Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday - Music To Write By


For my inaugural Top-10 Tuesday.. I'm dipping into the bowels of my CPU/Ipod for the current Top-10 songs in my writing play-list.  These are the song that are currently being played while my fingers dance across the keys and my mind walks in the world of my imagination. It includes some old one's that always seem to make the rotation, or are at least there now, and some new one's that just seem to help my synapses fire with more consistency.  To be honest, I think each character I write has as song that matches their personality, so it makes it easier when I'm writing a lot of their dialogue to bring up a song that, to me, matches them because I think it makes my writing more accurate and genuine.  No idea if that's valid or not, but it feels that way, or at least that's what I've convinced myself.

  1. Fun. - "We are young"  (Maybe my favorite song right now.. so incredibly catchy, and I love Janelle Monáe's talent and originality, even if it's only a tidbit.)
  2. Simple Plan - "Summer Paradise"  (Maybe I'm missing the summertime, or maybe it's just that I'm a beatnik at heart, but I love songs that make me feel like I should be wearing sandals and Bermuda shorts. Plus, Simple Plan is a band I've liked for a very long time. I guess it's just my skate or die inner child.)
  3. We The Kings - "Say you like me" (I challenge anyone to listen to We the Kings and not fall for their catchy hooks.. just don't pay any attention to the lead singer's intentionally horrendous coif. I've heard the poor guy has an allergy to combs and brushes, but I'm not sure I buy it.)
  4. Slade - "Run Run Away" (Because if you're going to listen to music, you should at least have one true genre defining group on your list, and Slade is late Late 70's to Mid-80's pure gold. I think for a while in my High School days, during the attack of the Hair Bands, it was a requirement for each new band to remake an old Slade song.  Plus, in all honesty how can you not absolutely love a heavy metal song that includes bag pipes and a violin? I think I am predisposed by my melting pot lineage to like music with a Scottish tinge.. it's just so darn fun, and you can tell the band had an absolute blast making this video, in a time of deathly serious videos, the lead singer looks like a Chameleon for most the video with his eyes and weird antics.  But as for Slade, go look at their catalog of songs and become enlightened.)
  5. One Republic - "Good Life"  (Because if you can't enjoy true musical talent then why are you even pretending to listen to music? Ryan Tedder is absolutely one of the best talents in the business today in all phases of music, from creation to production to performing.. it's literally a crime to fail to recognize true talent when it presents itself.)
  6. Rufus Wainright - "Hallelujah" (Honestly, I should put Leonard Cohen here because he is the absolute genius who wrote this song.. but I prefer Wainright's voice and performance to Cohen's when I'm writing. However when I'm looking for a quiet song for that depressed state of writing, Cohen's gravely voice is magic. This song is pure poetry.. it's one of a very select few song that can actually move me emotionally. The lyrics are hauntingly beautiful. I am shamed to call myself a writer in the presence of this sort of writing talent. Cohen and Tom Waits are both in the same category in my book. I've never tried to write a death scene without involving one of those 2 in the process.)
  7. Harvey Danger - "Flagpole Sitta"  (Because obviously I wouldn't be spending as much time as I do writing if there weren't equal parts rebellious child and immature adult competing for control of my psyche on a daily basis. Plus there's a soft spot in my heart for 1-hit wonder bands.. I think they get a bad rap, but the truth is that they still accomplish more than 99% of the garage bands out there. They took their shot and scored at least one time.. that's saying something.)
  8. Doug MacLean/Last of the Mohicans - "The Gael/Promentory"  (Just a stunningly beautiful piece that bring tremendous emotional power. This is the music that you listen to when writing an emotionally charged scene.. this music inspires incredible prose. Plus, the movie was uber-cool, and this particular piece (The Gael) runs throughout the soundtrack, appearing in at least 3 different songs. It's the kind of music that will stick in your head for days and days. For me it conjures a building tension and final realization of true inner power, perfect for the final climax of any book. Probably why it is so memorable in Last of the Mohicans.)
  9.  Johann Pachelbel - "Pachelbel's Canon"  (Everybody knows that classical music stimulates the brain and your creative juices, and Pachelbel's Canon is probably my favorite classical music, it's so soothing and beautiful.. but unfortunately it also promotes sleep, at least with me.. so I usually listen to the brilliant JerryC's "Cannon Rock" version that has owned Youtube since 2006 and spawned an entire generation of kids out there rearranging classical music into face-melting metal riff's.)
  10. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" (Well.. it's Bruddah Iz. Is any more explanation really needed? I married into the Hawaiian culture and all my children have Hawaiian names and are fiercely proud of their heritage.. but really this song transcends heritage and culture. Sometimes talent and creativity coincide to produce something that truly inspires awe.. this is a musical example of that, at least to me.)

10 comments:

  1. I LOVE Good Life by OneRepublic. They are awesome, aren't they? Good music choices!! My top two artists are Within Temptation and Evanescence while I write :)

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    1. I like OneRepublic's stuff for writing for sure, Evanesence is a great one too, very dark feel to it. Great for paranormal stuff, whether romance or not. Haven't heard Within Temptation, but now of course I gotta go listen. :)

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  2. I love your playlist! I, too, have certain songs that keep me writing and others that help me set the scene in my stories. Thanks for sharing yours!

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    1. Thank Juli. I really set personalities of characters that I write about to songs.. each one has a song or two that, to me, describes their personality.. doesn't have to be the words or even the band.. just the way the song makes me feel. I associate it with the character and it really helps with writing dialogue.. at least I think it helps. lol

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  3. I've been listening to "Good Life" by One Republic too. It is poppy and get my blood churning through my veins resulting in super great inspiration!
    I'm totally a writer who listens to music. It gets me going.

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    1. I think every writer has to have something to give them small inspirations every day.. whether it's meditation or music or exercising or just taking a walk.. something that is just routine, something that announces to your body and mind that.. "OK, it's time to focus." I've found that if I have a ritual for when I write, it helps to get me in the writing groove faster. Wish I'd have discovered that fact years ago though. Thanks for posting!

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  4. Yummm... Can I jump on the One Republic train here? They rock. Though I'm a Muse girl at heart... I swear they'll always be my fav band. There's nothing like music to set the tone you want to accomplish with your words. Fun post! :D

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  5. Hey I've given you an award over at my blog :)
    http://www.lifeisgood-forever21.blogspot.com/2012/02/awards.html

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  6. What a wonderful voice Israel has. Do you listen to your music on headphones or 'out in the open?' I find I can get lost in my own little world when I listen with headphones, plus I'm not disturbing anybody else.

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  7. Welcome to a fellow campaigner!
    I can't listen to anything but soft ambient music when I write or else I pay too much attention to the music and can't concentrate on the writing. Pachelbel's Canon is one of those I can listen to and still write.

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