Blade of Dishonor Playlist

When I write or edit a book, I make a huge playlist and put it on repeat. For my current work in progress that means a lot of Creedence and AC/DC. For Blade of Dishonor, I listened to a lot of classic rock, Japanese rock ‘n roll and pop, and some ’30s era roots music.

Here is a highlighted playlist that will make good accompaniment to the book.

“The Devil and Me” – Clutch
“Barracuda” – Heart
“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – Foghat
“Tick Tick Tick Boom” – The Hives
“Precious Deal” – Tomoyasu Hotei
“Setting the Woods on Fire” – Hank Williams
“American Girl” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
“Fighting My Way Back” – Thin Lizzy
“Boom Boom Mancini” – Warren Zevon
“When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World” – Vera Lynn
“Gimme the Prize” – Queen
“It’ll be a Hot Time in the Town of Berlin” – Bing Crosby/The Andrews Sisters
“Woman from Tokyo” – Deep Purple
“Howling” – Tomoyasu Hotei
“Dragon Attack” – Queen
“The Sentinel” – Judas Priest
“Man with a Harmonica (remix)” – Ennio Morricone and Apollo 440

Topless Activism and Bad-ass Librarians

Topless Activism
Topless at the NY Public Library.

I wrote about the Outdoor Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation society for The Good Men Project. Not because I enjoy admiring brave and beautiful women, but because they struck me as a force for change. First something is shocking, then it becomes controversial, then it becomes something you barely notice. Our bodies will always be sexualized to a degree, but if we stop seeing each other as consumables, it’s a good thing.

And now, Librarians recreate the Beastie Boys video for SABOTAGE:

Listen alla y’all, your book’s OVER DUE!

Two Triple Cheese, Side Order of Fries

I saw this first on HBO or Up All Nite, and it remains one of my favorite lesser-known theme songs.
By Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.

Happy birthday Angus!

Happy birthday to Angus Young of AC/DC.
This is one of my favorite tunes of theirs, a pure rock ‘n roll sex anthem that will shake the house down, just like Rosie dancing in a condemned structure.
Whole Lotta Rosie Live in Colchester 1978.

Even Wallflowers can be Heroes

Firecracker and I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower last night. As many said, it was much better than I expected, especially from an MTV film. It confronts matters of abuse in a realistic manner that doesn’t use them for plot points. I’ve been in a kind of gut-twisted haze ever since watching it. It triggered something, either by capturing the crowded alienation of high school, or by depicting a survivor being hit with a PTSD episode so damn well.

perks of being a wallflower

It uses music to great effect. It’s set in the early ’90s, and I graduated in ’89, so the music was very familiar. And I was very glad that the director–who also wrote the book the movie is based on–didn’t harp on ’80s fashion to evoke the era. It’s all quite subtle, and realistic. Maybe it was a bit too much. I don’t know. The movie isn’t perfect, I never got a three-dimensional feel for Charlie, the narrator. We dive right into the first day of school. But perhaps that is the story’s power, that it left Charlie sketched-in just enough to be a person but also a shell that I could inhabit, and recognize so much of myself in.

Needless to say, I’ll be reading the book soon. I recommend the movie, just be ready for the ending. It is not graphic, it doesn’t have to be. The director affected me more with a simple hand on a knee than books full of detail could have.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Paperback)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Kindle)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (DVD)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Blu-Ray)

Drive Soundtrack, pink vinyl

I picked up the DRIVE soundtrack on pink vinyl a while back. Shipped from the UK. A bit pricey, but it’s a real beauty of an album. If vinyl ain’t your thing, the MP3 album and CD are better priced.

drive soundtrack

I enjoyed the hell out of Nicholas Winding Refn’s adaptation of James Sallis’s excellent novel DRIVE, and the music was a big part of it. The film looks like ’80s Michael Mann, with Refn’s long takes and close-ups. My one complaint, minor, was a rather silly chase with a Mustang GT and a Chrysler 300C that looked more like a car commercial than anything real; the opening chase and a later scene were much better. Ryan Gosling owns the part, the performances quite good, and it stays mostly true to the novel. Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman… a great cast. Some are only in it briefly, but they leave their mark.

The music is heavily ’80s influenced, immersive and almost ridiculous, meaningless pop by Kazinsky. “There’s something about you. That I can’t explain.” He gives it a thumping drive which distracts you from how close to parody the absurd lyrics really are.

College / Electric Youth does this number, “A Real Hero,” which distills the deep feel of pretentious, heartfelt music. “A real human being.” Listen to it enough and it might make sense. It’s that infectious.

“Under Your Spell” by Desire is another moody piece of electronic ’80s pop. “All I dream about is you…” These three songs on loop can bring you back to 1983, just like when Christopher Reeves surrounded himself with antiques in “Somewhere in Time.”

The Flaming Lips

I got into The Flaming Lips when this album exploded, oh ten years ago now. It still transports me to a bouncy castle drug world like the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine movie did. The Flaming Lips started as a kind of punk psychedelic band and melted into their own unique form of electronic fuzz and head music. They were recently almost ruined when Men’s Journal decided that going to one of their concerts was “a bucket list” experience and their sheep subscribers swarmed in droves, in search of a life-affirming event they could purchase on Ticketmaster.

Their concerts are a trip, they have fun with the audience and throw giant bouncy balloons, and singer Wayne Coyne crowdsurfs in a huge hamster ball. It’s a good show. I was sober, so I didn’t merge with the infinite or excrete enlightenment rainbows. I had a good time.

via Culture Bully:

Their albums are beginning to sound alike, but they are engaging for me, and make great writing music. They are the musical equivalent of world-building, immersive like a good novel, video game, or movie experience. Yoshimi is probably the best introduction, but most of their albums from Clouds Taste Metallic onward will work for you. Transmissions from the Satellite Heart has their minor ’90s hit “She Don’t Like Jelly,” but they are probably best known for “Do You Realize?” now, which everyone wants played at their funeral:

Do You Realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize – we’re floating in space –
Do You Realize – that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize – that everyone you know someday will die

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

So check out Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and The Soft Bulletin before delving into headier stuff like At War with the Mystics and Zaireeka (4 discs meant to be played at once). Hit to Death in the Future Head is good too. If you require more of a rock sound, start there and with their earlier albums.