Lit Riffs: Writers "Cover" the Songs They Love

Lit Riffs Writers Cover the Songs They Love Following in the footsteps of the late great Lester Bangs the most revered and irreverent of rock n roll critics twenty four celebrated writers have penned stories inspired by great songs Just as Bang

  • Title: Lit Riffs: Writers "Cover" the Songs They Love
  • Author: Matthew Miele Neil Strauss
  • ISBN: 9780743470261
  • Page: 227
  • Format: Paperback
  • Following in the footsteps of the late great Lester Bangs the most revered and irreverent of rock n roll critics twenty four celebrated writers have penned stories inspired by great songs Just as Bangs cast new light on a Rod Stewart classic with his story Maggie May, about a wholly unexpected connection between an impressionable young man and an aging, alcoholiFollowing in the footsteps of the late great Lester Bangs the most revered and irreverent of rock n roll critics twenty four celebrated writers have penned stories inspired by great songs Just as Bangs cast new light on a Rod Stewart classic with his story Maggie May, about a wholly unexpected connection between an impressionable young man and an aging, alcoholic hooker, the diverse, electrifying stories here use songs as a springboard for a form dubbed the lit riff Alongside Bangs s classic work, you ll find stories by J.T LeRoy, who puts a recovering teenage drug abuser in a dentist s chair with nothing but the Foo Fighters s Everlong blaring through the P.A to fight the pain Jonathan Lethem, whose narrator looks back on his lost innocence just as an extramarital affair careens to an end this to the tune Speeding Motorcycle as recorded by Yo La Tengo and Jennifer Belle, who envisions a prequel to Paul Simon s Graceland one that takes place at a children s birthday party replete with a real live kangaroo With original contributions from Tom Perrotta, Nelson George, Amanda Davis, Lisa Tucker, Aimee Bender, Darin Strauss, and many riffing on everyone from Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen to the White Stripes, Cat Power, and Bob Marley this is both an astounding collection of short stories and an extraordinary experiment in words and music Soundtrack available from Saturation Acres Music Recording Co.

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      Posted by:Matthew Miele Neil Strauss
      Published :2019-08-04T10:19:39+00:00

    1 thought on “Lit Riffs: Writers "Cover" the Songs They Love”

    1. This was ordered from 's sale table. Upon opening the package, I was horrified to see it was published by Mtv BOOKS. Is that an oxymoron, or what?This is a mixed bag of short stories "inspired" by popular songs. Some are good, some are VERY good, and the rest will fade from memory faster than last year's music videos.The best of the bunch took just the barest whiff of a song and turned it into good fiction.Bad things happened when the authors tried to literally translate the lyrics into stories. [...]

    2. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. Not the greatest collection of short stories, but some were great (Graffiti Monk, Heroin King, and the Springsteen one).

    3. Several great stories, standouts thus far being "Bouncing" by Jennifer Belle, inspired by Paul Simon's "Graceland," in which a middle-aged woman from NYC attends a suburban birthday party and realizes the depths of her loneliness, and the potential to escape. Also Tom Perrotta's "Dirty Mouth," about a kid who refuses to curse, based upon Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" as well as Johnny Cash's cover of the song. Perrotta's tale was almost too short for my likinghe captures 70's/80's suburban lif [...]

    4. I wasn't particularly a big fan of short stories until I read this book. I was intrigued by the "writers cover their favorite songs" sub title. What could possibly be greater than that?My personal favorites were 'Bouncing',inspired by Paul Simon's "Graceland", which reminded me a little bit of my story 'Hound Dog' that I'm getting published this fall. It also takes a music buff to know that not only is the story's title a Paul Simon song, but that the writer was using Paul's family fictionaly. P [...]

    5. Some stories were great (5 stars). Others were blah (2 stars). Worth a perusal if you are up for an adventuree stories (and songs) did not follow any particular style, so you never knew what you were getting until you dove in. Some authors tried to tell a back story for the song that inspired the piece, while others just matched a feeling that the song gave them. I almost wish that the authors did not give details about their inspiration.a couple of times it almost ruined the story. This collect [...]

