Ask me what I love.
If you said cake then you are correct and if you said Rob Lowe than you are correct as well, so let me rephrase the question. Ask me what I love outside of food and 1980s teen stars.
Wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit: The wide world of music.
Tunes. Vibrations. Something with soul and grit.
I am a big music lover. I’m not picky or exclusive in my music choices either. I can sing show tunes with the best of them. Yes, my iPod holds Spice Girls (ah, fond/embarrassing memories) and John Mayer (shudder) but it also holds Creedence Clearwater, Neko Case and Cold War Kids.
Music is my necessary survival skill. It’s a must have for everywhere I am. Cooking? Cleaning? There’s music. Driving with the Mother? Woman, hold your tongue, MUSIC IS PLAYING. Co-workers, do you see these earbuds in my ears? They ain’t for decoration, bitches. I got music goin on.
The most important role music plays in my everyday, wine-drenched life is when it makes sweet, dangerous love to my writing. I am one who cannot write without music. I use it to fuel my mood and my stories.
When I write I need my music to be inspirational, but I’m not talking about Yanni or Mozart-inspired. Something with oaked-soaked words and languorous vocab. Pumped, upbeat, expressive. For me, it’s all about damn good lyrics.
Fiona Apple. fun. Janis Joplin. Jimi. Alanis Morissette. Amanda Fucking Palmer. Feist. Fitz & the Tantrums. Sublime. Annie Lennox. Coconut Records. Elvis Presley. The Doors. Rilo Kiley. Jenny Lewis. Loretta Lynn. The Velvet Underground. Garth Brooks. The Grateful Dead. Tom Waits. The Dresden Dolls. Regina Spektor…
The list could go on and on.
Kind of like Dog the Bounty Hunter, music also tracks my frame of mind and mood. Every month I start a new Playlist: February 2012, March 2012, April 2012…etc.
I like this.
Because when I write a specific story and I go back to the playlists I remember my mood. I remember the angst or the giddiness, the fist pumping or the writer’s block. A good or bad blast to the past I’ll take.
Sometimes I’ll find a two-year old playlist, listen, and be like WTF? Was I on the verge of slitting my wrists while downing Drano? Then I’ll remember what I wrote during that time frame and it all makes sense. It makes you remember. It’s a great growth curve.
It makes me wonder how other writers use music. The authors who thank the musicians they’ve listened to in their acknowledgements for the inspiration.
Yeah. That’s me.
How about you?