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.

Since then, “creep” continues to appear in lyrics across genres. A few notable examples include The Shins’ “Caring Is Creepy” (2001), Eric Church’s “Creepin'” (2011), and Portugal. The Man’s “Creep In A T-Shirt” (2013).

What are some of your favorite songs that use the word “creep”? Let me know in the comments below.

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.

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:”

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.

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.

 

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.

Dead End Follies Review Of “Grizzly Season”

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“GRIZZLY SEASON isn’t a novel about the drug trade. It is a novel about American drug paranoia. Magnus Ursus is a boogeyman hellbent on either indoctrinating young minds or destroying them with his new, demented, hypertoxic drug. He inspires the kind of terror that keeps concerned mothers up at night. He’s a cult leader, a slave-owner and a smut dealer all at once. How many times have I told you a novel can only be as great as its antagonist? Grizzly Season is another example. Magnus Ursus and the suspended, nightmare reality he seems to live in make the novel successful.” FULL REVIEW.

My Chat With David Berkeley

The nice people at Rare Bird Books bugged my phone during a private conversation with talented singer/songwriter/author, David Berkeley. And now they’re trying to claim that it’s a “podcast,” or whatever.

If you haven’t read Berkeley’s heartbreaking/uplifting collection of stories, THE FREE BRONTOSAURUS, you definitely should (it’s not a kids booooook, I promise). And make sure to check out the companion album, CARDBOARD BOAT. This dude’s got chops!

 

“Grizzly Season” Signings & Readings

grizzly-seasonHere’s a list of a few places you can find me in the next month or so. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say “Sup, bro?”

  • Mysterious Galaxy SD with Eric Beetner, David Moss and Dietrich Kalteis—San Diego CA, Saturday, Oct. 22 —> MORE INFO
  • Noir at the Bar LA—Los Angeles CA, Sunday, Oct. 23 —> MORE INFO
  • LitCrawl NoHo with SinC LA readers including Rochelle Staab, Tammy Kaehler, James Ziskin, Carlene O’Neil and Glen Erik Hamilton—North Hollywood CA, Wednesday Oct. 26 —> MORE INFO
  • Book Carnival signing with Tim Hallinan and Eric Beetner—Orange CA, Saturday, Nov 12 —> MORE INFO
  • WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN/Replacement Anthology Launch with Josh Stallings, Eric Beetner and Jay Stringer (via Skype from Scotland) at Book Show—Los Angeles CA, Friday, Nov. 18 (NEW DATE!) —> MORE INFO

And you can also get info on where to find me at my WEBSITE.


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 Oct. 11, 2016. His novella, CROSSWISE, is available from Down & Out Books.

It’s “Grizzly Season” Pub Day!

Grizzly Season Front CoverI’m thrilled that the second book in the Greg Salem series is available today!

The action in GRIZZLY SEASON picks up right where BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION left off—former punk musician and disgraced police officer Greg Salem is hiding out in the mountains with his sidekick Marco. They’re going for a hike, but stumble on a sophisticated marijuana growing operation run by a sociopathic cult leader who calls himself Magnus Ursus.

From there it’s all GROWL SNORT PUNCH PUNCH KICK POW POW VROOM BOOM!—set to a soundtrack of SoCal punk rock. You get the picture.

Big thanks to Tyson Cornell and the whole crew over at Rare Bird Books. And a special shout out to my editor, Elaine Ash.

I’ll also be taking the show on the road this month. You can find out about GRIZZLY SEASON signings and readings HERE.

In the meantime, here’s what a few people have had to say about GRIZZLY SEASON so far:

“Unflinching, GRIZZLY SEASON is a powder keg, a sustained, dissonant punk rock chord that shakes the reader until its final climactic cadence. Superb.”

—Stephen Jay Schwartz, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of BOULEVARD and BEAT

“Lauden’s new novel is wired with promises and threats that anything just might happen, and then it does—again and again. The furious pace never lets up. By the end you’ll be bruised by the ferocious beauty of Grizzly Season.”

Joseph Di Prisco, author of THE ALZHAMMER and THE POPE OF BROOKLYN

“GRIZZLY SEASON is a pulse-pounding, pulpy slice of LA noir that embroils an ex-cop punk-rock surfer, a lethal ‘Frankenstein’ hybrid strain of weed, and a seedy underbelly of grizzly mountain drug dealers in a break-neck thriller by S. W. Lauden that leaps off the page. A must read that echoes Raymond Chandler mixed with Kem Nunn.”

Lee Matthew Goldberg, author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR

“Whether screaming from beneath the West Coast beach waves or rising above the Pacific Crest mountain heights, the continuing adventures of Punk Rock Cop Greg Salem will indeed rip your head off in the most mellow of ways.”

Delfin Vigil, author of DEATH OF A NEWSPAPERMAN

“Sex, drugs, rock & roll…and bears. Lauden’s latest has everything you want in a great thriller.”

Chantelle Aimée Osman, author, editor, creative consultant

“I finished this book and thought of Travis McGee—that Florida Keys shaggy PI that John McDonald came up with. Or, better, Ian MacKaye as Joaquin Phoenix from Inherent Vice…”

Adam Novak, author of TAKE FOUNTAIN and FREAKS OF THE INDUSTRY

“Hard-edged with a deft eye and ear portraying the stone cold graspers hustling for their illicit piece of the illusory rainbow, S. W. Lauden delivers the delicious jagged goods in Grizzly Season.”

Gary Phillips, author of 3 THE HARD WAY  and PEEPLAND

“The heart of Los Angeles pumps fast and hard in this modern noir mystery packed with immediate action that doesn’t stop for a beat. Lauden laces Grizzly Season with so many twists, readers won’t know what hit them.”

Anne Tibbets, author of CARRIER AND WALLED, plus EXTINCTION BIOME as Addison Gunn

rsz_bcc_coverS.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, was published Sept. 2015 by Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, was published Oct. 11, 2016. His novella, CROSSWISE, is out now from Down & Out Books.