Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Christina's musical/literary pairings

TTT is always fun (clickety click that pretty logo to join!), and I'm especially excited about this week's topic: Top Ten Books I'd Give a Theme Song To. In high school and college I used to listen to music while reading, so rather than Theme Songs some of these are just musical associations. They are, actually, oddly fitting in most cases. I love when I hear a certain album and remember a certain book. Do you have those kinds of mental connections between books and music?

Album/Song titles link to samples for your convenience.

1. Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and Björk's album Vespertine
This otherworldly, wintery album matches the creepy sad metaphysical sweetness of The Lovely Bones. I actually wasn't a huge fan of the book, but I still adore the album.

2. Stephen King's Salem's Lot and the blue disc from Smashing Pumpkin's album Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
I was obsessed with this album back in 1997, and I was also secretly interested in vampires. And, you whippersnappers, this was way before Edward and Bella came along. Anyway, the connection is chronological for me but the two are pretty well suited to each other. Dark, solitary, 90's-tastic nighttime music for a book about a town being overtaken by scary vampires.

3. Tolkien's The Hobbit and Rancid's album Life Won't Wait
My summer reading assignment for English was The Hobbit, and it was the same year this album came out. I hated the book, so I tried to improve the situation by listening to Rancid while I read it. I still don't really like the album, and I'm not sure whether or not it's because it has been tied to The Hobbit in my head. It's a pretty strange pairing.

4. Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia and Poe's album Hello
There was something very satisfying about sitting in bed, being angry at authority figures, reading about other teenage girls who were angry at adults, and listening to Poe. Tracy Bonham's song "Mother Mother" would also be a great theme song for Reviving Ophelia. 90's grrrrrl angst FTW!

5. Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club and The National's "Squalor Victoria"
Ok, here's a true theme song that just occurred to me this morning. (You were getting tired of hearing about my teenage reading/listening habits, right?) It's subtle, but the lyrics to this one make me think of the barely undercover anarchists in Fight Club: "I'm a professional in my beloved white shirt/I'm going down among the saints/Raise our heavenly glasses to the earth."

6. Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Trent Reznor/Karen O's cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song"
Ok, yes, my association here has everything to do with the song being on the opening credits for the movie. So maybe it's cheating to include it, but it's just SO PERFECT.

7. Adam Levin's The Instructions and Foster the People's "Pumped-Up Kicks"
It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to connect these two. I love to imagine the Cage kids strutting to this song.

8. Kelly DiPucchio and Scott Campbell's Zombie in Love and Dead Man's Bones' "My Body's a Zombie for You"

9. Michael Patrick McDonald's All Souls and Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
Another obvious one: if you know these two entities, you've probably made the connection before. Also, I seem to mention this book on just about ever top ten post I do. Sorry for the redundancy.

10. Margaret Mitchel's Gone with the Wind and Isador Philipp's Exercises for Independence of the Fingers
It was a revelatory moment when a fellow piano major confessed to me that she sometimes read novels while practicing mindless technique exercises. I couldn't believe the idea had never occurred to me before! I proceeded to read while practicing scales, arpeggios, Pischna and Philipp, and now these two things are forever linked in my brain.