Guest DJ: Allison Winn Scotch from Ask Allison

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Folks, we have our first celebrity DJ today, New York Times best-selling author Allison Winn Scotch. Woo, woo!

I found Allison’s blog, Ask Allison, when I started freelancing a few years ago. She tells you the truth about writing for a living – the good, the bad and the ugly. And she knows what she’s talking about. Allison’s first two books, The Department of the Lost and Found and Time of My Life, were big hits. TOML made the best-seller list and is in development for the big screen.

And guess what? TOML is out in paperback today, so run out to your local bookstore or go here and buy a copy. Oh, yeah, Target named it a top breakout book from August-October, so next time you head out to The Circle grab a book, too. It’s an awesome read. I know. I bought the hardcover when it was released and couldn’t put it down. It’ll have you thinking “what if …”

Not only is Allison a fabulous fiction writer – she’s currently working on book No. 3, The One That I Want – she’s also a pro at getting celebs like Steve Carrell, Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan to open up. Seriously, how does she keep her cool? I’d be a silly pile of squee.

When I asked her to share her shuffle, she immediately said she’d love to, and the next day I had the following awesome list, which proves that she’s also a Music Savvy Mom (to two adorable kiddos) and a lot of fun. Follow her on Twitter or become a Facebook fan. She seriously rocks!

As always, if you love the music, buy it!


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1. Making Love Out of Nothing at All – Air Supply
Oh, ha ha! I love that this is the first song out of the gate, just so you guys can tell that I’m not filtering them. :) Actually, I freaking love this song, totally unashamed to admit it. It reminds me of summer camp in the late ‘80s, back when it wasn’t embarrassing to like Air Supply (I think I even tried to get tickets to their concert that year). When the drum solo comes on right before the big moment – EVERY TIME I SEE YOU ALL THE RAYS OF THE SUN ARE STREAMIN’ THROUGH THE WAVES IN YOUR HAIR – I have to, just HAVE TO play air drums. OMG, I love that moment.

2. Read My Mind – The Killers
I can’t believe this one came up and came up second! This is one of my all-time favorite songs … ever. I literally listen to it four times in a row when I’m running, and it served as the background music while I was writing my latest book, THE ONE THAT I WANT. I love the message – going out and tackling life even if you haven’t been dealt the best lot – and I love even more the melody, the pulse of it. I was actually going to use one of the verses as the epigraph for TOTIW, but settled on a different Killers song. Regardless, if you haven’t checked this one out, do so asap. I have two versions of it on my iPod: the one from their album Sam’s Town, and a down-tempo version that was released on the Friday Night Lights soundtrack.

3. Miss Independent – Kelly Clarkson
I make no apologies for my adoration of Ms. Clarkson. Love her. Just frigging love her. Nobody does girl-power anthems better than she does, and this one is right up there with Since You’ve Been Gone and My Life Would Suck Without You – love running/working out to all three of them. Even though I’m now happily married, there’s something about a kick-ass I-don’t-need-you-anymore song, and Clarkson is just great at both penning and singing them. They make me feel … powerful? Awesome? Independent? Probably all of the above.

4. Missing You – John Waite
This is a great classic ‘80s song, but the version I have on my iPod is actually a duet from his 2007 release, so it’s a more modern spin on the old one. The sort of takes me down memory lane – remember exes fondly, that idea that you can pretend that you don’t miss them, didn’t love them even though you know you’re lying to yourself. You can find the duet version on his album, Downtown … Journeys. It’s really great – touching, heartbreaking in its way. By the way, anyone remember the video from this? Ha! So quintessentially ‘80s.

5. Between The Lines – Sara Bareilles
Oh, this song is so haunting. I think this was my first introduction to Bareilles, before I even heard Love Song, and it made me fall in love with her. It’s such an honest, open assessment of how and where a relationship went south, and it reminds me of a situation in my own life (pre-marriage). One of those relationships that you couldn’t quite pinpoint where it went wrong, but in retrospect, you know entirely. And yet, you still look back on it with fondness. She’s a really poignant songwriter with a lot of depth and pipes to match.

6. Morning Glow – Michael Jackson (Had to substitute Magic to Do by Ben Vereen)
Ha! Wow, this is really rotating some random songs. Okay, well, in the spirit of this experiment, I’ll write about this one! I think I downloaded this a few years ago when I was looking for some music from Pippin. I starred in the musical at camp in 8th grade, and if I recall correctly, I wanted to hear some of those songs again. That said, I do love this song – the melody, the lyrics, the spirit it embodies … all about “making a new day bright.” That’s sort of who I am, my philosophy.

