Working Music: “Fire in the Hole”

There-Was-No-Sound-of-Thunder-cover
There Was No Sound of Thunder

I listen to music basically whenever I write, often as a simple practical matter (I have a wife, a barky-bary-bark, two school-age kids at home, and a house that backs up to an apartment parking lot).  What I’m listening to during a given period often seeps into what I’m writing.  I listened to Steely Dan’s “Fire in the Hole” every morning while working on the middle section of this novel—both the longest and darkest (“Where There is Nothing, There is God”—itself a title stolen from William Butler Yeats.) At some point, I’d gotten the notion in my head that the narrator of the song was a waiter/actor, which is why the protagonist is a waiter/actor. Looking at the lyrics now, I have no idea where I got that impression. (I’m told Fagen—who co-wrote the song—said in an interview that it was about dodging the draft during the Vietnam War, which makes a lot more sense than my interpretation of the song.)  Doesn’t really matter; it was always the piano that caught my mind. It’s the piano, more than the words, that seeped into that story.

Go Watch Tim Egan’s Short Horror Film CURVE! (UPDATED: fixed embed/link)

Why I bring this to your attention today:

  1. Unlike a lot of very short horror films, this one actually constitutes a complete horror story worthy your time, not a set-up for a jump-scare or splatter
  2. As is often the case with the horror that really catches my eye (“like a fishhook in an open eye“), this is a female-led meditation on how one processes trauma
  3. I like any film where the real villain is the coefficient of friction