If we make it though December

Merle Haggard's 1974 track, If We Make It Through December (from the album with the same name), tells an all too familiar tale of a man who's been laid off from his job just before Christmas. He's obviously have a rough go of it, he wants to do Christmas right by his daughter but now he's just hoping she'll understand if it doesn't happen the way it should. Timeless, this song could easily have been written today. The backup vocals, the violin (fiddle?) and the piano flourishes really make the song for me. No doubt that Haggard could have played it as a "fuck you" to The Man, with the narrator going on a drunken and destructive binge; he takes the high road instead, it's poignant, elegant and understated, with a dash of optimism.

Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December


Repost: No One Makes Me Feel The Way You Do

A repost from a couple years ago. Seeing as how Kate Bush just released an album of new material for the first time in 6 years (and before that album, there was a 12 year gap; so 2 albums in 18 years), I thought I'd bring this one back.

Say hello to the magical, Kate Bush. I love the sweet and lilting feel of this track, it's a perfect little gem. Songs like this are the reason that b-sides were invented.

Home For Christmas is a b-side from the Rubberband Girl single, which was taken from her 1993 album, The Red Shoes.

Kate Bush > Home For Christmas


My heart froze many years ago

Today, I stumbled upon This is Christmas, by Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler. These are mostly original tunes and it's a really catchy pop album. If you know me, then you know I like my Christmas tinted blue and served up with a side of heartbreak. This tune couldn't be more catchy, perfect or fitting.

Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler - (Don't Call Me) Mrs. Christmas


All alone at Christmas time

I once saw Aimee Mann and Michael Penn perform this, but I can't remember if it was on one of their Acoustic Vaudeville tours or one of Aimee Mann's Christmas shows that she did for a few years straight. It had to be an AV show. It was originally recorded for Paul Thomas Anderson's Hard Eight, which I believe was scored by Michael Penn and Jon Brion. Anderson later wrote the screenplay for the film, Magnolia, based, in part, upon hearing Aimee Mann's Deathly, which would also be featured on the soundtrack. In any case, it's a cool song; kinda bittersweet, by a couple of my favorite musicians.

Aimee Mann & Michael Penn - Christmastime


Repost: Come On, Santa

This is a repost from a couple years ago. Way back when, I was young and I used to want to write; I used to think I could do it, but I'm actually terrible and full of cliches. If I'd actually kept at it, I'd more than likely be labeled a hack. Maybe I'd have gotten good, who knows, I just didn't have the patience to wade through all of the crap that pours out of my brain. Blog and Twitter posts, however, are a different sort of animal and I feel more comfortable in these mediums.

Every once in a while, however, inspiration strikes and this is one of the more interesting posts I've written of late. I even received a really nice compliment on it, from someone whose opinion I hold in high regard, no less, and it made me feel all fuzzy. It's late right now, nearly 2am on a Friday morning, and I don't feel up to a new post, so I thought I'd push this back out into the world.

You're sitting in a booth in an old greasy spoon, eyes staring into the eternal darkness of the coffee that sits before you. It's Christmas eve and there's a sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree by the door. There's one other patron, a man sitting at the counter, wearing a faded baseball cap, ignoring his plate of sausage and eggs while he drinks from a flask of Wild Turkey that he intermittently pulls from his shirt pocket.

She walks through the doorway and the open doors momentarily allow the wind to announce her presence. She slowly drifts to your booth and the music starts as if it were cued for this moment. For a second she's standing there, staring down at you with big blue eyes shrink-wrapped in tears, and it feels like forever. You give a barely perceptible nod and start to get up. As your frame unfolds, she takes your hand and leads you for a few steps and then stops. She whirls in slow motion to face you and takes a hold of your hips, pulls you close and you both begin to slowly sway to the music. Her arms snake their way up and drape themselves around your neck, her head resting on your shoulders while she breathes sighs into your ears. "Come on, Santa..."

The Raveonettes > Come On, Santa


Christmas is a rockin' time

Good ol' Tom Petty steps in with Christmas All Over again. This was on the soundtrack of the godawful Four Christmases, which I've never seen and I never want to see it, based on the terrible trailers. Despite not having seen it, I have no problem judging this film. Vince Vaughn? C'mon. Reese Witherspoon? Please. If the best thing about your movie is a Tom Petty Christmas song, then you'd better get back to the drawing board. Either that or just go remake Miracle on 34th Street, since you can't write your own movie.

Tom Petty - Christmas All Over Again


I make all the little girls happy

Since Thanksgiving crept up on me and is now just over a week away, I figure it's time to bust out the Christmas tunes. We're gonna start off old school with Clarence Carter's Back Door Santa; smokin' hot. The horns from this song were sampled in another Christmas classic, Run-DMC's Christmas in Hollis.

Clarence Carter - Back Door Santa

50 Words for Snow

As anyone around here knows, I am a huge fan of Kate Bush. I thought I'd let whomever is around that NPR has the new album, 50 Words for Snow, streaming right now. The album itself will be released in a week, on the 21st, but you can get a head start on the listening, if you so desire. I've listened a few times already and I seriously had chills; it's that good. But don't take my word for it, listen for yourself!



I just stumbled upon a new Coeur de Pirate track, it's really great. She has a new album out called Blonde. I'm so all over this.