What I’m Listening To

Having posted a little while back about Ronel’s new speculative fiction podcast, I thought I’d talk about some of the other things I’m listening to these days, both while I write and before I write.

I recently stumbled upon Brandon Sanderson’s weekly podcast Writing Excuses, which he hosts alongside fellow spec fic writers Howard Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Dan Wells. If you have never listened to their discussions before, you are missing out on an amazing source of inspiration and critical analysis of writing; I’m actually a little upset that I didn’t find this podcast sooner. Now on their tenth season, these four have covered a variety of topics, from big things like editing and worldbuilding to the subtler nuances, like using the city as a character and the health concerns that come with being a writer. I’m backtracking through their archives right now and learning a ton, and I can’t recommend Writing Excuses enough.

As for while I’m writing, I’m fairly hooked on Postmodern Jukebox, a musical group led by Scott Bradlee. Basically they take recent hits and old classics and cover them in a totally different style that, in my opinion, makes the songs one hundred times better, with the assistance of a variety of talented lead singers. A few of my favorites include their 1970s soul versions of Maroon 5’s “Maps” and Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” and their 1930s jazz version of “Stacy’s Mom.” If I had to pick a favorite singer among their lineup, though, I think it would be Morgan James. Here’s her singing a piano/vocal cover of “Take Me to Church”:

While we’re on the topic of listening, you might want to check out some recent activity from some of my fellow writers:

  • The awesome Michael Casteels was recently interviewed on Bruce Kauffman’s radio show “Finding a Voice,” about his work, his small press company, and his new Interim Reading Series. You can listen to the interview, and a recording of the first Interim reading, here: https://findingavoiceoncfrcfm.wordpress.com/
  • As part of the Rocking the Page 2015, my friend and mentor Stuart Ross posted a short reading of his work, on location in Cobourg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x30yVGoZ93k

One thought on “What I’m Listening To

  1. Hi Brandon,

    Postmodern Jukebox sounds awesome, will have to give them a try 🙂

    I can’t get the hang of listening to vocals while I’m writing – I tend to pay more attention to the music than what I’m busy typing. But anything along the lines of deep house or electronica I love.

    Another good place to get awesome writing music is Focus@Will. Their music is specifically geared toward aiding focus. They also have a section for “creativity”, which is fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing, and happy writing!

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