Asher Williams is a sensitive musician in a band inspired by Little Dragon. He’s always been drawn to music, and begged his parents for piano lessons after seeing a Tori Amos video. His tastes are shaped by a deeper connection with music, so he favors artistry and complexity over simplistic music with mass appeal. “Flavor” by Tori Amos captures Asher’s initial spirit as he struggles with his own choices not unlike those presented in the lyrics.
In a more boisterous mood, he rocks out to “Klapp Klapp” by Little Dragon since it’s one of his favorite bands and he once saw them perform in Los Angeles.
Asher’s girlfriend, Jada Mercer, is quite different from him. Men are drawn into her brisk orbit like shooting stars that flame briefly before burning out. She’s always pushing the envelope in search of excitement. Plugged into all the latest trends, she follows a popular but violent rapper named ‘Lil Freaky. She imagines being able to run her hands through a pile of gems like Rhianna does at the start of “Diamonds”.
Her favorite song is “Money (That’s What I Want)” by Charli XCX, but she doesn’t realize it’s a cover of a song that has been recorded numerous times since the 1950s.
Ruth Littleton came of age during the 1970s and stopped listening to popular music not long thereafter, as if her life became frozen in time. Her perpetually pinched mouth betrays a judgmental view of the world. She adored Joni Mitchell’s album For the Roses when it came out in 1972, and thinks of it fondly years later, after gardening and roses became her passion. In 1975 she fell in love with the fragility of Joni’s “Shades of Scarlett Conquering,” perhaps because she identifies with the woman at the heart of the song.
At her funeral, she would like the traditional song “Bread and Roses” played, as recorded by Judy Collins.
After divorcing her abusive husband, Donna Woods devoted her life to raising her toddler son. It was not easy as a single mother, especially during his teenage years when he became destructive. Despite the struggles, her eyes still gleam with the look of a perennial optimist. Yet she’s no fool, and her mouth suggests a sensible disposition. Recently remarried, she anticipates that things are finally looking up. When she was fifteen, the new hit “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson energized her so much that she learned all the moves.
She also finds such lyrics inspiring. Having grown up listening to Prince and Sheila E., Donna was thrilled when Sheila E. released “Funky National Anthem: Message 2 America” in 2017.
Donna’s son, Billy Nicodemus, fears that he inherited his father’s propensity to violence. He remains resentful about his father’s abandonment. Perhaps that is why he is drawn to Ugly Kid Joe’s version of the Harry Chapin hit “Cat’s in the Cradle”.
Not many years ago, as a teenager, Billy would break into people’s houses and smash their televisions. But how long can he keep those demons at bay? He drove away the one girlfriend who could have saved him, and now he’s in a melancholy mood, listening to “Floating” by Sun Kil Moon.
Jon has a music blog, Song of Fire (https://obergh.net/songoffire), where he posts various musings on music from time to time. He’s also regularly active on Twitter @jon_obergh
Check out our interview with Jon about The Shatter Point,
what he’s been reading lately,
Jon O’Bergh is an author and musician who loves a good scare. He grew up in Southern California, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California at Irvine. A fan of ghost stories and horror movies, Jon came up with the idea for “The Shatter Point” after watching a documentary about extreme haunts. He has released over a dozen albums in a variety of styles, including the atmospheric album “Ghost Story.” After many years living in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., he now spends most of his time with his husband in Toronto.