Tag Archives: music

M is for Marianas Trench

…because why wouldn’t it be?

(I guess I’m supposed to put a content warning, since there’s AN F WORD in one of these songs… *clutches pearls* So there. I warnded you.)

These guys rate a thank-you in the back pages of any book I ever publish– at least, the stories I’ve been writing or revising in the past year and a half. I don’t know what it is, their music just works for me. I relate to it, even though I probably have nothing in common with their lead singer/songwriter. It wakes me up. It relaxes me, in spite of all of the screaming. It gets my imagination all bouncy and hyper.

I keep finding songs that relate to my characters. It’s fun. I’ve shared some here before, but I keep finding more. Like this GORGEOUS a capella Billy Joel cover:

Or this one, that reminds me of the new love story in book two. *sigh*

Or this one… which has nothing to do with writing in any way, but is making me happy these days. I just started listening to their first album, and love it WAY more than I expected.

I now own everything by them I could get off of iTunes. Time for a new album…

*waits*

Yeah, I’m a sixteen year old girl. I’m okay with that.

Oh, and my older son is a fan, too*. He built them a lego stage.

 

 

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Apologies to whoever that’s supposed to be on the left… he ran out of heads.

*Yes, I turn down the cussin’ when we’re listening in the car… even though it’s just the best cussin’ ever.

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#Simondegreen

I know, it’s too late for this to be a Mondegreen Monday post. In my defense, though, I never promised that I’d offer anything here regularly or on time. That, plus a crazy weekend involving province-wide power outages, burst pipes and 8+ hours of car rides on too much Robaxacet means that I get to post this now.

Sweet deal, I know.

My older son is like me in many ways. He spends a lot of time alone, in his own little world. He often pretends he’s a rock star, and he spends hours singing and dancing in the basement. He walks to and from school bouncing to the beat in his head, singing quietly to himself. Sometimes it’s his own songs, sometimes others he’s heard.

The kid loves music, is what I’m saying.

We were all eating supper the other night, and Simon started singing to himself.

“Maaaaan on a rug! Man on a RUG!”

After a few seconds of silence, AJ asked, “Do you mean ‘Band on the run’?”

Simon thought for a bit. “Maybe.”

It’s too late for me, now. The song is always going to be Man on a Rug. Thanks, Simon.


And So It Goes in the Arts Today…

Here’s an interesting quote I happened upon in yesterday’s newspaper in an article about how Marianas Trench is doing a concert in St. John’s tonight and I’m not going. Okay, so the article says nothing about me not going, I’m just bitter (come on, I was just there!). It does, however, feature guitarist Matt Webb saying something that sounds exactly what you hear from authors all over the place these days:

“Everyone thinks that once you have that elusive record deal that you just coast,” he said, “but in today’s world, it’s when the real hard work begins. There’s no huge budgets anymore, so you really have to do a lot of the work yourself, whether that’s online through social media, promoting your work or whatever.”

Take out the word “record” and replace it with “publishing,” and how many times have we heard that? Seriously, tell me. I’ve lost count. Once a day, at least, on various blogs or news articles.

Sucks for many of us, who would be happy to just write and hand off the marketing stuff to someone else. This seems to be our reality, though.

So, what thinkest youse guys? How do you find out about new music or books? Do you ever try to connect with favourite artists via facebook or twitter, or have fans connected with you that way? How much promotion of this sort do you think is necessary? How much does it suck that I’m stuck in the armpit of the province right now and not in St. John’s, waiting for a concert and a possible holiday on Wednesday?*

Feel free to post any links to helpful promotional sites/tools/whatever, anything you’re using and having success with. Or if you think that self-promotion is a crock and completely useless, feel free to tell me that, too.

(I’m a fan of Kristen Lamb’s blog, myself. I’m waiting for her revised books to come out so I can read ’em up)

Bonus thingy:  CreateSpace posted this on faebook yesterday, and it was too perfect not to share. I’m totally doing the guitar hero thing. *ahem*

*Regatta Day is a floating holiday, entirely dependent on the weather. It’s a bit weird, to be honest, but I like it.


Blog Challenge Day 5: Musically Inclined

blog challenge

“10 songs you love right now”

Really? We couldn’t have gone with five, what with it being day five and all?

Fine.

I promise nothing. I don’t pretend to have taste in music that the kids these days call “cool” and “hip” (now get offa my lawn, punks). I don’t like artsy or obscure music. I like stuff I can sing along with, that picks me up or makes me feel something, but that I don’t have to like, y’know, be in that place to like, get it, man. And honestly, a lot of what I love right now is songs that were on the radio years ago, but that I hadn’t heard in years. Now I can get them on my phone. YAYS!

Videos? Why not?

You all know I like Marianas Trench. Well, those of you who have been here for a month or two. You know about Ever After and Sing, Sing (and yes, I’m counting that as number 1 and 2, just try to stop me).  There aren’t music videos for those ones, but a lot of my favourites were, in fact, singles. I know, so mainstream.  This was the first song of theirs that I heard and loved:

Good to You:

Did anyone else think, “I’m singin’ to Nelson. Ain’t I, baby?”

