Dec. 14th, 2015

mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas lights pink)
We're basically halfway through Music Advent, and I thought it might be a good time to talk about the songs I didn't use in the first half (A-L, so 12 of the 25 days. Actually I've posted the 13th one on Twitter but haven't talked about it here yet, so it occurs to me that if I throw it in here that will make me come out "even" on the LJ posts (with four more sets of three songs left to do), so I'll do that.

For M, I picked Midnight Radio from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and I picked this version largely because others I found were missing one part of this song that I really love, and that's the descant part at the end where Lena Hall's voice (in this version) comes in. (I'm not completely sure whether what I have on iTunes is the Broadway version or the movie version, and I didn't go re-check to see.)

The Hedwig here is Andrew Rannells; he's very good.
(And I'll get to the other M songs at the bottom.)

What I did, when I finally decided to do Music Advent a little belatedly, was go through my iTunes library and pick a few songs for each letter of the alphabet; the least was two and the most was maybe five. Down toward the bottom of the list it got to be more songs for each letter, but M is the only one here with more than three. But in any case, each day I've been going to YouTube to see what I could find for each song. (The more songs, though, the more likely I am to just pick a couple and not look at the others. So there was a sort of longer version of the shortlist for some things and then an extra-short one, effectively.) Anyway, so I've been picking partly by the song and partly by what I could find a video of, and in a lot of cases here, I'm picking from several versions of the song.

(For reference, here's the link to the 1st three videos).
A - picked Across the Universe (Michael Johns, from Idol) - of course I could also have picked the Beatles version, or I think there's possibly some solo George versions around too, but Michael Johns has died (in 2014, I think that was) and that's mostly what made me think of this version. He had a beautiful voice and he hovered around on the verge of breaking through for a long time, it seemed like, but except for his moments of glory on American Idol it never really happened. (Not that that's an unusual story, at all.)
The only other song on the shortlist was
After the Gold Rush (Neil Young) - and I didn't pick it partly because it didn't have an interesting video that I could find. A lot of 70s songs seem not to (pre-MTV, see). Some days I'm in the mood to pick a video that's really just audio and a picture of the album cover, and other days I'm not. There's at least one of those that did get picked here.

B - I picked Bad (U2 bad lyrics version) - it was late and I might have chosen more carefully between the available videos, but I love the song. The other song I had was Beds Are Burning - another of my favorite 80s songs - and here's a version of that:
C - I used Chrome Plated Heart (Melissa Etheridge, 90s live version)
alternatives: "Cold Ground" which is a sort of country-rock song that I only know because it's on the "True Blood" soundtrack, but I really love it. I couldn't find a video that suited me though. And I also had Counting Crows, "Colorblind" which is a semi-obscure song of theirs that I'm particularly fond of.

(Here's the D-F set of videos)
D - Down To the River To Pray (movie version); I looked at the video for Dance Hall Days, another old 80s song, and it was boring. So that's why it didn't get picked, mostly.
E - Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen (King's Singers), because it's a song I love, and this is a really good version of it. I had Edge of Seventeen written down but I didn't go look at the video.
F - Fortress Around Your Heart; I also looked at Taylor Swift's "Fifteen" because I like the song, but the video didn't grab me.

(G-I videos here)
G - Given To Fly (2000 live version); I think I mostly picked this one because it was the least-known of the three unless you're a Pearl Jam fan, and because I did like this performance video a lot. I don't think I looked at Pink's "Glitter in the Air" because it seemed like a more boring choice. I love Bush's "Glycerine" but rejected it for similar reasons: it felt more like sort of an alt-rock standard to me. It's too famous. - Come to think of it, though, I love that version of "Glitter in the Air" where's she's twirling around in the air (which apparently was something she did on tour, as well as at the Grammys) so here is that from the Grammys five years ago:
It's great showmanship, and actually I remember hearing her say that it's not as hard to sing like that as you might think!

H - My pick was Handle With Care (the Traveling Wilburys) but there's also a version of Heart Like a Wheel at the link above. The other thing I wrote down was "Hodie Christus Natus Est" which is an advent sort of song so it would have been appropriate, but I didn't get around to looking at that. (I think the Trinity College choir version is the one I have - see here.)
I - Interstate Love Song; I Alone (Live); I Believe in Father Christmas (Emerson Lake & Palmer, what I call an anti-Christmas song); I Drove All Night (Cyndi Lauper) - I had Scott Weiland's death in my head and didn't look at any of these others.

