Christmas YouTube Playlists – Naughty or Nice?

I have two playlists.

Which is better?

What would you add?

What am I missing?

Posting #25XmasSongs โ€“ Part 2 ๐ŸŽ…

Did you see part 1?ย  I quickly realized I like a vast odd selection of Christmas music.ย  There are so many I dig that didn’t make the cut, and I’m sure ones I forgot.ย  Throw me your favorites in the comments!
















Posting #25XmasSongs – Part 1 ๐ŸŽ„

I have been trying to post a Christmas song per day since the beginning of December.ย  I think I make a new YouTube playlist every year.ย  (I must have set YouTube to tweet when I add videos to playlists way back… because it seems to be doing that with the stuff I’m adding.)

I enjoy some Christmas albums, but seem to have found a bunch of random songs that I like over the years.ย  Some traditional, some quite the opposite.ย  Here’s the first batch.ย  There is no rhyme or reason or favorite order or anything.

Post some of your favorite Winter Holiday songs in the comments.ย  Links to videos, album names, artists, etc.ย  Show me what you dig!

1. No Doubt – “Oi To the World”ย  (Vandals cover!)

2. MxPx – “Xmas Night of the Living Dead”

3. Willie Nelson – “Silent Night”

4. Run DMC – “Christmas in Hollis” (The A.K.A.’s do a neat cover too.)

5. Johnny Cash – “What Child Is This?”

6. RAMONES – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”

7. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “This Time of Year”

8. Bing Crosby & David Bowie – “Little Drummer Boy”

9. D.I. – “Mr. Grinch”

10. Laurie Berkner – “Santa’s Coming to My House Tonight”

Christmas Music

I like weird Christmas music. I’m not sure why. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and of course I dig the spooky sound/imagery with “scary” songs… but I listen to that all year long.ย  I just listen to Christmas music when the holiday is approaching, then it’s locked safely away until next year.ย  I’ve always had a thing for odd/goofy songs… and some of these are the goofiest ones yet.ย  I’ll start with whole albums that I have lying around, then I’ll descend into random stuff that I’ve collected over the years.

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus
Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus – Various Artists [Sympathy for the Record Industry] – This is one goofy 2-disc set. with 13 tracks on each CD.ย  I mean, look at the cover.ย  It looks like an LP from the 70’s… maybe 60’s.ย  This is very punk and garage rock oriented… it’s a lot of sloppy dirty bands just rocking out some Christmas songs… some traditional, some original.ย  One of my favorites is the opener “Christmas Is A Comin’ (May God Bless You)” by the Shitbirds.ย  It starts out nice enough, then descends in to chaos.ย  Claw Hammer’s “The Night Before Christmas” is unsettling, and The Phenobarbidols’ “O Holy Night Parts 1 & 2” is sure to win over a crowd until it gets to part 2 (The most awesome part).

Punk Rock Xmas

Punk Rock Xmas

Punk Rock Xmas – Various Artists [Rhino] – Of course, any compilation with the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” is a win in my book.ย  This actually has a couple of the same songs as the previously mentioned CD.ย  I guess if you’re putting out punk rock Christmas songs, you’ve only got so many to choose from.ย  This disc is tight, allt he songs are winners in my book.ย  D.I.’s “Mr. Grinch”, The Damned with “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause”, Sloppy Seconds, Pansy Division, The Humpers… all with great solid catchy tunes.ย  This is a definite one that you need to own if you’re a punk rock fan and Christmas music fan.

The Flesh Eating Rollerskate Holiday Joyride

The Flesh Eating Rollerskate Holiday Joyride

The Flesh Eating Rollerskate Holiday Joyride – Psychostick [Rock Ridge Music ] “Jingle bell. Jingle bell.ย  Jingle bell.ย  Metal!” is all you really need to know about this one.ย  If you’re going to go out shopping on Christmas Eve, you’ll want to listen to this to prepare yourself for battle with those other maniacal consumers.ย  This is all kinds of heavy and aggressive…ย  and it’s Christmas music.ย  These dudes are also hilarious, which there should be more of in metal.ย  Some metal bands take themselves way too seriously.ย  Psychostick does not… perhaps obvious from the title of the disc.

