What am I listening to this week?

I am always on the hunt for new music. Especially music with great lyrics that inspire me and have an awesome sound.

I need a song that knocks me in the gut and leaves me reeling for days.  I’ve recently found two of these types of songs.

First up: Habits by Tove Lo

This is fucking amazing video, first off. The vocals are the best I’ve heard in YEARS. She’s such an amazing singer. I can’t wait until she’s got a full length album.  I really feel like there’s a Swedish music invasion on the horizon.

And the hook is so freaking infectious! I also love how it’s a different and fresh take on a broken heart. I love it.

Not to mention it perfectly sums up my main character in my novel. Could be her theme song.

Her Facebook

Second song: Daniel Croll – Nowhere and the Remix

He’s an English lad who won songwriter of the year from the Musicians Benevolent Fund and was one of 8 students from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to have a one on one with Paul McCartney.  Damn. And he’s only 22.

I love his sound. It feels like swimming in summer. The guitar slides are mesmerizing. His voice is sterile sounding in a good way. It also seems to float above the sound like a traveling cloud. Also his other tracks are great too. I love compliment your soul, wanna know, and ghost. I can’t stop listening to him.

Check him out.

Got any tracks that you’re stuck on this week? Leave me suggestions in the comments.



Top 5 songs that get me pumped to write

I’ve decided to post on Wednesdays and Saturdays instead of Sundays. No matter how hard I try, Sunday’s end up being novel writing/critique day. And then Walking dead or Dexter or Copper, Mad Men, or True Blood happens.

Music is my everything. I need to have a soundtrack to every scene I write. It’s incredibly hard to write without music. Can’t hear the emotion of the scene.

But I need to get into the mood to write.

This can be incredibly difficult after a long day of no writer things. How do I get in the right space to write?

Tunes! I got my top 5 jams that get me pumped, awake me, and get me anxious to write. Now these top 5 songs changes monthly, and I’m always looking for recommendations for new music. I also use Spotify for my free streaming service. I like Pandora’s radio better but I prefer to listen to music when I want to, not when Pandora allows me to play it. I want the power.

I tend to prefer dance/electronic music. Most of these tunes will fall into that genre.

Let’s get to the tracks and I can get back to finishing my current scene before the daily show starts.

5) Oblivion – Grimes

Grimes is fairly new to me. And it was love at first note. Her voice is airy and angelic and the melody is incredibly haunting. And the middle of the song takes it to an entirely new level. It helps me open my mind to let the creative juices pour in. I haven’t even made it through this entire album. I keep getting stuck on a couple of songs.  I can feel the words bubbling up in me right now. Or maybe that’s the greasy Mexican chips I ate earlier..

Also check out her other songs: Genesis and be a body

4) Mason Vs Princess Superstar – Perfect Exceeder

Now I’m stepping it up a notch. I’ve heard this for years and had no idea who it was until an awesome friend of mine sent it to me. I love the sound of this song. The whirling up, down, and all around, a rollercoster of sound. And it’s full of attitude!  It’s got lots of spunk. Comes in super handy when I’m writing a particularly snarky or sassy scene. I can feel it in my bones, forcing me to move.  It’s okay to give in.

3) Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix (Extended Explicit)

It’s getting real! This is an avalanche of sound. It hits you in waves over and over again. I once wrote 1,000 words to this song on repeat!   Icould’ve sworn smoke billowed from my keyboard at one point. It’s also great if you have to write a party scene. Oddly enough this song was on the Project X soundtrack. I made fun of that movie but it has a crazy awesome soundtrack.

Also check out Kid Cudi. He’s an amazing artist. Got the most amazing beats.

Now we are in the top 2. Proceed only if you can handle mind blowing sounds.

2) Overdose – Lady Radio Mix (from the Party Monster soundtrack)

I love this song for several reasons. It helps me when I have to write a drug scene or writing a certain character in my novel. The song is so wonderfully 90’s club music. Ironically, Party Monster was set in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I also enjoyed the Party Monster despite the negative reviews. I thought the cast was great and it’s a movie worth watching.

Ready? My number 1 song to to get pumped to write is..

1) Sweet nothing – Calvin Harris featuring Florence and the Machine

I’ve loved Calvin Harris since his first album. If you haven’t checked it out, go, now, hurry. Freaking amazing. This song blows me away on so many levels. Florence’s vocals get inside me and move around. She’s one of the best mainstream female singers right now. And awesome Harris music is such a perfect compliment to the vocals. It makes me want to jump up and down and shake all over. I’ve played this over and over for hours on end. This song pumps me up to write, work out, get up, drive to work and start my day. I think it could even make taking out the trash awesome.

Also check out these other songs by Calvin Harris: Acceptable in the 80’s, Feel so close, Bounce, We found love, anything from his “I created Disco” album.

Songs that almost made the list: Yamaha by Delta Spirit and Gimme by Donnis

Now you know my list. I’d love to hear what songs put you in the mood to write!

My book soundtrack

I thought I’d do a mini post about the songs my protagonist hears at certain points of my novel.

