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February 10, 2011

Book Notes - Gabriel Ba ("Daytripper")

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Daytripper is a stunning graphic novel, both in its narrative and artwork. Collecting ten mini-comics by twin brothers Gabriel and Fabio Ba, the book centers on the life of writer Brás de Oliva Domingos. Brás's death at the end of each chapter comes on a significant day in his life, and taken as a whole this comic is a powerful exploration of mortality as well as humanity.

Monkey See wrote of the book:

"By the time you reach the final chapter of this gorgeous, expressive and poignant comic book/meditation-on-mortality by Brazilian twin brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, what will linger with you is a quiet, clear-eyed sense of hopefulness."

In his own words, here is Gabriel Ba's Book Notes music playlist for his graphic novel, Daytripper:

We usually don't listen to music very often wen we're working, and that's for two reasons. The first one is that being two people working together, much of our work is based on talking, sharing information and commenting on each other's work and music gets in the way. The second reason is the effect music can have on your mind, to transport you away, make your mind wonder. We stop paying attention to what we're doing and we space out, lead by the music, or the lyrics or something.

When we do listen to music, it's usually soundtracks. We have always loved soundtracks for this specific reason, this power to transport you to a whole different place, to build a entire scene inside your head. Of course every good music does that, but that's the purpose of soundtracks, I guess.

While working on Daytripper, if we could choose one soundtrack that we could listen to and would not take us on the wrong direction, it must be Michael Giacchino's work on the LOST TV series. The music helped so much to create the series identity, build the characters with themes. It's just a wonderful job. And the way the public identifies with the characters and their dramas was very close to what we were seeking on Daytripper. I can see myself smiling every time I hear one of these tunes, instantly teleported to a scene on a strange island.

On the other hand, on the rare occasions when we listen to music with lyrics and stuff, we look for songs that will keep us happy, glad we're doing what we're doing and that would keep up the morale. Good old rock'n'roll.

We could listen to any Beatles album, although we tend on spacing out a lot when we do that, but it always keep us happy.

The same applies to The Strokes, especially their first two albums. "Last Nite" is just the best song of the last decade for me.

Little Joy is also a big cheerer here.

Although we love it, we don't usually play Brazilian music when we're working because we pay too much attention to the lyrics and stop working.

The Strokes - "Last Nite"
The Strokes - "You Only Live Once"
The Strokes - "Whatever Happened"

I love the Strokes, for their youth, their vibrant energy on their music and lyrics. They make music sound fun the way I'd like to make comics look fun. We like the Strokes so much that we used "Last Nite" as the soundtrack for a little video we did in 2005 of our trip to the San Diego Comic Con International (You can see this video here We had been going to the convention since 1997 and things were finally starting to happen for us. We had 1 book published, 1 self-published comic and a lot of energy. This song has all that energy built into it and it help us remember all what we've been through to get where we are now.

Michael Giacchino - LOST Soundtrack

"Parting Words" (season 1)
"Landing Party" (season 4)
"Locke'd Out Again" (season 1)

There would be no LOST without this soundtrack. These 3 songs we've chosen have great impact on the scenes they happen. The first one when the raft leaves the island, the second when the plane lands in L.A. and the last one is Locke's theme, and it plays on the fourth episode, when we first discover he was in a wheel chair before he got to the island and now he's not, one of the best cliffhangers of the entire series. Once again, I could listen to these songs over and over. The same way we used "Last Nite" as a soundtrack for a video in 2005, we used "Parting Words" as the soundtrack for another video on 2006 (It can be seen here That was a great year for us, when we felt we were finally on the right track. When we listen to this music, we rejoice because of all the feelings we had for the series, LOST, but also because it reminds us of our career, our journey.

Little Joy - "The Next Time Around"
Little Joy - "Don't Watch Me Dancing"

Fabricio, The Stroke's drummer, is Brazilian, apparently. And he put Little Joy together with his girlfriend and another great Brazilian musician, Rodrigo Amarante. Their music is fun, light and they've made a really great and intimate show here in São Paulo. The good vibe I got on that show always carries me with joy through countless hours of work.

The Beatles - "Help"
The Beatles - "Yesterday"

The Beatles have a very important role in our lives. We have learned English listening to Beatles songs. The teacher used Beatles songs on our English classes, when we were 10, 11 years old. We didn't even know who they were, but we listened to those words. We didn't really understood what they were saying, but we learn to communicate on a foreign language with them. We also had music classes when we were young and Beatles songs were there with us once more. "Help," "Yesterday," "Yellow Submarine," "Twist and Shout."

Strangely, we barely listen to "Daytripper" while working on our series.

M.I.A - "Paper Planes"

It's just fun. We have started listening to this song when Matt Fraction sent us this playlist he had put together for Casanova. It started with this one and it's the best of the bunch.

LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends"

Working in comics gets very lonely sometimes. Long hours of work, we had to give up on our social life a lot of times. I had a lot of fun with some of my friends, going out, drinking, talking, dancing. This song reminds me of those times, of those feelings.

Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"

This song is so fun and upbeat. We love to listen to Franz Ferdinand, specially this song. We try to avoid it because we can't help to stop working and start dancing and jumping when the chorus starts playing. It always reminds us of our good times of nights out and fun with friends.

Gabriel Ba and Daytripper links:

the authors' blog
excerpt from the book

AuthSpot review
Boing Boing review
Cartoon Snap! review
Cheaper Ironies review
Comic Book Resources review
Comic Revolution review
Comics Alliance review
Monkey See review
Paste review
PopMatters review

Ain't It Cool News interview with the authors
BrazilNYC interview with the authors
Comic Book Resources interview with the authors
io9 interview with the authors
Newsarama interview with the authors
Underwire profile of the authors

also at Largehearted Boy:

other Book Notes playlists (authors create music playlists for their book)

Online "Best Books of 2010" lists
Online "Best Music of 2010" lists

52 Books, 52 Weeks (weekly book reviews)
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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