My birthday, my wife's birthday, Thanksgiving, the arrival of Winter Ales on local bodega shelves, sweaters, boots, finally being able to close your windows so as not to hear all the noise outside, hockey, basketball (usually), holiday gift guides (seriously, they're the best), corduroy, tweed, the first time you hear Christmas music, dogs wearing clothes.
These are but a few of the reasons November is my favorite month. And aside from all that, music just seems to sound better in November--a fact I implicitly argued with this here Spotify playlist a little while back. But the other thing about November is that there are just a lot of songs, really awesome songs, that have the word November in their title. Now, here, we will listen to them, before we run out of time and it's officially December. (Which is also a totally top-notch month and will probably get a similar treatment soon.)
Photo by Robert Caputo.
Morrissey -- "November Spawned Monster"
Really, really, unbelievably good song, obviously, but also, no man has ever dry humped a rock with quite as much grace as Morrissey.
The Avett Brothers -- "November Blue"
I think maybe a lot of people don't like The Avett Brothers anymore, and I think it might have something to do arguments about authenticity or with Mumford and Sons getting famous, but I'm not sure and also don't really care. This song is super pretty.
Vashti Bunyan -- "Rose Hip November"
"Haha, remember freak-folk???" Yes, of course I do. It was just a really stupid name assigned to a vaguely defined style of music that actually included a lot of really great stuff, some of which was even written in 1970.
The National -- "Mr. November"
This song actually doesn't technically sound very much like how November sounds in my head, but any song that includes a shouted refrain of "I won't fuck us over" is a-ok with me.
Folk Implosion -- "Fall Into November"
I love the guitar in this song, and while I will acknowledge that I am driven completely batty by the constant dual vocals, I really, really like it when he says, "Tomorrow it's a pumpkin pie... just a little more pumpkin pie," even though pumpkin pie is super fucking gross.
Sandy Denny -- "Late November"
The first track on Fairport Convention singer Sandy Denny's 1971 solo debut, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens."The methods of madness, the pathos, the sadness/God help you all, the insane and the wise" is probably a tattoo you should get.
J Church -- "November"
"So I went home like I normally do, and I put on something dry/I went out to get a coffee, read a book about anarchy, and watched the commuters walk by./Tears from the sky, I'm satisfied that I can't stop the rain." Because there's no better month than November for embracing with your utter powerlessness in the face of the world around you.
Tom Waits -- "November"
I realize that Mr. Waits is actually no great fan of November here, with lyrics like, "November has tied me to an old dead tree/Get word to April to rescue me" and "November, it only believes in a pile of dead leaves," but it's ok, I forgive him. And, like, really? Tom Waits hates November? Has Tom Waits ever fucking heard Tom Waits?
Wyclef Jean -- "Gone Till November"
Ok, to be completely honest, I'm not sure this song has held up quite as well as I thought it would. And Wyclef's charity maybe pissed away all the money it raised for the earthquake in Haiti, so that's shitty. But still, we'll include it here if no reason other than Bob Dylan's awkward, hilarious cameo in the video, sitting beside Wyclef and nodding all creepy-like when he gets to the (incredibly stupid) "Knockin' on heaven's door like I'm Bob Dylan" line.
Guns N' Roses -- "November Rain"
I mean, yeah, I hate Guns N' Roses and Axl Rose. I was busy listening to my sister's R.E.M. tapes when they first blew up, and then I proudly took the other side during the great Nirvana vs. GN'R war of the early 90s. In the time since, I haven't, like so many other people, doubled back and chalked it up as the folly of youth: Axl Rose is a dickbag--a truly hateful misogynist, homophobe and enemy of all that is smart and progressive and freeing, and I take immense pleasure in seeing the (even bigger) joke he's become. But jeez, you guys, I certainly ain't gonna deny motherfucking "Novermber Rain," you know? Shit.