My New Year’s soundtrack

Well, 2011 is coming to a close. Thank God. While this hasn’t been the worst of years, it’s been excruciating in so many ways.

I’m not going to ring in 2012 at the Fountainbleau (too pricey!) or the Setai (cost aside, I’m betting they practice vicious face control). In the Herrera household (my cat and me), I’ll see in the New Year by eating 12 grapes, and for New Year’s Day proper, fixing Hoppin’John (black-eyed peas with rice) and a side of greens–mustard if I can get them, but I’m not fussy.

And if I can, I’ll toast my beloved departed ones with a good cava, and eat in their memory.

But, if you please, I’ll do without “Auld Lang Syne.” Instead, I recommend these tunes:

“Some Of Them Are Old,” Brian Eno. The next-to-last track on Here Come the Warm Jets, this is a fey, marvelous song for the moment when the clock chimes midnight.

“As Sure As I Am,” Crowded House. Just an insanely wonderful tune, from the insanely wonderful album Woodface.

“Round and Round,” Paul Weller. The Modfather is quite perfect. So is this tune.

“Prince of Peace,” Galiano. One of the great gems of British neo-soul!

“Bridge of Sorrow,” Luka Bloom. The singer-songwriter captures the loneliness and heartbreak of New Year’s Eve so perfectly, and with compassion.

“Well, Did You Evah,” Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop. This trash-glam reversioning of a Cole Porter classic–off Red, Hot & Blue–is great, is grand, is–oh, hey, swellegant!

“Not A Crime,” Gogol Bordello. Not a New Year’s song per se, but this tasty bit of gypsy-ska-punk will keep the celebration from getting too precious.

“Thank You Friends,” Big Star. A loving tribute to friends, or a subtle kiss-off? You decide! Either way, it’s a catchy number.

“Grey Lagoons,” Roxy Music. Again, not a New Year’s song, but so essential. Yes indeed!

“I Know It’s Gonna Happen,” Morrissey. Such an encouraging song–perfect for the year to come.

“Call Me Up,” World Party. For that moment at three a.m., when you’re thinking of eternity, the meaning of life, and old friends.

I can name several other songs, but I’m thinking of saving them for another day.

Meantime, tell me what you’d like to play for New Year’s.

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