We feel your pain. We know what's going on. Christmas is bearing down on all of us, and gift-purchasing season is kicking our asses this week. It's the same every year: It creeps up like a post-Thanksgiving death knell, and if we don't submit, our entire family and most of our social circle will despise us for not going out and getting everyone a bunch of awesome shit like they do for us. (But if no one ever gets you anything cool, just disregard this and put your feet up). So, fully aware of the pain of going downtown and trawling for gifts, here's a pile of songs to keep you motivated during this shopping season. They may not be pretty, but they should keep you pumped enough to make it through the end.
5. "Eye Of The Tiger," Survivor
If you can't stay ripped and alert during this opening riff, your soul is black and your heart is dead. Picture yourself, fresh and alert and moderately sweaty, emerging from Powell Street Bart, listening to this, wearing a beret and walking with purpose in cripplingly tight jeans, through bathroom warehouses, ready to take on the shopping gods like Survivor in this video. Be careful not to get too hyped though - we don't sanction any smacking of shop assistants, Rocky-style (even if you really want to), regardless of how perky they are during this holiday season. And if the music fails, find comfort in the fact that this video was filmed in North Beach. Didn't you hear? North Beach is tough, yo!
4."Living After Midnight," Judas Priest
Okay, so when Judas Priest wrote this song, the Internet didn't exist, meaning they didn't realize how much these lyrics sound like they're awake at 4 a.m. doing their Christmas shopping online, like giant nerds with a hyperfast wireless connection. "I'm all geared up to score again," Rob Halford wails, "I come alive in the neon light" -- of the computer, in our minds at least. Sing along everyone! Because you don't have to leave the house to do your shopping! Woo! And buy some leather cut-offs while you're at it!
3. "Thanx For Nothing," The Vandals
This hyper-irritating song is in here to remind you of how bad everyone feels when they get terrible, terrible gifts after they've made the effort. If you're tempted to not bother this year and do all your holiday shopping, half-assed and last minute, on Christmas Eve, let this track serve as a reminder of how much everyone will hate you. Do you really want your mom, half drunk, under the lights of the tree, slurring "Thankyou for the knife that you stabbed me in the back with"? We're guessing not. So stay focused people. This shit's important if you're going to get through the main event unscathed.
2. "This Time Of Year," The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
We include this because it's so full of joy and alternative Christmas fun, it might actually help you enjoy the shopping process. "The stores are packed, there's stuff to buy, the shelves are stacked a mile high, but back to what it is that I truly love about this time of year... All of us are here together." Keep that little sentiment in your mind, with this perky, perky sax line while you purchase crap for your loved ones. It might just get you through the process without vomiting. Thanks, ska-loving horn men.
1. "Survivor," Destiny's Child
This video is like a plethora of unlikely present ideas for the gift-challenged. It's all here: dinghys, hair straighteners, hair curlers, hole punchers, karaoke machines, body piercings, lip gloss, butt-firming exercise equipment, halter tops, body oil, bikini wax, halter tops, padded bras, fishing lines, gardening and climbing materials, loin cloths, gongs, Ugg boots, massive earrings, Doc Martens, camo gear, bandanas, boxercise DVDS, wind machines, birds, ladders, an Aztec castle, enormous bracelets and - for the truly extravagant - maybe even a helicopter ride. Truly, there's something for everyone here, and even if none of the above appeals, you can always go buy a Destiny's Child record for your someone special, because - regardless of whether it's cool or not - they were totally awesome (seriously). Good luck out there.