Monday, July 26, 2010

Musical Monday; Policy of Truth (or music, literature and writing)

Hide what you have to hide
tell what you have to tell







Never again 
is what you swore
the time before
 ~Depeche Mode



Music. It surrounds my life, enchants me, echoes, rattles my bones, races my heart, resonant with melodies and poetry, bathes my body in dopamine, skins me alive, raw, exposed; transports, time travels. 

When I hear Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon suddenly I'm five or six years old, washed in the perfume of briny Pacific ocean, redwood, marijuana. I see a wooden cable-spool table with carved initials, and my long-haired surfer cousin and his surfer-dude friends wearing their puka shell necklaces. 
From the first mournful beat, the above Depeche Mode song flattens me. I am in high school, I smell Aussie Scrunch Spray, first love, first heartbreak. 
Fiona Apple's Criminal, and I'm pregnant with my daughter, swollen feet propped up, writing my first novel.



(Copacabana remix, you ask? I'm dancing on top of the bar! Yep. That's right.)

(Lola by the Kinks? So many memories to that song...BUT, I assure you, I was born a female and am still a female...and, yeah, I do like the Kinks. Do people sing that song to me CONSTANTLY? Yes. I don't mind. It's a great song.)



I hear this song by Zero 7 and I am in Husband's arms, happy. I smell his skin, taste the salt. So much love. 





Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes make me tremble like Lloyd. Every single time. Those lyrics. Damn.


Reading a book is a very similar experience for me. Magical. 
I have so many favorite books that are falling apart like overcooked meat off the bone, threadbare, my DNA embedded into their fibers.
 
I STILL cry EVERY time I read my beloved, battered copy of The Giving Tree

Watership Down moves me, even after all these years. Charlotte's Web continues to capture me, I smell the hay and manure as fresh today as when I was a child. 


I've read The English Patient and Rebecca and Atlas Shrugged so many times, I know which pages are loose, and which scenes have my pizza sauce thumbprints on them.

I can recite almost every passage of James Joyce's Ulysses. That last piece slays me (any errors are mine, I'm writing it from memory):



...when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes yes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.


 YES!!! *Goosebumps* 

When I'm lost in my own novel writing, I'm spellbound by the characters in my head. They take me on their journey, they make me weep and laugh. Sometimes they really piss me off.


As I've mentioned in previous posts, I often have music on while I write. I find it especially helpful when writing a very moody scene.

This morning I had to write a painful going-their-separate-ways scene and this song really took me where I needed to be:


Snuff by Slipknot (I know, I know, but try it. It's powerful, heart wrenching, beautiful.)






Music. Books. The soundtracks and stories of our lives. Multicolored and complex.


I could no more name my favorite song or band than I could choose one favorite book. 
I'm a literary and musical omnivore, multifarious...Sophie I am not.



What do YOU listen to? Read? Write?


(*I don't know what's up with Blogger today...but I cannot get this to format the text once I hit publish. The font size is all normal in my draft, but as soon as I hit publish, it tweaks. Sorry.)


Love,
Lola

43 comments:

Talli Roland said...

I love Dark Side of the Moon! It always reminds me of summer in Montreal... sigh. Such a great CD.

Happy Monday!

Alexandra Crocodile said...

I agree with Talli - DSOTM is brilliant. Nuff said.

Wendy Ramer said...

Absolutely love Zero 7, especially Waiting Line. And like you, I couldn't even begin to list the soundtrack of my memories.

Misery said...

AHhhh I just adore Pink Floyd. I'm quite fanatic about them. My favourite album of Floyds is "The Wall", though. As far as "dark side..." goes I love the song "eclipse". And I must say that I'm quite taken aback here - I thought I know ALL cool songs by Slipknot, but for some reason I missed this one. So THANK you for posting this and - brace yourself because I'm going to sound very fan-girlish here - I officially love you now :) Because of Pink Floyd. AND Slipknot.

This post made my day, really.

(as for what I read: recenlty I read a novel of a Polish writer Mirosław Nahacz - he's really brilliant, but I don't think he's been translated to English)

Alleged Author said...

I love listening to everything! Michael Jackson always brings back memories, and I can trace a ton of pivotal moments in my life from listening to his music.

Summer said...

I will always remember "The Blower's Daughter" negatively; it was Evan and my's first year together, and I'd found out he'd been cheating on me (loosely); we reconciled, then three days later watched Closer. Not a good movie to watch when you've recently been hurt by cheating. And then "The Blower's Daughter" in the end...god. I cried and cried for about an hour, and he felt like a real shit.

Conversely, The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be" makes me think of him positively--pretty much sums up the way we feel about each other. It's his ringtone for my number. :)

I could definitely go on and on. I always listen to music, and of course I read like you.

PS: I love Zero 7 and Depeche Mode. And Joyce.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I love music. My favs are Muse, but the ones you've mentioned are fantastic too. :)

Donna Hosie said...

I just adore that Depeche Mode song.

Eric W. Trant said...

Snuff by Slipknot -- their softer side! Love that song, though, in a huge way. I second your motion that Snuff takes me to a love-anger place not many songs can tread, and I would've listed it if you hadn't.

