Archive for the Christmas Category

Worst Christmas Songs Ever: “Santa Baby”

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , on December 13, 2013 by 30daysout

This is one that just gets on my last nerve. Every time it comes on I can’t change the channel fast enough. The tune, which tells the tale of a woman asking Jolly Old St. Nick for extravagant gifts, was written by Joan Javits and Phillip Springer in 1953. It was first recorded by Eartha Kitt that same year and has since been done by everyone from Madonna to Calista Flockhart.

I’m guessing the song is supposed to be sexy, but for me it’s about a thousand miles away. It just sounds like a rich girl whining to her wealthy old husband (dressed up like Santa, of course) for more and hinting at sex that most likely will never take place. After he falls asleep, because he’s in late 80s, she’ll max out his credit card and he’ll wake up and wonder what the hell happened. He’ll eventually die, she’ll get all his money, and then fight with his kids in court for years. I’m thinking I may have read way too much into this song.

Here is one of the worst versions performed by Madonna…

Worst Christmas Songs Ever: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Posted in Christmas with tags , on December 12, 2013 by 30daysout

Songs that are supposed to put you in a festive mood can sometimes have the opposite effect when you are exposed to them 24/7 on the radio or at the store when you are busy running up your credit cards buying gifts that people will most often forget about come January. That being said. I really like Christmas music. “The Andy Williams Christmas Album” (the red one) and anything by Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King” Cole, Perry Como, Jerry Vale, etc  all put me in the holiday mood. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is also a favorite and their yearly trek to Houston has become a family tradition. But there are those songs that, whenever you hear them, make you want to throw the radio out the window. One of those at the top of  my list is…Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

The tune was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, who also gave the world “Guys and Dolls” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” just to name a few.  The song has been recorded by everyone from Dinah Shore to Ella Fitzgerald to Zooey Deschanel to Leon Redbone to Dean Martin. Every time I hear it, it’s like a needle in the eye. I just want to take both people, throw them outside, and lock the door. It’s like “just do it” already. She clearly doesn’t want to leave. He doesn’t want her to leave, so get after it. Gets some wine, curl up by the fire and do what needs to be done. Forget about the “maybe just a cigarette more” and just heave-ho.

Below is quite possibly the worst version ever by Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton.

Bah, Humbug! More Worst Christmas Songs Ever

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2011 by 30daysout

We must have been in a hurry to put up our last post on this subject because we missed a whole bunch of holiday stinkers. Here is the rest of our list of the best of the worst Christmas songs of all-time:

“Last Christmas” by Wham

Released in 1984, shortly after we were introduced to George Michael and his white short shorts.

“The Chipmunk Song” by Alvin and the Chipmunks

I thought it was cute in sixth grade, but I heard it the other day and it was a long 2:23.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by GLEE Cast

Like the great Kevin Dorsey used to say on 101 KLOL in Houston…”I just don’t know anymore.”

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney

I love Paul McCartney, but this song sounds like he got a new Casio for Christmas and had a lot of time to kill.

“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley

Elvis sounds fine and the song is not horrible, but the background singers kill it.

“Dominick the Donkey”

Anyone have Tony Soprano’s number? Maybe he can whack the stronzo who wrote this scoreggia.

“Step Into Christmas” by Elton John

This one never did anything for me. Sounds like a throwaway that was turned into a Christmas tune.

“Toyland” by Doris Day

Heard this for the first time this morning and it will be the last.

“The 12 Days of Christmas” by The Sinatra Family

I can picture rich people sitting around the tree singing this version as the help serves them another cup of egg nog.

30 Days Out Interview: Tommy Farese, vocalist, The Kings of Christmas

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2011 by 30daysout

I bought tickets in September for my family’s annual trek to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra here in Houston. Although the band has changed slightly from year to year, there are a few mainstays that we expect to see. The guy who tops the list is vocalist Tommy Farese, who sings “Ornament” and “This Christmas Day” from the multi-platinum Christmas Eve and Other Stories collection, and acts as the MC. Come to find out, Farese (as well as many other “mainstays”) is not with the band anymore. He was let go in June. So we decided to give him a ring and find out what happened with TSO as well as talk about his new project, The Kings of Christmas, a band consisting of former TSO members Guy LeMonnier, Anthony Gaynor and Maxx Mann.

