Thursday, March 6, 2014

SM Johnson ~ The Music of Jeremiah Quick

I submitted my new book, Jeremiah Quick, to be a featured book on West of Mars, and my task as the author was to choose one song to represent the book.

One song.

I was like, are you kidding me?

There are other books that I could pick one song for, because sometimes a whole book can be inspired by just one song.

But not Jeremiah Quick... (deep sigh). Jeremiah Quick has a 6.5 hour playlist. Yeah.

Because, you see, Pretty and Jeremiah have a history of connecting and relating based on the disparity of their music.


Yeah, that's what I said.

What Pretty loves, Jeremiah loathes, and this, then somehow becomes a dialogue and a Conversation.

There are a lot of references to bands and songs in Jeremiah Quick, and I urge you to check out the ones you haven't heard of - if any such animal exists for you - because the music and the tone of a song had some effect on the scene.

It was particularly fun and interesting to explore what Pretty likes that Jeremiah disapproves of, and what Jeremiah likes that Pretty thinks is tiresome noise.

Musically, these two characters aren't compatible, and never have been. It was an interesting growth concept, however, that the more Jeremiah and Pretty interact with the same goal, or the more Pretty submits to what Jeremiah is doing, the more she appreciate the music he loves.

Is he doing it on purpose?  Yeah, my sense is that he is.

I think... Jeremiah recognizes Pretty's love of quieter, melodic music, so I think he plays the most mellow of his favorites on purpose. And, to tell you the truth, it works, and Pretty finds new music to love.

So there I was, for two days to pick just one song.


(following links go to YouTube)

I wanted Beautiful Thing by Romantic Torture - because it's so amazing and just... so... Jeremiah ("the most beautiful thing in the world is killing me..."). And because Pretty came to love it.

I wanted to choose Coil's agonizing version of Tainted Love because it embodies so much of the symbolism of Jeremiah Quick, and makes me want to shriek in absolute pain. Seriously - if you're writing something that just smashes and crashes your heart, get this song on your playlist. It fucking hurts. It's also a total Jamie song, so I sort of wish it had been my one-song choice.

I wanted to pick London After Midnight's The Spider and the Fly - because "nothing ever comes from nothing, and we pay a price for all our choices made..."

I wanted to pick Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue, or Patience  by Guns-N-Roses - because they're just so... pretty. Pretty, I mean - these were her favorites when she was a teenager, and she'll defend them without shame, the way she defended her love of Air Supply's Making Love Out of Nothing at All. "Lyrically," she says, "it's an amazing song." And she sings it, to prove her point.

She'll always prefer her comfort music of Lifehouse and Train and Matchbox 20 to Jeremiah's Leaether Strip and Nine Inch Nails, but she discovered new favorites in London After Midnight and the Virgin Prunes.

On a musical level, the differences between Pretty and Jeremiah are blatantly apparent, and I guess that's what I really want you to see.

So. What song did I ultimately pick to represent Jeremiah Quick?

It's an oldie but a goody, covered by many artists since the original version. It's a song that really represents (for me) how the past and the present can intertwine. The Who. Behind Blue Eyes.

Peace out, Darlings. I'll leave you with a sample of my Jeremiah Quick playlist, and you can search out any of the songs that intrigue you (wink).


PS. Many thanks to my friend 19 (site link, not YouTube, lol) for helping me discover goth/punk/industrial music that even Pretty Loberg could love.

JQ Playlist sample

The Dreaming Song - Torn
Beautiful Thing - Romantic Torture
Exile - The 4 on the Floor
Go In Peace - Mike Rayburn
Dark Allies - Light Asylum
Deadly Sins - the Virgin Prunes
Detonation Boulevard - Sisters of Mercy
Stay - Shakespeare's Sisters
Into the Light - In This Moment
Strap Me Down - leaether Strip
Breathe Me - Sia
Bigmouth Strikes again - The Smiths
1234 - Feist
Lover I Don't Have to Love - Bright Eyes
The Story - Brandi Carlisle
Timothy - Jet
The Road - Jackson Browne
I'm Still Here - John Rzeznik
Fix You - Coldplay
Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad - Meat Loaf
Everything - Lifehouse
She's On Fire - Train
Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band
Light in Your Eyes - Blessid Union of Souls
This Ain't Goodbye - Train
Only Women Bleed - Alice Cooper
Round Here - Counting Crows
Shattered - O.A.R.
Bother - Stone Sour
Claire's Horrors - London After Midnight
The Scientist - Coldplay
Rest in Pieces - Saliva
Tainted Love - Coil
Personal Jesus - Marilyn Manson
Cradlesong - Rob Thomas
I Am - Train
Broken - Seether (feat. Amy Lee)
When You're On Top - Wallflowers
Behind Blue Eyes - Pearl Jam version
Sex and Candy - Marcy Playground
A Long December - Counting Crows
Love Remains the Same - Gavin Rossdale
Cuts Like a Knife - Bryan Adams
Love Song - Tesla

Plus pretty much Everything Else by Train, Lifehouse, and Rob Thomas (solo)... but this list is intended as a small sample : )

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