10:36 a.m. - February 13, 2007
But then there’s the other side of the coin – instead of love – there’s hate.
Now, I’m not a hater – I think hate is bad and worthless and I think carrying grudges for spite or malice is even worse. I have a lot of things on my plate right now that I don’t need the hate – and I am currently avoiding certain situations to minimize the loathing.
Yet I do know some songs that may convey a certain emotion or feeling – whether it is bile, antipathy, animus, ill will, malevolence, venom or revulsion. And sometimes it’s not hate, per se, but a reaction to the sadness of a broken heart or a broken friendship. Because hate and love are very similar emotions, one can cross from one to another very easily. So, some of these songs may not scream out “I want to punch your groin off”, but rather another similar emotion to that.
Of course, ladies, sometimes you just can change the gender and go along with what the song says, of course.
(OH, BTW, there’s a semi-important announcement at the end of the essay).
Well, here we go!
1. You’re Breaking My Heart – Harry Nilsson. Ouch. Just Google the words – the opening line really sets the tone for the song. I can’t (or won’t) repeat it here, but needless to say it calls it like it sees it.
2. (Sweet) Mental Revenge – The Long Ryders. This is a Mel Tillis song, that I have in a version by Nashville West (Clarence White’s band before he joined the Byrds), but this is a more ‘contemporary’ version (though I haven’t heard the Tillis version (if he indeed recorded it – he was more of a songwriter and game show panelist)) of the tune recorded by the wonderful Long Ryders (R. I. P.) “Well, I hope that the man you call yourself with / gets drunk and loses his job.” That’s an opening line, folks…
3. Idiot Wind – Bob Dylan. Of all of the Dylan songs, this one is the most vicious and spiteful. And it could be about a lover, some of it could be about Roger McGuinn (some verses are really aimed right at the Byrds leader – talking about his ‘chestnut mare’ and all), or it could be mainly aimed at his soon-to-be ex-wife. “You’re an idiot babe / it’s a wonder that you know how to breathe.” is the line that sticks with me. Dylan was going through a lot of personal crises around the time he wrote this song – and I have heard an early version of it. But later, he re-recorded it for the Blood On The Tracks album and it’s even more snarling and vicious. He hasn’t performed this song live since 1976, and I wonder if that’s because it’s so personal. It’s one of his best songs, ever, though.
4. $1000 Wedding – Gram Parsons. Ok, not exactly about wanting to cut someone’s spleen out, but this is a sad song that can lead to hateful feelings. It’s the story of a man getting left at the altar by the bride. “Why ain’t there a funeral / if you’re going to act that way.” Emmylou Harris adds great supporting vocals to Gram’s lead, and the whole song is just a perfectly sad little country / rock tune.
5. Parallel Bars – Robbie Fulks and Kelly Willis. Yeah, a lot of these opening songs are in a country motif – but I think country leads itself to songs like this. This is the story of a couple that argues, and then goes downtown to drink in separate bars across the street from each other.
6. Divorce Song – Liz Phair. Not having gone through a divorce, and hopefully never WILL having to go through one, I’m not sure that this song nails all of the ins and outs of the dissolution of a long-term thing. The lyrics are direct, poignant, and cutting. “The license said you had to stick around until I was dead / but if you’re tired of looking at my face I guess I already am.”
7. Is That Love – Squeeze. The up-tempo music and sunny melody belies the meaning of the song. “You’ve left my ring by the soap / now is that love?” The Squeeze canon has a lot of songs that are about relationships gone horribly wrong, but this is one of the more tuneful examples.
8. Every Word Means No – Let’s Active. Yeah, it’s not really hateful, but it is a bit pathetic in its own way. Obviously, this guy is still in love but now when she talks ‘every word means no’, and it’s hard to deal with. Another song with a great pop melody and sunny arrangement that has something dark at the center. Plus, Mich Easter throws in the word “anathema”.
9. Song For The Dumped – Ben Folds. Yeah, this one is a bit more direct about it. “Give me my money back…you *****”. And don’t forget his black t-shirt. I think it’s every man’s (or woman’s) nightmare to pay for an expensive dinner and then get dumped right after (though it could be said that they should have picked up the signs – however – most men – like me – are pretty friggin’ clueless at times when it comes to that, ya know.) Anyway, change the gender ladies and give it right back to him.
10. Love Stinks – The J. Geils Band. Yeah, yeah. Love stinks. What gets me is that some idiot fundamentalistic radio programmers refused to play this song back when it was released because they thought “love stinks” meant something more than what it really means – that love stinks. Some people have overactive gutter minds. Yeah yeah.
11. The Fight – The dB’s. Now, when I have a fight, or an argument, or tiff, I need to work it out right that instant – and that does causes some trouble. This is a Peter Holsapple gem that combines enough light moments along with the actual emotions of being involved in a fight with someone you care about.
