Talkin’ Music: Bookish Bands

For a bookwormy musiclover, discovering that your favorite band has a song about your favorite poet is like finding a surprise $20 bill in the pocket of your jeans.

(Small print: analogy not valid if involves passing out in a Greyhound bus station)

I first heard Modest Mouse’s song Bukowski while crashing at a friend’s apartment in Boston. This was an appropriate setting because it was the same friend who first took me to Bukowski’s Tavern. When I asked this friend how he knew that I was a Charles Bukowski fan, he replied, “Who the hell is THAT? I just brought you here because I knew you would enjoy drinking in a bar located inside a parking garage.”

If you listen very closely to the end of Bukowski, you can hear the poet himself say, “Ifuckedupthatlastline!”

Here’s my ‘Big Three’ literary songs:

Lebron: On the Road by Tom Waits (In addition to being a Kerouac fan, Tom Waits loves Charles Bukowski. And while I don’t know this for sure, I think it’s safe to assume that he also loves a good bar inside a parking garage.)

D Wade: Ulysses by Franz Ferdinand (Lead singer Alex Kapranos wrote this song while struggling through Joyce’s novel)

Otherguy: Alameda by Elliott Smith (The entire album Either/Or is supposedly influenced by the work of Søren Kierkegaard. I’ve never read any Kierkegaard; and if reading him makes me adopt Elliott Smith’s worldview, perhaps I never will!)

Mike Miller: Rain King by Counting Crows (This song is based on Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King. You didn’t think I was going to leave this one out, did you?)

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One Response to Talkin’ Music: Bookish Bands

  1. Interesting. I just finished the intro and am delving intobchapter one of “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac. Big fan of Modest Mouse and love Franz Ferdinand. Music and writing? Looking forward to more of your blogs…

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