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This Is Your Edible Thanksgiving Playlist

Evans/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Last night, my editor and I were relaxing in the study of the Diffuser headquarters, wearing our fezzes and sipping brandy between puffs of Cuban cigars. “Chuck, old man,” I said. “What’s more delicious than Thanksgiving dinner?”

Chuck shifted in his leather wingback chair and propped his feet feet upon a waiting servant. “You’ve got me, old bean,” he said.

“Music. Nothing’s tastier than music,” I remarked. “But consider this: What if I could assemble a complete Thanksgiving dinner from music?”

“Guffaw!” Chuck screamed, and his monocle popped loose.

“Don’t scream ‘guffaw,’ old man, just guffaw,” I told him.

“You jest! It can’t be done!” Chuck replied.

“I’ll bet you I can do it,” I said, and I swirled my cognac in its glass.

“The usual bet?” Chuck asked.

“Very good,” I said, and I threw my glass into the fireplace. “I shall commence post haste!”

Happy Thanksgiving — and enjoy this delicious edible Thanksgiving Playlist:

‘Heavy Soup’




The opening cut on 2002’s ‘Handcream for a Generation’ is the first course in our musical meal. Who doesn’t love soup?


‘Bed o’ Cornbread Crumbs’

Three Times Bad



This is the special custom dish in our Thanksgiving dinner. You might not know San Francisco’s Three Times Bad, but their flavor of alt-country is damned delicious. Do yourself a favor and pick up their ‘American Sojourn’ album.


‘Lilac Wine’

Jeff Buckley



Picking a favorite track from ‘Grace’ is pretty much impossible, but ‘Lilac Wine’ is a leading contender. It’s as delicate as the placemats Grandma knit, and twice as beautiful.


‘(Do the) Instant Mash’

Joe Jackson



Getting dinner on the table is all about timing. The turkey takes forever, but the potatoes only take — the potatoes! We forgot to put on the potatoes!

Fortunately new wave godfather Joe Jackson has us covered with his quick and easy ‘Instant Mash.’



The Cranberries



Remarkably few songs have been recorded about cranberries; fortunately, many songs have been recorded by the Cranberries.

‘Linger’ doubles as a nice mellow cut to calm down Uncle Steve, who has launched into his sixth rant since the meal started. That guy really puts back the lilac wine.






This novelty cut from Nirvana‘s ‘With the Lights Out’ box set is really only of interest to completists, kind of like that bowl of beans on the Thanksgiving table. Will someone please pass the stuffing?


‘Cold Turkey’

The Godfathers



The Godfathers never hit big in the U.S., but they should have. Their big shot was 1988’s ‘Birth, School, Work, Death,’ but by the late ’80s, punk was in the commercial doldrums in America. If they would have hit our shores a little earlier or a little later, they would’ve been huge. Check out our main dish, their cover of the John Lennon classic ‘Cold Turkey.’


‘The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead’




Dessert! That’s why we’re all here, right? We power through the other dishes to get our hands on some pie. XTC‘s ‘The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead’ was a welcome return to form for the band, whose lead singer, Andy Partridge, was dealing with a career-ending bout of stage fright around that time.


‘Pecan Pie’

Golden Smog



Don’t care for pumpkin? Jeff Tweedy and Golden Smog have you covered. We haven’t seen a new album from the revolving door of alt-indie supergroup since 2007’s ‘Blood On the Slacks’ — let’s hope that changes soon.


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