Nearly there

Tomorrow, I’ll be going to my parents for Christmas. I’ll be back home on the 27th, for, you know work. Saturday, I’m going to see Krezip in Amsterdam, but I’m traveling via my parents and a friend who’s also going. I’m still debating whether or not to take the 31st off from work, because I’m not entirely sure it’s worth to travel up and down for half a day, as I’m ordered to make an appearance with some friends. Work does resume on January 2nd, so I’ll have to go home on New Years’ Day anyway. Then the following Saturday, it’s my father’s birthday… followed by a volleyball tournament in Amersfoort at 10AM the next day.

If you’re keeping score, that’s up to four times the same trip, in two weeks time. Woo-fuckin-hoo.

Here’s the final batch of seasonal sounds.

  • Kinderen voor Kinderen is a Dutch children’s choir, who have released albums since 1980. The fifth came out in 1984, and it’s probably the first one I can remember. “Als de lichtjes doven” [mp3] has a message about war, famine and immigration that is still a relevant today: Christmas seems to promise us peace, time and time again / But the cannons sound again / When the lights go down. I know, musically and vocally it may probably the worst song I offered here, but this is nostalgia talking
  • Their 11th album came out in 1990, and contains “De Kerstezel” [mp3]. It’s the story of a boy who has to play the donkey’s ass in the nativity play, and gets teased about it. Kinderen tegen Kinderen (from the Sinterklaas song below) have covered it, and it’s on their website. Or if you’d like it covered as if it were 80’s hair metal, there’s the Patatje Metal version on megaupload.
  • South Park’s Mr. Garrison has a message too: merry fuckin Christmas [mp3].
  • In 2001, Within Temptation released a Christmas song upon the world, praising Ragnagord, the Evil Reindeer Overlord. Merry Gothic Christmas [mp3].
  • Finally, Sum 41 teamed up with Tenacious D, made a list of things they want, and sung about it in “Things I Want” [mp3].

Have a nice one, and see you on the other side.

Like I said I might

The second band I totally fell for was Savatage. I picked up their then current compilation album From the Gutter to the Stage, and their blend of theatrical metal and symphonic rock totally blew me away. In a short time, I picked up all their albums, and being the total idiot I am, I just had to find out everything there was to find out about them. It was just a matter of time before I would get to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

I was going to work out the story, but then I got bored. Do your own research, crapdammit. Here are some songs.

  • Savatage’s “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” [download] was the song that started it all. It first appeared on the Savatage album Dead Winter Dead. After being rebranded to TSO, it was a huge radio hit, and is still the trademark song.
  • “A Star To Follow” [download] is taken from Christmas Eve and Other Stories.
  • “The Three Kings and I (What Really Happened)” [download] features the late Daryl B. Pediford on vocals is from the second album, The Christmas Attic. It’s the funky but true story of the the Three Kings.
  • “Wizards in Winter” [download] from The Lost Christmas Eve is very close to be overly pompous, but hey, what’s wrong with that?
  • “What Child Is This?” [download] is by far my most favorite song from the last album. Vocals are by sometimes Steinman-collaborator Rob Evan, which might explain the Broadway-vibe I get from this.

As a final note to TSO-mastermind Paul O’Neill: you can go ahead and keep making these very lucrative Christmas albums, but can the fans have Savatage back?

First Lines: No one belongs here more than you

Ever since I first saw Miranda July‘s movie Me and You and Everyone We Know, I loved it. Earlier this year she launched a website for her upcoming short stories collection. Loved it to bits. The website. The book, not so much.

Maybe it’s one of those books that need more time and a second read. We’ll see.

No one belongs here more than you. Stories by Miranda July
It still counts, even though it happened when he was unconscious.

Random thoughts for today

Some things that were running through my mind today:

  • Earlier today, the song “One of Us” was played on the radio. The second verse asks,

    If God had a face, what would it look like
    And would you want to see
    If seeing meant that you would have to believe
    In things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets.

    And I think that, yes, I would like to see God showing up and showing His face. That is probably all that’s needed to make a believer out of me.

  • Related to this, Desmond Child used this song to defend his nonsensical lyrics for “If God Could Talk“. This discussion between him and Todd Rundgren is gold.
  • Two days ago, I received a copy of Karla DeVito’s 1982 Christmas-single, “Santa Claus is Coming to my House”. [mp3 download / lyrics] (Karla is the woman you see but don’t hear in the video for that song by Meat Loaf.) Maybe I’ll post some more seasonal music next week, to counter all the crappy Christmas music.
  • Put the FSM back in ChriFSMas.
  • In the light of Ike Tuner’s passing: can you value work produced by someone whose private life and acts you find appalling?
  • To quote the great philosopher Shania Twain, You must be joking, right?: Christian teenagers watch porn, too. (in Dutch)

The Thing that Should not Be

Most people will know about my strong dislike of that worthless excuse for a browser that is Internet Explorer, and some will even share it. So when I found a tutorial for a plush IE Voodoo Doll, I LOL’d. And then I just had to get all arts-and-crafty:

The Thing that Should not Be