Literary Mixtape | Anne of Green Gables

Mixtape Anne of Green Gables

The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.

Chris Cornell provided much of the soundtrack to my teenage years, and my adult years too, quite honestly. Soundgarden, Audioslave, solo, original or cover, I enjoyed it all. This morning, after I heard the news, I started thinking of all of the songs I particularly loved, and as it happens, I am currently reading Anne of Green Gables (in honor of Anne with an E). Somehow they just wove themselves together. It’s not a perfect fit, but it’s better than I expected.

01. Doesn’t Remind Me // Audioslave. “Anne finished up with another sigh, of relief this time. Evidently she did not like talking about her experiences in a world that had not wanted her.”

02. Be Yourself // Audioslave. “There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

03. Can’t Change Me // Chris Cornell. “I’m not a bit changed–not really. I’m only just pruned down and branched out. The real ME–back here–is just the same.”

04. Black Hole Sun // Soundgarden. “Anne always remembered the silvery, peaceful beauty and fragrant calm of that night. It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it.”

05. Fell on Black Days // Soundgarden. “It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?”

06. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart // Chris Cornell. “My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.”

07. Like a Stone // Audioslave. “It was November – the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”

08. Heavy is the Head // Zac Brown Band feat. Chris Cornell. “We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self denial, anxiety and discouragement.”

09. Nothing Compares 2 U (cover) // Chris Cornell. “It has always seemed to me, ever since early childhood, amid all the commonplaces of life, i was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty. Between it and me hung only a thin veil. I could never draw it quite aside, but sometimes a wind fluttered it and I caught a glimpse of the enchanting realms beyond – only a glimpse-but those glimpses have always made life worthwhile.”

10. I am the Highway // Audioslave. “When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend…”

Is this combination just completely inappropriate? Or weirdly suited?

Literary Mixtape | Far from the Madding Crowd

Do you ever want a modern soundtrack to literary fiction? Yes? Me too. That’s the point of this feature. Whereas some people imagine cinematic montages in their head, I create a soundtrack.

Okay, so I actually do both, but I prefer to share my soundtrack.
Madding Crowd

While Far from the Madding Crowd is not my favorite Thomas Hardy novel (that’s Return of the Native), it is my second favorite. The recent movie adaptation was excellent too, although I do recommend giving the book a chance.

As an alternative for a review, synopsis, or anything of the like, I decided to create a soundtrack for the book. Please note that quite a bit of this is intended to be playful and irreverent. I’m rarely serious and this post is no exception. Because really, do I believe that Far from the Madding Crowd should lead off with Nirvana’s About a Girl? No, but I like it all the same.

01. About a Girl / Nirvana

“You overrate my capacity of love. I don’t possess half the warmth of nature you believe me to have. An unprotected childhood in a cold world has beaten gentleness out of me.”

02. Love Sick / Bob Dylan

“Love is an utterly bygone, sorry, worn-out, miserable thing with me- for him or anyone else.”

03. Stevie Nicks / Fleetwood Mac

“They spoke very little of their mutual feelings: pretty phrases and warm attentions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends.”

04. Take on Me / A-Ha

“Don’t take on about her, Gabriel. What difference does it make whose sweetheart she is, since she can’t be yours?’

‘That’s the very thing I say to myself,’ said Gabriel.”

05. In Chains / Shaman’s Harvest

“Sometimes I shrink from your knowing what I have felt for you, and sometimes I am distressed that all of it you will never know.”

06. New Romantics / Taylor Swift

“Well, what I mean is that I shouldn’t mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband. But since a woman can’t show off in that way by herself, I shan’t marry — at least yet.”

07. Shovels and Dirt / Strumbellas

“A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.”

08. Pining / Parker Millsap

“I shall do one thing in this life – one thing certain – that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die.”

09. The Sound of Silence / James Blake

“Silence has sometimes a remarkable power of showing itself as the disembodied sould of feeling wandering without its carcase, and it is then more impressive than speech. In the same way to say a little is often to tell more than to say.”

10. (Insert Song Here). It is possible I will have a brilliant idea for an appropriate song for this quote, but so far…one big nope.

“I have felt lately, more and more, that my present way of living is bad in every respect.”

Your job, if you feel up to it (and no pressure, obviously, or I might die listening to the sound of crickets), is to think of something for #10. Otherwise just enjoy my small contribution to the lost art of the mixtape, with a classic literature twist.

