In Largehearted Boy’s Book Note series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book. Michael Credico put together an absurd and wonderful playlist for his short story collection Heartland Calamitous that’s very on brand. Here are some of Michael’s notes on his playlist:
“Everything Flows” – Teenage Fanclub
Work is an important part of my fiction, probably because I will always have to. My experience in manufacturing, especially entry-level quality assurance, and my sometimes-difficulty separating self-worth from occupation had a significant influence on these stories. The mornings filled with anxiety and dread. The years suddenly disappearing. I remember asking myself, “Where have you been?” I was offended. I had no answer.
“Hyperballad” – Björk
I have been listening to Björk since I was really young. The words to “Hyperballad” are probably the first short story I fell in love with. It is about walking to the edge of a cliff every morning to imagine jumping off it and experiencing a violent death, then returning to your lover to feel happy and safe. I think in “Sister,” when the girl born covered with wool shears herself as an act of performance art, this is playing in the background.
“Teenage Spaceship” – Smog
Two stories in the collection are linked by the presence of a rocket ship: “Postwar: Apiary, Aviary,” and “Snuff Film.” In “Snuff Film,” the rocket ship takes off and drags the world behind it. As the world hurtles through the universe, people begin deciding between holding on and facing whatever comes next or letting go and peacefully floating away. The next story, “Commuter,” is about returning to a world that has moved on without you. This song is a reminder that there is also beauty in being out of step with everything and everybody else.
Read about (and listen to) the full Heartland Calamitous playlist here.