7. Most of Me – Mandy Moore
If you think Mandy Moore is an over-processed teeny-bopper, you haven’t listened to her latest music. This song is off of her 2007 Wild Hope album, all of which I downloaded. And this one is definitely one of my favorites (along with Looking Forward and Gardenia). It’s about a woman who gives all of herself to a man but who still comes up short, and is left to question what else she could do to make him love her. It’s just so resonant for anyone who has ever felt a little bit broken by a relationship, and I love it.

8. Needs – Collective Soul
This has been one of my most beloved songs for a decade. It’s such a desperate, open demonstration of love, and I could listen to it day in, day out. The last minute and a half or so is perfection. Seriously. When he starts singing, “You’re all I need …,” well, I often just rewind and listen to it over and over again.

9. Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks are one of my favorite bands, and this is one of my favorite songs. In fact, I secretly learned how to play the guitar between the time when my husband proposed to me and when we got married, and at our wedding, I played this and sang it for him. (Wow, that sounds cheesy admitting, but I swear it worked at the time!) I’m not the type of girl who wants/needs to be rescued, but this song is sort of about that, albeit it, in my opinion, emotionally rescued. And it resonated with me at the time: I just wanted someone who could support me, love me, always have my back. Who could take me away from everything, and this song was the embodiment of how grateful I was to have found that.

10. Round Here – Counting Crows
You know, I think the Counting Crows got a bad rap in the past few years – their lead singer sort of became a basket-case (though I think he’s since recovered), and their recent albums didn’t necessarily thrive. And I think that maybe they were lumped into cheesy ‘90s music, but if you go back and listen to their first album, it’s amazing and really stands on its own. I love the build-up in this song to where Adam Duritz is wailing about his loneliness and isolation. Reminds me of college and post-college (not the loneliness! Just the song and the band), and when I saw them in concert at Jones Beach with my best friend in, I think, 1994. :) If you DO go back and listen to the album, don’t miss A Murder of One. Brilliant. I could listen to that song for hours on end.

7 Responses to Guest DJ: Allison Winn Scotch from Ask Allison
  1. Ri, the Music Savvy Mom
    August 4, 2009 | 5:32 am

    Holy Best Selling Authors, Batman!! WTG, Tiffani, for scoring Allison, and THANK YOU, Allison, for shuffling for us! (Guess who's going to be asking my SIL to swing by Target on the way to the airport to pick up TOML to read on the plane? Perfect!)

    Love Counting Crows, even if Adam Duritz's dreads might have been twisted a bit too tightly on occasion. Just found out yesterday that Alison Krauss and John Waite are getting married, so was very interested to hear the duet with that in mind. You won't get any crap from me about Air Supply because I have this song, too…hehehe. Great list!

  2. Melisa with one S
    August 4, 2009 | 5:49 am

    Air Supply FTW!!! LOVE IT!

    This is an AWESOME list. :)

  3. Tiffani Hill-Patterson
    August 4, 2009 | 7:35 am

    Allison, thanks so much for sharing with us. Your list was a blast to put together … I had to stop and listen to Air Supply, Kelly Clarkson, John Waite and Dixie Chicks (love that song!) before I could put the whole list up. :-)

    Everyone, you really should go get a copy of Time of My Life – it's fun, interesting and well-written.

    And, seriously, Ri? John Waite and Alison Krauss are getting married? They do make beautiful music together. (ha.ha.)

  4. Devilish Southern Belle
    August 4, 2009 | 10:08 am

    LOVE the shuffle…so mellow. I'm a huge fan of (older-ish) Counting Crows.

    Time of My Life sounds like a novel I'd love, and SQUEEEE!!! It's available for the Kindle, too!

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried
    August 4, 2009 | 12:32 pm

    Interesting shuffle, Allison. I've been following your blog for a long time now; you do good stuff.

  6. Danya A.
    August 5, 2009 | 3:52 am

    AH this list is quite possibly my favorite one so far. Air Supply.. The Killers.. Counting Crows..
    And I'm absolutely in love with Missing You and Between the Lines.
    My hat's off to you, me lady.

  7. Shelley W.
    August 5, 2009 | 11:29 am

    Love this site and Allison's shuffle! Loved the story about the Dixie Chicks song — I'm a huge fan of the band too. I'm also a runner and always on the lookout for good songs to run to — will definitely check out the Killers song. SO TRUE what she said about Mandy Moore's recent stuff. "Garedenia" is a fave.

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