Friday, June 09, 2006

Rachel Cohn Spins Tracks From Her Latest "Playlist"

I'm so darn elated to have Rachel Cohn, music lover and YA author, on board today. She has this new book coming out with David Levithan called, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. I'm so eager to read this one and the following only intensifies that desire. See, Rachel has graciously passed on her "soundtrack" for the book, along with the corresponding defining moments and emotions. I've posted MP3s for ten or so, the list is far too long to post 'em all, plus where is the joy if I take all of the hunt out of the process. So first, let's get the book's set up and then to the songs, from Rachel herself:

The book is about two 18 year old straight edge New Jersey kids, both obsessed with music, who meet at a punk club in Manhattan one night, and the book follows their adventures in the city across that one night. Anyone wanting a further secret preview to the book (which comes out this May) can read into the song choices below. I'm very partial to R&B and honky-tonk - David's playlist for Nick & Norah would probably be much more indie punk/alternative. But we're both suckers for great songwriting, no matter the musical style. And so, my NN playlist:

Frank Sinatra, "Come Fly with Me" (for Nick, Hoboken boy)
Marshall Crenshaw, "Rockin' Around in NYC" (for their once-in-a-lifetime night wandering around Manhattan)
The Jam, "In the City" (same as above)
The Cure, "Pictures of You" (for Nick, wondering what exactly the "cure" is for)
The Smiths, "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" (for Norah, who thinks their date is tanking)
Abba, "Take A Chance On Me" (for Nick's breakup desolation mix - and Norah's appreciation of his song selection)
Sinead O'Connor, "I Want Your (Hands on Me)" (for Nick & Norah's chemistry)
Beastie Boys, "Triple Trouble" (for their foul mouths)
Kasey Chambers, "Still Feeling Blue" (mostly just cuz I like this song)
Green Day, "American Idiot" (for Nick & Norah's politics)
Johnny Cash, "Hurt" (for when the night isn't going so well)
Rufus w/ Chaka Khan, "Ain't Nothin' But a Maybe" (does he/she like me, or what?)
Lucinda Williams, "Something About What Happens When We Talk" (for the high Norah feels when talking through the night with Nick)
Ted Hawkins, "All I Have To Offer You Is Me" (purely romantic song that I adore)
Toshi Reagon, "This Moment" (same as above)
Boyz II Men, "Uhh Ahh" (for when things get naughty)
Eva Cassidy, "Early Morning Rain" (same as above, though really only the song title fits - the song itself, kinda sad)
Rosanne Cash, "Fire of the Newly Alive" (for unexpectedly meeting that one amazing person)
Elvis Costello, "You Belong to Me" ('nuff said)
Shuggie Otis, "Ice Cold Daydream" (for the ice room scene - and because I love Shuggie Otis on any playlist)
Astaire, "L-L-Love" (fun pop song, title says it all)
Jill Scott, "Gimme" (again, title says it all)
Tony Toni Tone, "Let's Get Down" (for Toni the Playboygirl bouncer)
Aretha Franklin, "Something He Can Feel" (what Thom says Norah can do for Nick)
The Beatles, "Something" (the only Beatles song Norah claims is any good)
Ash, "Punk Boy" (for punk boy Nick and his boys)
Le Tigre, "My My Metrocard" (song Nick & Norah sing together)
Merle Haggard, "Always Wanting You" (song Norah hears in the cab that makes her cry)

Rachel points out that the list could go on infinitely. I have to say, this is a great playlist even without the narrative and I can't wait to connect the dots. Pre-order her and David's book on Powells Books' site or Amazon. Rachel Cohn has written Gingerbread, and it's follow up, Shrimp. She has written The Steps and it's just released follow-up, Two Steps Forward. And she's the author of Pop Princess. She's one of my all-time favorites. Thank you!