Dangerous Angels Book Club: Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys

Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys is always a story I mostly forget and one that doesn’t stand out to me, but rereading it this time I finally realized why. Cherokee as a character was never my favorite. There’s nothing wrong with her and she’s as sweet as pie, but I think it’s because she tends to blend in and her struggles are more superficial that I tend to gloss over her. In a way she’s the perfect sister to Witch Baby because they are polar opposites.

I met Miranda aka The Good Groupie on Open Diary many many years ago around the exact same time I was discovering a love for Francesca Lia Block novels and we bonded over our love of Hanson and pretty fiction. Miranda could easily be Cherokee if she braided her hair and ran through Canyons.

Miranda used her love of music to create the perfect playlist for you guys while quoting the text and explaining her choice for each song.

Cherokee Bat & The Goat Guys

When Melanie asked me to join in her Dangerous Angels book club, I was flattered and excited. She and I became friends through not only our mutual love of Francesca Lia Block but also a mutual love of music. Given I write a music blog, it seemed only natural for me to choose the book in Dangerous Angels about a band. Following Melanie’s guide, here’s my take on “Cherokee Bat & The Goat Guys” via playlist!

http://magtotoart.blogspot.com/2009/07/cherokee-bat-and-goat-guys.html

About

“Cherokee Bat & The Goat Guys” was originally published in 1993 as the third book of the Dangerous Angels series. The story is a tried and true tale of rock-n-roll, following Cherokee, Weetzie Bat’s daughter, and her friends as they start a band, find success and deal with the corruption of their spirits.

The story is broken into five sections: four focus on gifts given to each character that transform them from teenagers to rock stars; and the final section, titled “Home”, brings our rock stars back from the brink of destruction to rediscovering themselves. To walk us through each, I’ve highlighted mini-playlists focusing on characters, quotes, plot and a catch-all “other” category. I hope you enjoy listening your way through this fantastic novel as much as you loved reading it.

Cherokee Bat & The Goat Guys Playlist

I sadly could not get the playlist to embed into this page, so please click above and listen while you read!

Wings

Character: “Witchy Woman” by The Eagles

Witch Baby Wigg Bat is a tangle of black hair, purple slanty eyes and full of snarky, surly dialogue most days. She’s one witchy woman.

Plot: “A Song to Sing” by Hanson

Witch Baby locks herself away in the garden shed and buries herself in the mud. She refuses to leave, even for her own birthday party. She’s looking for a song to sing and a friend to borrow.

Food: “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore

Crumbled corn bread, green chilies, artichoke hearts, cheese, red peppers, chips, soda and ice cream cake are all birthday party fare for Witch Baby’s celebration.

Quote: “Do You Believe in Magic?” by The Lovin’ Spoonful

“You are magic.”

Francesca Lia Block’s stories are all about magic – not fairy dust and spells, but the magic inside you that you don’t even realize you possess. Cherokee shares her magic when she enlists their pseudo-guardian Coyote’s help and creates the wings for Witch Baby – believe in the magic in a young girl’s soul.

http://beetlejuiced.deviantart.com/art/Cherokee-Bat-and-Witch-Baby-42579378

Haunches

Character: “Magic Man” by Heart

Raphael Jah-Love is Cherokee’s everything. No one can weave magic without someone to stand by and witness its creation. But that magic can change quickly, as it does between Raphael and Cherokee, into just the physical. After giving Raphael his haunches to make him a Goat Guy, he looks right through her and says, in so many words, “You don’t have to love me.”

Plot: “Los Angeles” by X

As Cherokee and Raphael race through the streets of Los Angeles one night, Cherokee convinces Raphael they must share their music with the world. This song is what I imagine the Goat Guys demo tape sounded like as they shopped it around the clubs.

Quote: “Make Your Own Kind of Music” by Mama Cass

“…they were a rockin’ slink-chunk, slam-dunk band…”

The Goat Guys make their own kind of music and sing their own special song.

Style: “Lust For Life” by Iggy Pop

I imagine Raphael’s goat guy pants to make him look something like Iggy Pop, strutting around the stage in just his jeans, bare chested and absolutely commanding his audience.

Horns

Character: “Johnny Angel” by Shelley Farabares

Angel Juan Perez returns to his friends after too many years away in Mexico with his family. Witch Baby dreams of belonging to him but is terrified to admit it. During all the time he’s gone, she sits and waits, concentrates on him returning someday.

Plot: “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon

Witch Baby has her wings. Raphael has his goat pants. But Angel Juan has nothing and fades away on stage until he lashes out at the rest of the band one night. Witch Baby reveals he’s jealous of Raphael’s goat pants and how he struts around like he’s the only one in the band. He’s so vain, he probably thinks every song is about him…

Quote: “Broken Angel” by Hanson

“You must grow at a slow pace in a dark cocoon of loneliness so you can fly away like wind, like wings, when you awaken.”

This is the sage advice Coyote gives Cherokee when she returns to him asking for a gift for Angel Juan. The band is growing, everything is happening quickly and no one wants to wait for things to come naturally. Everyone is missing the lesson.

