Baby When I'm Yelling At You - 7/15/13
Ἀφροδίτη continues to be an interesting journey. The songs are coming at the speed they come. There are a couple that only need tweaking and mixing, a couple that need lots of work, but are all there, beginning, middle and end, and finally, there are several more that are just rough outlines or words on a page. Some of those will never get beyond that. That's pretty much dating in a nutshell. I don't know if this is an EP, a full length album, or just a general description for my new direction. It is what it is and will be what it will be.

Not surprisingly, it echos my love life at the moment. I used to have a predefined idea of what an album should be like (roughly 10 songs, somewhere about 50 minutes long). I used to have a predefined notion of what love should be (instant, epic, all consuming, and forever). I knew before I started either and if I failed to meet the predefined notion, it was a personal failing. For instance, there was a long time, I felt that Cripple was a failure because it was only an EP. If I finish the songs I've started, I could put out an EP for Ἀφροδίτη this calendar year. I won't. I have more to say. I'm saying some of it right now.

Writing love songs requires listening to them. In our culture, they are unavoidable but until I started deconstructing them, I never realized there are so many ways to do them. One of the most common are songs of unrequited love. I'm not really sure if "girl I desire from afar, but can't have for some damn reason or another" is one I'm likely to write these days. I'm quite happy not being that guy. Looking back, 1999's Bad Thing or '98's Pretty Little Thing both were songs that touched on that feeling. So it seems I have been writing love songs from the get-go. The Pixies may have done this best with Cactus

Of course, both of my songs I mentioned above bother me a bit because they come fairly close to being misogynistic. Insecure longing and disrespectful distain share a common language. I don't like thinking I was ever that guy either, even if I know the anger was really pointed inward. This brings me to another type of love song that I don't expect I'll be doing for Ἀφροδίτη, the shitty boyfriend song. The song that really made me take notice of this category is AWOLNATION's Not Your Fault. Don't get me wrong, they're a great band and I really like the song, but honestly, dude does not sound like a very good boyfriend. Ladies, you could do better.

What I can say with a fair degree of confidence is that I will be doing songs looking back at a failed relationships while the pain is still fresh. Echos will make it to whatever gets released and is definitely one of those. Social Distortion's So Far Away is a classic. I have others in mid-flight along these lines and I expect more heartbreak down the road.

If the big tragedy is that my next relationship is one that lasts the rest of my life, that's cool too. I'll still be able to write songs about being in the middle of a romance. These are hard to write and not come off sounding trite. Listening to Josh Ritter is a master class in writing this sort of thing. To the Dogs or Whoever quickly became one of my favorite songs. The song Ἀφροδίτη hopefully can hang with tunes like that one when it is done.

The last "love song" category that is popular are really just songs about sex. I like sex and have definitely gone to that well in the past Worm and 1999's {Y2K} Compliant come to mind, but I don't feel at the moment that it's what I'm trying to say in Ἀφροδίτη. Who knows, that may change. When I think of these songs, I can't help but think of Faith No More and Ugly In The Morning. The fact that this was the song going through my head when I lost my virginity probably says way more about the fucked up state of my head when I was younger than I'd like to admit. You won't tell, right?

So that's where I am at the moment. I'm loving life and letting love come and go as it desires. Hopefully Ἀφροδίτη and Euterpe see fit to send more my way and can even find a bit to give to you too!

© 1997-2015 Mike Townsend