30 SoCal Punk Songs

My Greg Salem punk rock PI series revolves around a fictional SoCal band called BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, but the music and musicians that inspired these books are very real.

The playlist includes songs from the 70s to the 2000s, ranging from Black Flag, The Runaways, Lagwagon and Minutemen to The Gun Club, Pennywise, The Bags and Face To Face. There are thousands of other songs I could have included, but 30 seems right for now.

I’m loosely defining SoCal as the region between San Diego and Santa Barbara. Likewise, the definition of “punk” is also pretty loose because it’s one of those words that means something different to everybody.

So…save your aggression for the pit, bro. As Descendents would say—Enjoy!

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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). Steve lives in LA.

Songs in the Key of Creep


Ever notice that certain words pop up more often in songs than in real life? I’ve long thought of “creep” as one of those words.

I first encountered it with Social Distortion’s “The Creeps” (1982). On the surface it’s like the soundtrack to a low budget horror film, but underneath is the fundamental punk rock need to make the mainstream feel uncomfortable. In this case, “creeps” is a physical sensation akin to spine-tingling fear or revulsion. The word was used in a similar way at the dawn of Seattle’s grunge scene with Nirvana’s “Negative Creep” (1989). Of course, other bands used the word “creep” in the 80s. One of my favorites is That Petrol Emotions’ “Creeping To The Cross” (1987). And Luther Vandross got in on the action with “Creepin'” (1985). In both instances, the word “creep” is used as a physical act similar to skulking, prowling or sneaking.

But it wasn’t until the 90s that we reached peak “creep” with Radiohead’s 1992 classic. Although the word “creep” is used in a similar way to their punk and grunge predecessors, Thom Yorke’s professed “creepiness” is delivered as more of a lament about loneliness and isolation. Stone Temple Pilots followed a year later with their song “Creep,” and pop trio TLC released a song with the same title in 1994. But it wasn’t just mainstream acts that waved a “creep” flag in the 90s. Guided By Voices got in on the movement with their lo-fi “Fantasy Creeps,” while Blue Meanies gave “creep” the ska-core treatment with “Creepy.” White Zombie even used the word in their 1995 album title, Astro-Creep 2000.

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Some Songs Make Great Short Stories

I’m a writer and a music fan, so I often think of the lyrics to my favorite songs as short stories. A couple of the best elements are usually there—from isolation, desperation and validation to heartbreak, betrayal and revenge. Some songwriters create easy to follow narratives, while others make you tease the story out. Great songs can make us imagine exactly what the songwriter envisioned, but it’s more fun to create our own version of the story as we listen.

Lately I’ve been digging deeper with daily posts that re-imagine lyrics through the lens of short fiction. I can’t promise that I’ll keep up this pace, but I’m having fun for now. I call the series “Short Story in a Song:”

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New Interview at Story and Grit

Very excited to be over at Story and Grit today. Jessie Rawlins asked some great questions. I talk about my Greg Salem series, music (everything from Johnny Cash to REO Speedwagon), and podcasting—among many other things.

Hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Read the full interview HERE.

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.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 5

 

For the fifth and final episode of the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series, I connected with Jim Lindberg, lead singer of Southern California punk band Pennywise. I’m thrilled to connect with Jim because Pennywise is among a handful of legendary South Bay bands—along with Black Flag, Descendents and Circle Jerks—that fueled my Greg Salem punk rock P.I. novels including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, GRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME.

In addition to writing the autobiography PUNK ROCK DAD, Jim writes most of the lyrics for Pennywise, with self-reliance as a running theme throughout their catalog. He also has a degree in English and counts Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau among his influences, citing them as America’s “first punk rockers.” We also discuss DARK MONEY by Jane Mayer, FLOW by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac, among many others.

Here’s “Books on the Bus,” episode 5:

Find out more Jim Lindberg’s passion for music and reading HERE. Find out more about Pennywise HERE.

Here are the four previous episodes of Books on the Bus:

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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.

New “Hang Time” Review

“This is an intense story and the action is non-stop. It was a quick, fun, easy read. I recommend it to both music fans and those who just like a good mystery.” Read the full review HERE.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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 Los Angeles.

It’s “Hang Time” Release Day

Hard to believe that the third book in the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. trilogy is officially out in the world today. It’s been quite an adventure watching this series—including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION (book 1) and GRIZZLY SEASON (book 2)—come to life. Thanks to Tyson Cornell and Rare Bird Books for believing in Greg and his crew, and to all of you for reading these books and helping spread the word.

Here are a few of the kind things that people have said about HANG TIME:

“Lauden’s prose zooms along with an arch energy, and the final installment in his Greg Salem trilogy (Grizzly Season, 2016, etc.) keeps the plot twists coming at warp speed.”—Kirkus Reviews

“As a rock journalist in my spare time I know the scene pretty well and Mr. Lauden just manages to convey so well how it is and feels, it’s impressive. Awesome, awesome stuff.” —Son of Spade

“The twists, turns, and shocks are enough to leave the reader gasping for more.”—Crimespree Magazine

“Addiction, isolation, punk rock and murder — all on a hot mic.”—Liam Sweeney, author of DEAD MAN’S SWITCH and WELCOME BACK JACK

As savage, fast-paced and bleakly comic as your favorite punk rock anthem, S.W. Lauden’s HANG TIME is a wicked and fitting finale to a first-rate trilogy, packed full of both sex and violence of the no-holds-barred variety, and building to a gut-punch conclusion that’ll leave you reeling long after you’ve closed the last page.” —Owen Laukkanen, author of THE PROFESSIONALS and CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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 Los Angeles.

“Hang Time” Cover Reveal

Thrilled to share the cover for “Hang Time,” the third book in the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. trilogy. The two previous books, “Bad Citizen Corporation” and “Grizzly Season,” also got new ebook covers to match this one.

“Hang Time” arrives Jan. 16 from Rare Bird Books. Available for pre-order now over at Amazon. And please add it to your Goodreads shelf, if you’re so inclined. Thanks!

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

 

Interviewed by Will Viharo

I’m THRILLED to chat with excellent crime author, Will Viharo, about the Indie crime scene, the importance and pitfalls of using social media for book promotion, and what I’ve got coming down the line. You can check out the short interview RIGHT HERE.

S.W. Lauden is up for two Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice AwardsVoting is open to everybody and no registration is required. Please cast a vote for GRIZZLY SEASON (Best Action/Adventure) and CROSSWISE (Best Mystery)Thank you!

New GRIZZLY SEASON Review

Really love this new GRIZZLY SEASON review over at Sons Of Spade. This guy has been a supporter of the Greg Salem character from the beginning. He’s also a big fan of punk rock. Enjoy!

 


BCC Cover FinalS.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available from Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, was published on October 11, 2016. His novella, CROSSWISE, is available from Down & Out Books.