Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Valentine The Destroyer

Posted by evankessler on February 15, 2005

So before I get into my intended sort of Anti Valentine’s Day misery loves company post, I thought I’d bring you up to speed on how I spent my Valentine’s Day Evening. So, I sat in front of the ol’ TV to watch some Valentine’s Day 24, boop beep, and about 15 minutes through I started to hear some loud knocking upstairs. My first thought was, is anyone upstairs? When I realized that no one was upstairs I got a little worried. I thought either the skylight was breaking from the rain or someone was breaking in our apartment from the roof. I preferred to think it was the former. As the show went on I occasionally heard more knocking and finally a crash of glass breaking. This immediately set alarm bells off in my head and I was a little hesitant to go upstairs and be ambushed. 24 wasn’t helping to quell my fears but nonetheless I waited til it was over. I asked Sebastian if he had heard any crashes or things breaking. He told me that the church flag had been hitting his window.

The church flag in question is the one that reads “He is risen” or maybe it says “he is born” referring to Christ. When I walked upstairs Matt’s window was pretty much shattered from the flag. My first thought was that maybe Jesus was getting back at me for being Jewish and that perhaps I should give that up for lent. Then I thought maybe Jesus was mad at us for having parties where bottles ended up on the church deck. Then I realized that Matt wasn’t here for that so I squelched the Jesus was trying to kill me theory altogether. Since no one else was around I taped up Matt’s window and vacuumed his floor and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past hour.

That being said, It is Valentine’s Day, and though it is nearly over, it was my original intention to discuss my February 2005 mix for my mix of the month club that I am in with former roommate John Vacanti. This mix was made over the past month, mostly mid January while in the throes of medium to sizeable depression for small pockets of time. I think it had something to do with the wintry weather. This mix reflects that mood, though I am not dominated by those feelings at this particular moment or for the past week or two, which have been extremely fun.

So without further ado, here is the track listing and accompanying blurbs for February Mix 2005 which will probably be named “Valentine The Destroyer” (I like to name my mixes) but which does not contain the song that that phrase is from.

Leona Naess – Home When I first heard this song I immediately thought I needed to be on a mix and it really fit the mood I was in without being too utterly depressing. The “I’m so tired and down…” line really stuck with me, but this song also has a lot of charm to it.

Mekons- Chivalry This song really captures that fear that a lot of people have of ending up alone and almost perfectly describes to me the real essence of why people subject themselves to drunken nights looking for that girl in a bar via the line “I was out late the other night. Fear and Whiskey kept me going.” This song wins serious points just for having that line.

Elvis Costello- Human Hands Elvis Costello is one of the best songwriters of the last 30 years. This one comes off of his Imperial Bedroom album, which is absolutely flawless. I just really wanted to use a song off this album and this fit perfectly here.

Luna- Mermaid Eyes Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips voices mesh perfectly for a sugary sweet lovelorn ditty that is completely irresistible, euphoric, and depressing at the same time.

Billy Bragg- Mother of The Bride Billy Bragg doesn’t get to marry the girl of his dreams, someone else does. How can he deal with this hurt he feels inside? He tells it to the mother of the bride.

Aimee Mann- I Should’ve Known In 2001, I bought an AP magazine that had the list of the 10 best breakup albums of all time. Aimee Mann’s ” Whatever “was on that list. This is a song on that album, one of my favorite albums ever.

Neko Case & Her Boyfriends- Thrice All- American I love Neko’s voice, very classic country in this one. People make fun of Tacoma because it’s a “sour and used up old place” but Neko Case is proud of where she’s from. “Make way for the Wal-mart. I hope they don’t find you Tacoma”.

Old 97’s- If My Heart Was A Car I’ve probably talked about the Old 97’s more than any other band on this website. This song is another fine showcase for Rhett Miller’s wit and the Old 97’s Rockabilly Country punk. “If my heart was a car, you would have stripped it a long time ago.”

Nada Surf – Treading Water This is probably the most out of place song on the mix just because it sort of comes in awkwardly and I hate making mixes and having songs come in without a good lead in but about 15 seconds into it I totally forget about the lead in because it’s so good. It’s a very up tempo cynical rock song that suits me just fine. I like it when I’m at the gym, or out on the town.

The Decemberists – Clementine Whenever I’m making mixes I like to follow the fastest song with the slowest song possible but it has to seem natural. This is sort a blissful serenade that sounds as if it were about a first love or at least brings about the innocence of it.

