Friday, April 9, 2010

Heavy Metal / Hard Rock

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out. Today is H - Heavy metal and hard rock!

* And just to let you know, my iPad came yesterday afternoon! (So I was playing with it all last night.) I hope to have a review of the device for tomorrow. So far, it's damn cool!

Music is a big part of my life. I minored in music in college and currently play guitar. Nothing relaxes me more in the evening than thirty minutes playing either my electric or acoustic guitar.

I also enjoy listening to music. My iTouch is loaded with music, CDs live in my car, and my iPod is essential gym equipment. I listen to music when I write as well. I know many writers prefer silence, but my creativity flows better with tunes in the background.

What type of music? You've probably guessed I lean toward the heavy end of the spectrum. I prefer progressive rock, with its complex melodies, time changes, and guitar riffs. Most of my music is not "accessible" - as in most radio stations won't play it. However, between Pandora, iTunes, and YouTube, I have no problem finding the latest rock music.

Just to give you an idea, here's a few of my favorite bands:

Dream Theater
In Flames
Shadows Fall
Symphony X
Catherine Wheel

Your musical tastes may vary!

Now that you understand the place music has in my life, how important is it to you? What genre do you prefer? Do you play an instrument? And do you play music while writing?


Jamie Gibbs said...

Nice choice of music! It's great to see another Serenity fan around too, I've been the only one I know of for ages :P

Music is vital to me. I have music playing for most of my waking life, and I've usually got music playing while I sleep too. I find it inspires me, helps me focus or calms me down enough to sleep.

My usual tastes are prog/power metal and symphonic metal; some of my favourite bands are Kamelot, Serenity, Iced Earth, Falconer, Epica etc. Power metal is what I play when I write too, the imagery that comes up when listening to power metal helps immensely when i write fantasy.
When I do academic work, I always play Iron Maiden to motivate me and help me focus. I do have a soft spot for Billy Joel and Genesis, as well as jazz and blues (I used to play alto and tenor saxophone).

To get to sleep I always play Pink Floyd's The Division Bell, seems to knock me out within a few minutes.

Also, yay for iPad! It's a tad on the expensive side for me at the moment, but I do want one, mainly for the virtual bookcase that's on there. Looking forward to an iPad review (and pictures!)

Liza said...

I don't listen to music while I write, but I do while I walk and it inspires me enough to generally jog a few ideas. Looking forward to the I-pad review.

Hannah said...

I listen to pretty much anything and everything, from Bob Marley to Tom Waits, Beethooven to Ah-Ha, Justin Timberlake to Sigur Ros, Megadeth to Michael Buble. I don't think I've met a genre I haven't liked. It makes iChabod a little schizophrenic at times buthe throws some mixes at me the I never thought possible.

I always listen to music when I write too. It spurs me on and is often times a great inspiration.

I'm excited for the iPad review!

Lola Sharp said...

Music is ALWAYS on in my world.
Much like I am a literary omnivore (I read and enjoy every fiction genre), I am also a music omnivore.
Different music for different moods/situations...really, my taste runs the gamut. There is excellent and horrible music in every genre.
That said, I do lean toward alt rock most often.

Will Burke said...

I'm pretty diverse in my music too, but at the end of the day, I lean towards the rock/metal. Love listening to music as I write, it's one of my few opportunities to listen for any legnth of time.

Summer Frey said...

What Palindrome said. My musical tastes are quite broad and mostly only exclude country.

I definitely listen to music while I write. I either have a Pandora station or a playlist specifically for the piece that helps me auto-focus. If I don't have anything in particular, I like listening to movie scores. The Dark Knight score is incredible.

I play the piano and violin, and I sing. :-)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I know a few of those bands! Looking forward to your take on the iPad.

Creative Chronicler said...

I like a little bit of everything, depends on the mood I'm in.

I wish I played an instrument. I dabbled with piano when I was younger and here's a little known fact, as a teenager I took opera lessons (a was a pageant girl, that was was talent. scary, huh?)

Annika said...

Hi Alex and thank you for the comment, you are so right!
I have to say I am with you 100% on the metal and rock music! Pantera and In flames (Goooo Sweden!) are great choices.
Nothing better to start the day with something heavy or hard, pumps me right up!

Helen Ginger said...

I'm one of those that don't listen to music while I write, but I do love music otherwise. I like a variety, but mostly songs I can sing along with (in my car or when I'm alone at home - I'm not much of a singer). I don't play an instrument, although my mother, when I was quite young, did send me to accordion lesson. And, yes, I deliberately left off the "s" on lesson.

Straight From Hel


Now you have my attention, Music,
My mother played the piano which I supposed is why I could pick tunes out by the age of 2. I went to proper lessons at 4 yrs and won my first award at 5. I also entered many examinations for "The London College Of Music" and the Guildhall School OfMusic, When I was 14 yrs I wanted to edge away from the classical music as pop and rock was just coming on the scene. So I went to modern music.
I can still play the piano or keyboard as it is now and my love of music has never wavered. I have an IPOD WHICH IS ALMOST FULL,if I go for a walk it's playing as I go along.My favourite singers are Daniel O Donnell, Elvis, Cliff Richard, and many, many more.
Think I better shut up now.


DEZMOND said...

What??? You've given letter H to Heavy Metal instead of Hollywood Spy??? I am not your friend anymore!! :)))))

I hope those neighbors of yours aren't complaining about your evening guitar concerts :P

I also adore music, and probably wouldn't be able to live without it. I'm constantly singing some song in my head.

