Thanksgiving is a time for oven-baked turkey, slow cooked vegetables, massive amounts of pie, and of course, family chaos. The holidays simply aren’t complete without a bit of craziness in the family kitchen. That’s why this year, we’re ditching the traditional Thanksgiving songs, and bringing you a platter filled with a few random, strung together songs, all representing what Thanksgiving means to us. It’s a little random, a little crazy, and a lot like the holidays.
So between the first forkful of green beans and stuffing, to the last spoonful of ice cream and pie, take a moment to yourself to breathe, plug in the ipod, and remember a few songs that make up the holidays, by enjoying this random mash up of tracks.
Arlo Guthrie: Alice’s Restaurant
Let’s just start this article off right, with Arlo Guthrie‘s Alice’s Restaurant, the ultimate Thanksgiving song. Having just recently discovered this little gem, I felt compelled to share with you all, the world who has been missing out. Now I know, I know, it’s from 1967, so you youngins are thinking about brushing it off. But trust me-it’s a winner. It’s 18 minutes of pure hilarity, based off a true story. Plus, isn’t it still cool to know the songs that no one else knows? That’s right hipsters, this one’s for you.
R. Kelly: Trapped In The Closet
To me, R. Kelly is nothing short of a genius for the success he’s had with his Trapped In The Closet saga. It’s a guilty pleasure, sure, but beginning Thanksgiving Day, the entire series will air on IFC. (more…)
Cry Me A River “ Justin Timberlake
The video Justin Timberlake made for his solo hit, featuring a familiar-looking blonde and a glimpse of a photo in an errant frame, did nothing to dispel theories that this track was about Britney Spears’ cheating ways. Goddam you, Britney, how could you?!
Sub-question: Is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins… is it better to burn out or fade awaaay?
“ Barry, High Fidelity (2000)
I wish they’d actually discussed this in the film, especially the latter bit. For my part, I say great artists have proven that, somewhere inside, they know better, and so should be held accountable for their sins.
Stevie makes this list, but not for I Just Called To Say I Love You. Not even for The Woman In Red…
10. “Freeway of Love” “ Aretha Franklin
The Queen of Soul abdicated her throne when, in 1985, she recorded this mechanized, synth-driven offense.
There have been so many live performances at the MTV Video Music Awards that I couldn’t possibly remember them all. But according to a quick sampling, most of them were mediocre, some offensively so. The best and worst, however, stand out in the cultural memory. There were certainly some good ones and some horrible ones not on this list, but here’s what made the biggest impression:
6. The Hives, 2002 “ Main Offender
A pretty rocking performance, but what puts this one over the top is singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist announcing that they’re out of time, so everyone can turn their televisions off, knowing full well that The Vines were just about to start playing.
Sub Pop became famous as the breeding ground for the early-90s alt-rock revolution, home to the biggest bands of the grunge-era bands. Music changed fast, though, and Sub Pop struggled near the end of the decade to find their footing again, with WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic) taking a substantial minority stake and making some cross-label promotional deals that didn’t seem like a bad idea, but didn’t really help Sub Pop’s long-term creative prospects. All that changed around the turn of the millennium, with a new generation of talent forging original and somehow familiar sounds. There have been many quality releases by the label since 2000, but these are some of the very best. I’ve combined multiple releases in some cases, and left off others when they didn’t quite hit the heights.
10. Band of Horses “ Everything All The Time (2006) / Cease To Begin (2007)
A slightly more grounded My Morning Jacket or more spacey Built To Spill”either way, nothing to change the world, but really nice vibe-y, hook-filled, atmospheric rock songs with restrained country influences. Now doesn’t that sound good?
A friend of mine suggested some good ground rules for this one: You have to strip out covers of old blues tunes (sorry Stones and Beatles). Also strip out cover bands (sorry Joe Cocker and Nouvelle Vague) and cover [tribute] albums. He suggested “Police & Thieves,” with which I concur, as well as Souxie And The Banshees’ “Dear Prudence,” with which I do not. This could still be a huge, huge list, but these are some of the very best, in order.
10. Benny And The Jets “ Beastie Boys w/ Biz Markie (original by Elton John)
Benny And The Jets is my least favorite of Elton’s hits (I’m not counting anything after 1989, cause why would I?), but it is given a reason for existing here by The Biz, who was fucking around in the studio with The Beastie Boys, checking out old records, and decided to cut this version, where he slurs lyrics he clearly doesn’t know, ridiculous crowd noise included. Hilarity ensues.