Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Hispter Book Club! Now with more lists!

The new issue of Hipster Book Club is up. As I mentioned yesterday, it's the music issue (there's a bit of non-musical content, too, like a review of David Benioff's City of Thieves). Among the manifold joys are an interview with John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, a review of his new book 33 1/3: Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, and bands compiling their "Top 5 Desert Island books." Many of the bands had a shockingly literal interpretation of the question. In Kyle Olson's "Literary Muxtape," he compiles a list of twelve songs for bibliophiles that include "The Book of Love" by Magnetic Fields, "Graham Greene" by John Cale, and "Marx and Engels" by Belle & Sebastian.

I used to do this in my spare time: think of a bunch of songs centered around a theme. Like I did one that was all about movies. I think it had "Stanley Kubrick" by Mogwai, "Cassavetes" by me out here..."The Right Profile" by The Clash, I think. Anyway, you get the idea. A common one was books and authors. Belle & Sebastian are probably the most bookish rock band (are they really a rock band?), and they have about a dozen songs that reference reading, bookshops, etc., but they're a bit obvious. Another bookish band, The Decemberists, have a song about contemporary writer Myla Goldberg. I always thought that was cool, since the song came out about five minutes after Goldberg's debut novel Bee Season. It would be like me writing a pop song about Keith Gessen. "Everyday I Write the Book," by Elvis Costello is a classic literary rock song, and, to my knowledge, the only song that directly addresses process, unless you count the one line in "Dancing in the Dark," when Bruce informs us that, like every other novelist on earth, he's "sick of sittin' round here tryin' to write this book." (I'm pretty sure most novelists could also use a "love reaction," but I digress).

What would be on your literary mixtape?

(Oh, and I should shill once more for the July 12 event at Vroman's featuring Hipster Book Club's Yennie Cheung and Kyle Olson and the band Red Pony Clock.)

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