Do you have a radio station in your city that starts playing Christmas songs 24 hours a day for 30 days the day after Thanksgiving?
Los Angeles does. When I first moved here in 2000 it was charming, but now it is nauseating. Imagine it’s 10am Wednesday and you’ve already listened to your podcasts of This American Life, Radiolab and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and for some reason The Moth hasn’t uploaded a new podcast in weeks. So you start flipping stations. You have the choice of Justin Beiber singing “Baby, Baby”, sports talk radio, or 103.5 The KOST playing The Backstreet Boys singing Little Drummer Boy followed by Johnny Mathis roasting chestnuts on an open fire.
For these thirty days filled with insufferable Holiday cheer, I always make sure to have my ears safely guarded by a mixed tape (1996-2000) or a playlist. I will now share my 2012 playlist with you.
Week Three: Holiday Music
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Garbage, Garbage (1995)
During the month of December you will find that people give you disingenuous wishes of a Happy Hanukah, Kwanza and New Year. But we both know what actually makes you happy, their silence, and rain.
Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis
Blue Valentine, Tom Waits (1978)
It’s a misconception that I dislike Christmas music. This Tom Waits song is an old favorite of mine. It first made it’s way onto my playlist in college. I know it’s strange to say a Tom Waits song is beautiful, but this song is beautiful and messy and sad. Merry Christmas!
Tidal, Fiona Apple (1996)
Have you ever been a 9-year-old girl with a birthday five days after Christmas so it is always impossible to have a cool birthday party because everyone is always out of town or at their grandparents or skiing or something lame like that? I don’t want to bum you out; but some 9 year olds never quite recover from it getting dozens of “RSVP- no” responses year after year. Hypothetically speaking.
One From the Heart, Crystal Gayle (1982)
Let’s be honest, a reason lots of people don’t like The Holidays is because no one loves them. Ok, well someone that used to love them doesn’t love them anymore, or doesn’t love them enough. Basically they’re not in a relationship anymore – that’s the worst during the holidays. HBO is constantly showing Love, Actually, there’s mistletoe everywhere – it’s totally obnoxious. I get it you guys; I’m single this year too. However, music is balm for the soul – so here’s another Tom Waits song for you sung by Crystal Gayle. This one is particularly balmy.
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
Brain Drain, The Ramones (1989)
A friend really felt this list needed some punk. I didn’t want to fight about it.
I Don’t Give a Fuck
2Pacalypse Now, Tupac Shakur (1991)
I’m not going to lie to you, while this is one of my favorite workout songs, the beat and Tupac’s attitude may compel you to sincerely not give a fuck. Or punch someone in the face. You’ve been warned.
If you insist on having some Holiday cheer, I suppose you could enjoy the following, but it’s pretty close-minded of you.
Eartha Kitt (1953)
All I Want For Christmas Is You
Merry Christmas, Mariah Carey
(I LOVE this song, but just singing and dancing around to it, not because it inspires Holiday cheer or whatever.)
Christmas in Hollis
Run DMC, (1987)
We Wish You A Merry Christmas
A Christmas Together, John Denver and the Muppets (1973)
Yay, the Muppets and John Denver! Aww, John Denver…
Happy Holidays you scrooges!