Last night, a group of friends and I had a quiet and intimate dinner party and gift exchange before we all left town for the holidays. We made homemade Chinese dumplings, sipped cold sake and listened to our favorite records.
My favorite part about our little gathering was our “White Album White Elephant” gift exchange – a fun, creative spin on the traditional white elephant and I hope we make it an annual holiday tradition. Each guest was asked to bring one of their favorite albums, wrap it in white paper and write a lyric from one of the songs on the back of the package. Each person would choose two blank packages, silently read the lyrics on the back of each album and select the one they wanted to keep based on the lyrics. Then the guest would read the lyrics of their selection out loud so subsequent players could potentially steal their CD, but only based on the lyrics. This was such a unique way to share our favorite music and appreciate beautiful lyrics from our favorite artists.
Once we all settled on our decisions, we each opened our package one by one. The results were shocking – to the surprise of many, some of the most poignant and profound lyrics came from Metallica and Lupe Fiasco. To my personal surprise, I owned four of the resulting CDs, but only recognized lyrics from two of the bands. A lot of guests also shared why they chose the album they did and how they discovered their artist – what a great way to discover new music!
My contribution was Metric’s new album, Synthetica. It’s probably my favorite album of the year and I hope the person who chose it loves it as much as I do. All of the songs are terrific, but my favorite track is “Clone” which is where the poetic lyrics I wrote on my parcel were derived from. Listen to that and their main single “Breathing Underwater” below. What are your favorite albums from this year?
Metric – Breathing Underwater
Metric – Clone