Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Song for a Crappy Tuesday

When the heart is broken, musical taste takes a nosedive. At first, all the great songs of longing and passion may suffice, but after the dust settles, and feelings are still raw, and there seems to be no end in sight, it's far too exhausting to rifle through complex poetry and rhythm to get just the right feeling. I want something on the nose and I want it now.

Because of this, you might awaken from a Riunite soaked night to discover your iTunes account scabbed over with the likes of Nickleback or Avril Lavigne (and your recommendations will never be the same, trust me. I purchased an Amy Grant song a few years back for a show and it has been nothing but Jars of Clay and Creed ever since.). What's worse, is that you will listen to it. On Repeat. For Days.

Do you even know yourself? No. You don't. No one else knows you either which is why, when Daughtrey belts out "It's Not Over", you don't stop yourself from the shame of swaying to and fro. All that Pre-Punk and Math Rock lies dormant while you fill your head with Akon and Pink. "Who Knew?"

In the throes of remantling the the heart, no one wants to do any musical work. They want something, that in no uncertain terms, announces how they feel like a ball peen hammer. Sure, Tom Waits' "Closing Time" might send you through every delicate sensation love can bring and The Magnetic Fields are no strangers to heartache. However, they are too smart, too contemplative for the broken heart. The Broken Heart wants "SO WHAT?! I AM A ROCK STAR. I GOT MY ROCK MOVES. AND I DON'T NEED YOU." not "Looking for Somebody With Whom to Dance."

The more thoughtful stuff is for later. When the ache is milder, and the rational mind can comfort the dumb little heart with poetry. Then it's not so afraid of reflection.

In the film, Magnolia, Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) is a desperate former child genius, trying to get the attention of a bar tender in a local dive. At one point (actually, I think several points) he is playing "Dreams" by Gabrielle in his little beater car. This song is not great. As far as hopeful songs about love go, it's pretty basic. But you can tell this guy has it on over and over again in his car to pump himself up. It's on the nose, slightly catchy, and free from reflection. (And in the hands of Macy and PT Anderson, totally heartbreaking)

It has a pretty high play count on my iTunes.

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