shortage in the blood supply
But there is no shortage of blood
The way I feel about you baby can't explain it
You got the best of my love

POV: Zuko

After the dust settles, Zuko and Katara have a talk. He tells her things are never going to be easy for them and yes, they are clearly going to fight and sometimes hurt each other. But that battle with her is what he wants and whatever happens between them, he's hers completely.

13. In My Lady's House - Iron & Wine [Full Lyrics] [Download Individually]

There is light in my lady's house
And there's none but some falling rain
Less like a spoken word
She is more than her thousand names

No hands are half as gentle
Or firm as they like to be
Thank god you see me the way you do
Strange as you are to me

POV: Zuko

This song is my epilogue. They've found a balance and a peace together, something that's unprecendented in Zuko's life. He counts himself as very lucky. And yeah, I think "In My Lady's House" is perfect because in my mind Katara becomes the Fire Lady to his Fire Lord. Yes, I am a total sap. But hey, it's my fanmix, they're allowed to have a happy ending. :)

Download Zip w/ Cover Art (80 MB) @ Megaupload

Feel free to ask for a re-up or request a smaller zip if needed. I hope you all found some music to enjoy! Thanks for checking it out at least and if you made it through my rambling, that goes double! Any and all comments will be loved and treasured and will certainly make me smile. (Well, maybe not if your comment says 'this totally sucks' but the feedback is still appreciated. XD) Thanks again for reading/listening along! <3

Tags: ,
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Kryptocow: Zutara- Sex Teim Nao? :Dkryptocow on July 16th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
Sweet! 5 gold stars to you for all songs I've never heard before. I get fanmix and culture! :DDD Ahaha.
I like the little storyline you came up with.
Top: Atla: ZUKOBLUESPIRITOMG!!!!!!topazera on July 16th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Thank you for the gold stars! :) And calling my music, "culture", I feel very knowledgeable right now. Seriously though, I'm just happy to spread the music love and I hope you find something you like.

And I'm so glad your liked the little storyline! I couldn't tell if that would be cute or annoying to included. Phew, you liked it, one down and everyone else to go. XD
U.S. Ambassador to Sho Sakurai's Pantsastrangerenters on July 16th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
There are Mirah songs I don't have. And Iron and Wine too! Thank you so much for sharing these. I would never have made the Mirah Zuko/Katara connection :)
Top: BSG: It's really true.topazera on July 16th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Yay, another Mirah fan! I love her. Yeah, for some reason the Zuko/Katara connection just leapt out at me. I actually got into her music through the BSG fandom. Oh, fandom, what would I do without you? :)

Thanks for the comment!

Psst, I could send you Mirah songs if you'd like them. I have many.
Ashleymiribai on July 16th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Great fanmix, I'm especially fond of the Iron and Wine song. But the back cover art, where can I get it? I tried looking at Sora-ko's dA page but it wasn't there. Its beautiful.
Top: AoGG: A little too much for friendstopazera on July 16th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)

As for the art, I found it on another site, downloaded it just to look at, and then couldn't remember the original place I got it! I was just so happy to come across her on dA. I found that particular picture again here but it's a bit smaller. I could upload the one I have for you, but I feel like I should get in touch with Sora-ko to ask her if that's okay first! :)

It really is beautiful. And hot. <3
(no subject) - atiko on July 16th, 2008 09:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - topazera on July 20th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - topazera on July 20th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
atiko on July 16th, 2008 09:47 am (UTC)
Hey there, thanks for your nice comment over at DA! I'm downloading the fanmix right now, great choice of songs and very fitting lyrics. ♥
The Amanda: <3 Zutarakichara on July 17th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
Great fanmix! :)
rabidline: avatar // zutara // friendshiprabidline on September 4th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)

Your fanmix is the embodiment of what I think of the zutara pairing as a whole- right there down to the t.

Yes, they are dark and intriguing and hot and rough and explosive and deliciously forbidden and still have a long way until they reach that famous happy end, but that what makes zutara epic.

They're so wrong they're right.

Kudos for having the songs that I have never even heard until now, and thank you for sharing- cause I'm definitely snagging this.
Top: AtLA: [Z/K] The mountains divide themtopazera on September 4th, 2008 09:10 am (UTC)
Oh, I can't even express how happy your comment just made me! (...I'm kind of unreasonably attached to this fanmix.)

