Posts Tagged ‘Elf’

The Freedom of Music: The Season’s First Christmas Present

December 23rd, 2012
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One likes to believe in the freedom of music.
Rush – Spirit of Radio.

Early this month the website Landmark Report had a Mark Steyn/Jessica Martin Christmas CD, Making Spirits Bright, giveaway. Write us about your favourite part of Christmas (“what’s you’re favourite?” as Buddy the Elf might ask), and the top ten will win a CD. Seeing as I like to write, like Mark Steyn and Christmas is my favourite, I dutifully sat and composed a short essay on Christmas music. sidebar-1

I am glad to say, I won. Here’s what I wrote:

For me Christmas is about the music. All of it. The deeply religious music of the baroque, the pop standards of the post war era or the rock pop songs that have become so common. Give me a snowy day in December and a song with the word Christmas somewhere, anywhere, in it, and I am somehow moved.

“There’s something about Christmas time,” Bryan Adams sings. In what is an otherwise mediocre song, I get chills when Adams sings about Christmas. The week before Christmas my iPod runneth over with repeat playings of Debbie Gibson singing Sleigh Ride. Music I would never listen to otherwise, becomes must listen, and begins to define how I feel. I even love angry, hate-filled, right wing columnist to the world types singing about a world made of Marshmallow. Tres fromage, for sure, but somehow wonderful.

It’s not all bad, however. Besides Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man Desiring or Handel’s Messiah, masterpieces at any time of year, the popular culture has produced some wonderful Christmas songs. Whether Irving Berlin’s White Christmas or one of the many beautiful versions of Silent Night (my personal favourite), popular music has it’s moments of sublime Christmas beauty. Consider the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, a lush piece with surprising depth; Murray McLauchlan, with Paul Hyde and Tom Cochrane, three Canadians doing the Celtic tinged Let the Good Guys Win; Heavy Metal kings Twisted Sister turning O Come All Ye Faithful on it’s head to wonderful effect.
There is something about Christmas time, something that brings the very best out of a wide variety of artists.

I could probably have gone on from there and, in truth, on rereading the essay feels unfinished. But it was good enough to get the job done, and sometimes that’s enough.

My CD dutifully arrived at the median point between when I won it, Dec 4th, and Christmas. That is to say, I’ve had it now a little over a week.

The CD itself is fun, and throughly enjoyable. As a singer, Steyn thankfully has a day job. It’s not that he’s bad, mind, it’s that the style of music usually requires better. The duo get away with Steyn’s singing because: he never takes himself too seriously; he takes the music seriously; the arrangements are excellent; so is Jessica Martin. A big part of the fun of the CD is listening to Mark Steyn have fun – you can hear the grin on his face.

Christmas is a fun light time, and this is a fun light album. It is, in fact, my new favourite.

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Saturday Fluffernutter: The Bah, Humbug! Edition

December 22nd, 2012
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All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorChristmas Miracle, some are calling it. Gone off his bloody meds again, others whisper.

London’s infamous “tight fisted hand at the grindstone,” of whom it is said blind man’s dogs avoid, has had an apparent overnight transformation. Last heard mumbling over a bowl of gruel in front of the fire about underdone potatoes and gravy, Ebenezer Scrooge himself woke up recently dancing in his nightshirt and yelling at passing children to “go and fetch the prize turkey.”xmas-fluffincolor-150x150

The Beadle had to be called when he attacked Mrs. Dilber, the washing woman, in the stairwell, but as no actual harm had come and a promise of money, plus higher wages was given, all was forgiven.

While some suspect his clerk had slipped a nip of “the best gin punch in all of London,” into Scrooge’s broth bowl, others that his Nephew Fred rattled him the day before offering Christmas greetings. Either way, he’s become a bloody nuisance and there is talk of boiling him in his own pudding if he doesn’t knock off the “Christmas the whole year long” routine.

fluffincolorScandal is brewing in Bedford Falls, NY, as the manager of the Savings and Loan is about to be indicted for misappropriation of funds. It appears something in the neighbourhood of $3,000 was unaccounted for when the bank inspector arrived for a surprise accounting. Local banker, and board member of the S&L, Henry Potter, has sworn out a complaint for the arrest of George Bailey, manager of the business that has been owned and operated by his family for 2 generations.

Bailey has cut and run, getting into a bar fight before crashing his car into a large tree not far from the waterfall. A Christmas Eve fundraiser put on by Mary Bailey, George’s wife, is being held at the Bailey house. All are invited.

fluffincolorYa! for Hohman Indiana’s saviour, Ralphie Parker.

Local bad guy, and his marauding horde, Black Bart, recently attempted to maraud on the Parker household. The young hero Ralphie fought them off with some dead-eye shooting with his Red Ryder Carbine Action, Range Model Air Rifle, with a compass on the stock and a thing that tells time.

Black Bart rode off after the encounter vowing to return, but left his horde behind, unconscious and seeing little birds, so a return seems unlikely anytime soon.

fluffincolorOh, oh, Christmas Eve in the slammer for The ElfMan. Buddy Hobbes is the six- foot tall man/elf who recently learned he’s not really and elf, but a human. He journeyed through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of curly, twirly gum drops and walked through the Lincoln Tunnel, arriving in New York hoping to find his real father.

While working at Gimbel’s Department Store, Buddy spotted the store Santa, and accused him of being a fake. After accusing the Santa of sitting on, “a throne of lies,” Santa attacked. The ensuing melee caused carnage at the store, resulting in arrest and banishment from Gimbel’s for both Buddy and Santa.

After being bailed out, it is rumoured that Buddy went nightclubbing with Lindsay Lohan.

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