Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I have to admit the regular traditions don’t excite me. An expensive dinner just doesn’t have much meaning, and the candy/flowers combo tends to be boring. It seems like the traditional stuff is often done out of obligation rather than desire. I say ditch the roses, and give me a custom-built-for-Valentines-Day tremolo pedal (I got this for V-Day one year…Yes, it’s called the Girlfriend Trem and yes, it is still awesome).

Some people advise against romantic relationships in bands: things can be awkward for other band members, or there might be a messy break up (and no one wants to be in the middle of that). It seems to be working for bands like the Arcade Fire though, along with Yo La Tengo and Low. And a few of my current personal favorites – Mates of State and Viva Voce.

Personally, I love being in a working music relationship with my life partner. It hasn’t always been easy, but over time we’ve learned how to work effectively together, and respect each other’s ideas without watering down our own. Working towards something that is bigger than our individual selves is totally romantic on a different level. It’s a constant learning process, and it does my heart good.

To me, many of the most romantic gestures are the simple ones – the every day actions that my partner takes to show appreciation. Like when I’ve been rushing around all day and have to play a solo gig that evening, and I arrive home to find my guitar and amp all packed up and a warm plate of food waiting. Or when we spend time together perfecting the nuances of a new song. These are the things that make me feel appreciated and help me keep moving forward. Can’t really say that about flowers.