I actually made this mix while I was in the process of getting into the fandom and really falling hard for the idea of Zuko/Katara. So this was my way of sorting out what I thought about them individually and together. I'm so pleased to hear that it jives with how you see them too.

Yes, they are dark and intriguing and hot and rough and explosive and deliciously forbidden and still have a long way until they reach that famous happy end, but that what makes zutara epic.

*shivers* YES! Thanks for summing up what these two are about so succinctly and beautifully. It only took me 2,000 words and 13 songs. XD I really like that Zuko and Katara are full of so much conflict and pain and passion, as you said, so epic. But I also like that they could someday have a "happy ending". Although no couple is without struggle, them especially, I think there's a lot of understanding and potential for a very functional and healthy relationship. Or y'know, they could continue on to have a hot and angsty affair or deny their feelings or... I love that Zuko/Katara just has so much range.

Well! Sorry to ramble on at you but really, you just made my day! If you feel so inclined, I'd love to hear what you thought of the music when you get the chance to listen. Thank you so much for the lovely comment, my dear. <3
Amandastereosymbiosis on September 5th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)
Great mix! Also that fanart back cover is HOT. *drools*
Top: GG: [B&C] Bend me break metopazera on September 5th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
*bows* Aha, thank you! But the credit for the hotness all goes to the artist, sora_ko. I just shamelessly used it to up the sexy factor on my mix. XD
silly_izzy_me on September 5th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
I really, really hate Zutara.

... But this mix is too good to pass up! The songs are amazing! I'll have to steal it, I suppose.
Top: FF: The Parasoltopazera on September 5th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Oh wow! Thank you so much, that's quite the compliment. I really appreciate it.

I actually think a lot of these songs could be applied more generally to Zuko's relationships, with whomever you prefer. (This mix wound up being pretty Zuko centric.) I just took it from Katara's perspective, 'cause that's what I'm into.

I hope you enjoy the music! :)

ETA: Giving it a second look, I think the songs by Azure Ray and Mirah in particular could reflect Mai nicely as well. Carry on!

Edited at 2008-09-05 03:14 am (UTC)
(no subject) - silly_izzy_me on September 5th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Rose (wants to be sent the hunger games script..)rosegilmore on September 5th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
great job!!
You should pimp it at [Bad username: capslock_zutara&quot;] They'd love it.
Rose (wants to be sent the hunger games script..): the heart wants what it cannot haverosegilmore on September 5th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
also this comm fanmix
(no subject) - rosegilmore on September 5th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - topazera on September 5th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rosegilmore on September 5th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
loup_y: Flameoloup_y on September 5th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Ooh! I've listened to music from almost all of the above musicians, but, somehow, I've never heard the songs that you've chosen!

Thanks for the tunes :)
Top: AtLA: [Suki] I'll be everythingtopazera on September 9th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
Sweet, happy to procure some new music for you! Thanks for the comment! :)
Caitlinsplintercat on September 5th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
I'm not even a big Zutara fan, but I'm downloading because of the great song choice (though I already have the MG stuff.) You have good taste in music. :)
(Deleted comment)
Top: AtLA: [Z/K] It's you that I seetopazera on September 9th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Oh man, I love these two so much too. It's kind of ridiculous. XD

And thank you for commenting! :)
Sueinvisibleforest on September 5th, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)
snagging irona dn wine, thanks!
(obscene gerund): amy. begin to hope.likewinning on September 5th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
I grabbed a couple of songs, thank you!
Top: Comics: [HQ & Ivy] Cheap and evil girlstopazera on September 9th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
You're welcome! And I totally just joined the Harley community you mod, so thank you. :)
Cory: by maesstria; golden summer girlslantedsunlight on September 5th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of this fandom, but I love the coerart and I adore the music. <3
Top: GG: [B&C] Bend me break metopazera on September 9th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you! It's so nice to hear that the mix can hold up on it's own, without even liking the subject.

Thanks for the comment! It really made me smile. <3
(no subject) - slantedsunlight on September 9th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC) (Expand)