Literary Mixtape | Revival

RevivalAs an alternative for a review, synopsis, or anything of the like, I decided to create a soundtrack for the book. Please note that quite a bit of this is intended to be playful and irreverent. I’m rarely serious and this post is no exception.

Except this is a serious book with serious themes. It’s not that vampires and zombies aren’t serious, because they are (threatening to drain you of your blood and eat you), but religion is something else entirely.

Religion is the theological equivalent of a quick-buck insurance scam, where you pay in your premium year after year, and then, when you need the benefits you paid for so—pardon the pun—so religiously, you discover the company that took your money does not, in fact, exist.

The novel centers around Jamie, who is introduced as a child, and follows him for five or so decades, as his life intertwines with that of Charles Jacobs. As Jamie grows up, he becomes a guitarist and embraces the rock and roll lifestyle – and various addictions – there is no event more profound than when Jamie meets Charles. The consequences for both are staggering. The novel, well written and brief by King standards, explores the many meanings of revival. It’s worth the read and definitely one of his better novels.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating…

This was a difficult mixtape to create, if only because I had to walk a fine line between being creative and just using all of the songs King himself references (and it’s an extensive list). So, as the name implies, the result is a mix. Some I added (like Son of a Preacher Man and Fire) and others King quoted in the novel (like Cherry, Cherry and Wild Thing).

Enjoy responsibly.

01. Son of a Preacher Man / Tom Goss
02. I Want to Hold Your Hand / The Beatles
03. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright / Bob Dylan
04. Cherry, Cherry / Neil Diamond
05. Green River / Creedence Clearwater Revival
06. Who’ll Stop the Rain / Creedence Clearwater Revival
07. Brown Eyed Girl / Van Morrison
08. Wild Thing / Jimi Hendrix
09. Baby Blue / Badfinger
10. Hang on Sloopy / The McCoys
11. I’ll Be Seeing You / Billie Holliday
13. Fire / Barns Courtney


It’s hard to compete with a novel where the main character is a musician. Do you attach songs to novels? I often can’t help it…

Literary Mixtape | Flowers in the Attic

Flowers in the Attic Crop

What Twilight did for the younger generation, Flowers in the Attics by V.C. Andrews did for the previous generation – as in it generated such conversation gems as “at least kids are reading”. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve heard it a time or two. Actually, what I’ve heard is it being compared with Harry Potter, but I’m going to pretend I didn’t.

For those of you who don’t know, and there might be someone, somewhere, who doesn’t, it’s the story of four beautiful and perfect children locked away in an attic. This novel is an account of their time.

Anyway, what more is there to say than this, this is why we all read it half in secret, right? (SPOILER ALERT)

And that is where he took me, and forced in that swollen, rigid male sex part of him that had to be satisfied. It drove into my tight and resisting flesh which tore and bled.

Now we had done what we swore we’d never do…

Later, we went out on the roof. Long strings of clouds blew across the face of the full moon, so it would duck and hide, then peek out again. And on the roof, on a night that was made for lovers, we cried in each other’s arms…

‘Don’t hate me, Cathy, please don’t hate me. I didn’t mean to rape you, I swear to God. There’s been many a time when I’ve been tempted, and I was able to turn it off. I’d leave the room, go into the bathroom, or into the attic….

Tight as I could, I wrapped my arms around him. ‘I don’t hate you, Chris,’ I whispered, pressing my head tight against his chest. ‘You didn’t rape me. I could have stopped you if I really wanted to….It was my fault, too.’

The answer? Nothing. So bad, yet so readable.

01. Don’t You (Forget About Me) / Simple Minds**
02. This Loneliness / El Perro del Mar*
03. Hate it Here / Wilco
04. Hold On / Wilson Phillips
05, Lonely Together / Barry Manilow*
06. In My Room / Beach Boys**
07. Crying, Waiting, Hoping / Buddy Holly*
08. I Can’t Make You Love Me / Bon Iver (cover of Bonnie Rait)
09. It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) /Bob Dylan
10. Mother / John Lennon
11. Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine / Bob Dylan

Thoughts? Suggestions? Contributions? Did you read this when you were younger? Do tell.

*Contributed by Kate
**Contributed by Kate AND I. Great minds and all.

