Christmas is a difficult time for many folks. I’ve had my bouts with being grumpy during this festive season, but that had more to do with familial strife than seasonal depression. But even during those darker days of winter, the holly jolly attitude never felt appropriate. In my formative years, my experiences with Christmas often centered on Christmas Markets and other European traditions than the Coca-Cola Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick. I still had obligations to perform as a toy robot in the church play (yes, toys learned the importance of Christ in Christmas) or much later as a teen, reading as Joseph speaking his mind about angelic visions.
Much of Christmas seems like one big obligation to endure social occasions that often amount to wasted time and sometimes food poisoning (I swear I LIKED the pie, IT didn’t like ME). There seems to be a lot of negative moments in my life that I can easily associate with Christmas, that could also easily contribute to a sour mood. But even when everything goes smoothly, I still have a melancholy (but not sad) disposition. I’m an outwardly jovial kinda guy, and inwardly, when I’m alone or with my closest friends, I can be less the jocular buddy-pal and more the to-the-naked-eye grump.
But during Christmas time, I always yearn for music that touches that darker feeling rather than what’s most commonplace. Darker doesn’t mean negative; it’s not bad. I think of the stillness and quiet of a fresh snowfall at night. It’s an eerie quiet because of the snow dampening the natural sound. I also think of Twin Peaks. And while there was never a Christmas episode of the show, the colder season is when I feel the pull to re-visit it. And the music, which brings us to this playlist, is of an America I never knew, of a time that didn’t really ever exist. It’s the vibe of Angelo Badalamenti’s score that is the seed that grew this playlist. It’s not a dismal, nor depressing Christmas playlist, rather it’s one that feels right for a dimly lit bar, and its decades-old juke box. Perhaps think of what might be queued up at the Double R Diner, or what band might play at the Bang Bang Bar. Think of what you might hear while spending time in the town of Twin Peaks (and, no, NOT Eddie Vedder).
So cozy up by the fire with your favorite hot beverage, or if weather permits, take a nice quiet night drive through a small one light town and enjoy this playlist, from me to you.