Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Rock Canon (2011 Playlist)

The days of the mixed tape are gone. The days of the mix CD are waning. The age of the iPod/MP3 mix is here. I fondly pine for the days of the mix tape and CD though. There was something special about sharing some of your freshly discovered music with your best friend, girlfriend, or boyfriend. One can share iPod playlists and such, but somehow it’s just not the same. While progress might be leaving the shared music experience of the mix tape/CD in the past, the internet age has allowed for a different kind of music sharing. I’m not referring to illegal downloading. I’m referring to music blogging. Since Rolling Stone hasn’t decided to give me a call and ask me to share my brilliant musical insights with their readership…yet…I’ve taken to spreading my musical revelations via this blog…

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I seem to remember that it was maybe from Quentin Tarantino that I heard the phrase, “I truly believe that everyone in life can be categorized as either an Elvis man or a Beatles man.” I think he stated this during an interview that comprised one of the extra content shorts on the Pulp Fiction DVD, or some such interview from the time. I say “seem to remember” because this simple, yet wildly and analogously packed, statement rang so true to me that it has become part of my underlying psyche and basic outlook on life. This observation is so powerful that the man who first came up with this idea, and planted it in my head, has become irrelevant in opposition to the strength of this simple truth. The easiest way to demonstrate the insightfulness of this observation is through an analogy itself. Picture these two rock stars, and their body of work, in your mind: Bono of U2 and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Bono is an Elvis man. Eddie Vedder is a Beatles man. If you can’t understand and easily see what this simple observation reveals then “nothing wonderful will come of” the observations below, to paraphrase one of this season’s most read, respected, and retread writers…

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour 2011

Once you’ve gotten to the point in your life where you have a pretty solid working memory of 30 plus Christmases, you’ve also pretty much heard all of the Christmas music ever made and recorded (and are sick to death of it). But…when a group of musicians comes up with a new, yet reverently classic, spin on the whole Christmas concert of carols thing, does it with electric guitars as well as a classical string orchestra, a choir of singers, keyboards, pyrotechnics, fake snow, and in as a unique and uplifting way as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra does it, all while reminding you of the magic you felt in the air around you as a child at Christmas time, you realize that you just might not have had your fill of holiday music just yet.