Short Story in a Song — “Throwaways”

This is the start of a new blog series. The point is to post some of my favorite songs and briefly look at the lyrics through the lens of short fiction.

Listening to music as you get older can be tricky because pure enjoyment sometimes gets clouded by needless comparison. Or at least it does for me. So when I first heard the Philadelphia punk band Beach Slang a few years ago, I couldn’t listen without thinking about The Replacements, Sugar and Jawbreaker. Thankfully, good music doesn’t care about our stupid comparisons. It can wait us out. These days, Beach Slang isn’t a collection of references to me any more—they’re just a great band that I like listening to.

One of my favorite songs from their album The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us is the opening track, “Throwaways.” It’s a familiar tale of hometown hopelessness that feels universal and ageless. The protagonist reminds us that a full tank of gas, pocket change and a good book can seem like salvation when you’re brimming with ideas and out of options. He’s no revolutionary, but tonight he’s fed up enough to lead a few of his friends to a place that’s only better because it isn’t here. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear this angsty anthem I want to climb in the passenger seat of that car just to see what happens. Great song, great short story.

Read the full lyrics for Beach Slang’s “Throwaways” right HERE.

Like punk rock and books? Check out Books on the Bus, a podcast mini-series about the books musicians like to read. Here’s my conversation with Jim Lindberg from Pennywise:

And here’s Joey Cape from Lagwagon:

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

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