Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Steph's Top Ten Anti-Love Songs of All Time

Valentine's Day is over.  I know, I know.  This comes as a shock to some of you still entangled in satin sheets of love and dick deep in mystery flavored chocolates contained in heart shaped boxes.  I sincerely hope my Top Ten Love Songs Of All Time list helped in your Holiest of Love Night quests.

If you cursed my name a few days ago because you thought I had shunned the other half of the population, the heartbroken, brooding, black hoodie wearing, sad face selfie taking mother fuckers of the world - namely, YOU... I most certainly have not, my friend.  Come on in, let me take that black hoodie from you, pour you some liquor, and let's tandem hate that bastard of emotion named love.

As usual, my Top Ten lists are derived from my listening charts, which track every single depressing piece of music I've listened to in almost the last decade.  We'll start out with #1 because we have alcohol in our hands, which makes us bullet proof.  Why not?

1.  "One Man Drinking Games" by Mayday Parade:  You're going to be really glad I poured you that drink because this one is a bevy of fucked up emotions.  This one song will take you from happy wistfulness to seething anger to pain so intense you'll be eligible to collect disability from the government for the rest of your life.  I'm pretty sure it covers all of the Five Stages Of Loss And Grief.  

2.  "Epiphany" by Staind:  Oh, shut up, you elitist music snob.  Heartbreak knows no "bad bands".  Heartbreak turns up bands you normally wouldn't give the time of day to to top volume on your fancy pants stereo system.  Heartbreak says sit the fuck down, shut up and listen to Staind.  The band actually has a lot of great love gone wrong songs.  Listen to "Nothing Left To Say" and "Everything Changes" for more shots of despair.  Ignore the shitty video below.  Just listen to the words.  The D list actor and the actress with the Bugs Bunny teeth just piss me off and make me actually want to thump baby bunnies on their little heads.  And why the hell didn't someone on that set get Aaron Lewis a damn umbrella?!

Mini rant about the video.  Really, Billy Zane?!  Ghost children lead you to the dead love of your life and you don't kiss the bitch before she dematerializes and becomes a ghost again?!  You deserve to be alone and horny for the rest of your life, which back in the days when straight men wore ruffles probably meant just a few more years, but still.  

3.  "And All That Could Have Been" by Nine Inch Nails:  This song is like reaching for the very best whiskey you have on your shelf.  You know, the stuff you hide from everyone else because, honestly, those ignorant hillbillies wouldn't appreciate it anyway.  This song is for discerning souls, the ones who don't mind waiting patiently until something takes time to build and crescendo, become better.  You start off sipping your expensive whiskey in a very dignified manner, slowly and calmly, but by the end of this 6 minute masterpiece of misery, you're face down under the coffee table with a very expensive, empty bottle, probably in need of a good stomach pumping.  God, I fucking love Trent Reznor.  

4.  "Done Wrong" by Ani Difranco:  If Nine Inch Nails is like reaching for the good whiskey when you're heartbroken, purposely listening to Ani Difranco after love gone wrong is like mainlining heroin.  Ani is at her best and most beautiful when her heart's been ripped out.  You think you've hit rock bottom?  No, you fucking haven't.  Ani's lyrics will take you further down the rabbit hole than you ever thought a song was capable of taking you.  She'll sum up your debilitating pain with the words you can't or won't quite grasp.  It's therapeutic and tragic and beautiful, all at once.  For a double down dose of utter misery, listen to "So What".

5.  "Tied My Hands" by Seether:  This song comes from the band's album "One Cold Night".  Everyone on Seether's 2006 tour came down with the stomach flu, lead singer Shaun Morgan being hit the hardest, so the band decided to perform acoustic sets out of self preservation.  The reception was so great, the band recorded this completely acoustic performance.  In my opinion, it's their best work and truly showcases their talent.  "Tied My Hands" is a simple, poignant, and distressing tale of loving someone so much, you allowed them to break down your walls, and they thanked you by leaving you in a heap of wall rubble all alone, naked and afraid.  And tied up, apparently.  Actually, that's a television show.  Or possibly a few people's fantasies.  Shaun Morgan hates my guts right now.


