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June 13, 2017

Book Notes - Brontez Purnell "Since I Laid My Burden Down"

Since I Laid My Burden Down

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, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Brontez Purnell's novel Since I Laid My Burden Down is powerful and moving.

Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book:

"A complex. . .look at one man’s experience of being black, queer, smart, soft, tough, artistic, and constantly in motion between rural and urban cultures."

In his own words, here is Brontez Purnell's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Since I Laid My Burden Down:

Stream the playlist on Spotify.

I jokingly referred my novel Since I Laid My Burden Down to this one source as "my Tyler Perry meets Tennessee Williams Southern Gothic Pulp Trash Non- Memoir" (I love IDENTITIES). Anywho as I took the project on more and more over the course of it I noticed the book started to look like a lot of things beyond that, and other things beyond what I initially calculated (and I'm the fucking author! Dang....). I was grateful for that. Also in terms of "seeing" a story as I sometimes myself heavily rely on various fake movie stills in my head and how music always paints it—either as a mood setter or a way to move away from a particular mood. I have made movies and I will continue to until I one day get the budget to make a narrative film with like a shit ton of fly ass soundtrack so I can finally see a mixtape of mine on vinyl.

Soundtrack to Since I Laid My Burden Down

1- "Since I Laid My Burden Down" (gospel song-it's on this soundtrack for super obvious reasons)

2- "Shed So Many Tears" by Tupac
This song is on I would like to think as some kind of 8th grade anthem for DeShawn. Very Black boy w/ hella Jesus angst all over this track but besides that is the fact that the beat still slaps like 20+years later....dude.....

3- "Lights Out" Angry Samoans
I imagine this to be a DeShawn teen angst anthem. Irl I think I was 16 when I heard this song and had a small seizure when I did.

4- "Dreams" Fleetwood Mac
In the movie this would play in DeShawn's dad's pick-up truck as they are booking it down 2 lane Deep South highways with a dead deer in the back of the truck.

5- "I GOT 5 ON IT" The Luniz
"Where you from? Oakland...smokin'..."

6- "You Can Hide Your Love Forever" Comet Gain
DeShawn's ode to Michael.

7- "He's Outta Sight" The Rondelles
DeShawn's ode to Arnold.

8- "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole covering The Beatles and I DIE every time. It would come (in the movie) at a scene of epiphany?

9- "You Ain't Hittin' On Nothin'" Irma Thomas
Good song to cast riddance spells too. A good ass ode to any grown ass person who needs to get some sorry ass lovers out of there life!

10- "I Can Feel Him Slipping Away" Mamie Lee
Northern Soul stomper and also DeShawn's goodbye song to Jatius.

11- "Give It Up Turn It Loose" En Vogue
A bunch of Oakland Divas giving us some good cleansing energy for any sister scorned. Ashe. ✨✨✨✨

12. "A Change Is Gonna Come" Sam Cooke
This was a Sunday household favorite of mine growing up.

13. "Dance Song 97" Sleater-Kinney
An ode to DeShawn's teenage Molly Ringwald meets Carlton from Fresh Prince - freak out New Wave bed room dance party of one song.

Brontez Purnell and Since I Laid My Burden Down links:

Kirkus Reviews review
Publishers Weekly review

Fiction Advocate interview with the author
Foglifter interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

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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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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musician/author interviews
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Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists

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