Jan 25, 2010

Meanie Monday and setting the mood with music.

First, I am happy to report that Saturday ended a week long display of sunshine, which is unheard of here in West Michigan!  It was nice while it lasted, but I am glad to be back to the grey.

When I was in the shower today, (I do most of my best thinking in the shower.  We have a rain shower, get one, there's nothing better), I was listening to the band Passion Pit.  Of the millions of musical artists out there, I listen to only a handful.  My selection is quite odd, with a mix of mainstream, indie, and the Beatles (yes, they are their own category).
Alright, so, I was listening to Passion Pit which is a mix of up beats and interesting lyrics.  I know that they are somewhat popular, but do a lot of younger people listen to them?  Younger people as in YA readers.  Stephenie Meyer put MUSE on the map.  They were not very well known in the U.S. before the soundtrack to Twilight came out in 2008, but now almost everyone knows them, and many of us writers were introduced to them as the band SM listens to for inspiration.  Can you hear MUSE in the Twilight books?  Do you listen to music to aid in your writing?  I do.

For dialogue inspiration:
the Beatles
Matt and Kim
Death Cab for Cutie
The Postal Service
Kate Nash

For setting the mood or scene:
the Beatles
Kings of Leon
Jose Gonzalez

For just something to get you going:
the Beatles
The Moody Blues
Pink Floyd
Talking Heads
Tom Tom Club
Goddamn Electric Bill
Alison Krauss

So, basically the Beatles are good for everything.

I also started wondering if writers think they need to listen to the latest and greatest music artists to get in the YA groove.  If that's the case, then I will surely fail:
Lady Gaga, blehk
Lil' Wayne, ugh
Owl City, fireflies scare me


  1. I flop around with Allison Krause when I need mellow yet not sleepy.
    It more depends on my mood then the actual moment in the writing though.

  2. Heh, I'm with you on Lady Gaga. My boyfriend's younger cousin asked me for her cd for Christmas, LOL! I did not cave. She got the Twilight books instead.

  3. I don't listen and write. I don't know Muse. But I do know Lady Gaga, especially through some of the Pokerface parodies(Neutraface is a good one). Stephenie Meyer may influence what young people listen to but does she really know? I like The National station on Pandora, but we added variety and for all I know it was the Beatles.

  4. Hehe... I listen to whatever fits the mood of the scene. For whatever reason, lately it seems to be Nickelback and Avril Lavigne.

    Jenn's Blogdom :)

  5. I agree that The Beatles are good for everything. I'm addicted to Pandora when I write- Regina Spektor radio is my fave.

  6. The Beatles are indeed in a class by themselves. They are probably why I am such a music nut. I used to listen to my mom's albums (yes, albums)over and over when I was a young one.
    I can't listen to music though when I write. If I need to write adult poetry, I may put on some music since my life is not very angsty (thank goodness). But I need silence or else I'd be singing along instead of writing.

    But if I'm not writing, music will be on (mostly hard rock). And I do like Lady Gaga actually but the fireflies song gets on my nerves bigtime!

  7. Music helps me out a ton when I write. I start each new novel with a "soundtrack" on my iPod. I try to pick songs that convey the mood of the story and voice of the characters. This helps me click right in to my ms, and I avoid spending time warming up into my writing. It also triggers thoughts about the novels when I'm not actually writing--when I'm running or cleaning. It is very helpful to me--especially when I'm working on more than one thing at a time. And, the order of the songs tells the story too--as if they accompany the scenes that I'm writing...

    Aren't you sorry you asked?

  8. Thanks guys, and no I'm not sorry I asked. I was hoping to find out other writer's preferences and I did.

    I am judging Kelly a little on the Lady Gaga thing and Jenn for listening to Nickelback, but not too much. ;)

  9. Florence and the Machine + Paramore = best writing music ever!!! Love them both!!!