Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What Christmas Songs - versions/artists - Do You Hate?

I like to listen to a lot of different kinds of music.
I have to admit to being a guitar nut, so pretty much any music with good guitar will attract me like moth to a flame.
This is why I tend to hate rap, not because I'm a racist schmuck, but because rap very, very rarely has any guitar parts.  Someone talking over a phat beat is not something I care to listen to.
Gibson Musical Instruments used to have ads in guitar magazines showing a person from mid-chest to knees, sitting with a Les Paul guitar in their lap.  The caption of the ad said, "Lyrics, wasted time between guitar solos."  That pretty much sums up a great portion of my musical tastes.
When it comes to Christmas music, my tastes are very traditional.
I love instrumental music. There are some great instrumental Christmas albums out from over the decades. We've all heard the lyrics to many Christmas classics so many thousands of times that instrumental versions are awesome, and let us add the lyrics in our heads.
So, when an artist "gets jazzy" and tries to change an old Christmas song to make it their own, they generally fail in my estimation.
First on my list of hated Christmas song versions is, of course, Barbara Streisand's version of Jingle Bells.
I consider it a good Christmas season for myself if I somehow escape hearing Bab's version of Jingle Bells.  I cannot, for the life of me, understand why any radio host would play this travesty of a Christmas song.  I think I got my point across on that one.
Another Christmas song version that can ruin my week is Bruce Springsteen's version of Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.  I have a dear, dear friend who loves, loves, loves each and every song by Bruce Springsteen.  As in, my friend sees no error in any song choice or performance by Mr. Springsteen, ever.  That's cool.  I have bands and artists that have done little wrong in my mind, but even my favorite artists let out a stinky fart of  a song now and then, so I have no understanding of liking EVERY SINGLE THING a musical artist ever does.  The "constipated" Bruce Springsteen showed up at the studio the day they recorded this son and he sings as if he's trying to rid his body of a particularly reluctant bit of excrement.  Excrement, that's the perfect word for this song.
I am truly sorry if you love this version of Santa's Comin', but I cannot abide it.
Albert Einstein stated that noting can exceed the speed of light, but I have to say I believe my hand moving to change a radio channel when one of these two songs comes on quite possibly passes through the light speed barrier in any Christmas season.
If I thought for a while, I could come up with a bunch more Christmas song versions that drive me up the wall but I'll just list a couple more and open the floor for your comments.
I'd love to know what Christmas song versions are out there that you hate!
Oh yeah, anything by Rhianna. I had the TV's song channel on one time and they were playing Christmas music and I heard a song by someone who was blatantly singing off-pitch. I went over to look at the TV to see who was able to get a song recorded and played in public in which the singing "artist" was so obviously pitchy. It was Rhianna.
Later I heard another Christmas song with the same off-pitch singing.  Sure enough, going over to the TV revealed the culprit to be Rhianna.  Maybe she's talent-less, maybe she needs to quit smoking, but either way, her Christmas songs were terrible. If "I" can tell you're off-pitch, you're off-pitch BAD!
How about some hate for Dean Martin's version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?
I hate most lounge singer's songs of ANY type, but Christmas ones the most because the lounge singer types try, in vain, to make the songs sound hip and happening.  They invariably fail at this.  And, to add insult to injury, Mr. Martin has the gall to call the legendary Rudolph, "Ol' Rudy" in the song. How dare he?
OK, let me have it. Show me the error of my ways on Bruce's or Bab's Christmas tunes. Or add to my list and tell me which Christmas songs out there for public consumption send bad shivers up your spine.
Merry Christmas 2017!
God Bless You All

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Doing My Duty as an America Citizen

I had jury duty today.Don't worry, I wasn't chosen, so my strange way of looking at the world wasn't foisted upon the judicial system.
The morning was spent in "The Jury Room" where we all waited to be called, or not called in my case.
They bragged about the unlimited coffee they kept fresh for us.
This was a non-issue for me because I hate coffee in all it's nefarious, EE-VIL forms.
But they also supplied the jury room with an old TV set on a rolling cart, and below it on the shelves were: 1) A VHS VCR, 2) A jumble of old, pre-recorded VHS tape movies, and 3) a stack of 300, 500, and 1000 piece puzzles.
They had Robocop, so I was planning to start that if things got desperate enough to watch an old VHS tape.
The clouds parted for me when they mentioned that, for jurors, the building's cafe gave out free coffee and hot chocolate.
I'm not much for hot drinks, but hot chocolate?  Heck yeah.
So I went down there and walked past the meager little coffee cups and got me a McDonald's medium sized Styrofoam soda "cup" and topped it off with the free hot chocolate.
I immediately scalded my tongue, mouth, and the first few inches of my throat. That was the 12,654th reminder of why I avoid hot drinks.
I had to wait over 30 minutes for the chocolate to be drinkable, but it lasted me a while.
I spent a solid hour reading one of my camera manuals on my little tablet, I like to read non-fiction in waiting rooms, and learned some camera features that I either didn't know were there or how to better use features I knew about.
Then I dozed a while, I don't think I snored, but I wasn't awake enough to be sure, so...
Then just before lunch time, they let the rest of us go.
The state of Florida uses the list of licensed drivers for their pool of folks to choose for jurors, not the registered voter rolls like many people think.
I've known a lot of people in my life that didn't register to vote simply becasue they don't want to be a juror.
You'd get a surprise if you assumed you were "safe" from that in Florida.