September 25, 2015
In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.
Mairead Case's novel See You In the Morning is a poignant and provocative debut.
Electric Literature wrote of the book:
"Her style is reminiscent of Catherine Lacey or, at times, Sarah Gerard, but it also calls on the almost dreamlike world-building of John Brandon or even Haruki Murakami. It’s as if Case manages to evoke a sense of importance with every detail and a feeling of urgency with every action. There is more to this book than its spare 126 pages. It folds itself into your memories and pulls more out than you may be willing to give, and in this way, it is an important and vital book."
Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.
Music is everywhere in this book, but there aren't very many songs. (I think Mingus is the only musician I mention, and there's an epigraph from New Order.) But while I was writing I worked in music, around music, and I wrote at work and afterwards. I made notes in the margins of old Lumpens, working shows at the Co-Prosperity Sphere; by the light of the headless Christmas choir at Skylark; over strong ginger tea at the Bottle and beer at the Pitchfork Book Fort; upstairs at the Nightingale; and in summertime, on the Hideout picnic benches. I wrote full first paragraphs waiting for my boyfriend to finish band practice. And then I polished all these in different jewelbox apartments somewhere along 18th Street, lit through by street noise and my Throbbing Gristle Buddha Machine. It wasn't spying, it was somatic. Right now I write fiction.
These patterns shaped my book into weights and space, weights and space—a calendar of waiting, of love and paychecks not straight lines. This is how I experienced my young summers, and so when this book, which is about the summer before twelfth grade, wanted that too I didn't resist it. Towards the end I did loop certain pieces: the Califone Deacon gave me before he left, Neil Young's Harvest, Satie to keep my body at the desk, and for editing, "Tonto" by Battles. Over and over and over, seashelled. I also listened to David Bowie's "Modern Love," because of that killer sidewalk scene in Mauvais Sang, and See You In the Morning as a whole owes much to permission granted by the Hold Steady's Separation Sunday.
But you can find those albums for yourself. For me good mixes bridge weights and space, weights and space too, hopefully by reminding you of your body, and so I want to make See You in the Morning a playlist like that. Which is good, because that's what the unnamed, questioning narrator asks all book long: which moves feel right? What, where, how is home and who does that make me if I leave it? And if someone else is there, are we in love?
Here are some songs I think they might've played—in a small town a couple years ago, with access to college radio, the neighbor's vinyl collection, basement shows, and not much else—to help them figure it out.
Jonathan Richman – "That Summer Feeling"
Roxy Music – "All I Want Is You"
Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir – "Like a Ship (Without a Sail)"
Fiona Apple – "Anything We Want"
Belle and Sebastian – "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying"
Department of Eagles – "No One Does It Like You"
Frida Hyvönen – "Once I Was a Serene Teenaged Child"
Gossip – "Melody Emergency"
The Pixies – "Hey"
The Raincoats – "No Side to Fall In"
Brian Eno + the Winkies – "Baby's on Fire"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – "Y Control"
Iggy Pop – "Fall In Love With Me"
Pretty Girls Make Graves – "This Is Our Emergency"
The Constantines – "Draw Us Lines"
Perfume Genius – "My Body"
Le Tigre – "Les and Ray"
The Traveling Wilburys – "If You Belonged to Me"
Scout Niblett – "Fuck Treasure Island"
Galaxie 500 – "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste"
Herbert – "Something Isn't Right"
The Thermals – "I Might Need You to Kill"
Rodriguez – "I Wonder"
Tracy + the Plastics – "Henrietta"
Xiu Xiu – "Ceremony"
Mairead Case and See You In the Morning links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (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
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
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
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
Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)