Synopses & Reviews
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, 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 more -- 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.
"Writers try to spin literary interpretations of pop songs, with some rather catchy results....[A] noble effort to marry pop music to pop writing....Like a mix tape from a friend: some lackluster patches but also a few bits of magic that you'd never have heard otherwise." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] familiar list of hip young literary lights offering good but perhaps not their best work." Publishers Weekly
In this groundbreaking collection, a host of today's hottest authors including Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude
), Aimee Bender (Girl in the Flammable Skirt
), Jennifer Belle (Going Down
), Neal Pollack (Never Mind the Pollacks
), and Tom Perrotta (Little Children
) launch a new art form: Short stories inspired by popular songs. Not since the dawn of the music video has pop music undergone a pioneering effort as exciting as this.
In Lit Riffs, America's latest generation of celebrated story-tellers joins a list of the most world-renowned rock critics in composing a unique anthology. The anthology consists of fiction, nonfiction, and free-form riffs based on the writer's reactions to the songs that have inspired us all. The book features contributions from Jonathan Lethem, Jennifer Belle, J.T. Leroy, Aimee Bender, David Ebershoff, Neal Pollack, Amanda Davis, Elissa Schappell, Lisa Tucker, and many more. This is the first book with its own soundtrack and readers will be able to listen to it, thanks to a CD from Manhattan Records that will be distributed simultaneously. Taking both the written word and the sung lyric to new places, Lit Riffs is a revolutionary medium from some of our most influential young talents.
This is the first book with it's own soundtrack and readers will be able to listen to it, thanks to a CD from Manhattan Records that will be distributed simultaneously. Taking both the written word and the sung lyric to new places, LIT RIFFS is a revolutionary medium from some of today's most influential young talents.
About the Author
Matthew Miele created and developed the idea for Lit Riffs
in order to reinvent the musical experience through literature. While a literary agent with John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., he handpicked the hippest and most celebrated storytellers of our time to imaginatively compose stories inspired by songs.
Prior to his publishing career, Miele wrote and directed the feature film Everything's Jake due for release in fall 2004, starring Ernie Hudson, Graeme Malcolm, Debbie Allen, Robin Givens, and Lou Rawls and was a sound designer/music composer for film and television.
Miele recently founded and is current host of the Manhattan Concert Club (MCC), a subscription-based, ten-concert series presenting intimate, acoustic performances by the world's most renowned recording artists in a wide variety of Manhattan's most unique and treasured settings. Miele hopes that every MCC Concert will reflect to true music enthusiasts what the inception of the "Lit Riff" and this groundbreaking collection ultimately will reflect as well a renewed celebration of and appreciation for great music.