Making one of these decade lists seemed too reductive and too vain (moreso than usual), and it still is those things, but it turned out that hearing everyone else’s lists was way too much fun.
Finally saw the Avatar movie. Don’t know what to say. Was a really like weird experience for me. Really felt like I was dreaming at times, like the movie made me feel the excitement of flying, at moments like I was ‘out of my body’ even though I was only in my seat, but also I could tell that this was just visuals and that the movie was sort of like silly, like not serious because there were blue people and maybe I shouldn’t see something if it isn’t real, and many other things that made me feel like it could not be a good like film, which is something I care about.
Christmas is a holiday of waste. Of the estimated $507 the average American spends on gifts every year, over a hundred dollars would just as well have been tossed in the bin, about $13 billion in waste nation-wide.
Unfortunately the music released tends to be junk in even greater proportions. Bands go through the motions of putting out cheap stocking stuffers of songs, which while appropriate in celebrating a holiday of absurdity and bric-a-brac with absurdity and bric-a-brac (self-consciously and not), rarely resonate. Meanwhile the classics pale and yellow, more and more alienated from our experience every year.
So if most Christmas music is about junk and antiquated clichés, most of this music does it’s best to take that on. “Come on! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!” mixes irony with sincerity and precious details at just the right ratio, while in “Just Like Christmas” Low confronts what meaning is and isn’t left in Christmas.
Maybe trying to piece together a Christmas album is a doomed enterprise from the setting out. But for better and worse we’ll always be stuck with Christmas and Christmas music. Nothing left to do but to wade through the kitsch and old hats and make the best we can of all of it.