22 February 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Misery Masala

So last week’s mix tape was all about sex and candy, flowers and fluttering hearts. But not everyone got to celebrate and swoon last Thursday — and thus today’s mix tape is for you. I’ve simmered up a masala of misery — chunky bites of unrequited love and heartbreak, with a dash of bitterness and a sweet hint of hope. I didn’t get too spicy with the hopelessness and despair because I believe there’s always another great dish waiting to be served.

I’m getting excited about the new season of Top Chef!

It ain’t all love and happiness every day, kids. And there’s nothing better than a sad, sad song to help us fully enjoy that funk. Sometimes you just need to feel sorry for your lonely ol’ self.

Al Green :: Tired of Being Alone

The Young Rascals :: (I've Been) Lonely too Long

The Cardigans :: Lovefool

Otis Redding :: Mr. Pitiful

Liz Phair :: Extraordinary

Matthew Sweet :: Girlfriend

Wings :: Arrow Through Me

Billy Bragg :: Wish You Were Her

The Carpenters :: Superstar

Elvis Costello :: I Want You

Buzzcocks :: Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have?)

Joy Division :: Love Will Tear Us Apart

Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes :: The Love I Lost (Part 1)

Derek & The Dominoes :: Layla

Ivan Neville :: Why Can’t I Fall in Love?

Alanis Morissette :: Uninvited

Jeff Buckley :: Last Goodbye

The Replacements :: Unsatisfied

Res :: Let Love

eels :: Jeannie’s Diary

Lyle Lovett :: If I Were the Man You Wanted

Gladys Knight & The Pips :: If I Were Your Woman

Cake :: Sad Songs and Waltzes

Damien Rice :: When Doves Cry

Michael Stipe :: Last Day of Our Acquaintance

The Rolling Stones :: Almost Hear You Sigh

Amy Winehouse :: Wake up Alone

Cat Stevens :: Trouble

Squeeze :: Points of View

Bonnie Raitt :: I Can’t Make You Love Me

Warren Zevon :: Reconsider Me

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles :: The Tracks of My Tears

Joe Jackson :: Is She Really Going out with Him?

Rufus Wainwright :: April Fools

Smog :: Cold Blooded Old Times

Nico :: These Days

Nick Drake :: Which Will

Nanci Griffith :: Morning Song for Sally

Bob Dylan :: If You See Her, Say Hello

Tom Waits :: Trampled Rose

Rickie Lee Jones :: Company

Jimmy Buffet :: Coast of Marseilles

George Jones :: He Stopped Loving Her Today

Here’s the zip file for those of you too unrequited or bitter to right-click fortysomething times.

“Morning Song for Sally” is one of my very favorite songs in the world. It’s perfect, a lovely tale about a love that can’t be. Jerry Jeff Walker wrote it, and Nanci’s cover is sublime. I listen to it over … and over … and over again … for an hour or more. (I love the drama of heartache. And I'm a bit OCD.) It's a very visual song, almost like a short story.

Funny story about that Alanis Morrissette tune. I was enjoying a lovely, late-night online flirtfest with this wonderful guy. He was sending me his favorite YouTubes (most on the sexier side of the lyrics sheet) between e-flirts. I sent an e-mail about how cute I thought he was (he was, and I believe he still is). A few minutes later, he sends the “Uninvited” video — a song with lyrics like Like anyone would be / I am flattered by your fascination with me / Like any hot blooded woman / I have simply wanted an object to crave / But you're not allowed / You're uninvited / An unfortunate slight. Say wha… ? Never had I been slapped down so completely, misjudged someone’s interest. With a few tears stinging my eyes (remember, I live my life like a Douglas Sirk character), I sent an e-mail backing out of a date later that week … which confused him … which led to one of those dreaded he said/she saids … which led to a deeper conversation we needed to have ... about his never paying attention to the words. Boys, if you’re going to send a girl a video with a song you think is romantic, take the time to check a lyrics site, or you’ll be home watching Numb3rs again.

Between this and December’s heartbreak tape, you’re set for a weekend of moping and moaning. But then get your a** up Monday get your flirt on.

* * * * * *

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At 2/22/2008 02:25:00 AM, Blogger Moxie said...

Whoo hoo! I checked late on Thursday night and sure enough, I was able to download without any "bandwidth exceeded" message! Yesterday I discovered I had several zip files of Friday Mix Tapes that I'd never unzipped...it was like Christmas day in a candy store. Um, yeah.

