Book. Band. Beverage.

Book. Band. Beverage.
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Photo by mcfarlandmo (copied from Flickr)
Photo by mcfarlandmo (copied from Flickr)

My new novel, Wise Young Fool, is a raw-throated punk rock bildungsroman. But also a black comedy. And a love story. I think. It’s told in alternating viewpoints, half of which come in the form of a journal kept by the main character, Ritchie Sudden, while serving 90 days in a juvenile detention center. The other half concerns the year before Ritchie’s arrest, and his attempt to get his band into Rock Scene 2013–a competition that promises the winners a slot on the reality TV show Real Godz of Hollyrock. The soundtrack of Ritchie’s life infuses the prose, from The Dick Dale to The Dicktators, from Fela to Fugazi to Chuck Berry and back. It’s a book about both playing and being obsessed by walls of sound. Standing in front of amps. Feeling steel strings mashed into virgin fingertips. It’s also about love, lust, booze, friendship, bad lyrics, worse poems, and waves of distortion—both literally and metaphorically.

With this in mind, I’ve chosen a dozen bands/albums that are mentioned in Wise Young Fool, and then have paired each, like a fine wine or craft cocktail, with a perfectly suited novel. Plus a drink.

My advice? Turn it up very, very loud, crack a paperback spine, and pour yourself some refreshment.

Enjoy.

 1. What you’re listening to: The Misfits. “TV Casualty.” Legacy of Brutality. Plan 9, 1989.
What you’re reading: Soledad Brother by George Jackson.
What you’re drinking: A sloe gin rickey.

2. What you’re listening to: Fear “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones.” The Record. Slash, 1982.
What you’re reading: The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross.
What you’re drinking: kerosene.

Steely Dan3. What you’re listening to: Steely Dan. “My Old School.” Countdown to Ecstasy. ABC, 1973.
What you’re reading: Busy Monsters by William Giraldi.
What you’re drinking: a straight rye.

4. What you’re listening to: Bad Brains. “We Will Not.” Rock for Light. PVC, 1983.
What you’re reading: Corruptions of Empire by Alexander Cockburn.
What you’re drinking: blood.

5. What you’re listening to: Cheap Trick. “She’s Tight.” One on One. Epic, April 1982.
What you’re reading: A Smattering of Ignorance by Oscar Levant.
What you’re drinking: a canteen full of Dago Red.

6. What you’re listening to: Bauhaus. In The Flat Field. 4AD, 1980.
What you’re reading: A bar napkin scribbled upon by Anabella from Bow Wow Wow.
What you’re drinking: a warm can of Tennents.

Eliott Smith7. What you’re listening to: Elliott Smith. Either/Or. Kill Rock Stars, 1997.
What you’re reading: The Dog of The South by Charles Portis.
What you’re drinking: A suspect glass of something not-quite-amber left on the bar.

8. What you’re listening to: Slayer. Undisputed Attitude. American Recordings, 1996.
What you’re reading: How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman.
What you’re drinking: a ’66 Malbec.

9. What you’re listening to: My Bloody Valentine. Loveless. Creation, 1991.
What you’re reading: Mythologies by Roland Barthes.
What you’re drinking: warm tap water and paregoric.

10. What you’re listening to: Chuck Berry. St. Louis to Liverpool. Chess, 1964. Thirds. ABC, 1971.
What you’re reading: 2666 by Roberto Bolano.
What you’re drinking: mescal, no ice.

Carcass - Reek Of Putrefaction11. What you’re listening to: Carcass. Reek of Putrefaction. Earache, 1988.
What you’re reading: Pricksongs and Descants by Robert Coover.
What you’re drinking: half a case of Anne Sexton.

12. What you’re listening to: Mastodon. Leviathan. Relapse, 2004.
What you’re reading: Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell.
What you’re drinking: pure icy redemption.

Sean Beaudoin

Sean Beaudoin

Sean Beaudoin is the author of five novels, including the old school noir mystery You Killed Wesley Payne, the rude zombie opus The Infects, and the raw-throated punk band diary Wise Young Fool. His stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Onion, Salon, Glimmer Train, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Spirit-- the inflight magazine of Southwest Airlines. He is also a founding editor of the arts and culture website TheWeeklings.com, which is hands-down the best site on the internet.

Sean Beaudoin is the author of five novels, including the old school noir mystery You Killed Wesley Payne, the rude zombie opus The Infects, and the raw-throated punk band diary Wise Young Fool. His stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Onion, Salon, Glimmer Train, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Spirit-- the inflight magazine of Southwest Airlines. He is also a founding editor of the arts and culture website TheWeeklings.com, which is hands-down the best site on the internet.

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