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[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 5
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 5 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 5 Cover.png
 

Solo — “Heaven”

My grandmother was recently moved into a facility to help treat her dementia. When I was younger, she overheard me playing “Heaven” and it became the only song I’ve ever introduced her to. It’s such a beautiful song and it always makes me think about her when I hear it. It’s a shame they didn’t put out more music. I also think it’s kinda funny that a singing group would call themselves Solo.
 

Miguel — “Adorn”

If you used to follow me on Tumblr back in the day, you already know why I included this—but if you didn’t, it’s because this song is my motherfucking shit. Miguel is one of my favorite musicians and this was one of the first joints I remember playing on a continuous loop for hours at a time.
 

Freddie Gibbs — “Palmolive” (feat. Pusha T & Killer Mike)

How can you not love a Pusha verse that starts with “Real bars are the ill bars/these scars are the only real proof they couldn’t kill gods/my coke hand is still sketchin’ out my memoirs/what I did to door panels on them Windstars...” That whole Bandana album is hard, but this is one of the standouts. One day, people will stop sleeping on the homie Gibbs.
 

Westside Gunn — “Sensational Sherri”

So I was super-late on the Griselda wave, but I’ve been listening to them pretty much nonstop for the last couple months. Westside Gunn’s ‘Flygod Is An Awesome God’ album has probably gotten more play than most of the others and this song is a big reason why. The instrumentals, the wrestling clips, the gun talk. I love all that shit. If this is your first foray, peep “Thousand Shot Mac” and “Lakers vs Rockets” too.
 

Rick James — “Mary Jane”

I don’t know why it took me so long to include this classic. Besides the obvious reference, the first time I remember hearing this song was on the movie Friday, one of my favorite films of all time (I’m fairly certain I can still recite it by heart). If I have to explain why this is the perfect song to start off the joint or why it’s one of my favorites, this probably isn’t the playlist for you.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 4
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 4 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 4 Cover.png
 

Dr. Dre  — “The Next Episode” (feat. Snoop Dogg)

When I first started curating this playlist, I already knew what I wanted the first and last song to be. As soon as I hear the beginning of the instrumental, it instantly puts me in the right state of mind. Not to mention Nate Dogg ends it perfectly with his “Heeyyyy-ay-aaayyy, smoke weed everyday!” crooning.
 

Rick Ross — “Elvis Presley Blvd.” (feat. Project Pat)

My wife works pretty close to Elvis Presley and when she was still pregnant with Lamb, we stopped by the Krispy Kreme there to get doughnuts and for some reason this song always reminds me of that. Even though I’m not a Memphis native, this joint always makes me feel like I grew up here.
 

Lauryn Hill — “Nothing Even Matters” (feat. D’Angelo)

This is one of the most criminally underrated love songs of all time. Lauryn and D’Angelo were a match made in heaven on this one and I don’t understand how it doesn’t get more recognition from others.
 

Dennis Edwards — “Don’t Look Any Further” (feat. Siedah Garrett)

It’s really hard for me to listen to this song without laughing because I either imagine Dennis Edwards giving the Bobby Brown face at the beginning of the video or the colonizer parody floating around the Internet, but this song still goes hard. Not to mention it perfectly sets up “Hit Em Up” next in the queue, which is one of my favorite diss records of all time.
 

Petey Pablo — “Raise Up”

As a North Carolina native (and Raleigh specifically), I HAD to include this jawn. It reminds me so much of high school, because it’s one of those things I look back on with a mild sense of embarrassment — but only because of how enthusiastic I was about it back in the day. You couldn’t tell me shit when this came on the radio or the video played on BET. It will always hold a special place in my heart even though I can admit to not having heard it in years. I knew it would be the perfect song to end on.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 3
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 3 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 3 Cover.png
 

Little Brother  — “Slow It Down”

Phonte spit one of my favorite lines of all time on this jawn: “I want a girl when I want a girl. And when I don’t want a girl, I want a girl who understands that. And that’s some hard shit to explain to a woman that’s in love with you...” My wife actually hates that lyric, but to me it really encapsulates what I ran into quite a bit when I was single. Sometimes, you like a girl but not enough to make a commitment — not because there’s anything wrong with her, but because a relationship isn’t what you’re looking for. It’s a line that I’ve always thought was underrated (mostly because Phonte is underrated in general), but it’s just a small part of what makes this song so great.
 

