It's everywhere can you feel it.
It's in the air that Christmas spirit.
Back to the snow and below zero temps that's so commonplace and typical in December the Almanac was right sad to say about a very cold Christmas. A record 18 below and even with a new battery the fucking car had a hell of a time to start up this morning. In the great spirit of things I had to work on Christmas Eve too. But hey they gave us Columbus Day off.
This suck ass weather ended up being a topic on conversation at Brad Deery, while getting my new car's oil changed and tired rotated (If you're in Maquoketa, I recommend Brad Deery for your new car needs) I got to talking to a couple old timers up there and they were mentioned record cold years, particularly 1978-1979, when the last of December and most of January was below zero all that time. History has shown that in the Christmas of 1913 folks in Dubuque were treated to a brown Christmas. I'd post the link but you have to be a subscriber to see that. Fuck that, just go with the memories and Google if you can the link that you don't have to pay to see such memories.
This Christmas yielded no new Christmas music to speak of. But there was no shortages of annoying commercials with the overplayed Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, another song I'm beginning to detest with a passion, played on that creepy Apple Computers spot. And even more puke inducing, those Honda Michael Bolton ads, it would have worked one time but after 2,356 times of seeing it you just want to punch the PR guy who thought of that bright idea of getting a has been to annoy you to buy a junk car.
This season, my time spent at Wally World was minimal at best but before the onslaught of 7 and a half inches of snow, decided that I had to venture out to the one and Anamosa in the afternoon. Of course the usual bad cart shoppers and dipshit teenagers yacking on cellphones were out in droves, which was why I went to Anamosa rather than Marion or worse CR or Dubuque, the lesser of the evils. And then it was off to Maquoketa to Happy Joe's for buffet, to which the service was so GD bad, that I didn't leave any tip. It's always amazing to me that when you're pressed for time, that you usually get the worst help, they don't wait on you, they don't come back to refill your overpriced drinks and waiting for the check, I'd would have been an hour late to get my car's oil changed. When it comes to myself, I'm low maintenance, come around every 10 minutes or so, and the secret to having a bigger tip is refills, the more you do, the more Georgies you get. But a lack of caring and you'll be stuck with your 2 dollar an hour wage plus tips, provided only when service is provided. But I hardly noticed anybody that tips the Chinese lady at Bamboo Gardens, so I usually leave a 2 dollar tip if I'm doing supper there or a dollar on the cheaper lunch. There's not much good Chinese food places around, the one in Marion across from Wally World is a dive, Metro Buffet's food is so fucking dry you choke on it and Green Leaves closed down both their places. Can't figure why they even attempted to go to Anamosa but they didn't last long there. Even though I don't make a whole helluva lot at my job, I still do my best to reward those who put forth an effort to keep the drinks a flowing.
So anyway, this time of season, the Christmas everybody used to love is more worse than the Chinese water torture. Does every American Idol chick singer has to scream out the coda to O Holy Night aka Celine Dion or was that Miss Celine? Made my ears bleed anyway. And the usual slamming the classics, Do They Know It's Christmas one of the worst Christmas songs ever, with the Feed The World line sung, Make No More meaning quit making more babies. Or the John Lennon song, nobody wants to slam it since it came from John himself but after hearing that five times in a eight hour workshift at Housemakers' in the Mall I'm sure they'll be going bah humbug. Even Sheriff Joe in Arizona cut back on the holiday songs after both inmates and co workers were complaining about the same old same old songs over and over again. Even Mary wants more variety. Play something different dick head!
Since I paid for a year's worth of satellite radio, I have been listening to more of it in the new car, whereas in the silver car it's either CDs or silence. Underground Radio, the most listened to really has stepped up with alot of Bruce Springsteen or Ronnie Spector and neither one I can take a whole lot. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, fun when it came out, but I doubt if I'll play it here anytime soon. Or Father Christmas by The Kinks. But I have my favorites. And since it's the usual time for the Top Ten, let's see what I can do by bringing out the lesser known. But I can only tolerate so much Christmas music even before Christmas.
The Christmas top ten of 2013
1. Santa Claus/Don't Believe In Christmas by The Sonics I got the most dirtiest looks from the old ladies that I worked with at work when I played Don't Believe In Christmas off Bummed Out Christmas. Basically a rewrite of Too Much Monkey Business but it's punk garage around 66 or 65. B side is a rewrite of Farmer John and can be found on The Best Of Cool Yule on Rhino (now out of print).
2. My Favorite Things-Herb Alpert Herb was a big deal back in the 60s and his south of the border sound was perfect for pop radio. Thought about adding on his version of the overplayed The Christmas Song but chose this instrumental remake to which John Coltrane did and added 13 more minutes to his version. No Christmas station would ever played that.
3. Christmas Dragnet-Stan Freberg His Green Christmas was way ahead of its time and if you don't believe me, turn on cable TV and see of all the Made In China bullshit of I phones, Cellphones, video games and what have you. But Stan always did a dead on soundalike of Jack Webb. Daws Butler is guest star and better known for his vocal use in Huckaberry Hound and other Hanna Barbera cartoons as well.
4. It's About That Time-The Idea Back in 1991 the guys in Shoes decided to make a Christmas album but using power pop bands and most of them did their own songs, this was probably the best out of the bunch. Very hard to find, I found one at the Crowded Closet for two dollars.
5. Christmas Spirit?!? The Wailers Another Christmas tradition song in the Crabb house, this perhaps one of the best Dylan parodies that anybody came up with. Until Bob gave us his Christmas album a few years ago. That's a parody upon itself.
6. Scrooge-The Townedgers The most paradoxical song of this Christmas top ten, but Diggy Kat played it on his Christmas show last night. Bizarre to point out that in their long history of music that Christmas With The Townedgers remains the best selling TE album in their history. Much to the TE's chagrin.
7. What I Want For Christmas-Nicole Blackman Another Christmas classic in the Crabb house, this is basically Nicole's want list for her Christmas. I want you to go away...... Classic.
8. Who Says There Ain't No Santa Claus-Ron Holden And The Thunderbirds Another long lost R&B classic and done in the style of The Coasters but with a twisted ending. And they gave me...The Chair?!? (I told you there ain't no Santa Claus) hee hee hee.
9. Wrap Yourself In A Christmas Package-Charles Brown Long time ago the great blues pianist Brown made a Christmas album for King Records that came out on CD. Kinda reminds me of the first Buck Owens Chrismas album, plenty of originals rather than the overplayed you know what. And he was the first to compose Merry Christmas Baby too.
10. The Chipmunk Song-Canned Heat with The Chipmunks This still cracks me up everytime I hear it. The thought of Simon, Theodore and Alvin hooking up with the Bear, the Owl and the rest of The Heat in a tune that I never heard till I got the Christmas best of. You really can't top it.