Give a toast to now
Christmas and 'cause, '05 edition:
1. 'Cause Navidad with Moms means catching up on films about animals, dancing assassins and snarky but sexy british police inspectors of a certain age.
Baby penguins are very cute. Antarctica not so cute. Mothers like baby penguins. These things are connected.
2. 'Cause trial and error is a good thing.
Speaking of Moms, she makes a mean Cola de Mono*. Below is a list of ingredients. (Don't worry, this is a holiday anomaly. I'm not a recipe person. I leave that to the professionals.)
Mrs. D's Cola de Mono, ingredients list
Milk (or Lactaid, if your tummy can't take it)
Sticks of cinnamon
Sugar (or Splenda, if you can stand it)
You heat all the ingredients until the concoction boils, then you stick the results in the refrigerator until it chills. I don't know what the amounts are. Improvise! That's what I do to varying degrees of success. Go on, you can do it.
3. 'Cause charity is good. And if good music comes with it, even better.
Things I bought myself for X to the Mas because I am/was a weird only child and therefore prone to such idiocy:
The Broken Social Scene record (more on that shortly) which I had bits and pieces of but needed to own.
A ridiculously large almost rapper style necklace (not gold or platinum though, hence the almost) with a big "D" hanging from it in freakin' CROSS-STITCH.
The recent War Child collection, Help: A Day in the Life, on import featuring the new Radiohead song, I Want None of This, which falls neatly into the familiar, vaguely-threatening-whispers-on a-darkened-street territory that Mr. Yorke and Co. like to frequent. Hell yeah, I like it. It's gentle somehow despite the menace. Half the time I think Yorke is trying to tough-love himself, not the listener.
Song to seek:
I Want None of This/Radiohead (mp3)
Buy Help: A Day in the Life by Various Artists
4. 'Cause it's good to listen to your friend's recommendations.
Covers. The Monkey steals one kind. I collect the other. Somehow it works.
One of my favorite songs this year isn't a new one, but an oldie that he introduced me to: Death On Two Legs by Queen from A Night At The Opera. Apparently, Mr. Mercury wrote this vicious little song about their former manager and it's a corker ("Do you feel like suicide?" followed by helpful, multi-tracked "I think you should"s). Invective has never sounded so reasonable.
There's a new Queen tribute out called Killer Queen which has some truly terrifying, not in a good way, interpretations of various Queen classics. However, it also has a band I never thought much about**, Rooney, covering Death On Two Legs in a way that's thrillingly, astonishingly faithful to the original without sounding like a sub par copy***. If you want to hear some operatic high dudgeon, go find that cover or the fabulous original, STAT.
Songs to seek:
Death on Two Legs/Queen (mp3)
Death on Two Legs/Rooney (Sadly, my mp3 is un-postable. Happy hunting!)
Buy A Night at the Opera by Queen
5. 'Cause hipster ignorance is bliss.
Cognoscenti favorite Me and You and Everyone We Know is my kind of movie. It seems that I'm not the only one who thinks to make up impromptu eulogies for the goldfish of strangers. I don't know what liking this movie says about me but it can't be that I'm a hipster because I only scored a 1 on that Gawker Hipster Quiz that Contributor Bryan linked on his site.
It's true. I don't know anybody whose last name is one letter besides that guy from Interpol with the empty gun holster and that's only because he's Hispanic or half-Hispanic or something. I'd say sorry but I'm not sorry. And whoever can write a song with that refrain wins a special gift.
6. 'Cause starting ahead of time IS a good idea.
To those of you who haven't gotten my double live mixes. They're a'coming, I promise. I'm slow. At least some of them got out though.
7. 'Cause it's the end of the year and you know you want to celebrate.
And in conclusion, Broken Social Scene. I would scrub the stables of Broken Social Scene. Also, I would willingly wear a baby blue satin jacket with "Broken Social Scene" written on the back while I do it. And mirrored shades. And a 'tache. Their self-titled record does all the things a record is supposed to. Make you think about possibilities, dance, feel elated, stare off into space, stick your hand out of a car window so it can dance, make you want to fuck like a cheetah or just sleep, your arm curled around the one you love as you fall into their quiet breathing; the car alarms becoming smaller and smaller particles of noise until they're gone...
If you didn't bother getting this record, go now and buy it.
Buy Broken Social Scene by Broken Social Scene
*Literally "Monkey's Tail"
** No, I ain't feelin' the OC
***Queen fans, listen for the inside joke at the end.