Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas countdown: Music starts on radio

While Delaine was working hard in the kitchen yesterday morning, I flipped on the radio and started twisting the dial to find something good to hear. The dial was on KMST, down at 88.5 FM; I usually listen to Morning Edition so I can keep up with what's going in the world of secularism and liberalism, plus I like the music on KMST. On Thanksgiving Day, I thought I'd move over to the Christian station, 106.3 FM, to hear something inspirational. I got sidetracked somewhere around 104 with Christmas music. I figured they would play a song and then I'd move onto 106.3.

The station, and I don't what it is or where it comes from because there was never any station identification, played non-stop Christmas music while Delaine cooked. When we got back home yesterday evening, it was still playing Christmas music. I turned it on this morning, more Christmas music.

I like Christmas music, but I like traditional Christmas music done by traditional Christmas singers and musicians, people like Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Ferrante and Teicher, the Harry Simeone Chorale and the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Modern singers and musicians have figured out multiple ways to mess up a good Christmas song. The only time I like to hear a messed-up Christmas song is when it's meant to be a novelty. For instance, there's a swining version of Away in the Manger that cracked me up the first and only time I ever heard it. I thought it was Frank Sinatra singing about "that little cat Jesus asleep on the hay." I did a little more research and I think it is a guy named Bob Francis and the version is called "That Swingin' Christmas." I am looking for a copy of it at a reasonable price; Delaine found it on Amazon for $40, but that's way too much for me.

Now I like that tune because it's over the top and it is meant to be over the top. I'm not a big Harry Connick Jr. Christmas music fan, because when he "swings" a Christmas song, he's doing it sincerely, not as a novelty.

But that's just my old stick-in-the-mud personality at work.

Here's where I listen to Christmas music:

Live365.com's Christmas stations

Pandora.com

There are scores of stations to pick on Live365, so if one of them starts playing crap you don't like, you can switch to another staton.

On Pandora, you "seed" the station with songs and artists you like, and then the computer starts picking music it thinks you'll like. If you don't like a song, you give it a thumbs-down; it stops playing that song and will never play it again. You can eventually fine-tune a station so it will play only music you like.

Here's a good ol' Christmas song for you:

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