Ray J — “Wait A Minute” (feat. Lil’ Kim)

I know some folks kinda think of Ray J as a joke at this point in his career (or maybe they’ve always thought that), but I think it’s silly to underestimate someone worth $6 million. If you asked a hundred people about his most popular hit, most of them would probably pick ‘One Wish.’ But this is his best song IMO. Shoutout to OG Lil’ Kim rapping on the feature and The Neptunes on production.
 

Lauryn Hill — “Ex-Factor”

Is there any song about a past relationship that’s more relevant than this one? I mean, does the significance even need to be explained? It’s just one of those songs that’s hauntingly beautiful and I’m afraid the pain in Lauryn’s voice will forever be etched in my mind.
 

TWENTY88 — “Deja Vu”

One day last summer, I played this song about 100 times in a row. I just couldn’t get enough of it. Jhene Aiko and Big Sean need to make songs together forever, because there’s something about their music that just makes sense. This is another one of those relationship songs that I believe we can all relate to.
 

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes — “I Miss You”

I’m a huge, huge, HUGE fan of this song. I mean, how many of us had to beg for their lady back after we inevitably fucked up? Even still, while I can admit relating to the outro on more than one occasion, I still think it’s wild the song goes on for about seven minutes before he asks about his son’s whereabouts — I’d assume that would be brought up a little quicker. A sign of the times, I guess. Even still, this is another classic breakup song.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 2
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 2 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 2 Cover.png
 

Todd Rundgren — “Hello It’s Me”

I’m a huge fan of ‘That 70s Show’ and I’ve probably watched every episode about a hundred times. During the first episode, the gang goes to a Todd Rungren concert in Eric’s Vista Cruiser and end up having to exchange a muffler for two tickets. It’s one of my favorites, but I always slept on the actual music, thinking it was just an old song by some white guy. One night when I was smoking, I actually paid attention for once and discovered that shit actually slaps though.
 

Nas — “If I Ruled the World” (feat. Lauryn Hill)

Nas was the first rapper I ever fucked with heavy. In fact, this was the first rap song I ever memorized from beginning to end. I actually wrote all lyrics out and listened to it over and over until I could recite it without any mistakes. When I got older and started writing, it became the first song I’d play before starting an outline for a new story because it always put me in a contemplative state. I mean, as I began world-building, I would just ask myself: what WOULD you do if you ruled the world?
 

Kendrick Lamar — “Kush & Corinthians” (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid)

I actually wrote a script for a series called “Kush & Corinthians” about two brothers who live completely opposite lives until one finds God — I still need to put that out. Anyway, Kendrick snapped on this jawn, and there aren’t nearly not enough people who know how talented BJ the Chicago Kid is. This is another song that really puts me in a creative state of mind.
 

Kanye West — “Devil in a Blue Dress” (feat. Rick Ross)

I know we’re not fucking with Kanye at the moment because of the “slavery is a choice” comment, but this is arguably his best song. The production is A-1 and I still get hype every time Ross spits ”when it come to tools... fool, I’m a Pep Boy!”
 

Lupe Fiasco — “Mural“

Niggas forget how dope Lupe is because he goes over our heads sometimes (well, a lot of the time). This joint doesn’t even have a hook. It’s just nine minutes of him rocking over spectacular production. TETSUO & YOUTH dropped like four years ago and it still feels like I’m discovering new metaphors in this joint, because of how dense his lines are.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] The D.A. Way
 

BY D.A. ALSTON

 

We asked D.A. to curate a Spotify playlist featuring the songs she plays while writing, reading or just songs she’s been playing a lot recently and she selected 40 songs featuring PJ Morton, Whitney Houston, Khalid and Lizzo.

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Masego - “I Do Everything!”

