My Exit: Dennis Mahoney

My Exit photo, Dennis Mahoney .jpgMonday -- that means WEXT My Exit show -- where the listeners get to pick their own playlists.

Tonight, music with a literary twist.

I'm Dennis Mahoney. I live in Troy and am the author of the newly published novel Fellow Mortals, about a tragic fire that brings out the best and worst of a small community. My WEXT playlist consists of songs I associate with my book.

How would you describe your taste in music?
I'm obsessive about certain indie rock acts, like The National, but listen mostly to 17th- and 18th-century classical. Go figure.

A few songs from Dennis's My Exit:

"Jesus, Etc." by Wilco
My favorite Wilco song. The backing strings are just right -- warm but not syrupy -- and the words are sad without being depressing. It's consoling. It sounds like something's going to work out.

"Lost Cause" by Beck
Another sad song that sounds too good to be a total downer. The ghostly backward sound effects, the ambling guitar, and Beck's countrified voice come together perfectly.

"Half a World Away" by R.E.M.
A friend once told me I liked R.E.M. more than anyone she'd ever met. This is true. Out of Time isn't one of their best albums, but it has a few of their best songs, like "Country Feedback" and this one, which I always thought was about an old man remembering his dead wife.

"Runaway" by The National
I could have filled this entire list with The National but restrained myself. A long song of cumulative power, despite never building to an obvious climax, with stately horns and an oddly brave lyric.

"I Wish I Was the Moon" by Neko Case
This reminds me of my character Ava at night, wanting to sleep outside in the summer, or hiding in the shower, or thinking of the forest. She's often alone in the book, inside herself at least, and for a while gets forgotten because she's so good at holding herself together. This is her wanting more.

You can hear Dennis's My Exit show Monday night at 8 pm on 97.7 or at

Here's how to schedule your own My Exit show on WEXT.

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