YOU'RE JUST HOPELESS: A(n) (Anti-) Valentine's Mix

Jean Grae - Get It
The Parting Gifts - Keep Walkin'
Weezer - I Don't Want Your Lovin'
Antwon - Skullkrush
Tenement - City Bus #30
Allergic to Bullshit - I'm Not Ashamed
that dog. - Ms. Wrong
Bouncing Souls - Hopeless Romantic
Lost Weekend - A Bushel & A Peck
Weezer - Waiting on You
Beyonce - Resentment

Valentine's Day isn't normally even a subject I touch on, save for the once-a-year-riot-grrrl-bonanza organized by my friends and comrades that has brought me many positive memories. So why You're Just Hopeless? I had been creating a mix in my mind gradually, as I've had a bunch of new must-listen-to's lately. Everyone's favorite hate-to-love/love-to-hate holiday is swiftly approaching, and I realized a theme was emerging in the songs: difficult love, love that doesn't quite work out, nontraditional love.

Rivers' hesitant laugh - or cracked voice - as he sings "I don't want your lovin'..." is a moment I savor every time I hear that song. It's one of those songs where you're likely to tune out whatever lyrics don't apply to you so you can sing the chorus over and over again. The catchiest vocal melody, and so affirming.

I made this really brash mix last year that I never posted, and in the post I divulged a lot about how I think rap music can be the best healer, and how Jean Grae in particular helps me face the fine line between wanting to give up altogether and ruthlessly defending your right to live. I find that in more of her songs than not. Her spin on marriage is great here ("And I'm not going anywhere / cuz me and life is married / and I ain't getting divorced"), making it a real dedication to herself and no one else: self-love, self-as-valentine. On a related note, my V-Day post from last year is a love letter to the the bad-assery of singledom, as said best by a Nikki Darling and Beyonce pairing. B'Day on V-Day just sounds like a good idea.

I had already planned on adding Jean to the mix, but it seemed even more appropriate when I remembered I'm headed to the event she's hosting at WORD tonight, "Just Working On My Breakup." Right in my neighborhood! At one of my favorite bookstores!

As I started putting this mix together I thought it would be funny to bring in some more desperate tunes. Allergic to Bullshit's "I'm Not Ashamed" (a cover) has resonated with me since my late teens, many times over, each while I was helplessly infatuated with someone, of course. Lost Weekend's "A Bushel & A Peck" is about sisterly love from what I hear (wink), which can be a particularly fraught and under-appreciated yet truly special kind of love.

So, here it is, for better or worse. Happy Valentine's Day, y'all.

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