BreakUpFilter: In Two Parts...
May 30, 2005 9:43 AM   Subscribe

With no warning, my relationship is over. (1) Help me pick the soundtrack to my breakup. Songs that got you past the numb, the pain, and the empty without just blaming or dissing the significant other too much. (2) Help me brainstorm my next step. Should I get an ESL teaching certificate (and join expat pals in France?) Should I move back to Missouri to help my pregnant sister run her bed & breakfast? Or should I stay in LA?
posted by schyler523 to Human Relations (64 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could go to Missouri, help your sister while you train for ESL teaching, and then go to France, if you still feel like it, when your sister is on her feet again after the kid.
posted by pracowity at 9:49 AM on May 30, 2005

assuming you're interested in women, i'd suggest france. how old are you? teaching french students english sounds like the perfect opportunity to abuse the teacher/pupil relationship (assuming you find students of an appropriate age).
posted by andrew cooke at 9:51 AM on May 30, 2005

Ouch schyler523. I find all sorts of solace in Bonnie Riatt, Susan Tedeschi and Michelle Malone, but that may not work for you.
Depending on how serious/long the relationship was, my best advice is to not make any sudden moves. When my five year relationship ending last year I wanted nothing more than to quit my job and make a big move. I'm glad that several older and wiser folks were adamant that i not make such a drastic change. I'm working my stuff out, have some terrific new people in my life and have found that I really enjoy the place where I live (where I moved to be with the person who is now my ex).

Give yourself a little time to regroup and allow yourself to think clearly about what is in your best interest for the long term. Once the dust has settled you'll be able to see a path that makes sense for you.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:00 AM on May 30, 2005

What are you looking for in a breakup soundtrack? Me, I'm of the misery loves company school of thought and hence I go for the most heart wrenchin', hurtin', cryin' and dyin' music. Other people in this situation want ze happy music to slowly bring them out of it. The truly ambitious build an ordered set that transitions from one to the other.

To put it another way, are you looking for catharsis, comfort or distraction?

Also, go to France.
posted by Capn at 10:02 AM on May 30, 2005

Song: Ween's Piss Up a Rope (MP3 link) is appropriately drunken and misogynistic.

Where in Missouri? St. Louis and KC are cool, but rural Missouri is a hard red state. I take it you are from here and know what you would be getting into.

On Preview: Andrew Cooke is the devil. I like that.
posted by LarryC at 10:03 AM on May 30, 2005

taz's wiser voice: *what FlamingBore said*

taz's real voice: *France!France!France!*
posted by taz at 10:10 AM on May 30, 2005

So sorry schyler. Maybe not now, but at some point perhaps some disco will cheer you up - "Enough is Enough" by Donna Summer and Babs Streisand and, of course, "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Because you will, you know.

And I like pracowity's advice for #2.
posted by SashaPT at 10:10 AM on May 30, 2005

Here are some albums that have become good friends in my times of darkness:

Counting Crows - Recovering the Satellites
Damien Rice - O
Dashboard Confessional - Unplugged, or, if you can't appreciate the enthusiastic shout-along crowd just yet, maybe Places You Have Come to Fear the Most. It's not for everyone, but once you get past the emokidness it can be a great release. I know it was for me.

These things take time. Sometimes when I felt really bad it has helped to sincerely ask myself: "How much will this matter a year from now?" See it as a Zen exercise.

It appears to me you're already well on your way, given that you're already seeing this as an opportunity to do other things with your life. I admire that, I have always taken much longer with such things. Congratulations!

Go to France. You'll admire yourself for it, have something positive to put that negative energy in, and have a boatload of stories to take home. You don't even have to declare those at Customs. :)

On a tangent, if you desire to maybe pick up some French (or brush up) during your stay, some French-language music might be good as well. I'd recommend Belgian chansonnier Jacques Brel and, if you like hiphop, MC Solaar. There's lots more out there, I'm sure it has been discussed on AskMe before as well.

Good luck. You'll be fine.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:12 AM on May 30, 2005

Be careful with the music. From High Fidelity:
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
Having said that, Sugar's Copper Blue and Richard & Linda Thompson's Shoot Out the Lights are both excellent breakup albums.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:15 AM on May 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

ESL School/France.
posted by ori at 10:15 AM on May 30, 2005

Wee small hours - sinatra. All the rest is kids stuff.
posted by justgary at 10:23 AM on May 30, 2005

I sold my car once when I broke up, determined to be a zen hermit. That was a stupid idea, and I miss that car and only thing about the girl occasionally in the early morning hours, hoping that she now weighs more than I do.

