A Valentine Mixtape for the Bitter by Charlie Nickles

Has Valentine’s Day got you down because your heart was shit on and sprinkled in vomit-flavored bacon bits? Well, have I got a mixtape for you! It has directionless horniness and on-point spite, all in one compilation. Check it out.

  1. The Magnetic Fields “Absolutely Cuckoo”

The first track from The Magnetic Fields opus 69 Love Songs serves as a starter warning for entering a relationship. You don’t know what you’re getting into and if you hang on too long, it’s going to be too late. I’ll have to commit suicide when we breakup. Also, it will be your fault and people will hate you for it. Are you prepared for that?

  1. Silver Jews “How Can I Love You (If You Won’t Lie Down)”

If you haven’t read the poetry of David Berman, particularly Actual Air, I highly recommend doing so. When not pursuing his poetic passions, however, he is fronting a line of rotating musicians, The Silver Jews. This song confuses love and sex to the point that it is downright hilarious, and knowing Berman, that is exactly his purpose.

  1. Gwar “I Hate Love Songs”

This song embodies the whole purpose of this mixtape, so why not include it? “I hate wet dreams and masturbation/ I hate anything that feels good like sex with you.” Yeah! Stupid sex. Dumb feel-good orgasms. Who needs them? People who like Valentine’s Day, that’s who.

  1. Roxy Music “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”

From the title and opening chords of this song, you know something is deeply wrong. It sounds isolated, detached, and depressing, wallowing in poverty. Hope comes in when the narrator begins describing his “perfect companion” bought “mail order.” You guessed it; it’s an inflatable sex doll. He’s in love though, so who are we to judge? It won’t leave him and break his heart either. Kudos to this guy!

  1. The Dirtbombs “Your Love (Belongs Under a Rock)”

Getting away from the isolation of Roxy Music, it’s time to have fun again with The Dirtbombs! This Detroit garage rock band has plenty of love songs to get down to, but this one really captures the freedom of realizing a relationship is a complete turd. Breakup songs usually dwell on the pain process, but this one relishes in the liberation.

  1. Ween “Even If You Don’t”

This is a true love song that focuses on the issue of mental illness in a relationship. The narrator loves his mate, even if she’s completely self-destructive. The object of the narrator’s affection steals his prescriptions, randomly calls his friends at all hours of the night, eats food that could kill her, is a messy hoarder, and threatens the narrator with a knife. After all that, the narrator still loves her, even if she doesn’t love herself.

  1. The Dukes of Stratosphear “My Love Explodes”

The Dukes of Stratosphear was a psychedelic 1980s side project from XTC, a band usually known for its biting social commentary. With “My Love Explodes,” they take a detour and bring the double-entendre to a whole new level. If you’ve ever wondered what The Yardbirds would sound like if they had the perversity of 2 Live Crew, this is the song for you.

  1. AC/DC “Love at First Feel”

Throughout the late 70s and 80s, hair metal dominated the landscape, bringing with it hundreds of songs with questionable lyrical content. AC/DC were masters of this genre. With song titles like “Let Me Put My Love Into You,” “Givin the Dog a Bone,” and “Beating Around the Bush,” AC/DC reveled in being a dirty hard rock band. “Love At First Feel,” from their Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album is the capper, though. From the first lyrics, you know you’re dealing with a zero on every morality scale.

  1. Johnnie Taylor “I Could Never Be President”

There’s probably never been a better time for this little ditty to exist. Johnnie Taylor admits that if he were president, he would either abuse his authority and use the military and NASA for his own benefit, or he would get nothing accomplished because all his laws would be vetoed. It’s an absurd song to think about in this political climate. I don’t think I need to explain why.

  1. Eels “Ant Farm”

I’ll end this mix on a bittersweet note. Whether you’re a metalhead or a sad shoegazer, it’s hard not to feel something with this song. When E., the singer croons, “I hate a lot of things/ but I love a few things/ and you are one of them,” he gets to the heart of what being in a relationship is all about. There’s a person out there who can make the negativity go away, or at least make it bearable to live with. That’s love.


Charlie Nickles, Contributor
Charlie Nickles, Contributor

Charlie Nickles has held jobs painting car emblems, inspecting cereal, and making vegetable trays. He currently lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he writes, works, and beatboxes “Billie Jean” to unappreciative cats.

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