#Music #LOVEzig: Your Top 10 Valentine’s Day Songs

love-1142638_960_720
Photo credits: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay.

By Kapuczino

The lovers’ craze takes a hold of people’s hearts when Cupid shoots his darts, arrowheads all soused in bewitching venom. Nobody is safe from the commercial onslaught either, for every February 14th sees flower prices triple, dinner tables double-booked and ears buckle under the airwaves exuded by uncompromising radio stations, playing nothing but the corniest of sugary love songs. We’re poised to make a change.

Some might say (in particular the gentleman in the picture below) that all is fair in love and war, but having your ears stuffed with the trivial round of meaningless and uninspiring cheese-dripping lyrics is rather counter-productive in terms of voicing your spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. So we at LeipGlo Towers had a look at songs that give expression to what the heart feels, phrased in a rather unusual and unconventional way. And – of course – music is not playing second fiddle here either…

allisfair

Let it be known that there are artists out there who wrap their feelings into well phrased verse. So lean back in the arms of someone, couch or office chair, and enjoy our quirky selection of love songs to feel the love.

#10
September by The Shins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRVv9ynlJSI
“It’s not that the darkness can’t touch our lives
I know it will in time
But she’s no ordinary Valentine
And now when the sun goes down, she sheds a darling light”

#9
Snowfall by Ingrid Michaelson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKscYJAksPs
“I want a snowfall kind of love
The kind of love that keeps you in bed all day
Oh I want to walk through with you
And watch it all melt away”

#8
What I Wouldn’t Do by A Fine Frenzy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrJA5eDhh9I
“If we were children, I would bake you a mud pie
Warm and brown beneath the sun
Never learned to climb a tree, but I would try
Just to show you what I’d done”

#7
5 Years Time by Noah & The Whale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag-_PWZzuJA
“Oh well, in five years time we could be walking ’round a zoo
With the sun shining down over me and you
And there’ll be love in the bodies of the elephants too
And I’ll put my hands over your eyes, but you’ll peep through”

#6
Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eptj2EZ4xE
“The strange light comes on slowly
A stranger’s heart is out of home
You put your hands into your head
And your smiles cover your heart”

#5
Pale Blue Eyes by The Velvet Underground
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvLc4EI0Rew
“Thought of you as my mountain top
Thought of you as my peak
Thought of you as everything
I’ve had but couldn’t keep
Linger on, your pale blue eyes”

#4
Angel, Angel, Down We Go Together by Morrissey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkj6gxjQxaA
“and when they’ve used you
and they’ve broken you
and wasted all your money
and cast your shell aside
and when they’ve bought you
and they’ve sold you
and they’ve billed you for the pleasure
and they’ve made your parents cry
I will be here”

#3
Say Yes by Elliot Smith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcalJSO6jDY
“I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl
Who’s still around the morning after
We broke up a month ago, and I grew up – I didn’t know
I’d be around the morning after”

#2
Blood Bank by Bon Iver
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-BZ0D92mtU
“That secret that we know that we don’t know how to tell
I’m in love with your honor, I’m in love with your cheeks
What’s that noise up the stairs, babe?
Is that Christmas morning creaks?”

#1
First Day Of My Life by Bright Eyes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwFS69nA-1w
“This is the first day of my life
Swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed
They’re spreading blankets on the beach.

Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don’t know where I am
I don’t know where I’ve been
But I know where I want to go.”

As with all music, it’s of course a matter of personal taste. Do you agree with what these artists express here? And do you have any essential song suggestions you feel need adding to this list?

>> More #LOVEzig >>

#MovieReview #LOVEzig: Carol

Carol_film_poster
Poster from Wikipedia.

As part of our #LOVEzig Valentine’s series, we’re running a review of a cinematic love story currently playing in Leipzig… but not a cheesy one.

By Ana Beatriz Ribeiro

What kinds of images does a train bring to mind?

A journey. A departure. An arrival. A loop. Boredom in its steadiness, excitement in the prospect of what it could bring. Something (practically) unstoppable. Subtle power. The occasional wreck, perhaps.

In the movie Carol, set in New York in the 1950s, all of the above can be detected, and a train can be heard or seen at several points in the movie. It’s like the soundtrack of the relationship between Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) and Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara). Both do a terrific job in the “less is more” style of acting, their subtle, superbly controlled facial expressions saying much, and what is not said saying even more. From the first moment we notice them looking at each other – Carol as customer, Therese as salesperson at a toy store – we know that they won’t be just friends.