But France sounds very cool. Be sure to tell the ladies you're from Canada.
posted by mecran01 at 10:25 AM on May 30, 2005

First of all, that sucks. I'm sorry. But France is a great idea. If all else fails, you can wander around eating great food and getting drunk on great wine. As far as the music goes, the last two CDs from Rilo Kiley are great to wallow in, yet they manage to not be 'slit yer wrists' depressing.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:33 AM on May 30, 2005

for music: Bloodletting, by Concrete Blonde. Lots of angry energy, lots of insightful lyrics on relationships, with a goofy vampire theme that keeps you from taking the whole thing too seriously, and makes it easy to let go when the time comes.
posted by carmen at 10:42 AM on May 30, 2005

I like pracowity's ideas about planning.
While I agree that you should be careful not to do anything that you'll regret, I also tend to think that right after a breakup is a good time to take a big step (after thinking about it really hard). I find that the breakup is easier if there are new and interesting things to focus on, and the new and interesting things are easier to focus on when one is relearning aloneness.

My favorite pissed-off breakup song is Mike Ness' version of "Don't Think Twice." I couldn't find a good version online but Amazon has the snippets, of course. Email if you want the full version don't steal music.
Music that makes me happy lately is The Decemberists' Picaresque, Clem Snide's Ghost of Fashion (and others, but this one is my favorite), The Postal Service's Give Up, and, if you want French music, the band Louise Attaque is awesome, especially their self-titled album. It might be hard to find here, and Amazon doesn't have snippets, but again, email if you want.
I also second the recommendations of Damien Rice's O and Counting Crows' Recovering the Satellites. (August and Everything After is better if you want to wallow.)
posted by librarina at 10:50 AM on May 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: *listens to Taz's real voice*

For Clarity: I am 25, we have lived together for a year and a half, I am her first boyfriend (and understand why she has to move on)...we both grew up in St. Louis and still have family there. My sister is near Columbia, the mid-Missouri liberal oasis...

Pracowity: That is a great idea...I'll look into ESL programs near her.

Andrew Cooke: I too recommend nookie for broken hearts for others, but so far I'm not in the mood...I will keep your suggestion in mind though. ;)

FlamingBore: Thank you for the Susan Tedeschi suggestion and the cautious words in my ear. It is tough to decide to leave when half of you is hoping that she really wants you back and is just having a bad week. In the end though, I am tired of Los Angeles, and probably will not stay.

Capn: I'm not sure what sort of music for this one, I used to be a cry all day listening to NIN kind of kid, but I have changed...I am not sad or angry, yet. Probably mostly upbeat stuff, mixed with some sad. Distraction is key for now.

LarryC: I am well versed in Ween, and yes Piss Up a Rope is a great breakup song, but a bit too mean for this situation (though I have listened to it once or twice anyway.)

goodnewsfortheinsane: Thanks for the MC Solaar tip, that sounds perfect.

kirkaracha: Great idea, I'll watch high fidelity...though that misery/pop music enigma is sort of chicken/egg...

carmen: I think I'm going to avoid anything related to vampires for a while, as She was a huge Buffy fan.

BTW, this means a fairly large reduction in the amount of time I can spend on least as soon as I leave. After that I will check in periodically from libraries and internet cafes and stuff....
posted by schyler523 at 10:50 AM on May 30, 2005

I suggest the Get Up Kids. But only if you like emo. Also, France. You can take me too, if it would make you feel better. It would make me feel better. (Very jealous, me.)

On preview: I see you are looking for cheery music. Keep an eye out for Anniemal by a Scandanavian called Annie. Apparently very good pop silliness. Then there's The Divine Comedy, which is orchestral and lyrically focused, which I find helps with paying attention. The new Fischerspooner is pretty good, too.
posted by dame at 10:55 AM on May 30, 2005

REM, "Everybody Hurts".

Go to Venice.
posted by puddinghead at 10:55 AM on May 30, 2005

Progenies of the Great Apocalypse by Dimmu Borgir.

