14 Songs For Your Awkward Family Dinner
Turkeys aren’t the only ones who dread the holidays.
While it’s true you probably won’t have your head lopped off or endure stuffing crammed in unspeakable crevasses, you will likely be required to make small talk with your extended family — and, to many, that’s a fate far worse than being basted.
So as a special treat for when you’re forced to again explain why you aren’t married yet or struggling to live up to the accomplishments of your cousin Bradley (he drives a Subaru, you know), we put together this list of songs that might apply. You’re right, none of these are all that literally about withstanding a barrage of criticism from relatives — but would you ever really want to listen to them if they were?
Also, it should be noted that none of this applies to my actual family. That would only make my Thanksgiving or holiday dinner more awkward — which is the opposite effect I’m going for.
‘There’s No Home for You Here’
Clearly, this (and arguably every) song is about a girl. It’s the seventh word Jack White sings. But whether you’re playing host or visiting your aunt, the sentiment behind the title of this song might feel startlingly familiar. (Also acceptable from the White Stripes: ‘Offend in Every Way,’ ‘I’m Slowly Turning into You.’)
‘Keep the Car Running’
Where is it written that you can’t run inside, do a lap around the table, shake a few hands, kiss the new baby, grab a plate, fill it up, then head right back out the door? I mean, you’ll send the plate back, right? You’re not a monster. Arcade Fire know.
‘You Talk Way Too Much’
Julian Casablancas says ‘You talk way too much‘ four times in this song and that’s probably about 37 times fewer than you’ll think it (or some profanity-laced derivation) after hearing another word about Vanessa’s wedding tentatively set for spring 2016.
‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’
You can’t spell home without ’emo.’ Maybe getting together for the holidays makes you wax nostalgic and yearn for the way things used to be and regret most of your life decisions and make you want to stomp your feet and tell everyone how awesome you aren’t doing. But then everyone would know your Facebook page is a total lie. Just listen to the song instead.
‘Everyone Is Totally Insane’
It’s absolutely true. The Dandy Warhols are usually right. It’s weird more people don’t listen to them.
‘How to Disappear Completely’
‘I Am Trying to Break Your Heart’
Dropping out of school in order to finally pursue your stand-up career. Wearing a dress specifically chosen to show of that quote about breathing you had tattooed across your upper chest. Your grandma doesn’t need to hear your words to understand what Jeff Tweedy is saying.
‘This Place Is a Prison’
Okay, this is being a little dramatic. But still.
And this is actually being even more dramatic. Easy, champ.
‘Hate (I Really Don’t Like You)’
Plain White T’s were right about one thing: Hate really is a strong word. You should never use it on members of your own family. But your cousin’s boyfriend in the holiday-themed Affliction shirt isn’t related to you.
‘Like Eating Glass’
Bloc Party surely weren’t thinking of your sister-in-law’s pretzel-infused tofu casserole when they wrote this track, but that doesn’t mean the title can’t still apply.
‘Nobody’s Fault But My Own’
At a certain point during the party, you might suddenly be struck with an existential crisis. Or maybe you’re outright blamed for something. Either way, this Beck song is bomb.
‘Anybody Wanna Take Me Home’
Anybody? I just, I’ve gotta be up real early for work tomorrow. Oh, wait, I’m actually off. I’ve just gotta … anybody?
‘It Will End In Tears’
Philip Selway is in Radiohead, so he knows a thing or two about peering through the space-time continuum into the cold, beautiful horror of the future. But it doesn’t take a clairvoyant British drummer to foresee that somebody’s gonna cry once the peach Schnapps come out.