This is the epitome of “I’m feeling myself” in the smoothest jazz/trap way. Masego is undeniably one of the best musicians of this generation. This song resonates with me so much because it reminds me that it’s okay to brag about yourself sometimes. I am a woman who writes, teaches, draws, does graphics, sings, etc. There are times I dull my light, so others won’t feel uncomfortable. But this song is a slap in the face to all that. Masego is letting the world know ‘yes, I do all these things and I am daggone good at it too!’
 

The Recording Collective -  “Reckless Love”

I’ve always been into well-written songs. This song supplies the perfect imagery and symbolism of how I feel God’s love is for me. No matter how I am feeling, it’ll make me feel like I’m being embraced by a hundred hugs. My relationship with God has always been a focal point for me, so this song is an anthem and thanks and adoration for His love for me that is overwhelming and never-ending.
 

Jordin Sparks & Elijah Blake - “Real Love”

First and foremost, this pairing is a dream in and of itself! One word I would use to describe myself is a lover. I love LOVE! This is a feel-good song that has been on repeat honestly. Being madly in love with someone who feels the same about you is something that many have tried to explain, but words don’t even come close (but this is a pretty good job).
 

Jazmine Sullivan - “Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)”

Jazmine Sullivan’s voice is the melody of my soul. The lyrics speak to a vulnerable place in me.  There are times I don’t feel good enough or that I’m not pretty or whatever, this song reminds me that, contrary to what I may feel, that’s all a lie. I am a work of art. Sometimes you must remind yourself of who you really are! I am a masterpiece; Mona Lisa has nothing on me!
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


D.A. Alston is the author of THE UNLIKELY TALE OF THE ROYAL ELITE SQUAD.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. All these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke Cover.png
 

Nipsey Hussle — “Blue Laces 2”

Even before he passed, I knew this would be the first song on the playlist because I’ve played it like a thousand times. This has always been my second favorite Nipsey joint (“4 in the Morning” still reigns supreme) and from the very beginning of the song, it just gets me in the right headspace. RIP Nip. 
 

Ari Lennox — “GOAT”

When I heard she was dropping her debut album, I had to double take, because I could’ve sworn she already had one - her 2016 EP ‘PHO’ still gets major play and “GOAT” is def my go to joint. “Shea Butter Baby” with J. Cole also goes hard and I hope it ends up being her breakthrough hit, because her music has been dope for a minute.
 

Freddie Gibbs — “Triple Threat”

Surprisingly, my daughter lights up whenever she hears this song, so every time I hear it, I automatically think of her. More than that though, I played this album more than anything last year, so I had to include it here.
 

Little Brother — “The Pressure”

I may be the last holdout for one more LB album, but the production on this (and pretty much every Little Brother track) is so incredible and always reminds me of being back in North Carolina. Not to mention, Phonte goes the fuck off on this joint.
 

OutKast — “SpottieOttieDopaliscious”

If I ever get serious about completing this spoken word album, I have to feature this instrumental at some point. I’ve always wanted to spit something dope over this. If you can’t smoke one and vibe out to this joint, I don’t know what else to tell you.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] The Official Soundtrack For CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM
 

BY P. CURRY

 

We asked P. Curry to curate a Spotify playlist for Calliope of Atalan: The American Dream and he selected a whopping 56 songs featuring Cardi B, Ice Cube, Kriss Kross and Frank Ocean.

Spotify Cover Calliope copy.jpg
 

Tracie Spencer - "This House"

What would a book set in 1992 be without some New Jack Swing? While this particular cut is rather obscure today, it suits the nature of the story very well. Upbeat, but a little chaotic. Spencer uses a happy, yet trembling voice that shows an optimistic outlook in spite of troubling circumstances, which defines not only this book but just the overall series of Calliope of Atalan as a whole.
 

Bruno Mars - "Finesse" (Remix) feat. Cardi B

Okay, so I’m sure we’ve all seen one of those movies or TV shows set in the past that are set to modern music. Anachronism can be very fun….when it’s done correctly. The problem many said films and series suffer from is how nothing about the modern music choice even makes sense. That being said, while us 80’s and 90’s babies may have a lot of nostalgia for the 90’s, the nostalgia factor will indeed be lost on younger audiences. So this is why I chose Finesse as the theme music for the series; it manages to simultaneously sound like a throwback for those who came up in the generation while still being familiar to younger audiences AND also making sense in context. Anachronism done right.
 

