May 21, 2013
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.
Drew Magary's new memoir Someone Could Get Hurt is a laugh out loud funny yet brutally honest account of modern parenthood.
Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book:
"Laugh-out-loud funny . . . An outspoken dad's brassy, wise and painfully honest view from the top of the family tree."
Okay, so this book was written using two different playlists. There was the music I was listening to as I wrote the book, the kind of "I'm so fucking inspired!" music that people get all weepy and annoying about. And then there are the songs that actually spring up within the stories, songs that just happened to be playing whenever shit was going down. So I'll start with the first playlist of inspirational RAWK:
Celebration Rock by Japandroids
Silver Age by Bob Mould
I listened to nothing but these two albums for ten straight months because they're awesome and other music is dogshit by comparison. In my authorial wet dreams, "Someone Could Get Hurt" becomes a TV show, and the network thinks so highly of me ("You have such a unique voice, Drew!") that they cede full creative control of the series to me and pay me a billion dollars per episode to make it. It wins many Emmys and when the show ends, people beg for a cast reunion and I tell them to piss off. I'm also in charge of all the show's music, which means a title sequence that has "Nights of Wine & Roses" by Japandroids blasting loud as fuck as we show quick shots of a house RUINED by children leaving all their shit all over the place. And for the touching montages where we show my character (played by a winning Chris Pratt) lovingly feeding a baby, we use "First Time Joy" by Mould to really get the tears jerkin'.
"Stronger," by Kelly Clarkson
Every time I drove to the hospital to see my son and the other kids were in the car, my daughter would demand that I change the channel to whatever station was playing this song (which was easy, since in the spring of 2012 EVERY station was playing this song). So while little girls listen to this song and are like, "I'm finally gonna dump Jayden!", I think about my son getting a feeding tube rammed up his nose. I'd rather not hear it again.
"Boogie In Your Butt," by Eddie Murphy
I don't wanna post book spoilers or anything. All I can say is that it's a fine song to teach to your children when you desperately want them to like you.
"This Lullaby" by Queens of the Stone Age
I sang this song to my kid when he was in the NICU. And in the initial draft of Someone Could Get Hurt, I actually printed out one verse of it in the final chapter. And then my editor looked at the manuscript and was like, "Uhhh... Drew. You need permission from the artists to use these lyrics." And I was like, "Seriously?" And she was like, "Yeah, it's a whole horrible process and they never say yes." So I was given the option of replacing it with a song in the public domain or simply alluding to the song without directly quoting it.
And that's all well and good. I get why artists are protective of their material, especially in an age where everyone steals music. I don't think the book is any worse off without the lyrics. But it's not like I named the book SONGS FOR THE DEAF. We're talking about just a couplet here and there. How the fuck does a rock critic write a book without being able to quote song lyrics? I swear I've seen song lyrics in books before. I want to sneak the lyrics back into the book without a lawyer or Josh Homme noticing.
"Try To Sleep" by Low
Another song I would sing to my kid to get it to stop screaming. I did not succeed.
"Gold on the Ceiling" by the Black Keys
I spent a lot of time trying to wean my kids off of listening to either terrible children's music or terrible Top 40 music. Thankfully, the Keys were just mainstream enough for me to transition my two older kids into listening to actual, good rock and roll. God bless the Black Keys. Now the kids even listen to Japandroids without bitching (NOTE: They still bitch on occasion, but then I turn it up and drown them out). "Midnight City" by M83 and "Everybody's on the Run" by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds were also big helps in this department.
"Ricochet" by Faith No More
I had the lyric "It's always funny until someone gets hurt and then it's just hilarious" as the epigram for this book. But again, permission and shit. So out it went. But the sentiment remains. Kids hurt themselves so often and so mildly that it almost becomes a recurring sight gag in the life of a parent.
"Suicide & Redemption" by Metallica
I was listening to this when I took my kid for a power walk in the book. I was faster than her. EAT IT, KID.
And here are a few more that either inspired the book or played a role in the stories:
"I Love NYE," by Badly Drawn Boy
"All Over the Road," by Rival Sons
"Your Love (Outfield cover)" by Bon Iver
"Sweet Freedom" by Michael McDonald (good for singing while drunk)
"Chips Ahoy!" by the Hold Steady
"Some Day My Prince Will Come," Snow White soundtrack
"Art of Almost," by Wilco
"Take a Walk," by Passion Pit
"Acquiesce," by Oasis
"Cold Hard Bitch" by Jet (I don't actually like this song, but it plays a role)
Pretty much every Katy Perry song (ditto)
Drew Magary and Someone Could Get Hurt links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
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