Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Author, Author, Author - Allison Crowe & the write stuff

"When do I get to be the muse?" asks Allison Crowe in a yet-to-be-recorded song.

Beyond the the more localized territory of personal relationships, the answer is now. Globally, she finds inspiration in other people and their creativity, and she always enjoys hearing from people who find her music inspiring.

Prolific and passionate music blogger Muruch recently reviewed Allison Crowe's newest album "Little Light" - calling the Canadian-born dynamo "my favorite contemporary female singer".

Bridging the worlds of online and traditional print is UK author Martin Warminger whose blog is an extension of his 2006 book, "memoirs of a music obsessive". The Hertfordshire-based writer shares his encyclopedic knowledge of some fifty+ years of popular music: from his favourites, classics such as pioneering girl-group Fanny, to the Zombies, REM, and, Julian Cope, right up to discussion of the newest hypes and hits, be they Mancusian Ting Tings or the Mimian Mariah Carey. In between music banter, there's talk of such other cultural icons as cricket on the Music Obsessive blog.

Warminger delights in finding Allison, (via her hugely popular cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"), explaining, "There are always times in your life when you feel you will never be excited by any new artist", but, discovery of such a talent keeps that magic alive.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, chart-topping thriller-writer Harlan Coben expresses his own appreciation of Allison Crowe's music. Labelled "the modern master of the hook-and-twist" by "The DaVinci Code" author Dan Brown, Coben's latest book, "Hold Tight" debuted at #1 on The New York Times best-seller list this Spring, and a French film made from an earlier novel, "Tell No One", opens on North American screens next month (July 2, 2008). Harlan Coben's worldwide audience is riveted by his mix of the harrowing and the humourous - to the tune of him being the first author to win all three of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award (a mystery-writing triple crown). Other musicians he cites as kindling his creative fires include: idol, and fellow-New-Jersey-native, Bruce Springteen (and the E Street Band); Mozart; Counting Crows, and Damien Rice.

Also in America, penning novels in the historical fantasy, or "alternate history" genre, is another music-lover, Jacqueline Carey, creator of the "Kushiel's Legacy" books - which began in 2001 with the publication of "Kushiel's Dart" (recipient of the 2002 Locus Award for Best First Novel). With the release of "Kushiel's Mercy", the final book in the series, last month, the "all things girl" blog caught up with Jacqueline Carey's life outside the literary map of Terre d'Ange.

At home in western Michigan, (and a member of that state's oldest Mardi Gras krewe) Carey says: "I don't listen to music while I write, but I take my iPod on long walks, or jogging on the beach during the summer, and I do a lot of my best creative thinking then. I listened to a lot of Coldplay, Arcade Fire and Blue October while I was hashing out my current work in progress. Oh, and Allison Crowe and Joe Purdy. More recently, I'm listening to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' latest release."

The only commandment of Elua, key deity of Terre d'Ange, is to "Love as thou wilt". This dictum can apply to each of us, in music choices as in the rest of life.

Any resemblance to Allison, tattoos and all, is purely coincidental.

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