By DYLAN BROWN
of Inland 360
Hallmark holiday be damned, I still have yet to figure out what’s wrong with Valentine’s Day.
I like chocolate and my girlfriend likes fresh flowers.
“Ugh, I really hate going out to eat a nice dinner,” I said never.
Seriously, all you have to say is “Hey, I love you” to a person you remind of that fact on a daily basis. Otherwise, dump/divorce them. I know we aren’t all verbal people, but it’s the 21st century for goodness sake — write it on a piece of paper or something.
However, I completely understand two Feb. 14 gripes. First, the $5 card with three words written on the inside. Can we all just agree that printing off cute pictures of baby animals and writing “I love you” under it took just as much effort and saved us enough to buy them five more chocolate bars?
Second, trite love songs. “L” is for the way we lose respect for anyone who tries to seriously croon that song to anyone. Love songs don’t have to suck. See below.
“Black Hearted Love”
PJ HARVEY AND JOHN PARISH
Sure it’s a little dark, but when was the last time anyone told you that your presence held them in rapture? Plus, fantastic post-grunge vocals from Harvey and fuzzy guitar from longtime compatriot John Parish.
“I Know One”
JOHN PRINE AND EMMYLOU HARRIS
Country has been contaminated by big trucks, cut-off shorts and be-dazzled 10-gallon hats. It forgot its guts — brutally and honestly exposing your blue-collar soul on steel guitar. Plenty of awful modern country stars have tried and failed to cover this song, a duet between the legendary Harris and under-appreciated genius, Prine.
“Girl In the War”
Moscow native Ritter has toured Europe and written a surprisingly well-received novel, but he first showed off his stark, natural poetry on songs like this one about a girl with eyes like champagne he’s going to get back.
“Kill For Love”
For those of you resigned to embracing the melancholy, the band famous for their synth-bathed-in-neon-light contribution to the movie “Drive” capture the essence of sad songs that make us sappy and weirdly happy.
Fear of Pop
Yes, that is Ben Folds, pre The Voice, on piano and back-up vocals. Yes, that is William “Get-a-life-Trekkie” Shatner lending his vocal talents to this smooth anti-love song. Yes, Conan looks really young. And, no, there is no brotherhood of lying, fickle males. We are not all alike.
Brown may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2278. Follow him on Twitter @DylanBrown26.