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Music

Eleanor Henderson’s Punk Rock Playlist

Eleanor Henderson had punk rock legends like Misfits and Minor Threat wailing throughout her debut novel, Ten Thousand Saints. GalleyCat reader Tim Frederick built a punk rock soundtrack for the book on Spotify.

Here’s an excerpt from the novel: “Jude was the one in Converse high-tops, the stars Magic Markered into pentagrams, and he wore his red hair in a devil lock–short in the back and long in the front, in a fin that sliced between his eyes to his chin. Unless you’d heard of the Misfits, not the Marilyn Monroe movie but the horror-rock/glam-punk band, and if you were living in Lintonburg, Vermont, in 1987, you probably hadn’t, you’d never seen anything like it.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Patti Smith Spotify playlist, our Geoff Dyer Spotify playlist, James Ellroy Spotify playlist and the new Eleanor Henderson Spotify playlist.

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James Ellroy Beethoven Playlist on Spotify

James Ellroy has a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven mounted above his bed. Inspired by the crime novelist’s love of the great composer, we’ve created a three-hour Spotify playlist collecting James Ellroy’s favorite Beethoven music.

Read more about Ellroy’s favorite classical music here. In an interview, Ellroy once explained: “Classical music brings back the awe of life to me and the essence of drama, and I grew up digging big, thunderous, important (music). And wanting to create it in my own way. Which could only be the word.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Haruki Murakami Spotify playlist, our Patti Smith Spotify playlist, our Geoff Dyer Spotify playlist and our new James Ellroy Spotify playlist.

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Keith Richards Sells One Million Copies of His Memoir

Today Little, Brown and Company announced that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has sold more than one million copies of his memoir, Life.

To celebrate, we’ve linked to Beth Miller’s comprehensive Spotify playlist collecting “the songs, artists and recordings discussed by Keith Richards in his autobiography Life in the order they appear in the book (generally).” That amounts to 300 songs, enough writing music to keep you busy for 17 hours.

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Haruki Murakami Spotify playlist, the Patti Smith Spotify playlist, our Geoff Dyer Spotify playlist and this new Keith Richards Spotify playlist.

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Geoff Dyer & Jazz: Spotify Playlist for Writers

Geoff Dyer‘s brilliant But Beautiful explored jazz history with novelistic flourishes, giving readers an invaluable jazz education in the process. Check out our new But Beautiful playlist on Spotify and listen to more than four hours of classic jazz albums handpicked by Dyer.

Here’s more about the great trumpet player and vocalist Chet Baker, from the book (all songs listed below): “Put them all together and they were like a book, a dream guide to the heart: ‘I Can’t Believe You’re in Love with Me,’ ‘The Way You Look Tonight,’ ‘You Go to my Head,’ ‘I Fall in Love Too Easily,’ ‘There Will Never Be Another You.’ It was all there, all the novels in the world wouldn’t tell you more about men and women and the moments flashing like stars between them.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Haruki Murakami Spotify playlist, our Patti Smith Spotify playlist, our Lev Grossman Spotify playlist and our new Geoff Dyer Spotify playlist.

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Decemberists Adapt David Foster Wallace

The new video for “Calamity Song” by The Decemberists reenacts a scene from David Foster Wallace‘s masterpiece, Infinite Jest. We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think?

In the video, a group of teenagers play Wallace’s imaginary Eschaton game, a combination of tennis match and computer simulation for nuclear war. Follow this link if you want to play the game in real life. Singer and novelist Colin Meloy told NPR he had just finished reading Infinite Jest and wanted the video to be a tribute to the late novelist.

Check it out: “I had this funny idea that a good video for the song would be a re-creation of the Enfield Tennis Academy’s round of Eschaton — basically, a global thermonuclear crisis re-created on a tennis court — that’s played about a third of the way into the book. Thankfully, after having a good many people balk at the idea, I found a kindred spirit in Michael Schur, a man with an even greater enthusiasm for Wallace’s work than my own. With much adoration and respect to this seminal, genius book, this is what we’ve come up with. I can only hope DFW would be proud.”

