Monthly Archives: January 2011

Guest Mixtape: Dave Housley

Dave Housley is one of the founding editors of Barrelhouse, which if you aren’t reading, WHY AREN’T READING BARRELHOUSE? He’s the author of Ryan Seacrest Is Famous, a collection of short fiction that got called “hilarious” sometimes, and also “consistently engrossing, entertaining, and exciting,” and some other nice stuff that you can check out here.

Here’s a mix of bands, people, and songs that literally mix rock and literature. This is in honor of the upcoming (at AWP! Probably!) new issue of Barrelhouse – the Sex, Drugs, and Rock issue. Also in shameless and rather senseless pre-promotion for my upcoming collection, If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home, a collection of rock-related stories that’s coming out from Dark Sky Books next year. Here goes:

“People Who Died,” by the Jim Carroll Band, performed by the Drive by Truckers

Jim Carroll was just a bad motherfucker. He was a writer, poet, and rock musician. His memoir “The Basketball Diaries” is a cult classic (forget the Leonardo DiCaprio movie version, please). This song is the most well known from the Jim Carroll Band. I prefer the Drive by Truckers version, and it allows me to sneak another literary band into the mix.

“Dig Lazarus Dig” by Nick Cave

An awesome rocker who has published two novels. PLUS, there’s this picture of Nick reading Jill Alexander Essbaum’s book of poetry, Harlot. Jill has an essay in the new Barrelhouse about following Nick Cave around Europe in the wake of the breakup of a long term relationship. It’s awesome.

“Pancho and Lefty,” by Townes Van Zandt, performed by Steve Earle

Steve Earle is an amazing singer and songwriter. Plus, he played Waylon on The Wire, the greatest television show ever, and a novel in and of itself. But Steve Earle is also a writer of fiction. He published  a book of short stories, Doghouse Roses, in 2001. And here’s a story of his, “Wheeler County,” from the Barcelona Review.

“Too Long in the Wasteland” by James McMurtry

First off, James McMurtry is the son of Larry McMurtry, who, for somebody who has sold a billion books, including The Last Picture Show and Lonesome Dove, and won an Oscar – an Oscar! – for his work on the adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, still seems underrated. Second, James McMurtry writes literate, affecting songs that still kind of rock. Any one of his songs could serve as evidence, but i like Too Long in the Wasteland, if only for this line: “didn’t mean to be like that, didn’t mean to break the rules, but whiskey don’t make liars it just makes fools, so I didn’t mean to say it, but I meant what I said.”

“These Roads Don’t Move,” by Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar

Sorry for the little lead-in here. It’s the best version I could find. This song is from the album “One Fast Move or I’m Gone,” which is a collection of songs created for a documentary about Jack Kerouac and the times surrounding the writing of the novel “Big Sur.”

The Hold Steady

Okay, this is going to be a section in itself. For good reason!

First of all, here’s “You Can Make Him Like You,” which is the title of my buddy Ben Tanzer’s upcoming novel (which is awesome).

And then there’s “Stuck Between Stations,” which opens with a Kerouac reference (“there are nights when I think that Sal Paradise was right”) and closes with the death of John Berryman (“she said you’re pretty good with words, but words won’t save your life and they didn’t so he died”).

And then there’s “Cattle and the Creeping Things,” which is mainly about junkies and the bible, and is part of what is essentially a novel in stories told as a rock and roll album, and was the only (to my knowledge) song that was ever annotated by NPR.

Mixtape, Choreographed-Dance-Sequence Edition/Lily Ladewig

Lily Ladewig’s poems are published or forthcoming in Absent, Denver Quarterly, H_NGM_N, Sir!, Supermachine, and Word For/Word. She lives in Brooklyn. Three collaborative poems (with Anne Cecelia Holmes) appear in Artifice Issue 3.

