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February 14, 2013

Book Notes - Joshua Mohr "Fight Song"

Fight Song

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, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Joshua Mohr's fourth novel Fight Song vividly re-imagines the mid-life crisis as quest in this often whimsical yet always heartfelt book.

The San Francisco Chronicle wrote of the book:

"Fight Song is fun and smart at the same time. It demonstrates what I have long suspected: Our most powerful coming-of-age moments occur not in adolescence but in middle age, when the stakes are higher and we have so much more to lose."

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 Joshua Mohr's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Fight Song:

"Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" (Father John Misty)

I found out about Father John from the lovely and talented Jillian Lauren. We were actually doing a reading at Hollywood Forever, a cemetery in LA. I needed some traveling music while driving down for the event from San Francisco, and Jillian's recommendation was the perfect co-pilot.

"Hip Eponymous Poor Boy" (Jack White)

As I'm revising a novel, I listen to the same handful of records over and over. I don't know if it helps or not, but I have a crackpot theory that listening to the same songs helps me find solidarity for the sentence rhythms, sentence structures. I always perked up whenever this song played.

Thrust (Herbie Hancock)

This isn't a song, but a whole album. It's completely instrumental, and I listened to it time and again during the revision process.

"You Must be Upgraded" (The Flaming Lips and Kesha)

I'm one of the few people who dig the Heavy Fwends project that the Lips put out. This track with Kesha is a hammer to the kneecaps. I mean that in the best possible way.

"Rock And Roll All Nite" (Kiss)

This song is featured in Fight Song. One of the characters plays in a Kiss cover band. If I've done my job right, as the novel pushes to its close, it's as if "Rock & Roll All Nite" is blaring in the background. It's the book's fight song!

"Don't Sit Down 'Cause I Moved Your Chair" (Arctic Monkeys)

This is a nice, straight ahead rock and roll track. It has a certain sleaze to it that I always love. The lyrics are certainly tongue in cheek, but they're delivered with a perfect fuck you.

"Rainy Day, Dream Away" (Jimi Hendrix)

I've always loved his album Electric Ladyland and my love grew when I got it on vinyl last year. Listening to Hendrix while writing makes me feel fearless on the page: can there be a better inspiration than Jimi? He was fearless in his self expression! He was an iconoclast! He was wholly his own in his art. I'm certainly not as brave as him, but is there a better thing to aspire toward as an artist? Shouldn't we all try and channel our inner-Jimis and make the most memorable art we can?

Joshua Mohr and Fight Song links:

the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book (at Canteen)
excerpt from the book (at The Nervous Breakdown)

Los Angeles Times review
San Francisco Chronicle review
TriQuarterly review

The Exhibitionist interview with the author
Interview Magazine interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Damascus
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Some Things That Meant the World to Me
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Termite Parade
Litquake interview with the author
LitReactor interview with the author
The Nervous Breakdown self-interview with the author
The Outlet interview with the author
Trop interview with the author

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

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