Part I: Thanksgiving
"Lost in the Supermarket" -- The Clash: Let's ignore the capitalist critique for a moment and think about the lyric, "I can no longer shop happily." This is me in Safeway on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving with all the ten thousand other folks who left their shopping until the last minute and are now suffering each other's company. On top of that, I'm wondering, "What goes in that Green Bean Casserole again -- half and half, or cream? And why would I want to combine green beans with either? Ah, yes: tradition. And the wrath of Aunt Phyllis."
"A Spoonful Weighs a Ton" -- Flaming Lips: Aunt Phyllis's Green Bean Casserole (see above). I think that says it all.
"Everything in its Right Place" -- Radiohead: Let's see, all the beige foods go on this side of the plate; all the green foods on that side. Except there are no green foods. OK, all the ecru foods go in the upper right quadrant; the tan foods in the lower left, and the ivory foods in the lower right and upper left. There. Now it's perfect.
"I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" -- the Bettye LaVette version because it's more forceful: Is there a polite way to say "If I eat one more bite of... anything... I will flume barf like Shamu during a red tide?"
"Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning" -- Dinah Washington: 8am the Friday after Thanksgiving. You know what I mean.
Part II: Christmas
"She's Leaving the Bank" -- Ry Cooder: This tune, from the Paris, Texas soundtrack, makes a nice accompaniment to the draining sound of one's finances around mid-December. Imagine Nastassja Kinski walking out of a bank, holding all her life's savings in a small bag. That's you.
"You Never Give Me Your Money" -- The Beatles: Sometimes, as the Christmas shopping craziness gets too crazy, I think, "Maybe we should just all pass around the same $50 bill... because isn't that what we're doing anyway?"
"Shadrach" -- The Beastie Boys: I'd like to nominate this one, a shout-out to the O.T. (Old Testament, aka The Torah) homies Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego, as a new Hanukah song. Hanukah is all about sharing miraculous stories and, as the song goes, "I got more stories than J.D. got Salinger." That's canon-worthy.
"Church" -- Lyle Lovett: Another nice Jewish boy, another good song for Hanukah. This is a song about a Christian Church but it's not religious, it's actually about food. Which is what religious holidays should be.
Part III: New Year's Eve: stay tuned.