Literary Mixtape: ‘Salem’s Lot

‘Salem’s Lot is the second novel Stephen King wrote and, in my opinion only of course, considerably better than his first. I am rather ambivalent about Carrie; I neither liked nor disliked it. I am glad it wasn’t my first Stephen King novel, as my unadulterated love for all things Stephen King might not have been born. Like Pet Sematary, I put ‘Salem’s Lot in the “classic King” category. It’s a solid, scary vampire novel (as vampire novels should be).

Salems Lot

Jerusalem’s Lot, vernacularly known as ‘Salem’s Lot, is the quintessentially pastoral Maine town – on the surface. Scratch that surface and you get the usual lies, corruption, prejudice, and bullying. Scratch a little harder and you’ll discover ‘Salem’s Lot hides abuse, violence, and now, something deeply menacing*. One of my favorite aspects of this novel, like many of King’s novel (particularly Bag of Bones, IT, and Under the Dome), is that the town of ‘Salem’s Lot functions as a character as well as place. The collective psyche of the town’s inhabitants is as sordid as any big city, perhaps more so, thus leaving the town vulnerable and oblivious to the current and new residents. This is ultimately their undoing.

At its core, ‘Salem’s Lot is simply a well-paced, well-plotted novel. The book’s ability to make a simple invitation or an errant scratching noise deeply menacing are what make it terrifying (and what better month to read such a novel than October). Moreover, some of the most disturbing scenes have nothing to do with the vampires and are entirely due to the horrifying proclivities of some of the town’s residents. This is not a novel for the faint of heart. It deals with many of humanities darker issues, the ability of an entire town to look the other way, the triumph of evil and the loss of an entire town. See original review in full here.

*On a separate note, I immensely enjoyed the evil nature of vampires in the novel. Originally published in 1975, neither the author nor novel could have predicted the state of vampire literature today. The average vampire novel today is more likely to romanticize and sexualize the bloodthirsty (vegetarian) undead than to make them menacing. In general, I prefer my vampires to be supremely evil (as long as they’re fictional).

For what it’s worth: “Salem’s Lot recently came in at number four on Rolling Stone’s Best of Stephen King list. I kind of agree.

01. Unforgiven II / Metallica

“The basis of all human fears, he thought. A closed door, slightly ajar.” 

02. Autumn Sun / Emiliana Torrini

“But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” 

03. Mother & Father / Broods

And you couldn’t explain that to your mother and father, who were creatures of the light. No more than you could explain to them how, at the age of three, the spare blanket at the foot of the crib turned into a collection of snakes that lay staring at you with flat and lidless eyes. No child ever conquers those fears, he thought. If a fear cannot be articulated, it can’t be conquered. And the fears locked in small brains are much too large to pass through the orifice of the mouth. Sooner or later you found someone to walk past all the deserted meeting houses you had to pass between grinning babyhood and grunting senility. Until tonight. Until tonight when you found out that none of the old fears had been staked— only tucked away in their tiny, child-sized coffins with a wild rose on top.”

04. Pay Dearly / Johnnyswim

“If you haven’t considered it already, consider it now: there is every possibility that some of us, or all of us, may live and triumph, only to stand trial for murder.” 

05. No I Won’t Go / Brick + Mortar

“Thin clouds form, and the shadows lengthen out. They have no breadth, as summer shadows have; there are no leaves on the trees or fat clouds in the sky to make them thick. They are gaunt, mean shadows that bite the ground like teeth. As the sun nears the horizon, its benevolent yellow begins to deepen, to become infected, until it glares an angry inflamed orange. It throws a variegated glow over the horizon.” 

06. Beg, Steal, or Borrow / Ray LaMontagne

“The town has a sense, not of history, but of time, and the telephone poles seem to know this. If you lay your hand against one, you can feel the vibration from the wires deep within the wood, as if souls had been imprisoned in there and were struggling to get out.” 

07. Blush / Wolf Alice

“And she began to be afraid.  She could not put her finger on any precise reason, and in that way it was like the fear she had felt before.  She was fairly sure that no one could hear her, and it was broad daylight – but the fear was there, a steadily oppressive weight.  It seemed to be welling into her consciousness from a part of her brain that was usually silent and probably as obsolete as her appendix.  Her pleasure in the day was gone.  The sense that she was playing was gone.  The feeling of decisiveness was gone.”

08. One / Filter

“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.”

