MAY MIXTAPE by Sean H. Doyle


Unlike a lot of writers, I constantly have music playing while I work. Maybe it’s different for me because I am pulling things out of the rusty and disorganized file cabinets in my memories and the music helps jar things loose? I just cannot seem to work in silence at all, I go a little mad. That being the case, when constructing THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, music was muy importante to me. So often a song would shuffle up from my library and trigger a series of blurry and diseased photos that went from static to ethereal and then I did what I could to transcribe those events. I made an album to go along with the book, trying to take emotions and feelings and ideas from the words I couldn’t corral and turn them into a “read-along” thing, which you can snatch up for free over here.

1] “TV Eye,” The Stooges: Not sure why anyone would ever start off a mixtape without that song being the lead shot across the bow. It has everything in it and more. This song has saved my life many times over.

2] “Lexicon Devil,” The Germs: Darby Crash was dead before I knew who he was. My punk rock friends were always talking about him like they knew him. After seeing him in “The Decline of Western Civilization,” I felt like I knew him, too. Gimme gimme your hands.

Sean Doyle

3] “Generation Landslide,” Alice Cooper: BILLION DOLLAR BABIES is one of the greatest rock and motherfucking roll albums ever made. Alice Cooper, in his younger and less Republican days, was America in the flesh, confused and alienated and with a lot on his mind.

4] “Attitude,” The Misfits: The first time I lived on my own and had an answering machine, this is what I put on it. The first time my grandmother called and left me a message, she called me a “hooligan,” and told me nobody would ever want to marry a hooligan and raise a family with them. She was right.

5] “Orion,” Metallica: Why? Cliff Fucking Burton, that’s why. Try not to get lost in this with headphones on and try to find your way home.

6] “King Medicine,” Jets to Brazil: The first time I heard this song it was three in the morning and I was trying to come down from a bad day of doing drugs and by the time the song got to the chorus I was already crying. “Letting the light out, through your arm” is one of those lines I wish I had written.

7] “Light Me [Live],” Rocket From the Crypt: One of the greatest moments I have ever witnessed at a show was RFTC destroying a place in Phoenix called The Library within a minute of starting their set. The bouncers rushed them when they got off the stage to play in front of a concrete barricade and then the house sound guy cut them off, but they kept fucking playing. Fan for life.

8] “The Geometry Of Business,” Oxbow: This song is how I wish my sentences and words came across — melodic, but menacing and dangerous at the same time. I listened to Oxbow a lot while constructing TMBTP, and there is always something so freeing and feral in their work that speaks to my blood.

9] “Walkin’ By Myself,” Scream: When I was homeless I use to march all over Phoenix in the night because the day was full of a scorching sun that wanted me dead. Obviously, I spent most of my marching time with this song in my head.

10] “Nine,” Swiz: The first time I head Swiz I had no idea who they were or what they were called because they were on a tape the guy singing for the band I was in had given me and he didn’t annotate anything. All I knew was that they fucking rocked and spoke to me, this song in particular. The lyrics made me think of my relationship with my father and how fractured everything between us had become.

11] “A Piece of the Sky,” Swans: A newer thing unlike so many other things. So much of the book was written late at night while listening to Michael Gira’s voice that I thanked him in the acknowledgements. This song in particular means a lot to me. It’s like being born over and over again. Best with the lights off and headphones on. And loud as fuck.

— Sean H Doyle lives in Brooklyn, NY. He works hard every day to be a better person and is learning how to love himself more. His book, This Must Be the Place, was published by CCM Press in May 2015. For more information on Sean and his work visit his website at

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