Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mixtape volume 1: the break up

There's no getting around it, if it wasn't for love lost, there'd be no music industry (well, without drugs at least). In fact, some of my favourite albums have been completely set around break ups, including my newest-can't-stop-listening-to album, Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair by La Dispute. So, because it is very topical to me, I present to you, Chuck's break-up mixtape. Click on the title to listen to each song (Most of these songs don't reflect my situation or feelings, they are just good songs about breaking up).

1. La Dispute - Why it Scares Me
This song is off their new split with Touche Amore and I actually listened to it the morning of my most recent break up. It's uncanny how it reflected my thoughts of the time exactly. Lyrics such as:
Have I been taking my emotional cues from a script I wrote at sixteen?
Maybe I just think about it all so much
That that the fear stays close to all the ghosts I’ve touched.
Makes me question
Was it love or just lust?

Maybe it’s just as much about what comes our way as it is about how we react.
Just as much about the things that we’ve still got as it is about the things we lack.
I know we won’t always keep around all we feel we need–
some are fading in frames, some were born to leave–
But if we’re still here, and we still breathe,
I guess we’ve still got time to figure it out,
To know what to do,
To know how to feel,
Know the things that I’ve been making up inside my head, and
To know what’s real.
I want to believe that the way I am is just the way things go.
For the things that came, not the things I chose
to come.
I want to know if I had any control.
I want to know if it’d comfort me.
If there's one thing I've learnt in life, it's that someone has already written a song about any feeling you could possibly ever have, and probably done it more eloquently than you.

2. Taking Back Sunday - You're So Last Summer
This entire album is pretty much about the lead singer getting dumped. This song is probably the most poignant, especially the line "these grass stains on my knee don't mean a thing".
And all I
Need to know
Is that I'm something you'll be missing
Maybe I should hate you for this
Never really did ever quite get that far

Cause I'm a wishful thinker with the worst intentions
This'll be the last chance you get to drop my name
3. Goldfinger - Fuck You and Your Cat
If there's ever a band to bring a smile to your face around a serious topic, that would be Goldfinger. And breakups aren't left out of it.
So long, so long

The pictures in my head of what could never be
You cut me off, you let me down, you lied to me
I take you out, I rub you down, I sell you shoes
So fuck your trust, your perfume, and your mother too

Where's my T-Shirt?
Where's my money?
Fuck you and your cat
4. At the Drive-In - Give it a Name
Better known for their amazing live shows, non-sensical lyrics (and being one of the best bands ever) it's weird to think of them writing a serious song, especially about something so common as a break-up. But they did. And it's a corker.
Well I never thought this day would end
I walked the tired steps of latter day friends
And all because your stubbornness was
Smiling through your braces
Never thought this day would come
You threw the bricks that built this wall
"Amantillado!" at the top of your lungs
And I can't hear you anymore

So take your diamond band shaped tears
And maybe i'll see you in twenty years
And i will always wear your ring
You know the one that turned my finger green

It's not you, it's me

You don't know what
You've got 'til it's gone

You gave me a reason
To sing our last song
5. Brand New - Jude Law and a Semester Abroad
Another album almost purely about lost love, it was tough to choose which one to use. In fact, Brand New have created almost an entire career about break-up songs. This one wins purely because I still play it on guitar all the time.
Whatever poison is in this bottle will leave me broken sore and stiff.
But it's the genie at the bottom who I'm sucking at.
He owes me one last wish.
So here's a present to let you know I still exist.
I hope the next boy that you kiss has something terribly contagious on his lips. But I got a plan. Drink for forty days and forty nights.
A sip for every second-hand tick.
And for every time you fed me the line,
"you mean so much to me..." I'm without you.
Plus, it's pretty much my game plan.

6. Against Me! - Cavalier Eternal
This song doesn't really reflect on a situation I've ever been in, but it's a great song about a failed couple on multiple fronts.
This just isn't love, it's just the remorse of a loss of a feeling.
Even if I stayed, it just wouldn't be the same.

Double this drink up into the tallest glass you got.
You know, I ain't used to sleeping all alone.
Gonna make it to the moon tonight on a one-way kamikaze flight.
If I could get so high, I'll leave behind my problems,
Take 'em out with the empty bottles.

Oh girl, I'm sorry but I'm leaving.
We're both at fault, we're both to blame.
I might actually bust out my 7" record of this at some point during my drinking soon.

