Best Writing Music of 2009, Part Two

By Jason Boog Comment

album_main_bs150.jpgJust in time for the new year, here are our readers’ most inspirational songs of the year. Click here to read part one, and don’t forget to check out this GalleyCat editor’s favorite songs.

Our Australian reader Alister McMillan contributed these thoughts: “Michael Connelly advocates restricting any writing soundtrack to instrumental music. I can see the point that singing and lyrics might distract a writer. But what about the moments when blockage, doubt and fury paralyse the word count? At those times we need to know that someone else feels as bereft and hateful. Anything by Elvis Costello will do — it’s literate yet offers the right line of spite and self-pity. I’m also a fan of You Are All My People by I’m Not Jim (pictured, via) otherwise known as novelist Jonathan Lethem and songwriter Walter Salas-Humara.”

Reader Sue Keck sent in her favorite writing songs: “‘Blues When You Need Them’ and ‘A Thousand Small Things’ by Rodney Jones can take me deeper into a character every time. ‘Surrounded’ by Laurence Elder As a friend of mine said the first time he heard the song, ‘This guy sings like wings fly.’ Lifts me above writers block everytime. ‘So Easy’ by Laurence Elder provides a steady groove for writing.”

Reader Randy Russell sent in the songs he listened to while writing his YA novel for HarperCollins (due in 2011): “The Way You Look Tonight, Ophelia, Blue Shadows on the Trail, All My Lovin, Still Rock n Roll to Me, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

He explained: “Gutsy amateurs, especially kids, seeing an incredibly crafted classic all the way through, often with barest possible instrumental accompaniment (ukulele preferred), on raw talent alone was all the ‘voice’ I needed to create my own fictive voice day after day, page after page. Amateurs not only rock, baby. They swing. Writing a novel is at the heart of it an amateur giving it all you got. Even when it’s your tenth book.”

Julie K. Rose sent this list:
Apollo, Brian Eno & Harold Budd
Carousel, Robin Guthrie
After the Night Falls, Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd
100 Best Guitar Classics
Dowland Lute Music, Vol. 2, Nigel North
Meditation, Magnificant and Philip Cave (Gregorian Chant)

Reader David Everitt-Carlson had a short and sweet list: “Anything by Sufjan Stephens particularly the records, Michigan and Illinois.”

Reader Georgia Beaverson had these favorites:
* “Attic Faith” album (esp. “Christmasstreet” and “Amsterdam Weeps”) by the luminous Emmett Tinley
* “Blue Lights on the Runway” album by Bell X1
* “Surface Tension” album by the Plague Monkeys
* “Blackbird” album by One Day International
* “This Is” album by Tychonaut (aka Plague Monkeys)

Reader Kate Mytty had this list:

Surrender is Treason – Crooked Fingers
Details of the War – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Olive Hearts – Bowerbirds
See Line Woman – Nina Simone
The Longest Day – Megafaun
Bag of Hammers – Thao