Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm...fucking...DONE.

Seriously. I am NOT going to even bother to apply for the Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway scholarship again. It's pointless. It's clear that their "panel" is looking for something or someone I am clearly not. I'm not putting myself through the anxiety of having to wonder whether or not I stand a snowball's chance in the sun at this thing again. It's obvious I don't. So, I'm not going to apply for the scholarship again. Furthermore, since I KNOW that money is always going to be an issue for me, I know that there's nary a chance I'll ever be able to afford to go...so basically, I'm never going to get to go. It's fine. Really. I've had a lovely string a rejections lately...my manuscript is floating in purgatory...I've had bad writer's block. Perhaps it's a sign. Shit, I didn't even place in the Medford Arts Center's poetry contest, so why would I think I'd get this? I'm starting to lose my desire to write. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Try these instead...

So here's five Christmas songs that I've come to really like. Some may surprise you. There are many others I like, but I've come to like these the most.




5. Martina McBride - O Holy Night
I first heard Martina's version of this song on a compilation cd. I believe it was called "Mother and Child" and it sounded interesting, but it mostly disappointed...except for Martina's version of this song. I've never seen this a cappella version before, but if there's any doubt that this woman can emote with her voice, this should erase that doubt. I prefer her older material, which was stronger and more pure country, but I'll always like her version of this song the best.


4. Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
BNL can play it straight sometimes, in case you didn't know. In fact, they have many great songs that aren't goofy or playful. I wasn't much of a fan of this song before I heard this version. It doesn't hurt that it's BNL and Sarah, two acts I've seen a combined six times. It's hip and cool and I like it a lot.


3. Dido - Christmas Day
This is one of those rare cases when an artist creates their own Christmas song and makes something really good. I've seen Dido live, and she's quite good. Anyway, I love how she can create a sort of emotional calm. It's well written, it's sung sweetly and with subtlety. It makes me think of winter in a cabin on a mountain. I have no idea why. 


2. Mediaeval Baebes - Gaudete
There isn't much I don't like from these ladies, so perhaps I'm a little biased here, but I get entranced by their version of this one. I also find it funny that some of my favorite Christmas songs are religious, being that I'm an atheist. I love me those mournful sounding church songs. Anyway, it's sung in Latin, in case you couldn't figure that out. Katharine Blake's solo is really pretty in this one and when they come together on the refrain, it's magical. This version, to me, is the definitive one. No one does it like the Baebes.


1. Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You - Billy Squier
Ok, so there's a little bit of a cheese factor here...but it's definitely a cool, rockin' 80's Christmas song from a guy who had some kick ass songs like "The Stroke", "Everybody Wants You" and "My Kinda Lover". I don't get through the holiday season without listening to this song. Besides, shouldn't Christmas rock at least a little?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm feeling very festive this year, yet...

I have a problem with Christmas music. See, I like a lot of the traditional songs done by the original artists. I like when people create a new Christmas song that's actually good. (It's rare, but it happens.) Most of the time, I prefer a subtle, graceful and pretty song that's not over the top and filled with unnecessary melisma. (See Mariah Carey on this one...for the melisma, that is.) So, I found myself making a mental list at work today...of my most HATED Christmas songs. Mind you, I like the old stuff like Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas", Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas", Bing Crosby's "White Christmas", Andy Williams' "Happy Holidays"...just as much as I like Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman", Dido's "Christmas Day" and my personal favorite, "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You" by Billy Squier. (Yes, I'm SERIOUS.) I even kind of like Wham's "Last Christmas", but mostly it grew on me thanks to C...it's her favorite. My favorite Christmas album? That would by the Mediaeval Baebes' "Mistletoe and Wine". It's like nothing else you'll hear. Trust me. So anyway...here's a short list of hated Christmas songs.




5. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" - Mariah Carey
Yeah, I hate this fucking song. It's not sweet, it's not suggestive...it's over the top. It's excessive and everything I hate about how she wastes her talent, which at this point, is questionable to begin with. All I want for Christmas, Mariah, is for you to shut the fuck up.


4. This Christmas - Donny Hathaway (and EVERYONE else who covers it...)
Ok...I do believe that Donny Hathaway was talented. Let's get that out of the way right away. He was troubled, but talented...and this was a mistake. This song is annoying. I particularly hate the way EVERY SINGLE PERSON who covers this song sings the words "This Christmas" as "This Criss-muss". It's annoying as all fuck. Sorry. When this song is on, it is NOT a very special Criss-muss. It's fucking grating.


3. Happy X-mas (War Is Over) - John Lennon
Again, I respect John Lennon...though I'm not really a fan of his solo work. I just think he shlocks it up too fucking much in this song. The lyrics are so fucking tree hugging, dope smoking-ly stupid that I want to barf. And THEN, we get to here Yoko sing...and I want someone to stab me in the ears and let me die. Her voice is the sound of cats getting sodomized. John, Yoko and a Christmas song...FUCK NO. 


2. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band-Aid
I can't even stop explaining on how many levels this song both sucks and blows. Not only does its sentiment fall flat, but it's written so fucking poorly that it borders on insulting. I was talking to my friend Rennie (who is Liberian) about this song today and he said it was like they were mocking Africans. So yeah...it's a piece of shit. The most hysterical part in this song? Bono's line: "Well, tonight thank god it's them instead of you!". HA HA HA! Yeah! Dodged that bullet...being born in America. (Or in Mr. Paul "Bono" Hewson's case, Ireland...that self righteous dickhead.) "There won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime". Yeah, arid environment. That'll do it. Fucking geniuses. Do you even think Africans give a shit about Christmas? Ugh. I fucking hate this song. Bob Geldof himself apologized for writing this pitiful piece of buffalo shit.


1. Paul McCartney - Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime
You know...when I hear the opening keyboard part on this song, not only do I know EXACTLY what it is, but I want to throw myself in front of a moving vehicle. It makes me want to curl up on the floor in a fetal position and rock like a fucking psych ward patient. Not only is this easily the worst Christmas song of all time, but it's probably one of the 10 worst SONGS OF ALL TIME. I say this with zero hesitation. It's detestable. It's horrid. The music is shit. The delivery is shit. It's one giant ball of suck wrapped with a bow, placed under all of our trees and ready to suck the life out of our holiday cheer. There's a website called Music Videos That Suck...it's on there. I am hardly alone in my complete and utter hatred of this abomination on mankind. Sir Paul...you make me hate you for this.