Dedicated to Christmas Eve!
Christmas Eve- Night Flowers Christmas
Christmas Time All Over the World- The Smithereens Christmas with the Smithereens
Kids Come Back Again at Christmas- Sloan Kids Come Back Again at Christmas
Jingle Jangle Christmas- Vibeke ...From All Of Me
Merry Christmas (I'm In Love With You)- Wyatt Funderburk s/t
^Lonely This Christmas- Mud The Singles '67-'78
*Lonely Christmas- Sloppy Seconds Lonely Christmas
*Another Lonely Christmas- Frank Zoda In The Grip
Welcome Christmas Time- Red Cabin Welcome Christmas Time
Christmas Time Again- Cartoon s/t
Up On The Housetop- The Donnas Holiday Favorites: Pop/Rock
*Alone on Christmas Day- Phoenix and Bill Murray s/t
*(It's Going to Be a) Lonely Christmas- Marshall Crenshaw Christmas Time Again!
*Lonely Christmas Eve- Ben Folds How The Grinch Stole Christmas
It's Only Christmas (Cheer Up You Moody Prick)- Fightmilk The Fight Before Christmas
Do You Want To Build A Snowman- The Genuine Fakes Frost
Christmas Morning- Joe Giddings s/t
*Sunny Day For Xmas- Michael Carpenter s/t
*Christmas' Sun- Cirrone s/t
*Christmas On The Beach- Irene Swedesplease Christmas Mix
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town- X Merry Xmas From X
Warm Lovin' Christmastime- Rob Bonfiglio Rockin' The Mistletoe
Dreaming of the Right Christmas- Vista Blue Check It Twice
*Super Sunny Christmas- Redd Kross s/t
*California Christmas- Sketch Middle s/t
*West Coast- The Connection A Christmas Gift For
*Christmas in LA- The Canyon Rays Christmas In California
>What Christmas Means To Me- Stevie Wonder Someday At Christmas
Welcome Christmas- The Grip Weeds Under The Influence Of Christmas
Because I'm Santa- The Dollyrots A Dollyrots Christmas EP
Xmas Song (feat. Ville Valo)- Andy McCoy s/t
Without You By My Side- Warm Soda Noise to the World
The Christmas Song- The Raveonettes s/t
The Christmas Wish- Kermit The Frog A Christmas Together
^Power Pop Peak: #1 British Singles Chart 12/20/74
*SacroSet[s]: Lonely/Sunny Christmas
>Power Pop Prototype: 1967
It's been a few years since I did a new Christmas show so I thought with everything 2016 dumped on us that now was a good time. This means I got to play the Genuine Fakes' fantastic version of "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" (from Disney's Frozen) that came out last
|Merry Christmas from Sloan!|
I really enjoyed Bill Murray's Netflix Christmas Special last year. It was a lot like Murray himself- kind of funny, kind of weird and at times totally surreal. One of the surreal parts for me is after Christmas standards from David Johansen of the New York Dolls (Murray's cabdriver in the movie Scrooge) and Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley they go investigate a ruckus in the kitchen made by the "chefs" played by French pop band Phoenix. Following Bill's introduction "okay, I'm going to you guys, how 'bout you fellas play something that nobody knows," the band launches into "Alone On Christmas Day." I loved the song instantly and truth be told it was the genesis of the "lonely Christmas" theme in tonight's show. Yes the song is about being alone on Christmas but it is so damn catchy and Murray's background vocals are hilarious!
Another great find this year is Fightmilk's "It's Only Christmas (Cheer Up You Moody Prick)" with its opening line:
I bet you're the kind of guy who says that Die Hard is his favorite Christmas movie
HA! The sunny Christmas songs were easier to find. I know I've played it before, but I couldn't resist dropping in Redd Kross' "Super Sunny Christmas," it is an all-time favorite and fit the "sunny" theme too well to ignore.
We went back east for Christmas this year. It was great to see my family on Massachusetts' South Shore. We went in to Boston one day to see my sister-in-law and her kids and Jaime thought it would be fun to do something touristy so we went up to the Prudential Skywalk in the city's second tallest building.
Skywalk goes all the way around the 5oth floor and offers amazing views of Boston. I have never seen the city from this vantage point and it is truly impressive. This picture I took shows how Fenway Park is wedged into the cityscape- they will never build another ballpark like it. It's funny but during the rest of our stay I asked family and friends and not one person had ever been up to the Skywalk. That's why it was such a fun thing to do- in my 20 years in Boston I probably cut through the Prudential Building lobby/mall 100 times and never once thought about going to the top. Maybe next time I'll try the Freedom Trail!
