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The Top 5 Scorched Love Anthems and Hear Me Roar Songs

Posted on 13 Feb 11 Top 5s | 1 Comment
By Gary Neville
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By Gary Neville

Love angst communicated through music . . . offered in a male and a female version. We’re so comprehensive!

The Top 5 Scorched Love Anthems

-Brenton Crozier

Here it comes. That time of year when people with heart-shaped junk to sell urge you to show your love. And there is an endless list of obnoxious songs of men professing their love. The types of songs that women listen to and say things like, “How come you never say that to me? Why don’t you ever act like that?” But thankfully, there is the antithesis to all the saccharin. Bitter, bitter gentlemen that didn’t feel the need to keep it to themselves have penned anthems for the scorned. (And ladies: There’s a girls-only version of this Top 5 list further down … So never fear!)

As always there were plenty of runner-ups, but simply fell short the amount of scorched love bitterness that we were looking for. So go ahead and let us have it. What did we miss? Tell us below.

The Top 5 Bitter Dude Anthems:

1. The 6ths – Falling Out of Love with You
Dean Wareham sings the most straightforward delivery of love grown cold on this Stephin Merritt project. No metaphor, absolutely nothing enigmatic about the message:

Every kiss means less and less
I’m falling out of love with you
Every hour kills a flower
I’m falling out of love with you
You just bore me more and more
I’m falling out of love with you

Wow! You’ve grown stale, I’m trading you in for a new model.

2. Shellac – Prayer to God
This is the ultimate shit gone bad song. I mean this guy, this guy is ANGRY. He decides for the very first time in his life that he’s going to lift a little something up to the Almighty and it’s a death wish for his ex and the man she was running around with. Volatile and brutal, Shellac is willing to say in “Prayer to God” what most men are only willing to think. But here’s the thing, not only is Steve Albini saying it, he’s recording and dispersing it! How’s that for a scarlet letter biatch?

3. The Smiths – Girlfriend in a Coma
It’s hard to come right out and say that this song has an obligatory message, but I’ve always taken it as the ultimate departure into cynicism. The protagonist is like, “My girlfriend is in a coma. Oh no, oh my gosh, it’s so serious (hands waving sarcastically in the air). I mean, yeah, she’s cool, but oh my God, I really could have murdered her at times, I mean . . .”

4. The White Stripes – There’s No Home for You Here
This is the ultimate in, the dude is done, it’s over and frankly, I think you’re kind of an idiot. “I’m sorry, you’re still here why?”

Completely baffled by a backward indication
That an inspired word will come across your tongue
Hands moving upward to propel the situation
Have simply halted
And now the conversation’s done

There’s no home for you here girl, go away
There’s no home for you here

5. Hound Dog Taylor – Give Me Back My Wig
Nothing sets some shit off like a woman doing you wrong after you buy her a wig. Apparently, after Hound Dog purchased his special lady a stylin’ hairdo, she acted all hot to trot. Pfffft, typical. But he’s not just rolling over, he’s like, “No way, I paid for that noise, you best give me that wig back or shit is going to get ugly!”

Goodbye little one
All I got to say
Give me back my wig and be
On your merry way


The Top 5 Hear Me Roar Songs:

- Flora Fair

Ahem. I’ve got something to say.

A friend of mine once told me that she was driving with her mother when they saw a vagrant walking on the side of the highway. Her mother gestured at this unkempt man and said, “Somewhere, there’s a woman who would look at that guy and say, ‘I can work with that.’”

And yes, that’s a woman’s disease–we are always trying be Mohammed to some dumb-asses’ mountain. We can’t accept that, a lot of times, guys just aren’t dating material. And yet, women write ballad after ballad in honor of standing by your man–even if that man has one hand on your money and another up the skirt of a stranger.

Today, I give you songs that urge you not to stand, but to run like hell in the other direction. And then, when you’re a safe distance away, shake your fist and call that guy every bad name in the book. Really, haven’t you earned it?

