Inspirations – Marty Robbins

A few years ago I wrote a bunch of short stories about a Stellar Ranger company stationed on a small, desert world named Ocherva. Those stories eventually culminated in book one of the Star Saga – Starforgers. The western style hero of my stories was a blonde woman named Devon Ardel. Devon went on to become the central character in the first three Star Saga novels and a huge reader favorite.

But she was born from a long and masculine tradition of the American cowboy and more specifically the Texas Rangers. Pictured above are some actual Rangers posing with their weapons. Pretty much the quintessential western bad asses. So I created the Stellar Rangers in their image. But in my research about the west and lawmen I came across a 1950’s album called Gunfighter Ballads by Marty Robbins.

I loved the gunslinger pose Robbins did for the album cover and specifically I liked the flat brimmed hat he wore. That became the look of my my Stellar Rangers. As I listened to the album I quickly became a fan of Marty’s music. Some of my short stories make references to songs on that album that probably only a Marty Robbins fan would pick up on.

I’m not a fan of today’s Country music but I really enjoy these Western songs from the 1950’s. If you’ve never listened to this album you owe it to yourself to give it a spin. Great stuff and great musical story telling by Marty Robbins.


Weekly Summary

Corvette – Seer of the Black Star is progressing this week. I’m currently in the middle of chapter 3 as the above image shows. That white paperback is the plain cover ARC of Corvette that I use for reference. The computer is new, a System76 Galago Pro for fans of Linux.

She may not look like much, but she’s going to eventually be the Black Star pirate starship. Right now it’s little more than a mount point and some HP computer scrap. Going to be pretty cool though, stay tuned. Eventually this will grace the cover of the book I’m currently writing. I keep a photo bucket on my model builds, so if you like to follow such craftiness, please check in as you can to follow my progress.

Yours truly after a lunchtime writing sprint this week. I listen to play lists on Spotify while I write. Currently the list I’m using is called Corvette 2. If you enjoy pirate music give it a spin. Some songs in the list are not safe for work, wear headphones.


Analog Man – Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh’s new album is his first in something like twenty years. What a come back! Analog Man is chock full of straight ahead rock songs with real guitar riffs and Joe’s famous attitude.

For those of you under the age of say, forty, Joe Walsh used to be in a band your parents listened to called The Eagles. The Joe Walsh song you’ve probably heard but never knew who played it, was “Life’s Been Good”. Joe does a great answer to that rock classic in “Lucky That Way” on this new album. Worth the price of admission, right there.

As I get closer to a half century old, I’m starting to really relate to songs like “Analog Man” and “Family” on this new album. But least you think this is a lame album by some old, tired rocker; know that this man can still cut a tune.

Also, Joe’s a well known Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) enthusiast with the call sign of WB6ACU. You can check out Joe on the Ham Nation podcast where he composed the theme song for the show.

CopperWire’s Earthbound Space Opera Album

As lyrics from the song Mahalia Einstein suggest, “If I can just get you to step out of your comfort zone, we would be closer, closer,” you might find this hip-hop/jazz album to be quite entertaining and at times, very poignant if you just give it a try. I was alerted to this new album from CopperWire by following SF author Nnedi Okorafor on Twitter. She helped write some of the back story of the artists who have themed their new album after a space opera.

The Sci-Fi elements in this album are front and center, but they are rooted in some very melodic and beautiful music that I really enjoy. My musical tastes tend to lean more to jazz than hip-hop, but this blend hits all the right notes with me. My only beef with this album is that it’s too short. More please!

Sometimes music puts me into a writing mood and this is one album I reach for when I need to get inspired to write. Thoughtful lyrics throughout that convey universal messages and make you ponder the universe as you chill to the music. I can’t say enough how much I really enjoy the songs on this album, they are fresh, intelligent and fun. I especially love the haunting and melodic voice of Meklit Hadero. Every time she sings my ears perk up and listen closer.

Do yourself a favor and get Earthbound from CopperWire. You won’t regret it and you might just discover a new favorite band.

Beautiful South

Have you ever heard this band from the UK called The Beautiful South? You should. They put a unique spin on cover songs in their album – “Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs”. Their off in left field version of “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease is wonderful. I especially like what they did to “Blitzkrieg Pop”. Of course their latest CD is the fantastic “Superbi”.

Another of my current favorite bands is of course – Pink Martini. Their rendition of “Brazil” is creepy and cool. Makes me want to see the Terry Gilliam movie again. That one is a must see for any serious student of cinema.

“Computers are my forte! “, “How do you account for the fact that the bombing campaign has been going on for thirteen years? Beginners’ luck.”, “Bloody typical, they’ve gone back to metric without telling us.”, “Don’t fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating.”, “But, you’re dead! Care for a little necrophilia? Hmmm?”

Alright, stop it. Just rent the damn film and enjoy it.

Make Me a “Pink Martini”

From their website:
“Somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brasilian marching street band and Japanese film noir is the 12-piece Pink Martini.”

If you like Jazz and smooth music with a 1950’s flare, check this band out. This band’s musical and linguistic talents simply amaze me.

Pink Martini - Hang On Little Tomato Weezer - Make Believe Tom Chapin - Moonboat
Other music on my plate this week – Weezer “Make believe” their best album since “Blue”. If you like Weezer, you’ll love this album.

From the Kid’s music with Adult appeal department: Comes, any album by Tom Chapin. I was turned on to this by my friend Andy and my kids just love it. My wife and I are not afraid to admit that we sing along with them!