"Love" and "Hate"
It's Valentine's Day.
And really, that's pretty much all I have to say on the matter. I was going to compile a dozen or so love songs and then pair them off with a dozen or so songs for the jilted hearts out there in the world who spend days like today biting their lip and trying not to look like Public Display of Affection Day bothers them.
Personally (and this will surprise no one who knows me), I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. Not because I disagree with the sentiments that come with it, but because I think it's silly to have a day where people treat other people the way they should treat them all of the time. Sure, chocolate is tasty, but do you really need Godiva one day a year to get that point across?
Just turn on your TV if you want a tribute to Valentine's Day. You'll find hundreds of lingerie commercials, "very special episodes" of your favorite sitcoms, and more guilt inducing ads for diamonds than you can bribe with a dozen roses.
For the rest of us, there is rock:
"Our Love Will Still be There" by THE TROGGS
"Our Love Will Still be There" by THE FLUID:
When I was a freshman in high school, my friend Brian and I both had a deep love for all things related to the Sub Pop record label. The label had two compilation albums in particular (The Grunge Years and Sub Pop 200, to be precise) that saw as our Bible, our guide to the bands we should be looking into. These albums featured early tracks from bands we would go on to love, like the Screaming Trees, Mudhoney and Nirvana. One band featured on both of those compilations was The Fluid, who showed promise with a decent song on each CD. As Brian soon found after ordering the band's debut EP and first album (paired together on the Glue/Roadmouth CD), The Fluid had already shot their load on those compilation tracks. The first song on the CD, "Our Love Will Still be There," was luckily worth the price of admission.
For years, Brian and I would be left to wonder how a mediocre band could have one great song like "Our Love Will Still be There." It was a complete mystery until the night of my 31st birthday two weeks ago, when my friend Mike made me a mix that featured the original version of "Our Love Will Still be There," performed by British garage rockers (who had a massive hit with "Wild Thing") The Troggs. Only a real music geek can relate to the feeling you get when you get scooped on one of your favorite songs, especially when you find out that song has been in existence for decades. The Troggs version is great, with a huge rolling bassline and a lazy pace. It even served to make The Fluid's take that much cooler, knowing now how they changed it to fit their own sound.
On that same mix from Mike was another revelation:
"Dicks Hate the Police"by DICKS
"Hate the Police" by MUDHONEY:
Once again, it was news to me that Mudhoney's classic "Hate the Police," one of my all time favorite anti-authority anthems, was a cover (I'm sure I could have avoided all of this by maybe reading my liner notes more closely). "Hate the Police" always seemed incredibly incendiary to me, with Mark Arm's screeching vocals handling the point of view of a typical meatheaded, violent, racist cop ("Daddy daddy daddy / Proud of your son / Got himself a good job / Killing niggers and Mexicans"). Now dial the clock back another decade and imagine how hair raising Gary Floyd's lyrics would have been in Reagan's America. That's hardcore in every sense of the word.
I love a good surprise, and I love music.
Happy Love Day, everyone.
BONUS ROSES (from Sub Pop 200 and The Grunge Years):
"Is it Day I'm Seeing?" by THE FLUID
"The Rose" by MUDHONEY