Well Deck my Halls

Back when I thought I was going to have a quiet Christmas and New Year, I thought I’d spend at least some of my time catching up on my blogging.  Looks like it’s no rest for this little Christmas fairy though . . .I have two trips between now and January 1!  Fantastic.  But I had at least managed to put together my personal round-up of Christmas songs done with enough talent, style and rock and roll sensibility that they won’t make you gag on your eggnog.  Probably not your standard list, but I love them.

Up first – from Oslo, Norway, the Cocktail Slippers with  Last Christmas. 

Ah, those crazy boys from the duuurrty South – Family Force 5 – Christmas Pageant

And their 2010 Christmas Pageant – those boys are sure growing up purty!

This one’s a bit of a cheat, but American Thanksgiving is almost Christmas here in Canada, it was a great weekend in my life and I love this version of LadyGaga’s You and I. . “something about my cool American guy” .

I’m a huge fan of a little known singer/songwriter from Florida/Nashville by the name of Chris Nathan.  Unsigned, basically unknown, but with more talent than half the people on the Billboard Top 40.  I’ve posted a bunch of his videos, here’s the little Christmas serenade he sent out on Facebook tonight.  His voice just kills me.

Chris Nathan

And for the crazy Springsteen fans out there (Donna) here’s Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen doing Run, Run Rudolph.  Pretty standard JBJ schlock,  but if you can hang in there till about 1.37 the Boss kills it with his  guitar solo, making the whole blurry, hand-held mess worthwhile.

Wouldn’t be my list if Billy Joe and the boys from Green Day didn’t make it on.  This one sounds like they recorded it on their iPhone – but the pictures alone make it priceless. Santa Claus is coming to Town – Green Day style.

You know it had to be in here . . .he’s the original rock god.  Elvis – Blue Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope your year has been as interesting, intriguing and inspiring as mine.   This time last year I could not have imagined how it would have changed, Batman glitter shirts and all.  Wow.


A Day of Unlooked for Blessings

Well hello blogosphere my old friend, it’s been too long.  I’ve missed you,  it’s good to be back.  I’ve been away, tending to some personal happiness.  It’s been time very well spent but I’ve got some writing to catch up on.

Yesterday was a day of unlooked-for blessings.  Like most everyone else (if the crowds on the streets and in the stores are anything to go by) I have some last-minute Christmas shopping to do.  Well not exactly last-minute,  although I am doing it at the last minute, it’s more like ALL of my Christmas shopping. Damn, how did that December 25th date sneak up on me again?  I have been just a wee bit busy . . .and somehow I just sort of lost track of Christmas’ impending onslaught.    

In something of a panic, Headed into Holt’s at lunchtime yesterday for some serious retail therapy and gifting – there is no where that screams CONSUMERISM run amok like Holt Renfrew.  The baby grand piano with pianist (who as I found out is the receptionist the rest of the year – go figure) playing the “Christmas Classics” – what, again?  The $100 candles at Jo Malone.  Purses that cost more than a mortgage payment.  Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.  But if you feel the need to indulge, oh baby, it’s nirvana.  And  I was into some indulgery (I know it’s not a real word, but I like it anyway) and  Santa sure decided to send me an early gift. 

Serious Retail Therapy

I was in the men’s accessories section browsing for something luxurious when I spotted the perfect item.  As I reached across the hot pink counter to capture my treasure  – another hand came from the other side and grabbed it as well.  I looked up to find myself in an Italian leather tug-of-war with none other than drum roll please  MICHAEL BUBLE.  As I looked up, he realized that I had recognized him and there was that moment when he was undoubtably thinking “Oh my God no – don’t let her yell Hey, it’s Michael Buble”.   But that would be quite unCanadian, and totally unhip and uncool in Vancouver, where passing stars on the street is an every day occurence.    Not really, it was pretty much my first close encounter of the star struck kind, and certainly the first time I’ve haggled over a Christmas gift!   Of course I didn’t out him, but I did mention that it was the last item of its kind and tried to look a wee bit distressed, to which the guy with the reputation of being the nicest star in town said “then of course you should have it“.    I’m thinking that if he really wanted it, he could fly to Italy and get his own, but I”m going with the nice guy story.   It could only happen in Vancouver.  And someone on my nice (or is it naughty . . .wait . . .hmmmm . . . .anyway) someone on my list is getting Michael Buble’s Christmas present this year.   Thanks, Santa!

I think he got that at Holt's

And today was my lovely daughter’s 21st birthday.  Last night she partied like a rock star (yes, she made her momma proud) with her friends.  The pre-drinks were at our place, which looked a lot like the pink sparkle fairly had vomited all over it.  Pink sparkle cake, candy cane martinis – there was pink sugar and gold glitter everywhere.  

Lucky for me it was only pre-drinks, so by early evening they had all headed downtown on the bus (sure glad I wasn’t on that chariot ride) for a night of partying.  We have a tradition that on your birthday you get a pick up (ie free ride home – it’s a $30 cab ride) from downtown, no matter where or how late.  So my phone rang at 1:30am with the little darling calling to check that I was still willing to pick her up.  “Yes honey, I said I would”.  ” Oh great, we are going for breakfast, call you in an hour”.  Lovely.   Had just fallen back asleep when the phone rang again, by now it was 2:30am and I headed off into a very frosty night to pick them up.  Looking slightly less glamorous than when they left, I got them into the car where they proceeded to entertain me with their antics all the way back to the North Shore.   That 5:30am alarm felt really early this morning, but you know, I’m really, really blessed to have the great friendship that I do with her.  She is, and has always been, the greatest joy of my life. 

And thank you to my dear friend Stefan, it was so good to hear from you, all the way from Bavaria, with your reminder of that long ago time.  It was another totally unlooked-for blessing – just like your kindness and thoughtfulness has always been.   Danke mein Freund.

In Heavy Rotation:   I had the great good fortune very recently to be introduced to the record Raising Sand, a collaboration between Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame and Alison Krauss, the bluegrass/country singer with the ethereal voice.  Produced by T-Bone Burnett, it  was released in 2007 and won Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammy Awards.   What, no Bieber or Gaga you wonder?   Truly a blessing.   I’ve been just captivated by the songs,  many of which are covers of everything from old bluegrass and blues to Tom Waits.   Through the Morning, Through the Night – stunning – and I love  Stick With Me Baby.  But it’s Robert Plant’s gothic version of Nuthin’ by Townes Van Zant that I’m listening to over and over.   I couldn’t go with just one video, I hope you enjoy them both.  And you know, it’s good to be back.