Oi to the World

Oi to the World

Oi to the World – The Vandals [Kung Fu Records] – While there are a plethora of awesome holiday albums out there, I’ll stop here.ย  Everyone has probably heard No Doubt’s cover of “Oi to the World”, not even knowing it’s a cover.ย  The song is catchy, it’s got a good message, and it’s funny.ย  This whole album is ridiculous.ย  With tracks like “A Gun for Christmas”, “Grandpas Last Christmas”, “Christmas Time for My Penis”, and “My First Xmas, As a Woman” you know it’s got to be good.ย  These guys are crazy, and their songs make you tap your feel and put you in a cheery mood.ย  It’s all-in-all a great Christmas disc.

Now, I’d just like to pop up some of my favorite Christmas songs… and I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments section…


The Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Mellon Arena (Review)

You may have read my earlier posts about the seats for Star Wars: In Concert, and how complaining about them eventually translated into two free seats for yesterday afternoon’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra show.

Our seats were in the EI-2 section, row L.ย  We were ridiculously close to the stage and not so far up & to the side that we couldn’t appreciate the view.ย  I need to write to Mr. Scalzott again for providing the free tickets and hospitality of the arena.

I’ve got to say, this was an excellent show… and I’d love to go back if I can afford to next time they’re in town.ย  The TSO really knows how to put on an event.ย  The Star Wars: In Concert crew could learn a lesson from them in lighting, lasers, fog machines,ย  floating remote stages, hydraulics, and pyrotechnics.ย  Actually, they could learn a few lessons.ย  I can imagine a hybrid of the two that would be absolutely ridiculous.ย  Maybe I need to write to the TSO, John Williams, and George Lucas.ย  Ha ha ha.

A few things surprised me about the show…ย  I had no idea that there were vocals & power-ballady type songs, and that thereย  was a cohesive story for the most part.ย  I feel like it kept it entertaining for all types of people.ย  The narrator & vocalists were awesome.ย  Sadly my prior knowledge of the TSO consisted of an mp3 with an incorrect ID3 tag, mislabeling “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” for “Carol of the Bells” (which it arguably is… along with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”).

I had no idea that Alex Skolnick or the other guys from Savatage were associated with this.ย  Skolnick wrote articles for just about every guitar magazine that I ever picked up back when I was learning to play & read tab.ย  They made the show like a metal concert at times… I thought one guy in the front was going to have a heart attack and die when he threw metal with both hands as Alex was molesting the fretboard in front of him.ย  When the show reached it’s second half, they introduced some stuff from the new album, Night Castle.ย  I swear they snuck some Sabbath & Metallica riffs in there.ย  There was even an old-school 80’s-rock drum solo… and I think I loved the fact that old ladies were watching the solo in abject horror as much as I liked the spectacle itself.ย  They also had a girl playing the electric violin… I saw it more than I heard it… but it was visually pretty cool element, like the spinning keyboard.

I didn’t know that it had heavy religious overtones.ย  I mean, I knew it was a holiday concert… and I’m certainly not opposed to religious ideals.ย  I just didn’t know, and found it surprising… especially with tightly clothed women dancing like strippers in front of fire.ย  I think it’s cool that they can integrate the stuff, maybe some overzealous idiot out there got the message to loosen up a bit.ย  While they played a medley that included the melody of “Canon in D”, the girls were dancing scantily-clad on the stage… and I asked my wife Bethany if we had to call t “Canon in Double-D”.

Like I mentioned before, it being entertaining to everybody…ย  I mean everybody.ย  There were all kinds of people there… classes, ages, stereotypes, whatever groupย  you want to name, they were there (except maybe race… it was all crackers up in there).ย  I did see an extraordinarily high amount of mullets though.ย  I’m talking prize-winning specimens like the comb-over on top/hair down to my ass & the trimmed up top/pony tail in the back.

