Friday, December 2, 2011


Yes, the end of '11.


Oh, we still have a month but come now -- it's so chock full of That Other Holiday that before we know it, 2012 will be on our doorstep asking to come in 'cause it's cold outside.

And yes, it is going to be cold outside for a while.

Because it's December.

The twelfth month.

Shorter days and longer nights of reflection, of reassessment, and eventually a little rest, heralding winter... and harboring Christmas.

A new month is new music at the S&P.

Because, ready or not, Christmastime is here...

Loo-loo-looooo, loo-looooooo...

Yes, we keep finding the S&P's jukebox full of jazzy waltzes from the late Vince Guaraldi, but what could fit better after Guaraldi's own The Great Pumpkin Waltz?  Why, Christmastime Is Here, and everyone's favorite 1965 animated TV special reminds us to stay true to ourselves, and the true meaning of Christmas.
Now with holiday TV on my mind, I felt a little tribute to another classic TV special was in order. Of course, being the proud pubkeep that I be, I wanted to do a little more than just play a part of the CD soundtrack...

On the player for the third year in a row is my own rendition of The Most Wonderful Day of the Year, better known as The Island of Misfit Toys Song from Rankin-Bass's 1964 holiday mega-icon, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Still wish I knew why the doll was there...

I recorded Misfit Toys waaaaaaay back in 1999, changing the feel to a bossa and playing all instruments (guitars, piano, bass, electric piano and harmonica) myself, with the exception of all percussion, which was performed by my buddy Matt. I enjoy this recording an awful lot and never miss a chance to show it off at this time of year.

Can't get enough of your (apparently not so) humble pubkeep?

Well listen on.

For the same 'album', I whipped up a five part a capella rendition of Winter Wonderland, and sang each part myself.

It was initially meant to just be a scratch track until I realized it didn't totally stink. I like its sloppy, silly happiness more each year, and so it gets added to the jukebox for another year. 

With my ego soothed, I think we need a tune from better known artists...

James Taylor's gorgeous version of Joni Mitchell's River (originally released on her now-legendary album Blue in 1971) is sweet, sad, beautiful and mesmerizing, like Winter itself.

But of course, ours is a Hallowe'en pub, after all, and it simply won't do to dwell on pure Christmas too long.

NO, no, I didn't just throw a version of the Monster Mash on the player...

Okay, yes I did. But it's the 1974 Peter Pan Records version called the Monster Christmas Mash.
Come on, it's awesome and ridiculously addicting and a perfect tune for the ol' S&P.

Another monstery bit of musical madness, you ask? Say no more...

In 1964, horror film icon Lon Chaney Jr. recorded a gem of a tune, the Monster Holiday!

You can hear his infectious joy and great sense of humor in every creaky note!

Yes, the Skull & Pumpkin is a fine, fine place for monsters to take their holiday, and we are proud to host any and all who knock on our door -- including each of you!

Oh, December...

... light our nights, make our spirits glow with your red-green and blue-white magic.

More audio fun later. For the moment, sit, warm up, and bless our pub with your Autumn goodness, each and every one of you.

I'll be back soon, but much work calls for the rest of this week and next.

Then, I can rest.

And hey... is that ol' Hallowe'enith radio crackling over there?



1 comment:

  1. Winter wonderland is great. That's so cool that you are singing with 4 of your clones!