Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

I usually don’t write to music because I find it distracting, even when it doesn’t contain words. Lately, however, I’ve been finding myself needing a little something else to get into the mood.

I only listen to soundtracks when I’m writing because if the song has words, I’ll start singing along to it and be way too distracted. And, inevitably, that just leads to me going to Twitter or Tumblr and distracting myself further.

Frozen SoundtrackSo, I stick to the soundtracks.

Right now I’ll admit I have mostly Disney soundtracks because I find those to be the most familiar and soothing. Plus they just make me happy. I do have Lindsey Stirling‘s CD on there, though, and that makes a great background for action scenes because her violin work is usually enhanced by dubstep. But I have Pocahontas, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Frozen, too.

But I need more. And I need more variety. So, I’d like to know what you guys are listening to while you write. What really speaks to you? Which tracks do you find are good for the slow scenes versus the fast ones, or the romantic scenes versus the violent ones? I’d like to try writing to music more in order to see if it positively affects me.

In other words, help a girl out! I’ll be taking your recommendations and adding them to my writing playlist in the hopes my Muse is further inspired.

I feel the need to preface this with the fact that this is not a sarcastic article. There were a few things I really loved during the VMAs, and I’m not going to mention that other stuff that happened because it’s been done to death over the past few days. Just go to Tumblr if you want to laugh at pictures like this.

1. Lady Gaga’s performance. I’ve liked Lady Gaga for a long time. I’ve liked most of her performances even though they’re over the top and sometimes actually quite frightening. Despite some crazy eyes in the beginning, I really enjoyed her performance at the 2013 VMAs. It was well done, with some seamless outfit changes. Plus it was just really nice to see her back in her “Poker Face” wig.


 

2. Macklemore performing “Same Love.” This song is just incredible. I love the message it carries, and I love everything that Macklemore did when he was on stage. He deserved to win that award for Best Video with a Social Message.

You can click here to watch the performance.

3. Lady Gaga gives a pep talk to One Direction. I don’t know a whole lot about 1D, but I’m getting to the point where a few of my friends just won’t let me ignore them anymore. Still, I feel horrible they were booed at when they accepted their award for Best Song of the Summer. But Gaga gave them an amazing pep talk afterwards. Love her.


 

4. NSync reunited on stage. I’m sad that it was about 10 minutes of Justin Timberlake and 30 seconds of NSync, but it was still nice to see the boys back together again. I hope the response they got for the reunion at the VMAs gets their attentions and makes them realize that tons of people would be invested if they did a reunion tour. Because I would be there in a heartbeat.

You can click here to watch the performance.

5. Eminem announces his new album. I AM ACTUALLY INCAPABLE OF TALKING ABOUT THIS WITHOUT USING CAPSLOCK, SO I’M JUST GOING TO SHOW YOU THE VIDEO NOW.


 

What were the highlights of the VMAs for you? (If you watched, that is. I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.)

I’ve found a new favorite comedian/singer, and her name is Christina Bianco. She has the unique talent of having perfect comedic timing, and gorgeous voice, and a terrifyingly accurate ability to sing like some of the greats.

I’m talking Christina Aguilera, Bernadette Peters, and Kristen Chenowith, just to name a few. And it’s not just her voice. She’s got those mannerisms down pat.

My two favorite videos are below:

In the first one, she sings “O Holy Night.” It really shows off her vocal talents, and the crowd is quiet enough that you can actually hear every note.


 
This video really shows how easily she can jump back and forth between different voices. And that Kristen Chenowith, man. It’s so spot on.


 
My favorite voices are Beradette Peters, Kristen Chenowith, and Julie Andrews. Which are yours?

You can watch more videos of her on her YouTube channel.

I know not all of you guys are into rap music, but this comes off much more like spoken word. It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful message. A friend sent this to me and I just had to share.


 
Same love. <3

Anna Christine made her debut on America’s Got Talent, and I think it’s safe to say she blew EVERYONE away.


 

How’s that for a big voice, huh??? I can’t wait to hear more from her!

You might recall that one of my all-time favorite videos on YouTube is Heather Traska’s “One Woman A Capella Disney Medley.” It’s quite possibly the most intricate and well put together video I’ve ever seen.

And guess what? She just released her second one! It features a lot more villains, including a quick cameo of her as Hades. If you know anything about me, you’ll know my love for Disney’s Hercules has no bounds.

Check out part two right here!


 
Which was your favorite part?

What I wouldn’t give to play ONE of these instruments HALF as well as she does.

Do you ever feel like some people are just too talented for their own good?

It’s been a while since I did a post in my Rising Stars series, but this is one for the history books. Thanks to Kaitlin Branch and this post, I came across the wonderful, talented, beautiful, and brilliant Lindsey Sterling.

