If it wasn’t for Scott Malchus, this week’s mix would have been missing from the Popdose lineup.Â But, because of his suggested theme — and a few song selections — I got out my mixy mix machine and started blending away. To be honest, it’s been a tough week in the life of yours truly, so being able to get back into familiar territory has been quite nice.
So here we go with six songs about that highlight the fine line between love and obsession.Â This is scary territory — especially if you’ve recently had to take out a restraining order on someone — but let’s us be brave as we face the stalker without and within.
“Tear You Apart,” She Wants Revenge
The first time I heard this tune, it was obvious that Joy Division was a huge influence for this band.Â The second time I heard this song, I kept thinking it was about a robot in love with a human — mostly because of Justin Warfield’s vocal delivery.Â The third time I heard this song, I prayed my young daughter would never ever go on a date when she got older.
“Possession,” Sarah McLachlan
You may know the back story to this tune, but in case you don’t, here goes… McLachlan was stalked by a fan who used to send her long missives about his obsession with her.Â She wrote the song “Possession” to help her get over that creepy sensation that someone is into you more than you’re comfortable with.Â Well, it seems McLachlan used some language from her stalker’s letters when composing the lyrics, and he sued her.Â However, the case never went to trial because the guy killed himself.Â Years later, McLachlan said that she gets a lot of letters like the one her stalker wrote, so the song wasn’t necessarily about him.Â Okay, that may be the case, but if I were Sarah McLachlan, I would wonder what the hell kind of fans I have if “a lot” ofÂ people are sending her obsessive letters.
“Only You,” Yaz
All I needed was the love you gave/All I needed for another day/And all I ever knew/Only youÂ The chorus of this song is kind of sweet until you read it through the eyes of a stalker.Â Then…not so sweet.
“Every Breath You Take,” The Police
Sometimes a song like this one creeps into the popular culture in unexpectedly humorous ways.Â I’m talking about the movie Cat’s Eye where James Woods — in the short called “Quitter’s Inc.” — is trying to quit smoking by joining a group whose, um, unorthodox methods of helping their clients is downright sadistic. During one sequence, we get to see Alan King sing this song to James Woods, and for some reason, that scene gets replayed in my mind’s eye when I hear this song.
“I Will Possess Your Heart,” Death Cab for Cutie
Am I the only one who hears Ben Gibbard channeling Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys in this song? Okay, let’s bracket that for a moment, and obsess over the killer bass line from Nick Harmer– which, to me, makes “I Will Possess Your Heart” a hypnotic gem.
“Living Room,” Tegan and Sara
This is the tune that really started the list rolling. Scott asked if I had heard of Tegan and Sara, and I hadn’t (Hey, I’m old!).Â I watched the video to this song and thought it had an immediate likability. After a few back and forth emails about the group, Scott quipped that they “Excel at power pop ditties under 4 minutes.” After listening to their latest CD, I have to agree.