From Carol and Therese’s first exchange at that toy store counter, we get a hint that both of them are unhappy in their current situation in life and routine. “Shopping makes me nervous,” Carol says as she tries to smoke but is not allowed to on the sales floor; “It’s ok; working here makes me nervous,” replies Therese, who is considerably younger than Carol. The unusual Therese really wants to be a photographer, but lacks the confidence to go for it. Men are drawn like moths to her understated flame but somehow she feels unsure – although, by her own admission, she says “yes” to everything. At that moment they meet, Carol is unsure what to buy for her daughter as a Christmas present, and expresses some annoyance at the prospect of Christmas and knowing that she will, once again, fail to get the damn turkey just right.

She ends up buying her daughter a toy train set, because Therese tells her, when she asks, that it’s what she wanted to have most when she was the little girl’s age.

We just know that they’ll have to see each other again. Something (practically) unstoppable has been set in motion.

Carol is married to Harge Aird (Kyle Chandler), but trying to get a divorce. Sometimes I felt bad for the guy, at other times I wanted to punch him. He so desperately loves Carol and is trying to do everything to force her to be with him, including taking their daughter away from her and spying on her to use the results as blackmail. “It shouldn’t be like this,” he tells her; “I know,” she replies as she enters the home where she lives without him. She had an affair with her best friend Abby Gerhard (Sarah Paulson), and her continued and assiduous presence in Carol’s life deeply hurts Harge. Carol implies, though, that Harge knew what she was like when he married her.

When Harge takes their daughter to spend Christmas elsewhere, Carol decides to invite Therese to go on a road trip. Therese does say “yes” to all of Carol’s invitations, and it’s no different this time – and this may cost her relationship with her boyfriend, who wants to marry her and is frustrated at her reluctance to commit. Watching Carol and Therese get closer and closer, we keep anticipating the moment when they will finally succumb to the palpable sexual tension, but it takes a while. The movie is a slow burn. 

Will Carol and Therese find the courage to live out their passions – professionally and personally? Will they risk ostracism for their sexual preference in 1950s American society? Will there be a happy ending for them?

The trailer of this Todd Haynes-directed flick deceived me. I haven’t chatted with anyone extensively about the movie, and haven’t read the novel it was based on – The Price of Salt – so its denouement surprised me. The best part of the film, despite its beautiful cinematography in general and attention to detail, is the acting of Blanchett and Mara, with both having been nominated for Oscars. It’s definitely an actor- and dialogue-centric movie rather than action.

Carol is playing at Die naTo in the original at 7:30 tonight, Wednesday and Thursday, at 9 pm on Sunday (Valentine’s Day), and continues with other showtimes for the next few weeks.

#Dating #Culture: How feminism killed romantic love

Stella_Gibson
Gillian Anderson stars in the British series “The Fall,” shown also on German TV, as Stella Gibson. Photo licensed under Wikimedia Commons.

By Katarina Ristic*

Popular culture has remained chained with the image of women in romantic love as a role model for female sexuality, while departures from that role usually depict dysfunctional or destroyed women. A list of films celebrating women’s love as absolute (sexual) dedication to the loved one is endless, while women who fail to fit the romantic love model are portrayed as social outcasts, driven to suicide, insanity or self-destruction (Splendor in the Grass, Anna Karenina, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Indecent Proposal, Bitter Moon, Dangerous Liaisons, Misery). Most often it is not rejection, but the inability to fulfill demands of romantic love that destroys them. Cases where women are presented with more sexual choice usually depict dysfunctional women, like Samantha in Sex and the City.

But another trend is gradually emerging, and two examples point nicely to it. First is the UK series The Fall – Tod in Belfast where Stella Gibson (police investigator) picks up a young policeman solely for sex, rejecting any further emotional commitment (she doesn’t respond to his SMS messages and other invitations to engage into emotions; it’s strictly physical). Second is the German TV show Wilsberg, which portrays Hauptkomessarin Anna Springer as having a similar attitude – she abruptly ends a dinner in which Wilsberg proposes a romance (for the record, she does ask if he means also going to bed together, and when he tacitly downplays the sex, she says she unfortunately has to go). Where she actually goes, we find out a little bit later – she had a “date” with a call-boy, as she obviously prefers good sex with a young, good-looking nobody to a romantic relationship with a friend.

