Music

So This Is Christmas… (part 2)

So in a galaxy far, far away I used to be a Worship Leader in a non-denominational church (Yes, it’s true. I have pictures and everything).  I had played in several worship bands for years. But that was another life.

However, during that time I found and really enjoyed the music of an Alt/Punk/Emo Christian band, Relient K. And if you’re old enough, you know the car they’re named after.   They released a Christmas album “Let It Snow… Let It Reindeer”.

Here are two great cuts from the album (that’s before CDs kiddies);

First is “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”.

Second up is “The 12 Days Of Christmas”

I tried so hard to get my worship team to play these. You should have seen the dumbstruck look on their faces.  Made me laugh, especially my 16-year-old lead guitarist.

And for classic “Christmas Music” I just had to pick a song that doesn’t mention the holiday at all, but as soon as you hear it, you know it’s Christmastime. Here is “Lucy and Linus” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” performed by The Vince Guaraldi Trio.  Naturally, this is the dance version.  I absolutely love this show. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.

And you can’t do “A Charlie Brown Christmas” without Linus’ soliloquy.  From Luke 2:8-14. (Even though I don’t believe this is a true story, it is beautiful poetry. After all, that’s pretty much what the entire bible is, poetry.

Do you have any other non-traditional Christmas music to add? Or do you think, as I tend to, that it’s all rubbish?  Leave me a comment with your thoughts, please. (And don’t text me, brother o’mine).

P.S. Son, the younger® and I walked around Wal-Mart last night (shudder), and I didn’t hear “So This Is Christmas”. So I’m still waiting.

Peace,
B

So This Is Christmas…

So, is this Christmas? Maybe for the folks that insist on saying “Merry Christmas” and throw a fit if you respond with any other reply other than “Merry Christmas”.  As with most Christian holidays, Christmas is just another pagan holiday that was renamed and re-purposed (i.e. stolen) in an attempt to convert more of the local “peasant” type of folks to Christianity. Easter and All Saint’s Day are two other examples.

But Christmas isn’t the only religious celebration that happens around this time of year.

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Picture source: Unvirtuous Abby on Facebook, but I’m sure others have posted it as well, so I have no idea who originally created it

And despite what my credit card statements say, “Christmas” (and yes that’s the term I use for this holiday) doesn’t start for me until I randomly hear John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas (War Is Over)” played in a random store while, usually, standing around waiting on Wifey® to find “just the right color”, or something like that for someone in the family. My brother and I are the kind that will walk into a store and buys the first thing we see that suits us. Fini! Done! Let’s go have a beer! None of this going into every store in the mall only to go back and buy the thing you saw in the first store.

Plus now with online shopping, other than some clothes, that’s my preferred method of shopping. The holidays bring on enough anxiety as it is.  The stores are usually so crowded I can’t stand it.  The boys, Wifey®, and I went to the mall last night and thankfully it was damn near empty.

Christmas shopping brings on its own kind of  “performance anxiety”. When are enough presents just right?  Not worried about the boys (they’re adults now), but the little girls always make it difficult. They want everything they see on TV, especially if it’s electronic. I don’t want to get them too many things, not only does it promote over-consumption, I don’t want them thinking that I’ll buy them any and everything (even though I probably will – that’s what PaPa’s do). But at the same time, too few gifts under the tree leaves them open for ridicule from classmates and such.  It’s a fine line. Much like my credit line.

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We support the artificial tree industry by buying a new tree every two years on average. We only buy pre-lit trees (because I’m lazy) and they seem to burn out quickly. Can’t use real trees as the “fresh pine scent” aggravates my COPD (Pine-Sol does it too).

The girls wanted an “Elf On A Shelf”.  They named her Ginger (I wanted to spell it Gynger – so it sounded more like a stripper name). We know it’s a female elf because it has earrings, which of course means nothing anymore. Plenty of very “manly men” have pierced ears, but the box was labeled “female”, so that settled it. But I would still like to get away from labels.  That’s Gynger, I mean Ginger sitting on the hearth watching the girls put up the Christmas tree.

We figure since we only have the girls on the weekends, Ginger must be an apprentice elf. Since she only has 2 – 3 days to watch the girls, she gets bored sitting around the house.  But that will be the subject of another post, later in the season….  Keep watching this space!

So even though I still haven’t heard “So This Is Christmas” yet (I have at least two more shopping days planned – so get your requests in early), there is still a chance to hear it.  And even though my dear ol’ brother doesn’t like the song, he says the “war is over” should have been left out, but I disagree. He was never in the military (declared medically unfit for service during the Vietnam era).  As a vet, I heartily agree with the sentiment.