To say I went from zero to obsessed in six seconds is an understatement.

Lindsey takes music to a whole new level. Yes, she plays the violin, but it’s fun. It’s upbeat. It isn’t classical music. It’s hip-hop and dubstep. It’s something beautifully different. Her videos are gorgeous, she’s a wonderful dancer (yes, she dances while she plays), and she’s a nerd to boot.

There’s literally no reason not to love her.

Here’s my favorite song. Yes, yes it has zombies. But I promise I like the music more than the video. (But the video is pretty flipping sweet too.)


 
Doesn’t that just make you want to get up and dance!?

These are original songs by Lindsey, and most of the time she plays a large part in putting together the videos too. She gets people to help her – makeup artists and directors – but she’s very hands on. Sometimes she’s even the one that edits the videos. She did this one:


 
I wish I had found her sooner, as she’s got a massive following and her videos hit well into the millions. And for good reason, as they’re all well done and appeal to a lot of different types of people. Plus she’s got nearly fifty of them online – including behind the scenes vids and tutorials. She’s one cool chica.

I never find a new artist and then go download their CD. I’m actually pretty picky about what I put on my iPod, and I tend to listen to the same songs I’ve listened to for years. But I bought her CD immediately. She’s just that good. And her music is perfect for writing – no words, but fun and upbeat.

I’ll leave you with a final video before I beg you to watch the rest of them and then subscribe to her YouTube channel. You won’t be sorry.


 
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Have you heard of Lindsey before? If so, what’s your favorite song? If you’re just discovering her, what do you think!?

We all get down in the dumps. Especially artists, who tend to be a bit more sensitive than other types of people. There’s very little you can do to stop that negativity before it reaches you, and sometimes you just have to bear the brunt of it.

Whenever I feel like this whole “writer thing” isn’t for me, I turn to music. In no particular order, here are five songs that make me feel awesome.

ONE. “Mean” by Taylor Swift”


 
For a while there I played this song every day. It wasn’t that people were kicking me while I was down or anything, but sometimes this lifestyle can be so overwhelming and disheartening. This song really picks me back up. The chorus clinches it for me, and I just like yelling it at the top of my lungs.

Favorite Lines: “You can take me down with just one single blow, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Someday I’ll be livin’ in a big old city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean. Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean.”

TWO. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood


 
I’ve never been in the situation that Carrie sings about in this song, but no one can deny that the music and the lyrics are just so full of energy and girl power. It gets to me every time. I may or may not sing this one at the top of my lungs too…

Favorite Lines: “I might’ve saved a little trouble for the next girl, ‘cause the next time that he cheats, oh you know it won’t be on me.”

THREE. “I’m Just Sayin’” by Karmin


 
The chorus in this song reminds me that we shouldn’t listen to what other people say. If we want something, we need to work for it. And if we work for it hard enough, we will get it. The rest of the song attests to this truth with Karmin’s own story of being YouTube upstarts and landing a major record deal.

Favorite Lines: “Future in my hands, gotta make it count, convince yourself it’s feasible, then there’s nothin’ else.”

FOUR. “’Till I Collapse” by Eminem

*This is a fanmade video, as there is no official one for this song*

 
I played this song every time I went to a meet for my high school’s track team. I threw shot put and discus, which takes a lot of agility and a lot of power. I’d play this song on repeat until it was my time to throw. Its message of self-empowerment is strong, and it made me feel strong and helped me to get in the zone and stay focused. This song always pumps me up when I listen to it.

Favorite Lines: “Sometimes you just feel tired, feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength, and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up, and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you just wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.”

FIVE. “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor


 
I’m pretty sure there’s a direct ratio between epicness and volume for this song. I’m also pretty sure that the chorus could apply to anything, but to writers especially. Sometimes we get so worked up over whether or not we’re “good enough,” when we honestly just have to remember that part of it is luck, part of it is skill, but even more of it is about working hard until you make your dreams come true.

Favorite lines: “This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will, five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain, and a hundred percent reason to remember the name.”

What do you think of these songs? What are the songs that pump you up the most and remind you that you were BORN to be a writer?

It’s a little late (when am I ever on time with anything??), but I just had to share this song.

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition between me and my dad, and we can’t go a Thanksgiving without listening to it. I’m not sure how widely known the song is (I showed it to my boss who I felt SURE would have heard it before and hadn’t), so I figured I’d pass it along.

Also, my week is swamped, and I need an easy post to go up. :P

“Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie

(Warning: Yes, the song is nearly 20 minutes long.)


 

So, what do you think? Have you heard it before? If not, did you find it funny or just really, really long?