30 Days Out: What happened with your dismissal from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra?

TF: A bunch of guys who were with TSO, and left TSO for whatever reason, decided they were going to do a record and they asked me if I had any songs that I could contribute. So I wrote a couple of songs and TSO got wind of it and that was their reasoning for letting me go. I ended up joining the guys in The Kings of Christmas shortly afterwards.

30 Days Out: Was there something in the TSO contract that said you could not write for other people?

TF: No, there was nothing like that for me, but obviously that was their reasoning, I don’t know if that was the real reason, but it was a reason.

30 Days Out: Did you have any idea that they were thinking of letting you go?

TF: There were no problems, I think Paulie (creator, producer, composer Paul O’Neill) just wanted to bring in younger, prettier people. Lets face it, I’m an old saloon singer, so I guess he was looking to the future and he wanted to bring in some younger talent to get some more longevity out of the show. I would imagine that was the real reason, but I really have no idea.

30 Days Out: It seems like you were not the only one who was let go by TSO…

TF: Yeah, he pretty much cleaned house this year. All the singers over the years are gone, with the exception of a couple on the East Coast tour, but I guess it was to be expected. You don’t expect it when it happens, but it’s just one of those things.

30 Days Out: Do you miss it?

TF: Of course I do. The memories, and the way it used to be, how could I not miss it? It was probably the greatest time of my life.

30 Days Out: Your close friend, guitarist and musical director Al Pitrelli, is still with the band.  How has your dismissal affected your relationship?

TF: I haven’t spoken to Al, but I would imagine we are still fine. He’s been a little busy, so I would guess when he gets back off the road, if he ever gets off the road. As soon as they are done with this tour he goes right back out with the spring tour and start rehearsals for that. You know, Al and I are like brothers so to me it’s always going to be good.

30 Days Out: There has been a bit of confusion on Facebook and other sites about your new venture The Kings of Christmas. Tell me what is going on with that project?

TF: We had a difference of opinion. When I was officially let go from TSO and joined the group I felt that we should just concentrate on the new record, make it the best it can be. I told the guys we shouldn’t concentrate on gigs right now because that takes a lot of planning, a lot goes into it to do it right. So I didn’t see anyway it could happen and two (Gaynor and LeMonnier) out of the three other guys agreed with me.

30 Days Out: So what ended up happening?

TF: By the time November rolled around our record wasn’t even done yet. I told them again that the gig thing wasn’t working and that we had to cancel the gigs we had booked. If it had been done in June or July we would have had time to put a band together, rehearse and get everything together. There’s an old saying in the business “you can cancel a gig and people will eventually forgive you and come back, but if you put on a bad show they will never forget it.” I made the call, Maxx didn’t agree, the booking agent working with us went against our will when we told him we wanted to cancel and backed Maxx and went out and did the shows anyway. It was just a difference of opinion.

30 Days Out: What are the future plans for The Kings of Christmas?

TF: We are going to go back in the studio and record some more stuff. We plan to re-release the new record next year with additional tracks and re-mixed versions of some of the tracks on there now because there are a couple of things we would like to change. We wanted to get it out this year and create a bit of a buzz for the band. Next year we’ll have a full-fledged tour done the right way. It won’t on a grand scale like TSO is now, but more like it was when we first started out playing more intimate venues with good music and a great story.

– George Kovacik

Tommy Farese Official Website

The Kings of Christmas Official Website

The Kings of Christmas Facebook page

Preview and purchase “The Kings of Christmas: 365 Days A Year” at CD Baby

Bah, Humbug! The Worst Christmas Songs Ever

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by 30daysout

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Hundreds of artists from Slim Whitman to the cast of GLEE have gotten behind the mic to record yuletide classics. While I like the majority of holiday tunes, there are a few that I just cannot stomach. Here are the worst of all-time:

1. Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy

Like a needle in your eye. Someone kill me now if I have to hear this tune one more time.

