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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MLB: Holiday hits: Players dish out favorite winter tunes

“All I Want For Christmas Is an Alien Invasion”...and it can’t come soon enough.

MLB.com asked Major League Baseball players for their favorite holiday songs, and in Barry Zito’s case, there could be only one at the top of the charts. The Giants’ pitcher is listening again to Nat King Cole’s time-honored classic, The Christmas Song.

“We listened to it my whole life,” Zito said, “and it is the most warm and nostalgic version of any song for me because he was my dad’s best friend.”

...Explaining his choice of White Christmas, Reds reliever Sam LeCure said: “The person I like singing it is Elvis Presley and the Jordanaires. It’s like a gospel group singing. I like how they do ‘White Christmas.’ I got that CD the other day.”

... Finally, we have this exchange between Indians rookie reliever Cody Allen and MLB.com Indians beat reporter Jordan Bastian:

Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

“That’s a tough one, because I honestly don’t like Christmas music. I mean, I like Christmas, but I don’t like Christmas music. Probably the only one I can bear is the Alvin & The Chipmunks Christmas tape. Remember that one?”

You don’t like Christmas music, but you like The Chipmunks’ songs?

(Laughing) “I was young, man. I was little. That was funny to me! All the other ones, I didn’t like. Actually, Jeff Foxworthy’s song, Redneck 12 Days of Christmas. That one is pretty good.”

Repoz Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:46 AM | 114 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: music

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   101. jmurph Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4329248)
Rather than double-check to confirm my righteousness, I'll just scold you all for not mentioning "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" by Judy Garland yet. Because it's sort of obviously the greatest Christmas song. Duh.
   102. villageidiom Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4329264)
Rather than double-check to confirm my righteousness, I'll just scold you all for not mentioning "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" by Judy Garland yet. Because it's sort of obviously the greatest Christmas song. Duh.
I'll give you that one, but she gets demerits from me for making a bad song worse. In her version of The Christmas Song, she substitutes "rainbows" for "reindeer". As in, "to see if rainbows really know how to fly". With any Christmas song I cringe when I hear her voice, in anticipation of how she'll screw this one up. But she nails the song you mention, and deserves respect for that.

I think if I had to choose just one carol to sing, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas might be it.
   103. OsunaSakata Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4329293)
We cannot discuss "Jingle Bell Rock" without giving props to this video, in which Hall and Oates play a gay couple hosting a Christmas party for their friends, including female impersonator G.E. Smith. Groundbreaking, and very brave of them for 1982.


This is probably the first image that pops into my head when I hear the song. At the time, I didn't perceive them as gay, I just thought it was cheesy, which added to my general dislike of the song. My other image is probably generic American Bandstand dancing to the Brenda Lee version.

Some of my local favorites were playing for free outside the Corcoran Gallery when who should turn up to play for free as well but John Oates.
   104. OsunaSakata Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4329298)
Rather than double-check to confirm my righteousness, I'll just scold you all for not mentioning "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" by Judy Garland yet. Because it's sort of obviously the greatest Christmas song. Duh.


I'll give you that one, but she gets demerits from me for making a bad song worse. In her version of The Christmas Song, she substitutes "rainbows" for "reindeer". As in, "to see if rainbows really know how to fly". With any Christmas song I cringe when I hear her voice, in anticipation of how she'll screw this one up. But she nails the song you mention, and deserves respect for that.

I think if I had to choose just one carol to sing, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas might be it.


Judy Garland sang Over the Rainbow on her 1963 Christmas special. When you're used to seeing it sung by a girl in dead-end Kansas, seeing it sung by a woman in what looks like furs is a bit incongruous,
   105. just plain joe Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4329305)
flip


3 ounces brandy
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
2 teaspoons heavy cream (optional)
1/2 cup crushed ice
Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients except the nutmeg in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a 5-ounce stemmed glass, and grate a little nutmeg on top.

For your holiday enjoyment; apparently flips are no longer served hot, I suppose this is a result of not having fireplace pokers readily to hand.

   106. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4329309)
I didn't perceive them as gay, I just thought it was cheesy,


That was probably more their intent, yes.


Some of my local favorites were playing for free outside the Corcoran Gallery when who should turn up to play for free as well but John Oates.


The jokes write themselves, really. Did The Other Guy From Wham show up too?
   107. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4329313)
Jingle Bell Rock - This is the polar opposite. Has there ever been a bad version of this?


I checked this against the Bobby Rydell-Chubby Checker version. It has every indicia of suckiness, and yet remains undeniably bouncy.
   108. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4329379)
I hadn't heard Chiron Beta Prime for a while; thanks for the link in #92. I'm a big Jonathan Coulton fan although that's not one of my favorite songs of his.

When I was younger, we used to do "And the Glory of the Lord" from the Messiah every year, at least once; that's the easiest piece to sing, and I don't think the director trusted us to do anything else :) I still have the tenor and bass parts of that stuck in my memory. I've only been in a choral performance of the "Hallelujah Chorus" once, and it was one of the more miserable efforts in which I ever participated. My daughter was in a kids version of the Messiah when she was in eighth grade - it was scaled back and simplified quite a bit, of course, but whoever arranged it (and I don't remember who did) did a really good job of keeping the spirit of the original while adapting it to younger musicians.

-- MWE
   109. esseff Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4329425)
Rather than double-check to confirm my righteousness, I'll just scold you all for not mentioning "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" by Judy Garland yet. Because it's sort of obviously the greatest Christmas song. Duh.


That's kind of an odd duck. Today, it's something of an uplifting family Christmas thought, but when Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin wrote it, it was a rather bitter, sardonic song, written for a specific plot point in "Meet Me in St. Louis." It comes just as the Smith family learns, at Christmas, that it will be uprooted from the paradise that is St. Louis' Central West End and relocated in big, bad New York City. It's a sad moment in the film.

Originally, Blane wrote the opening lyric, "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last." Vincent Minnelli put his foot down and said the song couldn't be THAT dark. Other changes have been made over the years to turn the song around. For example, the original "in a year, our troubles will be out of sight" became, in some versions, "from now on, our troubles will be out of sight." The line "until then we'll have to muddle through somehow" became "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough."

Basically, over the years the song got stood on its head, the "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" for an earlier generation.


   110. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4329427)
Has anyone mentioned Fairytale of New York by the Pogues? That's a good one, if you like your holidays to be a combination of sentimental, scuzzy, violent and drunk as I do.
   111. esseff Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4329436)
Fairytale of NY in #78
   112. jmurph Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4329446)
That's kind of an odd duck. Today, it's something of an uplifting family Christmas thought, but when Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin wrote it, it was a rather bitter, sardonic song


Oh yeah, I know. I like the sadness. What are the holidays without bitterness, tears, and regret? Come on!
   113. esseff Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4329449)
The 2013 popnarcotic.com holiday mix was just posted. Haven't listened yet, but according to the accompanying note, it's a little different this year after Newtown.
   114. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4331222)
Darlene Love did her annual appearance on Letterman last night. 71 years, sounds and looks great:

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
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