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Song Stories

Was searching for new Aimee Bender material (thanks for lending me the book of short stories, Indira; my class enjoyed "The Reememberer"), when I came across this:

Twenty-four celebrated writers have penned stories inspired by great songs... the diverse, electrifying stories here use songs as a springboard for a form dubbed the lit riff... You'll find stories by J.T. LeRoy, who puts a recovering teenage drug abuser in a dentist's chair with nothing but the Foo Fighters's "Everlong" -- blaring through the P.A. -- to fight the pain; Jonathan Lethem, whose narrator looks back on his lost innocence just as an extramarital affair careens to an end -- this to the tune "Speeding Motorcycle" as recorded by Yo La Tengo; and Jennifer Belle, who envisions a prequel to Paul Simon's "Graceland" -- one that takes place at a children's birthday party replete with a real live kangaroo. With original contributions from Tom Perrotta, Nelson George, Amanda Davis, Lisa Tucker, Aimee Bender, Darin Strauss, and many more -- riffing on everyone from Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen to the White Stripes, Cat Power, and Bob Marley -- this is both an astounding collection of short stories and an extraordinary experiment in words and music.

Needless to say, the concept interests me greatly. And besides -- Bender! Lethem! Perotta! Yay! I had an idea for a book almost exactly like this over a year ago (specifically: at the listening party for the 2nd Linkin Park album, when I was bored and doodling on a table napkin), involving local writers making stories inspired by/based on work by local musicians. The book would be packaged with a CD, etc etc. At the time, I had an idea for a story based on "Another Day" by Narda. Ah well. So much to do, so little done.

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3 Responses to “”

  1. Blogger johnny panic 

    hey luis. this is jessica. i was just about to write a post about this book. got a review copy of it a few weeks ago and enjoying it immensely. my copy didn't come with a CD though. darn. also, check out "Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers! Writers on Comics," edited and with an intro by Sean Howe, and featuring jonathan lethem, aimee bender, geoffrey o'brien, and others talking about their fave comics. i'd scan the cover here, but our scanner's down. anyhow, enjoy!

  2. Blogger the spy in the sandwich 

    hey, luis. good idea for an antho! i'll help you if you want. :)

  3. Blogger Luis 

    Hi Jessica! Yep, I want the Atomsmashers book too. :) Am such a comics geek that I even have the Lee/Ditko Spider-man issue that the book takes its title from -- albeit in reprinted format, of course. Over the past few years, I've been noticing comics-lauding essays by 'literary' writers here and there -- Chabon, Moody, etc. I guess it was only a matter of time before someone gathered them all into a book. :)

    Hi Ian! Yeah, it's still a good idea, even if someone beat us to it. Someday, someday. :)

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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