Hello, my name is Jackson Adams. You may or may not know this, but I am a master of romance.
Yes, you heard that right. I know everything there is to know about setting the mood for any evening, particularly your Valentine’s Day.
The first thing most people forget about Valentine’s Day is music. They don’t take advantage of the innate power of song.
Now, the first thing to note about the music is that it has to be a mix-tape.
Not a CD, not an Mp3, not your iPod. It has to be a cassette tape. This is for two reasons. First, you have to turn the tape over at some point, which is always exciting. Second, you have to spend several tender hours trying to find a stereo that can actually play cassettes. Nothing is more touching than that.
The most important thing about the mix-tape is without a doubt the music. Although the selected songs are important, it is just as important to pick out a correct order for the songs. Lucky for you, I’ve done all of this already. You can thank me later.
1. “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin – Nothing sets the mood like vikings. Nothing. It helps that the whole song sounds like a weird occult stripper ballad from hell. It’s an exciting call to war, and it will set an ideal early tone for the perfect Valentine’s Day.
2. “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy featuring Ricardo Ducent – Any song that rhymes the words “villa,” “pillow” and “killer” deserves to make any mix, not just one for Valentine’s Day.
3. “Gallery Piece” by Of Montreal – With lyrics like “I wanna make you scream/ I wanna braid your hair/ I wanna kiss your friends” there’s no way you can avoid a romantic atmosphere.
4. “Jesus” by Velvet Underground – When I set the mood, the first thing on my mind is Jesus. I think it should be the first thing on your mind too.
5. “TBTF” by Kevin Drew – There’s always something to be said for surprise on every mix-tape. Why not add a little bit of a mixed message on there as well?
6. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor – This one requires a little planning. When this song comes on, stop everything and stare directly at one another. Move your head slightly every once in a while and try to cry a single tear.
7. “Strawberry Fields Forever” by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – What is more atmospheric than that classic Beatles tune? Why, the cover version by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Bonus romance points if you can find the version that was supposedly recorded live at a Bar Mitzvah.
8. “Innocent When You Dream” by Tom Waits – No voice has ever sounded more romantic than one that sounds as if it has been drowning in a barrel of bourbon, throwing up in a gutter and then leaving to buy cigarettes. Thanks, Tom Waits.
9. “Today” by Smashing Pumpkins – Sure, the song might be the boldest most ironic suicide ballad ever. Screw that. Take the lyrics entirely literally, and pretend it’s about love and beautiful days and pulling your heart out. Just embrace it.
Jackson Adams is a sophomore journalism major from Springfield. He is the Scout Voice Editor.
Direct comments, questions and other responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.