Saturday, April 07, 2007

Songs About Self-Destructive Chicks

Woke up in a much better mood with my color back and my stomach settled. I turned on my iPod and listened to Everclear's So Much for the Afterglow, while cleaning the kitchen. I usually listen to this music when I am working out and I generally feel a little like a fraud. Afterall, I didn't come from skid row, my dad didn't abandon me, and I am not a angry boy. But today I listened differently and it reminded me of something I was musing on with *I* a few weeks ago: I love songs that portray the female love interest as a wild child, as a bit self-destructive, and therefore causing great woe and anguish in the male lead. How weird is that? I think it's why I absolutely love everything that Lucinda Williams writes. She gets to be the fucked up song writer, breaking hearts, bleeding into her chords and haunting us with her tales. A few of the songs on So Much for the Afterglow feature wild child girls that the male lead wants to help.

So, why am I drawn to these songs? I think the answer is complicated. In part, I appreciate a more complicated female character than the usual "hot chick" or "low down woman." I like seeing men sing their little hearts out about complicated, sexy and damaged women. And, I guess it's partly due to how ironic it is. Afterall, I spent a good deal of time in my twenties tending to the complicated, self-destructive artiste male. I was drawn to their stormy moods and creative impulses, but I always played nurse to their tempestuous mood swings.

What I resented about playing nurse to artiste dude was that it always implied, at least to me, that they were more powerful, more important, more worthy than I. If I was going to drop everything and be on call for crisis, then it must be because their demons were powerful, awe inspiring and thereby in need of all available forces that can be mustered. I started longing for someone to sacrifice so much for me, to be so wrapped up in my demons, my torments. That was my twisted little notion of adoration. To be adored, I reasoned, was to have a man desperate to cure my wild child ways, and yet, I walk all over him and leave him bleeding on the floor.

This is the love you learn from disorder.

I don't have such longings to be the self-destructive woman tended for anymore. But, I am still drawn to music that portrays such a femme fatale. I would rather be her than the muse to artiste dude, who gets cast aside for his greater calling.