Sunday, January 15, 2012


For many of us, certain pieces of music sink into our souls, deeply and tenaciously. The one album that's most influenced my fiction has been Tom Waits' Closing Time. I don't mean I've spun stories literally from the songs' lyrics. But the feel, the spirits of certain ones have definitely served as the inspiration for specific works. (There've been others, of course, but Closing Time has been tightly coiled around something inside me since the early Eighties.)

This song, for example, influenced Electric Melty Tingles.

Every time I write a Jackson Spey / Adin Swift story, I listen at least once to this:

My next DSP release, A Hole in God's Pocket, came a little from this:

Recently, I've been harried by the idea of writing a story titled Nelly Queen, maybe without a HEA, spurred on by this:

Have any of you had similarly "clingy" music in your lives, the kind that's insinuated itself into your psyches?


Chris said...

Oh, "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You" is probably my favorite Tom Waits song.

Hmm. Maybe "This Year" by the Mountain Goats:

Val Kovalin said...

Ummm, I don't know. I'm too susceptible to the "earworm" thing where you can never escape having songs on a constant play loop in the back of your mind. Soon, I think, authors will have the capability to embed song files into their ebooks so that readers can click and hear for themselves which songs are supposed to match which scenes.

K. Z. Snow said...

Chris, that song . . . o_O

Is it a (bloody) tongue-in-cheek anthem for teen angst?

Val, I think embedded songs would be great! There's no better mood-setter than music.

Chris said...

Well, the video is puzzling. :) But the song itself is off of an album called "The Sunset Tree", which singer John Darnielle put together after his stepfather died, apparently getting out his issues from growing up with said abusive and drunk stepfather.

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh, really? I'll have to listen again and pay closer attention to the lyrics. The vid makes the song seem more campy than serious.

Chris said...

Yeah, that video... :)

Here's another off that album, "Dance Music" - no video to distract!

Tam said...

I'm really not much of a music person. I wonder if that's something you pick up early in life? My family wasn't much for music. Not against it or anything, just not really something that was around much.

I sometimes here a song on the radio and thing "Oh, that would be the good basis for a story" then .... ppphhhhthtttt Gone from my brain. I have to rely on my kid to remind me about music. And Tom Waits, I confess I'm clueless. Like I said, my kid, so LMFAO or Eminem might be more in my lexicon. :-)

K. Z. Snow said...

Tam, I think it has a LOT to do with upbringing.

My parents owned three different taverns in Milwaukee at three different points in history, so I literally learned my first words off a jukebox that spun 45s: "Good Night Irene." (And I still remember the words to other songs on that Wurlitzer.) My parents loved music; my dad would "play" the washboards beneath the bar. Customers would give me coins to plug the machine. I was dancing the damned polka practically as soon as I could walk.

So . . . yeah. :-)