Music Monday: From One Ben to the Next

I’ve been obsessed with Breaking Benjamin for the past few months, which you may recall if you’ve spent any time around this blog, but I recently went to see Ben in concert. It wasn’t Ben Burnley though. It was one of my other favorite Bens:

Ben Freaking Folds!

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Here’s what’s important: Ben Folds is awesome. I love him. He is crazy talented. And that’s all there is to say.

This was my second time seeing Ben Folds in concert. Both times, he performed with a symphony. Classy.

I’m not doing a concert review or summary or anything like that, because, frankly, it would be just a lot of me raving about how insanely amazingly (double adverbs?!?) awesome Ben Folds truly is. 😀

Instead, I’ve decided to highlight a few of my favorite Ben songs. Perhaps if you are new to Ben, this may serve as your intro. Enjoy.

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Breaking Benjamin’s Ember: An Album Review

Happy Music Monday! I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting this post. My apologies for taking my sweet time.

Part of it is my clinical procrastination issues, but mostly I’ve put this off because I wanted to listen to the album a few more times before trying to write about it.

Had you asked me after my second listen, I would’ve said it was fine. Just fine. Just OK. All the songs sorta blend together. But it’s still Breaking Benjamin, so I’m on board.

But now? I love this album. I just really love this album. Ben and Co. have done it again. Let’s break this thing down track by track. I haven’t read or listened to a single review, so this is my 100% unbiased opinion as a total fan.

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I feel compelled to add: the review that follows is my opinion. You might not agree. You might be wondering if I’m even referring to the right album. Or that I need to get my ears checked. You might not like Breaking Benjamin at all; what are you doing here then? Anyway, this is my take on things. Take from it what you will.

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #6: Mark

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My last playlist. And the hardest to compile. Out of everyone, Mark’s list has had the most changes. I started with strictly romantic type songs. But he’s not a total sap. So this is a mix of 90s/2000s alternative, radio-friendly, pop…stuff. With a touch of sap.

For what it’s worth, Mark’s favorite music is jazz. But I was not about to attempt such a playlist. It would just be Dizzie Gillespie, because that’s the only jazz artist I know. 🙂

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Mark’s Playlist

“The Alt-Rock Top 40er”

1) “Wonderwall” Oasis
2) “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” U2
3) “Do I Wanna Know?” Arctic Monkeys
4)

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40 Vitamin String Quartet Arrangements You Should Hear

Continuing with my alt-versions of songs, this week, I bring you Vitamin String Quartet. I’ve mentioned this group in the past, namely when I was recommending music for a writing session. They’re perfect for that! But really, no time is a bad time for VSQ!

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I had an unnecessarily rough time narrowing this list down to forty. I say unnecessarily because…what does it matter? Who cares? Still, it was difficult. Their catalogue is huge, and I actually didn’t make it through the entire list!

Think of VSQ as an excuse to put virtually any band you’d ever want into your wedding ceremony. Yeah, not kidding.

So enjoy what I’ve painstakingly–for not reason whatsoever–whittled down for you:

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #5: Anna

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Wondering what this is all about? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

It’s back to the 80s this week. Anna likes to stay busy, so she really doesn’t have time for music. But on the off-chance she has a spare minute, she’ll put on some 80s. While Hunter is more of the cheesy 80s pop fan, Anna likes a little more 80s variety. Not much though! 😀 And definitely some girl power.

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Anna’s Playlist

“The 80s Rocker”

1) “Livin On a Prayer” Bon Jovi
2)

3) “What You Need” INXS
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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #4: Andrew

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Here with another character playlist. We’re moving forward a decade. Presenting 90s grunge, Andrew’s favorite. I must say, I loved making this playlist. Andrew and I would get along just fine.

In case you have no idea what this is all about, start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

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Andrew’s Playlist

“The 90s Grundger”

1) “Even Flow” Pearl Jam
2) “Fell on Black Days” Soundgarden
3)

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #3: Hunter

I hope you’re ready for an instant mood shift. Unless, of course, you’re already as happy as a toddler high on sugar. It’s time for my next character playlist.

Feeling lost? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

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Hunter’s playlist has to be one of the most happy, upbeat, poppy, feel-good playlists ever created. And it’s 100% Hunter. No wonder he’s always so positive. 😀

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Hunter’s Playlist

“The ’80s Popper”

1) “What is Love” Haddaway
2) “Hungry Like the Wolf” Duran Duran
3)

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When the Song and the Scene Cannot be Separated

It’s Music Monday again! This week, I’ve decided to highlight a few songs synonymous with a movie or show. When certain songs are used during a scene, it becomes nearly impossible to hear them without imaging the scene. Just me?

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This is not the same as the best music/scene pairings. That’s for another list.

Here are a few of my favorites:

FYI, spoilers ahead.  🙂

Fight Club

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Of course, I must start with Fight Club. The final scene of the movie uses “Where is My Mind” by The Pixies, and I guarantee, you cannot hear this song without imagining Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter hand-in-hand as buildings explode before them. Am I right? For me, I’d never heard this song (or knew anything about the band) before I saw the movie, so that might be why one can’t exist without the other in my mind.

*Note: I found an edited version to post here. This one is without, uh, Tyler’s splicing work. 😉


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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #2: Lily

Time for another character playlist. As before, I’ll post the list with a few video samples and give you the link for the Spotify playlist if you’re on Lily’s wavelength. Music pun. And a bad one at that. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

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Since Lily tends to dwell in the past, it’s only fitting her music preferences would be from another time.

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What’s all this about anyway? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

Here’s Tyler’s: Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #1: Tyler


Lily’s Playlist

“The Classic Rocker”

1) “Let It Be” The Beatles
2) “Comfortably Numb” Pink Floyd
3)

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #1: Tyler

If you missed my suggestion about creating playlists, start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise. I’ll just wait for you…

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s continue.

So, I’ve chosen Tyler to start with, because he’s definitely the easiest. Two words: Bob Dylan. And some Pink Floyd too, but Bob Dylan.

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I wanted to also expand my explanation for the reason behind this exercise. Not only does creating a playlist help to round out your character, but it also serves as inspiration for writing any scene that character is in. Listening to what your character would be listening to is highly recommended either before or during your writing time. Or both! Since I have a hard time writing with music on (other than instrumentals), I would actually mostly listen after, in the editing process. While I would read the scenes back, I’d have whatever music on, and it just helps to get in the right space. I don’t know how else to explain it, but you should definitely give it a try.

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