Highway 20 Ride by Zac Brown Band moves me. I'm divorced. I have my own I-20 drive here in Dallas.

Father's Love by George Straight. I sang that to my son one night.

She Fn HATES ME by Puddle of Mudd if I need conflict.

Yall Wanna Single by KORN if I'm writing something angry.

Starting to see a theme here, eh...

- Eric

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

The opening strains of Stairway to Heaven hook me; no matter what's going on I have to stop and sing.every.word.

And Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes is in my all-time top five. ...Feel like popping Say Anything in the DVD player right now...

I wish I could write with music on. It seems like such an obvious creativity boost and mood-setter. But I just lose all concentration when a song comes on. Still, it's a technique I want to work on...

Hope your Monday is going great!
((hugs)) Nicole

Maggie May said...

i love this post and music is the same for me- absolutely a soundtrack to my life, an instant transport back to specific memories and feelings.

Old Kitty said...

Aww what a lovely selection of songs and more potent because of what they meant to you personally!

I'm very partial to Kinks' Lola. I love the pathos and the oh so English-ness of it all. It's self-deprecating and oh so slightly cynical and ironic but ultimately accepting and never blinkered. Lovely!!! :-)

Take care
x

Jemi Fraser said...

I love a pretty wide variety of music. I often have my iTunes set to shuffle when I'm writing or reading. Or my daughter will have hers on. It really does transport you to another level. Love it!

Susan Fields said...

All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow and Self Esteem by Offspring both take me back to a summer I spent at a training class in Dallas with a group of people about my age from many different countries. We made such great friendships and had an amazing time. Music is so powerful!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I love music but I never have it on when I'm writing. Perhaps I should try it sometime and see how it inspires. Knowing me though, I'd probably spend all my time singing along instead of writing.

February Grace said...

Oh wow, that Depeche song brings back so many conflicting memories for me- that one and Enjoy the Silence as well...Somebody...and Blasphemous Rumors (to which I wrote extensive passages of my second novel manuscript last year, actually)

This post, Lola, is exactly the reason that I am still reading blogs even with my limited eyesight.

Dream on, listen on, write on!

This post is a gift.

Thank you.

~bru

Kelly said...

I love that Slipknot song. My almost eleven yr old loves Slipknot. I only let him get certain songs though after perusing lyrics first. That is by far my favorite. It's hauntingly beautiful.
Songs always take me back. "In Your Eyes" was my and my hs sweetheart's "song."
Depeche Mode reminds me of my husband. In college we'd go dancing and dance to Depeche Mode.
Also, The Giving Tree is my favorite picture book!
You've got great taste, Lola!

Jeff King said...

I love all kinds of music... and all kinds of genres.

The older I get the more open minded I get.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I think High School when I hear Depeche Mode, too.
And oh my goodness, I cry ever time I read The Giving Tree, too. Every. Time.

Carolyn V. said...

I listened to a lot of Muse during my last wip. But I find that all music is very inspiring.

I loved Depeche Mode's happy songs in high school (There were a few. hee hee). Brings back so many memories. =)

James Garcia Jr said...

Thank you so much, Lola. I constantly fight the urge to write about music on my blog for fear that the folks want to talk about books only. Not really. Yet, I could talk about music all day! So this post was right up my alley!
I love the Pink Floyd discussion. I'm a hair metal guy from the 80's but when cd came out and I bought my first player, Dark Side of the Moon was my first cd. Cheers! to Nicole who mentioned the greatest song of all-time: Stairway to Heaven. I'll have to listen to that Slipknot song that all of you have been talking about.
Have a great week!
-James

Vicki Rocho said...

I was SUCH a Mode fan. Okay, still am. Different songs take me back to different times. "World In My Eyes" and "Sweetest Perfection" I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone (he was away for the summer). I sat outside the apartment door because that's all the further I could get the cord to stretch. I love their lyrics and Martin Gore's voice guts me every time.

Ahhhh, thanks for stirring up happy memories!

B. Miller said...

I love this entry. Perhaps it's because I identify with you so strongly, but I feel as if I've read it before... so wonderful. Thank you for sharing these songs and your love of music with us. :)

Christopher said...

My first memory of Pink Floyd came when I was ten years old. Some crazy looking dude came up on me and my friends in a parking lot where we were riding our bikes and jumped at us and landed in some sort of karate stance while holding up a pink lighter. He waved it back and forth expecting us to cheer or start reciting "comfortably numb". Instead we just sort of looked at him dumbfounded and he said "man I can't believe they don't know who pink floyd is!"

I told my uncle about the incident maybe a week later and he told me about the band and how awesome they are (and they are, huge fan now). Funny, my uncle's basement smelled just like the crazy guy in the parking lot.

DL Hammons said...

Gosh...I could go on for hours and hours about music and the way it weaves through the threads of my life. It is with me always. At work, at home, in the car, on the plane, or just jogging down the street. I revel in everything from the classics to stumbling across undiscovered artists.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band has been my favorite since I was an 18 year old high school graduate about to embark on his college career. He taught me there was more to music than three power chords and pop lyrics. "Born to Run" is my favorite song, because it found me at a time when I was afraid to walk out into the world by myself. I have been running...and listening...ever since.

