December 25, 2008

Hark to the World

I'm not very Christmas-centric. Partly it's to do with being an atheist, although that's not a deal-breaker -- religious types like to complain about how people forget the Reason for the Season, but the rest of us know that it's a feature, not a bug, that it's possible to manage one's own Christmas experience to be more Christian, more pagan, or more about enjoying Christmas lights. The thing I dislike the most about Christmas is the ubiquitous damn holiday music. Seriously, I went into three stores one day this month, and I heard "Feliz Navidad" in EVERY SINGLE ONE. This is not okay.

There aren't many holiday songs in heavy retail rotation that I can abide, really. I'm not sure when "Linus and Lucy", the awesome instrumental from "A Charlie Brown Christmas", became considered a holiday radio standard, but I wholeheartedly approve of it. I never get tired of that one. And sometimes I enjoy even the most familiar carols, if they're given an interesting spin...but usually what I consider "interesting" isn't the sort of thing that most stores are going to play. For instance, this rocking klezmer version of "Joy to the World" or this shambling cover of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" by the Fall. Or this sort of thing.

In non-music matters, last night I got recognized by one of my blog readers while putting my name on the waiting list at Joe's Shanghai. That was kind of cool; I briefly felt like a web celebrity. So thanks for that, Sara (or Sarah); raise your hand if you're a fellow blogger and would like a link back! Feel free to do the same, should any of you other readers happen to spot me on one of the brief occasions when I leave my computer. (If you're one of the high percentage of my blog readers who I already know personally but you still wish to contribute to my feeling-like-a-web-celebrity project, you can do so by acting like I'm probably too big to talk to you now that I'm such a big shot, and waving awkwardly as we pass in opposite directions.)

Posted by Francis at 10:40 AM

I've never met you, but you know my friends Leonard and Sumana, and I was slightly staggered to I discovered this, since both my girlfriend and I had independently discovered Holy Tango of Poetry and adored it and then I'd googled you to find this blog and had been reading it for years before I realized that I knew people who knew you. Pleasantly disorienting.

Posted by: Fafner at December 25, 2008 12:13 PM

You love holiday music and you know, it you weblebrity. Just wait till I get that dreidel song posted on youtube.

Posted by: Dianna at December 26, 2008 03:41 PM

My favorite version of a holiday classic is Spiraling's "Do You Hear What I Hear?". You can hear it on the widget at their site.

Posted by: Scott at December 28, 2008 02:17 PM

Hey, I love Spiraling! I didn't know they were still around. (I listened to them back when they were called You Were Spiraling, but lost track of them.) The song you linked to is great! I should probably pick up their latest CDs. Thanks for the link --

Posted by: Francis at December 28, 2008 03:14 PM

Ooh, speaking of lost track, do you have their cover of Take On Me? It's from the You Were Spiraling days, but I can't find it anywhere. It's just the sort of thing that I'm sure everyone would love having forced on them some Friday.

Posted by: Scott at December 30, 2008 06:41 AM

Did they ever actually record it? I feel like it's always been something they played during encores but never did an proper studio version of. And I think I once had a live mp3 of it, but I can't find it now. I'll keep looking. It is a great cover.

Posted by: Francis at December 30, 2008 12:28 PM

Hey Francis -- You're Joe Shanghai famous! I'm not really blogger's blogger, more a professional editor/blogger/writer for Popular Mechanics and DVICE (hence the link above, where I liked to your audition). Nice meeting you!

Posted by: Sarah at January 5, 2009 05:24 PM

I forgot -- I totally do have a personal blog (see link). Also this: , which I will update sometime soon, I swear.

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