I Really Like Christmas

This being a dad stuff does weird things to a guy.

One minute, you’re listening to
Studio 360 and some novelist is talking about his inspiration for a Post-modern zombie novel, and the next you’re in the Dunn Bros. parking lot getting way too emotional about the thought of your infant son coming home for Christmas when he’s 30.

This song is a perfect Christmas song for me. He’s honest, funny, and not a Christian….
who really likes Christmas. Moreover, he gets Christmas. While bands of mindless Faithful roam malls and rack up debt and refuse to recycle, this guy just nails what makes Christmas meaningful.

Other than, you know, the whole Jesus thing. But if he can understand peace and the joys of family and contentment, I’m pretty sure he’s closer than most church-goers I’ve met.

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Earl

This is a poem by Louis Jenkins, an overlooked prose-poet from Minnesota. I really enjoy his deceptively light style. It’s like biting into a marshmallow only to discover there’s a peanut inside, and then after trying a few more discovering that you really REALLY like marshmallow covered peanuts.

Anyway, this is one of my favorites of his. It’s from the collection North of the Cities and is exactly the kind of poem I wish I had received from the Muse.

Earl

In Sitka, because they are fond of them,
People have named the seals. Every seal
is named Earl because they are killed one
after another by the orca, the killer
whale; seal bodies tossed left and right
into the air. “At least he didn’t get
Earl,” someone says. And sure enough,
after a time, that same friendly,
bewhiskered face bobs to the surface.
It’s Earl again. Well, how else are you
to live except by denial, by some
palatable fiction, some little song to
sing while the inevitable, the black and
white blindsiding fact, comes hurtling
toward you out of the deep?

5 Pieces of Music I Like

Here are 5 pieces of music that I very much enjoy right now. You might like them too.

This whole record is ridiculously amazing. I liked them before (“Castaways and Cutouts”), but they’ve cranked the new-wave-Americana up a few notches and added Gillian Welch on a few tracks. It works for them, it works for me.

* This is David Bazan covering one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, but I tried to embed a song from his recent record. If you like this, watch this whole show. *

Listening to David Bazan, formerly of Pedro the Lion, is like getting re-acquainted with an old friend. In high school I liked Pedro the Lion a lot, but since haven’t really thought about it much. He seems to have figured some things out, I’ve changed quite a bit, and again we have new things to talk about. I love that he’s a decent guitarist with a sub-standard voice, but is successful based on the quality and uniqueness of his writing style. “Strange Negotiations”, his latest record, is full of quirky, slow-paced, whiskey-soaked-spirituality. We could all strive to be so good.

For some reason I’ve been heavy on the folky/acousticy stuff lately. It happens. This band has the best name I’ve heard in a long time, “The Devil Makes Three”. They’re everything I like about Old Crow Medicine Show, plus more tattoos and a girl who sings harmony. Cool lyrics, great melody, tight sound. Plus, the line “Cuz’ everybody who is anybody, in my opinion, at one time lived in somebody’s hallway” reminds me of my friend Peter, who technically lived in our hall closet for a period of time. He’s got a chance to be somebody.

I first heard of this band because of this video. Apparently, the band shot some normal footage of them singing the song, then let loose 50+ digital artists to each edit 3 seconds each with minimal guidelines. The result is totally non-sensical and possibly brilliant.

So simple and complicated at the same time. So cool.

 

Thanks for tuning in to the first edition of “Things I Like”.

 

Next time, back to silly baby pictures.