Tuesday, December 23, 2008

when did we get jaded?

As I sit here it's December 23rd. I heard Christmas music for the first time today. It wasn't in the car; I've avoided it like the plague. It wasn't at my house; my roommate and I both hate it. It was at my work, and initially I tried to get it turned off. As I was singing along 20 minutes later, I wondered why I avoid Christmas all together these days? 
I used to absolutely LOVE Christmas. I mean loved it. In college I decorated our room with lights, got a miniature Christmas tree, wore a Santa hat, and ate cut-out cookies. We actually made Christmas cards for people on the team (they were sarcastic, back-handed compliment cards, but it's the thought that counts). We had a Christmas tree in our house and we weren't even there five days before or after the actual day. Now, I sit here in my house with not even one decoration. No lights, no tree, no stockings, nothing.
As I try to figure out this jading, I realize that it doesn't even feel like tomorrow is Christmas Eve Day. The anticipation that I felt as a child is replaced by this dread of visiting relatives, and retelling my the career path and objectives and aspirations over and over and over again to relatives who will forget and ask again next year. Maybe that's part of it. 
Of course some excitement is lost with the magic of the holiday fading away with age, but it's more than that. It's probably a little anti consumerism that I've developed over the years, where I loath every toy commercial, electric shaver ad, and radio ad for diets after the holidays. It has alot to do with the weather I'm sure. I've come to despise the bitter cold and worse, snow. It's my most feared four-letter word.
In the end, its probably a combination of the weather and the consumerism that puts me off. I hate having the crazy traffic of every toy-crazed, fucking soccer mom in her SUV 8000 that could slide over me in my cavalier like I wasn't even there. She wouldn't even have noticed that I was stuck to her bumper as she justifies parking in three parking spots because there is a dusting of snow, even though she can't get that oversized refrigerator on hydraulics into the lines in the summer either. I can just imagine her utter indifference at seeing my bumper under hers as she yells at the kids to turn off the DVD player in the back and get the ladder out to load presents into the back.
The only thing that disgusts me more is the thought that there are actually 3 American families out there that don't have family members for this holiday because they were trampled by said soccer moms running to save a few bucks in this tight time. It boggles my mind that in the name of Christmas, utter disregard for human decency was replaced by barbarian-like behavior to get that tickle-my-dick Elmo for little Jimmy.
I will go home and make the best of my Christmas by smiling at my socks and undies and belt and wallet that my mom and dad give me, because I get to see them, hug them, and tell them I love them. I will go drink too many Christmas Ales with my best of friends on Christmas Eve after my family goes to bed, as we have done every year without fail, since 1995: nearly half my life. I have rejected all fanfare of this holiday in order to survive it and enjoy it the way I need to do. I suppose sometime down the road in my life, I will have to make a compromise in my belief to placate my family and possibly kids, but hopefully we will have a happy medium in our family philosophy.
"Body for life" is a mantra my roommate lives by, meaning eat and work out in moderation, and avoid junk during the week, and do what you want on the weekends. "Christmas for life" is the mantra I have developed, avoiding material ridiculousness and crazed holiday banter to enjoya slow day of talking, laughing, and loving the most important people in my life. There is nothing I look forward to more than that. It's the best present I get all year and it's not under the tree. It makes me so happy, I almost want to sing Christmas Carols, almost.

back in the saddle

Sometimes I just get so pissed that I need an outlet, to which my roommate reminds me, " you need to blog man; blog about it." I guess I need to do this more often, and I'm not sure why I don't. I think it's just that I'm sort of a perfectionist and so when deciding to do something, it is either do it and spend a painstaking amount of time doing it well and as close to perfect as possible, or say, "screw it",  and keep watching TV. Sadly, as of late, I choose the latter. I'm not sure why.

I give Matthew Good a ton of credit for the amount of time and effort that he takes to make his blog so intellectually sound and currently relevant. He is someone that I started to respect greatly for his music, and continue to admire even more for his blog.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Recently I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands of all time live for the second time. The band is "Ours". Jimmy Gnecco is the lead singer of this wonderful band, a singer of incredible talent. Jimmy has what is known as a falsetto, a delightfully high singing voice that is often harshly (and falsely) criticized as copying Jeff Buckley. Jimmy openly admits to being a friend and admirer of Buckley's soulful lyrics and haunting sound. I, however, believe that Jimmy and Ours have a distinct and wonderful sound of their own.

Their latest disc, "Dancing To The Death Of An Imaginary Enemy" has been a long time coming, nearly 7 years in the making. Their sound comes alive in what I originally thought to be an over-produced Rick Rubin creation. With further examination, I now believe that it is their finest work, and definately worthy of their already outstanding collection. If you dig the new album, please support this band and go out and purchase "Distorted Lullabies" and "Precious". I will be posting pictures from the show taken with the help of my friend and colleague Will.
Check out some great covers showing the breadth and depth, as well as Jimmy's emense humor and connection with his fans.
Jimmy sings Bohemian Rhapsody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-src_N_cnk&feature=related
Jimmy covering Justin Timberlake's "Cry me a River": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gULV52ymdnk

Jimmy's tribute song to the late Jeff Buckley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uui8dAg_fhg