Rorschach Jukebox Edition !!
Jonathan Evison is on a roll: Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, had this to say of All About Lulu, his debut novel from Manhattan’s Soft Skull Press: “Evison’s debut is a stunner! . . . viciously funny and deeply felt . . .” And Crossroads Films has already optioned it for a film.
Jonathan Evison lives with his wife on Bainbridge Island, Washington. In this edition of Snobcast: Rorschach Jukebox Edition, we gave Mr. Evison the chance to score the movie before anybody else does, and threw in a few curveballs. The catch, as always: the subject of the interview can only answer with song titles. Hear Jonathan’s “answers” in their entirety by hitting any of the MP4 buttons that litter this page.
What is playing when Will, rapt, explores his stepsister Lulu’s body for the first time?
“Jesus Is Waiting” Al Green
This is the first of three montage scenes you’ll get to score from All About Lulu: some of the things we see here are Will’s bodybuilder father, Big Bill, at the gym and on stage at a competition; Will and Lulu are blinking their secret codes to each other in the back yard; Will’s twin brothers cavort in their matching sweatsuits; the camera pans over the mounds of meat at the family dinner table. What’s playing?
“Summersong” The Decemberists
Montage 2: Lulu has returned from cheerleading camp a changed woman: sullen, distant, denying Will acknowledgment and affection. He pines at the ray of light coming from her bedroom door. He skulks in the high school hallways as she stays late with her drama teacher Scott or hops into the car of Troy, her rich, hapless new boyfriend.
“In California (Live)” Neko Case
Montage 3: The clouds are breaking. Will is finding his talent as a college DJ. We see him in front of the microphone, headphones on. We see him with Eugene and Joe — his irrepressible Russian super and his profane In N Out GM — laying the groundwork to open Hot Dog Heaven on the boardwalk.
“Hot Dog” Detroit Cobras
Will has left his drunken father in the park, having heard the secret about Lulu that they kept from him for so many years. What do you hear?
“Comin’ Home Baby” Herbie Mann
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/01-Comin-Home-Baby-1.mp3|titles=Comin' Home Baby]
Okay, let’s switch gears. You’re tired, driving on Bainbridge Island, and you look over to see — OH HAI — Marcel Proust in your passenger’s seat. Giving him no time to acclimate, you play:
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” Paul Anka
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/09-Smells-Like-Teen-Spirit-2.mp3|titles=Smells Like Teen Spirit]
What was stuck in your head when you got up this morning?
“Law and Order Theme” Mike Post
Play me a blues song that I’m not sick of.
“Shaggy Dad” Lightnin’ Hopkins
What is the worst song you can possibly imagine?
“Philosophy of the World” The Shaggs
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/Philosophy-of-the-World.mp3|titles=Philosophy of the World]
Play some fucking heavy metal.
“Run for the Hills” Iron Maiden
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/Run-for-the-Hills.mp3|titles=Run for the Hills]
Play me a song whose lyrics you love, whose meaning is like a gem that keeps revealing new facets as the years unfurl.
“The Stranger Song” Leonard Cohen
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/1-02-The-Stranger-Song.mp3|titles=The Stranger Song]
Dedicate a song to your wife.
“Love Gets Sweeter Every Day” Finley Quay
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/07-Love-Gets-Sweeter-Every-Day.mp3|titles=Love Gets Sweeter Every Day]
Some songs seem to resonate strongly with incipient story ideas: you don’t know exactly where the story is going to go, but you hear this song and you see a scene around which the inchoate work could congeal. One of these songs is…
“Stagolee” Mississippi John Hurt
We’re meeting for drinks in Seattle. This song comes on that you haven’t heard for a long time. It seems like an epiphany on our fourth beer. Holy shit, you haven’t heard this in forever! You love this shit!
“Ca Plane Pour Moi” Plastic Bertrand
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/Ca-Plane-Pour-Moi.mp3|titles=Ca Plane Pour Moi]
Well played, Mr. Evison. Now take us home with a little jazz.
“Swing Brother Swing” Billie Holiday w/ Count Basie
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/v3/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/08-Swing-Brother-Swing.mp3|titles=Swing Brother Swing]