Works best if you are driving away from ex-S/O at speed. At night.
posted by fire&wings at 10:57 AM on May 30, 2005

My favourite "I hate men and I want them all to die" song is Ani DiFranco - Untouchable Face.


So fuck you, and your untouchable face
fuck you, for existing in the first place
and who am I, that I should be vying for your touch
said who am I, bet you can't even tell me that much

Other than that, I tend to find Sarah Mclachlan to be the best general mood-elevator. Sure, a lot of her stuff deals with pain and heartbreak, but she has this magic touch; you feel like everything's going to be okay in the end.

I'm not sure what else to suggest. My ex left me unexpectedly in December, after two years together. I spent three days being self-indulgent and wallowing in the pain (by which I mean roughly a Jesusload of vodka was consumed), and then went back to the day-to-day. The important thing, I found, was trying to balance the moments of gut-wrenching ugliness with continuing on with your life. I'll echo what other people have said, though: this isn't the time to make sudden major decisions. Do that in three months... and for now, I think your sister is your best bet. Family and comfort are good, and helping (in some way) to bring a new life into the world will probably help you be less sad in general.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:01 AM on May 30, 2005

Send in the Clowns - Sinatra
Time of Your Life - Green Day
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
A Minor Incident - Badly Drawn Boy
Losing You - U2
In Demand - Texas

go to France mate, a change of scene will stop you thinking about it so much...
posted by dmt at 11:06 AM on May 30, 2005

I can't believe nobody's mentioned the Cure. I'm very disappointed in all of you. Get Disintegration, Three Imaginary Boys, and Boys don't Cry. Then, if you can stomach it, mix in a good dose of Sisters of Mercy and a smattering of the Smiths for taste.

Then, for planning the rest of your life: Do whatever will get you the furthest away from it all. If the ESL certificate takes a while to get (as I assume it will), postpone it and go help out your pregants sis. Who knows, it might even be fun.
posted by fvw at 11:06 AM on May 30, 2005

Crooked Fingers has an album called Reservoir Songs. It's all covers, but there's a thread of continuity given by his voice and the subject matter. I listened to it every day when I woke up for months after I broke up.

Track listing- Sunday Morning Coming Down, Solitary Man, When U Were Mine, River, and Under Pressure.

It's brilliant, I tell you. Eric Bachmann's delivery renders them all somber and kind of bitter tasting, but there's an ultimate redemption with Under Pressure. It actually took me a long time to sort out why it was so neccessary to listen to, especially because I didn't view the River (Bruce Springsteen) as being a true break-up song at first.

And France definitely sounds like one of those things to do that sounds great, especially when one of your aquaintences is telling the ex.
posted by redsparkler at 11:13 AM on May 30, 2005

Previous answers.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:16 AM on May 30, 2005

Perhpas "Song for the Dumped" by Ben Folds would help out.
posted by trbrts at 11:18 AM on May 30, 2005

Even better than "Piss up a Rope" by Ween is:

Ween - You Fucked Up [MP3]

You fucked up, you bitch - you really fucked up
You fucked up - you fuckin' nazi whore
Well, you dicked me over but now you'll pay
You fucked up ... Aaaahhh!!

posted by idontlikewords at 11:25 AM on May 30, 2005

Oops, upon closer inspection of the OP, I see you weren't looking for a "blame" song. I guess I'm about as wrong can be in that case. Although, to be honest, I'm pretty sure that YFU (or any Ween song for that matter) is not meant to be taken 100% seriously.
posted by idontlikewords at 11:27 AM on May 30, 2005

Whatever you choose, schyler, follow your heart, don't look back and good luck.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:28 AM on May 30, 2005

Ok, one more song, b/c after thinking about how that last one was the absolute worst possible answer to the OP, I got to thinking what would be the polar opposite of that, and I came up with:

Hayden - Carried Away [MP3]

Which I would hold to be the absolute most laid-back, "hey let's get on with our lives" breakup song in the entire world!
posted by idontlikewords at 11:32 AM on May 30, 2005

Response by poster: idon'tlikewords: YFU is a great breakup song usually, but this time I'm not mad. In a while I'll listen to Baby Bitch...and add one more person to the list of people it makes me think of. But I repeat, I am not mad at her...I get to go to France! I'll just miss our kittens. :(