Girl, you know I've been going through it (hell, anyone who's been reading my blog knows - guess I need to wrap up the saga) and I am sure several of these songs will go into my "Goodbye Asshole" playlist. Good choices here, especially one of my all-time faves, "Why Can't I Fall in Love." I would love to find a karaoke version of that song. And thanks for pointing out the Alanis lyrics - I never really paid attention either; I just feel deliciously creeped out by the tune.

At 2/22/2008 03:48:00 AM, Blogger lulu said...

I adore that Smog song....I listen to it way too much!

Thanks again for the zip files--I have to start the download and come back hours later because the computers are so slow here, so it's really nice to just do it once.

At 2/22/2008 08:32:00 AM, Anonymous HollyC said...

Thanks for the tunes again Beth, there is something so satisfying about heartache songs. The George Jones is the best country song ever (I think)

At 2/22/2008 08:56:00 AM, Blogger kfluff said...

You know what I love about Lyle Lovett? Among many other things, good grammar. Sure there's the hair, the twang, the Robert Altman movies. But mostly, it's the correct usage of the conditional.

At 2/22/2008 09:31:00 AM, Blogger Mathdude said...

C-Cup: My ultimate "misery in love" song is Mott the Hoople's Foxy, Foxy.

At 2/22/2008 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb list as usual! Thanks!

At 2/22/2008 11:17:00 AM, Blogger Tony Alva said...

I Got The Blues-Rolling Stones, Angel-Sarah M., and you got Trouble-Cat Stevens. Elvis C.'s "Scarlett Tide" preformed by Allison Kraus is one that will get your attention too.

At 2/22/2008 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Beth Darlin',

Don't be so hard on the boy - us guys usually look at how a song makes us "feel" and we try to convey that "feeling" to the girl we're trying to convince how we feel.

And you girls always over-analyze the situation and we end up getting crucified for something we're really not guilty of.

So I hope he explained that to you and you let him off the hook.

In case you haven't figured out yet - I've been convicted of the same offense a few times in my life!

At 2/22/2008 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

You without me is like Harold Melvin without the Bluenotes - You'll never go platinum.

Sorry, that's Snoop Dogg talking.

But I enjoy any list that includes Joy Division and Harold Melvin.

At 2/22/2008 11:59:00 AM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

The lad has got to learn that if the lyrics don't mean anything, there's no point in them being there.

Lovely list again, as always. And some real heartbreakers on there - Love Will Tear Us Apart, Ever Fallen in Love, Reconsider Me ... excuse me, I've got something in my eye.

At 2/22/2008 12:16:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Great list, as always. I was just thinking yesterday that one of my Sonic Sundays should be songs that make me want to cry, and you've beat me to the misery. Of course not all of these make me want to cry, but the idea is in the same ballpark.

As you know, I love the Squeeze presence but I've never been a fan of "Points of View." I've always found it kind of dull. Ooh, I have to send you a rare song from the Squeeze Gold/Big Squeeze compilation, unless you already have it. There's a Glenn-on-piano song there that's just fantastic. His vocal makes my heart stop.

Jeff Buckley makes me sad in general, just because it's so wrong that he's still not around making great music and giving me goosebumps. But I would've gone for "Lover You Should've Come Over," my absolute favorite Jeff tune. That whole "it's never over..." part KILLS me. The first time I ever heard that I could barely move. (Yes, I know I sound like James Lipton now. Or Will Ferrell as James Lipton. But it's no joke!)

At 2/22/2008 12:18:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Oh, and I have to nominate another one - "All I Could Do Was Cry" by Etta James.

At 2/22/2008 02:20:00 PM, Blogger Allison said...

Great list!

I've had that he said/she said before. Over a Radiohead song, "Nude" I believe. Oi and vey.

At 2/22/2008 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

MOXIE: I upgraded MyDataBus account so I (1) now have three times the bandwidth, and (2) folks can’t steal my URLs — leaving y’all with more bandwidth for your downloading pleasures. Hope these songs get your over the Asshole Hump.

LULU: Now that I know the zipped files work best for you, I’ll always be sure to include them. I listen to that Smog song all the time, too. Catchy and bitchy — you gotta love it.

HOLLYC: I agree with you on the George Jones tune. Says it all, doesn’t it?

KFLUFF: I bet Lyle would love that compliment, too.

At 2/22/2008 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

MATHDUDE: That would have been great on today’s list! I should have checked with you … but I didn’t want some lame TV-made band on the list. Well, except for The Monkees. And The Partridge Family. And The Archies …

BLUEZ: You are very welcome!

