I enjoy weird, offbeat, and high-tempo stuff when I'm working on cleaning my room or scrubbing the bathroom. It keeps me energized and motivated.
The Birthday Massacre
Sisters of Mercy
When I need to be focused and mellow, like doing perfectly even eyeliner or curling my hair up to ruffly mohawk perfection, eerie-whimsy-somber does it for me.
For Writing or Reading:
- Gladiator soundtrack
- Fifth Element soundtrack
- music without vocals
If there are no vocals, but lots of powerful orchestral sounds - that's perfect for writing. Granted, it'll depend pretty heavily on if I'm working on an action scene, dialogue, a moment of introspection, etc.
For generalized reading though, you can beat a good somber piano piece.
Of course music affects other aspects of my life. If I've been on a Loreena McKennitt kick I'll gravitate towards flowing bohemian skirts and earth-toned makeup. After going through The Cure's discography, I find myself craving black lace, black tea, and Poe's collection of stories. Sometimes I even take inspiration from music videos when plotting hairstyles or daily outfits. I've been guilty of basing looks around Korean pop mv's. No lie.
When I was a teen, music got me through a lot of rough times. I was always a sensitive child and I took bullying and criticism REALLY HARD, so slamming on some Linkin Park tunes or crooning along with early Avril Lavigne might have gotten me through some of that. I could slip into that angry, resentful, "not gonna take shit" mentality and not feel completely hopeless for a while.
That's probably how I survived high school, come to think....
My interest in J-pop actually started a really intense interest in Japan itself, to the point where I took college courses on Asian geography and history, some language classes, and a real fascination with their fashion scene and how that relates to music.
I think that's why I had developed such an affinity for certain Visual Kei bands - they also had a large following of fans that wanted to emulate their looks and lifestyle. Not so unlike the early years of Goth.
On an ending note, I have played music for my plants. They tend to really enjoy that spiritual new age stuff, go figure. :)