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Some common music pitfalls and their solutions

 Wait until Scott Rattler gets hold of this whiny dude.
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Date published: 11/15/2012

By Jonas Beals

IT'S TIMES LIKE these--when my wife and daughter are out of town--that I am most susceptible to bouts of melancholia. And music doesn't always help. Some songs exacerbate loneliness, and they're useful in certain situations, but those who are prone to the blues might want to keep an antidote close at hand.

Here are some common downer songs and their doctor-recommended prescriptions:

"Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.

Nothing signals, or deepens, a depressive funk quite like this song. If you know someone who listens to this one on repeat, feel free to mock their lack of originality, but don't mention their ex, especially if they're close to something they can stab you with.

THE ANTIDOTE: "Getting Awesome" by Rattler

This song is even better than the title suggests. Just try to keep from partying your face off when you crank this one in your Camaro. Seriously, try. You will fail. This is the sound that happens when Guns N' Roses and Tenacious D make sweet love in the grotto at the Playboy mansion. Tell your sad friend that there are literally billions of other fish in the sea. And tonight, they're all drunk and dancing on tables.


Nothing like a folksy dirge about a heroin-addicted war vet to make a man feel loved. Seriously, listen to this one enough and you won't want to leave your room for years.

THE ANTIDOTE: "Lust For Life" by Iggy Pop

Let's assume you're not ready to quit Mister Brownstone cold turkey, but that you could stand to be weaned onto some more positive tunes. Start here, one of the greatest, peppiest rock songs ever recorded. But it still has a dark, druggy message. The first step is to get up and dance. We'll get to the next step when you're ready.


It's all too tempting to get lost in the depressive underbelly of our corporate culture, and adding blatant religious overtones makes it more poisonous. You're only part of a soul-crushing machine, my friends. The rest is just the sound of your own teeth grinding until your head pops. This is not helping.

THE ANTIDOTE: "Dougou Badia" by Amadou & Mariam

So you want a song that's difficult to understand? This should work--it's in another language. The music is slightly dark and unusual, but it's propulsive and inspires thoughts of exotic locales. If you can't just let it take your thoughts to a better place, consider the lyrics, which center on playing, partying and the power of love.


Also known as "Day Is Done," the official theme song of the end of the day. And death.

THE ANTIDOTE: "Yakety Sax" by Boots Randolph

The official theme song of fast-forward montages and Benny Hill. In other words, life.

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com

JONAS' IN-TOWN PICK: Brownstone will play acoustic versions of '90s alt-rock favorites at The Colonial Tavern. Friday at 9 p.m. OUT-OF-TOWN PICK: Love Canon at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville. You want to hear bluegrass versions of '80s hits? Do you have a heart and two ears? Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. LISTENING TO: "How to Get the Most Out of Your Instructional Videos" by You, You're Awesome. A duo that makes sound collages that have been commended as being strongly visual.