I made the mistake of looking at my iPod's song count and noticed a certain monotony lately. I could probably count on two hands how many albums I listened to during the actual writing portions of my day (I would count on more hands, but I've only been able to track down the two currently on my person).

I wrote the bulk of the first draft last year while my wife and I were living in Hawaii. To cut through the peace and bliss and sun-soaked laziness of Hawaii,  I listened almost exclusively to the albums "David Comes to Life" by Fucked Up and "The Monitor" by Titus Andronicus (pictured). Those who know these albums will understand that the beach isn't the first thing that comes to mind.

Now I'm temporarily in Texas, editing and writing and thinking about beginning to enter the planning stages of outlining an approach to a calendar in which one day on that calendar will indicate I should begin plotting another novel. (I'll get there eventually.) The scenery has changed, and so has the music. Now it's Kurt Vile, Andrew Bird, and lots of Neko Case. (Oh, and Metz. One of these things is not like the others.)

I know I'm not alone is making such drastic changes from aggressive anarchist punk to alt-country, but what struck me is how unconscious the switch was. I just began preferring different types of music without making any effort to say, "OK, fight scene; cue Titus Andronicus."

So my question to my fellow writers is, Do you naturally gravitate toward a certain type of music at different stages of the writing process? And if so, do you have any recommendations for other aggressive anarchist punk bands? My calendar indicates I'll need them soon.


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    A former student and teacher of philosophy, I write a daily stock market/humor column for a major financial organization from my home base north of Austin, Texas. If I find any words lying around after deadline, I stuff them into a novel-in-progress. It turns out that these are usually the wrong words.


    May 2013