Anti-Love Songs for Valentine’s Day & Opinions on Lucinda Williams

Love Stinks

Despite the gooey romantic marketing, more breakups happen around Valentine’s Day than any other part of the year. For those who get the feeling every February that Love Stinks, Jim and Greg share their favorite Anti-Love Songs. Later, they review the new album from Americana songwriter Lucinda Williams.

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Jefferson Airplane

In a cosmic coincidence fitting for a psychedelic rock song, two founding members of Jefferson Airplane died recently on the same day: January 28. Signe Toly Anderson, the group’s original lead singer, died at the age of 74. She sang on the band’s 1966 debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off before leaving the group to be replaced by Grace Slick. Rhythm guitarist and singer Paul Kantner also died that day. Greg credits Kantner as being the anchor of the group, harmonizing in between Slick and Marty Balin and holding the group together instrumentally amid the psychedelic chaos. Kantner also co-wrote some of Jefferson Airplane’s most well-known songs like Wooden Ships, Volunteers, and much of the After Bathing at Baxter’s album. He was a true visionary, exploring utopian ideals and themes of interstellar travel, especially in the underrated early years of Jefferson Starship. In honor of his passing, Greg plays Kantner’s A.A. Milne and Fred Neil referencing composition The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil.

Anti-Love Songs

This year, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day as only Sound Opinions can, with some anti-love songs! Greg and Jim share their favorite tracks that convey how much love can really stink sometimes. Then they chat with some listeners to hear what they have to say.

Greg

  • Cee Lo Green, Forget You
  • Material Issue, Very First Lie
  • Jay Z, Song Cry
  • Robyn, Dancing On My Own

Jim

  • Hüsker Dü, Never Talking to You Again
  • Pansy Division, Luv Luv Luv
  • Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, I Hate Myself for Loving You
  • Phil Collins, In the Air Tonight

Listener Picks

  • Ron: Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind
  • Clare: The Cure, Pictures of You
  • Kate: The Beatles, I’m Looking Through You

The Ghosts of Highway 20 Lucinda Williams

The Ghosts of Highway 20

Less than two years after releasing a double album, Lucinda Williams is back with another one: The Ghosts of Highway 20. The Louisiana-born singer/songwriter delivers an Americana travelogue, using Interstate 20 to document her life growing up in the South. The highway, which runs from Texas to South Carolina, serves as a geographic timeline with which Williams shares her memories, both pleasant and troubling. The ambitious album is comprised of 14 tracks, 11 of which surpass five minutes, and that initially seemed too long for Greg. Ultimately though, Greg was astounded by this album, especially by the instrumentation executed in large part by the guitar work of Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz. The music transports the listener to the South, where, as Greg puts it, you can practically feel and see the mist rising up out of the cotton fields. While he would cut a couple tracks from this album, The Ghosts of Highway 20 is overall a Buy It for Greg.

Jim isn’t bothered by the album’s length. He loves the psychedelic sound produced by Liesz’s pedal steel, as well as Williams’ poignant recollection of good times and bad. There are several songs on the album dedicated to death, but her treatment of the subject is neither with dread nor loathing, but with acceptance. Jim was a skeptic of Williams for many years, but her recent work– particularly this album– has made him a believer. It’s a Buy It for Jim as well.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!