10 Awesome Breakup Songs

When I go through a breakup, I tend to alternate between wanting to listen to depressing-ass tear-jerker songs and inspiring singlehood anthems. Since you never know where the rollercoaster of relationship withdrawal will take you, I’ve included five of each, with links to YouTube videos.

For When You’re Still Sad and Not Ready to Let Them Go

1. Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

2. Sunday Sun (Beck)

3. Hey (Pixies)

4. Martha (Tom Waits)

5. One More Hour (Sleater-Kinney)

For When You’re Over It and Remembering How Awesome Being Single Is

6. Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart (Alicia Keys)

7. I’m Looking Through You (The Beatles)

8. Defying Gravity (Wicked)

9. 99 Problems (Jay-Z)

10. Make Your Own Kind of Music (Mama Cass)

Short List: The Best Movies of 2010 (and the 5 most overrated)

The Best

10. Hot Tub Time Machine

9. The Next Three Days

8. Dinner for Schmucks

7. The Kids Are All Right

6. I Love You Phillip Morris

5. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

4. Black Swan

3. Greenberg

2. Winter’s Bone

1. The Ghost Writer

The Most Overrated

5. The King’s Speech

4. Get Him to the Greek

3. The Social Network

2. Catfish

1. Inception

Short List: The Best Pop Songs of 2010

10. Love The Way You Lie – Eminem ft. Rihanna

9. Imma Be – Black Eyed Peas

8. Alejandro – Lady Gaga

7. Like a G6 – Far East Movement ft. Dev and the Cataracts

6. Rude Boy – Rihanna

5. What’s My Name? – Rihanna ft. Drake

4. Telephone – Lady Gaga Ft. Beyoncé

3. Whip My Hair – Willow Smith

2. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

1. Fuck You! – Cee-Lo Green

Liz and Laura’s Finite Playlist: What We’re Listening to Right Now

record_ 046


Liz drinking

1. Jim O’Rourke – Insignificance

2. Beach House – Teen Dream

3. Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit

4. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

5. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me


Laura Record Background

1. Pink Martini – Splendor in the Grass

2. Childish Gambino – Poindexter

3. Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West

4. Gang Starr – Moment of Truth

5. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)

The Brooklyn Infringement Festival

Last night the hipsterati of East Williamsburg came out in droves for the Brooklyn Infringement Festival, a showcase of up-and-coming bands at Don Pedro (90 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn). The bar has all the makings of a classic dive: a velvet painting of Billy Dee Williams on the wall, PBR on tap, a bathroom missing a toilet seat. In short, Liz and Laura’s definition of true class. On this evening, although there wasn’t a raincloud in the sky, a pool of water had somehow collected in the basement where some of the bands were playing. As we surveyed the growing lake of water of mysterious origin puddling around our feet, and the power cables and music equipment marinating in that same lake, we knew were in for an interesting evening.

The possibility of electrocution aside, the evening started out well. We unfortunately missed one of the bands we intended to see, KITTEN: Revenge!, but we hear this experimental outfit rocked the house. By the time we got there, the band Toi Toi Toi was just splashing up to their mics to start a spirited set of edgy rock songs. Their sound was reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney and all sorts of other good stuff, and their outfits took us back to the days of Dynasty, with their bright colors and unnecessary shoulder pads.

other band bklyn infringe

other band bklyn infringe 2

After fueling up with more cheap beer, we settled in on the main level to watch Groovesteady Sextet do their thing. The ensemble played a rousing, brass-filled set of jazzy songs that really got the crowd going.

groovesteady 1

groovesteady 4

groovesteady 3

Groovesteady 2

groovesteady 5

A lovely time was had by all, as well as too much beer, and as we stumbled homeward, our ears still ringing, we had a revelation: there’s a lot of goddamn hipsters in this neighborhood.

Joanna Newsom


Seeing Joanna Newsom perform live brings a nice sense of formality and classic performance grace to a group of kids most likely used to standing around sweatily and being shoved about. Beards and plaid abounded at the excitedly abuzz Town Hall, where the innate classiness of the venue drove in that unique combination of indie/quirky artist and rich, concert-hall show. Her last trip to town — to perform Y’s in its entirety with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM — was similarly classy, and while this setting and feel is indeed appropriate for the music she brings, the crowd’s adulation and formal applause had her sheepish and grinning. As she explained, she never quite got over her nervousness this evening, because “New York is so cool.” The drunken, groping groupies sitting in front of me certainly thought she was cool, bringing elements of your more typical rock concert to this recital setting, and displaying the most amazing, ear-splitting whistles I have ever heard.

Through mostly numbers off the just-released (and fantastic) Have One On Me, Newsom played on harp and piano with accompaniment from a small group of musicians — Ryan Francesconi who’s responsible for the album’s arrangements, and a trombone player, drummer, and two violinist/vocalists. It felt like a special privilege to see the Francesconi/Newsom collaboration in action as he skipped between instruments (tambura, guitar, banjo, recorder, etc.) in order to do justice to his carefully crafted parts. Newsom was enchanting when behind either the dwarfing harp, or the Steinway, beaming and shaking her head to the song’s rhythms in some adorable state of concentration. Her vocal performance was highly notable in that she’s clearly gone through a journey with that voice of hers, training and harnessing it to produce her chosen notes with professional mastery rather than strain. Early recordings charm with their lack of any attempt to hide challenges and hiccups, instead going brazenly through the notes she and the songs wanted to hit; Have One On Me is not without her extreme quirk, but the girl’s much, much more in control of her voice now.

Besides the new songs, Newsom rewarded the audience with a few tracks off Milk-Eyed Mender, and one wonderful morsel from ­Ys, “Emily.” It was re-arranged in order to allow performance by the set of musicians available at the show, but did not come off as any less large. Francesconi delivered, for example, the fatherly banjo parts, while the trombone player pulled out a mouth harp just for those few cricket notes.  While there was a bit of a lean towards the slow-building, quieter parts from Have One On Me, a definite highlight was the titular track, where the vocal play between Newsom and the two backup singers at the end of the song was, to say the least, amazing. Though I do wish she had played a longer set, it was still a wonderful show in a perfectly appropriate setting, and the crowd (that included Lou Reed, I might add) eagerly gulped-up every single note. I think I still have goosebumps.


Have One On Me
Soft As Chalk
Inflammatory Writ
The Book Of right On
Peach, Plum, Pear

Baby Birch

(please excuse the poor quality of these pictures)


Music writing: Field Music, Fanfarlo, Lee & Willbee, In One Wind, and Insound

Field Music’s Field Music (Measure). Vocal harmonies, prog, metal, psychedelia. A bit of everything rooted in classic rock.

Fanfarlo’s Reservoir. Catchy indie pop peppered with lots of fun, random instruments.

Lee & Willbee’s North Carolina. Electronic meet acoustic folk.

Insound. Awesome online store for records and so much more.

In One Wind’s In One Wind. Folk that experiments with jazz, vocals, and rhythm.