By: Patrick Gill
I have been called in as counsel, as I like to see it, on many break ups in my life. I’m not going to analyze this and what it means about my love life. I hold grudges against others ex’s, I hold my punchier responses until you ask for my truth. I will give you the truth but I know how to make people laugh through to the other side of it. Those occasionally delve into less positive side of all involved. And sometimes you need to not be around people, even friends, that’s when music is there for you.
Instead I will extend my expertise in this area to you dear friend/stranger. Some point, early in your break up you need to find yourself completely alone in your living place. You need to strip down to your underwear, maybe get a few beers, or enough liquor to get good and dancy. If you don’t drink, don’t worry. Just let go. Neighbors might mind, but they have probably already heard you crying so your rhythmic feet and the buzz of synths will be a happy change.
It is anchored in places by Rilo Kiley. Know this, right now, in some way and for some reason Jenny Lewis and pals know the tone of break-ups best. Have your problems with this LA hip as hell foursome, but understand these selected songs signify moments of changes in your mind, about yourself, about you past, about your former love.
Which reminds me ,these are choices in songs that might be different from yours, add in yours. These are just songs some people don’t think about in their mopy times. Not all of them are on the nose, I mean the Beyonce choices are, but come on of course they are.
“Dejalo”- Rilo Kiley
Start with something sunny, distractingly sunny. Rump shaking pseudo-disco, white girls semi-rapping in Spanish. Get mindless, indulgent, put yourself in a giddy place.
“Gigantic”- The Pixies
This is a bit of a sexy song, but it also makes you in to a human bobble-head. You swing and sway and shake away your pain. Just let Kim Deal repeatedly wailing the chorus, it will hypnotize and subdue.
“Kamikaze”- PJ Harvey
Only to bring you to the furious PJ Harvey. This song is paranoid and powerful. Yeah, the world is all against you, charging in, darting at you. You know what fixes that, DANCING.
“You Cheated Me”- Martha Wainright
Martha Wainright should be listened to whenever you want to be pensive. Just honest, bare, and pensive. This is more quick and bluesy (a little) than a lot of her other work; also you might not have been cheated on, that doesn’t matter, someone else needs to pay
“Your Phones Off the Hook, But You’re Not”- X
This X song is not really about thinking, it’s about how terrible someone else is and how great you are. Because you’re great, remember? Even Exene Chervenka thinks so!
“Demolition Man”- Grace Jones
I really love the live version here, because with a single note Grace Jones can blow things up. Don’t you wish you could do that. In any case, this song makes you feel strong, fierce, independent. Pure power.
“Breaking Up”- Rilo Kiley
My friends from early on in college used to have a dance move to this , where you punch up above you while swinging your hips. It’s called Breaking The Glass Ceiling (of Patriarchy). Give it a whirl. This ultimate pop-fection (again with the semi-disco) is too kitschy to be bad.
Also this marks the point in the mix in which we change pace. Now is when it gets real, real, dancy.
“I Love It”- Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX
So start it with the summer jam that will not die. It was a staple of bars and clubs last year, now it is riding the radio waves into this summer. I honestly hated this song at first, I thought it was a thoughtless and weird, I’m not exactly into people threatening to smash other people’s shit and crashing their cars. But when you see what this does to people at bars, or feel the jump from the beat roll through you, you can’t help but love it.
“It’s a Good Day”-Peggy Lee
You say anachronism I say be quiet, you’re drunk. Shake your shoulders, make sassy faces. Peggy Lee wrote many of her own songs, which was far less common for the jazz singers of her time. It’s helpful back story, knowing she can process through pain into a song and interpret is well in her performances.
“Firm Biz”- Nicki Minaj featuring Jadakiss
Peggy Lee is a perfect segue into the work of the poptacular Bronx rapper in her mixtape days. Listen to this Michael Jackson sampled wonder, dance my friends, dance!
“Best Thing I Never Had” OR “Freakum Dress”- Beyonce
How full of vengeance fueled sexual animosity are you right now? That determines the use of Freakum Dress. If you just want to dance, Freakum Dress is yours. If you want to sing along and attempt/add in a lot of vocal runs (its like a prettier version of primal scream therapy) go for Best Thing I Never Had.
“Ghost in My Machine”- Annie Lennox
Many have entirely missed the exhuberance of Annie Lennox, she’s great with ballads and crooning, with the Euthymics she was precise and sensual. But you can’t miss out on fun loving Annie. Really, you can’t.
“Smoke Detector”-Rilo Kiley
This is more of an epilogue to the night, when you are bucked up enough to sometime go out, maybe you take someone home or go to their’s, you think of this song. Smoke detectors baby, you’re gonna need em.