So here is the original video of the song.  As since I’m just posting the link, I don’t get to hear it. So if I haven’t randomly heard it by the 20th or so, I’ll come back here and listen to it.  Then, maybe Christmas will begin for me.

Please enjoy the video!

Peace,
B

EDIT:  My brother texted me (why he didn’t leave a comment is anybody’s guess), and corrected me. He does like the song, it’s just the “Merry Christmas” part doesn’t mix with the “war is over” part. He agrees with me that we wish all wars would end. 

Odds & Ends

I haven’t written anything in a while, not that anything is wrong, just haven’t had much to say.  Life has been quiet. So today I’ll throw out a few odds and ends on what’s been on mine and Wifey’s® minds.

Last night we were driving to the gym when a commercial for one of the big cruise ship lines came on. Doesn’t matter which one, because they all do it.  It may only make sense to those of us in Florida, or folks who like to cruise. But this is my blog, so I’m going to tell the story anyway.

The commercial will always say; “Sailing from Miami, Tampa, (sometimes Ft. Lauderdale is added here), and Orlando”.  Has anybody in the marketing departments of these cruise lines ever looked at a Florida map? Maybe they all use a marketing firm from Nebraska or another land locked state.  But in any case, here is a simple map of Florida for you to follow along with.

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You will notice that Miami and Tampa are on the coast, which is good when you’re trying to dock a big assed cruise ship. Now granted if you’re in Florida you cannot be more than 80 miles from the coast (either the Atlantic or the Gulf). So where does that leave Orlando? Pretty much dead center of the state. I guess if you had a really, really good boat captain with updated charts, you may be able to sail a small, 12 foot or so, boat from somewhere on the east coast to the Orlando area. Not very likely, but just maybe. But a cruise ship? Not a chance.

So where do you sail from if you’re not really sailing from Orlando? Well, Port Canaveral of course. Even though Canaveral has the Kennedy Space Center with the astronaut hall of fame, it doesn’t have the draw that Orlando has with Disney and Universal theme parks. (You know why the Orlando airport is designated “MCO”? It stands for “Mickey Controls Orlando”).

So in truth, the cruise lines are dumbing us down by making folks think they can sail out of Orlando, which is physically impossible. Just more corporate America hoping you’ll buy into their ideas.

Next point. Something that I have hated since the Rolling Stones sold out and let Micro$oft use “Start Me Up” in a commercial for Windows 95. That’s the use of popular music in advertising. Yes, it’s been going on for ages, but it didn’t bother me until “my music” started being used. My music meaning what is generally termed “Classic Rock”, or in my day “AOR” or Album Oriented Radio.

This year’s major defiler of good music is Wal-Mart (a corporation I despise anyway). It started with their use of The Who’s “Who Are You” advertising for Halloween costumes.  It was bad enough when the “CSI” shows used that same song. Now Wal-mart is using “Get Together” by Jesse Colin Young & The Youngbloods for a Thanksgiving ad. The biggest problem? The songs fit perfectly with the ads!  DAMMIT ALL TO HELL!!!@! I want to yell and scream that they messed it up, but I can’t!

Also for all us Southeastern USA folks, the grocery store Publix used The Allman Brother’s “Jessica” as background music in their commercials for years. Guess there’s not much I (or any of us) can do about it.  Except DVR everything and skip the damn commercials.

Last thing, I promise.  And yes it’s more commercials (I hate them). Have you noticed all the medical stuff, the new medications in particular?  I love how they list all the possible side effects from hair loss, to death and everything in between. Then they tell you not to take it if you have any of the following conditions, which goes on forever. One of which is usually a very specific type of cancer or other major disease. But then comes the kicker, “Do not take if you are allergic to <insert medication they are advertising for here>.  Now how in the hell are you supposed to know if you’re allergic to it if it’s so new you’ve never taken it? I remember my days as a paramedic working in ERs and having to ask questions about drug allergies. But that was so we didn’t give the patient something they knew they were allergic to.

I can only imagine a conversation like this;

Doctor:  You have <this> condition I want to give you this brand new drug, “XYZ”, it was just released yesterday. Do you know if you are allergic to “XYZ?”

Patient: How would I know? I’ve never tried it before!

Doctor: Are you sure you’re not allergic to “XYZ”? I don’t want to get sued”.