Lev Grossman Shares Writing Music on Spotify

Over at Largehearted Boy, novelist Lev Grossman revealed the music he listened to while writing his new novel, The Magician King. Listen to some of the songs at this free Spotify playlist.

In the essay, Grossman described one of our favorite pieces of writing music, “Bolero,” by Maurice Ravel: “It’s one of those melodies that’s so obviously perfect you can’t understand how one human being could have come up with it — it’s sounds like the product of a 1000-year-old folk tradition (I imagine Ravel doing what Paul McCartney did after he wrote “Yesterday” – he went around asking everybody if they’d heard the melody before, because he could swear he’d stolen it from somewhere). It’s great to write to because it doesn’t have any words, which are always distracting, and it whips you up into an intensely excited state in which you feel like a genius even when you aren’t one.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Thomas Pynchon Spotify playlist, our Ann Patchett Spotify playlist and the new Lev Grossman Spotify playlist.

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Patti Smith Memoir Playlist on Spotify

In her memoir, Just Kids, rock star Patti Smith tells stories about enough songs and musicians to fill an entire record collection.

Spotify user Beth Miller has created a mind-boggling 10-hour long Spotify playlist linking to the music mentioned in Smith’s National Book Award-winning memoir. It’s the perfect way to read the book and prepare for the upcoming film adaptation.

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Thomas Pynchon Spotify playlist, our Ann Patchett Spotify playlist and the new Patti Smith Spotify playlist. If you create a Spotify playlist with music from a specific author, be sure to share it with us.

Thomas Pynchon Spotify Playlist

As the stock market crashed today, we decided to counter the gloomy news with a Spotify playlist handpicked by novelist Thomas Pynchon. Chill out all day with this list collecting 31 groovy songs from Pynchon’s Inherenet Vice.

Here’s more about the list, via his Amazon page: “Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello is a private eye who sees the world through a sticky dope haze, animated by the music of an era whose hallmarks were peace, love, and revolution. As Doc’s strange case grows stranger, his 60s soundtrack–ranging from surf pop and psychedelic rock to eerie instrumentals–picks up pace. Have a listen to some of the songs you’ll hear in Inherent Vice—the playlist that follows is designed exclusively for Amazon.com, courtesy of Thomas Pynchon.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Thomas Pynchon Spotify playlist, our Ann Patchett Spotify playlist and our Henry Miller Spotify playlist. If you have more ideas for a particular playlist, you can always add your suggestions in the comments section–we will update our mix.

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Spotify Playlists for Writers: Ann Patchett

In 2001, novelist Ann Patchett published Bel Canto, a gorgeous and suspenseful introduction to the world of opera music. If you have a Spotify account, enjoy this playlist collecting 30 songs mentioned in the novel–two hours of writing music.

Here’s an excerpt from Bel Canto, describing the first song on the playlist: “[He] chose Rusalka as a measure of his respect for [the singer]. It was the centerpiece of her repertoire and would require no extra preparation on her behalf, a piece that surely would have been included in the program had he not requested it … He simply wanted to hear her sing Rusalka while standing close to her in a room. If a human soul should dream of me, may he still remember me on awaking! His translator had written it out for him from the Czech years ago.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Ann Patchett Spotify Playlist and our Henry Miller Spotify Playlist. If you have more ideas for a particular playlist, you can always add your suggestions in the comments section–we will update our mix.

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Grant Morrison Channels John Lennon

At a Los Angeles appearance (video embedded above), comic book writer Grant Morrison sang a song that he learned from the spirit of John Lennon.

Comics Alliance explains: “Morrison performed this song during a recent event at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, thanks to the urging of My Chemical Romance frontman (and Umbrella Academy writer) Gerard Way. As Way explained, Morrison was given this song by the spirit of John Lennon, which Morrison communed with in a magic ritual while writing The Invisibles. I think it says a lot about the wonderfully enigmatic Grant Morrison that the only reason this surprised me at all was that I didn’t know he played guitar.”

What do you think? No matter where the song came from, it sounds like a Lennon song. Read all the lyrics at this link. (Via Alex Segura)

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