Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Episode 23: Apologies in Advance

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With the seasonal interruptions to our regularly scheduled lives, I bring you a quickie: Episode 23: Apologies In Advance. And what indiscretions deserve such a title? Listen on, and remember: you've been warned.

You see, I am not a fan of the vast array of commercialism that has attached itself to the calendar date of one of the more important religions' most holy of celebrations, metastasized and spread well beyond its calendrical bounds.

So, in this episode, I am going to vent quite harshly in Xmas' general direction.

In this episode you hear the Vince Guaraldi Trio doing "Skating," a selection from one of the only Xmas recordings I can still celebrate, let alone tolerate. You also hear a piece from Eric Idle of Monty Python fame ending the show. Idle wrote this piece on the road during his Greedy Bastard Tour, a concert road trip undertook in 2003. He describes its debut in Vancouver, BC, in his Greedy Bastard Diary; I quote:

At the end I said I'd like to try out a new piece John [Du Prez] and I had just written, and craved their patience for the world premiere of this new song. Well I could hardly get past the first line. John played a soft Christmassy 'Jingle Bells' intro. It was Bing Crosby time.

"Fuck Christmas," I began.

Well, I had to stop. The gales of laughter that greeted that line were overwhelming. We began again, more huge laughs. They screamed and cheered at every single line. At the end of verse one I had to stop them, they were applauding and yelling so hard. We managed to get through verse two to hysteria but the capper last two lines had them screaming. I have never witnessed anything like it. It was beyond gratifying. . . .

"Fuck Christmas" is going to be a legendary song, a perennial, played and sung wherever disgruntled shoppers gather in superheated malls.

(Eric Idle, The Greedy Bastard Diary, Harper Collins, 2005, pp. 246-247.)

Given the response Idle received, I doubt there is something unusual about voicing grievances about what the main holiday has become.

Oh, and remember the title of this episode when you hear me doing a bit of doggerel in three-part harmony. Sure, I could have had The Wife™ and a few members of her choir do the dirty deed; but I didn't. Let me know what you think of the piece (NOT what you think of the singing!); if the response is positive, I may just make that leap and have actual "singers"—ie. voices that do not deserve to be scare quoted—do a decent recording.

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