Sunday, August 17, 2008

Everyday is Like Sunday, Except for Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday, and...Well, Friday I'm in Love: Weekly Mix #30

I've stated before in this blog how I'm not really into gooey romance and grand gestures (see my Valentine's Day post); I honestly find them quite mortifying. I'm also certain that I've never been in love, and most of the passing infatuations I've had in life have been with people I would never actually meet. Dysfunctional perhaps. Maybe a bit autistic. However, after finally watching Before Sunset, which was the sequel to one of my favourite films Before Sunrise, I realized that love and romance could be done in art in a truly effective and affective way. I fell in love with the characters and their relationship (which was shot nearly in real time in the first film and then all in real time in the sequel) as much as the characters themselves fell in love. The bulk of both films is natural dialogue in which the characters reveal themselves to each other in idiosyncratic speech and hypocritical logic, but what really gets me is the sense of reality and honesty they both have about love and romance and their own flaws, trying to convince themselves that they would likely fall out of love if they spent more than that one day together. Before Sunrise has an open ending that leaves the audience wondering and imagining if the two characters ever fulfill their rash promise to meet up again in Vienna in six months. I was so moved by the first film that I held off on seeing the sequel for fear it would kill the beauty and potential of the first. Now that I've seen the sequel and have been confronted with yet another open ending, I still have that great bittersweet sense that the first film left me with. Like Ethan Hawke's character says in Before Sunset, if you believe the lovers get together, you're a romantic, and if you believe they don't, then you're a cynic. Simple as that. Brilliant filmmaking.

This realistic, but no less romantic, love story on film prompted me to see if I could find enough songs that expressed love for this weekly mix - I wanted to find songs that didn't do love in a hackneyed way, nor lust in a crass way. Love and lust and all other forms of attraction or relationships have been done to death in music. In fact, most pop tunes are love songs of some sort. I reckon love and lust and the fact they don't always accompany each other are a considerable part of human experience, and this is why these themes appear in every artform. It's the classic case of the dissonance between what people want and need, between dream and reality. And perhaps the need to make something more mythical about attraction and elevate the human experience also contributes to the plethora of expressions about love - hyperbole and all.

I tried to craft a mix that would reflect the multiple permutations and facets of this experience: the bumbling stupidity that love can plunge the most intelligent people into (Billy Bragg's The Saturday Boy, Elvis Costello's Alison); the all-consuming desire that can mingle with pain and drive one to darker extremes (Interpol's No I in Threesome, Placebo's Protege Moi, Sneaker Pimps' M'aidez); the confusion between friends and lovers and the uncertainty over what constitutes love and its consequences (Bernard Butler's Friends & Lovers, Club 8's Baby, I'm Not Sure If This is Love); the longing and regret when one errs and loses love (The Cure's Pictures of You, David Bowie's Letter to Hermione, Jeff Buckley's Lover, You Should Have Come Over); and the excitement, recklessness and novelty of an emotional connection (Lloyd Cole and the Commotions' Forest Fire, Orange Juice's L.O.V.E.). Love is more complex than I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Be My Baby. I tried for honesty and originality without completely giving over to cynicism. Maybe I'm a romantic after all. I'm going to call this one My Kingdom For a Kiss on the Shoulder.

I Would Die 4 U - Prince

Protege Moi - Placebo

No I in Threesome - Interpol

M'aidez (Acoustic Version) - Sneaker Pimps

Pictures of You - The Cure

Forest Fire - Lloyd Cole and the Commotions

L.O.V.E. - Orange Juice

Friends & Lovers - Bernard Butler

The Saturday Boy - Billy Bragg

Letter to Hermione - David Bowie

Alison - Elvis Costello

Fistful of Love (featuring Lou Reed) - Antony & the Johnsons

Foolish Love - Rufus Wainwright

Lover, You Should Have Come Over - Jeff Buckley

The Man With the Child in His Eyes - Kate Bush

Baby, I'm Not Sure This is Love - Club 8

Heart - Stars

Beyond Love - The The

You're the Conversation (I'm the Game)- Chris Corner and Sue Denim


The Shaftesbury Review said...

Fantastic mix, as always. I think you're more of a romantic than you realize, to be honest. But, I gotta ask; just what's wrong with Be My Baby? That song is an example of Phil Spector's wall-of-sound control freak artistry at it's finest, if you ask me. Of course, you didn't, but there it is anyway.

anglopunk said...

I didn't mean to denigrate Be My Baby - I quite like the song to be honest. It was more about simplistic lyrics. I'm quite a fan of Spector's wall of sound, and that drumbeat that's been imitated over and over again.

Rol said...

Nice selection. Like you, I was worried that the sequel would spoil my appreciation of the first film, but that ending was just perfect.

Urban Gypsy said...

This is my first visit to your blog, and what a treat! I love the quote on your header... it's so true. I also adore Before Sunrise, and I think this is an amazing mix you've crafted which gives over much of the emotions and tone of the films. Good job and thank you so much for posting! :)

JC said...

"Love and lust and all other forms of attraction or relationships have been done to death in music. In fact, most pop tunes are love songs of some sort."

Not just in pop music. But in all forms of art - visual and performing alike.

But surely that's down to the fact that all of us at different points in our life experience love and lust, allied to the fact that they are the things which cause the ultimate legal highs and lows - and thus the emotions are stirred more often than not to prompt some sort of reponse.

If you're happy in love, you want the rest of the world to know. If you're miserable and lonely...well you just have to somehow share that burden

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