Music to my Words – Billy Brag and Wilco – Eisler on the Go.

About Music to my Words :

Music to my Words is intended to be a column about the art of writing and the music that can spark specific emotions, moments, transitions or (yes!) sex scenes in your work.

I wholeheartedly believe music is an essential, unavoidable part of writing and I felt it was a subject that was not covered enough in the writing community so here I am.

Now the concept of this column is to squeeze the most (and the best) words out of your brain as you are typing away. Some of these songs may be hard to listen to in a different (non-creative) context but the point of this selection is to use the music to foster creativity in a different field. You may use those for design, drawing, painting… anything in fact.

Billy Brag and Wilco – Eisler on the Go.

I think I’ve discovered Mermaid Avenue on youtube about eight years ago and I have to say I really wished I had known about this record back in my factory days when I was young and angry and directionless, losing jobs every few months only to land in another warehouse and/or factory.

Because this is working class music, or at least one type of working class music. It’s not the kind you listen to on a shift, not AC/DC or Metallica, as you’re shoveling shit around of building things you’d never use yourself. This is not “the guys are on a strike” music like Dropkick Murphys’ would be, this is “I just lost my job and I don’t know what the fuck’s gonna happen music.”

You need that mid-west, rust-belt, former industrial-gone-to-shit-white-trash feel for a book or a story, go for this song, trust me.

This is a song of dust and pain and uncertainty.

This you walking out the side door of a fucking factory because they wouldn’t let you say bye to the guys once the foreman was done with you and you don’t get to make a scene through the front offices this time around like you may or may not dream you could. This is you walking down those metallic stairs besides a loading dock, facing hundreds of yards of cooked asphalt that have long been claimed by wear and weeds. This is you dragging your ass in the hard summer head without money for cab fare or something to drink and you lie to yourself thinking there must be a water fountain in a city park around somewhere if only there were city parks for guys who worked industrial wastelands. But there aren’t. So you take your blue shirt and those blue pants and you sweat your life away as semis rush by and this stretch of Sherbrooke Street doesn’t even have a sidewalk.

You look at miles and miles of abandoned refineries and find yourself longing for days when throwing so much pollution up in the air was a sign the guys were having a good time. You dream of hockey tickets and fast cars, you dream of a cold beer and travels down south in winter. You dream of socks that don’t have holes at the bottom of them and boots that don’t cut the back of your ankles and there are still miles before you make it home.

Then food, maybe? A beer? If there’s any left. You got your papers, Services Canada opens tomorrow at ten. Give yourself a night to feel like shit and then maybe, who the fuck knows anymore?

The End.

Hope you enjoy these,

Take care,

Ian.

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Music to my Words – Supermachiner, Treading in the Wake of it All

02 - Supermachiner - Treading in the Wake Of it All

About Music to my Words :

Music to my Words is intended to be a column about the art of writing and the music that can spark specific emotions, moments, transitions or (yes!) sex scenes in your work.

I wholeheartedly believe music is an essential, unavoidable part of writing and I felt it was a subject that was not covered enough in the writing community so here I am.

Now the concept of this column is to squeeze the most (and the best) words out of your brain as you are typing away. Some of these songs may be hard to listen to in a different (non-creative) context but the point of this selection is to use the music to foster creativity in a different field. You may use those for design, drawing, painting… anything in fact.

Supermachiner – Treading in the Wake of it All

Supermachiner is probably the most obscure project I’ll be covering for Music to my Words and it is certainly not an easy listening but it is indeed a very creative one. Think of the entire project as a post-apocalyptic art project that I would dare to link to the likes of Matthew Barney. Each piece is a deconstruction of a very specific emotion or a dreaded “possible” reality that we may all be facing sooner rather than later.

It’s no secret that I’ve always considered Jacob Bannon as one of the most influential artist in my life so it’s now wonder at least three of his projects will find themselves in this column over the course of the year. Whether it was his way of doing business, his passion for his music, his label or the way he did visual arts that no one else was doing, I’ve always felt compelled by his drive and dedication to everything he was doing.

Treading in the Wake of it All is definitely a song you use to write the “strange.” It is something you use for noir or very dark sci-fi.

