Toronto’s the Cliks are a transgender, trans-genre rock outfit whose third album, Dirty King (Tommy Boy), is due June 23. Cliks frontman Lucas Silveira recently made MAGNET a mix tape loosely based on pop music’s most universal theme: heartbreak. Silveira earns extra credit for including a song by Jellyfish, whose relative obscurity is, well, heartbreaking.
“Career Suicide” (download):
RADIOHEAD “Fake Plastic Trees” (1995)
This is the perfect little pop song that digs at your soul so much that you can’t believe it’s a commercial hit. I had my first understanding of the scope that Radiohead would play in influencing me as a songwriter and lover of music with this song. This song made me realize that I was not in love with someone. I understood and I accepted, and then I did the breaking up. Amazing what connecting to another person’s experience though music can do.
ARCADE FIRE “Crown Of Love” (2004)
My heart was beaten and shattered the first time I heard this song. Crawling away from a relationship that I thought was going to last forever. I felt like this song was me in that moment. I later made love for the first time to this record, and when this song came on, I felt that broken part of me repairing. Songs that can do that need no explanation as to why they are good. They just are.
THE BEATLES “Eleanor Rigby” (1966)
When I was five years old, my sister had a Best Of The Beatles tape, and I would listen to it back to front on repeat for hours. I found all the music would make me see things in my head and feel things in my heart that I had never felt. I was obsessed with it. This song in particular brought me my first experience with the feeling of darkness. I thought it was such a creepy song, but I still couldn’t stop listening to it. As an adult, when I listen, it takes me back and helps me to realize how it was this song that inspired so much of how I write today. It is an unbelievable piece of work.
JELLYFISH “Glutton Of Sympathy” (1993)
This is such a beautiful song that trying to describe what it does to me is difficult. The melody is beyond gorgeous, and it is so befitting of the lyrics that go with it. And don’t even get me started on how amazing the harmonies are. Faultless. It’s sad to me that this band never really got its due in mainstream music. I’ve said it a million times, but I truly think Jellyfish is one of the most underrated bands of our time.
JEFF BUCKLEY “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” (1994)
There is something about Jeff Buckley’s voice that just oozes sexuality at its most passionate. In this particular song, it oozes longing for a lover as though his emotion was the only existing in the universe. If I had been the subject of this longing, I would be his love slave forever, not that I’m gay, but every boy has a weakness. Jeff finds a way to divulge his vulnerability and ache to be with his lover with such intensity that you can feel the raw sexuality dripping from his voice. It’s a brilliantly written song, and the performance is nothing less than epic.
DAVID BOWIE “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” (1972)
This is probably the perfect rock song. The closeness of the vocal, the natural sound of the acoustic guitar in the intro—it’s like you’re in a living room listening to Bowie play in front of you. Songs aren’t recorded like this anymore, and it’s a sad situation. I love the way this song takes you from the calm to the intense, and you don’t know what’s happening but you know you have to follow. It makes you feel like you’re slowly, introspectively walking to the bridge over the highway and that the closer you get, the crazier you feel. This song is the lending hand that makes you glide away from the jump. Unreal.
NINE INCH NAILS “Hurt” (1994)
The first time I heard this song, I cried. In fact, I sobbed. Both versions of the song bring you to the core of what it feels like for every human being on the planet when loneliness and dispare consume you. Whether it’s being sung by Trent Reznor or Johnny Cash, the song is what penetrates you. I find it difficult to this day to listen to because it brings me to a place in myself that I can’t deal with all the time. It’s a true work of art.
JONI MITCHELL “A Case Of You” (1971)
I just found it in myself to start listening to this song again after having it be one of those songs that I related to the worst case of a broken heart I have ever had. You ever had one of those? If anyone in the world can remind you of heartache, it’s Joni Mitchell. This song will forever be timeless. It is one of the most beautiful melodies I can think of ever hearing. That kind of melody that can make you feel the hurt of love. Hurts so good.
LEONARD COHEN “Famous Blue Raincoat” (1971)
Leonard is a poet. That’s the first thing you need to note about this song. These lyrics are the epitome of great lyric writing. This song is the most beautiful painting that was ever painted. I can’t say much about it, because it feels that anything I would say would diminish its perfection.
NEIL YOUNG “It’s A Dream” (2005)
I know he has hundreds of songs that some may think top this song, as it’s one of his most recent, but to me, it’s one of his best. I heard it the first time when he performed on Saturday Night Live. With tears running down my face, all I could think was the history that was held in this one person’s psyche. The world of music and memories that he carried in his soul and how moved I was by hearing one song of hundreds or thousands that he wrote and how I felt the world of music he would one day leave behind had been captured in one. I am in love with this song.