It’s been a while since I’ve seen you smile
But now you’ve come back again
Came into the room and you saw my girl
And you asked her how long it’s been
A year she said and you shook your head
Said I’m surprised it’s gone on that long

Baby, baby, baby bitch
For words I am at a loss
Baby, baby, baby bitch
I’m better now please fuck off

What else you gonna say when while you’re back on your stay
Maybe something, maybe nothing, we’ll see
It’s just too bad, you’re beautiful I guess
I wasn’t for you and you weren’t for me

Baby, baby, baby bitch
Please slip back into yourself
Baby, baby, baby bitch
Go conquer someone else

People say, how beautiful, how sweet, how kind
You’re perfect, you’ve got nothing to hide
But i, for one, have seen the sun
And the bitch that you’ve locked up inside

Got fat, got angry, started hating myself
Wrote birthday boy for you babe
Now I’m skinny and sick and paranoid
Without a cent to my name

Baby, baby, baby bitch
Fuck you, you stinkin’ ass ho
Most beauty I’ve seen
You come from a dream
But I can’t close my eyes anymore
No, I can’t close my eyes anymore

posted by schyler523 at 11:33 AM on May 30, 2005

Big Star's third album (usually called Third/Sisterlovers) is ideal for this kind of thing.
posted by willpie at 11:34 AM on May 30, 2005

Hooray, France! Do it quick, before you get involved with someone else. It's always harder to plan these srts of things when there's someone else involved.

Sugar's Copper Blue and Richard & Linda Thompson's Shoot Out the Lights
*swoon* Hey kirkaracha, wanna break up?

posted by climalene at 11:36 AM on May 30, 2005

Pete Yorn - musicforthemorningafter album
Liz Phair - Divorce Song

Derek Webb - Wrong Man:

We've been working on this thing for eight long years
And I think it's time that we just let go
Well I can't tell if it's history, or maybe just bad math
But if I don't leave now then I may never go

And I'm the wrong man for the job
And that's the way it is
And I, I'm the wrong man for the job
As long as I shall live
For better or for worse, we both know I'm the wrong man for the job

Well I've always hated math, but I love history
Just like I hate no one and I love you
Isn't it coincidence, it's a mystery
Cause if I ain't got you then I've not a clue

It's like I ripped my arm right off and left it
Well I guess it wasn't mine at all

We've been working on this thing for eight long years
And I think it's time that we just let go

posted by heatherann at 11:37 AM on May 30, 2005

Response by poster: Hooray, France! Do it quick, before you get involved with someone else. It's always harder to plan these srts of things when there's someone else involved.

No kidding, I chose her over France a year and a half ago...time to remedy that detour...
posted by schyler523 at 11:39 AM on May 30, 2005

Blood is thicker than French wine. If your sister needs help, how can you even think of NOT supplying it?
If she really doesn't need you, but would only provide a change of scene for you, well then bon voyage.
posted by Cranberry at 2:53 PM on May 30, 2005

This is probably a good application for Beck's Sea Change.
posted by nomad at 3:39 PM on May 30, 2005

She fuckin' hates me by Puddle O Mudd

Met a girl
Thought she was grand
Fell in love
Found out first hand
Went well for a week or two
Then it all came unglued

In a trap
Trip I can't grip
Never thought I'd be the one who'd slip
Then I started to realize
I was living one big lie
She _____ hates me
She _____ hates me
La la la love
I tried too hard
And she tore my feelings like I had none
And ripped them away

She was queen for about an hour
After that ____ got sour
She took all I ever had
No sign of guilt
No feeling of bad

In a trap
Trip I can't grip
Never thought I'd be the one who'd slip
Then I started to realize
I was living one big lie
She ______ hates me
She ______ hates me
La la la love
I tried too hard
And she tore my feelings like I had none
And ripped them away

That's my story
As you see
Learned my lesson
And so did she
Now it's over
And I'm glad
Cause I'm a fool
For all I said

She ______ hates me
She _____ hates me
La la la love
I tried too hard
And she tore my feelings like I had none
And ripped them away

La la la la la la la la la love
La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la(and she tore my feelings like i had none,trust)
la la la la
She ______ hates me
posted by randomstriker at 3:49 PM on May 30, 2005

The coffee at Lakota in downtown Columbia is nice, but trust me, it's better in Paris.

