Since I recommended a movie and some poetry yesterday, I figured I'd include a couple links to some music today. I'm a firm believer in the creative powers of music. You can actually control the type of ideas you're creating by altering the style of music you're listening to while brainstorming.
Want some crazy ideas? Try listening to a Dr. Demento collection or Weird Al Yankovic. Need to get a little introspective and allow your ideas time to percolate? Mix in a little Mozart.
Here's a current mix of what's playing in the Idea Guy's jukebox. All four of the featured artists are currently unsigned bands. I figure we struggling creative folk should help each out as much as possible. PLUS ~ if any of you readers happened to be big-time recording industry moguls (or perhaps just want to buy a few great cds) you should contact these incredible artists...
She's a mix of Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan. You may have heard her song "Miles To Go" as background music during some of the viedo footage of the September 11th tragedy. Although her music has a pop sound, her lyrics are too cutting and insightful to drop her in a category dominated by Britney and N*Sync. Alex consistently tops the MP3.com website as a frequently played artist. Check out her website for song samples ~ check out MP3.com to listen to full versions of songs from her cd ALEX IN CHAINS.
As long as I'm comparing artists to Sarah McLachlan, I figure I need to include this lady. This artist blends a McLachlan-esque style with Tori Amos' harder edge. There's also a bit of Alanis Morrissette blended in, but frankly I think if Fimm met Morrissette, Alanis would hide under her bed. Sarah Fimm's first cd is titled COCCOONED, and on it she sings about some dark stuff, but there's an almost mythical feel to her work. Scream, Sexual Animals, Red Paper Bag, and Valhalla are a few of my favorites.
The other thing I appreciate about Sarah is that she is truly a mistress of marketing. I contacted her to let her know I enjoyed her music and she quickly nabbed my address and sent me a box of cool promotional stuff; posters, press kit, an autographed photo, and even a couple promotional CDs with 2 full-version songs to pass along to others who might like her music. I handed those babies out to a TON of people ~ but I still have a couple left. Send me an email with your mailing info and I'll send the remaing discs to the first three people who email me. Who says there are no free lunches? Okay, it's not actually a brown-bag "lunch" ~ but there IS a song called Red Paper Bag on the cd. :)
From the harder edged alternative tunes of Sarah Fimm we move to the almost folkish style of Alice Peacock. This lady can WRITE... and her voice ain't bad either. Frankly, I just found out about her myself. My friend OTTER lent me her cd REAL DAY and I fell immediately in love with the music. She sounds a bit like Lisa Loeb, and her songs Cracks and Daggers and I Hear You Say just reinforces the association. Although... Something Else has kind of a Sheryl Crow flavor to it. A totally-tasty mix of music. Check her out!
And finally... lest you think I'm a sexist and only listen to female artists, I've saved one of my favorite new bands for last.
The Cowboys' HONOR AMONG THIEVES cd is a lot of fun to listen to. From Rear View Mirror to Rock Star, you get the feeling the feeling they write an sing about stuff they've experienced ~ which makes the music all the more interesting. Then you have the songs Misfortune and Forever, which they could have written about anybody. I know I could identify with the tunes. Misfortune has a very creative turn of phrase that has stuck in my head since the very first time I heard it --
"Don't know why the call it misfortune,
...hits me everytime."
How clever is that? I love it!
Lead Cowboy Quinn Fallon and the rest of the band also has a sense of humor ~ I laughed out loud when I heard The Cowboy Song!
"That Damn Cowboy Song" ~ listen to the song's intro and you'll get the joke. :)
What do they sound like?
Hmmmm.... I have a hard time putting my finger on that. They remind me of a blend between a quieter Clash and the 80's alternative band X. They've got their own sound you've just got to hear for yourself.
That's the hardest thing about being creative in ANY genre... finding your own voice.