The Jackson 5 - "Lookin’ Through The Windows”

A major plot element of this book is how Calliope seems to only know the world from bedroom window. Suffice to say, there’s another mysterious character who also spends most of his time looking upon the world from her window whom she briefly comes in contact with. Although this song is more romantic in nature, I think another way to interpret it is to try to look inside the numerous people who pass you by that you never meet, which is what Calliope has spent her entire life doing.
 

Kriss Kross - “Jump”

Only the quintessential song of any 90’s party; parties which happen the house next door to Calliope’s quite often.
 

Randy Crawford - “One Day I’ll Fly Away”

Calliope’s favorite song, and probably her theme song as well. The message suits her very well; living life from dream to dream, and yet, she wants to actually live her dreams, not wait until the day when they must end.
 

Smokey Robinson - “Being With You”

One thing Demeter loves is her oldies, always playing and humming along to them whenever she cooks. That being said, there’s a certain irony to this. After all, she may wish she’s happy being with her husband, but she can no longer pretend that the marriage is indeed falling apart.
 
CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM by P. Curry
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CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM by P. Curry
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228 pp. Inside the beloved polis of Auburn, Calliope Thessaly is a teenage writer bound to an immaculate home at the behest of her strict parents. Once summer break begins, her father announces an unexpected move to nearby Griffin where she is granted a little more freedom, making sure to explore the new area at every turn. As summer carries on, she finds the new area mundane and it doesn’t take long for her to discover that many of its pretentious inhabitants are intolerable. Even worse, stress from the move begins to reveal cracks within her family dynamic. As Calliope prepares to begin school in Griffin for the first time, things come to a head when she discovers a mysterious box that exposes the city’s dark past as well as a supreme force that has the ability to change everything.

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Frank Ocean - “Sweet Life”

After the move is made from Auburn to Griffin, I imagine that Calliope and all four of her siblings to have grown increasingly disenchanted with the upper middle-class life their family lead. After all, there’s nothing to complain about, but it often times feels like there’s nothing to live for either.
 

Madonna - “Material Girl”

Another song that satirizes affluence, Calliope comes across a number of girls with the sort of attitude and mindset which Madonna describes in this song.
 

Alicia Keys - “Diary”

One major element of this book is that of secrets and interestingly enough, it seems that Calliope is the bearer of all of them. However, as Calliope will always looks out for those whom she loves, anything anyone says will remain safe with her.
 

Bobby Brown - “Humpin’ Around”

You know, now that I think about it, Brutus’s character arc does correlate with Bobby Brown’s life in a number of ways. Like Brown, Brutus was reckless, arrogant, loudmouthed and just didn’t give a f-, only for his life of indulgent chaos to suddenly come crashing down. This song plays at the very moment that happens for Brutus. Originally, I just put this in because I needed another 90’s song, but this creative epiphany I’m having here makes a lot of sense. I dig the coincidence.
 

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - “They Reminisce Over You”

A sort of shared theme between Brutus and Julius; two brothers with a very strained and turbulent relationship. While this song largely represents grief over the death of a loved one, I still think it works as one major plot point involves them having a massive fall out.
 

Beck - “Loser”

I’m well acquainted with the feeling of being a deer in headlights. On Calliope’s first day at her new school, she’s the same way; staring around at everyone, ever so mousy, only to end up feeling like, well, a loser.
 

Geto Boys - “Mind Playing Tricks On Me”

The Megalopolis is a very unsettling place indeed, so this music definitely fits what’s going in Calliope’s mind whenever she’s there.
 

You can listen to the entire soundtrack below or on Spotify.


 You can purchase Calliope of Atalan: The American Dream here.

 

 

 

Darlene Campos Reveals Why She Included Selena On Her Spotify Playlist

BY: DARLENE P. CAMPOS

Earlier this month, we shared the playlist for Darlene P. Campos' Summer Camp Is Cancelled, featuring 19 songs inspired by the book. Those songs were selected by Darlene herself, and below, we feature the reasons she selected those songs.