I can’t say anything negative about the show itself, the seats, or the arena… except (you knew it was coming) that I found the parking rate to be amusing.ย  By looking on the Arena website, it listed parking in the lot where we parked as $7, but it does note “Event parking rates differ for each Mellon Arena event. Check your event’s information page on this website for specific parking rates”.ย  The funny part is that it said nothing about parking on the event page other than the fact that no pre-sold parking would be available.ย  Parking was $15… more than double the normal rate, which is fine, but there was no prior indication.ย  I paid in mostly $1’s and even some quarters.

I hope the TSO and the Mellon Arena don’t mind if I share some crappy quality cell phone photos…

Mellon Arena – Ticket Sales FAIL.

From: Eric Carroll
To: Customer Service Mellon Arena
Sent: Mon, November 30, 2009
Subject: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert

Hello Mellon Arena Customer Service & Ticket Sales,

I am taking the time to write to you this evening to express my disappointment in the sale of our seats for yesterday’s Star Wars: In Concert event at the Mellon Arena.

While I understand that we purchased the “cheap” $33 seats (two of which somehow magically totaled $93.40 instead of $66.00 for various dubious Ticket Master fees — including a “printing fee” in which I used my own paper & ink — which are not your fault), I feel that your integrity is to be called into question when considering the vantage-point from exactly where we were expected to sit throughout the show.

I would think that you would be familiar enough with your own venue to know that the seats in section E13, row M are blocked from seeing anything above a certain height at the other end of the house thanks to the lower edge of section F hanging directly above us (and directly in our field of vision). I would also think that you would know what this height is, and that the screen coming in for this particular show was being touted as “a three-story-tall, high-definition LED super-screen — one of the largest ever put on tour.

Apparently I am quite wrong, my friends.

Please see the attached image from my cell phone so you can fully appreciate the vantage point from which we were expected to view the “live music and film elements … synchronized in order to create a full multi-media, one-of-kind Star Wars experience.” You’ll note the bluish-white line behind the orchestra that is the very bottom of the giant partially-visible screen where the movie clips played.

I can tell you that the ushers in our area got an ear-full from several other angry concert-goers (including my wife who had purchased the tickets for me as an early Christmas present). Our row had cleared out of all but 4 people by the time the 2nd song had started. I would have left also, but the concert had started, and I wasn’t about to miss any of what I could actually see by running around like a madman trying to find a seat.

I did notice several rows almost empty down to the right of the floor, while seats to the back & sides were full… surely this is a commentary on the outrageous prices charged for the show? It only made it all the more infuriating that a seat with a better vantage point sat empty during the performance.

In lieu of trying to “sneak down” into the “better” seats, at intermission, we made the trek down & back up to section F and asked an usher there for permission to sit in any unoccupied seats. We were pointed to some open seats, and several others filtered in around us with the same idea as the show came closer to starting again.

From this height, the speaker array on the right still blocked a good portion of the screen, but at least it wasn’t cut in half… and from here, we could actually see the “laser show” being projected on to the ceiling.

While I found the concert itself and exhibits throughout the arena to be an exhilarating experience, the full multimedia-experience in the arena was sadly stained by the poor choice of Mellon Arena to sell seats with a substandard view of the main event.

I have been to countless events over the years at the Mellon (& formerly the Civic) Arena — from concerts, to Penguins Games, to circuses, to I think even a truck & tractor pull with Bigfoot & USA-1 when I was a tiny young lad. They have all been great memories… and this is the only time that I have felt wronged by the venue.

I hope that you take these thoughts into consideration when selling seats for the remainder of shows throughout the last standing days of the arena. You’re making memories for people, please try to make sure that they’re positive ones, and that they’re not marred by poor logistics. I’d ask for our money (or half of our money) back if I thought it would get me anywhere, but I am more concerned about the experience than the money.

Thank you for your time, I hope that this is passed on to the appropriate parties, and I do look forward to a response.

-Eric Carroll