…though for sheer entertainment value, I’d recommend this one, because LOL, the old school 90210, infomercial and GAP commercial.

Hey, remember this song from a few year ago? I’d forgotten about it. Stupid camera noises… I hate when videos interfere with the song. I do love the concept of this video, though.

I’m going to share this one because I’m pissed I can’t get it on iTunes. I mean, I find the song confusing and don’t understand why people want to steal each other’s pens*, but Amy Lee’s voice = eargasm, so I let that slide.

Speaking of Slide (ooh, segue!), I’m kind of loving me some Goo Goo Dolls right now, too. Here’s my favourite, Black Balloon. Another note about this song: it contains what I consider to be the only acceptable use of the word “womb” in all of ever.

Um… *flips through phone*

Oh, here’s another one from quite some time ago (and by quite some time, I mean I was in high school):

Well, that was weird.

And how about another song that was popular Way Back When? 1994, around the time when I was first going, “Holy crap, music is AWESOME.”

I think that’s enough, if you count the sub-links.

What’s that? That was only nine?! OK, how about the last song I bought? Great for when I’m out walking with Jack.

I had no idea they were Canadian until I saw them there snazzy tuxedos. 😉

BOOM, done.

*Yes, I know what they’re really saying. Mondegreens are a specialty of mine, though. 🙂


Something Different

I usually post something writing-related on Tuesdays. This week, I’ve pretty much got nuthin’. So what I’m offering is a picture, and a question.

I’ve been enjoying everyone’s comments on my first-draft-ish vampire… stuff… the past few weeks. I know it’s not perfect, and I know that you all know that (and you know that I know that you know that, etc), but it’s very encouraging, especially when I usually show that kind of stuff to NOBODY. That’s how special you all are to me. One pass for typos-and-grammatical-faux-pas special.

So here’s a picture of something different. This is a printed page of my third (fourth? Fourth-and-a-half? Seventeenth? I don’t know anymore) draft of Bound. Not every page gets this many notes, but I think it gives a pretty good idea of how I usually struggle through revisions. That is, with a lack of focus, a lot of questions, some music, a few notebooks (and a pirate hook, apparently) and a whole lot of doodling in the margins. Don’t bother trying to blow it up to see what I’m changing, it doesn’t matter. The point is, DEAR LORD THE RED PEN.

IMG_1955

Ugh. The wases. The missteps. The questions that could have been better answered elsewhere, the too-much-backstory, the could-I-cut-this. *sobs*

So here’s the question: how do you do it? Do you print out your work and mark it up like a high school teacher (with significantly more funky flowers and birds, in my case), or do you revise electronically? Are you still changing this much after numerous drafts, or do your stories come out pretty much the way you wanted them to in early drafts, and you’re just changing a phrase here and there? Do you prefer to doodle spiderwebs, cats, car chases or perhaps sharks on your work? What’s your process?


Underwhelmed

I like to try to leave you guys with a little something positive to take into your weekend when I can, so here’s a song from WAY BACK in 1993 (holy crap!) that makes me happy. Something for all of the grammar and spelling geeks out there. Seriously, read the lyrics, the song is too funny. I’m partial to “I told her affection has to F’s, especially when you’re dealing with me.” 🙂


(there is an official music video for this, but it’s weird and has nothing to do with the song, so… yeah.)

Underwhelmed
(C. Murphy/Sloan, lyrics from sing365.com)

She was underwhelmed
If that’s a word
I know it’s not
‘Cause I looked it up
That’s one of those skills
That I learned in my school

I was overwhelmed
And I’m sure of that one
‘Cause I learned it
Back in grade school
When I was young

She said, “You is funny”
I said, “You are funny”
She said, “Thank you”
And I said, “Never mind”
She rolled her eyes
Her beautiful eyes

The point is not the grammar
It’s the feeling
That is certainly in my heart
But not in hers

But not in hers
But not in hers
But not in hers
But not in hers

We were talkin’ about people
That eat meat
I felt like an ass
‘Cause I was one
She said, “It’s okay,”
But I felt like
I just ate my young

She is obviously a person
With a cause
I told her that I don’t
Smoke or drink
She told me to loosen up
On the way to the L.C.

She skips her classes
And gets good grades
I go to my courses
Rain or shine
She’s passin’ her classes
While I attend mine

While I attend mine
While I attend mine
While I attend

She wrote out a story
About her life
I think it included
Something about me
I’m not sure of that
But I’m sure of one thing
Her spelling’s atrocious

She told me to read
Between the lines
And tell her exactly
What I got out of it
I told her affection
Had two F’s
Especially when you’re dealing with me

I usually notice
All the little things
One time I was proud of it
She says it’s annoying
She cursed me up and down
And rolled her R’s
Her beautiful R’s

She says I’m caught up
In triviality
All I really wanna know is
What she thinks of me
I think my love for her
Makes me miss the point

I miss the point
I miss the point
I miss the point
I miss the point
I miss the point
I miss the point
I miss the point

Hey mister…

(Note: For anyone not familiar with the term, the “LC” is the liquor commission. The booze store. It’s funnier if you know that.)

