Every time a finish a book, I put together a soundtrack for shits and giggles. I usually give them to my friends if they ask, or just play them in the car.
A few people have asked me why I chose the songs or what people/scenes they correspond to, so I decided to post them here with an explanation for each song.
So here's a whole bunch of songs. Whether you're interested in my stories or not, check it out! There might be an artist you're interested in, or something that looks fun or weird.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time on this, though that's probably because I have a ridiculous amount of free time right now.
Keep in mind that I don't think these are the actual meanings of the songs. It's just the way that I've chosen to apply them to the stories.
Click on the title of each book to get to the soundtrack. You should be able to download each track individually.
Funnily Enough (2005)
The first book I wrote. The story is chaotic and the writing is shitty, but I do love it.
Jeremy Fendel is an ex-comedian and Spectrick. He has a best friend named Larax. His close friend Aaron falls for an actor named Chad. Jeremy falls in love with a Tangick and becomes obsessed with her and slowly detaches from reality. Ultimately, he realizes that his true love was right in front of him. And then some freaky shit happens.
Note: This soundtrack may be the least cohesive. Since this was my first NaNo, I took on some "dares" from the website to boost my word count, since every word does count. One of these dares was to include a full song in the story, so I actually dropped full songs into the story. That's right. And I kept the lyrics in when I self-published, since it's basically just me fartin' around for friends anyway. So the point is, a couple of the songs on this soundtrack were directly in the book.
Also, I put this together three years ago, so I probably don't remember all the reasons correctly. But you wouldn't have even known that unless I'd pointed it out, so I guess I'm a goddamn fool.
1. Lucky - Radiohead
This is actually in the book. Jeremy yells it in a karaoke frenzy at a dinky restaurant. At the beginning of the story he's in a rut, and he hopes that his luck's gonna change.
2. Once In A While - Brad
From Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is also in the book. Larax sings it to Jeremy while they're getting ready for some event.
3. Human Behavior - Björk
I think parts of this song illustrate the experience of Spectricks trying to understand Tangicks. It's also about all of Jeremy's friends, and how they interact with each other.
4. Smile (Even Though Your Heart Is Breaking) - Judy Garland
Jeremy hides his problems from a lot of people. Having been a comedian/entertainer for much of his life, he's used to people expecting him to be funny and smiling.
5. Tell Him - Exciters
Due to Erin's suggestion a long time ago, this is what I consider the title sequence song. I can picture Jeremy walking to and from work in a bouncy way with this playing behind him. It also sums up two of the three story arcs, and works for many different perspectives.
6. El Manana - Gorillaz
Another song that works for different perspectives. Maybe in time/You'll want to be mine. Jeremy longs for Alyssa, and someone else longs for him.
7. Ne Me Quitte Pas - Jacques Brel
This is Jeremy's bitter desperation and confusion over Alyssa, who is someone he can never have. The song is called Please Don't Leave Me.
8. You Don't See Me - Josie & The Pussycats
ANOTHER one that works on different levels. Jeremy doesn't see Trekker as anything more than a friend, and Alyssa can't see Jeremy at all.
And yes I put Josie & the Pussycats in here goddamnit.
9. Dreaming - Loudon Wainwright III
Jeremy is exhausted by his situation, and the choices he has had to make.
10. Pretty Good Day - Martha Wainwright
This song is about being grateful for every single thing you have. Once he's gotten over his devastation, Jeremy settles into his life again and is grateful for it.
11. Close Your Eyes - Jump, Little Children
Jeremy has finally become aware of Trekker's situation, and wishes his mind could be at peace.
12. Can't Take My Eyes Off of You - Muse
Jeremy has a new and exciting point of interest.
13. That's All - Michael Bublé
Omg it's so sappy but I love it. I just see them walking down the street, holding hands contently. They also used to keep LJs, and one of them posted this once.
14. It's Only Time - Magnetic Fields
Why would I stop loving you a hundred years from now.
The first half of a two part story.
A mysterious stranger (Wally) with memory loss and unnatural capabilities wanders into the lives of Jeremy and his group of friends. The story of George and Farley is told. Larax falls in love with one of his students. A cold woman named Alyx enters the scene. The end of this first half sees the stranger's secrets revealed, and Aaron stranded in the Tangick world.