2. Santa Baby

Makes everything go limp instantly. Number two indeed.

3. Silver Bells  

Makes me want to hurl everytime..no matter who is doing it.

4.  Marshmallow World

The fluffy disaster is horrific…

5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Nothing like a song about cheating during the holiday season. The only good thing about this Mellencamp video is the ever so hot Lisa Germano on violin.

Bah, Humbug! Merry Christmas!

Posted in Christmas, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by 30daysout

OK, now is about the time you start wishing the whole thing was over with already.  You know, they should have Christmas in January – that’s when they have all the good sales!  Ho, ho.

Here’s a Christmas blowout:

MP3: “Four Shopping Days Left Until Christmas” Ad jingle

MP3: “Stop Giving Me Crap For Christmas” by Bobby Gaylor

MP3: “Santa’s Too Fat For The Hula Hoop” by Thurl Ravenscroft with the Pixies

MP3: “Ho Ho F***ing Ho” by Kevin Bloody Wilson (Not Safe For Work!)

MP3: “This Time Of Year” by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones

MP3: “Don’t Believe In Christmas” by the Sonics

MP3: “Child Of Winter” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Season’s Greetings” by Ozzy Osbourne

YouTube: “Winter Wonderland” by Ozzy Osbourne and Jessica Simpson

MP3: “Holiday Message” by Lou Reed

MP3: “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12-24” by Savatage

MP3: “Christmas All Summer Long” by Deer Tick

MP3: “I Farted On Santa’s Lap” by the Little Stinkers

MP3: “Seasons Greetings” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ ” by Mack Rice

MP3: “Back Door Santa” by the Holmes Brothers

MP3: “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “The Holly and the Ivy” by Annie Lennox

MP3: “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” by Julian Casablancas

MP3: “Lord Of The Dance” by Arthur Brown

MP3: “I Believe In Father Christmas” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

MP3: “Silver Bells” by Arlo Guthrie & Ed Gerhard

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Crystals

MP3: “Silent Night” by Phil Spector & His Artists

YouTube: “Marshmallow World” by Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra

Bonus YouTube: “The Digital Story of the Nativity”


More Rockin’ Christmas!

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , on December 8, 2011 by 30daysout

Yeah, that's Nancy Reagan. No, this is not Photoshopped.

Editor’s Note: More recycling of past blog posts, gotta conserve this Christmas!

How many shopping days left until Christmas?  Not enough, that’s for sure.  The holiday season isn’t about shopping anyway, it’s about hanging around with people you like and, in the case of most of our families, a few people you don’t like.  It’s about giving but it isn’t about begging.  And it’s not about the TV commentators who are so afraid white Jesus isn’t represented enough in Christmas celebrations.

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa – they’re what you want to make it.  Celebrate ’em like you want, be nice and leave everyone else alone.  Enough speeches, now let’s rock.

MP3: “Soulful Christmas” by James Brown

MP3: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by R.E.M.

MP3: “Teenage Christmas” by Eux Autres

MP3: “Toy Jackpot” by Blackalicious

MP3: “Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects” by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

MP3: “Seasons Greetings Message” by Alice Cooper

MP3: “Jingle Bell Rock” by Neil Diamond

MP3: “Run Rudolph Run” by Creedence Clearwater Revisited

MP3: “Deck The Halls” by Canned Heat

MP3: “Winter Wonderland” by Liz Phair

MP3: “Christmas Lullaby” by Shane MacGowan & the Popes

MP3: “Christmas Island” by the Vatican Cellars

MP3: “Santa Claus Files Unusual Flight Plan” by the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD)

MP3: “Messed Up Xmas” by the Dollyrots

MP3: “Father Christmas” by the Kinks

This is just wrong. Happy Holidays!