Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mash it up

I wish I could type while listening to music. I’ve read that Stephen King cranks his stereo up to eleven when he’s writing, and a copywriter I know listens to wide range of stuff while cranking out brilliant ads. But I have to have it quiet when I write. I don’t want to say I have a short attention span, it’s just that my mind clicks into the strangest directions and then my imagination takes off and before you know it I’m only not typing but forgetting to do other things. Like exhale.

If I could write and type at the same time, there’s a song I’d know I’d play the hell out of. It’s a mash-up by Legion of Doom called Crazy as She Goes and anyone who’s ridden in my car the past month certainly knows I’m a fan.

Now a mash-up is when an artist takes two or more different songs and blends them together in a cool new way. There are millions of examples out there and for me the best ones pull together totally unexpected songs. Bandleader Lee Press-on of Lee Press-on and the Nails recently mashed-up a Beatles tune and a song by the German band Kraftwerk. The Legion of Doom mash-up slams together last summer’s big hit Crazy by Gnarls Barkley with Grandmaster Flash’s classic The Message and the Raconteurs’ Steady as She Goes. Much fun.

So why am I telling you this?

Imagine a different kind of mash-up.

The Maltese Falcon mashed-up with a Westlake Dortmunder caper.

Agatha Christie’s A Caribbean Mystery and Bob Morris’ Bermuda Schwartz.

G.K. Chseterton’s The Innocence of Father Brown and Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Empty House with George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman. (Oh wait, that’s been done. See Flashman and the Tiger.)

So, what would I mash-up one of my books with?

Relative Danger with Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad.

Out of Order with Kal Ho Naa Ho. (Okay, it’s a movie, but that just means that they’d have to make OoO into a movie, too.)

Noble Lies (coming in October 2007) with The Tesseract by Alex Garland. Or Kicking Dogs by Collin Piprell.

Okay, somebody get busy and mash these up for me.

3 comments:

Charles benoit said...

Guess who figured out the link option on the blog.

Anonymous said...

The links are great! Congratulations.

Rick Blechta said...

I always write with my stereo turned up to nuclear meltdown, but it has to be the same song: "Smoked Meat and Gouda", that famous song by Deep Purple.
"They burned down the meat packing house. It died with an awful sound..."

You should try it, Charles. It really can bring a visceral edge to your writing previously absent.