I was reading the lovely The Not and got to thinking about music and about how often, the songs we like reflect what our life is like at that particular moment. And of course, the potent power of songs to remind you of shit. There are some songs I constantly played at my last job, which involved a lot of driving. Sometimes I’ll still listen to, for instance, Modest Mouse’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank still makes me a little bitter. I mean, it’s kind of a cynical album anyway-Modest Mouse does those well.
Obviously, I am not in love (this is not about love, because I am not in love. In fact I can’t stop falling out….I miss that stupid ache. Thanks Fiona). But oh god, I’ve been obsessed. I’ve thought I was so in love and that my world revolved around a particular man more times than I can count. One of my favorite things about music is how you can sing a song about stalking someone without actually being brought in on charges. We’ve all felt that desperate sort of obsession, even if we haven’t you know, sent them our underwear via FedEx. But I wonder at just how thin that line is between “I’m sick with infatuation/love” to “I’m so deranged I will be sleeping in your rosebushes, thanks.”
After the cut (which I just figured out how to do), some of my favorite obsessive love/lust songs. What are yours?
She Wants Revenge “Tear You Apart”
This one is almost too easy a choice. The lead singer-whose name I should know or look up, but I am not-has such a detached, almost dead way of singing in this song that belies just what he’s actually singing. I expect this to be the go-to song for the next several years’ worth of stalker movies. The band name is also really great, and one of my favorite band names. Video is kind of creepy as well, and was directed by none other than Joaquin Phoenix.
Death Cab for Cutie “I Will Possess Your Heart”
Yeah yeah I’m mentioning them again. Between them, Tegan and Sara and Jimmy Eat World, I could have a Jimmy Eat Tegan and Sara’s Cutie blog. Anyway. I’ve recently become a big fan of the first line (which takes four minutes or so to get to, it’s a looong instrumental opening, unless you have the radio edit version): “How I wish you could see the potential, the potential of you and me. It’s like a book elegantly bound but in a language that you can’t read.” I love the phrasing in that. And that sounds reasonable enough. Then Ben Gibbard escalates things a bit-see title-and it’s grand. Ahh, if only he was right about how spending some time with someone makes them fall in love with you. I heard once that if someone isn’t attracted to you, at least on some level, when they first meet you, they probably never will be. I find it incredibly aggravating that people don’t just wake up one day and realize how blind they’ve been for not loving you all along. Unless of course, they’re characters in a movie or book.
Gus Gus “David”
This is one of the Songs That Make It Obvious I Am a Fag Hag, since my gay got me started on this particular track. This band is Icelandic, I think. And it’s very electronic club music stuff, and I don’t always like listening to it because it’s very repetitive: “I still have last in my body; I wish you were with me.” But if you’re in the mood, it’s kinda sexy. Although the video is a bit disappointing, maybe because there’s no one dressed in a glittery golden outfit and holding a giant disco ball.
White Stripes “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”
Confession time: There have been a few times when this song has queued up on my iPod shuffle and the opening guitar has made me jump out of my seat and basically scared the shit out of me, because it’s so raw and sudden. I read that Jack White originally intended for the song to be softer, and for the guitar to not be so raw and heavy, but I think the rawness of it definitely works. There’s some musical term for what he did that I’m forgetting, but this song just fuckin’ rocks, and I get kind of an Edgar Allen Poe vibe from it. Just make sure you’ve gone to the bathroom before you listen to it. Bonus: Michael Gondry directed the video.