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Love's Labor Remixed

We strike out with the ladies, music-geek style, check out John Kerry's Behind the Music and hunt for Weird Al trivia

I'd like to think I'm a romantic at heart, so on the first disc I threw on some nice, poppy, sweet emo tracks that girls are sure to swoon over -- Death Cab for Cutie, the Gloria Record, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes. You know, panty-droppers. (Okay, so I'm not thatromantic.)

In theory, the ideal suitor's mix CD ought to exhibit some singular originality. The Internet and the magic of file sharing have made that infinitely easier than it once was, enabling me to drop unreleased tracks like Bright Eyes' "First Day of My Life" and the Postal Service's awesome cover of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds."

Easier for me -- and for everyone else, I sadly report. I saw an online chat recently with the First Twins, Barb and Jenna, where they claimed to be fans of Modest Mouse, the Postal Service and the Strokes, two-thirds of whom appeared on the first CD I made. So I wasn't being especially unique.

Things didn't improve when I moved on to volumes two and three: one full of rawk songs, the other hip-hop.

I blame the heavy, pummeling rock disc on a burst of masculinity, a subliminal need to counteract the pussy emo shit on the first CD. When I was finished, the rock CD was absolutely brutal. I'd be lucky if she listened to it for five minutes without drawing blood from her delicate ears. I decided if I was gonna bring the rock, I'd better balance it out with some beats on the third CD.

Unfortunately, this one only cemented any impression of emotional immaturity, kicking off with Atmosphere's "Trying to Find a Balance," where Slug not only raps, "They will respect the cock, whether or not they believe in it," but also, "Hello ma'am, would you be interested in some sexual positions and emotional investments?"

Buck 65, my favorite white Canadian rapper, didn't help me out much either. In a fit of humor, I threw on "The Centaur," where Buck raps, "The easiest way would be for you to lie face down/I'm a man, but I'm built like a horse from the waist down," and "I have plenty to say, but nobody listens/Because my cock is so big, and the end of it glistens."

I don't know if the mix CDs were responsible, but I didn't get the girl. I still wonder: Does the collection of songs I gave her paint an accurate picture of this would-be Casanova? Probably. There's such a thing as overexposure, and I'd bathed myself in floodlights. So from this point on, I'm retiring from the humiliating art of wooing girls with music. Lesson learned.

I'm just wondering if a couple years from now I'll be riding in a friend's car and hear the Postal Service doing "Against All Odds." Chances are good, I fear. -- Brendan Joel Kelly

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