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Music

Spotify Playlists for Writers: Henry Miller

Nobody has ever written about classical music like Henry Miller. If you have a Spotify account, enjoy this two-hour mix we made with inspiring writing music from Miller’s most famous books: Tropic of Cancer, Plexus, Nexus and Black Spring.

Here is Miller writing about Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 15″ in Black Spring: “I hear again now the music of the A Minor Quartet, the agonized flurries of the strings. There’s a madman inside me and he’s hacking away, hacking and hacking until he strikes the final discord. Pure annihilation, as distinguished from lesser, muddier annihilations. Nothing to be mopped up afterwards. A wheel of light rolling up to the precipice–and over into the bottomless pit. I, Beethoven, I created it! I, Beethoven, I destroy it!”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Henry Miller Spotify Playlist and our Haruki Murakami Spotify Playlist. We love making music mixes, so we will create more playlists for writers. If you have more ideas for a particular playlist, you can always add your suggestions in the comments section–we will update our mix.

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Linda Ronstadt Inks Book Deal for Memoir

Linda Ronstadt has landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster for her memoir, Heart Like a Wheel. In the video embedded above, Ronstadt sings the title song from her memoir.

Ronstadt will write the book herself, exploring a career that “bridged the worlds of rock, folk, country, jazz, Latin, and opera.” Steve Wasserman at Kneerim & Williams Agency represented the singer. Publication has been tentatively set for 2013.

Publisher Jonathan Karp had this statement: “Few singers have been as wide-ranging or as distinctive in their artistry … Linda Ronstadt has a singular voice, and that is true on the page as well.”

Spotify Playlists for Writers: Kate Christensen

In Largehearted Boy’s amazing Book Notes feature, authors explain how certain songs inspired them. We were touched by novelist Kate Christensen‘s contribution to the series, and we created a Spotify playlist so you can listen to the songs in order while reading her essay.

Here’s more from Christensen’s essay: “Nostalgia is a powerful drug. Under its influence, ordinary songs take on dimensions and powers, like emotional superheroes. The following is a list of songs that will forever and irrevocably remind me of particular times, experiences — people I’ve loved (truly, madly, deeply) and, inevitably, lost.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Kate Christensen Spotify Playlist and our Haruki Murakami Spotify Playlist. We love making music mixes, so we will create more playlists for writers. If you have more ideas for a particular playlist, you can always add your suggestions in the comments section–we will update our mix. (Link via Ed Champion. Photo via Ronnie Farley)

Spotify Playlists for Writers: Haruki Murakami

The streaming music service Spotify has landed in the United States, allowing readers to create and share playlists drawn from millions of songs online. Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service.

Once you have an account, explore our Haruki Murakami Spotify Playlist. We love making music mixes, so we will create more playlists for writers. If you have more ideas for a particular playlist, you can always add your suggestions in the comments section–we will update our mix.

Our new playlist for the Japanese novelist included songs mentioned in Murakami’s novels South of the Border, West of the Sun, Norwegian Wood and the upcoming 1Q84. The Millions blog has the first paragraph from 1Q84, revealing Murakami’s affection for the Czech composer, Leoš Janáček. Our playlist contains the composer’s complete Sinfonietta.

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Neil Gaiman Sings About Joan of Arc

At the season finale of Minnesota Public Radio’s WITS this weekend, novelist Neil Gaiman joined a talented crew of writers and musicians onstage to sing a song he wrote about Joan of Arc. We’ve embedded a video clip above–what do you think?

Over at BoingBoing, Maggie Koerth-Baker called WITS “a very nerdy, slightly tipsy, younger cousin of A Prairie Home Companion.” Follow this link for more video, audio and photos from the event.

Here’s more about the video: “Author Neil Gaiman shows his songwriting chops at Minnesota Public Radio’s Wits with a song he wrote as part of the 8in8 project. He performs ‘The Problem with Saints’ with Josh Ritter, John Munson, Steve Roehm, The Ascots and The Brass Messengers.” (Via HarperCollins Canada)

Best Bob Dylan Songs That Tell a Story

The great storyteller and singer Bob Dylan turned 70 years old last month, generating a mountain of ‘Best Bob Dylan Songs’ lists.

However, this GalleyCat editor couldn’t find a single list focused on Dylan’s legacy as a storyteller. Below, we’ve collected our ten favorite Dylan songs that tell a story.

Add your picks in the comments section–many of our picks focus on a particular part of Dylan’s career, so we are happy to add more.

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Find Great Writing Music: Script Frenzy Tip #21

What do you listen to while you write? Join this screenwriting music discussion for plenty of musical ideas.

This GalleyCat editor has been listening to Chet Baker and Charles Mingus (pictured, via) while writing lately.

To help all the aspiring screenwriters, comic book writers, and playwrights participating in the Script Frenzy writing marathon, we will feature a new script writing tool or tip every day this month. Read all the advice at this link.

Stephen King & John Mellencamp Create Musical

Novelist Stephen King and rock star John Mellencamp have teamed up for a musical called Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. Atlanta’s The Alliance Theater will produce the show.

Here’s more from Billboard.com: “King’s story is based on the real 1957 deaths of two brothers and a young girl. Mellencamp is in charge of the ‘roots and blues-tinged score.’ The Alliance’s artistic director Susan V. Booth will direct and legendary producer T-Bone Burnett will provide musical direction.”

The video embedded above shows King playing guitar at Mellencamp show. The musical is scheduled for a six-week run in 2012 from April 4th to May 13th. Would you go see it?

Handcrafted Nine Inch Nails Tribute Book on Etsy

Journalist Daphne Carr just published Pretty Hate Machine with Continuum’s 33 1/3 series–a 190-page study of Nine Inch Nail’s debut album from 1989.

To promote the book, she is selling a handcrafted edition (pictured) of the book on Etsy. If you (like this GalleyCat editor) have fond memories of singing “I just want something / I just want something I can never have!” at the top of your lungs in high school, you might want to check out the $25 special edition of the book on Etsy.

Here’s more about the special edition: “[It] features a black cloth hand-bound cover stamped in silver foil, slate-grey interior papers, and hand-numbered title page with dedication to the purchaser or recipient of the gift. The package includes three limited-edition die cut ‘n’ bookmarks and will be wrapped in your choice of brown, silver, black paper … This project was created by the professional bookbinder and letterpress operator Davin Kuntze, of Woodside Press, in consultation with book’s author, Daphne Carr. It is their collaborative work to celebrate the spirit of the band itself, which has continually sought to engage, challenge, and usurp the commodity form with brilliantly crafted albums, singles, and boxed sets.” (Via Ami Greko)

Radiohead Releases Free ‘The Universal Sigh’ Newspaper

To promote the release of King of Limbs, Radiohead has been giving out free copies of a one-time newspaper around the world.

Today (March 29th) the paper will be given out in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and many other locations. We’ve included the NYC giveaway points below. The paper includes stories by Robert Macfarlane, Jay Griffiths, and Stanley Donwood.

Here’s more from the site: “To commemorate this momentous occasion, Radiohead have produced a newspaper which will be given away, free, gratis, without cost to the consumer by accredited vendors from a multitude of locations WORLDWIDE! In the USA, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, Poland, Germany, Austria, in the Czech Republic, in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, France, Italy, Slovakia, Finland, Greece, Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Hungary, Australia, Latvia, Iceland, Romania, New Zealand, the UK and a load of other places around the globe, our dedicated teams of newspaper delivery people will be handing out copies of THE UNIVERSAL SIGH to anyone who wants one, until we run out!”

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