It’s almost 2016, Diva and Collectress are back in the same zip code, and we got press badges to SDCC as well as numerous other cons this year. I’d say 2015 has been good to the Collective, and that’s something to dance about!

tina fey

This is my third annual Top 10 Albums list, and, while there are some familiar faces, I have also stumbled upon a few new, great artists I can’t wait to share. Hope you enjoy the soundtrack to my 2015 and find something that speaks to your soul as much as these tracks speak to mine.


C. Diva

Hit me up with music suggestions over on Twitter and Tumblr.

2013 Top Ten Albums

2014 Top Ten Albums

1) Love Stuff by Elle King

Elle King is a gift. Her voice is amazing and I promise she’s not just one-hit wonder. Love Stuff, released February 2015, is full of gems featuring Elle’s sultry alto. Regardless if you’ve heard the song a thousand times on pop radio, take a gander at the video for “Ex’s and Oh’s”. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.


This article contains spoilers for the film, so be warned…

This weekend, the highly anticipated biopic, Straight Outta Compton, opened in theatres to audiences everywhere and made almost $25M on opening night, alone. The film tells the story of rap group N.W.A., members Easy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella, and their rise to fame in the 1980s. While their first album, “Straight Outta Compton” (1988) was a bit before my time, I made up for it by bumping it during high school in the 90s. Although I grew up in Los Angeles, I’m a prep school brat and was born and raised in the suburbs, only passing Compton on the freeway on my way to the beach or the airport. In my youth, the music of N.W.A. represented a culture I didn’t feel I necessarily belonged to, but wanted to understand. As a young person intrigued by the musical revolution of the 1960s, gangsta rap represented an unexpected cultural commentary that coincided with my teen angst perfectly. For my generation,  N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police” is as controversial as John Lennon’s “Imagine” was to my mother’s and just as meaningful.

There is no doubt, music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas knows how to put together an amazing soundtrack and Season 10 might be my favorite, so far.

Here’s some music magic and ten of my favorites from Season 10, to help you through the hellatus.

xoxo C. Diva

Find me over on Twitter and Tumblr rambling, per usual.

Help us get to SDCC by donating here. Even $1 helps!

1) Heartbreaker (Pat Benatar)

Episode: Black

Coolest. Opening. Ever.

What happened, Season 10? You promised to break my heart, but I’m just confused and, well, we did not get enough Demon Dean, and that’s the truth.

(Here’s the long version)


The Oscars are around the corner, and Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash (2014) is on the tip of every critic’s tongue. Wearing the proud badge of 95% Fresh, the drummer-centric film has been nominated for five Academy Awards, one of which is Best Picture. But Whiplash is more than a movie about music—it raises important questions about the student/mentor relationship.

Spoilers ahead!

The story focuses on hopeful jazz drummer Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) and his teacher Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Andrew is studying at the Shaffer Conservatory of Music in New York, where Fletcher is a feared and respected band conductor. Andrew is optimistic, practicing passionately after hours, aspiring to be like the great drummers he admires.

My brother is the kind of snobby internet fiend who looks down on the “common folk” aka, the normal people who use Twitter and YouTube. So when my brother admitted to spending several hours last weekend watching Peter Hollens’ YouTube channel, I wanted to know what could drag my brother into the urbane, everyday corners of the interwebs.

And then I spent three hours watching (and rewatching) these vids, so here we are. If you’ve never heard this man’s voice, well…prepare for shivers to go down your spine because he’s just that good. So here’s a taste to get you suckered in for the next few days or so.

Into the West (feat. Taylor Davis)

This song will always reduce me to tears, and Hollens’ version is no exception.

It’s almost 2015, which means the Croatoan virus did not take over the country, and that, my friend, is something to dance about.


This year, I was inspired not only by music, but by the spirit of the artists creating it.

Here are the 10 albums (plus a bonus) I listened to obsessively in 2014 and will continue to bump in 2015. This list includes feminists, a transexual, a gay icon and other progressive and socially conscious artists. If you haven’t heard of the band or the album, click the links, check out the videos and give ’em a listen. If you’re against revolution via music, move on now, because it’s about to be 2015 and the times, my friend, they are a-changing.

A special thanks to my honey!! for helping me compile this list, across the span of three days, picking up conversations as if no time had passed at all.

Listen to my Top Ten Spotify playlist here or watch my Top Ten video playlist here.


The Collectiva Diva

1) Beyonce Platinum Edition by Beyonce

I love me some Queen Bey and the self titled album Beyonce, released as a visual album December 2013 and reissued as a platinum edition November 2014, is her best yet. With musical appearances by Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Frank Ocean and more, this eclectic powerhouse continues to surprise at every turn and has birthed more than a few feminists this year.


I don’t talk about music often. I listen to it constantly, and my tastes are eclectic, but there is something very personal about the melodies that speak to me. Music is vital to my creative process, and as a writer, I find it invaluable. Film and television scores are a particular weakness of mine, and sometimes I have to watch a movie more than once simply because the first time all I did was lose myself in the composer’s creation. That being said, I’ve been writing a lot of fanfiction recently, and have opened up to my fellow writers about the kind of music that helps me immerse myself in the story.

Here are my top twenty-five scores to write to, in a very vague sort of order. Please note that I have combined certain series to save room on the list (it’s not cheating if the movies in a trilogy have the same composer!). Enjoy!

25.) Gone with the Wind by Max Steiner

24.) Meet Joe Black by Thomas Newman

As I’ve said before, I am a bit of a music snob.

tina fey

Music inspires me so much, I create elaborate shipping soundtracks that differ with my mood and the type of fic I’m reading or writing. If I become ridiculously obsessed with an album or a band, I will murder their sound for months at a time, until a) I can’t stand to listen to them anymore or b) they come out with a new album for me to kill. I love to share music with friends, and so, dear readers, here are my top 5 albums to ship to. I can’t get enough of them. In fact, I’m listening to at least one right now over on Spotify and so should you.

Click the band name to join The Collective channel and sail along with us.

Find us on Spotify:


xoxo The Collectiva Diva

1) Hozier

I’ve been listening to my Hozier playlist on repeat this week. For hours, at my desk, at home, in the car. I can’t stop. Listening to this band is like sipping a hot cup of tea in front of a burning building. What I mean to say is, it is intense. “From Eden”, “Like Real People Do” and “Take Me To Church” were most definitely written by a Destiel shipper*, while “From Eden” makes me cry for Bucky Barnes. Listen to the NPR Tiny Desk Concert and then go buy the Take Me to Church EP and From Eden EP.

*this in no way is true