Five Christmas Songs Worth Hearing

Let me start off by saying Merry Christmas to everyone that celebrates it.  Speaking of Christmas, I’m rather tired of hearing the same Christmas songs repeated every year non-stop. If you like all Christmas music, then that’s great for you since it plays non stop on every radio station beginning in the middle of November and ends today. I wanted to make a list of Christmas songs for the rest of us who tend to sort through all of the coal for the diamonds.

5. “Last Christmas”- Wham!

The 80s was before my time seeing as I grew up in the 90s, but it was probably the last decade in which we had note worthy original Christmas music. A tale of heartbreak on a holiday about peace and family love ending in finding love once more, it stands out as unique in my mind compared to some of the more cheesy Christmas songs made in 60s and 70s. I love the synth chords, George Michael’s heart filled vocals, and the steady beat driving that mellow yet melancholy feel of the song. It’s a classic to me despite being overplayed.

4. “Carol of the Bells”- Pentatonix

A modern Acapela cover of real classic carol composed by Mykola Leontovych in 1904. I normally don’t go for Acapela groups that often, but I really love YouTube artists like Pentatonix and Peter Hollens since that have really breathed new life into a genre best known to be sung by teenagers and theater snobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a snob on the arts, ahem. Other than the numerous moving harmonic textures heard throughout the song, I just love how Pentatonix uses their voices to paint a picture of an epic Christmas carol that gets you excited for an epic Christmas.

3. “I WIsh it Was Christmas Today”- Julian Casablancas

And so we have a more cheesy, but still quite enjoyable song about how Julian Casablancas wishes that today was Christmas. Thankfully today actually is Christmas, so that wish has been granted. I reviewed this song a few years back on my old blog, but I still find it enjoyable and it’s a nice little Christmas anthem. The music’s straightforward composing doesn’t leave much to comment on, but I do feel that Casablancas believes what he’s singing in his heart to be proof of great emoting. I also really dig that mini guitar solo towards the end.

2. “Christmas Song” -Dave Matthews Band

While some will scoff at Dave Matthew’s voice and the “white guy with acoustic guitar genre”, I’ve always had a soft spot for this type of music. I find it relaxing and wholesome, the flip coin of aggressive heavy metal or risqué pop music. I recently discovered this today. I find it so mellow, expressive, and wonderful to listen too. It covers religious aspects of Christmas and how the forces of love and peace conquers all things on this day. It’s an added bonus to have an acoustic religious song be subtle rather than some other songs out there which are just too “Jesus Freaky”.

1. “Little Drummer Boy” -John Denver

There have been many covers of this particular piece from Johnny Cash to The Animaniacs, but the John Denver version stands out to me for its overall majesty celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love how Denver uses his 12 string guitar in conjunction with a full orchestra (which was even performed by Denver at The Vatican in the past). I’ve always had a soft spot for this version since John Denver is my favorite folk singer, and Denver believes every word he sings on this song. RIP John Denver, your music will never be forgotten to those who love it.

And so we have my five favorite Christmas Songs, if I missed any songs that you as a reader enjoy; feel free to share them in the comments section. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everybody!


Walking Dead 5:08 “Coda” Review and Reaction

Okay, I’m bringin’ it, bringin’ it, bringin’ it back. I’m bringin’ it, bringin’ it back: FIRE BALL!!! Sorry for the Pitbull reference there. I meant to say that I’m bringing back the spoiler warning for this one because the shit really hit the fan on tonight’s episode. I don’t normally swear on my blog, but I’m making an exception for tonight because this was pretty heavy.

*Spoiler warning*

Now that I’ve effectively established I take no responsibility for spoiling major plot points for you; this episode was a very, very strong one. Not as epic as the season opener, but way more gut wrenching.

To summarize, after Rick ran over and shot the escaping cop, Father Gabriel brought a hoard of zombies from the school where the Termites were staying back to the church, Glenn and Maggie reunited with Carl and Michonne just in time to kill the walker hoard, and the plan for the exchanged mostly worked. After a lot of talking the Walking Dead Rescue Mission (hashtag) went down, but not as planned. The prisoners were exchanged, but Officer Dawn demanded to have Noah back since she lost Beth as her “ward”. Noah was about accept that offer, but Beth hugged Officer Dawn and then stabbed her with surgical scissors. What happened next made my jaw drop and my heart sink: Dawn shot Beth clean in the head, to which Daryl shot Dawn clean in the head back in retaliation.

What I liked: the coldness in which Rick dealt with the escaping officer, how we saw the internal struggles Dawn had over exercising her tyrannical rule on the hospital with that fight scene between Dawn and the other officer, the scene with the cops and Daryl and Sasha being snipers far away. Seeing Dawn get what she deserved was nice, I honestly thought she was more despicable than the Governor in some ways (namely how her narcissism made her believe she was saving people when she was actually enslaving them. At least the Governor was aware of how he hurt people.) Also, I hated that it had to happen, but this character death with Beth just created a huge tremor of emotion to millions of viewers (which hasn’t happened since Hershel died). That’s why this episode was great, because it created such a huge tremor in TWD fan community.

What I didn’t like: Not much aside from the huge amounts of talking and how the sub plot of rick shooting the escaped cop was used as a diversion to the real WTF moment in this episode rather than starting the conflict between the two groups. I’m also sad that I have to wait until February 2015 to see where Rick’s group goes next.  It will be interesting to see where the group goes from here.

And with that, I leave you with my new favorite EDM song: Prayer in C by Lily Wood and The Prick, which I dedicate to the Grady Memorial Cops for being the most annoying villains in Walking Dead history.