Party Of One: Misery Alienates Company

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Tonight and every night, hordes of keg-tapping sex-havers are congregating. They're bantering flirtatiously, talking about their nice cars and fulfilling jobs, and otherwise basking in the warm glow that so often bathes the wanted.

Tonight and every night, you were not invited.

Why would you be, really? Your misery is of the stripe that actually alienates company, and besides, having friends would just mean sharing what's left of the Pringles. So let them have their happy hours and baby showers and scrapbooking parties and company picnics! Between Halo 3 and staring vacantly into the middle distance, you've got a full plate. All you and your poor, pockmarked soul really need is a soundtrack — five songs to ensure that you and your stuffed animals will have a night to remember.

For more entries in this summer's weekly It's Time to Party: Summer Songs series, click here.

Party Of One: Misery Alienates Company

Silver Jews 200

I Remember Me

  • Artist: Silver Jews
  • Album: Bright Flight
  • Song: I Remember Me

A bruisingly sad look at a relationship torn asunder by tragic circumstances, Silver Jews' "I Remember Me" lays a significant claim to the title of Saddest Song Ever Written. After laying out the mundane and sublime details of a perfect romance -- "They slow-danced so the needle wouldn't skip / until the room was filled with light" -- singer David Berman throws in a tragic twist that hits like a punchline. Amazingly, the song gets more devastating from there, as it wallows in bad luck and bittersweet memory, mitigated only slightly by the beauty that surrounded it. Your own feelings of hopelessness should sound so sublime.

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Song
I Remember Me
Album
Bright Flight
Artist
Silver Jews
Label
Drag City
Released
2001

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Hank Williams Sr. art

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

  • Artist: Hank Williams
  • Album: Unreleased Recordings
  • Song: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

It's been 60 years since Hank Williams Sr. wrote "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," and it's been nursing the psychic wounds of downtrodden lonelyhearts ever since. If you could bottle up and weaponize the misery this song has nurtured, you could arm a device capable of destroying the sun, thus extinguishing all life -- and sadness -- in the solar system. So at least there's an upside.

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Song
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Album
Unreleased Recordings
Artist
Hank Williams
Label
Time/Life WEA
Released
2008

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Antony art

Hope There's Someone

  • Artist: Antony and the Johnsons
  • Album: I Am a Bird Now
  • Song: Hope There's Someone

Antony Hegarty's music is the perfect companion to menial household labor: When you're scrubbing a toilet or shoveling ashes out of the fireplace, it'll make you feel just like Cinderella. (Except without the prince, and the mice don't talk.) So if you're stuck at home alone feeling sorry for yourself yet again, throw on this brooding gem and try actually accomplishing something constructive, like baking and then eating an entire pie.

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Song
Hope There's Someone
Album
I Am a Bird Now
Artist
Antony and the Johnsons
Label
Spunk
Released
2005

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Mark Kozelek art

Bad Boy Boogie

  • Artist: Mark Kozelek
  • Album: What's Next to the Moon
  • Song: Bad Boy Boogie

The gloomy mastermind of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek often performs unlikely cover songs in a manner than drains them of all joy. Hey, that's a lot like what you do, but in your daily life! Here, from a terrific album of AC/DC covers, is Kozelek's shimmery take on "Bad Boy Boogie," which transforms Bon Scott's boasts into self-pitying epitaphs.

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Song
Bad Boy Boogie
Album
What's Next to the Moon
Artist
Mark Kozelek
Label
Badman
Released
2001

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Emily Haines art

Crowd Surf off a Cliff

  • Artist: Emily Haines
  • Album: Knives Don't Have Your Back
  • Song: Crowd Surf off a Cliff

It's not a criticism to say that "Crowd Surf off a Cliff," from a solo album by Metric's Emily Haines, makes the listener's heart feel as if it's being slowly and inexorably crushed under a giant boot. Just think of that tightness in your chest as a hug that comes from inside! Come to think of it, speaking of hugs, if you cocoon yourself in a sleeping bag and then pack it tightly with towels and old bedding, you can convince yourself that you're being embraced by a loved one. Try it, and you'll be the life of your very own party of one.

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Song
Crowd Surf off a Cliff
Album
Knives Don't Have Your Back
Artist
Emily Haines
Label
Drowned In Sound
Released
2006

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