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Turkey Tension Playlist III

November 17, 2010

It’s time for the annual Thanksgiving playlist that’s often served with sides of tension and drama. This year, I’m bucking tradition and pairing it only with gratefulness–that’s the point of Thanksgiving, yes? I’m grateful for the hardest year I’ve had in about a decade, yet the most rewarding, by far.

The biggies–my mom’s through chemo and a stem cell transplant; my husband is happily employed. Last fall, I felt like I had a brick tied to my ankles and I was drowning in a gigantic ocean, scared of the unknown horizon ahead. I’m thankful for the support of dear friends and family who stood by us through the poorer and sickness parts. Some years aren’t exactly bottles of bubbly-worthy, but here’s a toast to the days that actually are. These tunes remind me of that and I’m publishing with ample time to get the iPod all loaded with turkey dinner party mood music.

Marchin On by OneRepublic (With the risk of sounding like Ricky Martin taping a PSA, it does get better. Time does eventually heal and sometimes you just have to tie the boots a bit tighter, hunker down, and drudge through it).

Revelry by Kings of Leon (During my underage tippler stage a.k.a. high school, the best parties of the year happened Thanksgiving night. Here’s to all the revelry of our youth and perhaps recreating some debauchery with old friends).

Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (I like the sentiment behind this one, basically home is wherever you are and whom you’re with. Here’s to home).

Thinking About You by Radiohead (This will always be one of my favorite Radiohead songs of all time. Period).

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap (This is one of those songs that will not leave my head).

Teardrop by Massive Attack (Nothing like a good cry. I think I’ve released more tears this year than the last five combined. Plus, this song always reminds me of meeting my husband who was a huge Massive Attack fan while we were dating).

Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine (I drank the Kool-Aid the second I saw the Eat Pray Love trailer. No matter if I’m running, writing, or driving, this song gets a repeat play).

Such Great Heights by The Postal Service (I like their version {the original} the best. The Iron & Wine and The Shins’s attempts are too emo. This one’s got a good beat).

Let it Be Me by Ray LaMontagne (You know when you smell something like a bottle of shampoo {coconut scents remind me of summer} or drink say cherry cider and think, this is what fall tastes like {maybe this is just me}? Well, this is what sadness sounds like. His voice and this song pretty much sum up the tougher parts of this past year).

Maybe Not by Cat Power (Because of a writing project I’ve been working on this past year, I’m buried in Clermont Lounge tid-bits … did you know Cat Power’s first song ever was performed there? It was, and according to the owners she barely made it on stage because of nerves and they jokingly describe her as a scared kitten. Meow).

Falling Slowly by The Swell Season (I’m absolutely obsessed with this band lately).

Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez (Here’s hoping for new tiny heartbeats in 2011…).

Twice if You’re Lucky by Crowded House (I love that these guys are making music again).

Our Swords by Band of Horses (This song reminds me that it’s good to get out of your head … sometimes it is just nonsense that we create up there. Less thinking, more living. And that folks is why therapists make the big bucks).

Umbrella by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z (I’d be a bad Aunt if I didn’t include a track for my nephew to jam out to … um-brella … ella … ella. I might even bring a prop. On a serious note, it’s not a bad idea to have someone by your side when it’s pouring out, not just when it’s sunny {metaphorically speaking, of course}).

Skinny Love by Bon Iver (This is not the holiday for skinny jeans. Spanx won’t help you either).

Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding (I’ll be thinking of our dog who will be boarded while we’re in Kansas; he was named after the one and only from Macon, Georgia. And this tune works well as a proper sing-a-long during dish duty).

Hotel Song by Regina Spektor (While we’re hoping for less tension, never rule out alternate sleeping arrangements. Always have a Plan B. And this one is a fun one for mistaken lyrics, she really is saying, a little bag of cocaine. Easy there, tiger).

Time to Pretend by MGMT (I’m in love with the opening lyrics of this song, I’m feeling rough, I’m feeling raw, I’m in the prime of my life).

Dynamite by Taio Cruz (This year, I really want to see my accountant brother dance. Pardon me, I want to see him, rock this club and light it up like it’s dynamite).

Carrot Cake and Wine by Stereophonics (That’s what life’s all about, isn’t it? Finding our own quiet space to enjoy a slice and a sip of whatever suits your fancy? Sidenote–I’m pretty sure this isn’t really what this song means, but it’s my loose interpretation).

Crossfire by Brandon Flowers (While our family has weeded through a lot of drama this year, we’re still human, and it doesn’t really count as a true Hazels get-together without at least one blowup fight and an eff-you bomb being dropped).

Fruitcakes by Jimmy Buffett (This song will forever remind me of my father—he loved it and it truly does sum up his personality, particularly the beginning rant where Buffett gets on a soapbox about Junior Mints at the movies and twelve-pound Nestlé’s Crunch bars. Also, it’s an incredibly long-winded tune, coming in at about seven minutes … my dad would like that he got so much airtime).

Sleepyhead by Passion Pit (Home for the holidays is not the best time to catch up on sleep especially when there are children under the age of four involved).

These are the Days by Van Morrison (It’s not a decent playlist without a little boozy Irish influence … Irish Car Bomb intermission).

I’m Yours by Jason Mraz (After my mom was released from her stem cell transplant team’s care, my twin sister asked her if she wanted to play a song to celebrate. This disc is what she popped out of the glove compartment and the two of them rocked out on the ride back home. The image of this in my mind turns me into Niagara Falls … each time, I’m a blubbering mess. PS-Who knew mom had even heard of Jason Mraz, let alone owned the CD?).

A Moment Changes Everything by David Gray (Um, yeh, it does. For good and bad).

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend (The Benetton reference in this song makes me think of when I pretty much exclusively wore that brand in high school. Well, that and Esprit. I’ve got pictures to prove it).

Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix (If he were alive today, Hendrix would be turning 68. My twin sister and I share his birthday and I’d like to think we’re bringing some foxy to 34, which we’ll turn the Saturday after Thanksgiving. PS—Not a typo, that’s how foxey is spelled on this track … honest).

We’re Going to Be Friends by The White Stripes (This reminds me of all the dear friends I get to see when I go back to my hometown. Plus, I’m so intrigued by the dysfunction that is Jack and Meg White).

Hometown Glory by Adele (Her voice is like an angel. A nice serenity now! breather).

If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix (Right now in this moment I feel like the future is much more exciting than scary, a cause for celebration).

Volcano by Damien Rice (Sometimes even the best-intended conversations start off slow and build into disaster. As my sister-in-law says to my niece, use your words).

Not Fair by Lilly Allen (It never is quite fair sometimes, but in the end, it all evens out in the wash).

She’s a Lady by Tom Jones (Another sing-a-long, but seriously keep it in check even if you have to repeat the mantra–the little lady full of style and grace).

We Get On by Kate Nash (Is there anything more British sounding than the phrase,  we get on? I’m grateful to the Brit settlers for finding that rock in Plymouth … a toast, now, pass the potatoes).