Thursday, February 21, 2013

MG Research: Erik's Top Ten Playlist


I am so excited to share today's post!   Erik Weibel at This Kid Reviews Books is an expert at reviewing books.  But This Kid also happens to be an expert at being an 11 year old boy, just like my MC in my MG project.  So, I asked Erik if he might help me with research: 

Erik, I'm still getting to know my character in my current manuscript.  He's not the coolest kid at school, but he's in the highest grade at the school, so at least he's cooler than the little booger-nosed kids.  He's not nerdy, but he really likes books.   I was wondering if you might develop a playlist for this kid which might help me to get to know him better?   

And here's Erik:

Mrs. Meyers asked me a question no one ever asked me before. She wanted to know what my top ten playlist was because she is researching a character for a book she is writing. After telling her I’d be happy to help, but my playlist probably isn’t a typical one for a kid (I really hate modern music), she asked me to do it anyway.  (Lauri note: in fact this made me even more excited!)
I have an “Erik’s Favs” playlist on my iPod and there are more than 10 songs on it, but here are the ones that I listen to the most  –

#10 “Why Don’t We just Dance” by Josh Turner. This is the ONLY country song out of the 165 I have on my iPod . It’s a fun song and I like Mr. Turner’s voice.  

Erik's iPod (when I was
eleven I had a Walkman...
this is cool, too)
#9 “Another One Rides the Bus” by Weird Al Yankovic. To me, any and all Weird Al songs should be on my iPod.  (Lauri: I've spent $2.28 on iTunes and we're only on song 2!)

#8 “Burning Down the House” by The Talking Heads. I love The Talking Heads. I have a video of a concert of theirs. My parents tell me that Blue’s Clues and the concert video are the only TV I ever wanted to watch when I was really young.  (Lauri: LOL!)

#7 “American Pie” by Don McLean. I like the original song but not the remakes (except for the Weird Al one called “The Saga Begins”).  (Lauri: Classic.)

#6 “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. My mom and I sing this in the car a lot. My Dad hates this song (and I pretty much hate the songs he listens to, so we’re even).  (Lauri: Nice!)

#5 “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. The lyrics of the song are awesome. I like the original of this song too, not the remakes.

#4 “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees. The Bee Gees have been a favorite of mine for a long time. My mom told me that she would play the Bee Gees to get me to take a nap when I was a baby. (Lauri: Being a Mom, I'm betting there's more to this story...)

#3 “Godzilla” by Blue Öyster Cult. With lyrics like –
With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the spitting high-tension wires down.”
“Oh, no, there goes Tokyo - Go go Godzilla”
 What kid wouldn’t like this song?  
(Lauri: Yes! This is one of my favorite songs too! It was awesome live at a BOC concert.)

#2 “Piano Sonata #11 (Turkish March)” by Mozart. 60% of the music I have on my iPod is classical. I especially like Beethoven, but this sonata by Mozart is my favorite.  

AND THE #1 song on my playlist is – “Cupid” by Sam Cooke. This is my favorite song of all. I really like Mr. Cooke’s voice. I have a bunch of his songs, but this is my favorite.
(Lauri: This is what you call an eclectic playlist - I love your taste in music!  And I realized my library didn't have any Weird Al or Bee Gees in it! What?!  The situation has been corrected.)

Since I told Mrs. Meyers that I really didn’t like a lot of music that other kids may like, she asked me what song I have to kind of fake that I like because the other kids like it.  
I know who Lady Gaga is, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you any of her songs. I can’t stand Katy Perry, but I usually don’t admit that. I really don’t get “Gangnam Style” and can’t dance it at all. I guess I know enough so that I don’t seem like a total geek, but I just can’t get into most modern music.  

Lauri: Erik, thank you so much for bravely sharing your "fake it" songs.  I will say Gangnam Style is a reasonably good workout, if you don't mind shin splints.

So there you have it folks, 41 minutes of awesome inspiration for a writer to get to know her character!   Thank you Erik for the research!  You can really get to know someone through the music they pick. 