 
 

Pearl Jam – Even Flow

I was born in 1991, but I grew up with two older siblings who would constantly play top hits of the 90s. Hearing my siblings play Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. was a daily thing. Since Lyndon is a middle school kid in the middle of the 90s, I was pleased to make him a fan of the songs I grew up with and still listen to often. “Even Flow” is one of my all-time favorite songs.
 

Smashing Pumpkins – Today

I’ve been a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins for so long, I remember when Billy Corgan had hair! This song plays on a radio the day Lyndon introduces Melody to Fernando, her crush and his enemy. Lyndon loves this song, but definitely not on this specific day.
 

Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain

My brother has loved Cypress Hill for a long time. He’s the one who introduced me to this band. I’m not a fan of rap, but there are a few rap artists I like and Cypress Hill is one of them. As I wrote SCIC, I went on YouTube to find 90s playlists to get me in the writing mood. This tune came on randomly and I started dancing in my chair! Additionally, I thought Lyndon and his friends would like this band because they are Latin artists, something that was just getting started in music at that time.
 

Stone Temple Pilots – Plush

This song plays as Lyndon dances with Melody. They dance together and in a split second, Lyndon does something that makes him feel extremely embarrassed. Read the book to find out why!
 

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Soul to Squeeze

This song has an important role in SCIC. Like I said above, read the book for the full
details.
 

Pearl Jam – Black

Lyndon says this song is one of the saddest songs he’s ever heard. This song really stuck with me throughout high school when I felt lonely due to a couple of unrequited crushes. It’s such a deep and sad song that I always find it hard to listen to without a few tears flowing from my eyes.
 
 

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

This is probably THE most defining song of the 1990s. So, of course Lyndon and his friends would love it!
 

Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock

This song is another Smashing Pumpkins classic. Since Lyndon is a fan, he adores this song as well.
 

R.E.M. – Drive

This is another important song in SCIC. I chose it as the background music because the beat of it begins quite ominously which perfectly fits the situation Lyndon finds himself in.
 

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under the Bridge

While this tune is about the effects of drug addiction, I thought it was about loneliness when I first heard it as a middle schooler around Lyndon’s age. It does certainly highlight feelings of isolation though and Lyndon experiences this a lot throughout the novel.
 

Vicente Fernandez – Por Tu Maldito Amor (For Your Damn Love)

This is the ultimate breakup song sung in Spanish! Grandma Raquel, Lyndon’s grandmother, is known to blast Vicente Fernandez while she completes tasks around the house. I’m sure she has blasts this track at some point! It’s also the song Javier, one of Lyndon’s best friends, suggests as a serenade to Melody.
 

Vicente Fernandez – Hermoso Cariño (Beautiful Dear)

This is a cute song for a child. It basically talks about a child being a precious gift from Heaven and it’s one I can picture Grandma Raquel singing to Lyndon, her beloved grandson. She might be fierce and mighty, but she loves her grand baby.
vicente.png
 

Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealing

Another 90s hit!
 

Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun

This song was HUGE in 1994 when it first came out. Since Lyndon’s story takes place from 1993 to 1994, this amazing hit would definitely be part of his life.
 

Ron Gutierrez – I Have Loved You with an Everlasting Love

Lyndon says this hymn is his favorite hymn to sing during Mass at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church. While this version is a jazz rendition, I’m sure he’d love it!
 

Mr. Mister – Kyrie

This is a song Edgar Perez, Lyndon’s father, plays when he attempts to “fix” his old grill. Though it’s a rock song from the 1980s, it has religious tones to it and could be counted as a worship song. Maybe if Mr. Perez plays it enough, he can skip Mass one Sunday, but Mrs. Perez probably wouldn’t let him.
 

U2 – Gloria

U2’s Bono is a devout Catholic, so it’s no surprise that he writes Catholic themes into several U2 songs. This specific song features a beautiful chorus sung by all the members in Latin. It sounds like a Catholic Mass with rock music! Since Father O’Brien is from Ireland, it seems appropriate that he would be listening to this song when Lyndon approaches him for advice.
 