Side A:

Kings of Convenience – I’d Rather Dance With You

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

Bat For Lashes – Daniel

Beirut – Elephant Gun

Florence + The Machine – Drumming Song

Side B:

Christian Compte’s “Najinsky 1912” series (Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

Lykke Li – Little Bit

Yeasayer – O.N.E.

Feist – Mushaboom

Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass

Mixtape: Dustin M. Hoffman/Seven-Eighths Ska

Dustin M. Hoffman has an MFA in fiction from Bowling Green State University and is working on a PhD from Western Michigan. We keep running into people, seemingly at random, who know him. All of these people want to talk with us about how much they like him. We have never met Dustin M. Hoffman. It’s entirely possible, as far as we know, that he is some kind of a plot being perpetrated on the editors of Artifice Magazine, for who knows what purpose. His piece “Seven-Eighths” appears in Issue 3.

I haven’t made a mix tape in a long, long time. Back in high school I was the master of the punk/ska mix. If you wanted the best stuff you never heard of recorded onto a Maxell cassette, you came to me. My tastes have changed a lot since then, and my mix tape skills are rusty. Here goes.

The Rezillos – My Baby Does Good Sculptures

I was kind of thinking about this band and their dynamic when I imagined the band in my story that’s coming out in the new issue of Artifice.

The Clash – Rock the Casbah

One of the best worst videos of all time by The Only Band That Matters.

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros – Johnny Appleseed

And then much later he became The Only Man That Matters. Joe Strummer’s solo albums with the Mescleros are just beautiful.

Rancid – Time Bomb

Anyone who knows me knows I couldn’t make a mix without putting some Rancid on it.

Elvis Costello and The Attractions – Clubland

90% of my music listening these days is spent spinning Elvis Costello and The Attractions on vinyl. All of Costello’s early stuff is so gorgeously awkward, a tone I stumble after in my own writing.

Chris Murray Combo – Love Flame

Chris Murray is the best musician you never heard of. Traditional ska is still being played, despite how hard the 90s tried to kill it. Hilarious video.

Desmond Dekker – Unity

But don’t forget, Desmond Dekker came first.

Vampire Weekend – Holiday

Fugazi – Waiting Room

They Might Be Giants – Dr. Worm

This one almost didn’t make the cut, but my wife said that Unk would appreciate this song. I guess you’ll have to read the new issue of Artifice to know what that means.

Tim Armstrong – Into Action

Dancing music. Sure, but I only know how to skank.

Tom Waits – How’s It Gonna End

I used to always end my mixes with this song. I don’t write to music. I need silence. This song, though, creeps into my head.

Donora Hillard/Mixtape for Jeff Bridges

Donora Hillard’s poetry collection Theology of the Body (Gold Wake Press, 2010) was a bestseller in Women’s Studies at Her work has appeared in Best of the Web 2010 (Dzanc Books, 2010), FRiGG, Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010) and Monkeybicycle, among others. She has taught writing at King’s College, Penn State University, and elsewhere. She is pursuing a doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition at Wayne State University in Detroit, is the poetry editor for Cow Heavy Books, and is at work on a new collection entitled Jeff Bridges. Her poem “Committment” appears in Artifice Issue 3.

Jeff Bridges would give you the last airline cookie. The new mix I’m making for you has his name and will carry joy like so much volleyball. Let’s get bloated and transcendent, grow a luscious mane.


Amanda Blank – Might Like You Better

Jeff Bridges – The Weary Kind

The Civil Wars – Poison & Wine

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lookin’ Out My Back Door (Video from The Big Lebowski)

Ke$ha – We R Who We R


Nicki Minaj – Itty Bitty Piggy

Shades of Blue – Oh How Happy

Mixtape: M Kitchell/(Don’t) Shampoo Your Hair in the 1900s

M Kitchell reads and works in DeKalb, IL, and will one day kill himself in the ocean.