Some of these songs aren’t mentioned in the story and others are. Which ones are? You’ll have to read it to find out! Whenever I hear these songs I picture her bobbing her head up and down, with her snakes whirling around her head. Music plays a huge part in my writing process. It helps me define a character, their status in life, their surroundings, and their feelings and emotions.

Ready? I’m going to jump around the plot, like an improvised Jazz note.

My MC hears this is a gorgon-only club.

This describes her relationship with her most ex-bf perfectly. It was so primal and destructive and she licked up every drop.

Her BFF and boss always looks and feels cute! And he’s proud of who he is.

Her relationship with her mother.

This is a little different. It’s the song her true love hears when she nears him. But he has all the time in the world for her to come to him..

Her nights partying with Dionysus. Highs and lows and twists and turns. And that darned naked roller-blading Minotaur..

 grieving for her mother

Her nights running around NYC.

Her missing her new love as she watches the waves crash upon her feet.

l’Estate (Laurent Korcia) – fight scene.  Most amazing violin! (couldn’t find a video)

Flashback of when she realized her relationship with her ex was over. Usher’s best vocals in YEARS.

MC battling the nightmare of the gods.

As I mentioned in a earlier post, my MC has a secret love of Katy Perry. So it makes perfect sense in the final scene of the novel, this song is on her mind..

I’ve got even more songs but this is the backbone! And unlike Katy, I’m not wide awake.  What’s on your book soundtrack?

Let’s talk about Sax

Lady Gaga’s newest song, edge of glory, brought up an important issue for me.  The issue of sax.  I grew up in a sax heavy decade, the 80’s.  I was a child of the 80’s and you can’t have the 80’s without the saxophone. It was everywhere in movies and music.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some good sax but unfortunately, it doesn’t belong in today’s modern pop music.  Maybe if a huge shift away from the current electric sound occurs, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.  The current electric sound mirrors the tech laden world we live in.  The sax sound is about back alley’s laced with steam, and delicate curtains.  Yes, Gaga had these elements in her video.
Which leads me to question, is her album a giant masterful parody of the 1980’s pop sound?  It would be genius!  Because otherwise, it’s just a little girl trying to wear madonna’s big girl shoes and not pulling it off.  It’s such a disappointment in an otherwise promising career.  It goes back to my age old theory, you are screwed if your first album is off the charts successful.  The follow up is a bitch.  That’s for another post..
Back to the sax.  When used correctly, (before 2000), the sax can be the perfect sound to compliment the 80’s/early 90’s sexual sadness sound.  When I hear a sax solo, I know either one of two things is happening or about to happen: 1)Someone is about to get laid in a major life affirming way or 2)Someone is walking through the streets mourning love or if it’s REALLY 80’s, 3)someone is about to have some hot and heavy sad sex.    Either way, emotions and/or fluids are about to flow like a mighty tide.  Also, the sax is the sound of summer in the 80’s.  Weiners abound when the sax is around.  
Evidence no. 1
Originally, this post was scheduled for last Sunday, but strangely and sadly, the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen passed away.  It is still acceptable for Bruce to be making new music with new sax but that’s because he sticks to his genre.  I’m not the biggest bruce fan, but he never seems to be outside the ballpark from the albums he was making in the sax laden 80’s.  Sax fits there.
But gaga came out with a different and mind blowing sound.  Then bad romance came out and I was drooling at the mouth.  It has led me to believe it’s her magnum opus.  I’m all for artists trying new sounds and forging new paths.  Madonna is the ultimate chameleon.  But Gaga’s new saxiness is a step back, not forward.  I thought she was an innovator.  But now she seems like a copycat, a wannabe, and forgettable.  
Edge of Glory sounds like something Celine Dion could sang in the late 90’s and had a hit.  In fact, I would LOVE if Celine would cover Edge of Glory and sing the shit out of it.  Her glorious french Canadian pipes would affirm my faith in life..or sax.  or something.  I think all the sax is getting to me.
Overdosin’ on Sax
Lastly, I think Gaga needs to really take a break after this album and really focus on what her next album will be.  Don’t go back, go forward.  I know she loooooves Madonna, so much she ripped off “Express Yourself” to pen her own gay anthem, but she needs to find her own way.  I think she got lost in the sax.  Too much christian themes, and sax.  (Don’t get me started on her telling protesters outside her concert that all her fans believe in GOD! ugh.)  I think the fame has predictably gotten to her head.  And if you have trouble finding your way in the dark as you mournfully walk down the street, maybe Rob Lowe’s epic sax solo will help light your way.  And maybe just maybe, you can pen an even better album than “The Fame.”  You’ll be alright if you just put down the sax gaga. Put it down, and walk away.
Your guide towards a non-saxy world.
My favorite example of awesome 90’s sax.
Rhythm Syndicate – Hey Donna. Saw them perform this live. My pre-teen self thought it was epic since the lead singer looked me in the eyes a couple of times.  
Share your favorite sax solo’s below.  Let’s sax it up in this post.