A Playlist Revisited: Have a Very Nerdy New Year’s Eve!

Two New Year’s Eves ago, I posted A Nerdy Playlist for New Yearโ€™s Eve. I thought it might be fun to tweak it a bit, in the spirit of out with the old, in with the new!

1. To get us in the mood, Ella Fitzgerald asks, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”

Like I mentioned in the previous post, many people are not at all sad to see 2009 coming to a close; ditto the aughties as a whole. Seems this sentiment prevailed through much of the decade:

2. REM: โ€œItโ€™s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Well, like I said before, you can’t fall out of the basement! This song, which was the first dance at McDoc’s and my wedding, is appropriate here:

3. Tony Bennett & Diana Krall: “The Best Is Yet To Come”

You never know what the future holds, though — paranoia will likely endure!

4. Donald Fagen: “New Frontier”

Here’s a song that never goes out of style, in my opinion, and this year it’s almost numerically fitting! Though “I’m gonna party like it’s two… thou… sand… and nine!” does sound a bit forced, I admit! ๐Ÿ˜›

5. Prince: “1999”

You want nostalgia? Here you go. I know, it’s set on Christmas Eve, but the sax supplies the requisite “Auld Lang Syne” at the end, so I still think it fits.

6. Dan Fogelberg: “Same Old Lang Syne”

If you roll VIP, you may want to check out this, the mother of all New Year’s Eve parties. If you’re like me, and it’s too rich for your blood, don’t despair — turn this on and waltz around your living room!

7. Johann Strauss: “The Blue Danube Waltz”

One more waltz tune, from an opera traditionally performed around this holiday:

8. Johann Strauss: Waltz from Die Fledermaus

Here’s the song I finished up with last year — I have a tradition of listening to it each January 1.

9. U2: “New Year’s Day”

I think I’ll add another U2 tune to that tradition, though — this puts me in a good frame of mind for new beginnings. ๐Ÿ™‚

10. U2: “Beautiful Day”

Your turn, music nerds: what are you listening to today and tomorrow? Whatever it is…

Here’s hoping for a beautiful 2010! ๐Ÿ™‚


Post-Holiday Blues + End-of-Decade Anxiety = Give Me a Funny Video NOW!!

Happy Eve of New Year’s Eve, music nerds!

Didn’t get quite what you wanted for Christmas? You’re not alone!

Garfunkel and Oates: nerdy comic geniuses, n’est-ce pas? Look for more on them in an upcoming post!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in a bit of a funk the past couple days; I suppose it’s part post-Christmas slump and part end-of-the-year anxiety. Where did 2009 go? How can it be 2010 already? OMGWTFBBQ!!

It doesn’t help that the internets have been rife with both end-of-the-year and end-of-the-decade pronouncements. The general consensus seems to be that the aughties were a write-off, and that 2009 in particular was pretty dreadful. The Rude Pundit sums it up colorfully (in three parts), and I can’t find much to argue with there.

Side note/commercial break: Next week, I’ll be summing up the year in classical music as part of my Community Blogger duties for the GRAMMYSยฎ. You can bet that will be much more uplifting than a lot of the end-of-year stuff I’ve been reading! ๐Ÿ˜€ )

MMN & McDoc singing at our wedding reception

MMN & McDoc singing at our wedding reception

But reality is, of course, always more complex than whatever the current conventional wisdom happens to be. And for me, personally, this decade had an upward trajectory, though it certainly wasn’t a straight line. It began with the loss of VirgoMom, in August 2000. You can’t fall out of the basement, right? It continued with a variety of grad-school misadventures, halting experiments in making a living as a musician, and the quest — now a madcap comedy of errors thanks to hindsight — to find Mr. Miss Music Nerd. Of course, in the end, McDoc found me. I know it’s really, really annoying when people say that what you’re looking for will come along when you least expect it, but I have to admit, it’s true.

At any rate, when I compare I am now with where I was in 2000, all I can do is sigh with relief. Well, okay, I can do a lot more than that. I have plenty to rue and moan about; I’d lose my Temperamental Artist card if I didn’t. But I have to say, to my shock and surprise, I am… content. Happy, even. Whoa, who’da thunk it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s good that I’m getting this little episode of ennui out of the way now, because January will be very, very busy! I’ve been active behind the scenes, lining up interviews with interesting local music folk. I also have a pile of GRAMMY-nominated recordings that I’ll be featuring. But the really big thing, of course, is the countdown to the GRAMMY Week itself!! I bought my plane ticket for Cali and everything, so it’s game on, woot!! ๐Ÿ˜€


Carols from Hell!

Merry Eve of Christmas Eve, everybody!

Tomorrow is a big day for me; I have not one, but two Christmas Eve church gigs!

Since tomorrow will be all about the musically sublime, I thought it would be fun to devote tonight to the musically ridiculous!

I think everyone has at least one: the song that inspires bone-chilling dread every year, as soon as the Halloween are cleared from store shelves to make way for the commodities of Christmas. The song that makes you breathe a sigh of relief when December 26 rolls around. I know I do!