This reveals a new and before now, at least in popular culture, unknown pattern of women’s sexuality: that women are, just as man have always been, able to distinguish between sex and love, and that sex for women can entail a portion of physical enjoyment regardless of emotions she may or may not have for the partner. A physical relationship that involves sex doesn’t mean she has to submit or devote herself emotionally, and, more importantly, her world remains intact regardless of his emotions for her. The connection between women’s emotions and sexual pleasure, similarly to emotions and children, glorified as “women’s nature,” serves as a means of subjection. Once internalized, it turns into self-regulation for two relations essential for maintaining patriarchy: to husband and to children. Ideological work becomes clear from the impossibility to think, let alone act (and survive) any other scenario. Women, claims the romantic-love model, cannot be happy, fulfilled and whole unless absolutely devoted to children and partner.

This de-disciplination of women’s sexuality is everything but insignificant. It establishes women as full and complete (subjects) without men’s approval, emotional support or need to belong. Her life doesn’t revolve around the ideal partner; it is constructed around different focuses (career, friends, art, fun) and physical attraction. Physical needs are, rather, a simple addition, one she is absolutely capable of managing, deciding and acting upon decision, without being seduced or destroyed by developing unbearable feelings.

Interestingly, the actual relationship between sex and romantic love is not clear, although it is presumed to be perfect. Whether it really is, we will never know, since she is so preoccupied or traumatized with the possibility that he does (not) love her, that films end before she might engage in evaluating sexual life – the very moment of his acceptance is at the same time the culmination and the end of the film. If it lasts longer, we see our heroine with children, completely occupied with her maternal role, another asexual projection of patriarchy-acceptable behavior.

Feminism for long time pleaded for the equality of men and women, but it wasn’t always clear what this equality would entail in terms of sexual relationships. The fact that half a century has passed before popular culture picked up on this theme doesn’t of course mean that this kind of relationship was unknown or not lived before – it just marks the moment when it can be socially acknowledged, admitted and accepted, with its proper name, characteristics, and role models.

But one should not be too optimistic – both (single) women from the TV shows mentioned above end up explaining and justifying themselves, for doing something obviously problematic. Stella Gibson’s behavior is strongly criticized by her (happily) married boss, who by the way suffered tremendously after having an affair with Gibson a few years earlier; and Detective Springer also has to explain why she would do “something like that.” Here is her explanation: “Keine Zeit für Beziehung! Keine Lust auf schlechtes Sex, und Morgen Frühstuck machen.” Simple as that!

*Katarina Ristic is a researcher at University Magdeburg, working on media, memory, transitional justice and human rights. Coming from Belgrade, Serbia she is mainly interested in former Yugoslavia and post-conflict justice. After six years in Leipzig, she decided to get involved with German media, detective TV shows being the first entry point. Now she is passionate follower of Mord mit Aussicht, Ein starkes Team, Tatort, Wilsberg, Held, etc., following the ‘”fake it till you make it” model of integration.

…Other #Dating articles…

The rise and fall of love and sex in the life of #millennials, told in tale and verse

Kevin Dublin "avatar" (http://www.kevindublin.com)
Kevin Dublin “avatar” (http://www.kevindublin.com)

I met Kevin Dublin when he was 22 and I was a little bit older, I think at some university poetry event he’d invited me to in Wilmington, N.C. Me, practically still a rookie reporter but already on the verge of a burnout, a caustic combination of neurotic and hard-partying, running a newspaper-hosted poetry blog to try to stay motivated. Him, already raising a family, about to get married. What struck me was how mature and driven, and simultaneously soft-spoken, he sounded. Being so young but with so many responsibilities in his personal life at the time perhaps also gave him the drive to get serious fast about his poetry, and writing career in general. Soon, he’d give me a chapbook with his poems to reproduce on my then poetry blog. (His poems would, in fact, often populate my blog, because I liked them so much.) Quite digital-savvy (more than the average “digital native”), he knew how to shoot and produce poetry videos. He was constantly performing at open mics and poetry slams around town. He’d come to teach writing, host panels at universities and pursue his Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA), which he is about to complete now.

