Get Out You Gratitude, Battle of the Grandes and Black Friday at Homer’s

* NPR Music regularly posts online missives of themed playlists. As a list-lover and NPR fanatic I am always all ears. A recent example is “Get Out Your Hoodie: Songs For Fall,” with tracks from Galaxie 500, Los Amparito, The Foreign Exchange, Burial, American Football and Bill Evans Trio. Other occasions have included poolside party, end of summer, weddings, “heavy-metal keggers” and even “nights spent sitting at home alone while eating room-temperature Spaghetti-Os and sobbing.” In that tradition and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, follows my “Get Out Your Gratitude: Songs For Thanksgiving.” First is William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful for What You Got.” Not only has it made for many a mean sample, its message is to truly appreciate life even “though you may not drive a great big Cadillac.” Sneaking onto the list as a bit of guilty pleasure is Dido’s “Thank You.” Sure it’s been horrifically overplayed, but I dig Dido’s sweet coo and its statement on that loved one who makes a shitty day evaporate just by being there. Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” makes the list with an affectionate declaration of gratitude against a typical, charging Zeppelin rock-symphony backdrop. I’m adding Hank Williams Jr.’s “Family Tradition” for its fun take on just that, Louis Armstrong “What A Wonderful World” for that important reminder, Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” for noting “Many men are missin’ much / Hatin’ what they do” and reminding not to be one of them, and Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer for You” with its classic, winsome gratitude for good love. Finally, Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” with its obvious Thanksgiving tie, but mainly because my good friend and old roommate Jen’s mom would call every year at the crack of Thanksgiving Day and sing the entire, behemoth song (it’s 18+ minutes long) to our answering machine. Oh, and "Box of Rain" by Grateful Dead. Truthfully, I’ve just whipped this list together with an early deadline bearing down like an angry Sumo wrestler, and I probably didn’t give it the consideration it deserved. I could’ve more carefully considered it. I could’ve taken pains to make it “cool.” But I went with my gut, a practice I’m thankfully improving at. * Battle of the Grandes, Nov. 26, 9 p.m. at the Waiting Room, is a Thanksgiving tradition for which local, all-star funk squad Satchel Grande divides into two bands to perform before reuniting for the main event. * Quick reminder: Visit Homer’s on Black Friday, Nov. 26, for exclusive, limited edition recordings from the people behind Record Store Day. Backbeat takes you behind the scenes of the local music scene. Send tips, comments and questions to

posted at 08:24 pm
on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010


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