It’s Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful for and appreciate all the people and things you love. As a music fan, I am probably going to spend Thanksgiving the way I spend most of my free time: listening to records. I’m going to try to make it more meaningful, though.
Instead of listening for work, I’m going to listen to my favorite albums, one after the other, until I’m on the best music high possible.
Here are eleven artists that will certainly be on my Thanksgiving playlist.
1. Wussy – Obviously.
2. Yo La Tengo – This classic indie group’s discography includes the 1997 masterpiece “I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One,” 2003’s gorgeous “Summer Sun” and 2006’s beautifully titled “I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.” They have a new album coming out in 2013 and are doing a world tour to promote it, with one of their stops being an Ann Arbor show in February. I personally can’t wait for both.
3. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend has been one of my favorite bands since my mom and I first put their debut album into the car’s CD player (and ended up not taking it out for a year). Like Yo La Tengo, they also have a new album planned for 2013. I’m already in love with next year.
4. Sonic Youth – Classic noise-rockers, Sonic Youth is one of the bands that most influenced my music taste. They sadly broke up just last year, but did it while still on the best winning streak in rock history (thirteen great albums between 1986 and 2009). My personal favorite: 1994’s underrated “Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.”
5. Kendrick Lamar – Lamar recently released my favorite album of the decade so far, “good kid, m.A.A.d city.” I’m extremely thankful for that. It’ll be playing a lot at my house over break.
6. Low – They may have not released a great album since their 2002 magnum opus “Trust,” but that doesn’t change the fact that Low is one of my favorite groups of all time. Eerie and beautiful, their music has the tremendous power to both disturb and enthrall me.
7. Avi Buffalo – An underrated California twee-pop band, Avi Buffalo’s music is irresistible once you get used to Avi Zahner-Isenberg’s vocals. Now, when’s that second album coming?
8. The Mountain Goats – I just became a Mountain Goats fan (why I waited so long I don’t know), but they’ve been high on my most played list. Their new album “Transcendental Youth” is killer, and 2002’s “Tallahassee” is a must-hear.
9. Old 97’s – These alt-country kings have had songs featured on “Scrubs” and “Veronica Mars,” while also releasing consistent album after consistent album. Lead singer Rhett Miller has also released four really good solo records. Being that great and that busy at the same time isn’t easy. Old 97’s make it seem like a walk in the park.
10. Tegan and Sara – I was introduced to these brilliant sisters in 2009 by my friend Kylie, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Their previous three releases, “So Jealous,” “The Con” and “Sainthood,” make up one of the best album trilogies ever. “Heartthrob,” their next album (due in January), will hopefully make it a great tetralogy. They will also be playing with The Killers at Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center Dec. 20.
11. The Smiths – Smiths references have become common in pop culture lately, so I don’t think I have to explain why they’re awesome. But, if you haven’t heard “The Smiths,” “Hatful of Hollow” or “The Queen is Dead” in their entireties, they are three of the greatest albums of all time. Listen to them, and give yourself a few more things to be thankful for.