Sunday, February 9, 2014

Well-Adjusted Love Songs

It's two nights before Valentine's Day, which means some of us are stressed, some of us are sad, and some of us really don't give a shit but know that saying that you don't give a shit sounds bitter so we're not quite sure what to do with ourselves. Personally I could not care less beyond the fact that it falls on a Friday this year and pretty much all of my friends are in relationships and probably won't be available for shenanigans, and even if I were feeling saucy making out with strangers on Valentine's Day is super tacky.

This is my first Valentine's Day on my own since 2007 and since I don't have to spend any time worrying about what I'm going to doing, wearing, or buying, I have decided to take the opportunity to compile a list of songs that deal with relationships that don't fit into the standard romantic archetype of either love blinded obsession or unrequited longing. Most love songs are either hyperbolic or reductive and it is easy to feel like a worthless piece of crap when you hear them whether your in a relationship or not. I've also decided to attempt to play and sing a few, because it gives me something other to focus on than the inconsolable wails echoing in my barren and cavernous heart which could only ever be filled by a man's love.

Here is the link to the youtube page with the covers. I don't like the idea of having my own crap right next to the real thing:

So here are some songs that I find genuine, insightful or simply realistic. These actually are NOT love songs for the most part. They are mostly about what its like to navigate a relationship in which love either isn't a factor or isn't enough. My apologies for the misleading title. "Songs about Reasonable Romantic Feelings" just didn't have the same ring.

True Affection
By: The Blow

This song is a little indie darling from 2009 that comes up on my Pandora stations a lot. It doesn't have a lot going on in terms of production value, but I think the lyrics are wonderful in their insightful simplicity. It's about how sometimes affection isn't enough to patch the distance between two people, but that doesn't mean the whole relationship should be discredited.

 Bill Withers: Use Me

This is such a great fucking song, first of all. Funky as fuck and sexy and hell. It's about exactly what it sounds like: Being used and being OK with it. Being used, or using someone, isn't always a sexual matter. You can use someone for companionship. You can use someone for their social life. You can even use someone for their listening skills. Pretty much any relationship in which you don't see a future with someone but want to be with them because they improve your life in some way is a form of using them. We are trained to believe this is WRONG because normally it's one-sided, and if it's not, why would two people waste their time being with someone who you know you won't end up with? Because it can be a lot of fun for a lot of reasons and you can actually learn a lot about yourself. I tried to learn this on guitar. I failed to bring adequate funk so I'll leave it to Bill.


George Michael: Faith (Shown Version if by Lake Street Dive)

Sometimes being used, and using someone, gets old. It's a hard call to make. Faith is what you should say to someone if you find yourself at that point.

Lenka: Everything's OK

To me this is a song about the role of love in society, be it romantic, familiar or platonic, and how we use it to navigate our lives.  I think its sweet and honest and ultimately uplifting.

Daft Punk: Something About Us

Sometimes you just gotta let yourself feel what you feel, man. I was not about to attempt to reproduce this one.

1 comment:

  1. Jay Burr used to add at the end of this song
    as a joke
    " use me like toilet paper"
    Somehow he could pull that off on stage well.