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December 13, 2012

Book Notes - Blake Butler "Sky Saw"

Sky Saw

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

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, David Peace, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Blake Butler's new novel Sky Saw is a novel told in a glorious hallucinatory fury. One of America's most talented young writers once again wields language as a torch, and this book burns bright and pure.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"...the details of Blake’s dystopia are more often suggested than stated and words are as likely to turn into birds, skin to rupture, the air to become liquid poison. Tidy paragraphs disassemble and all but ooze across the page, as Butler (Nothing) replicates the sensory experience of his mutating panorama at the sentence level. For readers willing to annihilate their boundaries, this is the ideal entry point."

Stream a Spotify playlist of these tunes. If you don't have Spotify yet, sign up for the free service.


In his own words, here is Blake Butler's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Sky Saw:


"Inn I Slottet Fra Droemmen" by Burzum

I went through a phase where I listened to this on planes from takeoff to landing on repeat with it turned up loud enough in my headphones the person next to me could probably hear it. That was a bad phase, but it felt nice at the time. The snare in this song through the first part and when it stops finally into the weird lifting riff and the fact it's all one dude playing all the shit and barking in that itchy way is something. I always wished I could play the drums and I just can't so I type a lot instead I guess.


"Untitled" by Pyramids w/ Rabbit Girls

There should be more wind more. Like come and blow very well against the buildings. Buildings should be made out of shit that can lean and keep the body OK. Or not keep the body OK. Buildings should be able to do anything they want. I want to get put inside a machine that throws you around a lot like you're in one of those huge inflated jump around arenas for the kids except no one can see in and you can't see out and you wonder if there's a way to not be in the machine again and maybe there is and maybe there isn't. Cell phones should all be the size of VCRs.


"Sex, God, Sex" by Swans

I went through a phase where I listened to this song in the ugly red car I drive on repeat in the mornings before I was awake enough to want to hear this kind of song. I like Michael Gira's voice, I wish I could talk like that when like ordering food and to people passing in the street. I like how the guitars in this song sound like huge burning wheels.


"Horses Are OK" by Oxes

How many animals can I stuff into this list? I want to stuff so many animals into a sentence that the sentences rams itself off with teeth and testicles all sponging off on the hands touching the paper. These guys I think built their own guitars, or maybe I am confusing them with one of the other bands like them from their era, I wish you could only play music if you could build your own guitar. Apply that logic to other things, too, I think, though then I might just not be able to do anything ever again but eat. Does that make sense?


"Vampyric Solution" by Racebannon

I miss seeing bands in rooms where there's no room in the room for anyone left to stand besides the band and the like fifteen people who came to the house in the middle of the diminishing ghetto where no one outside cares enough about sound to call cops on the show and you get crushed against the sweat men and the instruments and the kids spazzing out anyway because they don't care or because they feel they are being watched and then you go outside and it's automatically cooler outside even in July.


"Unvisited Grave" by His Hero Is Gone

If Gertrude Stein was in a hardcore band she might write shit like, "Ground is all graves is all ground is." Then you could just shout that shit and know one would know what you were talking about anyway but the words would be out there and do shit regardless to things. I like the ways the world changes when it looks like it's not changing. It would be fun to paint yourself not into the corner of the room but into the house by painting over the walls and doors and shit so many layers that there's nowhere left at the center. That'd take a lot of paint.


"Dead Alive" by Kurt Vile

I like the tone of the guitar in this song and how it fits with the weird way he sings. No percussion or explanation required. Why don't I ever do drugs I wonder sometimes, like I'm standing outside me. I could answer that question but it would just be an answer to a question. I would like to see this song played so loud from somewhere way above the ground that it kind of made everything else seem to pause like the way air is under a helicopter is landing in a grass field. Any song played that loud would have the same effect I guess but not really.


"Bonivital" by Venetian Snares

Lie down in a fields sometimes. Get fat as fuck and walk in all the places you always wanted to. Tell someone a private story and really never tell it again, for anyone. The beginning of this song reminds me of a 16-bit video game character in all chrome on a level of the game where the chrome of the background matches his body except the eyes and the objects of the level is to push a huge chrome cube into a chrome hole and then fall after it without getting crushed against the wall.


"Things Will Never Be The Same" by Black Dice

I wish everyone in the world had to have this song as the ringtone on their phone. No one would ever realize their phone was ringing until the call was over. People would get dizzy more often and have to sit down a spell sometime in the mall and watch the people pass. I wish I had the will to always be carrying a big nice paper-like sack with the thin fiber handles from J.C. Penny's with nothing in it. I would be waiting for the right thing to put in the sack. Maybe some grease would be around the bottom of the sack so you could see in if you got near enough but you never would.


"Multiply, Multiply" by Retconned

A bed the size of a thumb that you can really lie down in and no matter what you eat in the bed and spill all over you it becomes part of the bed and you don't change size at all no matter how much gets in the mouth. How many people could I fit in this apartment and still be able to get from the bed to the fridge. When I wake up in the middle of the night and it's dark but I can see I'm always 100% sure all of my books are blank. But when I look later circumstantially there are always the words. It hurts to turn the light on but the sound is worse.


Blake Butler and Sky Saw links:

the author's website
the author's collaborative website

Down and Out review
Heavy Feather Review review
The Nervous Breakdown review
Publishers Weekly review

Creative Loafing Atlanta field guide to the author's work
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for EVER
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Scorch Atlas


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

The list of online "best of 2012" book lists
The list of online "best of 2012" music lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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


Posted by david | permalink






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