June Mixtape

I really like this playlist. Probably because this was a very music heavy month and these songs really inspired me.

Most of my month was spent working on a new feature film treatment and finishing up a pitch bible for a television pilot I wrote last year. Hardly any of my time was spent working on the new novel. Will anything come of this work? As usual, who knows? If I have learned anything as a writer it is this: you have nothing and then you have something. Sounds idiotic but its true. I start every project with a blank page and a strand of thought. I end every project with a fully realized idea (for better or worse… strands of thought are usually more alluring). You would think I know what happens between those two states but honestly I don’t. Sure, I have certain processes I’ve developed over the years: lists of questions to guide me through story and character development, but I don’t really know where the answers come from and I often worry they’ll stop coming.

renderThis isn’t only true of writing. I think its true of any goal and perhaps it is related to something fundamental about our minds. Marcel Proust, paraphrasing an idea from Henri Bergson in the masterful novel In Search of Lost Time, describes the frustrating process of trying to recall a person’s name. When you actively attempt to pluck their name from your memory its like searching in a dark room. You may even fixate on a certain letter. “Doesn’t it start with a ‘T’? Tom? Thomas? Terry?” When the name finally comes to you, it becomes devastatingly obvious that your entire struggle to remember was futile and completely off the mark. “Oh yeah! Jonathan, of course!”

You have nothing and then, involuntarily plucked from the enigmatic halls of consciousness, you have something.

I don’t know what June’s playlist may or may not reveal about my life and thoughts. I don’t know if listening to a selected playlist syncs your brainwaves with the creator of that list. I do know that in June I was in a state of creation most days and these songs represent the best of what moved me.

Donnie Trumpet was a big deal to me. I LOVE the album Surf, though unfortunately, it isn’t available through Spotify UPDATE: It is now available on Spotify and I’ve updated the playlist below to include these tracks.surf

Princess Chelsea’s new album, The Great Cybernetic Depression showcased her songwriting talents and I found the tracks here hauntingly beautiful, though distracting because the lyrics matter.

The Vito Ricci tracks are from an older 1996 album called Whims but I just discovered them and these are the songs that most affected me.

There are other brilliant spots (imho). I’m sold on the very soulful Leon Bridges, Jenny Hval turned in an incredible new album full of interesting musical ideas, and Son Lux put out a new album that, frankly, I’m still processing but has so far kept me intrigued.

The end of the month was satisfying for a lot of different reasons: I’m one month closer to having an infant, I have two more projects moving along the tortuous assembly line of Hollywood’s development maze, and Roomful of Teeth released a brilliant new album. The delicate cantillations of harmony in “Vesper Sparrow” and the religious ascension of “Beneath” matched my feelings and raised them to another level.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to the playlist here:

Let me know what you think of this month’s playlist and please subscribe to my site to get a quick email reminder for next month’s mixtape.

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