53 comments:

  1. This is a riot, Laurie! What a wonderful blog idea! Thanks for being so honest, Erik. We have almost all Weird Al's songs, and my daughter knows the lyrics to many of them. Thanks for making me smile... no, I mean laugh out loud today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been bouncing off the walls with excitement since Erik agreed to do this post! And now I am bouncing off the walls getting to know Weird Al again :)

      Delete
    2. What are your favorite Weird Al songs (I'm trying to get the best Weird Al songs!)?

      Delete
    3. I just got done listening to Weird Al and Kate Winslet's duet of "I need a nap!" (written by Sandra Boynton)! SO funny!

      Delete
  2. I LOVE this, Lauri and Erik! What a great idea to get into the mind of your character, Lauri, and what a cool playlist, Erik! You will both keep over with jealousy when I tell you that one of the members of Blue Oyster Cult teaches guitar at my son's school and I have met him and my son has taken music lessons from him! :) I also love Josh Turner's deep voice (and have more than one of his songs on my iPod) and Burning Down The House. Would you believe I've never even heard of your favorite? I'll have to go check it out ASAP! What a fun post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susanna, you'll know Cupid as soon as you hear it and go running for your bobby socks. But let's get on to the more important information regarding BOC...basically you're saying if I drive to your next book launch, I need to bring my cowbell?! I'm so in.

      Delete
    2. LUCKY!!! Can I visit your son's school? ;)

      Delete
  3. You made me laugh out loud, too, Erik and Laurie. There are some great stories on here. I'm not too into Wierd Al, though. Maybe because my college roommate loved him (and sort of looked like him *shiver*).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good grief. I mean SONGS! (I'm going to bed now!)

      Delete
    2. Wow, your roommate sounds very, um, hairy and lovely, I'm sure. Well they say fads always come back - I didn't even know Weird Al was back in style! (but the Weird Al hair is still out; sorry to your roommate!)

      Delete
    3. HAHAHA!!! Question - was your roommate male or female??? ;)

      Delete
    4. Hairy and lovely, lol. She (she was a girl, Erik) was very nice, just, well...different.

      Delete
  4. Great post, Lauri and Erik! And how interesting that Erik likes so many "old school" songs, like American Pie and Lean on Me (one of my personal favs). My playlist would be about 80% classical music, so I love that you included a Mozart piece in your top ten.

    Have to admit, I've never heard of the Godzilla song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt a synergy with Erik on the oldies too. I remember my Nintendo playing mix tape (old school "playlist") had Blueberry Hill, Lean on Me, American Pie, Godzilla, and Stairway to Heaven - I'm glad to hear those songs aren't completely forgotten.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Ms. Fritz! I like those types of songs! :D

      Delete
  5. Oh I LOVE Sam Cooke - great choice! Wait til you get to college Erik, and all the acapella groups cover his songs. You'll love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I didn't even have that on iTunes. I'm so glad Erik reminded me of some good songs, though I have been walking around with Cupid stuck in my head all week!

      Delete
    2. I want to do acapella! :D Sam Cooke = AWESOME!!!

      Delete
  6. Love, LOVE this post Erik and Laurie. I never thought of putting together a playlist for a character but think it's a VERY creative way to get some insight into characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erik did a great job, didn't he? My plan is to crank up the playlist so I can get into my MC's mind when I write. This list is totally different than my usual choices, so I know it will jar some new thoughts out of my head.

      Delete
  7. Wow - this is such a great idea for you Lauri, but a wonderful way to interview and get to know someone! I am glad to hear I like a lot of the same songs/music as Erik. I am a real-life nerd: I don't even have an ipod!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I'm a real-life nerd too! ;) I LIKE my nerdy-ness though! ;)

      Delete
    2. Julie, I'd love to see a picture of you with a boombox on your shoulder (how else do you bring your tunes with you?) :)

      Delete
  8. Nice job, Erik. I love the playlist, and I love this whole idea, Laurie! My favorite of the list is Lean on Me. When I was younger, my aunt's singing group sang the song in a concert, and the meaning really came through. I've loved it ever since.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ms. Petrillo! Lean on Me is GREAT!!! :D

      Delete
    2. Genevieve - it's just one of those songs you always hear on the radio on those gray days when you really need to hear it!