Idlewild- Quiet Crown Idlewild is probably my favorite band of the past 5 years. I don’t think Roddy Womble has written anything bad. This song is basically a somber reflection on disappointment and starting over again. That’s how I see it anyway. I could be totally wrong. However it’s more up tempo despite containing the lyrics “Apparently you’re happy…you’ve realized… I’m meant to be unhappy. I’ve realized.”

Cat Power- Colors And The Kids I bought Cat Power’s Moon Pix album just before new years. Arby had always told me how good it was. I’m sold. This may be the most depressing song I’ve ever heard. When I heard the line “must be the colors and the kids that keep me alive., cause the music is boring me to death.” I thought to myself, ” yeah man…me too”. Then I thought…”Nevermind. I’m not that depressed.” That being said this is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

Flying Burrito Brothers- Sin City The original goal of this mix club was to sort of share the music we were listening to and I had just bought a Flying Burrito Brothers album that is full of priceless songs. This is one of my favorites. For anyone who’s into the Alternative Country (whatever that means) genre owning any of Gram Parsons work is a must. I still have to get the GP and Grievous Angel albums.

The Shins- Young Pilgrims I’m honestly running out of insight on these songs. I love The Shins and this is one of my favorite songs by them. Besides, it fits in perfectly.

Fountains of Wayne- Troubled Times This may be the most optimistic song of the lot and probably the only one that made it from my original prediction back in July or whenever I made my original projection to this play list. It’s about holding out hope that one day that missed opportunity will come right back to you. Hope is important.

My Morning Jacket – Golden It’s another tear in your beer song. “People always told me,, that bars are dark and lonely and talk is often cheap and filled with air. Sure sometimes they thrill me but nothin’ could ever chill me, like the way they make the time just disappear.”

Elliott Smith- Twilight If you’re going to do a depressing anti-Valentine’s day mix why not throw in a song by someone whose songs make you depressed even when you’re not depressed. Oh and did I mention he killed himself. That’s going to lighten the mood.

Uncle Tupelo- Give Back The Key To My Heart I was going to put another Tupelo song called “Gun” which is probably in my top 5 songs ever but that would’ve been to easy. I was listening to this song one day at work and just thought about how great it sounded. Jay Farrar really has one of the most distinctive and mesmerizing voices I’ve ever heard. I still like Jeff Tweedy more though out of the two Uncle Tupelo principles. Sometimes Farrar’s a little to gruff for me.

Pavement- Fillmore Jive This is the one song that I knew would definitely be on this mix when I first really started thinking about it in December, and I knew it would be the last song. I was listening to Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain reissue and even though I’d heard the song many times before my brain just said, “this is the last song on your mix”. The song builds from sort nonsensical meandering into a sort of atonal crescendo with the lyrics “I want to sleep why won’t you let me?” to a seemingly complete lack of energy as a nearly comatose Stephen Malkmus mutters “when they pull out their plugs and they snort up their drugs’ only to have his unfinished thought cut off.


So that’s it. These are the 19 songs of Valentine The Destroyer, Evan Kessler’s mix for February of 2005. Some people will get to enjoy it. Some people won’t. Also, I’ve interpreted many of these songs in the past paragraphs, but I’ve probably interpreted most of them incorrectly and applied them to myself for my own satisfaction. I will ultimately be disappointed to find out that each and every song is probably not what I thought it was about. Oh well. Que sera sera. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

“Heartbreak, old friend, goodbye it’s me again.
Of late, I’ve had some thought of movin’ in.
Of all the many ways a man will lose his home,
Well, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on.

True love, I knew some thought of, some thought of leavin’ you.
Bad thoughts I had, when valentines were due.
Of all the many ways a man will break his heart,
Well there ain’t none meaner than he pulls his own apart

Valentine, the destroyer, Valentine, you belong
In the stars, where you are, always rollin’ on.
Cried, I’ve cried till I couldn’t carry on.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong.

Heartbreak, old friend, goodbye it’s me again.
Of late, I’ve had some thought of movin’ in.
Of all the many ways a man will lose his home,
Well, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on.

Valentine, the destroyer, Valentine, you belong
In the stars, where you are, always rollin’ on.
Cried, I’ve cried till I couldn’t carry on.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong.
It’s a lonely, lonely feelin’ when your Valentine is wrong

Of all the many things that you were countin’ on,
Well, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on.
No, there ain’t none better than the girl who’s movin’ on”

Written by the Old 97’s


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