October 31, 2016
In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.
Patrick Hoffman's Every Man a Menace is a complex and compelling literary thriller.
Kirkus wrote of the book:
"[Every Man a Menace] is distinguished by its virtuoso set pieces . . . a nasty tour de force . . . Hoffman’s follow-up to The White Van is another strong and original addition to the crime fiction genre."
My new novel, Every Man a Menace, is a thriller about an ecstasy trafficking ring that moves drugs from Southeast Asia to San Francisco. It’s also about paranoia, deception, betrayal and fear—hence the title. The first handful of songs on this list are some of the ones I used to get inspired to write. Some songs are ones I used to just feel more deeply. I included a couple tracks that (probably) would be good to listen to on molly. There is one artist, Katreeya English, that appeared in the book. And finally, a couple songs that could be on my imaginary soundtrack of the movie. Hope you enjoy!!
"Olde English" - Young Thug
I don’t know what Young Thug is talking about in this song, but he does say something about 800 capsules of Molly and something else about being good at uploading wallets, which fits in pretty well with my book. The tone fits too: it’s menacing. Every time I put this on my headphones it gets me right into that crime fiction zone. It gets me pumped up!
"Black Skinhead" - Kanye West
Because the thing is, you need to be pumped up to write fiction. It’s all about tricking your ego into thinking you are good enough to do the job. Kanye West does it for me. I love him. I don’t care if you hate him. I love him. And I love Kim Kardashian. But most of all, I love reality shows of Bravo. Simply put, The Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules are the best film or television there is. Period. Forget those shows on HBO. Give me some Vanderpump any day! Shout out to DJ James Kennedy, the realest villain out there. Shout out to Jax, Lala, the whole gang! But what about "Black Skinhead?" The heavy breathing? I have listened to this song so many times to get pumped up that I should probably send Kanye 10 percent of my royalties.
"Wish You Would (feat. Princess Nokia)" - Mykki Blanco
Pumped up and ready to write!
"Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First?" - Father
Father’s music is so drugged out, so perfect for riding around on molly, so perfect for rolling into the club, that I couldn’t possibly afford to leave him off this list. Not that I would ever drive around on molly, or roll into a club at all, but fiction writers need portals to help us feel like we’re on drugs.
"Elle était belle pourtant" - Salvatore Adamo
But you can’t just be pumped up and feeling like you’re on drugs all the time. You gotta have some love songs to open your heart up for other feelings, too. That’s when I throw on some Salvatore Adamo—and by throw on, I mean thumb around on my phone as I walk to my little writing spot. Sometimes I see people walking around New York that look super bummed out, and I’ll think to myself: Writer. No joke, this writing stuff is hard. But throw this song on and you’ll be feeling better in no time.
"Something You Will Never Forget" - William Onyeabor
It’s been a long time since I’ve messed around with any drugs, but if I was going to take some molly now, this is what I’d want to listen to. Forget House music, give me some psychedelic world music any day! This is the jam, and William Onyeabor is the man. Look at him!
"Yermande (Kick and Bass Mix)" - Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force
Lets stay in Africa for a moment. This is a brand new album, I think it came out the very week that I’m writing this list, and it is perfect for this mix. Especially this song. I found it on Honest Jon’s website (which I love). It’s a collaboration between musicians from Dakar and Berlin. It’s super dubbed out. It’s perfect for every vibe we’ve been trying to get at. You want to get pumped up on the way to the writing space? Get this. You wanna feel more expansive in your soul? Get it. You wanna get super high on molly? Play this on loop!
"Pow Pow" - Rebolledo
Part of this playlist has to be an imaginary soundtrack to the movie. A large portion of the book is about some Israeli club owners in Miami who are responsible for moving the drugs. You can put this song on right when the movie cuts to Miami. Dark, synth-driven techno, it’s perfect for Miami gangsters. Look at the cover art!
"เธอคือคนไหน" - Katreeya English
In the book, one of the other Israeli traffickers, Moisey Segal, takes a Thai man back to his apartment in Bangkok to do some crystal meth and have sex. Things take a bad turn from there, and the rest of the book is essentially a study of the ripple effects of that one bad decision. This is the song he puts on when they get to the apartment.
"After Laughter (Comes Tears)" - Wendy Rene
Is it too on-the-nose to suggest that the worst part of taking ecstasy is the comedown? This is the song for the comedown. Also, this one could be inserted in so many spots in the imaginary soundtrack. And, I think it’s one of the single best songs ever recorded.
"Everybody’s Gotta Live" - Love
We’ve reached the end of this playlist, the end of the imaginary movie, and the end of Every Man a Menace, whether the credits are rolling on the screen, or in your head, whether your walking slumped over to your writing desk, or finishing a long drugged out night on molly—this is the song to play. It’s another one of my favorites.
Patrick Hoffman and Every Man a Menace links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
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