Great post!!!!

Eric W. Trant said...

Just want to say BUMP CHRISTOPHER.

That's an awesome Floyd story.

- Eric

Falen (Sarah) said...

oooh Fiona Apple. Awesome. I love Criminal.

And Snuff by Slipknot is excellent.
I love it so much and get so excited when i hear it on the radio (though it's been dropping off a bit here)

Hart Johnson said...

Music does the same 'take me back' thing--especially songs that had a limited time they were popular, as those have less 'noise' to wack the memories out of line. I can't write to it though. I think I don't have enough excess brain power. Once upon a time I wrote to music, but the ability has left me completely. I usually write to the white noise of a bathroom fan.

Lisa said...

I can't imagine life without music or books. Lately, when I write, I use music with no lyrics to drown out the sounds around me. And if I need to get in the mood to write a scene, I listen to the music before I start writing. My Pandora stations tell all - Glenn Miller, Erik Satie, Sara MacLachlan.

Shelley Sly said...

I'm glad you have just as much of an appreciation for music as I do. I couldn't live without it. Music absolutely inspires me (I'm even convinced that music itself is my muse, which I will post about soon) and stirs up so much emotion.

I'm mostly a fan of little known indie bands, but I definitely love some good old rock.

Lola Sharp said...

I am enjoying reading all your comments, and how music is powerful in your lives. :)

Christopher, that is a great story!

Summer, I think many of us can relate to your personal story.

Misery, I'm so glad to have a fangirl! :)

Thank you, all, for stopping by and for sharing yourself with us here. I'm honored and grateful.

..and Eric, what a lovely song to sing to your son. The softer side of Eric. :)

Love,
Lola

Marla said...

Miss Lola ~ This is a wonderful post. Your passion for reading and music and life is absolutely deafening, like the best Eric Clapton concert EVER!

You always inspire me. Always.

What do I listen to...read...write?

What don't I?

Elliot Grace said...

...my feet are balanced on the coffee table, a cold beer in my lap, its buddies, drained and useless, stand guard over my elevated ankles. I've spent the past year pissing away my golden ticket at The U, majoring in Budweiser, and thinking to myself, "I don't need this. I'm good enough to do it on my own. Everyone's told me so."
I close my eyes, which are seeing the world in two's anyway, and listen to Fiona Apple's "Criminal" from the stereo in the dorm next door.
I won't soon forget that moment, that decision, and that song.
I do love Fiona's throaty drawl...but not the choice I made. Live n learn. Live n learn:)

Jon Paul said...

Policy of Truth, my dear, is my absolutest favorite Mode song. Grew up on it, I tell ya.

Now I gotta go find my copy, buried in the boxes in my new digs. It's there somewhere, I know it.

Jen said...

LOVED THIS POST... again here you are Lola rocking my world :)

I love music. A fine frenzy, paramore, depeche mode, you name it I most likely love it...

Reading??? Right now I'm trying to finish up Eat,Pray,Love and work my way over to The forest of hands and teeth.

Writing, oh well I love to write (as you know) and I'm in revisions which is still fun, surprisingly enough!

PS I wanted to let you know I'm hosting a kick ass blog fest and would love if you'd join in on the fun (if you're up for the challenge of course!)

Kazzy said...

PF was such a professional-sounding band. So so good.

Soundtracks to our lives. So true. Nothing takes me back like music.

Samantha Bennett said...

Such a Regina Spektor fan. "The Call" was pretty much my WIPs internal theme song. Fun post!

Lola Sharp said...

Oh Sam, I can't tell you how much I adore Regina. She makes me happy.

Well, Elliot, both of our feet were up to the same song. For different reasons, yes. But, same position.

There is SO much good music out there. I love that there's perfect music for every moment.

Oh, and I love Pandora.

Carol Kilgore said...

Lots of memories here. Thanks for the stroll back in time. I love Pandora, too.

Cold As Heaven said...

I follow you on the Dark Side of the Moon, and Depeche Mode is definately a reminder of high-school days. Now I'm mostly a headbanger, and enjoyed the Slipknot song, though it's not my favorite band. Most of the time I listen to black metal and death metal. Ulysses has been on my reading list for many years. I loved The Dubliners, cool stories and easier to get through >:)

Cold As Heaven

Heather said...

What a fantastic post. Music moves me the same way. I definitely listen to it when I write. I have a playlist for the novel I'm working on and I love it. Every time I hear Avril Lavigne I flash back to my last novel in vivid detail. I love that!

Greenfingers said...

Now Lola...
You have a VERY good taste in music indeed!
I've got everything you like here.
Anybody who can mix Fiona Apple with Slipknot has one interesting mind!!

Theresa Milstein said...

I like many items on your post.

Bad by U2. The Accidental Tourist (book and movie). A few Coldplay songs. Charlotte's Web.

There's more, but I can't think of them now.

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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