6.  "You" by Pretty Reckless:  Hey, buddy, eyes up here.  I'm talking.  Don't be rude.  You can ogle Taylor Momsen when I'm done.  I tend to listen to more female artists when I'm in a black mood and Pretty Reckless delivers up smash after smash in their growing catalog but my favorite is this beautiful, soul shredder of a song about unrequited love.  Okay, I'll leave you and Taylor alone now.  Just remember you're not really that heartbroken if you're about to look for a big bottle of lotion and some Kleenex but I won't judge you.  At least to your face.  

7.  "Here's To You" by It's Alive:  The only album this band has released, "Human Resources" is a gold mine for the betrayed and devastated.  Seriously, if you've been sodomized against your will by love, turn this album on and listen straight through with a bottle of Jack Daniels and your plans for the night just became solid.  Although all the members of the band contributed to most of the songs, the heart wrenching centerpieces of the album come from a particularly bad breakup lead singer Zack Webb suffered through and wrote about.  His lyrics hit a bit too close to home at times and cut deep but if you want to know you're not alone, put this album on.  And do NOT forget the Jack Daniels.  You'll need it.  

8.  "These Things" by Fuel:  All but one song from my favorite Fuel album, "Natural Selection", were written by Fuel guitarist Carl Bell.  All I have to say is Brother Carl went through his share of shit doled out by that fat bastard named Cupid, judging from this song and my other favorite from the album "Most Of All".  Anoint your head with some olive oil and join in on the baptism of pain.

9.  "I'm Still Breathing" by Katy Perry:  I know.  I can't believe a Katy Perry song made a Top Ten List of mine.  Miracles happen.  Or maybe it's the first sign of the apocalypse.  You decide because I'm mostly drunk at this point.  Co-written by Perry and former Eurythmic member Dave Stewart, this sad, metaphorical graveside salute to the love of your life is actually breathtakingly beautiful with some really clever lyrics.

"Maybe I was too pale.  Maybe I was too fat.  Maybe you had better luck in the sack.  No formal education, I swore way too much."

Wait a damned minute!  I think they wrote this song about me.

Seriously, the lyrics are killer and you know how I feel about my lyrics.

"The clock is ticking and I'll be giving my two weeks.  Pick your favorite shade of black, you best prepare a speech.  Say something funny, say something sweet, but don't say that you loved me."

Shit, I need one more drink.

10.  "She Is The Sunlight" by Trading Yesterday:  We're all out of whiskey but some things should be faced straight on like the men we are.  Wait... what?  There was some wisdom to that, believe it or not.  Pain can be healing but we don't like to embrace it.  This tear jerker of a song not only embraces pain but invites it in and gives it a back massage with a "happy ending".  Sometimes we have to go through valleys to get to the mountain.  Sometimes we have to weather the storms to get to the sunshine.  I think I'm just plagiarizing really bad Pinterest memes at this point but you get what I mean.

Play THAT song, whatever that was, that you and your love shared and identified as "your" song. You play the shit out of it for one night of final reflection.  Wallow under that coffee table with your empty bottle but the next day, I want you to move on, even if it's just one step toward the exit door.  I want you to put on happy music, whether you like it or not.  Because you will be happy again.

I was going to end with a serious quote about love by Nietzsche or some shit like that but I think Bart Simpson says it best in this case:  "I never thought it was humanly possible but this both sucks and blows."

It will both suck and blow for a while, my friend.  And then it'll just blow.  Hang in there.  And look for my Top Ten List of Recovery Songs in the next couple weeks (or whenever Fran can work it into the schedule).  My Recovery list is for those who have overcome all encompassing despair and moved on to downright rage.  You'll enjoy it.

'Till next time, y'all!


P.S. Fuck Valentine's Day!

P.P.S. You mother fuckers owe me a new bottle of whiskey!

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