Like Santa Claus, The Polyphonic Spree is coming to town — to the Troc tomorrow night to be exact — in support of the new HolidayDream: Sounds of the Holidays Vol. One. Eyewitnesses breathlessly describe the band’s live shows as bliss rallies, as sonic Ecstasy hits, the antidote to Seasonal Affect Disorder, all indie/rock/orchestral/Tabernacle choir sunshine and goodwill and tidings of comfort and joy. ‘Tis the season, right? We have two pairs of tickets to give away because we heard you were bummed and figured the Spree would help turn that frown upside down. To qualify all you have to do is sign up for our mailing list (to the right of this post, at the bottom of the masthead). Trust us, you want to do this. Signing up to our mailing list gets you special content alerts and early warnings about special promotions and concert ticket giveaways. And rest assured your email address will never be sold or shared with anyone, we promise upon pain of death. Us not you. Then send an email to FEED@PHAWKER.COM with the words I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING in the subject line, along with your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. And you’re in! The third and 25th person to sign up for our mailing list wins. Good luck and godspeed!
PREVIOUSLY: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Polyphonic Spree: My Uncle Edward is a sweetheart of a guy who is, sad to say, not long for this world. A lifelong smoker, he was diagnosed with lung cancer six months ago. When he went into the hospital to have part of a lung removed, the doctors discovered the cancer had advanced farther than previously thought. On top of that, he had also suffered a series of strokes after the surgery that robbed him of what little he had left. When I went to the hospital to visit him, he had a lot of tubes sticking in and out of him and a wheezing respirator covering much of his face. His body was grotesquely bloated. He was barely conscious and completely disoriented. A heart monitor blipped faintly. The family gathered ’round his bed, everyone gamely trying to be positive. But it was clear this was much worse than the worst we had feared. Oddly, I felt … nothing. As I trudged to the parking deck I felt numb, not even feeling, what Kurt Cobain used to call “the comfort of being sad.” I got in my car and turned the key in the ignition. On the radio was “Have a Day,” by the Polyphonic Spree. The song was sad and beautiful, the way I remember AM radio sounded coming out of the dashboard speaker of my mom’s car in the early ’70s. Sad like “Seasons in the Sun,” or “Hey Jude”–a good sad, the kind of sad that reminds you you’re alive and eternally grateful for it. There were sleigh bells and mournful horns and a fluttering flute. There was a chorus of voices, full of hope and pity, and magic and loss, like the hippie kids that wanted to teach the world to sing in that old Coca-Cola commercial had finally gotten back together. It was like somebody had mainlined a speedball of joy and sorrow right into my veins. I completely lost it. I sat idling in the parking garage until the song finished, tears streaming down my face. This is good, I thought. This is the comfort of being sad. MORE