Music Soothes the Savage Beast


The adage, so far as I can tell, is true.

Today I got into an interesting conversation with a reader named Becca. She inquired after the music scattered throughout my book, as she herself is a talented young musician. It led to a discussion of my tastes, and how those factor into the diary.

As you are aware at this point, my senses are quite attuned to extremes. I believe this has something to do with both the construction of my sensory organs and the frontal lobe/ visual cortex of my brain, but as I have never bothered to open my own skull, it is all conjecture. However, I do love music. I have adored it for many long centuries, as it has evolved.

Before you ask, as Becca did, I do not have favorites, or genres I prefer. I listen to a great many musical types, and honestly, there is always either music playing in my home, my car, or in my thoughts. When I hear a diegetic tune wafting through the air at a supermarket, a bar, an outdoor area, it sticks with me, and I carry it home like one of my many treasures. My Shazam app is one of my most frequently used.

All that being said, I do find that I have certain enjoyments. I delight in “cover songs”, as I adore the notion that old things may b reworked for continued use. I love to trace the influences that come round and round in cycles, ever-evolving, growing. Common chord progressions.

Music is bliss, when no other will present itself.

So what then of my book? What songs, specifically are referenced by the text? — Becca asks, and so I answer. There are three lists: the music I was listening to, in my everyday life, as the events transpired, and the music that occurred around me during said events, and the songs that have since come to mean something to me — standing in for people, places, or occurrences, when later, I did ponder their passing.

Everyday Music

  • Burn My Shadow and When Things Explode by UNKLE
  • Memoryhouse by Max Richter — I listened to this repeatedly at the time. I enjoyed its ghostly quality and its weaving of themes.
  • Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine — In particular, the song “No Light No Light” calls to mind my relationship with my significant other.
  • Fratras for Violin, String, and Percussion – Tabula Rasa by Arvo Pärt
  • Fevers and Mirrors by Bright Eyes
  • Drink the Sea by Glitch Mob — which to me sounds like a soundtrack to a science fiction, robotic Western.

Diegetic Music

  • I mention a German waltz playing in the entry entitled “Second Thoughts”. That was Franz Schubert’s Kupelwieser Waltz.
  • I play a piano arrangement of “Where is my mind” by the Pixies in “Therapy”
  • In “Steam”, I am quite certain I was listening to a playlist that contained the collected works of Imogen Heap, Mazzy Star, Ani DiFranco, and Tori Amos.
  • I recall that the mall was looping Bing Crosby Holiday music for most of that season.
  • “With a Twist” had me requesting the song “Blue Jeans” by Lana Del Ray
  • In “Neighbors” I was grumbling my way through Candyass by Orgy
  • During the entry “Curiosity” I terrorized Porter with the “Violin Fragment” from the Memoryhouse album.
  • Several songs played throughout my time at the “Speakeasy”, but I  mention several, or rather, several anchored me in that place. Firstly, the song I heard as I walked in: “I Wanna Dance With You” by Live. Secondly, the Metallica cover requested by Chef, was “Nothing Else Matters” by Lissie, and shortly after that played a cover of “Skinny Love” by Birdy.
  • The soundtrack I reference in the entry “Teeth” is to the film Red Riding Hood — it is an appalling film.

If you catch one I cannot recall, please do message me here and I will be sure to give details as best as I can recall.

Newer Music

As I have edited this text (Yes, I edited. Everyone should edit — especially those who type while endowed with claws that retract and extend with pressure. But aside from that, I had to alter my work so that no details could lead a person to a place or time that might intersect with my actual life. Why? I have learned that lesson the hard way, but that is another story), I have listened to music, been given songs, been played songs by my friends that remind them of things. Here is that list.

  • Do I Wanna Know by Arctic Monkeys, was played for me by Chef
  • Black Out Days by Phantagram
  • Way Down We Go by Kaleo
  • Roads by Portishead
  • Hozier’s self-titled album
  • Bring Me The Disco King (Loner Mix) by David Bowie
  • Lanterns (album)  by Son Lux — the song “Lanterns Lit” always plays through my mind when I think of Juliet
  • You’re the One The I Want by Lo Fang
  • This Bitter Earth by Dinah Washington and Max Richter — I listen to this song when I am feeling somewhat morose.
  • Medicine by Daughter
  • Hurricane by MSMR
  • Demons by Jasmine Thompson
  • I Need Never Get Old by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Do be assured, I am always hungry for new music. If you have something new for me to taste, please do leave it in a message.

6 responses to “Music Soothes the Savage Beast

  1. I skimmed through the list of music, mostly because I didn’t want to spoil too much of your book for myself, and I found that in the newer music you and I are share similar music taste. (It was a sad day when I found that David Bowie had passed, I used to watch the movie Labyrinth continuously as a child). There’s a newer artist Halsey, whom I adore, I think you would like two of her songs; Gasoline and Ghost.

  2. I think some pieces of music that might interest you would be pieces by some bands named Black Veil Brides, Panic at the Disco, and Twenty-One Pilots. I think you would enjoy there music, if you have not listened to it yet.

    • You are the second person to suggest these! I will most definitely “check them out”. I do so love new music.

  3. Hello Simon.
    Thank you very much for sharing your amazing journal. It makes me very happy to get totally lost in it – so perhaps I can give you back some joyous moments by sharing some great music.

    When reading your book I always get in the mood to listen to ASP. Perhaps you like it, too. For a first impression I’d suggest listening to Schwarzes Blut, Hässlich, Ich will brennen or Weltunter.

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