7. Saves the Day - Rocks Tonic Juice Magic
Another band (another emo band of the same generation... I see a pattern) that built over a decade of a career about break-up songs, but generally with darker and morbid lyrics.
Because all I can say tonight
is that I hate you
But it would be all right
If we could see each other sometime
If I could somehow make you mine
And if not I'll take my rusty spoons
And dig out your blue eyes
I'll swallow them down to my colon
They're gonna burn like hell tonight
Because you're beautiful
Just not on the inside
Light comes from within
And your beaming eyes don't seem so bright
My heart is on the floor
Why don't you step on it?
When I think of all the things you've done
Boardwalks and breaking waves
Made our Saturdays
I'd buy you lemonade right now
if you were here
But then I'd throw it in your face
And I'd listen to you cry
And I'd remember how I miss
our nights under ocean skies
You and I are like when fire
and the ocean floor collide.
See how it swings from morbidity to reminiscing?

8. Blacklisted - Skeletons
This one is also fairly morbid and must be about a really bad breakup. In fact, a lot of the album No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me seems to be about a very bitter divorce.
Those secrets that you’ve know
Well you’re the only one I’ve ever told

Make no mistake
I’m exactly
I’m exactly what you make me
And now I just want to dance at your funeral
Because I already paid the band
With the gold I found buried in the sand
Was I ever part of the life you had planned
(Sorry, but I can only find a legal sample of this)

9. Bouncing Souls - Break Up Song
It's weird to think that on my favourite happy-punk-pick-me-up album there's a song about breaking up, but even the Bouncing Souls make it seem ok.
"I don't want this anymore" is all I heard her say as I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door.
With my music in my phones and my bike under my feet, things started to look different as I got out on the street.
Sometimes I see her face in the new people that I meet.
We're not who we thought we were when we saw this dream
Sometimes when I just can't sleep
I hear the words you said to me: How did you get so deep inside of me?
I wake up and I move on, I admit the past is gone, I wake up and I refine
Moving foward to the next lifetime, I leave it all behind.
10. Ben Folds Five - Song for the Dumped
This one has always been a classic for break-ups, and I've even heard it in Japanese.
Give me money back you bitch!
And don't forget...
And don't forget to give me back my black t-shirt
I don't think I'll put the whole lyrics up, everyone of my generation probably already knows it.

11. Reggie and the Full Effect - Get Well Soon
Even the music video for this song makes me sad. The poor Loch Ness Monster has to go on a bender to get over his loneliness.
You've got a lot to do before I let you stay
There's things you need to see and things you need to say

They say we won't make it
What do they know?
They say we can't do it
But I got to know

Is it getting better?
Is it getting worse?
Was it ever worth it?
was it just a curse?

you always talk too much, too little, too late,
for me to figure out
12. From Autumn to Ashes - Short Stories with Tragic Endings
Bands of this time and music scene tended to lace their lyrics with very Poe-styled gothic morbidity. Especially From Autumn to Ashes. However, this song, once you get towards the end of the epic, with the female singer, has some true feelings and emotions of loss.
Did you ever look, did you ever see that one person,
and the subtle way that they do these things and it hurts so much?
So much like choking down the embers of a great blaze.
It's that moment when your eyes seem to spread aspersions
and to scream confessions at the insipid sky parting clouds.
You let this one person come down in the most perfect moment.
And it breaks my heart to know the only reason you are here now is a reminder of what I'll never have...
I'll never have... I'll never...
Standing so close knowing that it kills me to breathe you in...
But this table for one has become bearable.
I now take comfort in this, and for this, I cherish you.
13. Dire Straits - Romeo and Juliet
Like any good mix tape, you've got to finish strong with a memorable song, and this mix is no exception. It's a classic tale, that Mark Knopfler has turned into modern poetry. It encompasses a love so strong, so wrong that burnt out so spectacularly.
Juliet, the dice was loaded from the start
And I bet when you exploded into my heart
And I forget I forget the movie song.
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

Juliet, when we made love, you used to cry.
You said, "I love you like the stars above, I'll love you 'til I die".
There's a place for us, you know the movie song.
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

I can't do the talk, like the talk on TV
And I can't do a love song, like the way it's meant to be.
I can't do everything, but I'll do anything for you.
I can't do anything, 'cept be in love with you!
And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be.
All I do is keep the beat... and bad company.
Now all I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme,
Juliet, I'd do the stars with you any time!

I think I might actually burn this for my car!
Download it here

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