(J-L videos)
J - Jolie Blon (actually the version I used is called Sweet Jole Blon'); John Barleycorn (the old Traffic song); Jar of Hearts (Christina Perri) - the main thing I have to say here is that the version of Jolie Blon' that I first remember is Jo-el Sonnier - here's a two-minute clip with both Sonnier and Doug Kershaw, who is the one that I actually used:

K - King Tut; the others I had on the list were Kashmir (Led Zeppelin, of course), and Culture Club's Karma Chameleon, but much as I love both of those songs, I had for some reason committed in my head to "King Tut" (it just makes me laugh, I guess that's why).
L - Genesis' Land of Confusion is what I used, mostly because I remembered I liked the video, from years ago. I knew there'd be numerous versions of "Lady Marmalade" out there if that didn't work out. (I also assumed somebody else would use "Lady Marmalade" although nobody did that I saw.)

...and back around to M - Material Girl" was the only alternative to "Midnight Radio" where I got as far as looking at the video. This was kind of a big thing at the time, because it was the point where Madonna first sort of gave public notice that she was somebody to be taken seriously. She had been around before this, and had some pretty big hits, but this was where she started to stand out from the crowd of girl singers. I also had "May It Be" from the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack on the list, and it was something I really used to love. (I went to see Fellowship of the Ring a whole bunch of times in the theater; I really had a thing for it for a while, so that probably figures into it.) The others I had were another movie song, "My Declaration" (which is from the movie Inkheart, and I only thought of this because I happened to listen to it the other day); and "Mr Golden Deal" which is another one of those somewhat obscure songs that I just like, from the 90s band Tonic.

Here's Material Girl (with a youngish Keith Carradine, and Robert Wuhl in a little cameo at the beginning):

mellicious: blinky lights (holiday lights gif)
I forgot to say that this came from a Holidailies participant named Pearl (who I don't think is anybody I was acquainted with previously, unless she's disguised herself well). I always feel like I have to do at least one of those during Holidailies. So here you are. I'm sure I've answered most of these questions before, but the answers tend to change from year to year, anyway.

1. Do you know what you want for Christmas already?
Hmm, yes and no. I know what I'm getting, for the most part, and I'm happy with that. I couldn't think of much that I really wanted. I think it's maybe part of getting older, that THINGS don't matter so much to you? I dunno.
2. Have you done any Christmas shopping yet?
Yeah, I'm done, basically. I started buying stuff early. (Lots of Star Wars merchandise passing through this house; I figured that was a proven winner, especially this year.)
3. Do you like Christmas?
I'm somewhat iffy about it these days because it feels now like it belongs to a religion that's not mine. But I was brought up celebrating it so I still have a tie to it. And I adored it for most of my life.
4. At whose house will you celebrate this year?
Probably my aunt's, although it's still up in the air. (I told this tale a week or so ago, so scroll backwards in my journal if you really want to know!)
5. Is there someone in your family you are not looking forward to seeing this Christmas? If so who, and why?
Eh. I have so little family left that I treasure them all, even the ones I didn't always care much for!
6. Do you decorate the tree early, or late?
We don't have anything up yet except a wreath on the balcony, so I guess we're on the late side.
7. Do you use tinsel?
I'm kind of nutty about tinsel. I don't use the old tinsel icicles, though, if that's what this is referring to - can you even buy that any more? (I'm probably dating myself by even asking.) Tinsel garland feels kind of old-school tacky now, too (it's the fat kind I'm thinking of, if you know what I mean), and I don't really use that any more, either, if I ever did. But I have a whole tinsel tree, now, actually. We quit putting up a green tree (fake or real) because it was too much trouble.
8. Do you own any antique Christmas bulbs?
Real ones? No. I'm fascinated with them, though; I have jewelry in that shape, and Christmas cards decorated with them, and stuff. (If I remember I'll put my icon up for this!)
9. Do you put a star or an angel on the top of your Christmas tree?
I've had both at various times. As I said, I don't really do the kind of tree that you have to decorate these days, so it's not an issue any more.
10. Do you hang stockings?
We have them (with our names embroidered on them and everything) but we live in an apartment so we don't have a mantel or anything to hang them on.
11. Do you drink eggnog?
Ugh, no.
12. Have you eaten a candy cane this year yet?
Actually yes, because one came in a box in the mail (with some nail polish, I think it was) and I ate it. I'm not that much of a fan of candy canes that I go out and buy them especially to eat, though.



mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

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