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March 13, 2014

Book Notes - Nickolas Butler "Shotgun Lovesongs"

Shotgun Lovesongs

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.

Nickolas Butler's debut novel is a compelling coming-of-age story of four friends, a lyrically told literary love letter to the small towns of the American Midwest.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote of the book:

"We all have them, right? Those songs that indelibly mark the milestones in our lives? Songs that stir up our deepest feelings and remind us of who we are. … Only the best, most emotionally resonant novels work in the same way. Nickolas Butler’s Shotgun Lovesongs is one of those novels."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Nickolas Butler's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Shotgun Lovesongs:


My new novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, has an indie-folk musician as a central character. But I have decided to eschew the reflex of giving you a playlist all comprised of folk-rock or even classic rock. However, because "lovesongs" are part of the novel's title, I have decided to delve deep, and assemble a flat-out panty-dropping, baby-making, hit-list of sex-type songs guaranteed to make your man or your lady say, "Let's go halfsie on a bastard." But enjoy with caution. I recommend a chilled bottle of Veuve Cliquot, a fresh package of American Spirits, and possibly a box of JELLO chocolate pudding. Godspeed, young lovers. – Nickolas Butler

"No Ordinary Love" by Sade
Announce yourself. Lock the door, drop your keys, kick your shoes off, spill some champagne, and commit to treating the living room couch like a hotel bedspread you'll never have to launder. "This is no ordinary love." Cue: mounting guitar salvo.

"Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus" by Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg
Oh, you didn't know? I spent several years in France. Working on what? Lovemaking. Lovemaking, my little kitten.

"Slow Like Honey" by Fiona Apple
That's right. We're in no hurry. Take your time, baby. In fact, there's a honey bear in the spice cabinet, next to the cumin and bay leaves. Why don't we invite him to the party as well?

"How Come You Never Go There" by Feist
This is what your lover is too embarrassed to ask for. Feist is doing it for you. Look hungry, brave lover.

"Come On Over, Turn Me On" by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
Don't listen too hard to the lyrics. Pay attention to your lover's eyes. And just start popping buttons.

"Glory Box" by Portishead
Glory box indeed. "I just want to be a woman." And I just want to be a man. Inside you.

"Crystalized" by The XX
Time for a line? A swig of cold beer? Got your second wind? There's a beautiful sheen on you, lover.


"Don't Explain" by Dexter Gordon
Whoa, baby. How many times was that? I've lost count. Just relax with a little smooth jazz delight. This is my good friend, Dexter. Could you pass that cigarette, baby? No that's alright. I'll just ash into the tray of my hand here.

"Misty" by Ella Fitzgerald
Just in case the babysitter returns, or the grandparents, let's pretend like I haven't spent the last twenty minutes spanking your bottom pink, and sucking the polish off your toe-nails.


Nickolas Butler and Shotgun Lovesongs links:

excerpt from the book (at Narrative)
excerpt from the book (at Volume One

BookPage profile of the author
Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New York Times review

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram profile of the author
Omnivoracious 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

Online "Best of 2013" Book Lists
2013 Year-End Online Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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