Note: I think I like this soundtrack best, in terms of how it came together.
1. Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
The story begins with Wally waking up in a park, with no memory of......pretty much everything. Slowly, concepts start to come back to him, followed by words. Some weird stuff happens, and he starts waking towards Jeremy's town, bathed in moonlight. This song refers to both the setting of the scene, and the fact that bad things are a comin'.
2. Midnight - Jump [aka Jump, Little Children]
There is a darkness looming over the group.
3. Guess I'm Doing Fine - Beck
Aaron and Chad have not officially split up, but they are not on good terms. Aaron refuses to address the issue at all.
4. Don't Panic - Coldplay
Larax gets to know Dion, and new friends are coming together. Jeremy and Trekker are as mushy as always.
5. Crispy Christian Tea Time - The Robot Ate Me
WALLY IS CRAZY OMG
He has his own view of the world. It's very strange and childlike and no one understands why. He is particularly out of place in the Spectrick world.
6. Tristan And Iseult - Tarkio
Larax and Dion are starting to fall in love awwwwwwww
7. There There (The Boney King Of Nowhere) - Radiohead
This is pretty much my Ultimate Song for George and Farley, since every aspect of their short relationship is, in my mind, colored by a sense of impending doom. We are accidents/Waiting, waiting to happen.
8. Amo Bishop Roden - Boards of Canada
Sounds awesome and creepy. Plays throughout Wally's wandering and exploration.
9. Memory Lane - Elliott Smith
Wally is finally introduced to the gang. Although they don't react the way the people in this song do, Wally starts to feel more and more like there's something wrong with him due to their reactions.
10. Happiness Writes White - Harvey Danger
Dion is trying to win Larax back and convince him that he's worth the effort, but he can't figure out what could convey his feelings.
11. Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
This is Larax and Dion's song.
12. The Promise - When in Rome
Dion would follow Larax through anything, and the feeling is mutual.
13. Winterlong - Pixies
Alyx waited a long time to find herself again, and she found it in a mysterious stranger.
14. It's Not the End of the World? - Super Furry Animals
The truth behind Wally finally comes to light.
15. Daylight - Jump
Everything is suddenly better, and yet something doesn't seem right...
16. I Will Wait for You - Connie Francis
Chad is devastated by the turn of events, but his resolution is strong.
The concluding half of the two part story.
Left in the Tangick world and only able to contact Wally, Aaron gets to know his temporary family, and learns what it's like to be a Tangick. Alyx and Wally reconnect. Some new friends of peculiar origin start showing up on Earth to help Aaron. The story of Caelan and Murphy is told. Something happens to Jeremy, which causes a painful rift in his relationship with Trekker. Aaron is in an accident. More things happen, and the group is left to heal and settle back into their normal life.
Note: In this book I decided to flip eeeeverything upside down by putting an EPIGRAPH in each chapter. Yeah, I'm a maverick. A few of those epigraphs are from songs, so into the soundtrack they went.
1. Whistle For The Choir - The Fratellis
This is sort of about Alyx and how she originally lived her life. But also, the Fratellis are awesome and I wanted to lead with this.
2. Set The Fire To The Third Bar (featuring Martha Wainwright) - Snow Patrol
Alyx and Wally's song. They were separated by time and distance and some other crazy shit.
3. Weight of the Ocean - We're About 9
Represents the bittersweet attitude running through the group.
4. Invincible - Muse
Despite Aaron's situation and the thin ground that their relationship was on before they made up, the fact that they have managed to continue past these obstacles makes them feel....well, you know.
5. Your Ex-lover Is Dead - Stars
The beginning of this was an epigraph. This one's more about the beautiful music, rather than the story.
6. Shame On You - Hot Hot Heat
Bad things start to happen to certain people, but will their friends be able to help?
7. Signs Of Love - Moby
The relationships in the story are still fairly solid, but they are starting to go in many different directions.
8. This Love Affair - Rufus Wainwright
Even though Trekker isn't walking away, he almost wishes (for the first time in 10 years) that he could.
9. Broken - Jump
Both Trekker and Jeremy are dealing with the tragic results of the intrusion into their relationship.
