Ever listen to music while you’re writing, only to start writing the lyrics you’re listening to?
Yeah, me too. Which is why I don’t listen to a lot of music when I’m actually writing. Otherwise I’d end up sprinkling ZZ Top lyrics throughout the manuscript (not that there’s anything wrong with ZZ Top lyrics). Usually when I’m actually writing, either creating a chapter or transcribing my notes into my laptop, I listen to the soundtrack of the Epix series Get Shorty. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost, no lyrics. Because the soundtrack was put together by Antonio Sanchez, a Mexican jazz drummer probably most famous for his composition for Birdman (a movie I hated, but that’s another story). Sanchez also worked with guitarist Pat Metheny, for you old-timers out there.
The other reason is it’s just the coolest soundtrack in the world, and it’s perfect for setting a mood with a noir/crime feel to it. Good stuff.
Of course, I do find music inspirational, and I listen to a wide variety to get me in the mindset to write or just let my mind wander for a while. Usually, this means when I’m driving or working out. It’s a good way to keep me in the headspace I need between writing sessions.
So, I’ve come up with a few playlists—so I’m not always listening to the same one. Here’s the first one, called “Summoning the Muses.”
- The Wicked Flee (Carter Burwell)
- I’m No Angel (Gregg Allman)
- Howlin’ For You (The Black Keys)
- Gun In My Hand (Dorothy)
- Ten Cent Pistol (The Black Keys)
- Ball and Biscuit (The White Stripes)
- Lee Anne (Omar and the Howlers)
- Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Lucinda Williams)
- Highway 61 (Delta Mix) (Steve Azar)
- Protection (Lucinda Williams)
- If I Ever Leave This World Alive (Flogging Molly)
- Don’t You Know (Omar and the Howlers)
- Refugee (Tom Petty)
- I’m Shipping Up To Boston (Dropkick Murhphys)
- Crossfire (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
- I Need You Tonight (ZZ Top)
- Tin Pan Alley (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
- Angel From Montgomery (Susan Tedeschi)
- Stay (Faraway So Close) (U2)
- Bloody Good Bar Fight Song (Carbon Leaf)
- Honky Ton Nighttime Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
- Factory Girls (Feat. Lucinda Williams) (Flogging Molly)
- Exit (U2)
I’ll post some other playlists over the next few posts. Meanwhile, feel free to leave a comment if you see something that should be on the list—or if you have one of your own.