Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Music

I love Christmas music. I have what is becoming too large a collection. Some rarities like a 45 of I Want Eddie Fisher for Christmas to the ubiquitous White Christmas by Bing Crosby, which I probably have on over 30 CD's. Eddie G’s Christmas compilations are legendary. I'm not sure that he’s still creating them.
5 Favorites of the rock era:

1. Christmas Baby Please Come Home performed by Darlene Love. Her Letterman appearances are a must see each year. In fact Letterman always says It’s ain’t Christmas till Darlene Love sings. Although others have, no one should cover that song. She owns it.

2. Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys. The innocence conveyed in the song is sheer joy.

3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus performed by John Mellencamp. He thought about the arrangement before he recorded it. He completely made it his own and made it a dance party. Most Christmas covers sound like the performer is sleep walking through the song: not this one.

4. Sleigh Ride Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. See above. This song makes me smile.

5. Christmas All Over Again by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It’s Tom. Nuf’ Said.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

U2Charist: Is Bono the Second Coming?

In Encinitas, CA Christian masses are incorporating the music of U2. The minister at this Episcopal Church apparently donned dark wrap glasses ala Bono. This is not unique to Encinitas; this initiative is being embraced worldwide. The mission of this movement is to help the UN achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000 which include eradicating global poverty and diseases in the next 10 years. These services raise money for the cause. The Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation site explains it all.

Here is an excerpt from North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry's surmon at a U2Charist: I am convinced that these Millennium Development Goals, and our embrace of them passionately as an act of Gospel-based discipleship, is a way for us to discover live again as a church. (Yeah! and applause) And I'm convinced, because Brother Bono has shown us the way. God will always have a witness, and if the church doesn't give it, U2 will! (Laughter and applause). Bono is being raised to the level of deity.

There is a U2Charist MySpace page, with 130 friends. U2Charist founder, the Rev. Dr. Paige Blair is based in Maine. There are Service outlines and leaflet to be downloaded. Elevation, One and Beautiful Day are some of the songs that are sung at these masses. Upcoming services are being held in many states, but none that I've seen in NY. Love him or not, Bono continues to be a force to recon with. He's a unifier. If he can eradicate poverty by 2015 he should be canonized. I haven't been able to determine two things: 1. Is U2 a partner in these services (I'm guessing they are as Universal is working with Rev Paige) and 2. Who came up with the word U2Charist-it's branding at it's best.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Dennis & Carl Wilson

There are some things that never leave your brain. Being a long time Beach Boys fan I always think about Dennis Wilson on Dec 4 and Carl Wilson on Dec 21, their birthdays. Carl is my favorite singer. I had a chance to meet him as he checked into the Rhiga Royal Hotel when suddenly I became too shy to follow through. That is the only time that has happened. I now regret it because he passed away in 1998 at age 51. I read that Carl had perfect pitch. He sang my favorite song “God Only Knows” (It’s killing me that it’s being inappropriately used in a TV commercial). He had soul, was an underrated guitarist and sang like an angel. Dennis was I guess you could say the yin to Carl’s yang. He had sex appeal, females went crazy when he sang “You Are So Beautiful” in concert and he was the first Beach Boy to release a solo album: the wonderful Pacific Ocean Blue. I have it on vinyl and haven’t heard it in awhile, but it might be time to hook up the turntable and give it a spin. His voice was darker, somehow sadder. Dennis also died way too young at 39. He was the surfer who drowned; he was buried at sea. On a morbid note, there is a website dedicated to dead musicians. You can search by means of death. Dennis has company in Jeff Buckley and Brian Jones, whose first name wasn’t even Brian-I didn’t know that. I’ll probably never forget it now though.