Charlie Brown, I’m Glad to Know You

December 15, 2008 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

While I’m more than certain I’m not alone in my fond recollections of Christmases past, I may say with confidence and pride that the Yuletide seasons of my childhood blew my doors in.  Between my Mother churning out what seemed like hundreds of dozens of chubby little chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, my Dad consulting Polaroids of holidays gone by to recreate the Christmas decor of the previous year which always looked as though Santas elves done gone and exploded on the walls of our family room, as each everyday knickknack was traded out for its holiday counterpart or nearly every single year being treated to that one must-have gift always situated at the very top of my list, all of the little nuances combined for a powderkeg of cheer, spirit and happy times.  Not to mention, a few extra pounds from all the damn cookies.

One of my very favorite things to do, especially once my sister moved out on her own, was to lie on a couch in our family room, amidst the many red, green and gold trappings, and listen to my Dad’s collection of Christmas music as we bathed in the soft glow of lights on the tree.  My extremely ecclectic taste in music is a direct credit to my father, who like me, enjoys genres across the spectrum and can appreciate a wide variety of tunage.  Unlike in our opinions of more popular music, when it comes to holiday songs, like my Dad, I’m a purist at heart.

In other words, I’m a Christmas music snob.  What.  You want to make something of it?

My favorites are the standards:  Dean, Andy, Bing, Frank, Tony, Steve.  Give me Bing singing “Melakalikimaka”, and I’m grand.  I’ll gladly sip my hot cocoa to the Fielder’s Boston Pops and their infamous clip clop clip clop during “Jingle Bells”.  Even The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” has crept into my repetoire.  But, by far, my most favorite collection of holiday music is the soundtrack to Charlie Brown Christmas by Mr. Vince Guaraldi, the man behind all the music for ALL the Peanuts gang specials.

Say what you want about the others, they’re hokey, cheesy, old fashioned…sure.  I’m on board and understand that the classics aren’t for everyone.  Plus, I respect that we all have varying opinions where music is concerned, so sure, I get that, too.  But then, just when I thought we were getting along just fine (read: She has no idea I even live or breathe so…) Heather of Dooce.com goes and says this about the venerable genius:

If you weren’t on Prozac before you listened to that album, you’ll be begging your therapist for a prescription by song two. That little bald kid cannot catch a break, and the whole album sounds like someone just beat him up and stole his lunch money.

For God SAKES, woman, the man was nominated for a flippin’ Oscar for scoring a cartoon movie.  He produced a Catholic Mass…set to JAZZ which got a rave review in Time Magazine, not a periodical famous for its music section.  The guy died between sets at a jazz club, sitting at his piano!  To say the least, he was hardcore, but he was also an artist, a visionary, a pioneer in the world of music.

It drives me batshit crazy when people make flip statements like Heather’s just to prove they’re outside the mainstream, to…aw, fuck if I know…maintain some street cred, maybe?  These are the same folks who insist The Shins are the second coming and hung those stupid, pretentious French inspired cafe’ posters all over their apartments.  Nothing that is ever popular can be good, simply because it’s popular.  While I can certainly appreciate some off-the-beaten-path things as much as the next gal, I can also recognize when something is just that GOOD.  Vince Guaraldi?  He is damn good.

Trans Siberian Orchestra?  Not so much…

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Entry filed under: Blogging, Current events.

Hopes Are in the Up Position Today Is One of THOSE Days

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