I love all kinds of music, from classical (right now I'm listening to Elgar's Salut d'amour) and opera (Wagner's Ring Cycle is a longtime fave) to Celtic (I'm a sucker for the slow airs and waltzes) to classic rock (Springsteen is still The Boss) and new alternative (have you heard Augustana yet?) But I loathe listening to the radio. Cutesy chatter by "morning crews" makes me want to slap somebody. And in addition to annoying me with constant commercial interruptions, even the best stations play songs and artists I don't like. And the good songs are played so often I get sick of them.
That's why I've been putting so much mileage on the iPod my hunk o' burnin' love gave me for Christmas. I love creating my own playlists because even my favorite albums always seem to have two or three songs I'd just as soon skip. One of my playlists, which I call "Rainy Day Tunes," has been extremely effective in nudging me into a romance-writing mood. The list gets updated frequently, but just in case you're curious, right now the first few songs are:
Transatlanticism, Death Cab for Cutie
Secret Garden, Bruce Springsteen
Passing Afternoon, Iron and Wine
Caledonia, Dougie MacLean
Colorblind, Counting Crows
Always on my Mind, Willie Nelson
As my writing catches fire, I'll often nudge up the volume and the tempo of my music by clicking on my "Hot Stuff" playlist, which begins thusly:
Are You Gonna be my Girl, Jet
Jenny was a Friend of Mine, The Killers
Tumbling Dice, The Rolling Stones
Learn to Fly, Foo Fighters
She Says, Howie Day
Okay, the Elgar violin adagio has ended and I am now singing along with The Wallflower's Jakob Dylan (yeah, that's Bob's baby boy) on Nearly Beloved, which is making it difficult to type, so I'll end this here.
If you're a writer who uses music to help you slip into the zone, how about sharing your real or imaginary playlists?