lundi 7 novembre 2011

Books and Bands (again)

Inspired by a combination of my recent 'Books & Bands' jaunt (see previous post), and my current readng matter - the music and literature crossover starts here...

So, I'm currently reading the culty novel 'Perfume' by Patrick Suskind.  Frankly, I can't believe it's taken me this long.  This is because - as you may well know - it was famously a favourite of my old hero Kurt Cobain, and the song 'Scentless Apprentice' (from my joint-favourite album of all time 'In Utero') was inspired by it.

I have, predictably, been marvelling at every single traceable Cobain-cite - of which there are a gratifying amount.  'Like most babies smell like butter' from there on in.

Equally as predictably, this has got me thinking: my favourite book and band crossovers.

Yes, of course there are enough for a list!

Our Lady of the Flowers by Placebo
Placebo being my favourite band at the age of fifteen was a good thing on many levels (see also: bruise-coloured make-up, fake furs, chopping all my hair off, and my stepdad thinking I was a lesbian).  One of these was that they introduced me to Jean Genet.  True story - upon reading up on this song and discovering that it was inspired by the novel of the same name, I immediately headed for my local bookshop and had it ordered in specially.  It's still a favourite.

Jean Genie by David Bowie
And Molko wasn't the first to write a song about Jean Genet.  I particularly like this one as it is based upon the fact that Bowie had only seen the name Jean Genet in print, and had been mispronouncing it in his head - something I still do often with all sorts of names and words, causing frequent embarrassment.

Angelene by PJ Harvey
In another ultimate crossover of my favourite things of all time, in the world, ever: this song from the sublime album 'Is This Desire?' quotes from  JD Salinger's short-story compilation 'For Esme With Love & Squalor': "pretty mouth and green my eyes".  A beautiful line worth quoting, and I simply cannot overstate my love of the afore-mentioned short-story collection.  Although my favourite story of the bunch - in fact, my favourite short story of all time - is 'Uncle Wiggily In Connecticut'.

Space Dog by Tori Amos
My favourite Tori song, and one that is guaranteed to get me dancing whatever the time, place, or inappropriate situation.  I defy you not to.  Also notable for the line "seems I keep getting the story twisted/ so where's Neil when you need him" - among so many classic lines in this song, this one references Neil Gaiman.  Gaiman is, of course, an amazing writer with many strings to his bow (my favourite being his epic novel 'American Gods'),  and also a good friend of Tori's.  Although apparently he wasn't yet when she wrote it - at that stage, she was just a fan.  Cooler still.

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