I'm walkin' down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
But goodbye's too good a word, babe
So I'll just say fare thee well
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right

- Don't Think Twice It's Alright, by Bob Dylan
posted by nyterrant at 4:10 PM on May 30, 2005

I've had some success with The Dresden Dolls. Very manic, not touching. Not really angry? Just fast and upset.

If you like to wallow, Ben Folds Five's "Don't Change Your Plans" always ripped me up. In fact, that whole album always struck me as being broadly about breaking up, things changing, etc.

Good luck. And go to France! It's a great place. I've always enjoyed the time I spent there. And if you want to learn french, it really helps to immersion programs. They're pricey, but effective. I enjoyed this one a lot.
posted by heresiarch at 4:22 PM on May 30, 2005

Response by poster: heresiarch writes "I've had some success with The Dresden Dolls. Very manic, not touching. Not really angry? Just fast and upset. "

Wow, I like the Dresden Dolls, but right now the ex is massaging them...if I were to listen to them it would be truce.
posted by schyler523 at 4:28 PM on May 30, 2005

Broken ("Gave Up" especially) & France.
posted by mlis at 4:31 PM on May 30, 2005

Good lord, I'm a huge Dresden Dolls fan and to confirm what you already seem to know....with the exception of Truce and Good Day, they're not so much for this situation.

The Ben Folds recommendation is a good one, though. Reinhold Messner is a great "what the fuck am I doing with my life?" soundtrack.
posted by amandaudoff at 4:50 PM on May 30, 2005

Don't sit around moping to music. Write your feelings down, get them out of your system, and then get moving.

And, as a close explained to me, when there is a choice you should always choose Paris.
posted by nixerman at 5:42 PM on May 30, 2005

I knew that my Break-Up Playlist would come in handy for something-- here's one CDs worth, some of which are mentioned above:

Sea Change- Beck
Song for the Dumped- Ben Folds Five
This One's Gonna Bruise- Beth Orton
The First Cut Is the Deepest- Cat Stevens
Wicked Game- Chris Isaak
The Scientist- Coldplay
River- Joni Mitchell
Landslide- Fleetwood Mac
Missing You- John Waite
Divorce Song- Liz Phair
Nothing Compares 2 U- Sinead O'Connor
Untouchable Face- Ani DiFranco
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart- Wilco
posted by picklebird at 5:48 PM on May 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

David Grey has some lovely break up music. Try especially "Shine."

"I can see it in your eyes what I know in my heart is true
That our love it has faded like the summer run through
So we'll walk to the shoreline one last time together
Feel the wind blow our wandering hearts like a feather
But who knows what's waiting in the wings of time
Dry your eyes, we gotta go where we can shine.

Don't be hiding in sorrow or clinging to the past
With your beauty so precious and the season so fast
No matter how cold the horizon appear
Or how far the first night when I held you near
You gotta rise from these ashes like a bird of flame
Step out of the shadow, we've gotta go where we can shine...."

posted by onlyconnect at 6:13 PM on May 30, 2005

My personal favorite break-up song: All The Best by John Prine, but that might be for when you're feeling philosophical after recovering.

Oddly, some of the best choices for wallowing in greif are some otherwise cheesy songs like Poison's "Every Rose Has It's Thorn," which is a terrible rock song but a great country weeper if you look at it right, which may explain why Bret Michaels is a judge on Nashville Star.But that line "Now you say you found somebody new, and that I never meant that much to you," hits hard if you hear it at the right/wrong moment. I know of which I speak.

Sentimental power ballads like Journey's "Faithfully" and Aerosmith's "Angel" and "What It Takes," are great wallowing fuel, too.

Good luck, schuyler, and pop a beer and ride it out, bro.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 PM on May 30, 2005

Old school David Grey is good. The Cure is good bad break up music. I made a joke when I got out of high school that I’d just lay around and listen to Cure CDs and watch Cusack films all day. Disintegration is good but the real doozy is Wish. That one is perfect. Leonard Cohen’s first album is fine too in that same vein. Avoid too much of this stuff though, it’s the for the low, not the getting back up. Try some Wilco. Via Chicago… Least That’s What You Said… Wilco’s got some good ones. Try "Listen to My Heart" by the Ramones. Chew on some Blue and Blood on the Tracks for a 60s fix while you're at it. Bob Dylan is still one of the best when it comes to articulating the heart. If you want to have a little fun with it, take a binge of depressing bubblegum joy with the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs. That’s a great album, well worth hunting down. Bishop Allen is a good feel good addition as well with there album Charm School.

