Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas Music – not a defence, but a promotion!

I’ve been pretty lax this year about writing for solstice. Or for Christmas. Or, frankly, for any other holiday around this time of year that includes cold weather, presents, alcohol and togetherness.

So, late as I am and late as I can, I’m going tell you about the music I’ve been listening to.

OK, lets start with this – I collect Christmas music. I know, I know; I should probably be talking to a support group about this particular eccentricity rather than you. But music is what I talk about on this site, and dammit, I’m going to.

I collect it, and not because it’s cheesy, or laughable, or glurgy – all of which are fair assessments. No, I collect it because some of it is excellent, and I want to celebrate this holiday with excellent music. If you saw any of my posts last year leading up to Christmas, you’ll see that there’s some odd stuff on there, and not all of it is traditionally Christmassy. But then again, what is? Pretty much anything can be festive with enough bells and trumpets. Just look at Prokofiev.

“The Bells; THE BELLS!!”

So, don’t get put off. And with that in mind, listen to these albums:

  • Jethro Tull, rather than it being a cop-out like I expected, made a fantastic Christmas album in 2003, called the obvious “Jethro Tull Christmas Album”. It is REALLY GOOD
  • This year I’ve discovered what this is. Apparently there ARE Christmas protest songs!
  • Courtesy of Greta, I’ve been listening to The Doubtful Palace’s collection of odd christmas songs. Oh yes, they are good – I’m just not sure what to do with them all. All – including a very clever cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, “Christmas Rhapsody” – can be downloaded for free here.

Honourable Mentions:

  • Kevin Bloody Wilson’s “Kev’s Kristmas” – Look, I have it on good authority that this is good stuff, and it’s comedy rock! From Australia! You know, Minchin-land! I haven’t heard this, but I’m waiting until tomorrow for that. ‘Til then.
  • I keep meaning to buy this, and maybe will in the next few hours, but this compilation by Tiny Lights starts with The Futureheads’ “Christmas Was Better In The 80’s”, a cracking track. If the rest is anywhere near as good, then my future purchase will be worth it!

Happy Solstice, all, I’ll see you in a bit. I have an actual Christmas round-up in the works soon, so I’ll be back then. Til then, here’s to you!

***

For those who weren’t there, here is last year’s “Twelve Days of Solstice” as chosen by me, and counting up to Christmas day:

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“What say you to your accusers, Mr ‘The Pope’?”

Just putting this out here, with a brief comment.

No; but what do you expect from an infallible, pedophile-protecting dinosaur from the dark ages?

[Click the image or here for more information.]

Aaaaand a hat-tip to Ophelia Benson, of whom I’ve been reading a lot recently.

Pale Blue Video in a Cold Night Sky

Hat tip to Pharyngula; this is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. Carl Sagan, break-ups, human loneliness and a really really weird barrista. And a GREAT cameo.

I’d stay and chat about it, but I have a german friend to say farewell to.

Maybe I should start watching this show…

Scratch that; definitely. I got linked to this because Little Red Reviewer is away, and I love Patrick Rothfuss. It’s an interview with him by what looks like a really cool little online interview program called “Sword & Laser”. Presumably it focuses on “Sci-Fi & Fantasy”.*

You may have heard me mention a while back that I finished reading “The Wise Man’s Fear” by Rothfuss. I can’t really recommend enough that you read the first book, “The Name of The Wind”, and move on up.

Anyway, I have decided, thanks to this interview, that Patrick Rothfuss is my new writing idol. His answers are exactly the answers I want to give, if I were an eloquent, smart, writerly… person- thingy.

Watch it! The next episode is Jim Butcher! Even better!

Also, he just snuck in that he does NaNoWriMo. YES! AND that he found it difficult. DOUBLE YES!!

And he just described something as “Full of Win”. Just yes.

* I recently got informed that all true fans of Sci-Fi call it SF. I have no idea how to respond to that, other than by saying that when I write it, I will call it what I like.