12. Hate Song – The Posies. I didn’t want to be so obvious, but you know, sometimes you just gotta. This song just sounds evil, with treated vocals, a very active and moving bass line that’s totally distorted, and guitar chords that are ugly and mean. Sure, there are the requisite Posies harmonies, but you know, it’s still a hate song.
13. Little Mascara – The Replacements. Paul Westerberg wasn’t always a drunken oaf. In this one he writes a tender ode to a friend trapped in a heinous marriage. “For the kids you stay together / you nap ‘em and you slap ‘em in a high chair”. It is in a rockin’ motif, but the song does reach out and touch you as you delve into the lyrics and understand what Westerberg is saying here.
14. Terms Of Psychic Warfare – Husker Du. Grant Hart penned this vicious diatribe against an ex-lover. Greg Norton’s bassline rollicks along and Bob Mould pours out his heart in his guitar work. “And don't feel bad the next time my memory come creepin'/You've got your own bed now I suggest that's the one you sleep in.”
15. 400 Bucks – The Reverend Horton Heat. Never loan money to a friend, or a lover, I suppose. Especially when it’s to buy a car, or something like that. Now, sure, it’s only $400 and what the heck kind of car can you get for $400. Well, I guess it’s a ’57 sedan that she now takes her old boyfriend around in. Ouch, babe.
16. Burned Beyond Recognition – The Rollins Band. Oh, Hank. Can you dial down the self-loathing a notch? Really? Ok. Man, this is a hard track. The music comes out and punches you in the face, and Henry gives one of his best vocal performances since the days of Black Flag. The crazy-go-nuts discography of the early Rollins Band may make this hard to find, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to wallow in your own squalor for a while.
17. It’s So Easy – Guns N’ Roses. I was uncomfortable with including this because of the misogynistic tendencies of Axl and the boys, but it’s such a hard track and it does show the fear and loathing in the protagonist. Axl sings in his ‘hard-ass’ growl without reaching into his falsetto until near the end, and that makes the song even more creepy. Now, again, change up the words a bit and you can definitely send this to someone of any gender, or use it to demonstrate what kind of an idiot someone is becoming. A song with many uses, and it kicks butt too.
18. Cold Hearted Snake – Paula Abdul. Genius, isn’t it, to put one damaged rocker (Axl) next to someone who obviously has some…um…issues…as shown on American Idol. Sure, the production is typical late 80’s, with enough processing on Paula’s vocals so you really don’t know what the heck she sounds like (but I bet it’s ‘pitchy’), but one, with a genius mind, could really rock the heck out of this one.
19. Harden My Heart – Quarterflash. A perfect slice of early 80’s pop, complete with wailing sax. In retrospect, one could almost think this is a song by the Motels. The band rather much disappeared pretty fast, but this is a moment to savor. “You gave me your word / but words for you are lies.” Yikes.
20. I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down – Ann Peebles. No, I still haven’t found the original, but this is a downright classic version of it recently released in a jazzy motif. I think lost in the Paul Young version was the meaning behind this song, which is a woman saying, “You, kind sir, are in big trouble.”
21. Mr. Wrong – Sade. This is a sad tale – an observation of a woman who has a louse for a boyfriend. We’ve all seen situations like this, where the other person in the relationship is absolute poison for the other.
22. Holocaust – Big Star. I had to end with this one, because I can’t really follow anything with this one. It’s just a hard, hard song to deal with. It’s almost too quiet, with a muted production. Out front is Alex Chilton’s haunting voice recounting a tale of his own personal anguish and obviously, a lost lvoe, but the last lyrics stick with you “You’re a wasted face / you’re a sad eyed lie / you’re a holocaust.”
Well, as you can see, not every one of these songs was ‘stick it in yer eye’ types, but I think it’s a good cross-section of the types of songs of the ‘hate song’ genre. Now, be good to each other, OK, and save the hatred. Thanks!.
SEMI-IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – I’m making some personal changes to enhance my mental and physical health. I’m going to bed earlier, making some diet changes, I’ll be lurking a lot (and only commenting when I have something to say and not to just comment for comment’s sake) and as for other things, I’m changing the way I do mixes for people (except in certain instances).
Now, if you WANT the Love / Hate mix, by all means let me know. But until further notice, I’m not going to make big compilations for people – I just don’t have the time or the mental energy right now (so those in queue – I’m sorry – maybe later). I will be doing mixes about certain themes and topics, and perhaps a random and / or mystery mix for sure on occasion, so the music won’t go away.
I will also make mixes for reciprocity, so send me your stuff if you want.
I just want to make 2007 the best year ever. By December 2007, I want to be the best Smed he’s ever been, so just bear with me and keep reading, peeps. This site won’t go away!