It’s that moment when the sun wakes up in the morning but the pollution is so thick even the brightest of sunshine will only give you a faint orange hue through clouds that never seem to dissipate. You make your way out of your ramshackle house to find an old man walking around with a handheld gaslight as he’s headed for some rest after a night of chasing demons away from the neighborhood.

Evil lurks in the shadows in the form of dozens of abandoned little robots that seemed to have merge with plants and the agonizing flesh of insects or rodents. You curse away life as you get ready for your day because resources are scarce and any inch of steel or ounce of protein is valuable in such a day an age.

You look to the sky to find drones, dozens of them, that may or may not have given up on surveying everyone living under them a decade ago. How they manage to stay up there inspire of the terrible weather and the lack of solar power is beyond you but you have much on your plate to feed the younglings so you quickly dissipate any idea of rebellion from your mind as you tuck a scarf over your face and make your way down the alley.

You watch the old man enter his cabin at the very corner of the street, his own little strip of the world safe and sound for at least one more day.

“If only Gaia could find a way to get us all out of this one,” you think. But people seemed to have lost hope such a long, long time ago.

Bio (From Wikipedia):

Jacob Bannon (born October 15, 1976[1]) is the vocalist, lyricist, and graphic artist for the American metalcore band Converge. He is the founder and owner of the record label Deathwish Inc. and the author of many visual works for independent punk rock and heavy metal musicians. Bannon has also composed and performed experimental music as Supermachiner with Ryan Parker and more recently as Wear Your Wounds.

Listen to the song here :

Music to my Words – The Faint, I Disappear

Obviously, I’m gonna kick off this column talking about sex because…well sex sells, fuck it. I mean, we’re gonna get to the deep, dark, glorious, uplifting or daring in future weeks but let me say it boldly :

The Faint is perfect fuck music and if you didn’t know that already, I feel sorry for you.

I picked “I Disappear” for this column but you could probably just put the entire playlist for a while and be just fine music wise, half your game is covered. You need to write a scene where young adults are partying and looking to come together and fuck, stick to the Faint. I don’t care how long the band’s been at it, it still works and it’s still perfect.

The Faint is the kind of music you use when you want to flirt with that comms’ major you’ve had your eye on since September and she’s got that Anna Kendrick something about her you can’t help but like.

The haze of midnight passes and you manage to get some time alone together after a loud party or a show and you want to make your move because that’s how stories, lives and history are made.

You find yourselves at home in that old couch of yours and the mixed matched furniture of college students who still have to do more with less with their lives. You’ve been talking for a while and maybe you’re both tipsy but not drunk. The signals all line up, you moved inches from one another, the couch seems too small to hold both of you for a moment and the rest of the universe has long since disappeared from your mind.

You make sure to give her enough space to come for when she’s ready for that, but you need to be there and the mood needs to be perfect. Don’t you ever think about putting some shit like Arcade Fire unless you want her to shoot her fucking brain out of boredom, trust me… you’re setting yourself up to lose. Stick to Metric, stick to The Faint. It’s got that relentless beat you need and a bit of an end of the world feel to it too. A sense of urgency is always sexy.

It starts off brushing off her knee or just an ankle coming together. The faint touch of skin is enough to light up your mind, make your heart beat faster. You’re finally bridging that gap that’s gonna make or break your evening. Then you make your way to her thigh as she runs a hand behind your neck and leans in for a kiss. You manage so get a feel for some skin at the very edge of her shirt and your breath is heavy now as your lips come together the way only writers seem to be able to dream about.

You need a relentless beat to get there. The Faint my just be what you need.

That’s it for now,

Take care out there and write better!

Ian.

Bio (From Wikipedia): The Faint is an American indie rock band. Formed in Omaha Nebraska, the band consists of Todd Fink, Graham Ulicny, Dapose, Joel Petersen and Clark Baechle. The Faint was originally known as Norman Bailer and included Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes, with whom the Faint toured in 2005). He quit shortly after the band was formed, though the Faint continued to share a spot with Bright Eyes on saddle creek records.

Listen to it on Spotify :

https://open.spotify.com/track/53Qpn8LPa0IhFCTiPO0Bbm?si=EmwQQ-oETSGHE-11PaVIgA