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Some Music for Black Friday, aka Buy Nothing Day

First the bad news: as if you didn’t already know, today is “Black Friday” in the United States – the sort-of official start of the Christmas shopping season – and the busiest shopping day of the year. So busy, with so many people frantic to rake in the deals that stores put on specially, that in years past people have been trampled to death during the rush…

Now the good news: you don’t have to go shopping today.

You don’t have to get trampled to death, or stampeded into “buying” into the consumerist frenzy.

For a number of years now, as an alternative to Black Friday madness and consumerism more generally, the Friday after Thanksgiving has also been “Buy Nothing Day.” One of the groups that has most strongly promoted “Buy Nothing Day” since its founding is the gang at AdBusters.

One thing you could do instead of going shopping is listen to music…

Steely Dan, “Black Friday” – from Katy Lied; also available on Definitive Collection

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, “Shop Around” – on Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Ultimate Collection

De La Soul, “Shopping Bags (She Got From You)” – from The Grind Date

The Beatles, “Money (That’s What I Want)” – on With The Beatles (Remastered)

Pink Floyd, “Money” – from Dark Side of the Moon

The O’Jays, “For the Love of Money” – on Ultimate O’Jays

Or you might listen to the Lux Radio Theater version of The Shop Around the Corner with the voices of Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche. The earlier film version was directed by the great comedy director, Ernst Lubitsch, and starred James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. It is showing a few times on TCM over the holidays – you can find the specific dates on my round-up up selections from their schedule (here).

The Shop Around the Corner was remade loosely a few years ago as You’ve Got Mail, the reboot of the romantic comedy pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I am tempted to list it as another guilty pleasure – I have a serious soft spot for both of those stars, and for romantic comedies in general. It doesn’t measure up against their original pairing in Sleepless in Seattle, nor to the original Shop Around the Corner, but despite my antipathy to the corporate takeover of the bookstore trade, and to AOL, I still enjoy it.

This really had nothing to do with “Songs of the Season,” but starting tomorrow or the next day I will be posting properly festive music, hopefully on at least a daily basis…

For more on Black Friday…

Filed under: Song of the Day, , , ,

Songs of the Season: George Winston, Thanksgiving

There are songs for Halloween (“Monster Mash”), the Fourth of July (“Yankee Doodle Dandy”) and pretty much every other holiday (even “Arbor Day”). But I couldn’t really think of a song powerfully redolent of, symbolizing Thanksgiving. There is this, though…

George Winston, “Thanksgiving” – from December

Enjoy your turkey with all the fixings – or tofurkey, or whatever you are stuffing yourself with today.

And enjoy the people you’re celebrating the day with – family, friends, or even the gang down at the local bar, if that’s the way you roll. Whatever we’re eating, wherever, it’s always the people that make Thanksgiving, for which we should most be giving thanks. And in a year when a lot of people are having such a hard time, those people, our people, are more important than ever.

I often pop in to Central Coffee on the corner of Hayes and Central during Thanksgiving day  – in years past, the owner has generously provided a little hair of the dog to freshen your coffee, just the thing to help you get through those hours with the family, much as we are thankful for them…

This is the first of what I plan to be a regular thing for the rest of the year –  “Songs of the Season” and “Scenes of the Season,” my favorite holiday songs as well as clips from favorite holiday movies and TV shows – posted daily, now through Christmas – sharing the things that make me happy with my people…

For more...

Filed under: Song of the Day, , , ,

Dining on Crow, with a Side of My Own Words, for Thanksgiving

Mea culpa. I was wrong, apparently. Earlier, I implied that Planes, Trains and Automobiles would be inconceivable as an entry in any list of “must see” movies. No sooner had I written that, though, then up popped Roger Ebert with a review of it as one of his Great Movies:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Some movies are obviously great. Others gradually thrust their greatness upon us. When “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was released in 1987, I enjoyed it immensely, gave it a favorable review and moved on. But the movie continued to live in my memory. Like certain other popular entertainments (“It’s a Wonderful Life,” “E.T.,” “Casablanca”) it not only contained a universal theme, but also matched it with the right actors and story, so that it shrugged off the other movies of its kind and stood above them in a kind of perfection. This is the only movie our family watches as a custom, most every Thanksgiving… (via :: Great Movies.)

No only is it – according to Ebert – a great movie, but it is also a particularly “Thanksgiving” movie, a genre which for me pretty much started and stopped with Home for the Holidays (1995), starring Holly Hunter.

I guess I’ll have to add it to the Fellini movies as films I need to rewatch. In fact, I think I’ll watch it this Thanksgiving – instead of La Strada. But I’ll keep Home for the Holidays in reserve, just in case.

Filed under: Movies, , ,



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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.



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