I’m very glad to see, even if just from far away at the moment, that Kevin has continued to be driven and dedicated, and gotten his writing career to evolve so nicely. And thanks to the Internet, I can still get him to share his poetry with me, now for this blog. The series of poems presented here today deals creatively with a dizzyingly uplifting and eventually harrowing journey many of us know all too well: the serendipitous birth, exciting sex in a messy bachelor pad (a.k.a. “growth”), and eventual demise of a romantic relationship in our young adult years. When there are often high hopes and expectations but also a high rate of transience, both in terms of having to move around to progress careerwise or even to get a job at all and of wanting to hop around after passion is eroded, for a person, place or experience. Oh, and so many pointless arguments blown out of proportion, blown up by our stalkerish, voyeuristic, exposure- and digital-obsessed culture. This is especially true, it seems, in this generation of the millennials, now coming of age. As The Noisettes, a beloved British band of mine, would sing, “Damn these wild young hearts!”

Now here’s what Kevin has to say.

—————————————————–

Love (and “anti-love?”) poems by Kevin Dublin

—————————————————–

How to Fall in Love in San Diego (Four)

Time will splash your nose like first raindrop.
You’ll be uncertain, look to the sky for answers.
You won’t have an umbrella, so run.

Or rather, pace quickly since you don’t run.
The pour is coming. You’ll be too late.
It’ll take too many steps to make it

to your car that far on the other side
of the parking lot. It’s okay to frown
under the awning, but don’t complain.

This city has been in drought for six days,
three weeks, and two months. You’re
uncomfortable, but the summer’s nearly done

and this might help things brighten.
Say those silly lines you’ve said since
you read them in a poem:

You don’t find love. Love finds you
as unprepared as August showers
when you haven’t watched the news.

Silence. A pert-lipped stranger
who will soon not be a stranger
will repeat the final lines back to you:

Who needs an umbrella? You are only human
whose nature soaks more than a sea sponge.
You choose what to hold, what to let go.

—————————————————–

#LoversAndStatus

Lovers
who must define relationships
in conversation
like the letter u turned over and over
‘til it’s also a c and an n
and endless accusations
under moonglow against forehead—
star’s skitter from sky
‘til shadow leaks from my body,
slithers below a damp rock, and sleeps
like Ursa Major on the first of winter
waiting for the arrow wounds of spring.

—————————————————–

Inflection

My kitchen is messier
than when the Giza pyramids were built.
The apartment blown through
like a modern archaeological dig site:
duster, pointer trowels,
all exposed with sheets cradling draft
from door opening.
I didn’t wanna bring you home,
but you embarrass easier
and I favor the space between
a Doberman’s ears
on alert like first brownie finally picked
from the sheet pan.
I try to clean: tidy the bed, move
bowls to sink,
but your black jeans become a mosh
pit of nerds hugging
the walls of your bent ankles.

The inverted version of your body
before doggystyle,
your body after: belly to bedsheets,
head lifted, bottom
so round and implausible—
like the slip
of our mouths, a space
where Love me
begs to pull at the edge of upper lip.

—————————————————–

#LoversAndTheirFeelings

Lovers
who don’t understand
their feelings aren’t universal
like the breast with a heart under it.
That’s all you have in common with every human being.

If I say, I understand how you feel, BUT
the important part comes after. Do not stare
at my shoulders as if there were a crow pecking
off its own wings and then resume what you were saying.

I won’t let you take me apart entirely.
Just unsocket me.

—————————————————–

How Can You Remain in Love in San Diego?

When we met, we were incredibly far from the desert.
I thought you were too good for me. I didn’t think
you’d speak. You said there’s a delay in my handsomeness.
The ness unsteadily climbed from your tongue to lips.
I watched it fog, pillow in the air—brace a snowflake’s fall.

Today, the screen froze when End Call was pressed.
No feedback, just the illick between fingertip and glass.
We always said goodbye too soon: before a question,
before a right quick, before I love you. Today,
like chill of shadow stroking cheek, was only goodbye.

I sat—right in the sand. Where the hours pulled
themselves onto my lap and asked to be cradled.
Silent as the oval of my mouth when you first said
you wanted to be pregnant at a car dealership
during an argument about curly fries & condiments.

What will become of our children? They will suffer
the rough edge of tenderness from another father,
another mother. Your goodbye is an earthquake.
The rest of life aftershocks at the realization: we were
tectonic & unaware with no promise of tremors’ stop.

I am afraid you will remember me as a wooden ladder
or even worse, forget I was. And I’ll remember you
as a disaster. Unable to recall how you swallowed yawns
like milk, the attractiveness of how slow you’d waddle—
so slow I’d miss your step—dust collected on magenta toes.