Pandora Blog

Music Notes: This Thanksgiving, Join Together with the Band

First, some exciting news: Starting next month, Curation Monthly is going to look a little different. We want to bring you more great writing from our curators more often, so we’re ditching the monthly mega-post in favor of more digestible dispatches. You’ll get new posts every week — the reviews, features and columns you’re used to, plus some new stuff we’ll reveal soon. We’re really excited to show you our new look, and we hope you’re excited to dive in with us.

Amid all that’s changing, however, I’ve been thinking about everything that doesn’t. I’m not sure how long or consistently you have to do something to consider it a tradition, but on and off for the last decade or so, after stuffing myself with Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve unwound on the couch by watching The Last Waltz. Even if you’re not a fan of the Band, this awesome documentary by Martin Scorsese has something for everyone. Filmed on Thanksgiving Day in 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, it boasts an all-star roster of special guests like Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr, Van Morrison, Ronnie Wood, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Bobby Charles, the Staple Singers and, of course, Bob Dylan. I love how the documentary begins with a title card that reads, “This film should be played loud!” I’ve always adhered to the adage, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” And by that measure (we’re big on measurements here), the more my tinnitus rings, the younger I feel.

I’ve seen The Last Waltz so many times that I find myself meditating on what I’m truly thankful for between the film’s musical performances. Sure, there’s family and health and all that other good stuff. But I’m always gracious for great music. This year, I’m thankful for the return of Slowdive and their new album, one of the best shoegaze records of the 21st century. I’m also thankful for getting to see Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows a bunch before we lost Fred Cole this month. And I’m thankful that we finally have the legendary Bob Seger spinning on Pandora.

I’m celebrating that last fact with this Classic Rock Thanksgiving Dinner Party mixtape and playlist — the perfect soundtrack for anyone who’s thankful for classic rock songs, delicious food and classic rock songs about delicious food.