Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s Valentine’s Day, the day when couples across the globe come together in a Hallmark-approved celebration of their love and bitter singles like me feel strangely compelled to remind everyone of the fakeness of the holiday and how if you really love somebody you don’t need a special holiday to make you show it. The central dilemma of Valentine’s Day is the conflict between true love and obligation – if you put on some big romantic display on this day of all days, are you really doing it because you love your partner or because you feel like that’s what you’re supposed to do every February 14th?
I don’t know, maybe I just look at Valentine’s Day this way because I’ve been single for it every year, so I feel like I’ve always been on the outside looking in and don’t know what it’s like to share it with someone. The highlight of my Valentine’s Day every year is getting my Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in the mail, the exception being last year because that’s the day Radiohead announced that The King Of Limbs would be coming out later that week.
But we’re not here to talk about any of that stuff, are we? Of course not! We’re here to count down my top 5 favorite love songs in honor of Obligatory Love Day. The fun begins as soon as you click “Read the rest of this page”!
Hey everyone! Believe it or not, I’m still alive and finally writing another post. You can chalk up that lengthy hiatus to having lots of stuff to do for school. I had a whole bunch of papers to write and several exams to prepare for and I just wasn’t in the mood to write after all that. And I’d wanted to write a commemorative post celebrating the one-year anniversary of this blog, too (I registered with WordPress on New Year’s Eve 2008). I’d also planned on writing this post a lot sooner, since the holiday season only lasts so long.
But here I am, late to the Christmas party… and the New Year’s party, for that matter, but I’ve never done much for New Year’s anyway. The most I ever do is watch a movie or that Three Stooges marathon on AMC, then switch over to Dick Clark and the Times Square ball drop, have a glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream, and then it’s right back to the Stooges for a little bit longer. In the immortal words of James Blunt, “My life is brilliant.” (No links for those of you who are still traumatized by “You’re Beautiful.”)
So in the spirit of the season that has officially passed us by (my mother actually just took down our Christmas decorations today), here’s my Top 5 Favorite Original/Non-Traditional Christmas Songs. No “Frosty The Snowman” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” here, folks. All those songs have been done to death, but people keep doing them anyway. If I have to listen to one more version of freaking “Jingle Bell Rock,” I’m going to lose my mind.
See, back when I worked in a supermarket during high school, they played nothing but Christmas music during the holiday season. Because they apparently didn’t want to offend any non-Christians by playing songs about Jesus, that meant the soundtrack was pretty much limited to every version of “Frosty” and “Rudolph” and “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” that has ever been recorded. I still haven’t quite recovered from this.
So today we celebrate artists who dare to write their own Christmas songs — and actually succeed at it!
(originally aired on Dec. 5, 2008 show)
I have a real knack for coming up with really really long titles for these lists, don’t I? And there are more long list titles where that came from, trust me.
Anyway, this top 5 is a list of the songs that basically secured my status as a fan of these bands. In other words, if I had ever been on the fence about these bands, these are the songs that got me off that fence. For some, I had already liked a few songs but hadn’t felt the urge to add some albums to my collection until I heard a song on this list. With others, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the band at all and was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. And in a rare case or two, I found my previous opinion of the band being completely shattered. These were the songs that sealed the deal, the songs that made me want to check out some albums by the artists on this list. And in each case, I’m so very glad I did.
(originally featured on the Nov. 21, 2008 show)
There are plenty of ways to make a song memorable for your listeners. You could write really intelligent, thoughtful, or clever lyrics that people can relate to or think about long after the song’s over. You could be a master of melodies, crafting instantly recognizable hooks that never ever ever get unstuck from the listener’s head once they get stuck in it. If you’re particularly awesome at your instrument of choice, you could play a really cool solo that fits right into your song like a hand inside a glove.
Or you could always give your song a really hilarious title. And no matter what you think of the bands on this list, you have to admit that they do have a knack for amusing song titles.
That said, if you don’t like “emo-punk…” ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE. Because there are going to be two such songs on this list. And since this is strictly about the song titles, I figure I don’t have to do too much of a write-up beyond listing other amusing song titles by the bands on this list.
That is one seriously huge mouthful.
(LOL THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID LOL)
Oh, shut up, Mr. Dirty-Minded Inner Voice. You know I was talking about the title of this post.
(AMONG OTHER THINGS HA HA HA)
Anyway, as if this intro wasn’t enough evidence that I’m weird, there’s also this top 5 list. It’s strange how sometimes music can provide such a fitting soundtrack to your life, as if your iPod is reading your mind or something. Like, here’s an example… the other day I had “Green Gloves” by the National stuck in my head even though I hadn’t listened to it in a while. And sure enough, my iPod started playing “Green Gloves” that same day. (Not that I’m complaining, because “Green Gloves” is a good song.)
Okay, I’ll admit that’s kind of a stretch. But my iPod also seems to put on a soundtrack of songs that fit my mood. Maybe that’s just me subconsciously choosing to play songs that suit whatever mood I’m in. Still, it’s odd to consider just how many of them seem to come up within close proximity of each other.
It even applies to the radio sometimes too. I remember I was on my way home from a counseling appointment and listening to a rock station when all of a sudden the new (at the time) Puddle Of Mudd single comes on. It’s the one that goes, “Maybe I’m the one who is a schizophrenic psycho.”
But the trend that gets to me the most is when I get a song stuck in my head that lowers my confidence when I pay attention to the lyrics. Like, for example… one of these next five songs is practically guaranteed to get stuck in my head somehow whenever I meet a pretty girl. I like all of these songs, too, so I’ll listen to them anyway. But if I listen closely and start thinking about the lyrics (or even particular lines that stand out), it can really do a number on me.
Yeah, I know it’s just music. But music can be a pretty powerful thing when you listen closely. That’s why it’s so magical. I just wish these next five songs would stop casting their particular spells on me!
And yeah, this is meant as a self-deprecating post. I figure it’s always best to have a sense of humor about yourself, because if you didn’t you’d drive yourself crazy. That said… not all of this post is going to be funny. Now, on with the list…