The Cathedral Singers – Angels We Have Heard on High

Lyndon mentions singing this song during Christmas Mass 1993. There are many, many Christmas songs, but something about this one gets to me every time I hear it.
selena.jpg
 

Selena – Bidi Bidi Bom Bom

Though this song is never mentioned in SCIC, I can bet Lyndon hears it sometime in 1994. It’s about a woman describing the way her heart palpitates (the sound of her heart goes ‘bidi bidi bom bom’) when she sees her crush walking down the street. I can imagine Lyndon hopes Melody feels this way about him.

Summer Camp Is Cancelled will be available everywhere books are sold on August 3.

Official Soundtrack for "Summer Camp Is Cancelled"

BY: STAFF

We asked Darlene P. Campos to curate a Spotify playlist for her book, Summer Camp Is Cancelled and she selected 19 incredible songs featuring R.E.M., Cypress Hill, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

SCIC Spotify Front.jpg

You can listen to the entire soundtrack below or on Spotify.


Summer Camp Is Cancelled will be available everywhere books are sold on August 3.

Darlene Campos Reveals Why She Included The Roseanne Theme On Her Spotify Playlist

BY: DARLENE CAMPOS

On Monday, we shared the playlist for Darlene Campos' Behind Mount Rushmore, featuring 21 songs inspired by the book. Those songs were selected by Darlene herself, and below, we feature the reasons she selected those songs.

 
 

Keith Secola – NDN Kars

This is one of my favorite rock songs. It pertains to the story of an “NDN Kar,” which is an old clunker that’s falling apart but it still runs. The lyrics and melody are so catchy – you’ll be singing this song in your head for days!
 

Keith Secola – Say Your Name

Unlike “NDN Kars,” this song has a much sadder tone to its lyrics and rhythm and the reason is because it’s about the history of Native American boarding schools. Years ago, it was legal (yes, legal!) to take Native children from their homes and families and put them in boarding schools. These boarding schools were meant to kill off Native culture by forbidding the children to speak their native language, practice their religion, and practice their traditions. This is an ode to those children and their descendants. As Secola says, “preserve our children.”
 

Robbie Robertson – Peyote Healing

Sung in Lakota by Verdell Primeaux and Johnny Mike and produced by Robbie Robertson, this is a healing song as its title states. The lyrics call out to “Ate,” which is the Lakota word for “Father.” In this instance, “Father” is God and the song asks for health restoration. I first heard this song in the movie Skins, based off the novel of the same name by Adrian C. Louis. As soon as I heard it, I was inspired to write more in ‘Behind Mount Rushmore.’
 

The Cody Blackbird Band – Tribal Blues

I’ve been following Cody Blackbird and his band for the last couple of years. Blackbird is Eastern Band Cherokee and Roma descent. He’s fairly young, too, I believe in his late 20s. He won Flutist of the Year in 2011 at the Native American Music Awards (NAMA). This is my favorite track by him – you can really feel his talent for flute playing in this song.
 

Robert Tree Cody – Lakota Love Song

Cody is the adopted son of the actor Iron Eyes Cody. He is of Dakota Sioux and Maricopa descent. When writing ‘Behind Mount Rushmore,’ I wanted to make sure I focused on love, especially the love between Nimo’s parents. Love is a feeling all of us human beings crave and I feel that this song, even though it has no words, captures the emotion of love for another.
 

Lakota Thunder – Looking For My Friend

Lakota Thunder is an awesome, Grammy-nominated band. This song is especially important because of the friendship Nimo shares with John David. If you listen closely to the song, you will hear the word “kola.” The Lakota word for a man’s friend is “kola,” but kola means more than just friend. As defined by Lakota language teacher Sam High Crane (his lectures are on YouTube and totally worth checking out if you want to learn some Lakota!), the word kola means a friend you would be willing to give your life for to save his. John David is undoubtedly Nimo’s kola and Nimo is John David’s kola in return.
 
 

Robert Tree Cody – Lakota Lullaby

Back when ‘Behind Mount Rushmore’ was its earliest drafts, the point of view was an omniscient narrator and Nimo was only a six-month-old baby. His parents sang him their own version of this soothing lullaby. However, once the drafts changed, Nimo began telling the story and surely, he wouldn’t remember his baby life. Even though this lullaby isn’t mentioned in the book, it remains as a huge musical influence for ‘Behind Mount Rushmore.’
 