09. Fall Creek Boys Choir / James Blake & Bon Iver 

“Corey Bryant sank into a great forgetful river, and that river was time, and its waters were red.” 

10. You Know You’re Right / Nirvana

“There is no life here but the slow death of days, and so when the evil falls on the town, its coming seems almost preordained, sweet and morphic. It is almost as though the town knows the evil was coming and the shape it would take.” 

11. Hurt / Johnny Cash

“…didn’t seem to hurt much anymore; it was only numb. It would have been better if there had been painPain was at least real.”

I was inspired to flip through this novel again as part The Fellowship of the Worms book club.

Have you read ‘Salem’s Lot? Would you rank it in the top five Stephen King novels?

 

Literary Mixtape | American Psycho

Do you ever want a modern soundtrack to literary fiction? Yes? Me too. That’s the point of this feature. Whereas some people imagine cinematic montages in their head, I create a soundtrack.

Okay, so I actually do both, but I prefer to share my soundtrack.

American Psycho

American Psycho is a difficult book to create an original soundtrack for, if only because Patrick Bateman has long, thorough, and exhausting opinions on ‘80s music (it’s hard to look at Huey Lewis, Genesis, and Whitney Houston quite in the same way after reading this book). So I decided to take the middle road and include a few of the songs Bateman analyzes to death and a few I find applicable to particular passages – it’s more satisfying, if in a narrower way.

If somehow you’ve missed hearing anything regarding the controversial American Psycho, it’s the story of the one and only Patrick Bateman and his pervasive madness. By day, he is young, attractive, well-educated and successful. By night, he lives out his fantasies in murderous ways most of us of cringe to read. He’s an insecure, misogynist, psychopath, and serial killer (I should point out that I do believe he murders an equal number of men and women… The women, well, he’s just more enthusiastic about it).

I figure any novel as polarizing as this one deserves a mixtape, so in no particular order:

01. Straight Into Darkness / Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

“I walk back to my place and say good night to a doorman I don’t recognize (he could be anybody) and then dissolve into my living room high above the city…”

02. Sex and Dying in High Society / X

“But we can’t ignore our social needs either. We have to stop people from abusing the welfare system. We have to provide food and shelter for the homeless and oppose racial discrimination and promote civil rights while also promoting equal rights for women but change the abortion laws to protect the right to life yet still somehow maintain women’s freedom of choice. We also have to control the influx of illegal immigrants. We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values and curb graphic sex and violence on TV, in movies, in popular music, everywhere. Most importantly we have to promote general social concern and less materialism in young people.”

03. Bad is Bad / Huey Lewis

The Huey Lewis discussion is so long and so in depth, that it felt nearly impossible to choose just one song.

04. Devil Inside / INXS

“”I… am… the… devil… and… I’m… just… like… you…” And then everyone, the audience, the band, reappears and the music slowly swells up and Bono, sensing that I’ve received the message – I actually know that he feels me reacting to it – is satisfied and turns away…”

05. Man of Peace / Bob Dylan

Because every mixtape needs a little Bob.

06. Silver Rainbow / Genesis

The only band mentioned more than Huey Lewis is Genesis.

07. Sussudio / Phil Collins

“Sussudio, great, great song; a personal favorite.”

(For the record, I really can’t stand this song.)

08. Cherish / Lovin’ Spoonful

While Waiting on the couch in the living room, the Wurlitzer jukebox playing “Cherish” by Lovin’ Spoonful, I come to the conclusion that Patricia is safe tonight, that I am not going to unexpectedly pull a knife out and use it on her just for the sake of doing so….

09. What Difference Does it Make? / The Smiths

I try to placate her by describing how trendy, how luxurious the restaurant we’re going to is, explaining its pasta with fennel and banana, its sorbets, but she only shakes her head and then I’m reduced to telling her, oh Christ, about how Barcadia has gotten much more expensive even than Dorsia, but she is relentless. Her eyes, I swear, intermittently tear.

10. Saving All My Love for You / Whitney Houston

he ballad “Saving All My Love for You” is the sexiest, most romantic song on the record. It also has a killer saxophone solo by Tom Scott and one can hear the influences of sixties girl group pop in it (it was cowritten by Gerry Goffin) but the sixties girl groups were never this emotional or sexy (or as well produced) as this song is.

