Richard Hine's Blog - Posts Tagged "the-cure"

*** Including (live) songs by Lloyd Cole, Fountains of Wayne, and The Cure ***

Welcome to the final installment of this three-part musical playlist featuring songs that are mentioned in or somehow related to my novel Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch.

Parts One and Two touched on the personal, professional and global concerns facing the sex-starved, newsprint-stained and easily distracted would-be hero Russell Wiley.

Part Three will hint at how, after disaster ensues, Russell attempts to pick up the pieces and get his personal and professional life back on track. Because Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch is intended as a comedy, these songs are intended to convey, without any too-obvious spoilers, that by the time the novel ends, some sense of optimism has been restored.


We begin with a scene in which Russell is at least embracing the new (circa 2006) technologies that are so transforming life in general and his business in particular:

-- p.265: I disconnect my iPod from my laptop and insert it into the dock of my speakers. I dress myself while Lloyd Cole sings about Young Idealists. I pack all my devices—computer, Blackberry, cellphone—into my messenger bag, then clip my iPod to my belt and plug in my headphones. Lloyd’s no longer angry, no longer young, no longer driven to distraction, not even by Scarlett Johannson. Then I’m riding down the elevator, heading out into the cold gray January morning, listening to a song about New York City Sunshine.

Here is a clip of one of the three songs referenced in that passage (all from Lloyd Cole’s excellent 2006 album ‘Antidepressant’), in a version recorded by me, live at City Winery, NYC, on June 11, 2011:

Track 7: LLOYD COLE: Woman in a Bar (Live)

Toward the end of the novel Russell Wiley and his colleagues at the Daily Business Chronicle finally start trying some new ideas. And some of them actually work. While he hasn’t solved all the challenges facing newspapers in the age of the internet it seems that, for now at least, Russell Wiley’s professional future is looking a little brighter.

-- p.278: I take a stroll through the sales department. Things are quiet, but I can sense the intensity. For the first time in years, our salespeople are getting their calls returned.

Track 8: FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE: Bright Future in Sales (Live)

But what of Russell’s personal challenges? One of the only companions he’s truly relied on throughout the novel is his Lucky Cat, a gift from a Japanese colleague which Russell likes to imagine has magical powers. At then end of the novel he receives a second gift from the same colleague:

-- p. 288: I set the box on the table and lift off the lid. Inside, there’s a plastic Lucky Cat. It’s identical to the black one I have in my office, only this one is pink. I hold it up to the room.
“I noticed you kept your first cat in the office,” says Kiko. “It brought you luck at work. Now you can take one home, too. Pink is to make you lucky in love.”

Track 9: THE CURE: The Lovecats (Live)

Will Russell Wiley’s new Lucky Cat solve all his romantic problems? For that you’ll need to read the book.

Thanks for tuning in to Russell Wiley's Sing-Along Blog. For more info about Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch, please visit or your favorite online bookseller.
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