That’s all that’s coming too me right now. Real sorry man. Hope things work out for the best.

posted by Neosamurai85 at 7:09 PM on May 30, 2005

Response by poster: jonmc: the lyrics to that John Prine song hit me like a jillion tons of heavy, that's exactly what i need...I'm past numb now.

Neosamurai85: Magnetic fields is a great antimatter to John Prine's matter...I'll dig those disks out for some in cheek happy?

I don't want to get over you.
I guess I could take a sleeping pill and sleep at will
And not have to go through what I go through.
I guess I should take Prozac, right,
And just smile all night at somebody new,
Somebody not too bright but sweet
And kind who would try to get you off my mind.
I could leave this agony behind which is just what I'd do if I wanted to,
But I don't want to get over you cause
I don't want to get over love.
I could listen to my therapist, pretend you don't exist
And not have to dream of what I dream of;

I could listen to all my friends and go out again and pretend it's enough,
Or I could make a career of being blue
I could dress in black and read Camus,
Smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth like I was 17 that would be a scream
But I don't want to get over you.

~Magnetic Fields~
posted by schyler523 at 7:34 PM on May 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

"Achilles' Heel" by TopLoader; "Rain" by Patty Griffin; "Ashes" by The Gufs; "Hopeless" by Train; "Sweet Chariot," by Charlotte Martin; "Love Ridden" by Fiona Apple; "I Think God Can Explain," by Splender.

They're depressing, but they worked for me.

As far as life...if you have the chance to go to France, you can't get a better chance at a total new start, in my book. Everyone wants the chance for a fresh start, I know I did. Take it.
posted by angeline at 7:37 PM on May 30, 2005

Eric Clapton's - Unplugged (1993): All of it, especially "Old Love"
posted by oliyoung at 8:46 PM on May 30, 2005

My vote on the soundtrack would be for the album Swoon by Prefab Sprout, including the track Goodbye Lucille #1:

"Life's not complete till your heart's missed a beat
And you'll never make it up, or turn back the clock
No you won't, no you won't"

As to the other part: both of the first two options sound good: a change of scenery and a chance to meet someone else can do wonders for you. Just get out there and have some fun!
posted by baggers at 9:23 PM on May 30, 2005

I might caution that if you're likely to have a total breakdown at some point, having a total breakdown in a foreign country can be HORRENDOUS and so much worse than falling apart at home. I've found that major travel, especially to a place I really wanted to visit, while heartbroken is pretty much wasted frequent flyer miles, because all I do is mope and feel VERY lonely and think how much better this would be if someone else were there with me.

And I'm pretty much a loner. There's just something about a foreign country and unfamiliar hotel rooms that can make you feel more alone than ever.

Having friends there will help, but it may still be something to consider. Culture shock + heartbreak can equal all sorts of not-good.

So I would counsel sister, due to feel-good family-vibes, or waiting at least three months for the France trip (even if you start making plans for it now).
posted by occhiblu at 9:30 PM on May 30, 2005

Also, to add my qualifications: my two-year live-in relationship ended a few months ago, and I totally had that manic "MUST CHANGE LIFE NOW!!!" mode going for a good month. I did make some minor changes, but I'm very glad right now that I didn't act on every impulse I had, because they would have been ways to mask my pain rather than to work through it and learn that I'd be OK on my own. YMMV.
posted by occhiblu at 9:32 PM on May 30, 2005

You're young, heartbroken, and in Los Angeles. You don't just need Paris, it needs you. Get over there as soon as you can and live the degenerate expat life, 'cause this is the perfect time to do it. Later, write a novel about all of it and become rich and famous.

(I must admit, though, on preview, that occhiblu is quite right about breakdowns while traveling. If you go over to live for a while, culture shock may prompt one anyway, and I can't imagine it'd be much better compounded with emotional fallout.)

