It's started. WXPN's got some listener's holiday playlist on, and it begins well enough with Cheryl Wheeler's "Driving Home," which is appropriately dreamy, but it moves like a car stuck in traffic. Next comes a version of "Tobacco Road." This is a Southern gothic tale, not my soundtrack.
My personal favorite goes back to 1988, a 90-minute mixed tape called Music for An Expectant Thanksgiving, and it was -- the whole extended family gathering in Connecticut, surrounding my wife who was pregnant with twins.
It was a vibe, not a overly Thanksgivingy or thematic mix -- Richard Thompson's "Waltzing for Dreamers," Bruce Springsteen's "Valentine's Day" ("what scares me is losing you"), John Hiatt's "I Stood Up." Slow, warm, glowing. I'd play it today if I still had the tape player connected.
But that wouldn't be a universal list -- one that you might play at home and serve as your own musical comfort food. It meant something particular to me at the time. These things always do. That made me think, what's the perfect, more-literally Thanksgiving playlist? I went looking.
"Wild Turkey" by David Crosby? "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin. "The Thanks I Get?" by Jeff Tweedy? My musical cupboard is a little bare on this theme.
It wouldn't take long for reinforcements -- "Cold Turkey" by John Lennon, Lightnin' Hopkins' "Long Gone Like a Turkey." But that's a lot of hunting and gathering.
Well, I found a groovous Thanksgiving Playlist -- downloadable for the digital age -- on an MP3 blog called Boogie Woogie Flu.
From that rare Bird that was Charlie Parker to Wm. DeVaughn's one-hit wondrous "Be Thankful For What You Got" to a Yo La Tengo cover of same, it should provide a hearty soundtrack to the TV parades and Cowboys game and turkey with grandma's stuffing. You might blanche at the Redd Foxx and Wm. S. Burroughs, but they're welcome at our table.
Earfarm's got a tasty mix, too -- from Pulp's "Turkey Mambo Momma" to Cab Calloway's "A Good Sauce From the Gravy Bowl."
A day of making turkey and stuffing wound up with this accompaniment:
Be Thankful For What You Got Yo La Tengo
String Bean Jean Belle & Sebastian
Thanksgiving Waves Eef Barzelay
Pecan Pie Golden Smog
Mashed Potato Time Dee Dee Sharp
Thank You (Led Zeppelin Cover) Chris Cornell
A Good Sauce from the Gravy Bowl Cab Calloway and His Orchestra
Sweet Potato Imperial Teen The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band
Turkey Mambo Momma Pulp
Thankful N' Thoughtful Sly & The Family Stone
Carvin' The Bird Charlie Parker Septet
I Thank You Sam & Dave
Surfin' Bird The Ramones
Holiday - (Madonna Cover) Jack Johnson and G. Love
One Big Holiday My Morning Jacket
I'll Be Yr Bird M. Ward
Blackbird Elliott Smith
Big Bird Eddie Floyd
I Hate To See You Baby Doing That Stuff Lloyd Cole
wild turkey (aka. leather winged bat) David Crosby
Be Thankful for What You've Got William DeVaughn
Thank You For Sending Me An Angel Talking Heads
Thank You Louise Ryan Adams
Thank You, Lord, For Sending Me The F Train Mike Doughty
Be Thankful For What You Got Massive Attack
Thank You Led Zeppelin
The Thanks I Get Jeff Tweedy
Thanks A Lot Coffee Creek ( Uncle Tupelo + 1 )
Thank You Friends Big Star
You To Thank Ben Folds
The Thanksgiving Song Adam Sandler