TONY ALVA: I don’t have Allison Kraus’ cover of “Scarlett Tide” … yet. Looks like I’ll be downloading for the next few minutes.

KEITH KENNEDY: I wasn’t hard on the boy; I like him too much. He had been flirting through songs, so that’s why I was taken aback by this push-back song. He was off the hook almost immediately. But I enjoy taunting him about it; he’s so tauntable.

At 2/22/2008 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

GRANT MILLER: The key to a great mix tape is the mix of genres. Lovely use of the Snoop, BTW.

BARBARA BRUEDERLIN: He has learned the lesson, and rarely missteps on video selections these days. I had a lot of things in my eye this week while working on this mix tape; must be the coming spring …

BECKEYE: I always loved “Points of View” because Glenn’s voice is so lovely in it. I believe he sang it last January, too. I seriously considered “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” — but I’m saving that for an upcoming mix tape. (Have you heard Nina Simone’s cover of it? Sublime.) I look forward to your Sad Sonic Sunday. Etta would have been great, too — you should see all the songs I cut this week.

ALLISON: The he said/she saids make it interesting, don’t they?

At 2/22/2008 04:46:00 PM, Anonymous Renae aka "Sally" said...


You put in the Res song AND Rickie Lee!! Now if I could just get them to download somehow. Oh, yeah, I guess I could just pop the CDs in the stereo too.

At 2/22/2008 07:15:00 PM, Anonymous wapentake said...

Funnily enough, I was going to suggest this very topic to you. This weekend, Stuart McLean devoted his Vinyl Cafe show to sad songs and their uncanny ability to cheer us up. Hey - Beth could top this, I thought.

He opened the show by reading a long letter from a pal of his at Random House NY, who was extolling the virtues of Tom Waits. Naturally, I was hooked after that.

Tom's "House Where Nobody Lives" was the opening track. Rest of the sad bunch of weepers is here: http://www.cbc.ca/vinylcafe/shows.php

Great choice with "Trampled Rose".

For a teary, but keeping-one's-dignity-intact kind of parting, Kate Rusby's "Underneath the Stars" fits the bill nicely.

At 2/22/2008 10:28:00 PM, Blogger chelene said...

That's a great list. Bonnie Raitt and Joy Division in the same place! Amazing.

At 2/22/2008 10:42:00 PM, Anonymous Favorite Boy said...

Well, this is another fine mix you've gotten us into. From Otis singing Mr. Pitiful, and Elvis C's amazing I want you, To Lyle and Jeff Buckley, you have some amazing male vocal performances. But this favorite boy still says Alanis singing Uninvited is one of the hottest sounding songs ever. I don't care what she is singing, but by god it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end and my toes curl. There's only one other thing that does that. Another amazing performance is by my boy Keef on Almost hear you sigh. If you just listen to the way he uses the fingers of his left hand in the song you will swoon. Color me taunted.

At 2/23/2008 11:03:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Now that's a lesson in paying attention to your lyrics! Uninvited indeed! Great mix Beth, I love it when you make me do things with your compressed folders.

At 2/24/2008 05:06:00 PM, Blogger Gifted Typist said...

masala of misery!

You are such a smith of words.

At 2/25/2008 08:03:00 AM, Blogger David Amulet said...

I love your turn of phrase. I also love that cartoon--brilliant!

At 2/25/2008 01:04:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

As a former punker, it was tough finding love songs for mixes back in the day, so I feel this dude's pain in the lyrics department.

At 2/27/2008 08:58:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

RENAE/SALLY: Yes, I really love you! One of these days, I’m gonna school you in the art of the MP3. HollyC and Filegod1 have mastered it; you can, too.

WAPENTAKE: I need to click over and check this out. I’m not familiar with Stuart McLean, and need to discover some new online shows. And now I’m off to find a copy of Kate Rusby’s “Underneath the Stars.”

CHELENE: I love mixing genres on mix tapes.

FAVORITE BOY: I love the way Keef uses his fingers. Have you listened to “Little T&A” lately? By the way, what else makes your toes curl?

At 2/27/2008 09:00:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DALE: I’m good with the zipper, Bee Boy.

GIFTED TYPIST: I have to admit, I was proud of misery masala. Coming from you, that’s a high compliment!

DAVID AMULET: Savage Chicken is usually wonderfully weird and funny.

PISTOLS AT DAWN: Journey’s and Phil Collins’ lyrics are hard to decipher?


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