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Whether you are setting the table for a loved one, doing the nasty with your floormate or turning up the decibel level to hush streaming online ecstasy, music sets the mood. Every situation has an ideal accompaniment. From those black tie nights on the town to those times when you're on the rebound, the right tune helps you get down. So plug it in (we're talking about the speakers, of course), wrap it up and let the beat drop.

Rebound

Owl City: "Fireflies"

You've just had your heart broken and you're in desperate need of a rebound. Owl City's got your back; in fact, they understand exactly what you're going through. Just like a rebound, the song "Fireflies" sounds a lot like the real thing (read: Postal Service), and it feels really good too. It's not only a welcome distraction, but it suspends disbelief: "I'd like to make myself believe," singer Adam Young pines. And rebounds are also about doing all those naughty things your former significant other was never down for, like the sex positions (I'm assuming) that Young lists in the second verse: "A foxtrot above my head / A sock hop beneath my bed." Yet no matter how much you try, these short-lived flings always end up reminding you how much you long for the original. Ben Gibbard, I miss you.

-Hayley Hosman

Self Love

The Buzzcocks: "Orgasm Addict"

The sad truth is not everyone gets a Valentine. Some people just have to go back to the "habit that sticks." But don't fret, ye loveless lot, there's still a song for you. Long before Green Day started rubbing out odes to self-romance, the Buzzcocks were paving the path for songs about paddling the pickle. In typical punk rock fashion, "Orgasm Addict" is a two-minute power chord frenzy filled with hilarious one-liners about a guy who can't stop strumming his Les Paul.

Don't feel bad about going solo this Valentine's Day. There are plenty of advantages to staying inside and taking matters into your own hands. Think of all the money you'll be saving on chocolates and flowers and all the conversations you won't have to pretend you're interested in! Here's to those who'll instead be saving the wine and cracking open a bottle of Vaseline this Sunday.

-Camden Andrews

Valentine's Day

Marvin Gaye: "Let's Get It On"

Suppress that groan. You know this feature wouldn't be complete without Marvin Gaye's famous "Let's Get It On" claiming a spot. It has become such a cliched choice because it actually is that sweet and sexy. From Gaye's tender voice to the sweeping strings and bursting horns, the song is a perfectly calculated ode to deep, romantic love. It is also a track that transcends time, one of those rare numbers that people of all ages adore deeply. And yeah, its practical use might seem limited since it has become such a cheesy move to pull, but then again, if you attempt to use it, the worst that can result is a good laugh. And also, all good lovers should know their Marvin Gaye. That's not an opinion. It's just a fact.

-Rajesh Srinivasan

Friends with Benefits

Pavement: "Spit on a Stranger"

Let's be honest, the concept of friends with benefits rarely actually works if you're friends. If the friendship has already been established, the sex has to be completely separate to last. You are sleeping with a stranger, if you will. Pavement's "Spit on a Stranger" struggles with this same compartmentalization but ends up at the same conclusion. It's about staying flexible, "However you feel/Whatever it takes," and about capitalizing on the freedom of unrestrained youth and beauty: "Honey I'm a prize and you're a catch/And we're a perfect match, like two bitter strangers." Most importantly, it's about enjoying the fleeting pleasures the endeavor affords: "I'll try the things you'll never try,/I'll be the one that leaves you high." And in order to avoid messy entanglements, follow Pavement's advice: "pull me out."

-Hayley Hosman

Tags: SEX ISSUE 2010


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