When: Sun., Feb. 15, 8 p.m. 2015
THE LOVE HANGOVER
SUNDAY, FEB. 15
KINGS, RALEIGH—Analyze every song ever written, and you'll end up with a whole lot of love, lust and loss. Some troubadours will have you think love stinks, it's all you need, it's just a game or that it's a many-splendored thing. Others want to know what love is, and Steve Miller, bless him, wishes to speak on the "pompatus" of it all. No matter the love song, though, Caroline Mamoulides probably likes it.
"They just tap into something for me. Call me a sentimental fool: I love love songs," she says. "Sometimes they take you back to times you don't want to remember, but sometimes they take you back to a simpler, sweet time."
Mamoulides gets to revel in those tunes once a year during The Love Hangover, a Raleigh institution she co-founded in 1999. The event has spread to Kansas City, New York, Ann Arbor and Toronto. Each year, pairs of singers interpret a short set of love songs. The selections are largely covers, and Mamoulides encourages duets.
"I stress that no one needs to be singing lead the whole time; it needs to be a true duet," she explains. "You can take any love song and make it creative by trading off verses—maybe one sings lead more, one sings harmony more. Really, it's about the pairing of two people."
While the name "The Love Hangover" might imply less optimistic feelings about Valentine's Day, Mamoulides isn't aiming for despair. Instead, it's an opportunity to celebrate the parts about the holiday—and relationships, really—that people enjoy and despise. This year, for instance, married pair Andrea and Pete Connolly play; as Birds and Arrows, their music has often been a map of a relationship's ups and downs.
"It was more just about love and the guises of love—the good, the bad, the longing," Mamoulides says. "It also was humorous to have it the day after Valentine's, so people that didn't want to celebrate Valentine's [had] something else to celebrate." With Sarah Shook and John Howie Jr., Caitlin Cary and George Huntley, and Ashley Carter and Brett Harris. 8 p.m., $8, 14 W. Martin St., Raleigh, 919-833-1091, www.kingsbarcade. —Allison Hussey