Monday, May 11, 2015

The Gods in the Wilderness Playlist, Part 1

As with Boomerang Girl (and other projects) before it, I decided it would be fun to make a playlist for Gods in the Wilderness, my upcoming full-length poetry collection. This one is longer, to correspond with the length of the manuscript, and I'll spread it out over two posts to make it more manageable. Come back on Friday for Part 2!


1) "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Green Day
Call me emo. Call me a sell-out. I literally DNGAF, because this is the theme song for lingering teenage angst, which I suffer from.

2) "Like Flames," Berlin
I want hair--and a voice--like Terri Nunn's. I want to be the person who brought this song to life. And "The Metro." And "No More Words." And "Take My Breath Away." But for now, I'll settle for being an admirer of hers (and the band's).

3) "Gimme a Ride to Heaven Boy," Terry Allen
Once upon a time, a wacky biology professor introduced me to this song. I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I want everyone else to hear it, too.

4) "Hell," Squirrel Nut Zippers
There is a great deal of religious imagery in this collection, in spite of the fact that I rarely go to church. "Hell" is, at times, the perfect song to go along with my words because of its sheer wackiness.

5) "Closer," Nine Inch Nails
As someone heavily influenced by the music of the 1990s, I can't help but keep "Closer" as a touchstone. Anyone old enough to remember this song will know what I mean. (PS If you're easily offended, this is probably not the song--or video--for you. Fair warning.)

6) "Bloody Mary," Lady Gaga
The defining line of this song, for me, is the one where Gaga sings, "And when you're gone, / I'll tell them my religion's you." I feel her so much on that one that it informs several of these poems.

7) "Everybody Out of the Water," The Wallflowers
Do you remember when the Wallflowers first hit? Of course you do: "One Headlight" was nigh unto inescapable. I wish that people knew more about their later work, as well, and particularly this track, with its apocalyptic vision and insistent lyrics.

8) "Pillar of Davidson," Live
The first music video I remember seeing was the one for "Lightning Crashes," but there is so much more to Live than that one song. Throwing Copper is an incredible album, and I'm happy to say that this track belongs here.

9) "Comedown," Bush
I don't think I know a single straight or bisexual girl of my generation who didn't have an enormous crush on Gavin Rossdale or cry a little when Gwen Stefani took him off the market.

10) "Undun," The Guess Who
Because who doesn't love some Canadian classic rock with a touch of jazz flute?

11) "Amazing," Madonna
When I listen to Music, Madonna's 2000 follow-up to Ray of Light, I tend to gravitate to the middle of the album, particularly this '60s-influenced collaboration with William Orbit (who is also partly responsible for "Beautiful Stranger" and "I'm a Sinner," songs that wear his influence proudly).

12) "Wrecking Ball," Miley Cyrus
Haters to the left.

13) "Under My Thumb," Rolling Stones
Yes, I know: this song is wildly misogynistic. And yet, I don't care, because it sounds good and describes the way the world tends to treat women in a way that makes me want to sing along.

14) "Anything But Down," Sheryl Crow
I can always get behind a good Sheryl Crow song, and this one is a universal tale of toxic love. 

15) "Three Days," Willie Nelson
For those of my friends who believe I know nothing about country music: I've actually seen Willie in concert, he was amazing, and this song is part of my Top 100. It's quintessential country, what with its tale of lost love, and fits well with some of my own work.

16) "Scar Tissue," Red Hot Chili Peppers
I've been quoting this song since it first appeared on the airwaves. Anthony Keidis sings, "I'll make it to the moon if I have to crawl," and I will, too.

17) "Murphy," Erin Harkes and the Rebound
Sadly, I cannot find a video of this song on YouTube, but go look it up. Erin is great and brilliant and I love her work and wish I had written this song.

18) "Come Along," Titiyo
The two halves of this playlist roughly correspond with the two halves of the manuscript, and I like to think that "Come Along" has its analog in my poem "North/South": an invitation to see what's going on and continue traversing the path we've started down.


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