Tamara Heiner and I spoke about writing to music on Facebook one night. She needs quiet when she’s writing. I don’t always listen to music, but there are times when I need that emotional stimulation to really get a feel for the scene I’m working on. It’s for that reason that I create playlists. The tone and beat is matched to the dynamics between specific characters and the setting.
Largehearted Boy is a music blog and there you’ll find a recurring feature called Book Notes. One of the contributors for the series was Evan Roskos and he shared the playlist for his book Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, a book I loved.
Roskos has eclectic tastes and it shows in his playlist. I found all the songs from the list on Spotify and listened in a way I’ve never listened to music before. I was looking for the characters in the lyrics, the mood in the melodies and discovered a great deal more about myself than I did Roskos or his book.
I’ll share the list with you here, but I encourage you to visit the original article and read his reasoning for each song. It’s quite funny and enlightening.
- “Tron” by Foals
- “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel
- “This is How You Spell, ‘Hahaha, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics” by Los Campesinos!
- “Sad, Sad Song” by M. Ward (I love this song!)
- “I Wonder” by Blind Melon
- “It’s All in Your Mind” by Beck
- “Uncontrollable Urge” by DEVO
- “Optimistic” by Radiohead
- “Fitz and Dizzyspells” by Andrew Bird (Although upbeat, this one connected to that part of me that battles depression.)
- “Little Bird” by Eric Bachmann (I love most songs that speak of flying away. This is no exception.)
- “It’s Not Up to You” by Björk
- “Sorrow” by The National (This is almost autobiographical for me.)
- “The Darkest Side” by The Middle East (This one appealed to me for reasons I can’t explain.)
- “Dark Night of the Soul” by Sparklehorse & Danger Mouse (featuring David Lynch)
- “Clenched Fist” by Sepultura
- “Dignity and Shame” by Crooked Fingers
- “Honest” by Band of Skulls
- “You! Me! Dancing!” by Los Campesinos!
I couldn’t make the connections with some of the song choices. I don’t know if that’s because the music didn’t appeal to me personally or if it went against the image I had built in my mind of the book’s elements. It was a fascinating exercise though and one I plan to do again. That is if the authors I’m reading will divulge their playlists.