consider this, perhaps, the b-side to tim jones-yelvington’s mix

(shit from the late-80s that set the scene for what was to come:)

my bloody valentine – sunny sundae smile

rem – harborcoat

sonoko – in heaven

galaxie 500 – tugboat

brilliant corners – why do you have to go out with him

(and then the 90s)

polvo – tilebreaker

thrush hermit – french inhale

elevator to hell – hurricane

helium – honeycomb

stereolab – cybele’s reverie

modest mouse – dukes up

guided by voices – auditorium/motor away

eric’s trip – girlfriend

Mixtape: Davis Schneiderman’s Blank Tape

Davis Schneiderman destroys books, steals books, maligns books, prints books, edits books. He is the author of Blank (Jaded Ibis, March 2011), a blank novel with mix tracks from Dj Spooky, with 50% of the proceeds benefitting the Tanna Center for the Arts on the pacific island Vanuatu; as well as the recent novel Drain (Northwestern, 2010). He is director of  Lake Forest College Press/&NOW Books, where he co-edits the series The &NOW AWARDS: The Best Innovative Writing. Two pieces from his “Undeath of the Author” series will appear in Artifice Issue 3. Many things about him can be found here.

Little Richard – The Girl Can’t Help It

From the fabulously filthy Pink Flamingos, John Waters

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band – Electricity

RIP, Captain

Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No…I’ve Got Life (live)

Live, no less.

Blank – Trailer

I love the sound of broken books in the morning.

Evolution Control Committee – Rebel Without a Pause, Whipped Cream Mix

One of the first great mash-ups

James Brown – say it loud i’m black and i’m proud

Soul Train!

Sun Ra – Rocket Number Nine Take off for the Planet Venus

The king of mid-century space-cool

Mixtape: Roxane Gay/SexyTime Mix When You Like a Little Bit of Class and a Little Bit (LOT) of Thug

Roxane Gay writes things (many things), co-edits PANK, is an assistant professor of English at Eastern Illinois University, is the fiction editor for Bluestem, and contributes to HTMLGIANT. No one on the staff of Artifice has yet figured out how she has time to do everything she does as well as she does it. Her story “Contrapasso” appears in Issue 1 of Artifice Magazine.

Adele – Someone Like You

The Black Keys – Tighten Up

Lauryn Hill & D’Angelo – Nothing Even Matters

Silk – Meeting in My Bedroom

Janet Jackson – Rope Burn

Tank – Sex Music

Lil Wayne – Lollipop

Mercedes & the 504 Boys – I Can Tell

Mixtape: xTx

xTx’s book of stories Normally Special is forthcoming in March from Tiny Hardcore Press, and you need it. Her piece “Biography” will appear in Artifice Issue 3. She claims to say nothing at

My mixtape! Just songs I love. Just because.

kd lang – Luck In My Eyes

i know this entire album by heart. if i could sing like anyone, it would be her.

Ben Folds Five – Philosphy 

i know this entire album by heart. if i could play piano like anyone, it would be him

Andrea Bocelli – Romanza

i used to know this album by heart. i dont speak italian. this song is beautiful but so very sad.

Barry Manilow – Daybreak

i know this entire album by heart. you can’t be sad if you listen to this song super loud in your car.

Black Keys – Tighten Up 

this song presses all of my buttons. i dont know this album by heart.

Counting Crows – Angels of the Silences

i know this album by heart. i am in this video.

David Bowie – Young Americans

i want to perform this song, live, on stage. i should learn the words. i can never get tired of this song. ever.

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

i know this album by heart. if i could make love to any dead rock star, it would be Jeff Buckley.

Neutral Milk Hotel – Oh Comely 

i know this album by heart. i would like to be buried with this album.

Old 97’s – Timebomb

i know this album by heart. if i could make love to any living rock star, it would be Rhett Miller

Otis Redding – Shake

if you don’t automatically want to dance to this song, something is wrong with you.

Queen – Somebody to Love

the song everybody sings on the inside, whether they know it or not.

