Monday, April 4, 2011


SONG #9: "City Hall" by The Fray.

So, full disclosure: I don't like this song very much.

I was a big fan of The Fray when I was in middle school, and I still like some of their songs, but this is not one of them. I'm not exactly sure how it ended up on my iTunes, but I assume I bought it at some point--unlike three of the songs later in the playlist, where I have literally no idea where they came from.

But when I'm making a playlist, the first thing I do is find songs with appropriate titles, then listen through 'em listening to see if the lyrics work.

"City Hall" was a title that immediately jumped out at me for this part of the story, because it's a deliberation scene of sorts. It's a very depressing meeting. The lyrics work, too, to an extent.

It's not a perfect song, and it's not at all my favorite moment in the playlist. And that's probably why I kept it.

This isn't supposed to be a comfortable point in the book. This is SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS, part A. If I liked it, something would be pretty wrong. And of the two SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS, this is the more uncomfortable, less pretty of the two. This is just messy and gross and unfun, and it's supposed to be.

But we have one of my favorite songs right after, so it makes up for itself, I think.

This is also the first passage I've used, so far, that has sign language, though it's just the one word. There's a fair amount of sign language in the book, as one of the characters is Deaf. I made the choice to go with ASL word order for the book, for two main reasons. 1. ASL has its own grammar, and this is correct, and 2. none of the characters in the book are fluent in ASL, least of all our narrator. A lot of it is pidgin signing, and a lot of the translations are way incomplete, as you can see below. There's a whole theme involving lack of communication through the book, so this plays into that.

I also think this is the first passage with Claudia, Chase's sister. And she's pretty badass.


Decision on the dock head
Make up your mind and if you get consensus
Drop me a line

The city hall in my mind, got together last night
Rumors of reelection started to fly


“No,” Claudia says. “Just keep trying, okay? Don't give up, what the hell. This isn't like a do-it-yourself project gone wrong or . . . or a game of spider solitaire.” She signs spider.

--p. 153

1) "Turn Up The Sun" by Oasis
2) "Island in the Sun" by Weezer
3) "Just Like Heaven" by Gatsby's American Dream
4) "Bigger Than My Body" by John Mayer
5) "New Soul" by Yael Naim
6) "Across the Universe" by Rufus Wainwright
7) "Boys of Summer" by The Ataris
8) "Slang" by Def Leppard
9) "City Hall" by The Fray


KT said...

The Fray is my favorite band, but I have agree with you, this is probably one of my least favorite songs of theirs. I totally see how it could fit, though. Very cool passage--never would have thought of anything like that! I'm loving these songs/teasers!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I still like The Fray, but not nearly as much as I did when I was younger. City Hall doesn't even sound familiar to me, so I couldn't have listened to it all that much. I'm really curious to see how sign language plays in and how you handled that in the book. My younger brother is actually learning ASL in school right now, so maybe I'll pass the book along to him when I'm done.

Liz Czukas said...

For the record, Claudia is my favorite character in Invincible Summer. At first, I thought she was too mature for her age, but then I remembered being her age and realized other people probably thought that about me. And that's when I loved her. Wow, that sounds narcissistic.

Still loving the playlist!

- Liz

hannah said...

Liz--I love Claudia too. She was a challenge for myself, an "okay, bitch, write a girl." And I ended up really happy with how she turned out.

Possibly mild spoilers?: I always say that Claudia is the real hero of the story, and I think if you look at the ending that's really true.