Music: The Sensory Edition

If you know me, or have followed this blog for any amount of time, you realize that I love music. I use music for mood alteration, inspiration, and escape. My preferred listening method is live, in concert. For sanity sake, I try to attend at least two live performances a year but life doesn’t always allow that.

My second and third choices for listening are earphones and in the car—alone. 100_4829

Having songs plugged into my ears is great for tuning out exterior noise, but it isn’t always practical when supervising children. Plus, I don’t want to subject those around me to my butchered attempts when singing along.

When driving, I usually have my nifty homeschool kids in the car and they like music, too, just not always the same stuff I like. I used to put the “Children’s Music” playlist on shuffle when we went anywhere but I found myself getting a little snappy after fifteen minutes. So now the whole iPod—which is attached to a cassette adapter because I’m so last century—gets put on shuffle when we go.

A Disney song = the kids happy, or most of them, and often me.

A little Mitch Malloy = me happy, and sometimes the kids.

Queen = everyone is good.

Sesame Street = one happy kid.

The Beach Boys = all good, for most songs.

And on, and on.

There are a few times it’s easier to skip to the next song because the natives are noisily protesting, but most of the time they settle down when I say “it’s Mommy’s turn.” When a song I love comes on, my immediate reflex is to turn it up, but with boys with sensory issues in the car, they drown out the music with their own shrieking of discomfort. (That or I get “What’s Mommy singing?” from my teen with autism, as if he can’t tell I’m trying to sing the song that we’re listening to. Funny kid.)

All this—and more—is why my favorite non-live music experience is in the car. ALONE. I can turn it up as loud as I want and sing off-key without annoying people. (I’d also say without embarrassing myself, but I never know who is watching from the outside of the car.) Listening in a vehicle is a step above earphones because the music cocoons your whole self, not just your ears. At times you can feel it, but it’s an immersive experience and the steering wheel makes a good keyboard or drum.

What’s your listening habit?

Ricky Nelson Remembered

Last month, I posted more information about the vacation I took in the spring, focusing on the Friday morning I spent at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

This time around I’m going to focus on my night out in Morristown, NJ.
Those who know me—or have been following this blog for long—realize that I love Rick Nelson. Ricky is the King around here, not Elvis. And The Beach Boys trump The Beatles any day.

CORRODED, the novel I’m seeking publication for, is heavily influenced by Rick Nelson. If you haven’t already, check out my soundtrack here. Yes, Corroded begins and ends with Rick Nelson, and noticeably, the main character is named after one of his songs.

The reason I went to NJ/NY when I did was for a Ricky Nelson Remembered concert. As an early birthday gift, my sister bought tickets—Golden Circle, baby! Please excuse my geek moment.

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Before the show, big sister took me to get my hair done at a local salon. At thirty-five years old, my virgin hair was highlighted for the first time. Foil wraps anyone? After the show, I met and collect autographs from bassist Tommy Vee (son of the legendary Bobby Vee) and original Stone Canyon Band member David Morgan (who I called “Mr. Morgan” because a SCB member is HUGE in my book.) After standing in line, I got my turn to chat with Matthew and Gunnar—friendly as always for another fantabutitus moment. Enjoy the goofy pictures.

Corroded Soundtrack

The thing for authors—especially young adult ones—to do these days is to create PLAYLISTS for their novels. I’ve written song lists for SOUNDTRACKS (because I see my stories as movies in my head) for all my writing, beginning twenty years ago.
Yes, with the first novel-length story I began at the age of fourteen, I had an inspiring soundtrack of hair bands. Ever visit me in my teens? My walls were filled with photos from Metal Edge magazine and posters bought at the local Sam Goody’s or Spencer Gifts. I was the renegade rocker—the walking oxymoron. I had a “Youth Gone Wild” Skid Row t-shirt but never skipped school or done anything worthy of arrest. I spent my money on cassettes/CDs, magazines, posters, concert tickets, t-shirts… my teen idols were long haired crooners, beat thumping bass players, and those glorious keyboarders.
But I’d always had a wide range of musical taste. I bought J.S. Bach albums while wearing my denim-and-leather jacket (I was told by the sales associate “you don’t look like the powdered wig type.) It isn’t Christmas until The Beach Boys album is on the stereo. And I still love a little “Motownphilly”, “The One and Only”, “Forever Your Girl”, and “Electric Youth.” Can you name the artists who sing those songs?
To bring my old school soundtrack to the new century, I’m including YouTube links to the BEST videos I found for my odd assortment of songs that express the themes and emotions of Corroded, in chronological order. Yes, there is a heavy dose of Rick Nelson. I adore him—the original teen idol.
Take a few minutes and watch—but more importantly LISTEN—to the songs you aren’t familiar with. Enjoy!
Hello Mary Lou (Main character’s name, with a groovy 70s vibe.)
Young Emotions (Ricky was so smooth and dreamy…)
Weird (Now this is a WEIRD video! First time seeing it.)
The Very Thought of You (He’s so much better than Elvis.)
String Along (Never enough Rick!)
Burning Down Inside (Peppy live version with a bonus song on the end, because Tyketto rocks.)
You Are a Tourist (Song I heard on the local independent radio station last month. It struck me.)
Anybody Listening? (A profound sound with amazing vocals–Geoff Tate of Queensryche is the bomb.)
Tears of the Dragon (I could listen to this song over and over again—and have.)
Dying to Be Alive (Yes, two Hanson songs. They both fit.)
Somewhere I Belong (About as heavy as I get…)
Start from the Dark (By my FAVORITE band. Long live Europe!)
Spirit of the Underdog (They rock and had two songs to fit the mood, back-to-back.)
Right Before Your Eyes (Rick Nelson’s sons.)
Life (Amazing what you can find on YouTube!)
And as a tribute, because I just found this and the hair is awesomely 80s.
Are you ready to read Corroded now? Let me know your comments—either here or on Twitter or FaceBook. Thanks for stopping by!