Love Stinks

Anti-Love Songs for Valentine's Day & Opinions on Lucinda Williams

Despite the gooey romantic marketing, more breakups happen around Valentine's Day than any other part of the year. For those who get the feeling every February that "Love Stinks," Jim and Greg share their favorite Anti-Love Songs. Later, they review the new album from Americana songwriter Lucinda Williams.

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Music News

Jefferson Airplane In a cosmic coincidence fitting for a psychedelic rock song, two founding members of Jefferson Airplane died recently on the same day: January 28. Signe Toly Anderson, the group's original lead singer, died at the age of 74. She sang on the band's 1966 debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off before leaving the group to be replaced by Grace Slick. Rhythm guitarist and singer Paul Kantner also died that day. Greg credits Kantner as being the anchor of the group, harmonizing in between Slick and Marty Balin and holding the group together instrumentally amid the psychedelic chaos. Kantner also co-wrote some of Jefferson Airplane's most well-known songs like "Wooden Ships", "Volunteers", and much of the After Bathing at Baxter's album. He was a true visionary, exploring utopian ideals and themes of interstellar travel, especially in the underrated early years of Jefferson Starship. In honor of his passing, Greg plays Kantner's A.A. Milne and Fred Neil referencing composition "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil."

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Anti-Love Songs

This year, we're celebrating Valentine's Day as only Sound Opinions can, with some anti-love songs! Greg and Jim share their favorite tracks that convey how much love can really stink sometimes. Then they chat with some listeners to hear what they have to say.

reviewThe Ghosts of Highway 20The Ghosts of Highway 20 available on iTunes

Lucinda Williams The Ghosts of Highway 20

Less than two years after releasing a double album, Lucinda Williams is back with another one: The Ghosts of Highway 20. The Louisiana-born singer/songwriter delivers an Americana travelogue, using Interstate 20 to document her life growing up in the South. The highway, which runs from Texas to South Carolina, serves as a geographic timeline with which Williams shares her memories, both pleasant and troubling. The ambitious album is comprised of 14 tracks, 11 of which surpass five minutes, and that initially seemed too long for Greg. Ultimately though, Greg was astounded by this album, especially by the instrumentation executed in large part by the guitar work of Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz. The music transports the listener to the South, where, as Greg puts it,“you can practically feel and see the mist rising up out of the cotton fields.”While he would cut a couple tracks from this album, The Ghosts of Highway 20 is overall a Buy It for Greg.

Jim isn‘t bothered by the album’s length. He loves the psychedelic sound produced by Liesz's pedal steel, as well as Williams‘ poignant recollection of good times and bad. There are several songs on the album dedicated to death, but her treatment of the subject is neither with dread nor loathing, but with acceptance. Jim was a skeptic of Williams for many years, but her recent work– particularly this album– has made him a believer. It’s a Buy It for Jim as well.

JimGreg

Featured Songs

  1. Jefferson Airplane, Chauffeur Blues, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, RCA Victor, 1966
  2. Jefferson Airplane, The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil, After Bathing at Baxter's, RCA Victor, 1967
  3. The J. Geils Band, Love Stinks, Love Stinks, Nautilus, 1980
  4. CeeLo Green, Forget You, The Lady Killer, Elektra, 2010
  5. Hüsker Dü, Never Talking to You Again, Zen Arcade, SST, 1984
  6. Material Issue, Very First Lie, International Pop Overthrow, Mercury, 1991
  7. Marilyn Monroe, I'm Through With Love, Some Like It Hot (Original Film Soundtrack 1959), Él, 2010
  8. Harry Nilsson, You're Breaking My Heart, Son of Schmilsson, RCA Victor, 1972
  9. Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind, Blood on the Tracks, Columbia, 1975
  10. The Cure, Pictures of You, Disintegration, Elektra, 1989
  11. The Beatles, I'm Looking Through You, Rubber Soul, Parlophone, 1965
  12. Pansy Division, Luv Luv Luv, Absurd Pop Song Romance, Lookout, 1998
  13. Jay Z, Song Cry, The Blueprint, Roc-A-Fella, 2001
  14. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, I Hate Myself for Loving You, Up Your Alley, Blackheart, 1988
  15. Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Love Will Tear Us Apart (single), Factory, 1980
  16. Robyn, Dancing on My Own, Body Talk Pt. 1, Konichiwa, 2010
  17. Phil Collins, In the Air Tonight, Face Value, Atlantic, 1981
  18. Lucinda Williams, The Ghosts of Highway 20, The Ghosts of Highway 20, Highway 20, 2016
  19. Lucinda Williams, Doors of Heaven, The Ghosts of Highway 20, Highway 20, 2016
  20. Rihanna, Higher, ANTI, Westbury Road / Roc Nation, 2016
  21. St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Call Me, Half the City, Single Lock, 2014
  22. Patti Smith, Gloria, Horses, Arista, 1975
  23. Motörhead, Killed by Death, No Remorse, Bronze, 1984
  24. Eagles, Take It Easy, Eagles, Asylum, 1972

Footnotes

nytimes.com Signe Toly Anderson obit nytimes.com Paul Kantner obit soundopinions.org Anti-Love Songs part 1 on SO lucindawilliams.com Lucinda Williams soundopinions.org Lucinda Williams on Sound Opinions soundopinions.org Sound Opinions 1967 special