Punks In Love: Lemuria and Mikey Erg’s Songs for Your Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day is foggy and complicated. The leadup to the big day is often rife with stressful planning. The day itself is plagued by high expectations and relationship insecurities.

Much has been written decrying Valentine’s Day, but, in times like these, who are we to argue with the holiday dedicated to love?

Headlining a stacked bill at The Sinclair, Lemuria will be showing love this Valentine’s Day for their debut record, Get Better, by playing the album front to back. Better is now ten years old and, as such, the band gave us a comprehensive reissue to mark the occasion. Rounding out the lineup, Philadelphia greats Cayetana and pop punk legend Mikey Erg plan to soundtrack the evening ahead of Lemuria’s anniversary date.

With the evening’s playlist taken care of, we asked the performers for some of their favorite songs about love to soundtrack the rest of the holiday:

Alex Kerns (Vocals/Drums – Lemuria)

“Chelsea Hotel” by Leonard Cohen  

“My favorite version is the live version from ‘Songs From the Road.’ There is a great podcast called ‘Revisionist History’ by Malcolm Gladwell that studies Cohen’s always evolving songs. It is almost as if the songs meant more to him than they ever did. The lyrics are very sexual, sad and humorous. ‘Giving me head, on the unmade bed, while the limousines wait in the street’ matched up with ‘she said she prefers handsome men, but for me she would make an exception.’ There is something extra passive and nonchalant about the love he feels. Cohen’s emotion and delivery projects and understanding that he knows it’s a very limited and fleeting love and it seems like he’s just trying to enjoy the moment and not get his hopes up about the future.”

Sheena Ozzella (Vocals/Guitar – Lemuria)

“Our House” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash

“This is the song that me and my husband chose to walk down the aisle to on our wedding day. The lyrics provide beautiful imagery that reminds me of my husband and our family: Billy, our dog, and Banzai, our cat. Home is what you make it, whether a person or a place. Comfortable and safe. It’s perfect.”

Max Gregor (Bass – Lemuria)

“Cat Heaven” by Jets to Brazil

“This is a love song, but perhaps a eulogy too, and the sort of which always hits me a little deeper: the type addressed to a non-human. Not that I will shed tears when I hear ‘Meat is Murder’ or anything, but Blake Schwarzenbach has always had a talent for finding poignancy in the non-human or inanimate. See ‘The Boat Dreams From The Hill’, a song about untapped potential manifested as a hobbyist’s beached boat. I have literally cried listening to that song. ‘Cat Heaven’ is especially interesting to me as a song I love regardless of the fact that I’m not a particular fan of cats. Perhaps Blake will someday write ‘Pig Heaven’ and the soundtrack to my life will be complete.”

Mikey Erg

“When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty” by XTC

“It’s more of a crush song, I suppose. But it perfectly describes that feeling of not being able to function around someone you’re crushing super hard on.”

Mikey’s Honorable Mentions:

  • “Call My Name” – Prince
  • “Here Today” – Paul McCartney 
  • “Let Me Tell You About Her” – Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach 
  • “Million Bucks” – All
  • “All I’ve Got to Do” – The Beatles

Lemuria, Cayetana, and Mikey Erg play The Sinclair tonight at 7:30 PM. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook page here.