The downside to working in retail once more is that I’m no longer able to listen to what I like listening to. I can only listen to KEXP on days off or before/after work. Which means that I’ve been listening to a lot of slightly tinny harmless current pop and retro tunes from the 80s and 90s. Some of it’s good, some not so much, but thankfully the level of oh god not this song AGAIN is at a bare minimum.
I am curious, however, as to whether or not the work tunage will be holiday-themed come this Friday. [Which, by the way, I don’t think I’ll be suffering another Black Friday as we’re not that kind of store. We’re more of a “you mean you forgot cranberries too?” shop.] I’m not complaining mind you, because I actually enjoy holiday music at work. It’s just the right amount of Christmas cheer that isn’t intrusive or distracting. And it’s a theme that crosses all sorts of genres and bends the playlist rules on radio stations and workplace music loops.
Either way, it’s going to be a pretty good year’s end here and I’m not going to complain.
I’ll totally admit to having a soft spot for Christmas music, whether it’s pop, alternative, or classical. Even during my retail and warehouse years, and especially during the HMV years. I never quite got all that cynical when it came to hearing holiday music. On the contrary, it usually gets me in a good mood, even when the streets and the malls are packed with far too many people.
Wishing all and sundry the best of the holiday season! Thanks for sticking around Walk in Silence all this time! 🙂
…which means it’s time for me to share some of my favorite Christmas tunage! I’ll admit I’m a big softie when it comes to yuletide soundtracks. It rarely ever bothers me to hear this kind of music, even if it is repetitive and I hear the same songs in every store I walk into. I may question the oddness of the production, like that weird version of “Winter Wonderland” I heard at JC Penney a few weeks ago that sounded like someone took the vocal line of a Johnny Mathis track and stuck it on top of a generic Casio keyboard riff, but most of the time I just let it play and enjoy it for the short time it’s aired. Here’s some of my favorite Christmas tracks for your listening/viewing pleasure!
Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Linus and Lucy” – Come on, who doesn’t hear this and start doing one of the Peanuts dances? Still puts a smile on my face after all these years!
The Beatles, “Pantomime (Everywhere It’s Christmas)” – The Beatles’ 1966 seasonal fan club disc is probably my favorite theirs, considering how ridiculous and goofy it is. It was one of the few where they chose to record slapstick silliness instead of the usual bland ‘hi there, thanks for a great year’ reading.
Simon & Garfunkel, “Silent Night/7 O’clock News” – …and that very same year we had one of the most chilling renditions I’ve ever heard of a traditional carol. The peaceful hymnal delivery of the duo is offset by some of the most harrowing news that came out of that decade.
Henry Rollins, “The Night Before Christmas” – Chilling in an altogether different way, Hank delivers one of the weirdest versions of the classic poem for an excellent 1991 compilation called, fittingly, A Lump of Coal.
Chris Cornell & Eleven, “Ave Maria” – The Soundgarden/Audioslave singer knocks it out of the park with an excellent version of this choral piece, found on Volume 3 of A Very Special Christmas.
Low, “Just Like Christmas” – I love how lo-fi this song is, as it really adds to the feel of a small band driving in a cold van heading from one show to the next. Life in a touring band could definitely suck, but caught moments like this are what make it worthwhile.
Dropkick Murphys, “The Season’s Upon Us” – Heh. I don’t think my family was nearly as bad as this guy’s, but the overall collective family spirit I definitely get. And this is such a distinctively Masshole setting, too.
Harvey Danger, “Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes)” – This one goes out to all the retail workers and the others who work the holiday schedule. I knew this well at the record store, the candle warehouse, the movie theater, the book store, and elsewhere. I’m not in retail, but working for a bank, I still have to sit around just in case.
*Raises a glass of eggnog*
Happy Holidays, y’all! Hope Santa gives you all sorts of neat stuff, and I hope your 2015 turns out to be one hell of an excellent year!