Bjork – Immature
Have you SEEN what this girl will do to another woman who simply asks her about her day? Do you really want her pissed at you? No. Darlin’, I don’t know why you thought he would replace the missing elements in you, but I’m glad you woke up, got mad and wrote this song.

Martha Wainwright – When the Day is Short
For an album entitled Bloody Motherfucking Asshole (rumored to be aimed at her famous musician father, the amazing Loudon Wainwright), this song is actually pretty sweet and gentle as love-lost ballads go. And the evolution of a break-up is put so painfully well here:

No more sober words of love
No more walks in the park side
No more sweet and shy touches, yeah
We’re just lovers in the dark
Feel nothing, leave no mark
But it was fun when we saw sparks

Erykah Badu – Tyrone
Miss Badu is just gettin’ tired of your shit. And while she’s been shelling out money for you, your friend, AND your cousin, she’s been building up some healthy rage. So you better call your friend Tyrone and pack it up. But you can’t use her phone, bitch. A close second to this one is Lauryn Hill’s Lost Ones, in which she brutally dresses down her target without missing a rhyme or a beat. The song’s basic message: You’re going to hell for this BS. He certainly lost that one.

Fiona Apple – Not About Love
She’s cute, she’s crazy, she has serious pipes and a record deal. In short, she’s not a girl you want to be careless with, because there’s a good chance she’ll boil your bunny and then sing a nasty song about you on MTV, clad in little more than her underwear and a pout. But I love the girl, and I loved Extraordinary Machine. So many songs on this release are bitter break-worthy, but it’s Not About Love, and that bit she breathlessly relays toward the end, that pack the best bile. When she says she “chose to listen to that filthy mouth” but is now going to “turn on my heels, step out of this sight/Try to live in a lovelier light,” it’s the lyrical equivalent of her showing her man the hand and not letting the door hit her on the way out. But if you don’t love it for the lyrics, at least love it for the video Apple did with awkward-as-art comedian Zach Galafinakas, which proved that she does, in fact, have a sense of humor.

Broken Social Scene – Anthems for a 17 Year Old Girl
This is one of those songs that can really sneak up on you and get in your bloodstream. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking it was so different from the rest of the indie band’s album, You Forgot It In People. I listened to it over and over until I understood all the lyrics, and found it all the better for it. This is a great song for the broken-hearted girl (hence the title) and I love the finality of “Now you’re all gone, got your makeup on/And you’re not coming back.” The banjo is such a lovely touch, and the breathy modulated voice of Emily Haines ends the chant by telling her subject to dream of her–as if she knows lingering in a boy’s dreams is a girl’s ultimate revenge.

Honarary Runner-Up!
Sheryl Crow – Anything But Down
I’m not a big Sheryl Crow fan, but when I heard the songs off her Grammy-winning 1998 album, The Globe Sessions, I was drawn to it. Rumors that the album was about her philanderer boyfriend Eric Clapton only furthered my interest. The track Anything But Down was especially satisfying, with Crow bemoaning the fact that even though she brings you “everything that floats into your mind,” you don’t bring her anything but down. For me, the song’s sharpest knife is Crow’s psychological shakedown: “You with your steel beliefs/That don’t match anything you do/It was so much easier before you became you.” So while us pedestrian lonely hearts may bare our bitter souls at open-mics and personal blogs, this woman found an express train to fuck you-city by turning her bad boyfriend into a billboard-popping victory. Not since Tina Turner told Ike Turner to suck it in What’s Love Got To Do With It? has a woman so roundly (and profitably) avenged a bad romance. That, ladies, is sweet revenge.

1 Comment

  1. [...] boxes that are still around only because they’re lucky to be recyclable while listening to Brenton’s and Flora’s individual top-five picks of scorching, embittered tunes? Then, yo, you need to chill out today, too…and the remedy is exactly the same as what I’ve [...]

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