Episode 9 – Robots, Sleep, and Dirt

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Head over Heels by Panda Panda!

Love Interrupted by Jack White

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I Will Never Fall In Love With You by Sam Pinkerton

J. Hudson Brown: This song reminds me that heartbreak can be good news. While there is usually devastation on one end or the other of a breakup, it can also be a liberating breath of freedom to know that the failure of one relationship might mean a step closer to a concrete commitment in the next. I Will Never Fall In Love With You captures the solemn sobriety of the breakup while still holding onto the beauty of it all.

Irrational Crushes


Our Town by Iris DeMent

Ms. Brown: This is one of those songs that stopped me from turning the car off even though I had reached my destination; I couldn’t miss a lyric of this sad tale. The first line that struck me was, hold onto your lover ’cause your hearts bound to die, and I thought about how loving someone that deeply means at some point either your own heart will give out or the one that holds your heart will die, taking part of them with you. The more I listen to the story in this song, the more I heard the over arching sadness of a life that requires a goodbye for every hello we speak.

Try by P!nk

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Ode to Sleep by Twenty One Pilots

Agatha: “Ode to Sleep,” by the band, Twenty One Pilots (another great product of Columbus, Ohio!), is a heart-wrenching exploration of how we so easily take the coward’s way out when it comes to revealing our true selves to others.  That fear of rejection can lead us to live a half-life behind a mask, and never experience or radiate real love, let alone live out of our intended purpose.  I’ve included the lyrics to the song, because the spoken portions are the most powerful and revelatory.  In this culture where image-projection is seen as substance itself, Twenty One Pilots is a sincere voice of iconoclasm.

I wake up fine and dandy but then by the time I find it handy,
To rip my heart apart and start planning my crash landing,
I go up to the ceiling,
Then I feel my soul start leaving, like an old man’s hair receding,
I’m pleading please, oh please on my knees repeatedly asking,
Why it’s got to be like this, is this living free,
I don’t want to be the one, be the one who has the sun’s blood on my hands,
I’ll tell the moon, take this weapon forged in darkness,
Some see a pen, I see a harpoon.
I’ll stay awake, ‘Cause the dark’s not taking prisoners tonight.
Why am I not scared in the morning, I don’t hear those voices calling,
I must have kicked them out, I must have kicked them out,
I swear I heard demons yelling, those crazy words they were spelling,
They told me I was gone, they told me I was gone.
But I’ll tell them,
Why won’t you let me go?
Do I threaten all your plans, I’m insignificant,
Please tell them you have no plans for me,
I will set my soul on fire, what have I become?
On the eve of a day that’s forgotten and fake,
As the trees they await and clouds anticipate,
The start of a day when we put on our face,
A mask that portrays that we don’t need grace,
On the eve of a day that is bigger than us,
But we open our eyes ’cause we’re told that we must,
And the trees wave their arms and the clouds try to plead,
Desperately yelling there’s something we need,
I’m not free I asked forgiveness three times,
Same amount that I denied, I three-time mvp’ed this crime,
I’m afraid to tell you who I adore, won’t tell you what I’m sing towards,
Metaphorically I’m a whore, and that’s denial number four.

A Line In The Dirt by Eels

Lucius: This sorrowful song is the fifth track on Eels’ tragic album End Times, which itself is the woeful hingepoint of a three-ablum tryptich that rides the calamitous ups and downs of one man’s relationships. Hombre Lobo races after the excitement of new desire; End Times stumbles and falls over the heartbreak of a relationship failing; and Tomorrow Morning rises with the humble hope of companionship to come. As a newly-married man, “Line in the Dirt” is a song that, for me, exposes the inevitable pitfalls of creating contractual agreements with people rather pursuing them without self-protecting conditions. It also reminds me that when I make lines in the dirt (as clear and sensible as those lines might seem to me) it’s still dirt that I’m making them in. A relationship with another human being (especially in marriage) can be hard, messy, and painful when we fall, but still we dedicate ourselves to the dirt from which we were made, not to the lines — because, in Eel’s ominous words, “I know how it would be / If I had my own way with the world as I know it should be.”

Robots by Dan Mangan