whistle while you work

music has always been an integral part of my life. it helps me think, it helps me zone out, it makes me cry, it can make me imagine i’m in a car chase scene from the fast and furious movies…you get the idea.

author richelle mead recently said in an interview that she’s not someone that can listen to music while she’s writing. i don’t know how i’d succeed without it. often it helps me visualize exactly what’s happening in a scene (although when the track changes and i haven’t finished writing it, it can be difficult to maintain the flow. i hit repeat a lot.) author chloe neill actually has a section on her website of playlists she compiled while writing firespell, twice bitten, and hard bitten. i thought it was really interesting to see what she’d been listening to…i know that one of the fight scenes from hard bitten was written to florence and the machine’s “kiss with a fist.”

so here’s some of what’s helped me in the last little bit (also, i just felt like writing a music post). they’re divided into two categories: songs that actually make an appearance in my writing (as in, i actually mention it) or songs or albums i was listening to that gave me an idea for how a scene should play out. enjoy!

songs or albums that actually make an appearance in the shadowdemon trilogy or a lesson in vanishing:

“climbing the walls” radiohead – this little gem is hidden in the middle of ok computer. it’s slinky, sensuous, and it makes you want to do bad things in the middle of the night.

image via sub pop

“pillars” sunny day real estate – from the godfathers of emo came one of the most under-appreciated and most ripped off songs of the late ’90’s (listen to this one and then listen to deftone’s “change” and tell me that chino wasn’t listening to SDRE at the time he wrote it). from their third album, how it feels to be something on, jeremy enigk’s vocals have never worked better. “pillars” builds to a crescendo time and again and snakes its way through your head.

“the tourist” radiohead – “the tourist” fits well with a lesson in vanishing because it’s a pretty depressing song, and frankie’s world is a pretty depressing place to be. i know i’ve mentioned it in a previous post, but for me, it really is one of their best songs. it drags on, and on, and on, but in the best possible way. i never want it to end.

foo fighters – no specific album or song here, although they are audrey’s (the main character in shadowdemon) favorite band. while their most recent album, wasting light is outstanding, their first album, foo fighters, is phenomenal. my particular favorite track is “big me”.

g love and special sauce – again, no specific album or song. but what’s not to love about g love? “astronaut”, off their album the hustle is wicked fun.

the black keys – these guys make an appearance in frankie’s musical library in a lesson in vanishing. my personal favorite is their third album, rubber factory, although magic potion had its moments, especially “your touch”.

image via temporary residence limited

MONO– this band is ultimately frankie’s downfall. there’s a scene where things are set in motion that brings everything to a head, and the song i was thinking of when i wrote it was “halcyon days”. in fact, that’s the song that was playing as the BF and i left the club where we’d gone to see them the last time they were in town. it’s an incredible, soaring piece of artistry.

songs or albums i was listening to that helped me think:

“wolf like me” tv on the radio – it’s a fighting song. off of return to cookie mountain, it’s also one of the few tracks that immediately stands out as radio friendly. but really it made me think of that scene toward the end of the movie serenity, where river tam takes on the reavers and kicks major reaver ass.

mirror conspiracy thievery corporation – their first album, which was also their best album, sounds like it should be playing in some swank wine bar. i particularly like the track “lebanese blond”.

“when they come for me” linkin park – more fighting. tell me you don’t hear those jungle drums and think of soldiers trekking through the dense undergrowth of a tropical jungle.

image via kill rock stars

“thistled spring” horse feathers – true to form, horse feathers third release, thistled spring, packs plenty of beautiful, haunting melodies. much of a lesson in vanishing takes place in the middle of nowhere, and since i’m a city girl and avoid the wide open country as much as possible, this album, and the title track in particular, really helped me get in the mood. “thistled spring” made me think of all the grey, dreary wet days we have around here, and just how…isolating they can feel.

“gravity gets things done” the pale pacific – ten bucks says you’ve never heard of the pale pacific, and that’s really a crying shame. in a lot of ways, they remind me of the get up kids, or at least early get up kids, and that’s a good thing, because i happen to like early get up kids. this song also has the added bonus of sounding amazing plugged in or acoustic. any time any one of my characters has to have a really heavy, emo-tastic confrontation, i pull up this track and play it to get my head in the right spot.

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