Herewith, Miss Music Nerd’s 5 Most Un-favorite Christmas songs!

First, a few parameters:

  • Only traditional, widely-known songs are eligible for this infamy, as Miss Music Nerd is not going to waste her beautiful mind keeping up with current pop mediocrity. That’s well-covered elsewhere.
  • I’m not going to get into the topic of bad covers of songs that may or may not be good; we’d be here all night. The particular performance doubtlessly has an impact on one’s opinion of the song, though.
  • McDoc asked me what my criteria are for categorizing a song as an un-favorite. If I took my time, I could probably articulate it in more detail, but for now I’ll just sum it up: songs that bug the sh*t out of me. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

‘Jingle bell’ and ‘mistletoe’ are nouns that should not be verbed. That is all.

2. Santa Baby

A common complaint about Christmas is that it’s too centered on materialism; common complaint about Halloween is that costumes for women are needlessly floozy-ish. This song gives you both.

3. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

It was sort of funny the first time… Actually, no, it wasn’t. ๐Ÿ˜›

4. Must Be Santa

Call me a mean old grouch, but I’m not so groovy with these additive, repeat a phrase eleventy times kinds of things. And a note about this performance: Mr. Dylan, Barbara Streisand called; she wants her hairstyle back. ๐Ÿ˜›

5. The Boar’s Head Carol

I chose this one not because I actually dislike it all that much; in fact, I like the harmony of the chorus quite a bit. However, it commits the musical sin of having the text set such that the ac-CENT goes on the wrong syl-LA-ble. Three times! >:-( The offending syllables are in bold below. That fourth one’s a wobbler, but I don’t like it.

The boar’s head in hand bring I,
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary.
I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio (Translation: As many as are in the feast)

Caput apri defero (Translation: The boar’s head I offer)
Reddens laudes Domino (Translation: Giving praises to the Lord)

The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico. (Translation: Let us serve with a song)


Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss;
Which, on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio. (Translation: In the Queen’s hall)

Also, as a vegetarian, I can’t much warm to the idea of eating a pig’s head, though I appreciate the don’t-waste-anything ethic it represents. ๐Ÿ˜› I’m fortunate to have a wealth of alternatives!

Finally, because I hate to end on a sour note, here’s one of my not-un-favorites. This, I think, is just one of the most beautiful things ever. ๐Ÿ™‚


Season’s Monde-Greetings!

A while back, I wrote about the wonderful world of misheard lyrics, a.k.a. Mondegreens, which come about when you can’t quite understand the words to a song, but your mind fills in familiar, if non-sensical, words and phrases, often with hilarious results.

It was recently brought to my attention that this festive season, which is so full of wonderful music, is also rife with Mondegreen mischief. Hark! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think he’d look pretty good in a Santa hat!
Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly

(I think he would’ve liked jazz, too. RIP)

Good thing, because we all have egg nog breath!
Joy to the World, the Lord has Gum!

Those reindeer boxer shorts are cute, but please…
Get Dressed, Ye Merry Gentlemen

Besides, you’ll freeze out there!
Walking in our Winter Underwear

Oh, and which angel is Harold, anyway?
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing!

Your turn, music nerds — if you know of any I’ve missed, add them in comments!


Urgent Hello Kitty Menorah Update!

Just in time for the last night of Hanukkah!

I was excited to find that my Hello Kitty Menorah made it onto a list of 5 Geeky Menorahs at Fandomania, a pop culture blog with a geeky bent.

When the list was first posted, it featured the first version of the HK Menorah, with Hello Kitty figurines bearing various fruits. But since then, I obtained the Hello Kitty Holiday Band (McDoc found it on ebay — thanks, baby!), which is awesome, because it makes the Menorah both musical and more holiday-themed! (The players have little Santa hats on, you see!)

That’s a conductor under the shamash, by the way. And there’s still one fruit-bearing Kitty on the far right, since the band has only 8 members. ๐Ÿ™‚

The nice blogger at Fandomania kindly updated with the new and improved version.

I wish I had more of these, because I’ve had inquiries about them. I’ll work on it for next year! ๐Ÿ™‚


This Ain’t Your Mama’s Musical Advent Calendar!

Two Decembers ago, I came across a wonderful online Advent Calendar, featuring a different piece of advent music for each day performed by the wonderful musicians of Trinity Church in New York City. I’m sad to report that the music links on that calendar don’t appear to be working anymore, and this year’s calendar at the same site, while wonderful too, doesn’t have music. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

The holiday season without music? Why, that’s like a day without sunshine, or coffee, or kitty cats, or… fill in whatever you feel makes life worth living!

Off I went to the Google, confident that I would find a musical advent calendar somewhere on this great, big internet.

Well, I haven’t yet found anything that gives me the classical fix I’m jonesing for, but I did find two things that are notable in their own ways. Click Mr. Readmore for the particulars! Continue reading

The Awesome Gravity of J.S. Bach!

So there I was, minding my own business, looking for a particular recording, when gravity conspired against me, as it is wont to do!

Click Mr. Readmore for the whole, messy story… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Continue reading

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