Word: “Rock N Roll Outlaw” by Clutch

Witch Baby uses the word clutch when she’s angry – and that’s often in this section. This song, by a band whose name is her favorite insult, sounds like what I’d guess is playing inside Witch Baby’s head as she’s getting angry at Cherokee for not giving Angel Juan a gift and decides to steal Coyote’s horns for herself.

Hooves

http://crunchingsandmunchings.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/an-extravaganza-of-ya-lit-awesomeness/

Character: “Golly Sandra” by Eisley

Cherokee Bat has grown up really crazy. She has a Secret Agent Lover Man for a father, a beautiful punk rock goddess for a mother and an extended family that’s a gigantic cast of colorful characters. She could easily double as Sandra in this dream pop/rock tune.

Plot: “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

Cherokee’s section is the climax, the culmination of everything. The band plays a super exclusive show at their house – this is their big chance. And instead of seizing the moment, they fall apart. Except Cherokee. She collects everyone’s special gifts, puts them all on herself and climbs to the roof of their house – so everyone can see her waving from such great heights.

Quote: “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele

“They were fire. She was fire. She was thunderbird. Red hawk. Yellow dandelion. Storming the stage on long legs on the feet of a horse child, wild deer, goat girl…”
I imagine this song is one Cherokee would have sung after receiving her hooves. They empower her. This song is empowering. All she needs is the hooves, and she thinks everything will be fine.

Pop Culture: “Devil in Disguise” by Elvis Presley

“We’re so much hotter now. Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Elvis.”

I love all the music mentioned throughout not just this book, but the whole Dangerous Angels series. It is classic and perfect and beautiful. But the thing about music – and the way The Goat Guys relate to it – is that it can be a deadly devil…something our characters finalize realize.

Home

“If Work Permits” by The Format & “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (Bonus tracks)

“Cherokee & The Goat Guys” ends with the four band members being rescued by Coyote. He helps them burn their Goat Guy masks, returning them from rock star goat gods to ordinary teenagers who simply play good music. Both of these are fantastic songs about the concept of home – a place you really can go again.

Fall Mixtape


(weheartit)

Music has always had a strong grip around my heart. It’s helped me through an array of emotions and disappeared for moments at a time. But it always comes back. And I always remember thoughts, feelings, memories and smells based on songs that I constantly listened to during a certain time period. For example, songs from Vanessa Carlton’s Harmonium album will always remind me of driving home from school in the fall of 2005. Jay-Z’s New York will always remind me of the summer of 2009. So I think that having a mix cd, or a play list for those who have graduated from compact disc usage, tends to encompass the time person that it’s on constant replay.

This is why I like sharing mixes. And besides, you never know what gems you’re going to find while you listen.
http://8tracks.com/mixes/405059/player_v3

February Mixtape

(weheartit)

Who needs physical love when you have music?

1. Iron & Wine – Teeth In The Grass

2. Yo La Tengo – My Little Corner of The World

3. Grace Potter – Something That I Want

4. Jack’s Mannequin – Spinning

5.  Ingrid Michaelson – Corner of Your Heart

6. Ellen Greene & Kristen Chenoweth – Birdhouse In Your Soul

7. PJ Harvey – One Line

8. Brandon Flowers – Magdelana

9. Lily Allen – The Fear

10. The Pierces – Boy In A Rock And Roll Band

11. Sara Bareilles – Let The Rain

12. Mandy Moore & Zachary  Levi – I See The Light

13. Emiliana Torrini – Unemployed In Summertime

14. Ben Folds – Fired

15. Jason Mraz – Live High

16. Florence and the Machine – Cosmic Love

17. Josh Ritter – The Curse

Friday Mixtape January

 

Once  a month I am going to make a playlist, songs that I burn to a CD and listen to in my car while I’m driving. And I’m going to share that list here, with you! 🙂

1. They’re In Love, Where Am I? – The Weepies
2. Head Over Heels – Vogue In The Movement

3. Our Elegant Caste – Of Montreal
We can do it sort core if you want but you should know I take it both ways
4.  Pictures of Houses -Tilly & The Wall
5.  Kiss Kiss – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

6.  I Was Made For Sunny Days – The Weepies
7.  Pocket Philosopher – Mandy Moore
Now I’m walking on my own two feet, the sun is shining, my shadows stretched across the street.
8.  Stutter – Maroon 5
9.  Love Comes – The Posies
10. Summertime – The Roughest Time — Jenny Wilson

11. Everybody Loves Me – One Republic
12. Letting Go – Waiting for Iris
13. My Heart – Paramore
I am finding out that maybe I was wrong. That I’d fallen down and I can’t do this alone. Stay with me.
14. If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It – Snow Patrol

15.  You Can Have It All – Yo La Tengo
16. Monday Rain – Kate Voegele
It’s the start of something brand new, it’s the start of a closing line.
17.  December Baby – Ingrid Michaelson
18. Imaginary Friends – Nada Surf
19. Big Ice Storm, Big Gust, and You – Tilly & The Wall

We will sing pretty songs about love
And we will fight if that’s what it takes
And we won’t back down
No we won’t shut our eyes and go to sleep
We will write all over your walls
And we will dance to no music at all
We will do what it takes to get through to you