(Further note: I’ve seen people say that the girl in this song must be a non-native English speaker because of things like “you is funny.” Clearly they’ve never been here. Sloan is from Nova Scotia, but “you’s funny” is something a lot of people here in NL would say. A lot of Eastern Canada, definitely. Ever heard of “I’s the b’y?” Exactly. Not to perpetuate stereotypes, not everyone does it and even people with great educations do it in casual speech. Jut throwing my two cents into the “foreign girl” debate. I know plenty of people with horrible grammar/who can’t spell who grew up with English as their first and only language. NOT JUDGING.)


Music, Stories, and Much Appreciation

I’m going to be honest: I had no idea what to post today. Much as I would have liked to post pictures of something uplifting like signs of spring, I have none to show that aren’t man-made, and how depressing is that? I thought about bumping Tuesday’s post up to today, but that just seemed like cheating. Random facts about myself? Who cares, right?

But today demanded something, if only because this blog has reached 100 followers, and we need to party.

Not a huge number by most standards, no. But I didn’t expect more than about five, so this is big. And I’m blessed with some of the best blog readers around. Really. I never expected to have people commenting on my posts the way you do, and I love it. You always have something to add, or some way to make me smile, and I appreciate that. There’s no reason you all should want to be here reading my ramblings and word-vomit on a regular basis; I’m nobody special, especially when it comes to the writing stuff. I’m an amateur, a nobody, but you folks encourage and inspire me every day, here and through your own writing.

I’m going to stop before I tear up. What I’m saying is, thank you. All of you, whether you comment or lurk. I’m glad you’re here.

*AHEM*

So, what to do today, besides get disgustingly mushy over a group of people who are mostly strangers to me?

A party needs music, right? And music is important to writing. THEME BONUS!

I know from reading your blogs that many of you have songs that in your minds represent your characters in some way. Many of you have entire play-lists devoted to each of them, a feat which requires more attention and organizational skills than I possess. There are several songs that remind me of my characters, too; I won’t go into all of that here, but I’ll share one that gave me a strange experience, and that I continue to love. It would be great if any of you wanted to share your own songs and experiences in the comments (and no judging people based on music they love, please. I hate that.)

Let’s rewind back to November. There I was, typing like mad for NaNoWriMo, trying to get a first draft of Torn out into the computer. I’d just got my iPhone back in the summer and was LOVING it. You see, I’d never had a working iPod or MP3 player, so having all of my favourite music at my fingertips was just blowing my mind. Yes, I’m easily amused.  I was having fun buying songs I liked on the radio and then exploring more from those same artists.

I had a few Marianas Trench songs already, and spent some time listening to iTunes song samples for others. Hey look, there was a song called Ever After! How nice. Sample was interesting, I bought the song. Because, hello, affordable music.

I listened to it. I freaked out. Seriously. If you remember looking out your window one day late last November and seeing something weird flailing about, that was me. I was out there. Freaking.

Why? Because I could have sworn the song was about Aren. Not just about him, but about the story I’d written, the one I was working on, and (just to really melt my brain), a couple of lines that could symbolically reference something planned for book 3.  The emotional tone is bang-on for the character. Not only that, but “Ever After” is one of the threads that runs through Bound and ties things together, thematically speaking.

HOLY CRAP.*

It’s kind of a weird piece in some ways. It’s one of these songs they do that takes bits and pieces of others on the album and smooshes them together to make something that works. I kind of love that idea, but that’s not the point. The lyrics probably don’t mean much to some people, and to others they’ll mean something that, oddly enough, is not related to my effing books (I know, shut up about it already, right?)

It’ll never be a single, that’s for sure. But it opens an album that’s been getting me through a lot of writing sessions. I don’t know why I find this music so relaxing when most of my real-life stress is caused my yelling and whining, but I do. 😉

Want to hear it? You don’t have to, it’s OK. But if you’re curious, here you go. Oh, and fair warning, there’s a CUSS WORD. I have a strange and disturbing kind of love for the way Josh Ramsay says f*ck, but some of you might not appreciate it so much. 😉

There you go. Probably means nothing to you, right? That’s what I thought. I love that about music, though. It’s a different experience for every listener, and meanings change based on our own experiences, mind-sets, and emotional states. A song that makes you think of a book you’ve read or a character you’ve written might make me think of something from my childhood, or someone I knew in high school. Maybe you love it, and I get nothing out of it. There’s so much room for interpretation. Also, music is kind of a mystery to me. I appreciate it, I like what I like, but as to how it’s written or why the sounds work together? You might as well ask me about astrophysics. I have no clue.  But I can still appreciate it, even if my musical preferences aren’t impressively obscure.

So there you go. One song that would have caused me great embarrassment if I’d been in public when I first heard it, and that continues to give me chills.

Your turn!  One song, one character, and tell us why you make that association. Also, some good party music, if you’d like to throw that in there. Bring your best party hat, fancy cupcakes, whatever your drink of choice is, and let’s celebrate you guys. Because you’re the most bestest. 🙂

*CRAP is not the word that was in my mind, I’m just trying to keep it civil, here.


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