      Delete
  9. Thanks Mrs. Meyers! Glad I could help you! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, thank you Mr. Weibel! I'm going to try on your super big smile icon :D Woo, smiling that wide is making my cheeks hurt ;)

      Delete
    2. You get used to the big smile after a while! :D

      Delete
  10. What an excellent way to research your character, Lauri! I know it's tough when you have a male MC since you have two girls. And to Erik: love the variety of your playlist. I chuckled at your #6. I can't help but think that it was more of your mom's mantra. But then again, you seem like the perfect child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thinking Erik's Mom really rocks, too. I don't subject the girls to listening to my favorite 80s songs very much, but when I do crank up the 80s, I am so happy! And you know what they say: A happy mommy makes a happy family. The girls do constantly make me listen to Katy Perry, so thank goodness Erik saved me from assuming every kid liked Katy Perry...

      Delete
    2. Yes, my Mom ROCKS!!! Thanks Ms. Broas!

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Darlene - now I'm curious what songs your "Amanda" character would love?

      Delete
    2. Thanks Ms. Foster! I'm curious about Amanda too - thrilling Beethoven (if I spelled that right)? ;)

      Delete
  12. this was great!! Love this post! Thanks, Erik, for introducing me to some new songs and singers. I have been playing them on Pandora now. Love Al Cooke. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clara - I love the Pandora idea! I'm going to plug in a few of these and see what Pandora spits back to me.

      Delete
  13. I love that Weird Al has so much staying power! "Another One Rides the Bus" came out when I was 11. I loved it then, and I still love it now, though, these days I am a bigger fan of "White and Nerdy."

    And Weird Al’s Devo-inspired "Dare to be Stupid" should probably be my personal theme song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see in my future hours on youtube later looking at Weird Al videos. I like the idea for your new theme song - sometimes stupid wins!

      Delete
    2. I've listened to White & Nerdy. Pretty good. Haven't heard "Dare to be Stupid" sounds good. (and funny) I like his "The Saga Begins" and "I need a nap" :D

      Delete
    3. I need a nap is from a Sandra Boynton cd, yes? I've heard it, but I don't remember it too well.

      Dare to Be Stupid is a track from the album of the same name. (It came out in 1983 or '84.) I'll think you'll go for it. I'm also a fan of his "Even Worse" album which, in my view, is across-the-board awesome.

      Delete
  14. What a fun post! I always enjoy Erik's blog and it was so great to learn what is on his ipod. He likes a lot of the same music as me. I love American Pie! It puts me in a very happy mood. :) I had a student who loved Weird Al and even met him twice and had her picture taken with him. Great post!
    ~Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your student was LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY!!!!! Did I mention that she's lucky? Thanks Ms. Peterson!

      Delete
    2. Who knew getting to know someone's ipod would tell you so much about the person? And I love Erik's stories to go with each song!

      Delete
  15. Awww, Erik, you are too adorable.

    I love this blog idea, Lauri! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it Erin! But you know, Erik isn't 10 anymore. He's 11, so only cute blondes like you can get away with calling him adorable.

      Delete
  16. I rediscovered this post! I still like those songs, but so much more now! I have 300+ "oldies" songs (from CD's around the house) on my laptop (still trying to figure out how to get them on my iPod. :) ) :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I CANNOT believe this was 2 years ago! Okay so you have itunes on your laptop right? That's a critical step in getting them on your ipod. Because Apple is so finicky with music files. And back them up somewhere too otherwise if something happens to ipod or laptop then you have to reburn all those cds. agh.

      Delete

**All comments are moderated to avoid attacks by pesky pirates and roving dragons!**

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...