What’s Your Theme Song?

Fall 1997 semester at Southwest Texas State University started with moving boxes to my new dorm, Retama Hall. My steps slowed upon the sound bursting from my neighbor’s room. Was ist das? Deep bass grooves mixed with grinding electric guitar and harmonic vocals? I noticed a sticker on her door, a graffiti drawing of the number 311. Cool. I found out later the sticker was the band’s name, and the song that mesmerized me was “Down.” Everytime I hear the song, I’m reminded of the joy of new beginnings.

Flash forward memory lane to Penn State University. To appreciative applause I concluded my thesis defense, and felt the weight of two years’ intense work slide off my shoulders. With a brief convening, the review committee accepted my defense, and I earned my new distinction, Master of Science, the day before Thanksgiving, 2007. I thanked them, returned to my office desk at 311 Armsby, and celebrated with a solo air guitar/dance performance of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.”

Metallica Performs ‘Master of Puppets’ on The Colbert Report

Music massages the creative lumps of my brain. A barrage of beats can move my hands for six hours straight. Listening to lyrics helps me design the right tone for a conversation between characters. And this is applicable to any project I have going on. Recently, this song streamed through my mashup, and it triggered an enhancement to the storyline of Book 2:

Every writer’s got her thing, this is mine. By now, every character in I Blew Up Juarez has a full mix tape worth of theme songs. They are the club bunnies, I’m the DJ.

Here’s a few songs that popped up in my head, or were playing in the background, as I did clean-ups to Juarez recently…

Johnny Heads To Mexico 

Army Base Freakout

Interrogation Room

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