Thursday, December 14, 2006

Half-Life Radio - the Christmas Edition

I just posted the second Half-Life Radio 'cast here - the Carolina Christmas edition. The songlist will be posted in the comments of this post. In case you missed last week's initial blogcast, it's still out there too (follow the same link as above). As always, your input and comments are most appreciated! I'm still working on the dynamics using Audacity and hopefully this one won't go from inaudible to ear-splitting quite so much.

If you're in the mood for Christmas music, the dB's and Friends Christmas Time CD from a dozen or so years ago has been re-released as Christmas Time Again, with a couple of tunes dropped and some more added. In addition to various Holsapple and Stamey configurations, there's Big Star, Don Dixon, Whiskeytown and more. I missed it first time around but since the folks at Schoolkids were kind enough to order this one for me, I'm waiting on them rather than ordering from Amazon.

mapgirl was kind enough to email me and let me know that the dB's are going to be at the Cradle in February - it's been announced on the dBs website but hasn't shown up on the Cat's Cradle schedule yet. Go say hey to mg as it sounds like she's planning to take a break from blogging for awhile. Boo!

Also coming up at the Cradle are Southern Culture and Dex and Sarah Romweber this Saturday, the Brown Mountain Lights with Hege V (Viva Nashvegas!) in January and the ever-popular Neil Diamond All-Stars in February. It's been a musical holiday season already, as we went to Memorial Hall for the NC Symphony Pops concert last Friday and were back the next night for the NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra's Christmas concert. We've got SCOTS Saturday (and maybe Two Dollar Pistols at the Cave Friday) and ex-Red Clay Rambler Jim Watson's annual Christmas sing-along is at the Cave next Thursday. Silver Bells indeed!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Vacation - Had to Get Away

Because our wedding anniversary fell just after the Open Studio Tour and during JennySlash's semester, we put off our celebration until this past week. We'd been planning a short trip up to Williamsburg (first time either of us had been since we were kids) and we tacked on a weekend in DC first. Great opportunity to do some ogling of Christmas decorations in both places, eat some good food (Old Ebbitt Grill brunch... yum!) and just spend some time together.

The Willard Hotel all done up for the holidays...

Since they've closed the street north of the White House, there's apparently a hot street hockey game there every Sunday.

We also made it to newly-reopened Museum of American Art - Luis Jiminez' Vaquero has always been a favorite.

Williamsburg was fun (if cold) - I highly recommend a visit during the holidays for the decorations!

Now of course we're worn out and it's still two weeks 'til Christmas!

Christmas Tunage

JennySlash pointed out that the digital music selection on our cable has two Christmas channels - their usual "Sounds of the Seasons' channel and the "Traditional" Christmas music, which JS calls the Bing Crosby and Christina Aguilera channel. As I thought about that and listened to Captain Sensible's One Christmas Catalogue being played throughout Southpoint Mall, I pondered (as I am wont to do this time of year) about what IS traditional Christmas music? When I was growing up, it was stuff like Away in a Manger and O Little Town of Bethlehem and there were already people bemoaning the secularization of Christmas as evidenced by Silver Bells and Run Rudolph Run. I have no idea if kids growing up today will think of all of the cookie-cutter urban rapper/soul/R&B crap that passes for holiday music today as traditional, but here's my Top 10 Christmas songs that I can't make it through the season without (in no particular order):

1. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
2. The Closing of the Year - The Musical Cast of "Toys"
3. Winter Wonderland - Johnny Mathis (pretty much this whole album could go on the list)
4. Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - T-Bone Burnette (the Barenaked Ladies/Sarah Maclachlan version is a close second)
6. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
7. Linus and Lucy - The Vince Guaraldi Trio
8. Home for the Holidays - the dBs
9. All I Want For Christmas - Timbuk 3
10. Mary X-Mess - Sun 60

Now that I look at it, that's pretty traditional - as much as I enjoy stuff like Root Boy Slim's Christmas at K-Mart and Wall of Voodoo's Shouldn't Have Given Him a Gun for Christmas, the stuff on the list is the stuff that I can't go through the holiday without. What about you guys?


No More Yeinke My Weinke!

If the Panthers are benching Delhomme for Chris Weinke, the season truly is over. Jake injured his thumb.... r-i-i-i-g-g-h-h-h-t-t-t.