Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blog Tour: Like Mandarin Soundtrack (tens list)

I'm part of the teen book scene Like Mandarin blog tour and had the tens list for my stop. Without further ado, here's the Like Mandarin Soundtrack!

Like Mandarin Soundtrack
I'm one of those authors who creates a playlist for every book. Not after I write it, but before and during. I play it every time I sit down to write, instantly implanting me into my storyworld. These are the top songs from Like Mandarin's playlist – which I'm listening to as I type this!

"Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star
The first song is the most important song of any playlist I compose. It's responsible for setting the tone of the whole book. Once I press play, it's time to write. "Fade Into You" represents Like Mandarin more than any other song. The tone is exactly right – western and wistful and slightly melancholy – and the lyrics fit too; fading into another person, for better or for worse. It's heartbreakingly evocative.  

"Slow Show" by The National
The National is my all-time favorite band, and "Slow Show" is my favorite song. Though not so obvious a fit as some of the others,  it's inextricably linked with Like Mandarin for me. Grace might be pretty far from the song's 29-year-old male narrator, but thematically, I've always found similarities in the lyrics – the social angst of not fitting in, the longing to be close to someone.

"Sweet Jane" by the Cowboy Junkies
This song wasn't with me as I wrote Like Mandarin, but as I revised it. As soon as I first heard the lonely, moody guitar, I knew it belonged to my book.

"Green Gloves" by The National
Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin Ramey. This second song by The National is about climbing inside the skins of your friends, living their lives, courtesy of a pair of magic green gloves (where can I get me some of those?). "Get inside their clothes/ with my green gloves/ watch their videos, in their chairs./ Get inside their beds with my green gloves/ Get inside their heads, love their loves."

"Playground Love" by Air
I think I first heard this song in the film The Virgin Suicides, which is similar in tone to Like Mandarin; I'd even say Sofia Coppola directs the movie in my head. The song is just so Mandarin to me, sensual and mysterious.

"Golden" by My Morning Jacket
This one's for Washokey, the Wyoming town where Like Mandarin is set. More specifically, it's for Mandarin's father's bar, where Mandarin works as a cocktail server. It's for Grace walking through the bar, completely out of her element, searching for Mandarin in the gloom, and for all the solitary people she sees, nursing drinks as the walls close in. "people always told me/ that bars are dark & lonely/ and talk is often cheap & filled with air/ sure, sometimes they thrill me/ but nothin' could ever chill me/ like the way they make the time/ just disappear."

"Shadowlands" by Ryan Adams
Oh God, this song's so depressing. It's Mandarin in her very darkest places.

"Skinny Love" by Bon Iver
I adore Bon Iver, and I adore this song. It's the good times in Like Mandarin: Grace and Mandarin swimming in the canal, running through the pasture, breaking into the grocery store to liberate the hunting trophies, dancing in the cotton.

"No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses
I listened to tons of Band of Horses when I wrote Like Mandarin, and this song settled in best. It's bittersweet, like Grace and Mandarin's friendship.

"Daisychains" by Youth Group
Like the previous song, this song manages to be both joyful and wistful. I think of it as a soundtrack song that would play at the very end of the book, or maybe even years later, as Grace looks back.

There are two songs specifically mentioned in Like Mandarin, and although they're not exactly conducive to writing, any Like Mandarin playlist would be incomplete without them.

"Little Red Corvette" by Prince
When Grace visits Mandarin's house to tutor her, Mandarin turns on this song. It was kind of embarrassing, Grace thinks, like a movie soundtrack that didn't fit. I can't hear it without thinking of Mandarin and her assembly line of guys: "See you're the kinda person/ That believes in makin' out once/ Love 'em and leave 'em fast…"

"Con Te Partiro" by Andrea Bocelli
Grace's little sister, Taffeta, is a child pageant prodigy. She has a stunning voice, and is poised to rock the pageant world by singing Italian opera. "Con Te Partiro" is the song she sings. I can imagine Taffeta's voice singing it just as much as I can Bocelli's.  
About Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard:
It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.

When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town.

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of a soundtrack for a book. I will have to listen to these songs when I read Like Mandarian :)


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