Santa's Sad Song Sack

What if Santa brought a sack of songs down the chimney instead of toys? What if all those songs were of the sad sack variety? What if he brought twelve because he knows about a certain song associated with his time of year and he's into drawing parallels between that and other parts of his life? What if Santa was meta? What if I decided this was a valid concept for today's post?

He 'ho ho ho'd' into my apartment, despite the lack of a chimney. I assumed he'd climbed through the old milk delivery door in my kitchen, but he could have come through the old radiator just as easily. A man of myth, he has the skeletal structure of a mouse. No doorway he can't pass under, no passage he cannot traverse. He combines the elasticity of Mr. Fantastic with the giant form of Kingpin. Santa left a red velvet bag on my hardwood floor. It held the full shape of a pomegranate despite appearing airy. And so, after a moment of consideration, and 3 rumtastic eggnogs, I broke into that yuletide duffel... Inside were 12 excellent indie songs, sad, excellent indie songs with a note that read in elegant script: Santa's Sad Song Sack. (Warning: All of these songs are sad sack, or depressing to some degree... but all of them are also amazing and brilliantly composed)

1. Leslie Anne Levine - The Decemberists from Castaways And Cutouts:
A haunting, beautiful and melancholy song about the ghost of a baby girl wandering the afterlife purposelessly forever.
Best Line: "Fifteen years gone now I still wander this parapet and shake my rattle bone"

2. I Don't Blame You - Cat Power from You Are Free:
Artistic/emotional/personal sacrifice, loss of control, and wispy, sorrowful vocals by Chan Marshall.
Best Line: "Then you would recall the deadly houses you grew up in just because they knew your name"

3. Black Cab - Jens Lekman from Oh You're So Silent Jens:
A song about missing the last train after the party, wanting desperately to get home, and questioning the safety of London's most iconic Hackney carriages. Heavier tonally than lyrically.
Best Line: "They might be psycho killers, but tonight I really don't care. So I say turn up the music, take me home or take me anywhere"

4. New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down - LCD Soundsystem from Sounds Of Silver:
Brilliantly captures the feeling of having outgrown the city you live in, wanting to love it, but having fallen out of love.
Best Line: "New York you're safer and you're wasting my time"

5. Val Jester - The National from Alligator:
Possibly about romantic love, but I prefer to think of it as the lament of a father for letting his daughter run away... or losing her. It's a song of parental loss.
Best Line: "All the most important people in New York are nineteen"

6. Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe - Okkervil River from The Stage Names:
Poignantly states that life lacks the happy contrivances in movies.
Best Line: "No fade in, film begins on a kid in the big city"

7. How To Be A Perfect Man - Songs:Ohia from Axxess & Ace:
Jason Molina pins down the feeling of being the placeholder in a relationship, when your lover will leave you for the right person, and you know it.
Best Line: "Be mine till you're reminded of something better"

8. Shoot Doris Day - Super Furry Animals from Rings Around The World:
Mostly the ambiance, tone and minor-chord echoes carry it's sadness, but it's also about loss and change.
Best Line: "People never stay the same, it's a fight between the wild and tame"

9. This Boy Is Exhausted - The Wrens from Meadowlands:
Captures the feeling of not knowing what to do with your life, working hard because you have to and believing that it's far too late to do anything better.
Best Line: "Tied to work, splitting rock, cutting diamonds, 100 days with no pay, not anymore"

10. Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs from Fever To Tell:
This song isn't entirely sad, but it's a soft spot on a predominantly post-punk, heavy guitar album, and it's beautiful!
Best Line: "Wait, they don't love you like I love you"

11. Pink Bullets - The Shins from Chutes Too Narrow:
The way an important relationship alters the course of your life and takes the wind out of your sails when it ends.
Best Line: "When our kite lines first crossed we tied them into knots, and to fly apart we had to cut them off"

12. The Death Of Ferdinand DeSaussure - The Magnetic Fields from 69 Love Songs:
Love is something we can't understand with words, with science, with observation. It's a complex organism beyond the bounds of great thinking. Not a sad song, but a great one.
Best Line: "You can't use a bulldozer to study orchids"

Santa compels you to find these songs, hear them, love them, and try not to let them get you down.

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