Wow, I can’t believe it’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve done one of these. I started a series of posts called Songs About Writing in order to highlight songs that were either about writing itself, or books, or writers, or something tangentially related to literature, thus combining two of my favorite things. I think I must’ve stopped because I simply ran out of ideas. (There really should be more pop songs about how great that John Fante novel you just discovered is rather than simply telling me that “tonight is going to be the best night ever until the next night which is gonna be the best night ever,” ad infinitum).

Tim Kasher is one of my all-time favorite singer-storytellers. I can remember the first time I heard a Cursive song on a mixtape made by the dude at Rebound Records in Texas (which I can only assume is long gone) back when I was in high school, and I was hooked. Then fast forward to 2010 and the release of his first solo record, The Game of Monogamy. Reeling after a bizarre relationship that left saw me prepared to propose for the first time only to find the lady on the receiving end not show up at the promised rendezvous and stop talking to me and never explain what the hell happened or why, I listened to Monogamy endlessly on repeat. Somehow I completely missed his 2013 release, Adult Film, until late last year, which also found itself on repeat. Again the themes echoed pretty much exactly where I was in life and I was hooked from the first track, American Lit, the perfect soundtrack as I was trying to finish my first novel.

I’ve got a story to tell
And though I’m not sure what it is
I’m sure it’s funny as hell
And tragic and dramatic
And personal and universal It’s about a boy with stars in his eyes
Or, maybe just a man whose
Dreams were never realized
Whichever one it is
It’s essential I get it just right
Because we are great Americans!
Our novels need to be written

My point of view must be heard
I’ll set my soapbox on the mountaintop
And bark out every word
And the echoes will bellow and billow
Over this great Earth
Or, am I missing the point?
A view from the top
Could overlook the hoi polloi
In the trenches with the henchmen
Is the benchmark of experience

Because we are great Americans
Our novels need to be written
And then the book becomes a film
And then the film becomes
A modern masterpiece
(This is my acceptance speech)

And when our bones are burned to ashes
And great, great grandkids are doing acid
They’ll give two shits about all this
Insipid brilliance
But don’t get angry, don’t get discouraged
Our constant efforts are more than worth it
We have our voices
Singularly we sing:

“Yes, we are great Americans!
Our novels need to be written!”
So what if they end up microfiche
At least they landed
In the annals of our libraries

And then the book becomes a film
And then the film becomes
A modern masterpiece
(This is my acceptance speech)

For more in this series, go here.

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