Sarah Ahiers said...

i'm a hard rock person as well and our local rock station does play a few of your favorite bands listed.
I had a complete mucial taste change about 8-9 years ago. I hit rock and never went back.

Of course, this is for everyday listening, not writing music

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jamie, Serenity is awesome! I find many of the best prog rock bands come from Europe, too. And nothing like a little Maiden to rev up the writing!

Palin , that is quite the variety.

Good for you, Lola and Will!

Summer, you are quite the talented girl.

CC, opera is really tough to learn, so good on you for trying.

Annika, you metal girl, you!

Helen, I think one accordion lesson would be all it'd take!

An award at 5? That's amazing, Yvonne!

I got you covered at a later date, Dez!

Falen, proud to know you.

Natasha said...

I like Rock, but not Hard Rock. Liked country when I was younger, but no longer.

Actually, I can manage without music if I have to.

~ Rayna

Glynis Peters said...

I rarely listen to music as I write. If I am in a loud mood, I get out the rock, if I am in a quiet place, easy listening does it for me.

Adele said...

Dream Theatre are freaking awesome!!

Anonymous said...

I love music... books and music are my addictions. :) I will listen to almost anything but since I have more musical interests than money, my CD/MP3 collection tends to be mostly contemporary Christian with some favorite musicians such as Billy Joel thrown in there. If I had to pick favorites I would say praise and worship music, jazz, instrumental (classical or otherwise) and random pick-me-up tunes every once in a while. I have appreciation for country music (after all, I grew up in Nashville!) but don't really like it much anymore. I don't favor rap or hip-hop either (which don't even really qualify as music in my mind...) :)

I played the flute and piccolo through high school and a bit in college. Still have the flute and would love to find somewhere local to play, but I am sure I am a bit rusty. One of my goals in life is to learn to play piano as well. I can pick out tunes but not really play. I'm hoping to be able to let my little boy (who loves music too!) take piano lessons when he is old enough and maybe I'll learn while he is learning. :)

I get inspired by music, but when it comes to writing from that inspiration, the music is usually off. It depends on the music though... and what I am trying to write.

Good post! (I have some appreciation for heavy metal as well, my older sisters were fans so I grew up with some of that as well... though that was 20-something years ago!)

Anonymous said...

Hmm, how are you on Within Temptation? Although might be a bit more symphonic than your usual...

The Old Silly said...

Yes is one of my all time favorite bands! Awesome musicians and songwriters.

B. Miller said...

I do listen to music when writing sometimes, but not every session. Sometimes I listen to a song on repeat as I compose a scene, sometimes I require complete silence, and sometimes I listen to the playlist I created for the WIP. It just depends on what my ADD dictates for the day!

Nice post, Alex! Have a wonderful weekend.

DEZMOND said...

"I got you covered at a later date, Dez!"

oh, so I see you easily crack under threats :PPP

Beth Zimmerman said...

I enjoy music ... especially because I find that uplifting background music can have a serious (positive) impact on my attitude and some times behavior! Never developed much of a taste for Hard Rock or Heavy Metal though.

Looking forward to the IPad review!

Thanks for the comments!

Tara said...

Ditto to Lola, unsurprisingly. All the way down to the lean toward alt. rock.

Lisa said...

I love music! I especially love when that certain new song comes out and just grabs you by the throat. Ahhhh...:) RUSH is awesome, btw!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Music plays a very important part in my writing. I have a writing tracks file on my computer and ipod and use it when I'm writing. I have songs from soundtracks for action scenes, love scenes, creepy gothic name it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Damn straight, Hagelrat!

Melody, you'd be surprised how fast you'd pick it up again.

Alex, Within Temptation is great.

Cool, Marvin!

Miller, you have an ADD muse?

Dez, I don't like conflict.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and sharing your musical muse.

Jemi Fraser said...

Life without music is unimaginable. I have a fairly wide range of musical tastes - but lean toward lighter fare. I did play the piano but haven't had one since I moved out of my parents' place. I can still pick out a few tunes. My son plays the guitar, but my fingers got a little arthritic early and won't work on it. I love, love the guitar.

Blah said...

Yay! Rush! Quite possibly one of the greatest Canadian bands ever!

My tastes in music really are varied. I prefer folk and world music, but I also listen to quite a bit of jazz and classical. Oh, and I love 80's music too - the more synth the better, I always say.


Kirsten Lesko said...

Music helps me write & often helps me to overcome writer's block. I have play lists for each POV character to help me get into their heads.

Ella said...

I love music, many types: Rock,
some current stuff, Hard rock, jazz and classical, a little country.

Music is the universal language~
Great post!

ggray said...

Yay for Dream Theater, I love Fates Warning and Paradise Lost too and still listen to them when I write, in addition to more contemporary bands. Thanks for posting this and reminding me to hunt out my Dream Theater cd's.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, you are so right.

Jayne, Rush is THE greatest band ever!

Ggray, which Dream Theater album is your favorite? I'd pick "Awake" although it's difficult to chose. And Fates Warning is good, too.

Arlee Bird said...

Music has always been such a big part of my life. I played violin when I was a kid. In 1977 I joined the musician's union in Richmond, VA in order to play fiddle in a dinner theater production of the muscial The Robber Bridegroom which was the highlight of my career as a musician, although as a juggler I always billed myself as "The Juggling Violinist".

I listen to a lot of classical music, but prog rock is a big favorite. Besides many of those already listed I like Jethro Tull and Porcupine Tree. Prog is some of the best rock of all.

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