Thanksgiving week is a week of excesses. It means an excess of food consumption, and excessive time spent with the family. Every year, the week ends with Black Friday, which, for some people, means an excess of shopping. For others, it means an excess of news coverage of the frantic shoppers. However you decide to spend your week, here is a playlist to accompany you.
1. “You” by TV on the Radio
This song is both a devoted plea for love and understanding, and a set of bitter accusations. It embodies the genius of TVOTR because it is both beautiful and depressing. For this week, it can be viewed as a representative of the fragile partnership between food and the body.
2. “Sing Me Spanish Techno” by The New Pornographers
This song is not directly relatable to any part of the week, but the New Pornographers write excellent music that is good for any time of the year.
3. “Ashamed” by Deer Tick
At the risk of presenting another sad song, I recommend giving a listen to “Ashamed.” You can choose to listen to the song while envisioning the crumbling of society, which may be on your mind now since we are moving into the time of year when our country falls victim to truly heinous amounts of commercialism. Or, you can listen to it meditatively, and then move on to an upbeat song.
4. “The Ballad of Speck and Pebble” by Delicate Steve
Here is a pleasant instrumental song to contrast with Deer Tick’s lamentation. The members of Delicate Steve specialize in catchy, rhythmic instrumentals. This song is perfect for the drive to dinner on Thursday. While it only lasts for a few minutes, it will lift your spirits and prepare you for several hours of hugs and small talk.
5. “What’s Your Name” by No
This song is interesting and fun to listen to on any occasion. The song increases in intensity throughout, before falling back right at the end. The vocals echo in a relaxing way, while the rhythm pushes the song forward.
6. “’81” by Joanna Newsom
In general, Joanna Newsom’s music is perfect for fall. The relaxing harp and her high-pitched, fragile voice work together to conjure images of falling leaves and chilly wind gusts. “’81” epitomizes Newsom’s larger body of work, and it is great company for any task that you might need to accomplish during the week (except exercise).
7. “Size Meets the Sound” by Woods
Apart from being a great song on its own, “Size Meets the Sound” is a great example to pull out of your pocket on Thursday if a drunk uncle tries to argue that people don’t write rock songs like they used to. The song nods to the late-sixties and early seventies bands like Cream and the Who, but it is also original enough to stand on its own without seeming like a copy of past songs.
8. 8. “Silly Bears” by Akron/Family
Like “The Ballad of Speck and Pebble,” “Silly Bears” has both a funny name and has the characteristics necessary for making a drive more enjoyable. It is fast, but it can also provoke a meditative mood. The guitars are fun to listen to, and the vocals are just the right amount of psychedelic crooning.
9. “First Light” by My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket is yet another band that exemplifies the ability of current rock bands to write good guitar-driven songs. “First Light” is fun example that could be used to combat that pesty drunk uncle, but you might also want to turn it on during a food coma. The powerful opening guitar strums will pull you out of the state of exhaustion, and will motivate you to move around during the digestion stage, rather than sleep.
10. “Snow Days” by Real Estate
If you do not want to be broken out of the food coma by My Morning Jacket, then Real Estate provides a gentle alternative. “Snow Days” offers beautiful gliding vocals and relaxing, rustic guitar-picking. So go back to sleep, and rest up before school resumes.