11. Will You Love Me Tomorrow / The Shirelles

(See above quote)

12. This Charming Man / The Smiths

Today has not been bad: I worked out for two hours before the office; the new Robson Hirsch restaurant called Finna opened in Chelsea; Evelyn left two messages on my answering machine and another with Jean, letting me know that she’ll be in Boston for most of the week; and best of all, The Patty Winters Show this morning was in two parts. The first was an exclusive interview with Donald Trump, the second was a report on women who’ve been tortured.

13. Dancing in the Dark / Bruce Springsteen

“…it also has a stripped down urgency that not even the overrated Bruce Springsteen can equal. As an observer of love’s failing Collins beats out the Boss again and again…”

Did I miss any ’80s classics that Bateman would obsess over? Though I did purposefully exclude multiple Whitney Houston, Huey Lewis, and Genesis songs…

Literary Mixtape | The Bonfire of the Vanities

Do you ever want a modern soundtrack to literary fiction? Yes? Me too. That’s the point of this feature. Whereas some people imagine cinematic montages in their head, I create a soundtrack.

Okay, so I actually do both, but I prefer to share my soundtrack.

Bonfire of the Vanities

I read The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe for the first time almost a year ago. I revisited it over the last week because I genuinely enjoyed the book and because I love the ‘80s (as long as I don’t have to relive them), though it bears noting I did not read it again. I skimmed – Tom Wolfe is a verbose fellow. I generally forgive him because he’s the undisputed king of glib smartasses. That being said, and despite the fact that I do like it, there’s not a lot for women to love in this book (say if one was looking for a finely drawn female character). However, if you enjoy watching men being egotistical fools, this book is for you.

The Bonfire of the Vanities offers a colorful portrait of the 1980s; it is the “quintessential novel” of that decade. May brown lipstick forever rest in peace…

01. Dedicated Follower of Fashion / The Kinks

Looking at Sherman McCoy , hunched over like that and dressed the way he was, in his checked shirt, khaki pants, and leather boating moccasins, you would never guess what an imposing figure he usually cut. Still young… thirty-eight years old… tall… almost six-one… terrific posture… terrific to the point of imperious… a full head of sandy brown hair… a long nose… a prominent chin… He was proud of his chin. The McCoy chin, the Lion had it too. It was a manly chin, a big round chin such as Yale men used to have in those drawing by Gibson and Leyendecker, an aristocratic chin, if you want to know what Sherman though. He was a Yale man himself. But at this moment his entire appearance was supposed to say: “I’m only going out to walk the dog.”

02. Sweet Mistreater / Bessie Smith

“You’re lying!” She gave him a hideous smile. “And you’re a rotten liar. And you’re a rotten person. You think you’re so swell, and you’re so cheap. You’re lying, aren’t you?”

“I’m not lying. I swear to God, I took Marshall for a walk, and I came back in here, and wham, I mean, I hardly know to say, because I truly don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re asking me to prove a negative proposition.”

(He’s lying.)

03. Pocketful of Money / Jens Lekman

And what would he do then? I’m already going broke on a million dollars a year! The appalling figures came popping up in his brain. Last year his income had been $980,000. But he had to pay out $21,000 a month for th $1.8 million loan he had taken out on the apartment. What was $21,000 a month to someone making a million a year? That was the way he had thought at the time – and in fact, it was merely a crushing, grinding burden – that was all!

04. Jesus Thinks You’re a Jerk / Frank Zappa

“What insidious little trouble makes in her class had been spreading this poison? So far as Sherman knew, Campbell still believed in Santa Claus, and here she was, beginning to question the existence of God! And yet… it was a precocious question for a six year old, wasn’t it? No two ways about it. To think that such a speculation – “But what if there isn’t!? She was annoyed. Asking for the history of the question was no answer.
“But there is a God, sweetie. So I can’t tell you about ‘if there isn’t’”. Sherman tried never to lie to her. But this time he felt it was the prudent course. He had hoped to never discuss religion with her. They had begun sending her to Sunday school as St. James’ Episcopal Church… That was the way you tool care of religion. You enrolled that at St. James’ and you avoided talking or think about religion again.