    6. A compelling idea that's, for the most part, very poorly executed. Fiction writers "cover" tunes they love by writing short stories inspired by favorite songs. The contributors who do it best here (Jonathan Lethem, Tom Perotta, Ernesto Quinonez) are often the least literal, striving instead to capture the ethos or the feel of the song they cover. The writers that are least successful seem, often, merely to be transcribing the lyrics to the song and adding a bit of narrative tissue to fill it out [...]

    7. I really wanted to like this book, I really did. Instead I was bored, frustrated and a little angry that someone thought this was the best that this premise had to offer. I've read a lot of short fiction anthologies in my day from either required reading for the fiction programs I was in during 2 of my stints in higher education or my feeling that they are a good way to discover new authors without having to commit to a whole novel. This was a great idea for a collection after all all writer's w [...]

    8. I was really pumped about this book - music, books, what could be a better combination? But I increasingly learned as I read more that perhaps it is just impossible to write stories that are about songs. Inspired by songs, perhaps, but "inspiration" is a very loose thing, so that this doesn't really stick out to me as a collection of stories about songs but really just a collection of very random stories. (With the exception of a few, like Toure's, which are very obviously about a specific song, [...]

    9. I admit, I didn't read every single piece in this book. Like most anthologies, this was uneven, and the opening piece, "Maggie May" was so wonderful and strong, that I found myself comparing other pieces to it as I read. J.T. Leroy's sample was unremarkable and annoying. It's a nice conceit though, and best read with iTunes open. I really liked listening to a song and then reading the author's riff -- many were really inventive in the direction that they went. Bottom line, it made me want to wri [...]

    10. This was an interesting sounding concept (short stories inspired by songs), but, for me, the end result was weak. A couple of the stories were good, but most were uninteresting. Perhaps I am just not sufficiently avant-guard but most of the stories simply seemed to try too hard to be hip. As with any short story collection, different stories will appeal to different people, so I recommend that people read with lowered demands, skipping stories that don't grab them right from the start.

    11. It is sort of difficult to review this book overall since it is a collection of short stories, all by different authors; some of the stories i did not like that much, and i would individually would have rated about a 3, but there were also quie a few five-star stories, which is why i rated five stars overall. my favorite stories were the ones by aimee bender, lester bangs, johnathan lethem, darin strauss, elissa schappell, ernesto quinonez & amanda davis.

    12. Lester Bangs was a phenomenal writer, and I don't even like the song Maggie Maych.Lethem's story is great, Perrotta even better. LeRoy's pretty good too. A great idea, but very hit or miss collection where nothing really stands up to the original inspiration of Bangs's 40 page story I reference above.

    13. Pick a favorite song, and write about it. There is something very dear to my heart about this book,and though some stories stand out more than others, I appriciate a good project, and compilations with a prompt are always fun, especially when they pay tribute to music which each author clearly feels passionate about.

    14. I was thinking this would be good cos I like a lot of the songs, but it was a pretty tired series of stories. I couldn't even get through Lester Bang's first one. The ones I liked the best were from songs I didn't know but none of them really stood out to me.

    15. This is a good collection of stories. However, I think that the idea itself is better than the thing as a whole. Most of the songs 'covered' are among my favorites, and it was nice to see the art stretched.

    16. I really wanted to like this, especially the Lester Bangs story, based on "Maggie May" - which is one of my favorite oldies songs. But I read that one and skimmed others (mostly where I knew what the inspiration song was, which wasn't very many), and I wasn't all that impressed.

    17. Good idea, but I don't think it worked that well, even with the songs that I knew. Some of the stories were just plain odd.

    18. These are short stories by American authors based on or inspired by rock/folk/pop songs. Songs include "Remedy" by the Black Crowes and Paul Simon's "Graceland."

    19. Eh. This sounded like fun, but the handful of stories I've slogged through really weren't any fun at all, and I'm just going to return it to the library today. Good concept, poorly executed.

    20. I was afraid the premise would mean these stories would feel forced, but for the most part, they didn't. Good collection, good variety.

    21. I've only read the first story so far, but OH MY GOD. It blew my mind. I'll never listen to the song quite the same way again, and that's okay.

    22. Remember albums? This book is like s good one the gems outweigh the odd clunker and the filler is still decent.

    23. I teach a couple of short stories from this collection. Not bad overall. A must for the pop music in American lit completist.

    24. This book is awesome! I love music and really appreciated the conceptople writing from being inspired by songs.k it out.

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