Mixtape: Covers/William Walsh

William Walsh is the author of Without Wax: A Documentary Novel (Casperian Books), and Questionstruck (Keyhole Books). His new book of stories, Ampersand, Mass., is available for preorder here.

Since my contribution to Artifice #1 was a James Joyce cover song called “Conmee,” my MixTape celebrating the coming of Artifice #3 is composed of cover songs. Also, these cover songs celebrate the release of a new anthology of short stories called RE:Telling (Ampersand Books), which features cover songs by writers like Matt Bell, Michael Martone, Samatha Hunt, Pedro Ponce, Roxane Gay, Jim Ruland, and many others.

Side One – On The Road:

Yo La Tengo covering Beach Boys – Little Honda

Pixies covering Jesus and Mary Chain – Head On

Los Lobos Covering The Grateful Dead – Bertha

Feelies covering Velvet Underground – What Goes On

Junip covering Springsteen – Ghost of Tom Joad

Dean Wareham covering Beat Happening – Indian Summer

Lissie covering Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

The Replacements covering KISS – Black Diamond

Side Two – At Home:

Aztec Camera covering Van Halen – Jump

Susanna Hoffs (Rainy Day) covering Bob Dylan – I’ll Keep It With Mine

Frente covering New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle

The Pretenders covering Morrissey – Every Day is Like Sunday

Vampire Weekend covering Springsteen – I’m Going Down

Grant Lee Phillips covering the Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun

Loudon Wainwright and Shawn Colvin covering Richard Thompson – A Heart Needs a Home

Guest Mixtape: Dan Brady

Dan Brady, the Poetry Editor for Barrelhouse Magazine, contributes a guest mixtape for the Artifice Issue 3 Mixtape Blitz. Dan’s work can be found in Big Lucks, BlazeVox, Circumference, Gargoyle, IsReads, and Specs, among others.

Run Up to AWP Anxiety Mix Tape

This mixtape simply contains music I’ve enjoyed listening to lately and since I’ve been thinking a lot about AWP and the things Barrelhouse has going on during AWP there is a certain anxiety that might be reflected here. Let’s just get to it. You can find mp3s of all these songs over at the Hype Machine.

Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

When you’re planning two massive events at AWP there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way. I listened to this song to make myself feel better. It’s also an anthem for inner city youth and the teachers of inner city youth. I am neither an inner city youth nor a teacher of inner city youth, yet still, it touches me.

The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing

I first heard this song on MTV. Did you know MTV still plays videos? They do, in the mornings on weekdays. I only know that from being home sick from work. I like that the title is “Let’s Go Surfing” but the chorus is “I wanna go surfing.”

TV Girl – If You Want It

This is my ringtone right now. It’s just damn catchy, plus the whole “you only want me when you’re drunk” scenario seems very AWP.

Thee Oh So Protective One – Girls

This song is sweet and sad and sexy and makes me want to dance in a seductive manner. “You can feel it in your butt. It’s butt music,” as my old Jazz professor used to say.

Lissie – Little Lovin’

I’ve got a little crush on Lissie and this tune is an earworm for sure.  I also like the determination to get to Heaven.  Plus I love songs that make big changes late in the game, like the clap-fest that closes this one out.

Arcade Fire – City With No Children

The opening of this song has an uncanny parallel to the opening to To Kill a Mockingbird. I think the similarities end there (though, maybe adult looking back perspective?). Anyway, I’m endlessly trying to think of others when I listen to this one.

Generationals – Trust

My 1 ½ year old dances to this song. He loves it. He puts his little fist in the air and stomps his foot. It’s his jam. That’s the only reason it’s on here.

Belle & Sebastian – I Want the World to Stop

Sometimes I want the world to stop and if I only had the morning, the afternoon, the night, I could make it work. Another anxiety soothing song, for me at least.

Cee-lo Green – Old Fashioned

My wife and I are going to dance to this song at our 70th wedding anniversary.