10. It Ain't Easy - David Bowie
11. A Bit of Wind - Fruit Bats
The accident really makes Aaron realize what life means to him.
12. Each Coming Night - Iron & Wine
Epigraph. Aaron is finally going to get what he wants, but at a cost he hadn't considered.
13. I'm Going Home - Frank
Yes, ANOTHER Rocky Horror song. Pretty straightforward.
14. Videotape - Radiohead
Epigraph. The importance of these events will stay with everyone involved for the rest of their lives.
15. Shiny Things - Tom Waits
Epigraph. The book ends in a gooey lovefest of sorts.
This is one of my favorite love songs ever. Simple and sweet.
The latest one! As I haven't decided whether I'm going to make it public, I'll try to avoid the more revealing spoilers.
In Funnily Enough, there's a movie called Every Waking Hour that Jeremy was in. It was a low-budget independent film from the 70's. This book is basically two versions of that story: the movie version and the real-life version that it was based on. They're both told in different ways by different people. The story is that a Spectrick woman falls in love with a Tangick man (named John in both versions), and they somehow manage to develop a relationship of sorts. Both versions take a different turn from there. It's more of a novella, so I included a bonus story at the end: the tale of Deidrich and Lucien.
Note: Basically, every other song is from version [A] or [B] until the end. I didn't have enough space to include music for the bonus story, but if I ever find something that fits really well I'll include it. Also, the time range for the majority of the story goes from the late 50's to the late 70's, so I purposely included a few songs from those decades.
1. Brighter Than Sunshine - Aqualung
[A] The story begins with Marie sitting on a hill, watching the sunrise, pondering the meaning of life and the extent of the universe.
2. For No One - The Beatles
[B] Paranise tells Jeremy about the story behind the movie, which has affected her life more deeply than she lets on.
3. Maple Leaves - Jens Lekman
[A] This is a confusing time for Marie, as she tries to interpret the direction that life is taking her in.
4. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me - The Smiths
[B] Paranise is also confused, and lonely.
5. If You're Feeling Sinister - Belle & Sebastian
[A] Marie knows that there's no hope for the road that she's heading down, but she's following her feelings anyways.
6. The World We Live In - The Killers
[B] John is tortured by his past, and Paranise is slipping from her reality.
7. She's an Angel - They Might Be Giants
[A] John can feel that someone is there, and he's starting to feel grateful for the presence.
8. Shadowboxer - Fiona Apple
[B] Both Paranise and John are anxious. John is paranoid, and Paranise is looking much too closely.
9. She's Not There - Zombies
[A] John thinks that Marie must be made up.
10. I Can't Change It - Frankie Miller
[B] As she falls deeper into her new life, Paranise knows that she's hurting her friends, but she doesn't know how to stop.
11. Losing My Mind - Original Broadway Cast
[A] From Follies. Now John is positive that his delusions are going beyond imagination, and he is consumed. This song is the reason the soundtrack exists. I wasn't sure if I even wanted to make one this year, but then I connected this song to the story and I could picture John sitting in one of his ornate antique chairs, listening to this on his record player, and I couldn't help myself.
12. Save Me - Queen
[B] John is having trouble getting through the day, and he needs help.
13. Goodnight Sweetheart - Rufus Wainwright
[A] Finally, John has accepted that he's either crazy or being followed by some strange thing, and he doesn't care.
14. Street Spirit (Fade Out) - Radiohead
[B] This version starts to wind down.
15. My Body Is a Cage - Arcade Fire
[A] Marie can't take it anymore. I know this song is getting to be overused now, but it's sooo good.
16. World Keeps Turning - Tom Waits
[B] The end of Paranise's story, as she talks to Jeremy.
17. Love You More Than Life - Neutral Milk Hotel
[A] This is a demo for an unreleased NMH song, for those who care. The quality isn't good but it's the only version I've ever been able to find. It's a sweet little love song.
18. Of Angels And Angles - The Decemberists
[A] The end of the movie version.
Feel free to ask any questions if something isn't clear, or if you've already read the stories and want a more detailed explanation.
Also, tell me if anything isn't working right or needs to be fixed.