Monday, November 22, 2004

Reject the decking of any halls with these

Christmas Carols To Be Banned/Burned

1. 'Jazzy' versions of any Christmas carol performed by a pop star who has decided to reinvent themselves as either a jazz singer, or a 'master of the classics.' Rod Stewart, I am looking directly at you.

2. In that same vein, any scat-jazz version of any carol. Jaymz Bee, must I say more? And Holly Cole, we don't need another version of 'Santa, Baby'. One was enough.

3. New Country camp is not acceptable. I might not want to listen to Brooks and Dunn do their inimitable version of 'Sleigh Ride', but if stuck in a room with it I could sum it up to a difference in taste. Were those same people to do a version of "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" with comic Alabama lisps (excuse me, 'lithpth'), I believe there is a case for prosecution.

4. Any carol that requires regional sound effects. I've recently heard loons dropped into 'Silent Night' with (supposedly) native Canadian chanting in the background. This wasn't nearly as bad as 'A Parisian Christmas' which featured sound effects of a lively open-air Parisian market all muttering into a version of 'Holly Jolly Christmas', badly, between Gitanes.

5. Synthesizers should be used sparingly, if at all.

6. Not-quite-carols should be banned in general, and especially now. Anyone who has ever faced a coffee-house solo guitar (or worse, a duet) of Chris DeBurgh's 'A Spaceman Came Travelling' knows what I mean.


...uh, and before I sound truly high and mighty about all this, there is also a long list of guilty pleasures, including-

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas. What can I say? Makes me feel 8.

2. Julie Andrews/Andre Previn's Christmas Collection (A Firestone Tire premium from the late 60's). Perhaps the nicest Christmas album ever available at Esso and Canadian Tire stores during the 1967 Christmas rush.

3. Nat King Cole singing, well, more or less anything Christmas themed. Not proud, but it does strike me as the music my grandmother was humming along to when I was a babe in arms.

4. Bob Marley's version of 'White Christmas'. Look for it, it's out there. Weirdly sincere.

5. The Phil Spector Christmas Album.

6. Sting, singing 'Gabriel's Message'. This does contravene the ban on not-quite-carols since it's kind of a broad musical tribute to the Angel Gabriel rather than Mary and the kid (if anyone else has a better classificaiton, mail it on over). I like the song because it's weird, otherworldly and slightly creepy. A guy in a Santa beard and Santa red coat and hat while simultaneously wearing Bermuda Shorts and red pumps is also distrubing (and in front of the downtown Bay this morning), but not as evocative on a snowy night.

For the record, I'm not saying that Santa in shorts and pumps was directly affiliated with The Bay, I'm just saying he was there.


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