To add to your soundtrack..."I Wish It Would Rain" by the Temptations, the full twelve-minute Issac Hayes cover of "Walk On By," and Nick Cave's cover of "By the Time I Get To Phoenix" (also "Slowly Goes the Night"). Roy Orbison--"Only the Lonely" or "The Great Pretender". And Hefner's The Fidelity Wars. But when you've finished all that, "A Change Is Going To Come" by Sam Cooke.
posted by Vervain at 10:38 PM on May 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

I actually went to France for a while after a bad break up. Do it. Get away. It's the only thing that works. After the next one, I think I'll do China. There's no time for crushing loneliness when you're just trying to live life in another land.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 10:44 PM on May 30, 2005

The Softies' Holiday in Rhode Island album resonates with the feelings I dealt with during the aftermath of my unexpected divorce. In particular, the songs 'Favorite Shade of Blue', 'My Empty Arms', and 'Me and the Bees' (legal free download).

i have a yellow and navy sundress
maybe i'll wear it today
it reminds me of you
your favorite shade of blue
now the hem is coming out

i think i'll walk to town today
i'll go the long way
the pavement meets my shoes
i'll go anywhere i choose
i imagine you are right behind

summertime falls from the trees
autumn is here and you're not
i've made you a ghost
i miss you the most
of anyone that's gone

life without you is second best
i guess i'll get by
i'm lonelier today
than i dare to say
to anyone who asks

i have a yellow and navy sundress
it reminds me of you

posted by D.C. at 10:55 PM on May 30, 2005

I thought of the culture shock/loneliness factor too, but since he has pals already there this is less of a danger; all the excitement of the new and exotic, plus old friends to smooth the transition and help with the practicalities sounds great, as long as one is pretty emotionally solid. But yeah, for someone prone to melancholy or fearfulness, it wouldn't be good at all.
posted by taz at 10:56 PM on May 30, 2005

You gotta get the Blackheart Procession's "2" and "3" albums. Those are the titles. The whole premise of the Black Heart Procession is breakups, thus, the name. I'd start with 2 and go from there.

They're elegant, wispy and beautiful. The next best thing I can think of is Beck's "Sea Change."
posted by Atom12 at 7:45 AM on May 31, 2005

Sea Change... why didn't I think of that? Very, very good album. Apparently part of a trilogy in progress. Mutations is the one before it and is also quite nice. While in this state of mind, hit up Eliot Smith. Either/or and Basement on the Hill are fine albums...

posted by Neosamurai85 at 8:49 AM on May 31, 2005

Speaking as someone who lives in Missouri...I will kick your ass if you come here. (Or maybe you are from here originally?) I kid, but seriously, you should run, not walk, in the opposite direction. If you move (back?) to Missouri "temporarily" you will get stuck in a hell that is called complacency. There's not much to do, but there's enough and your rent will be too cheap to pass up and before you know it you'll be buying a house in Chesterfield (read: boring ass white suburb).

Also, try to resist those break up songs. They will only make you feel worse. It would probably be more helpful if you got acquainted (or reacquainted) with some Stevie Wonder, Parliament/Funkadelic, Jorge Ben, CAN, Sly and the Family Stone, etc.

So...go steal back those kittens and smuggle 'em into France.
posted by crapulent at 8:58 AM on May 31, 2005 [1 favorite]

Some decent songs to get you started:

The Recluse by Cursive

How to be a Perfect Man by Songs: Ohia

Most everything by Molina (Songs: Ohia) has amazing heartbreaking lyrics.

And then there is always mazzy star.

Go to France. Worry about yourself for a year or two.
posted by bigmusic at 9:43 AM on May 31, 2005

Oops. I missed the part where you said you're from St. Louis. Columbia's not a bad town though. (Mahjongg?)

And if you can stand her, Tori Amos's Putting the Damage On used to be my favorite crying-while-driving-and-trying-not-to-crash tune (which is not nearly as funny as crying while eating). Throw in some Joni Mitchell, Robert Johnson, Radiohead, and Nina Simone, and you've got...well, a really miserable time.
posted by crapulent at 11:46 AM on May 31, 2005

Rainbow, "Since You've Been Gone"
Greg Kihn Band , "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)"
climalene, I don't think this is working. It's not you, it's me. I hope we can still be friends.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:22 PM on May 31, 2005

crapulent - I just discovered Jorge Ben(jor?). He's brilliant, and I second your suggestion of listening to him over all that dark, moody stuff.
posted by nyterrant at 2:02 PM on May 31, 2005

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