At the risk of sounding incredibly un-hip, I usually have the TV on or am listening to my favorite NPR programs like Cartalk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Radio Lab.
I have a toddler; my "making stuff" time usually happens right after he's fallen asleep around 8:30 p.m. As a compulsive and proud multi-tasker, I pair up my creative time with my "story watching" time. Current favorites: Weeds, Psych, Law & Order: UK, and The Good Wife.
Do certain genres of music affect your creative process?
Grindcore pretty much makes my creative process wilt and the Blues make me want to poke out my eardrums. Otherwise, I dig all genres at some point or other.
How does music fit into your creative routine?
I usually listen to music when I'm sitting at the computer updating my web site, blogging, and writing press releases. Music basically factors into the part of my creative business that is less "creative" and more "business." (But as a professional writer, I would argue that writing is creative, so there you go.)
Name some of your favorite artists/bands.
Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, The Smiths, Metallica (no, I'm not kidding), the bird and the bee, Grandaddy. Pretty much what I liked 10 years ago I still like today. I'm a loyal music fan - I don't normally stray and pretty much like everything my favorites make.
**NOTE: In the music collage, the bands pictured are Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, The Smiths, and Metallica
Contrary to what I just said, I recently discovered Florence + The Machine and LOVE LOVE LOVE!!