So last month I talked about the books and films that have inspired me or inspire me as a writer. Those two things are high impact on my overall attempt to bring you something half decent. The most influential form of art though is music. I hint on the during my long-winded post about film and how I see each scene with music or soundtracks or something. I don’t actually pay attention to myself so what I said I have no idea, but I’m sure it is close enough to what I may or may not have said. The point is that music is a huge factor into me doing anything in life. I’m broken maybe? But I can’t do much of anything without music and when I do have to? Well, I lose interest pretty damn quick.
I listen to all kinds of music and if it has a good enough back beat I’ll sit through it with no complaints. Some of my favorite artists are Run the Jewels, Nirvana, Placebo, Jack White, Nine Inch Nails, The Devil Makes Three, Die Antwoord, Misfits, Alkaline Trio, and most of all Modest Mouse. I’ll circle back to Modest Mouse, but if you are into weird fun rap music Die Antwoord is amazing. I fell into Zef pretty damn hard. I love their I don’t give a fuck attitude. This idea that I am into what I am into and you can either join us or move along. Something very freeing about that. I like way more artist then this, but these are the ones that I come back to the most. I’m also a huge fan of Prince, Primus, White Zombie, Slayer, Jay-Z, Queens of the Stone Ages, The Clash, Psyclon Nine, Brown Bird, Tool, AFI, Pixies, and the list goes on. 80’s music is my favorite genre of music. I really think that the best songs were written during this era, but I also think a lot of it has been lost and dated because of the rise of electric instruments. If you take the time to strip away all the flash. The songs written at this time are soul-crushing juggernauts that can stand up to any music from any era. The 80’s was very much a victim of innovation. Okay, I’m done.
Back to what this blog is supposed to be about. Bands or music that influence me to write. The top two artists that come to mind are Alkaline Trio and Modest Mouse. The rest of the music I listen too I need to function in life but to live I need these two bands. There is something about these two bands that drive me to say anything, to set a mood, or keep on going. Narrowing down the reasons for Alkaline Trio it would have to be the way the music is upbeat pop-punk with some of the most depressing lyrics around. The duality of it all drives me to keep on going. No matter how bad things are we have to keep on going. My favorite track from them is “Steamer Trunk.” I also enjoy “Crawl,” “Nose Over Tail,” and “5-3-10-4.” That’s the short list of all my favorites.
Okay, so Modest Mouse. Issac Brock, the lead singer, and songwriter is my favorite writer. I could go on all day about Charles Bukowski, Langston Hughes, John Steinbeck, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, John Fante, Ira Levin, or Sylvia Plath, but in the end, Brock is my favorite. But how could a songwriter beat out all of those great writers? The simple reason is that I put on a Modest Mouse song like “Lives,” “Dark Center of the Universe,” or “Bukowski,” and I’m whole again. There is something about his words that bring me into a state of calm. A state of clarity that only Bukowski has ever come close too.
Brock’s lyrics are often complex and in the simplest form. Well as simple as he can get them. The thoughts and emotions he is able to dig out of me are beyond anything I have read or written or heard. His lyrics and words allow me to see the world in a different way. Good or bad I welcome that different perspective even if in most cases he and I think very similarly. I think because we do think similarly that Modest Mouse is a reassurance of yes keep going. Say what you want to say motivation. That I want and crave from the outside world.
Perspective though is what I love about reading in general. It is why I love reading all of your blog post from all over the world. I look forward to them every day. Perspective can have a profound effect on us as people. Something I think we should all strive for. I know we can’t all agree on the same things or want them either, but at the very least we need to understand them. I accept this every day. I’m grateful for it as well. Who wants to live in a world where we learn nothing at all?
This long ass post was inspired by a lot of things, but the most direct inspirations were Ward Clever and Mel Gutier. So if you are looking for some different music or great writing I suggest you check them out.