Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Best Hearts and Chocolates are Dark. And Cold. And Bitter. An Anti-Valentine's Day Playlist

February 13th is not just Los Angeles Freedom to Marry Day (which does not imply everyone in Los Angeles does not currently have the right to marry.) It's also a great day in American cinema, as it's the day the new Friday the 13th motion picture is released!

Plus, it's the eve of one of the few major American holidays yet to be commercially exploited on a grand scale by Hallmark and their corporate brethren. They're usually so eager to peddle unhealthy candy as a festive treat and encourage people to associate spending money with love. Yet somehow they respect this holiday dedicated to romantic love enough to not treat it in that much of a cynical, greedy fashion—wait;I'm thinking of Friendship Day. Yeah, Valentine's Day is commercialized into the ground, year after year. Ugh, it's really annoying.

Hey, do a lot of people also spend lavishly on Friendship Day, driven by corporate, societal, peer, and self-inflicted pressure? Most of my friends might be incredible cheapskates. That seems like the sort of thing I should know. I wouldn't want any Friendz-4-ever candy and I don't think I could enjoy owning a Precious Moments figurine, even on a wacky, ironic level. Neither those bare facts nor my semi-occasional rants against the commercialization of holidays or capitalism in general should discourage people from giving me stuff. How can you tell people care about you if they don't buy you a ton of ridiculous space-and-money-wasting stuff you don't need?

I do love the genuine, sweet, lovey-dovey, sappy, and fun parts of Valentine's Day... which, for me, overlap with some commercialized aspects. They also include some candy. I'm a complex creature; aren't we all? The U.S. has Sweethearts, the U.K. has Love Hearts. They count as pop culture; they are not merely candy. Internationally, the online ACME Heart Maker is fun though its 4-character-per-line limit provides a frustrating challenge, which some of us respond to by throwing up our hands and making non-holiday-related hearts... Some greeting cards aren't so bad, and I love the tradition of kids exchanging lots of cute little Valentines, even if it entails profits for Hallmark.

But that's a lot of concession for an anti-Valentine's post.

Check out www.meish.org for some blunt, funny Anti-Valentines (including the one pictured at the top of this post.) They can be semt by e-mail or in a number of other Interweb-related ways. Paper cards are also available. Irony will never be dead, never, I tell you!

Listen to and/or save the songs on the somewhat-angst-ridden playlist at this drop.io site. The password is: hallmarkholiday There's also a zip file with all the songs at the site.

The Best Hearts and Chocolates Are Dark. And Bitter. And Cold. An Anti-Valentine's Day Playlist Track Listing:

1. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - "Seems To Be On My Mind" (on #3)

2. Courtney Jaye - "I Need Love" (on the forthcoming Queen Of Sabotage)

3. The Living Blue - "Tell Me Leza" (on Fire, Blood, Water)

4. Angie Heaton & The Gentle Tamers - "Lucky In Love" (on The Rumer Mill)

5. Beangrowers - "Quaint Affair" (on Not In A Million Lovers)

6. Panda & Angel - "Dangerous" (on the Panda & Angel EP)

- Thanks and apologies for the inspiration behind the playlist title to Marc Almond, whose "Bittersweet" twirled in my head as I played with title thoughts, but I wanted to do something with dark chocolate because it is so clearly superior to bittersweet (and for that matter milk) chocolate. Thanks also to The Living Blue, whose catchy lines from "Tell Me Leza" ("Do you feel that a secret can become a lie/when your back's on the wall and your heart is as black as mine?") likely gave a subconscious spark for the idea of a dark-chocolate heart.


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