Heartbreak is the stuff of some of the best music out there. There just aren’t enough ways to say it – LOVE SUCKS! And what’s worse, it sucks differently every time. Sometimes it’s a quick, hard, pang into the gut that knocks the wind out of you. Other times, it’s this dull hum in your heart that softly permeates your consciousness, and draws itself out over the course of weeks, and months. A lot of the time, it’s both.
Thankfully, music can lend us a hand in our coping process. A good break-up song can tie up all of these things in about three minutes with a few power chords, a chorus, maybe a bridge, and some raw vocals. For each type of relationship and break-up there seems to be a song or two, or even a complete album, which expresses exactly what you feel. Thanks to the evolution of music piracy, you can easily make your very own compilation of these songs that say exactly what you feel in the exact order that you need to hear them. The infamous, but necessary, Break-up Mix.
Within days of my “Emo-Angst Driven Journey to See Lightspeed Champion“, my (more recent) boyfriend and I broke up. This guy was The Rebound from my Lover on the LES, so although our relationship only lasted a year, I’m now single for the first time in two years. In the wake of the fall out with my Lover on the LES, the sincerity of my relationship with The Rebound is questionable. The Rebound knew full well about my situation, and at first he seemed at ease with making up for what the other guy couldn’t do, but then fell short when it was time to build something stronger.
Essentially, I needed to deal with the following issues, some of them universal to break-ups, others more specific:
1. He sucks.
2. This hurts.
3. I’m lonely.
4. I’m a big girl, I’ll be ok alone.
5. We tried to make it work, but it was never real.
6. Walking around NYC reminds me of you, but it’s here and you’re not. (ie – first date in Little Italy; Dim Sum in Chinatown; when Georgia O’Keefe made us blush at the Whitney; when I almost threw up on Zach Braff when we went to see Our Town in the West Village; when he got lost driving to pick me up in Chelsea when I was too upset about my mom’s cancer to take the PATH, etc.)
7. Wait a second… I’m awesome, and cute, and I have THE REST OF THE SUMMER TO BE SINGLE! WHATEVA!
The title of my mix, or track list, is ‘The Best Parts of Being Lonely: Single in The Summer.’ Every mix I make has a title, usually taken from the lyrics of one of the songs, which embraces the essence of the songs I’ve chosen. In this case, the song in question is Left And Leaving by The Weakerthans. Below are twelve of the 20 tracks I chose for The Best Parts of Lonely, alongside some info that ties together the making of the mix.
1. “I Love You, But Goodbye” – Langhorne Slim
You suck. It hurts. We tried, but it was never real.
2. “Parting Gift” – Fiona Apple
We tried, but it was never real.
3. “Galapagos” – The Smashing Pumpkins
4. “Strong Enough” – Sheryl Crow
5. “You’re A Big Girl Now” – Bob Dylan
I’m a big girl, I’ll be ok alone.
6. “These Days” – Nico
I’m lonely./I’m a big girl, I’ll be ok alone, and I’ll get over it
7. “Get Lonely” – The Mountain Goats
8. “Motorcycle Drive By” – 3rd Eye Blind
Walking around Chelsea reminds me of you, but I’ll be ok alone.
9. “Peach Trees” – Rufus Wainwright
Walking around Chinatown reminds me of you.
10. “Fear And Convenience” – Thao & The Get Down, Stay Down
This hurts, but it was never real.
11. “Breaking Up” – Rilo Kiley
NYC is still here, and you’re not. Wait a second, I’m cute and awesome – WHATEVA!
12. “It’s Alright” – Huey Lewis & The News
That’s right, I’m cute and awesome – WHATEVA!!!
The stuff of a good break-up mix should embrace all the bad stuff, but should have a happy ending somehow. It should be about heartbreak, and loneliness, but it should also be about redemption and freedom, and sometimes a little revenge. It’s going to be ok. Worse things have happened, and with help from the likes of Rilo Kiley and Huey Lewis, I’ll get over it. And did I mention that I’m cute and awesome?