Whatev’

That’s enough…. Let me go find a video to calm us (me) down.  This has nothing to do with the post but it’s one of “my girl’s” (Wifey® and the granddaughters – which is an awesome band name) favorites.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

 

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Ok, so it’s only been two days or so of rain. But there are areas in Central Florida that still have high water from Hurricane Irma. I realize we’re in much better shape than Texas and Puerto Rico but it still isn’t easy.

So here’s a video just because I want to…

Peace,
B

EDIT:  It’s now 1210 EDT and Wifey® informs me the sun is out! Guess this little post did its job! (As if I could influence the weather.)

Not Exactly A Useless Post

As I mentioned on my social media yesterday, my older brother and I have been texting about music. Single artists, bands you name it. We somehow ended up on women vocalists, and one of my all-time favorites, Linda Ronstadt, I had posters of her on my bedroom walls as a teenager. (Along with Anne & Nancy Wilson of Heart).

Then while browsing through YouTube I found this video of Linda and her first band The Stone Ponys.

After reading the Stone Ponys Wikipedia page I learned that “Different Drum” was written by Michael Nesmith before he became a Monkee.

Micheal was always my favorite Monkee. I watched the show every chance I got. Not only was the humor perfect for an 8-year-old, I really enjoyed the music too. It was later in life when I went back and listened to their music that realized that Micheal’s music was far better than the polished pop songs they also sang. Now those pop songs were written by some of the finest songwriters of the early sixties. Carol King & Gerry Goffin to name but two.

But it was Michael’s rawer edge that stood out to me. Plus the fact on most of his songs, he insisted that the Monkees actually played on the recordings and just not studio musicians (although they made extensive use of studio musicians on every recording).

A few interesting notes about The Monkees. Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills, Nash with or without Young fame) auditioned but didn’t make the cut. He did, however, recommend his friend Peter Tork to be auditioned.  Peter was the only band member other than Michael that could actually play an instrument.  The reason Michael wore a wool hat? It kept his hair out of his eyes while riding his motorcycle. And Michael’s mother invented what was later marketed as “Liquid Paper”.

So here is my favorite Monkee song of Michael’s. The video sucks, sorry. But you get two renditions of the song. The first part, take care to watch the studio musicians listed. The late Glenn Campbell is playing backup for The Monkees! Michael is producing this version, which was used on the show over the version produced by Don Kirschner.

Hope you enjoy it! Leave a comment or two, please.

Peace,
B

More End-Of-The-World Craziness

This morning over on Twitter (@beachdaze if you want to follow me), Emily Miller (@emmillerwrites to follow her) of RNS (@RNS to follow them) posted the daily Slingshot. It’s a short roundup on interesting religious articles. I usually find at least one, if not more articles that I find  more than amusing.  Today’s was about Nibiru or Planet X as it’s been called.  Supposedly this “Planet X” is going to collide with earth on September 23, 2017. Yes friends, we have but days, no, just hours to live! Why were we not informed of this earlier? Surely NASA (more likely Elon Musk) could have come up with a rocket to whisk at least a remnant of humanity away to safety.

But no. And why? Because it’s all BS anyway.  David Meade, the crackpot behind all this is using numerology to decipher the dates.  Numerology? And the number 33 specifically. I just can’t make this up!

Read the entire article here.  Make up your own mind. I’m pretty sure come September 24th, around 5:30PM, I’ll be opening a craft beer as usual. Feel free to join me.

And of course there’s a video for you too.

Peace,
B

Nothing To Say…

I have nothing to say today other than we finally had power restored last night, one week after Hurricane Irma hit.

So I figured I’d post a video for the way I’m feeling.. although I’m way past 45…

Peace,
B

Days Without Power….

Our local power company, FP&L expects to have the power back on NLT 2345 hrs, 17 September (that’s 11:45 PM, Sunday September 17 for those non-military types). That’s 5 days away..  Please send gasoline for the generator and craftbeer to keep me sane….

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I can shower with only the light from a flashlight, or even in the dark, but I’m not going to shave in those conditions. Not to mention that “No power = No CPAP = No sleep”. My co-workers are going to hate me.

Here’s a video to enjoy.

Peace,
B

Never Mind….

(With apologies to Three Dog Night)

Last night I had a great idea for a post. But after about two minutes of writing it had already turned into something I couldn’t control. It was nowhere near what had intended. Not only had the train become derailed, it crashed and burned. There were no survivors. But since I have completely forgotten where my post was headed (much less where it came from), I deleted it. So now, after a very busy morning at work, all I have left is the video that was supposed to tie in with the original title.

So here it is, “I’ve Never Been To Spain” by Three Dog Night…

Peace,
B

Now I bet you’re wondering just what the hell was I going to post to tie into this song???