The holidays are upon us, which means my work is super busy. My sanity is definitely dependent on tuning out 20 versions of “Blue Christmas” and zoning out the angry customers who are upset we don’t carry some obscure form of cookie.
1. “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift
Ms. Swift has matured since her first album, and 1989 might be one of the best albums of the year. The video for “Blank Space” is brilliant, and the lyrics are designed to be catchy as fuck. You tell me you can listen to this song and not get it stuck in your head. Max Martin produced and cowrote it, which explains its earworm nature. Swift’s lyrics are actually pretty damn awesome.
2. “Secrets” by Mary Lambert
Lambert is my favorite current songwriter from Seattle. She is probably one of my top two favorite queer musicians of the moment. This song speaks a lot to me given how I was raised to never tell secrets about myself and to keep things bottled up. It is a very freeing song to sing to. I usually substitute Gender Dysphoria for Bipolar Disorder when singing along with one of the lines.
3. “Separations” by Diarrhea Planet
Thanks to Paste Magazine, which named them the best live act of 2014, I discovered the sheer awesomeness of Diarrhea Planet. Funny name, serious music. They employ four guitar players and they all four can shred. It’s pop music played through the sensibilities of Megadeth and Slayer. I could have made this ten songs keeping me sane this week: Diarrhea Planet edition and put ten songs by them on here. I figured no one would click on that, though.
4. “Coffee” by Aesop Rock ft. John Darnielle
I love Aesop Rock and obviously y’all know how much I love John Darnielle. This song will always evoke images of people shopping during the holiday season. Also, coffee is my lifeblood. I cannot exist without it.
5. “Cool Schmool” by Bratmobile
I am still working my way through Girls to the Front, and it’s inspired me to listen to a lot of Riot Grrl. I had never really explored Bratmobile’s catalog. I really like them. It is really true raw music direct from the artist.
6. “West End Girls/People Who Died” performed by GWAR
Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus, passed on this year and it was a really sad time for GWAR fans. Brockie was the lead singer and the heart of the band. GWAR has added two singers to attempt to replace Oderus. Vulvutron is really awesome and when she was appointed singer, it was newsworthy. These two covers are really touching and awesome. “West End Girls” was just itching for a metal version and seguing into a cover of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died,” but adapting the lyrics for people the band personally lost. Nary a dry eye in the house at the end of the last verse.
7. “An Ocean Between the Waves” by The War on Drugs
I had never really listened to The War On Drugs until they started showing up on everyone’s year end lists this year. I decided to give them a chance, and I really like them. I look forward to being able to listen to more.
8. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath is one of those bands that remind me of the winter. I think its the lack of sun and the long nights. Sabbath is best listened to under the cover of darkness.
9. “Criminal” by Fiona Apple
Yet again, I think Fiona Apple is best listened to under the cover of darkness. She is such an amazing musician, and I often forgot how great she is.
10. “The Diaz Brothers” by the Mountain Goats
I just really like this song.
Two weeks ’til Christmas is done and we can start setting up for Valentine’s Day at my work. Yay retail!