You may want to read this post first…
BoyzIIMen — End of the Road
I would be willing to wager that more mixtapes were created because of love than any other reason you can think of. Sure, we all made mixtapes to show our friends what kind of fantastic music they were missing out on, but we made more to tell our lover what they meant to us.
After a break-up, mixtapes were a cathartic way to deal with the tumultuous weather our souls were undergoing. We would mix collections of sappy garbage we used to hate but now touched us on the deepest emotional level (read that as “shit we would never listen to when our friends were around), angry songs that burned our ex-lovers to help empower us, and upbeat tunes that just let us know that life was worth living–even if that meant living alone for a while.
Since I’ve recently went through a break-up and even more recently realized it was for real (it’s harder to accept a broken engagement than a standard relationship) I figured I should carry on the time honored tradition here.
I’ll get back to the “this is music I like” mixblog format, but for now I’m going to weep over my keyboard and listen to BoyzIIMen.
Harry Nilsson — Without You
Divas rock, but Harry Nilsson did this song originally and did it best.
I’m known for having a bright outlook. I’m a happy person. But a break-up can put you in a dark place and this one surely did. By far the darkest place I’ve ever been in my life.
What’s even more difficult to deal with is that it was her that helped me get through that dark place before she finally left for good.
I believe that John Lennon had a hand in writing this song.
Johnny Cash — Hurt
Rather than bemoan what happened between myself and Miss Lolly Feng, I’ll spare you the details and talk about the music. My blog is meant to be a touch personal, but I don’t want to get in too deep.
When Johnny Cash did this song there were a whole lot of naysayers. The nice thing is that Trent Reznor wasn’t one of them. In fact, Mr. Reznor himself supposedly liked this version better than the original. I do as well.
I’ve been a long time fan of Johnny Cash. The “I’ve been listening to him as long as I can remember” kind of long time fan. This was one of his last recordings, and one of his best. Every time I listen to it I get shivers, and seeing June on the stairs (she passed away just before the video was released) chokes me up a bit. I’m glad this track became part of the Cash legacy and I think the video’s director should have a warm, fuzzy feeling the rest of their life for creating an artistic property that will stand the test of eternity.
When Kanye’s “College Dropout” album came out, a friend that was disappointed by my disappointment at the state of hip-hop gave me a copy. I was somewhat reinvigorated, and now that I’ve discovered proper, amazing underground hip-hop (thankee Ben) I’ve become even less jaded. Like most music, I still think that most commercial hip-hop blows like El Nino, but there is fantastic work being done and I’m keeping my eyes open for it.
Kanye uses the line “Will I ever love again?” in the track, and (of course) that question has run through my mind a number of times. A huge number. A very huge number.
The answer is probably. There is one thing I’ve learned in my short but busy life, however. I’ve fallen in love a couple of times and each time was very different. I believe it’s possible, even likely, that I’ll fall in love again. But it won’t be anything like the love I’ve lost.
Part of getting over a break-up is realizing that something you had is lost to memory and it will never be recovered. Happy endings are much more unusual than Hollywood would have you believe, so there is little point hoping that you’ll end up on top of the Empire State Building with your soul-mate.
Merril Bainbridge — State of Mind
This song was in a movie…I think it was in a famous movie. I don’t know which one and I don’t care. The album by Ms. Bainbridge is fantastic and that’s good enough for me.
I discovered the album this song is from (The Garden) because an ex-girlfriend played it incessantly. Kind of funny that. It was another bad break-up, but not because of how much I cared about her. It was bad because she was completely bat-shit insane.
Very often we say that our former other halves were crazy, but we do that as a defense mechanism. It’s a way to rationalize not being able to be with them any more. I don’t have to use that as a defense mechanism because a couple of years later I worked with a gentleman that I found out had previously worked as a youth psychiatric counselor. At some point the conversation turned to crazy exes and I through out the young lady’s name.
He was very professional in not giving away any information when he expressed his condolences for me ever having to deal with her in that capacity. She was even more bat-shit insane than I gave her credit for. I feel somewhat bad for saying it, but it did give me some vindication.
One good thing that came out of the break-up was the this song, and another was the next song. But I’ll explain that after you hit play on it.
Ani Difranco — Fire Door (Live)
After breaking up with bat-shit girl, I began dating her ex-best friend. I know, how very Rod McKuen of me. But that’s what happened.
Her best friend introduced me to Ani Difranco and I am forever grateful for that. Ani quickly became one of my favorite artists and continues to be to this day. While I haven’t really listened to much of her music that’s been released since UpX6 (sorry, been trying to keep discovering new music) I still constantly go back to Puddle Dive, Living in Clip (one of the greatest live albums ever recorded), Dilate and the others.
This song is a fantastic swan song song. I played it a lot when I broke up with the girl that introduced me to Ani. That was another hard break-up, made especially hard because it was utterly and completely my fault and I was such a pansy-ass I couldn’t accept her forgiveness. Looking back, I was an ass.
Looking back, I usually am.
Charlie Rich — The Most Beautiful Girl
Hey, if you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world, that walked out on me, tell her I’m sorry, tell her that I need my baby.
Her name’s Lolly Feng. She’s a make-up artist in L.A. She’s amazing. This mixblog was for her.
Even if she never sees it.