Friday, February 13, 2009

Souled On Music: Love Lockdown

Wanna spice things up with your significant other this Valentine's Day? Scholar of Souled On Music has got it locked down! Throughout the week, Scholar's been flooding the blog-o-verse with hand-picked selections of love tracks from fellow music buffs. So far, writers from Metal Lungies, Go Nicole Yourself, AM, Then FM, Cheese Sandwich, Fufu Stew and various other audiophilic blogs and websites have contributed to the cause. I'm proud to say that I was lucky enough to participate in the fun, too! Here's my selection of baby-making music for Souled On Music's Love Lockdown:
At Last by Etta James
Come As You Are by Nirvana
Hey by Pixies
Hold Me Tight by The Beatles
My Girl by The Temptations

Download links are available here!
As I explained to Scholar in my e-mail reply, I've chosen two classics (Etta James & The Temptations), two subversive love songs from rock genre (Nirvana & Pixies), and a childhood favorite (The Beatles). The tracks by The Beatles, The Temptations and Etta James probably make sense to you, because their lyrics and rhythmical tone are straightforward. The tracks by Nirvana & Pixies, however, are deeply poetic and subtle and may need a bit of an explanation, or simply my own interpretation(s).

"Come As You Are", written by the late Kurt Cobain, is filled with sardonic clichés and contradictory lines ("Take your time, hurry up"; and, perhaps most hauntingly, "I swear that I don't have a gun"). I always considered this polar style to be a reflection by Cobain of the facades that people put up. The words "come as you are", Cobain writes, "as I want you to be", seem to me to suggest that he wanted people to drop their self-conscious inhibitions in exchange for showing their true colors, wrong ("doused in mud") or right ("soaked in bleach"). In short, Cobain seems to be unraveling the intricate struggles between the id, ego, and the superego. I suppose any college professor who fuses poetry and psychology should play this track for his/her students on day one. Stylistically, the dark atmosphere and velvety-smooth guitar riffs on "Come As You Are" add a special allure to this track to seal the deal. Overall, I feel that "Come As You Are" -- often considered to be Nirvana's finest -- is a call for honesty at it's purest level.

Written by Black Francis of the alternative rock band Pixies, "Hey" is much more about lust and temptation than anything else. Francis indulges his sexual appetite with "whores in [his] head" and "whores in [his] bed", but always has his eyes set on the the one true love to whom he is "chained" yet cannot reach. Specifically, "Hey" describes a pair of soul-mates separated by a chasm of interference and distractions. I suppose the line "we're chained" can be interpreted in two ways. My first intuition would be that it refers to the fact that they are "chained" together; but perhaps the line connotes the implication that they are indeed "chained" apart from one another. Love is a mystery. The film Zack and Miri Make a Porno starring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks features Pixies' "Hey" in an appropriate and carefully-executed scene which highlights this sentiment.

Alright, I'm done with my romantic schmaltz for the day. But if you're still feelin' randy, head on over to Souled On Music to check out s'more Love Lockdown courtesy of Scholar. Just watch out for Cupid. I heard he's packin' heat!