Thursday, December 24, 2009

The 2009 Christmas Concert

Last Christmas, I posted some memories of the Christmas concerts I was part of as a kid, appending it with some of my favorite songs of the season.

This year, I thought it would be fun to offer Christmas music from the bloggers and online sites I frequent.

Down one side or the other of virtually every web presence is a list of links to other places the sites creator(s) think you might like. You, of course, won’t be interested in all of them. But each has its own personality, values and goals – just like the people who live in the communities where you live.

And as much as those of us in “the Biz” represented here might want to be trying to Save Local TV or making some movies, these are the places in which we spend a portion of our day, where we get or are convinced to abandon ideas, test and reformat our values and try in some way or another to communicate.

This growing collection of artists and innovators is also the future of information and entertainment that we’ve yet to fully figure out. But someday, it won’t be Christmas until there’s a Yule log on the fire and everybody has logged on.

So here’s my community – and their contributions to the season.

Feel free to kick in one of your own in the comment section and it’ll be added to the concert program.


Diane Wild of “TV, Eh?”, the go-to locale for all things Canadian and television, picked this from the “Love Actually” soundtrack. And if that movie hasn’t been on your Christmas movie list, download it from iTunes ASAP. It definitely captures the true spirit of the season.

Bill Cunningham at “Pulp 2.0” is always full of surprises. But I think his pick reveals that beneath the blood-spattered Mad Pulp Bastard beats the heart of a man who keeps his Laser Blaster at the ready but safely holstered. From the incredibly heart-warming “Charlie Brown’s Christmas”…

Courtesy “Fadoo” , sports broadcaster Bob McCown’s magnificent sport site which debuted earlier this year: Diana and Alyonka Larianov, daughters of Russian superstar and Detroit Red Wing Hall of Famer Igor Larianov, with a new Christmas song, the proceeds of which go towards Hockey Fights Cancer. 

Over at Facebook and Ink Canada, Karen Walton wrangles more than a thousand scribes and script enablers to examine screenwriting with an enthusiastic inquisitiveness, always finding some new issue or event to explore. Sort of explains her concert pick, Danny Elfman’s “What’s this?” from “The Nightmare before Christmas”.

One of Ms. Walton’s cheerful acolytes at Ink Canada is Brandon Larraby, an up and coming writer with his own “A Boy and his TV Show” blog. It’s a great place for picking up on what new writers are thinking and feeling, thoughts and emotions summed up somewhat by Brandon’s selection for our concert…

Alex Epstein’s first choice of “Carol of the Meows” was blocked in all versions I could find by WMG. I guess if you’ve got fangs and claws you can keep your recording company looking out for your royalties. So the second selection from the guy who runs Complications Ensue is the “O Holy Night” number from the “Studio 60” Christmas episode. The conventional wisdom is that NBC stopped doing real drama in 2009, but I think you can make the argument that their race was run when they didn’t find a way to save this show.

Bill Brioux of “TV Feeds My Family” wanted to present The Mills Brothers -- “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”. But that also just wasn’t available on video. Now I could’ve gone with versions by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald or Rosemary Clooney that mimicked the Mills Brothers harmonious arrangement. But Bill has been such an intelligent champion of legitimate local television for the last year, helping to save CHCH in Hamilton as well as blunting the multi-network “Save Local TV” balderdash, that I figured this version from “The Lucky Duckies” was the most fitting.

Will Dixon of “Uninflected Images Juxtaposed” took a long time coming up with his number, trying, as is his wont, to come at Christmas from a unique and original angle, using that 360 degree clear field of vision that can only be found in Saskatchewan to make you think of this special day in an even more special way.

This next number comes from Trevor Cunningham, who decided to put his blog “Secret Lab X” to sleep this year, the better to concentrate on some upcoming projects. And while it’s not what anybody considers a traditional song of the season, it does have the word “Holly” in it and there’s a lot of the true meaning of Christmas in the lyrics.

Because it’s my blog, I get to close the program. And I’d like to do that with a Christmas song I first heard 30 years ago driving through the Appalachians on a snowy Christmas Eve. It perfectly captured the mood of that night and deserves a wider audience. 

Well, that’s it for this year. My thanks to all those who contributed. Cyberspace wouldn’t be the same without you.

And Merry Christmas to all of you who have dropped in for this! I hope the day brings you all the warmth and happiness the season has to offer. And thanks again for visiting the Legion in the amazing numbers you have this year. It’s been both appreciated and inspiring. I hope 2010 provides all the blessings and rewards Life has to offer.

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