Soundtracks, Part 1

September 13th, 2014Posted by Nancy

I listen to music a good portion of my day, though it’s probably more accurate to consider it a background soundtrack rather than an activity in which I actively engage.  I wear my Ipod during my walk and subway trip to work,  sometimes while I’m working, and it plays in the sound dock at night.  (Right now, a song from rather unfortunately musical of Dracula is playing.  I’m not sure why it’s still even there, except that my husband inexplicably refuses to delete it.  It’s not nearly as amusing as our other musical theatre offering : A Shoggoth on the Roof.)  I’ve done this since I was a teenager and studied and wrote while playing albums in my room.

Most of my novels have a soundtrack that plays during the writing process.  My third big ambition (after being a starship captain and archaeologist) was to be a singer/songwriter and a number of my short stories were heavily influenced by my musical interests (Exodus 22:18 and The Party Over There, in particular).  So it was inevitable that it would form a core of both the plot and the process for The Night Inside.


The music and lyrics of this British band are central to this book.  The title and all of the section names are taken from their songs (and getting permission for that was an adventure).   Their album Oil and Gold remains one of my favorites: a beautiful, sinister, mid-80s evocation of doom and decadence.  I still get a shiver at the lines “We had some good machines/but they don’t work no more/I loved you once/don’t love you any more”.

They didn’t make a lot of videos but there are no shortages of ways to find their music on Youtube and other sites and Oil and Gold is available on ITunes.  The song below is also one of my favorites  (“Call in the airstrike, with a poison kiss…”) partially because it is one of the few songs that includes the word “parthenogenesis”.   We made singing a song with that word the condition of kissing at our wedding and only one table rose to the challenge.


L.A. punk pioneers X were my model for Sara’s band Black Sun.  The name even came from their album Under the Big Black Sun.   The songs “Riding with Mary” and “The Hungry Wolf” seemed to suit the story perfectly.

Richard Thompson

And now for something completely different….  Richard Thompson is a brilliant songwriter, guitarist and singer who is considered primarily a folk artist.  The heartbreaking resignation of “How will I ever be simple again?” has made this the song I most associate with Rozokov.

Thompson has made even fewer videos than Shriekback so below is the best I can do.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see all of these performers live, some more than once.  So if you’re curious about soundtrack for The Night Inside, check out their music.



Oil & Gold    (source of the novel title, from the song “The Only Light that Shines” and section header “Everything that Rises must Converge”

Jam Science (source of section header “Midnight Maps”)

Big Night Music (Source of section header “Shark Walk”)


Under the Big Black Sun

Isn’t Love Grand?

Richard Thompson

Daring Adventures

Rumour and Sigh

Mirror Blue

Shoot out the Lights  (with former wife Linda Thompson)








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1 response

  • 1 Darren · Dec 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Found this while googling Shriekback. I’ll have to check out X and Richard Thompson. I recently found a Shriekback track on youtube that I hadn’t heard before called Terribly Swollen.

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