05. Everybody Wants You / Billy Squier

Sherman resumed his walk toward First Avenue in a state of agitation. It was in the air! It was a wave! Everywhere! Inescapable! … Sex! … There for the taking! … It walked down the street, as bold as you please! … It was splashed all over the shops! If you were a young man and halfway alive, what chance did you have? … Technically, he had been unfaithful to his wife. Well, sure… but who could remain monogamous with this, this, this tidal wave of concupiscence rolling across the world? Christ almighty! A Master of the Universe couldn’t be a saint, after all…

06. Rough Boy / ZZ Top

Two figures! Two young men – black – on the ramp, coming up behind him… Boston Celtics!… The one nearest to him had on a silvery basketball warm-up jacket with CELTICS written across the chest… He was no more than four or five steps away… powerfully built… His jacket was open… a white t-shirt… tremendous chest muscles… a square face… wide jaws… a wide mouth… What was that look? Hunter! Predator! … The youth stared Sherman right in the eye…walking slowly…The other one was tall but skinny, with a long neck, a narrow face…a delicate face…eyes wide open…startled…He looked terrified..He wore a big loose sweater…He was a step or two behind the big one…

What are they ding on the ramp? Haven’t done anything – haven’t threatened. But they will! Just be nice. Are you insane? Do something! Act! A sound filled his skull, the sound of a rushing stream. He held the tire up in front of his of chest. Now!

07. The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest / Bob Dylan

They reached the exit. He held on for dear life, as if a tornado were going to rise up at any moment and blow them out of the proper groove and – back to the Bronx!

08. Bulletproof — La Roux

He was not merely a Master of the Universe; he was more; he was a man. Grinning and humming. “Show me but ten what are stouthearted men,” the stouthearted man, still damp from the fray, walked the two blocks to his duplex apartment overlooking the street of dreams.

08. There Is a War / Leonard Cohen

“Oh, I think it’s an intrinsically important story. But, you know, they’re very sensitive about this sort of thing. If we did a story about life in the white council flats, that would be all right, but I don’t think there are any white council flats in New York. This is a very delicate area and one that’s causing me some concern just now.  We’re already getting some rumblings from these organizations, accusing The City Light of being anti-minority, to use their term. Now, it’s all right to be a white newspaper – what could be more pure white than the Times? – but it’s quite another thing to pick up that reputation. That makes a great many people uneasy, including, I might say, advertisers. I received a letter the other day from some outfit calling itself the Third World Anti-Defamation League.” He dragged out the term anti-defamation as if it were the most ludicrous concoction imaginable.

09. My Career as a Homewrecker / Jonathan Richman

He hadn’t thought he would be able to face the television screen, and yet he turned it on. The vilification poured forth from every channel. Prominent Wall Street investment banker, top echelon at Pierce & Pierce, socialite, prep school, Yale, spoiled son of the former general partner of Dunning Sponget & Leach, the Wall Street law firm, in his $60,000 Mercedes sports roadster (now and extra $10,000), with a foxy brunette who was not his wife and not anything like his wife and who makes his wife look dowdy by comparison, runs over an exemplary son of the deserving poor, a young honor student who grew up in the housing projects, and flees in his fancy car without so much as a moment’s pity, let alone hel, for his victim, who now lies death.

10. Boys Don’t Cry / The Cure

He looked at his daughter and tried to feel the pangs, but it was an intellectual exercise. It was all so sad and heavy, heavy, heavy.

11. You’re So Vain / Carly Simon

It was a sunny day this time, a balmy day in June. The air was so light it seemed pure and refreshing, even here in the Bronx. A perfect day, in short; Sherman took it badly. He took it personally. How very heartless! How could Nature, Fate – God – contrive such a sublime production for his hour of misery? Heartlessness  on all sides.

12. Wanted Dead or Alive / Bon Jovi

“I have nothing to do with Wall Street and Park Avenue. I’m a professional defendant. I’ve undergone a year of legal harassment, and I’ll undergo another – or perhaps 8 1/3 to 25.”

Occasionally I can’t find quotes to match songs that I want to include…(suggestions are always welcome, but I feel like that’s asking an awful lot from my small readership). And conversely, occasionally I can’t find songs for particular quotes, I would’ve loved to have thought of something for “Bullshit reigns.”.

13. Blue Monday / New Order
14. Rich Girls / The Virgins
15. Police & Thieves / The Clash
16. Runnin’ Out of Fools / Aretha Franklin

What’s your quintessential song of the ’80s (mine is Tainted Love)? Have you read The Bonfire of the Vanities? Anyone see the positively dreadful film adaptation?

PS: I’m open to suggestions for my next literary mixtape. I’m not holding out any hope, as this feature is a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I’m listening…