Category Archives: music

Writing Wednesday – Music

Some writers require silence, I require noise. Some noise is better than other noise. Occasionally, I can even write when people are talking to me but, apparently, that’s rude. So, sorry if I’ve done that to you. Which goes out to pretty much everyone I’ve ever met in real life… It is an essential skill to have, though, when you have two kids who never ever stop talking.

For me, music sets the tone for my writing. Like some other writers I know, I have playlists designed for specific projects, playlists for certain types of scenes or genres, playlists for moods, and playlists for certain characters. Sometimes, music influences my typing speed too – at least when everything else is working right.

Many years ago, when I was in middle school, near the time I started my first book, we had a music class where the director had us listen to a piece of music and then write what we saw. It was a fabulous exercise both from the musician’s standpoint and the writer’s. Experiencing music can be an incredible thing – whether you can see whole scenes before you or just get swept up in the emotions of it. It’s where I learned that I’m a very visual listener. Music helps me see the stories I’m creating and generally keeps any writer’s block from settling in for too long.

I’m always on the lookout for new music to inspire me. I listen to a little bit of everything. Except for 99% of country and about 50% of rap music – not big on violent rap, love message and skill work – anyone who can do that, talk that way, rhyme that way, is flat amazing to me. I love opera, classical, electronic, dance, some pop, some hip hop, jazz, rock, metal, alternative, grunge, ska, heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal, folk metal (omg, love folk metal). You never know what’s going to spark something.

So, have a little something my son found and see if it doesn’t spark a story or a character. These guys are great fun and it’s all quite catchy and familiar.

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Filed under music, Writing

Best Misheard Lyrics

At the bus stop this morning, one of my mom friends and I were talking and I’m not sure exactly the evolution of the conversation but we got on the subject of misheard lyrics that reminded me of my favorite misheard lyric ever.

To set the stage, we have never censored much music, we have had lots of discussions about when it’s appropriate and not appropriate to use certain words (in some case, that is never) but we do give a lot of leeway where music is concerned. Also, music is very nearly always on when we are in the car.

My oldest son was about three and we were driving around. It happened that we were listening to a little Cypress Hill. Suddenly, we realize that the boy is singing. I was a little concerned for about half a second. The words he was singing were not exactly the words of the song. I turned down the volume just a little bit so my husband could hear the rousing rendition of “Kids in the Barn.”

I’m pretty sure it was more than a few years before he realized he’d been singing it wrong. It’s one of those moments where I really wish we’d had a video camera. That would be one for the highlight reels.

What are your favorite misheard lyrics?

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Filed under kids, music

Another Hero Lost

I was sixteen when I first heard Leonard Cohen. My mom had just died and I was a bitter, angry, broken girl (I am still those things some days). His words had no sugar coating, no false happy notes. His work was honest and imperfect and beautiful. His work has inspired my own time and time again. When I was in the darkest parts of my life, he, and the poets he led me to, were a solace of sorts. He showed me that poetry wasn’t just the dry imagery and metaphor we were taught in school, that music was poetry and poetry was music.  It is possible that his music was the first to feel like poetry to me but I don’t know if that was Cohen himself, my own maturation, or the low pit I was crawling out of.  I do know this: I am really tired of losing my idols.

Realistically, I do understand that it feels bigger because superstars weren’t really a thing before this great generation of artists.  At least now these people know that they have touched people, brought comfort or inspiration or joy when it was needed. I know it really isn’t anything about this year but after so many losses, it’s hard not to feel like this year is just determined to break hearts.

 

Like Bowie, it feels like he got a chance to say goodbye with his last album. I’m so tired of goodbye right now. Cohen was the poet I wanted, still want, to grow up to be.

 

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Filed under Life, Memories, music

Grumble grumble

I had to scrap the story I was working on because it was really awful. Eh, it happens but it’s irksome when it does. I’ve got a band (Twenty One Pilots) and a singer (Elle King) in my head. I’m really impressed with them both – especially lyrically. As someone with anxiety, Car Radio becomes quite profound and true for me. His lyrics would be great spoken word. And then my brain goes off on a tangent because what is the difference between a rapper and a spoken word artist? Waits is found in spoken word but he has music and even sometimes puts that gravelly voice to real music. Is it just the background feel of a song that makes the difference? It would depress me greatly if the only difference is the origin of the artist.

Anyway, listening to them makes me think of Waits and Kerouac and then I want to write poetry but my work just does not compare so I do other things. Like make clothes. Certainly, I can’t do something useful like housework because that would be too logical.

Today ended up being another lost day as I got sucked into the music (and the fact that I have some really beautiful red fabric that needed to be made into something). I’ve got some edits I should be doing, some submissions I should be sending out but some of those include poetry and I’m feeling woefully inadequate today! Fortunately, the only deadlines I have right now are those I’m imposing on myself so a few lost days here and there don’t make much difference.

I forgot – technically, not a total lost day as I did get my Face Off recap posted!

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Filed under music, Poetry