On New Year's Eve day we drove to Hillsdale, NY to visit my nephew Garth, his wife Francesca and their awesome new baby Bruno. My wife's brother Kurt, sister Jenny and their families were there too so it was nice to go from being with my people in Mass to Jaime's people in New York. (They are all "our people" of course but you know what I mean.) We rang in the New Year around a raging bonfire watching a very impressive amateur fireworks show. The fireworks looked like cases of wine or beer, but with a fuse sticking out- no need to open the box just light it and get the hell out of the way! On New Year's Day we drove to New York City to stay at my nephew's place in Chelsea. That night we went to Duplex a cool piano bar in the West Village.
As a historical bonus, Duplex is two doors down from the Stonewall Inn so I got to show the kids where the gay rights movement was born. In fact, that night at Duplex my son Jack was hit on several times further underscoring how far the movement has come.
The next day Jaime and Nica went to a hair salon on the Upper East Side which left Jack and I free to go back down to the West Village. From there we walked over to the East Village and St. Mark's Place, hitting a few record stores along the way before taking a train uptown to meet the ladies at Tavern On The Green for a late lunch. (BTW- Siri has no idea where the restaurant is, she had us on East 80th Street and it's closer to West 67th.) It was cool getting to see the open glass dining room during the day and at night when all the lights came on.
|This could've used a flash, oh well...|
That was Monday and most Broadway theaters were dark so we went to the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater in Chelsea, right around the corner from where we were staying. It was a very funny sketch show and the theater was packed. After that we dropped the tired kids off at the apartment and Jaime and I headed uptown to a piano bar we always go to called Don't Tell Mama on 46th Street. Jaime discovered it in the early 80's when she lived in New York and we've been going there for over 20 years. This night the piano player was a fellow Masshole- we bonded over that and our fear of what this country is coming to. There was even a drama playing out on the small stage as our server, a fantastic singer, shared the story of how she was leaving NYC after five years of struggling to land acting jobs to go back home to Florida. Very moving. (I'd like to point out that it is now 2:30AM on a Tuesday and there are still 30 people in the bar- I LOVE New York!)
The next day Jaime wanted to go to the Met and while I would've loved to go, the kids not so much. We took the train down to the South St. Seaport to get show tickets at the TKTS booth. It was pouring rain and there was no line so we were in and out in five minutes vs. the 2+ hour slog at the booth in Times Square. Despite the rain, I made the kids walk down to the pier so we could get a picture in front of the Brooklyn Bridge.
|I swear he wears that hat just to piss me off!|
It looks like a giant whale skeleton and inside it feels like you're walking around inside a giant whale. Other than that it's just an upscale mall- not sure what any of it has to do with 9/11 but the kids seemed
|Apparently this is Ted's copy|
but I now have my own
Then it was off to the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway to see School of Rock.
Back when I was younger, wild and bold and free,
I can still remember, how the music used to be.
Chords like rolling thunder, loud beyond control,
Every note and lyric branded right across my soul.
Where did the rock go?
Where's the rush of those electric guitars?
Where are all those voices raised in heaven,
Blazing down like shooting stars?
Tell me where is the passion?
Where's the rattle and the roar and the buzz?
Where do last year's one-hit-wonders go to?
And what happened to the girl I was?
Somehow I got older, year by busy year.
Guess the songs kept playing, but I didn't stop to hear.
All that youth and swagger turned to grown-up doubt,
as the world spun like a record, and the music faded out.
After School of Rock we convinced the kids to stay out and go to Sid Gold's Request Room on West 26th Street an old school glitzy piano bar where people from the audience get up and sing for $5 a song. It had a relaxed atmosphere and the song selection was fantastic; along with the standard piano bar fare there were songs by The Replacements, Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes and more. I sang Big Star's "Thirteen," Jaime busted out Patti Smith's "Because The Night," the whole bar joining in on the chorus, and Nica sang "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse, getting several high fives on her way back to our booth. Jack was about to unleash "Ain't No Sunshine" but it was closing time- we'll get him up there next time.
|Sid Gold's Request Room|
That's the thing I love about New York- it always gets you doing things you don't do at home. You stay up later, walk more, eat pizza at midnight and sing in front of strangers. We came home the next day and though I'm sad to say the kids don't love the city like their parents do, I'm glad we were able to give them the NYC experience.
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ALL KINDSA GIRLS #156 CHRISTMAS CRUSH