Saturday, February 14, 2009
Had the idea of making a mixed tape for Valentine’s Day, I thought maybe the best way to express love would be with music. But rather than making it myself I asked some of my favorite people for help in compiling a small mix of songs to share on the theme: the requited, unrequited and somewhere in the middle variety. Hope you’ll enjoy reading the few words they wrote on their song choices. Please remember to download the mixed tape at the end of the post!
Track 1: ‘Love Love Love’ by the Mountain Goats
Luis Romero, Lion Hunts Rabbit: Here's the thing about The Mountain Goats: When they take a stab on the topic of love they don't come in the front door. Hell, they don't even come in the back door. They smash a window open and dive in. "Love Love Love" avoids the familiar terrain of love songs in lieu of a song about love itself. The wild, ferocious force that it is. We like to treat it as a lovable, loyal pet but the song warns us otherwise. And worse, the song seems to imply that the desire for it is inherit to us. We are predisposed to it. We will, be sure of it, behave foolishly and think we understand it. We will lose our kingdom for it, betray our family for it, gamble our reputation on it, feel above everyone as a result of it, and even kill ourselves for what we think we know, but do not.
This is all handled with a guitar and an array of studio effects that makes the song come at you like a dream. A peaceful, happy dream that feels familiar enough to easily doze away into it. I love this song because it lulls me into it every time, but as with any other dream, danger always lurks.
Tracks 2 and 3: Mozart’s ‘Voi Che Sapete’ sung by Cecilia Bartoli and ‘I just want to make love to you’ by Etta James.
Michiko, Things of Beauty: Here I send you two completely different love songs, I really could not choose which one I like better, because, well, they are just too different for comparison. The first one is a very popular song from Mozart's opera ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ called ‘Voi Che Sapete’, sang by the wonderful Cecilia Bartoli. I picked this song for several reasons, firstly because I've been so familiar with this song since I was little (my father is a huge Mozart lover), secondly because I personally think this is one of the loveliest opera songs by Mozart, and one of the most delightful love songs ever.
The song lyrics (translated):
Who know what love is,
See if it is
What I have in my heart.
All that I feel
I will explain;
Since it is new to me,
I don't understand it.
I have a feeling
Full of desire,
Which now is pleasure,
Now is torment.
I freeze, then I feel
My spirit all ablaze,
And the next moment
Turn again to ice.
I seek for a treasure
Outside of myself;
I know not who holds it
Nor what it is.
I sigh and I groan
Without wishing to,
I flutter and tremble
Without knowing why.
I find no peace
By night or day,
But yet to languish thus
Is sheer delight.
Who know what love is,
See if it is
What I have in my heart.
The second song is "I just want to make love to you" by Etta James. She has an incredible voice and this song is dead hot, I had goose bumps the first time I heard it when I was 14.
Track 4: ‘I gave you’ from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
Renaud, Backspace Century: It's the last song of ‘Superwolf’, the record that Will Oldham made with guitarist Matt Sweeney. Actually, I think you should post it with the video; it's quite special for me. Every time I watch it, I feel haunted, probably because of its smell of blood and murder.
Track 5: Luz Casal, ‘Un año de amor’
Stefhany Yepes, Stefhany Yepes Photostream: Al pensar en una canción de amor que mejor que la selección de Pedro Almodóvar para sus peliculas, esta canción: 'Un año de amor' de Luz Casal, usada en 'Tacones lejanos', aqui el video y el original de Mina.
When thinking of a love song what better selection than those of Pedro Almodóvar for his films, the song: 'A year of love' by Luz Casal, used in 'Tacones lejanos', here is the video and the original by Mina.
Tracks 6, 7 and 8: ‘Consequence’ by the Notwist, ‘Forever’ from Siouxsie & the Banshees and ‘Look to me’ by Azure Ray
Thomas Schärer, Staub fänger: I have chosen these songs because I think in their unearthly beauty of music and meaning of text they express like no others the feeling of having found something very precious and fragile and the fear of losing it again, while the lyrics suggest that it is already lost, not stopping the music from repeating the love drunken melodies again and again... when I had to choose only one it would be 'consequence'. More explanations (that go too far probably to use them in the blog but here they are):
'Consequence', the chorus and ending words 'leave me paralyzed love' contrast the sentence 'you're not in this movie, you're not in this song'. I believe it's about not wanting let go the feeling of love (to stay paralyzed), when it's already too late.
'Forever', about something that should not have ended, but also about cutting the connection intentionally. 'This could have lost forever. This is the last string to sever'.
‘Look to me’, in the lyrics of the Azure Ray song there's maybe a glimpse of hope ('you will return'). This song I guess is about a long lasting relationship that has gone slightly off-road. The others are more about an unrequited/impossible/short love, as I understand them.
Track 9: 'Just a girl' by the Pale Fountains
Billie, Life with Maggie: Here is a romantic and completely over the top song: if this music was food, it would be a pink pastry with lots of cream on the top. The arrangements are pretty heavy and baroque yet there's something quite aerial about the whole thing. To me, its' girly music at its best. I love this song because it makes me feel like walking on clouds, it's refreshing, it lifts me up and makes me tremendously happy whenever I hear it.
Please go *HERE* to download the mixed tape.
Thank you to everyone who contributed and those who meant to.
Happy Valentine’s day!