Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, one of the most polarizing of all holidays. Do you enjoy taking this day as a reminder to appreciate your loved ones and get romantic? Or are you annoyed by a manufactured holiday that brings out candy-coated bullshit and makes the lonely feel lonelier?
Either way, we aim to please. So we've set up these blog posts like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure stories you read when you were a kid.
Go here if you love V-Day and would like a VALENTINE'S DAY RULES soundtrack.
Go here if you hate V-Day and would like a VALENTINE'S DAY SUCKS soundtrack.
(Or, if you are looking to take this year's V-Day an entirely different direction: The Six Best Songs About Murdering A Significant Other)
YOU CHOSE VALENTINE'S DAY SUCKS!
It's almost Valentine's Day, y'all. It's time to hate on all of this love bullshit and have sex with people that you don't even like.
But what music should accompany your dirty deeds or heartbroken feelings?
I've used my decades-long experience as an expert soundtrack-chooser to bring you this highly-recommended list of tunes to get you through this most terrible and torturous of holidays. I tapped ten of my all-time favorite artists for inspiration. Here you go:
The Ronettes - "Is This What I Get For Loving You?" Key lyric: "It's such a cruel world to be alone in" When in doubt, turn to the classics. The Ronettes' "Is This What I Get For Loving You?" is not just one of the best anti-love songs ever, it might be the best anti-love song ever. The Spector girl-group harmonies make the heart shrivel in unmeasurable proportions. Lyrics like "And now I'm so afraid I'm losing you" bring us all right back to our worst, most heartbreaking moments.
The Cardigans - "And Then You Kissed Me II" Key lyric: "I tell you now like I told you before: Love is a powerful force" My favorite Cardigans album is Gran Turismo, but it does not reflect the depth of the Swedish band's love-hating. For that, you need to bust out SuperExtraGravity. "Losing a Friend" and "I Need Some Fine Wine (And You, You Need to be Nicer)" are for hatin', but give "And Then You Kissed Me II" a spin. With lines like "Your name used to taste so sweet / Then you beat the love right out of me" it is bitter until the end.
Iggy Pop - "Some Weird Sin" Key lyric: "Some weird sin / Just to relax me" Forget making love. You just want to get laid. You want to give in to all of your worst desires and just get f-u-c-k-e-d. If you don't have a sexy little thing and you just want to go to the bar and then pick up some one-night-only, then this is your song. If things get too straight, you can't bear it and you are searching for some weird sin, son. Hopefully it's weird enough that you forget this whole ugly day. This song comes on, and Good Lord, it is time to bang.
Sex Robots - "We're Thru!" Key lyric: "My girlfriend's in therapy / I did too many dog shit things" St. Louis band Sex Robots always gets right to the point. The songs are short and oh-so-sweet and this song blasts though all of those negative, crushed emotions with simple honesty. ("I think she's beautiful she thinks I'm sliiiiiime!")
AA Bondy - "A Slow Parade" Key lyric: "Tide will bring and tide will take / Find another horse to break" He's not very well known, but this singer-songwriter single-handedly renewed my faith in new music some years back. His songs always remind us that all good love can go bad, and that all bad love can make you weaker.
Patti Smith - "Pissing in a River" Key lyric: "What more can I give you, to make this thing grow? / Don't turn your back now, I'm talking to you" One of her most depressing performances, the poet Smith embraces the full emotion and the weird power that one can find in heartbreak.
Teenage Fanclub - "Mellow Doubt" Key lyric: "I'm in trouble / And I know it / What I'm feeling / I can't show it / But these feelings / Don't go away" Grand Prix is a emotional ride of an album, and "Mellow Doubt" is the song that you want if you're feeling heartbroken. The song captures that miserable, regretful feeling perfectly. Think: driving in the cold winter rain with the windows up while an old lover is packing up your shit at their house.
R.E.M. - "Country Feedback" Key Lyric: "You wear me out / You. Wear. Me. Out." R.E.M. was a band that was about feelings. This track off of one of the bands darkest albums, Out of Time, is slow and tentative and tiptoeing, much like an elongated breakup. ("It's crazy what you could've had") The song is sad, even gut-wrenching, and all of the obtuse lyrical dances that R.E.M. was known for are cast away in favor of a pure expression of grieving.
Beach Boys - "God Only Knows" Key lyric: "If you should ever leave me... the world could show nothing to me / So what good would living do me?" A deep song with conflicting messages, wrapped up in a beautiful package. Completely parallel, emotion-wise, with "Wouldn't it Be Nice?" Brian Wilson is a genius.
Otis Redding - "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)" Key lyric: "You are tired and your love is growing cold / My love is growing stronger, as our affair grows old" An anti-love song list wouldn't be complete without him, so we look to the king of heartbreak, Otis Redding. Otis always understands. I want to find the woman who made him so sad and bash in her face.