Monday, February 21, 2011


To put it simple...I love music!

I was watching the movie Pirate Radio (for the 2nd time, in as many weeks) and it occurred to me; the reason I like the movie so much was because of the music. Not only do they play some really great music in the movie, but the movie is all about the love of Rock N Roll. The more I thought about it the more I realized how much I really love music. I wouldn't want to imagine my life without it and I think it's my love of music that helped my love for books/authors like High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho and even the Jack Kerouac classic On The Road.

I listen to music when I drive, when I sleep and most of all when I write. I listen to music all the time and I have a pretty eclectic taste in what I listen to. My music is my muse. I have playlists on my Winamp for every different project and mood in my life. These lists serve as soundtracks to my work and my life.

I like to buy movie soundtracks with bands I like on them. It's really easy to learn about other great bands that way. It's not unheard of for me to spend hours (and entirely too much money) in a record store, and if they are having any kind of sale, I could be in there all day.

My favorite places to buy music are in St. Louis. I like to shop Vintage Vinyl (on Delmar) FYE (on Hampton) and APOP Records (Cherokee St.) I also buy a lot of music from Record Cellar in Vincennes, but I won't hesitate to get used CDs from Amazon. The last three albums I picked up were Strawfoot: How We Prospered, Iron and Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean and The Decemberist: The King Is Dead. I'm enjoying all three of them and It looks like 2011 is off to a great start musically.

I know I keep using the word album to describe a new CD, to be honest, I miss the days when I had a record player. My taste in music hadn't matured enough yet and I took my turntable for granted. Some days when I'm sitting around listening to CDs or MP3s working on a new story, I wish that it had the old record sound. The only good thing about the digital music revolution is that people are ditching their CD and vinyl collections. That is great for junk store vultures like my friends and I. I've been lucky enough lately to find some really cool stuff like Bad Religion and Badly Drawn Boy in pawn shops and used racks at the record store. It doesn't matter if the album is new or used, if the music is classic or an instant favorite, as long as I have my Muse-ic I'll be just fine.

Some people say they love music, but what they really mean is they like a few bands or that they like music society feeds them. I'm not going to say that just because I call myself a music lover, I love everything. I personally can't stand Insane Clown Posse, Nickelback or Toby Kieth. Their music just seems fake or generic to me, but they are packaged and market to the masses. It's just not for me.

If I had to list my favorite bands I'll say...

Johnny Cash
Tom Waits
Elvis Costello
Bob Dylan
B.B. King
Eric Clapton
Elton John
All things Nick Cave
Leonard Cohen
The Ramones
The Velvet Underground
PJ Harvey
Tori Amos
Billie Holiday
Death Cab For Cutie
All things Mike Patton
Snow Patrol
Modest Mouse
Man Man
Murder By Death
Medeski, Martin & Wood
John Prine
John Coltrane
Joe Cocker
Amos Lee
Ben Folds
Harry Manfredini
Muddy Waters
Diana Krall
The Modern Lover
Dum Dum Girls
Face to Face
The Violent Femmes
All things Jack White
The Rolling Stones
Patsy Cline
Hank Williams Sr.
Hank III
Zoe Bokebinder
The Decemberist
Iron and Wine
City and Colour
The Broderick
Wu Tang Clan
2 Pac
A Perfect Circle
Grande Ole Party
Cibo Matto
7 Shot Screamer
Mumford and Sons
The Strokes
The Devil Makes Three
The Doors
The Turtles
& The Beatles...just to name a few.

I feel bad because I'm sure I missed a band I love, but this is just the first 60 I could think of. Some of the people on this list are more well known than others, but if you have not heard of my friends The Broderick or Harry Manfredini you need to do yourself a favor and check them out.

The Broderick is a band from Bloomington, Indiana. The influnces ranging from Bob Dylan and Josh Ritter to Modest Mouse and The Whigs. They have played some pretty cool gigs like SXSW and The Forecastle Music Festival. The Broderick is a perfect example of REAL good music!

Harry Manfredini is best know for his score work on the movie Swamp Thing and Friday The 13th. Manfredini is the man responsible for the chilling theme everyone thinks of when they think of a killer stalking through the woods, but he has done some other really phenomenal music too. My person favorite album he gave me is the music from a film called A Gun, A Car, A Blonde. I listen to it a lot when I'm working on a story that involves a dark place in a city, or humanity.

I hope everyone with check these guys out and if you see me out (or at a book signing) remember I'm not interested in any drama or bullshit, but I will be very interested in what music you've been listening to and any CDs you want to burn for me!!!

- Travis