Judas Priest – Breaking the Law

One of Jay Eagle Thunderclap’s favorite bands is Judas Priest. In “The Clash,” he is observed grilling turkey meat while blasting Judas Priest on his personal radio. I don’t know which song he was blasting, but it was probably this one.
 

David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust

This is one of my favorite David Bowie songs because it tells a story from beginning to end in just over three minutes. In “The Fork,” Nimo and John David head to Rapid City to see a David Bowie tribute band called The Mars Spiders, a name which is taken from this song specifically.
 

David Bowie – Let’s Dance

This tune is the tune which comes on at George’s in the second to final chapter of the book. Since the full details contain spoilers, I won’t say much about its importance.
 

Madonna – Into the Groove

Nimo’s a big Madonna fan, but John David is not – in fact, this is probably the only interest they don’t share. Madonna plays a major role in the one of the chapters, but again, this is a spoiler alert. My lips are sealed on this one as well.
 

Sonny and Cher – I Got You Babe

I was introduced to this song by a former professor during my freshman year of college. We watched the movie Groundhog Day in class which infamously uses this song about a billion times. As I created Jay Eagle and Josephine’s characters, this song was endlessly stuck in my head thanks to that professor! I feel this song describes their marriage down to a T. There are times when the Thunderclaps don’t have much, but they have each other and they’re not letting go.
 

Lakota Thunder – Lakota Hoksila

This is another great song by Lakota Thunder. Its title means “Lakota Boy” which applies to Nimo throughout the entire novel. He might grow up in the novel, but he remains a Lakota boy at the core of his heart.
 

Sacred Spirit – Yeha Noha

This song is a rendition of a traditional song from the Navajo Shoe Game. This specific version is sung by the Navajo elder Kee Chee Jake. Even though it is a Navajo song, I listened to this song many times while writing Behind Mount Rushmore to some creative sparks on. The full story of the Navajo Shoe Game is told on YouTube by the user DayBreakWarrior.
 

Will Peters – Memorial Song

Death is a process we all must go through. Nimo experiences the death of a relative and he laments the deaths of other relatives he never got to meet. This song is for those relatives.
 

Buddy Red Bow – South Dakota Lady

Josephine Thunderclap, Nimo’s mother, is definitely a South Dakota Lady. She’s strong, she’s loving, she’s hardworking, and most of all, she doesn’t put up with nonsense. If Jay Eagle was a real person, I can imagine him singing this song to his South Dakota lady.
 

'All in the Family' Theme

All in the Family is a show the Thunderclaps watch a lot because I watched it (actually, I watched the series) while forming the early chapters. This isn’t the original theme sung by Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton, but it’ll do. In fact, when ‘Behind Mount Rushmore ‘was only a few chapters long, I visited Los Angeles for the first time and I had the opportunity to visit Carroll O’Connor’s grave while I was there. If it wasn’t for Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker character, ‘Behind Mount Rushmore’ would not be the same.
 

'Roseanne' Theme

Roseanne is a show I grew up watching, but I never fully understood its weight until adulthood. It’s a pivotal show for its portrayal of the working class and their struggles with money, but it also shows their deep love and humor. Jay Eagle and Josephine Thunderclap’s marriage was greatly inspired by Dan and Roseanne Conner’s marriage.
 

The Magnetic Fields – The Book of Love

This song is dedicated to John David’s character. He’s a tough guy when it comes to showing emotions, but he falls in love, too.
 

Northern Cree – Thank God I’m an Indian Boy

While this song is sung by members of the Cree tribe, it certainly applies to Nimo. No matter what happens to him on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, he’s proud of his heritage and his ancestors.
 

Robbie Robertson – Cherokee Morning Song

This is another Robbie Robertson production sung by Rita Coolidge. Coolidge is one of the founding members of Walela, which means hummingbird in Cherokee. I’m NOT a morning person at all. If I could hit my alarm’s snooze button more than once, I would, but I can’t be late for work! This song somehow awakens me with its peaceful tones. It does not only awaken my body, but it also awakens my mind for some more writing.

Behind Mount Rushmore will be available everywhere books are sold on May 19.