my writing habits tend to change with the type of music that
happens to be playing at the time, so in the course of
writing the "butterfly effect" and "(ex)trinsecus," i've
compiled a neat set of cds that help shape the "mood" of
what i want to write.
TBE is influenced by, as you can probably guess,
showtunes - mainly the cast recordings of The Music Man &
Tim Rice and Elton John's Aida (My Strongest Suit was on a
continual loop when I wrote A Day in the Life of the Queen
of Debt). also getting some spin was Annie Lennox's Diva,
The Crow soundtrack, Violent Femmes' Add it Up, and a couple
of songs from RENT.
for extrinsecus, i wanted a much darker mood, so i dug
through my older thrash metal collection (yes, i was a metal
punk in high school) and came up with Overkill's Years of
Decay, Megadeth's So Far, So Good, So What, Black Sabbath's
Paranoid, Ministry's A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste,
and The Black Rider by Tom Waits and William Burroughs, some
of which hadn't been listened to in a decade.
in any case, i was hunting for a random cd to settle in for
a day of DTP muck, which i emphatically state, i DON'T DO,
but got handed off on anyway because, as it turned out, i
was voted 'unlikely to have an engineers sense of design'
(in other words, my work would probably be the least
butt-ugly). by pretty much random choice, i pulled faith no
more's the real thing from the case and popped it in.
talk about an 80s flashback. when epic spun on - you know,
'you want it all but you can't have it/it's in your face but
you can't grab it,' realization popped into my head.
"hey, this song's about HEROIN!"
it seems obvious now, but i don't seem to recall
understanding it at all in 1990 - just attributed it to a
bunch of inane lyrics.
it brought me back to about five years ago
when a friend and i caught a flashback video on vh1 - olivia
newton-john's 'physical.' as we watched the video, i turned
to her and said, "you know, all this time i used to think
this song was about exercising." (of course, i was 12 when
this particular piece of popcorn was a hit)
she nodded, her slight expression of shock mirroring mine.
"me too, jen. me too."