Think Music: SJ Sindu

When I talk about music I listen to during writing, I’m really talking about two things—the music I put on while I’m physically writing at my desk, and the music I listen to for the duration of a project. In other words, there’s the writing music, and then there’s the other music—the stuff I listen…

Think Music: Robert Wilder on Foreigner

In twenty years of teaching high school, I have seen more than a few students who were clearly born in the wrong decade. After the movie Swingers came out in 1996, for instance, kids started arriving to school in zoot suits and fedoras, twirling pocket watches on chains. I’ve witnessed boys slick back their hair…

Think Music: Elizabeth Cohen on Tom Waits

In a novel I am writing, teenagers create a David Bowie appreciation society in the early two-thousands. They get together in a dilapidated trailer outfitted with a battery operated CD player and blacklight and sit in the purple dark listening to “Space Oddity” and feeling the words rush through their blood while around them the…

Think Music: Alden Jones on PJ Harvey

Alden Jones is the author of the memoir The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia, and the story collection Unaccompanied Minors.   I went to the Vermont Studio Center to work on my novel. There, I fell in love with a painter named Jomar and the musician PJ Harvey in quick…

Think Music: Hyejung Kook on Bach

Today’s Think Music guest is contributor Hyejung Kook, whose work has appeared in Denver Quarterly and Fugue. A 2009 Kundiman Fellow, she is currently working on Flight, a chamber opera libretto commissioned by composer Sarana Chou. On Johann Sebastian Bach When I was eleven, I was blessed with the chance to learn piano from Mrs….

Think Music: Jason Koo

Jason Koo, the author of Man on Extremely Small Island (C&R Press, 2009), joins us today to talk about his “Think Music.” Crossing the Bridge from Music to Making I don’t write while listening to music—at least not any more. I used to when I was younger, entranced by the myth of Hart Crane blasting his…

Think Music: Marc McKee

Today’s Think Music guest is Marc Mckee, author of Fuse, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. Post-Rock Poetics I know the saying of it is virtually cliché (post-cliché?):  writing about music is like oh, you know the rest: tobogganing about painting, somersaulting about extraterrestrial neo-Platonism, dancing about, well, something. But two things:  1) I read an interview with John Hodgman recently in which he…

Think Music: Todd Boss

Today’s Think Music contributor is Todd Boss, author of Yellowrocket (Norton 2008). I love discovering new music. This morning I plugged Greg Brown’s name into Pandora, because I started the day reading a review of his new album, Freak Flag, in American Songwriter magazine. American Songwriter is one of my favorite mags, for two reasons….

Think Music: Broc Rossell

Today’s Think Music guest is Broc Rossell, author of the chapbook Unpublished Poems, forthcoming with Brooklyn Arts Press in 2011. I rarely listen to music when I write, but I often write after I’ve listened. Several years ago I recorded this scientifically improbable moment, too odd for a poem: Tonight on the radio I heard…

Think Music: Nicky Beer on Tom Waits

Today’s guest blogger is Nicky Beer, author of  The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon Press 2010) and coeditor of Copper Nickel. It’s hard for me to write about Tom Waits. He’s influenced my writing in so many ways that it’s hard to pick out a single thread to concentrate on. And since I’ve been a fan…

Think Music: Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar, author of the poetry collection  0º, 0º (TriQuarterly Books, 2009), and a novel, Partitions,(Macmillan 2011) is a diagnostic radiologist, and he’s here with us this week to talk about his Think Music. “Earshot”: A Riff I love music, but not when I’m writing. In fact, I write with gigantic earmuffs on, the kind…

Think Music: Paul Lisicky

Today’s Think Music guest is Paul Lisicky, author of Lawnboy and Famous Builder. CHORDS OF INQUIRY I could hear a song, say a pop song on the radio, go home and play my version of it on the piano.  This was when I was in second grade, before I started taking piano lessons.  I couldn’t…