zerode – a sensibility


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Song of the Day: Jonatha Brooke is trying to break my heart.

Back to maudlin self-indulgence… You have been warned.

One of these days, I’ll get around to writing about playlists. I have a lot of them, and have been known to spend whole days under my headphones, fine-tuning them and making new ones. Among my many playlists are a number devoted to ex-girlfriends, and also a “depression” playlist. That’s music that will bring me down hard if I’m in a good mood, but which is deeply comforting when I am already down there in the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. Like now.

Jonatha Brooke shows up with alarming frequency on the playlists devoted to the most significant loves of my life, and also has a number of tracks on the “depression” playlist. She crops up elsewhere—for instance, with a track on my Memorial Day playlist (“War“)—but her disproportionate representation on my ex-girlfriend and depression playlists, as well as her tracks on my “love” playlist, lead me to this conclusion: She is trying to break my heart.

She blames it on her fans: “People want to hear the really sad, maudlin songs…. They want to be moved. They want to have their hearts broken… That’s why I love music. It makes me weep.”

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You can browse through most of Jonatha Brooke’s music and listen to samples—and buy the records—on her official website. Here are some of the ones that appear on those playlists. Most of them are sad—the only ones that are at all upbeat are the first and last—and all of them are about love in one way or another. And I’ll be listening to them all a lot over the next few months. Jonatha’s right; I want to have my heart broken.

The Story – The Angel in the House (1993)

So Much Mine
Love Song

Jonatha Brooke & The Story – Plumb (1995)

Is This All?

10 Cent Wings (1997)

Crumbs – Live at the River Music Hall
Because I Told You
Blood From A Stone
Shame On Us

Jonatha Brooke Live (1999)

Because I Told You So

Steady Pull (2001)


Which ones do I like the most—which make me weep the most or easiest? The live version of “Because I Told You So.” But take a look at the number of tracks from 10 Cent Wings. That’s a sad album.

To be fair, she’s not the only one trying to break my heart, based on her appearances in the heartbreak playlist, Tori Amos is just as bad. I really am a big wet hen.

Jonatha Brooke (b. January 23, 1964) is an American folk rock singer-songwriter and guitarist from Illinois. Her music is notable for merging elements of folk, rock and pop, often with poignant lyrics and complex harmonies. She has been a consistent performer, writer, and artist since the late 1980s, and her songs have been used in popular television shows and movies… (via Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Sirens of Song: Jonatha Brooke.

Filed under: Autobiography, Song of the Day, ,

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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

tweeting my mind



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