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AU's Student-Run Internet-Only Radio

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Tunes-A-Million Volume 4: The Monster’s Playlist

Tunes-A-Million+Volume+4%3A+The+Monsters+Playlist

Welcome back to our final Tunes-A-Million of the semester! It has been so thrilling to write about two of my favorite things, books and music, each week, and I hope you all have enjoyed reading along! 

I’m not sure about any of you, but I have personally entered into a The Hunger Games renaissance. I saw the new film adaptation of the prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, over Thanksgiving break, and it took me straight back to my middle school obsession. There is something timeless about Suzanne Collins’ writing, and it has been fun to escape back into a middle school obsession while I’ve been stressed with finals. 

But now finals are (mostly) over for me, and I will get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley came to me at a very transformative time in my life, partially because of the David Dobrik Spotify audiobook I found for free. Something about hearing a now-problematic Youtuber tell the story changed me as a senior in high school by creating a new side to the characters. 

Maybe this is wrong, but I felt for the monster. Yes, he was not perfect, but he was also brought into the world and instantly deemed something horrific. It made me think about the consequences and the weight of creating something and bringing it into the world. I’ve always considered Frankenstein himself the monster of the story, as his choices came out of ambition and brains, yet he was cowardly after realizing the weight of his actions. While he felt guilt for what he had done, he also did not take the appropriate responsibility for his actions, yet was shocked when his carelessness resulted in numerous deaths. I found it hard to sympathize with someone who had guilt that he never tried to remedy with action. 

I’m pretty confident this was not Mitski’s inspiration when she wrote “Working for the Knife” for her 2022 album, Laurel Hell, but I feel it suits the monster’s plight well. The monster was created by Victor Frankenstein, and he was given no autonomy or authority over his actions. However, he grew up and became aware of everything he had been driven to do, much like the subject Mitski sings from the perspective of. She described the subject as reaching a point that they fully realize they’ve come to, along with an acute awareness of all they had to do to get there, a feeling that the monster could easily relate to in its final days. 

“Direct Address,” from Lucy Dacus’ 2016 album, No Burden, is another song that is undoubtedly not intended to be about a monster created out of old body parts. She even sings about not believing in love at first sight, but the lyrics about being captivated and controlled by another individual jumped out at me. Honestly, anything Lucy Dacus does jumps out at me, but this song is particularly exceptional. While Dacus sings about metaphorical drugs she is put under by the person she is infatuated with, one can’t help but connect that level of control to the way Victor Frankenstein ruled the monster’s life from start to finish. 

Another song that I am also stretching to fit what I want it to fit is “Creep” by Radiohead. I’ll admit I first heard the Glee Cast cover of this song (which I believe is better than the original), but I’ll pretend I listen to the original to seem more respectable as a writer. It feels almost too on the nose to say that lyrics like “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo,” fit a monster made of dead body parts, but they do! The song, in its entirety, captures the feeling of being out of place and out of control while also striving to be noticed by someone important to them, someone around whom their world revolves. 

Alright, that’s it for Tunes-A-Million this semester! I hope you enjoyed this fun little journey as much as I have! I have loved getting to share this passion of mine with this small slice of the world. 

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