Sunday, December 21, 2008

"All the Noise, Noise, Noise, NOISE!!"

Yes, sad to say, but I tend to get a little Grinchy this time of year. Mostly it's due to the drudgery of Christmas shopping. It's not that I don't want to buy gifts for family and friends, mind you, it's just that I end up having a tough time trying to find stuff that I think they will like. In fact, it always seems that I see all sorts of books, CD's and DVD's that I'D like instead! So it does feel like I'm trekking through many a store over and over before I settle on the right gifts to buy for others.

But my main complaint about Christmas shopping is making my way through the overcrowded malls and having my ears assaulted by all of the crappy contemporary Christmas songs! I'm afraid that my tastes in music have always been a lot closer to my parents' generation than that of my own, and in fact as a teen I always preferred the records my Dad played around the house far more than what my peers were listening to at the time. As such, I never did develop a taste for the rock music of the day, although a lot of the pop/rock on the radio back then certainly was a lot more tuneful than what's on nowadays. Which brings me to my complaint.

Why do all of the untalented, similar sounding, young pop/rockers of today feel that they need to release their crap versions of Christmas songs? They all seem to sound the same, as their trilling crap voices meander around the notes without ever really hitting their target, adding in a lot of inane "Yeaaahhh"s to fill in any pauses between the lyrics. And then there are the mindless rappers who have cut melody out of the equation altogether, trying to force in ten times as many words (most of them unintelligible) than the original composers had written in the first place. And all of this tuneless, appalling crap is being blasted at high volume out of every clothing and electronics store that I am forced to pass by.

Now to be fair, there are a few stores and restaurants where I can hear old chestnuts from glorious Christmases past sung by the likes of Bing, Frank, Dino, Sammy, Ella, Peggy, and Nat, but even then there still seems to be a few contemporary crap songs thrown into the mix just to rankle my nerves. Incidentally, why is it only at Christmas that the great singers of the past are allowed to be heard in public at all before being placed in the box of mothballs again for another year? If one didn't know better, one might assume that Bing Crosby had recorded "White Christmas" and nothing else during his entire career!

So there you have it - the reasons for my annual Grinchy demeanor. Please let it be Sinatra singing as I sit down to a plate of roast beast...(sigh)

And speaking of Frank and Dino, here's some fun Christmas music by the all time kings of cool - a surefire remedy for curing Grinchiness:


Jinny Liang said...

I have those moments too! Except it's throughout the year, so I pop on the Carpenters, Nancy Sinatra, BeeGees onto my mp3 player.. I sometimes put on music my dad would listen to usually. There's a certain quality about these artists from the past that can't be replaced!!


Hey Pete,
You make me laughhhhh.....

Unknown said...

Hi Pete,

you're absolutley right! And you look great as the grinch!

Here, in Germany, this guy is not so popular. There has been the movie with Jim Carrey. But that's it.

I was wondering, why you decided on blue as the background color. To be honest: when I first looked a it, my eyes hurt ;o)

Have a happy x-mas and a healthy new year 2009. I love your blog.


Sean Wickett said...


Pete Emslie said...

"I was wondering, why you decided on blue as the background color. To be honest: when I first looked a it, my eyes hurt ;o)"

Sorry about your eyes, Michael! The only reason for the blue background is that it's just like the blue sky that backs the Grinch on top of Mount Crumpit in the film. I just chose to be literal, that's all.

Vincent Bruni said...

Hey Pete,

I agree with you. Christmas shopping is the worst! Last week i had to scramble for gifts with whatever money i had left and it was tough!

As for christmas music, I really don't mind it until they play the same song for the tenth time!

Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year!


Jim A. said...

I have to agree with you 100% about the music Pete. I don't know what's happening to western culture. Mediocrity prevails in the mainstream. We see it everywhere. In movies, animation, television, music, and even the quality of goods and services has diminished.

But when it comes to the mainstream "arts", it's unfortunate that this situation has existed for so long now, and continues on. Who is to blame but the people who buy these products? We all have choices. Believe it or not, real talent still does exist out there. You just have to look in the right places to find it. But, unfortunately the masses continue to support these mainstream products. At this point I'm surprised that even the indiscriminant majority insn't bored.

All I can hope is that sometime soon a transition will occur. Perhaps it will come about as a byproduct of the economic situation. Maybe with people having less disposable income, they will develop the ability to see the difference between quality and a waste of money.

I wonder if the government will bail out Hollywood if it begins to fail. Let's hope not.

deniseletter said...

Hi Pete,As a Grinch you look like a green rabbit.Lol!!!I agree with you,The environment you describe is one of terror."Why is it only at Christmas that the great singers of the past are allowed to be heard in public at all before being placed in the box of mothballs again for another year?"I think the reason is marketing and advertising behaviour,the sellers thinking these singers are out of date and only seeing as traditionals like Christmas Carols.Are still there some radio stations can you hear them?

Merry X-Mas & Happy New Year!

Kelly Conley said...

Ha! That is a great cross-caricature!

Eric Noble said...

I completely agree with you. My tastes in music have gone more with my dad's tastes. I was once a fool and listened to crap like NSync and others, but at age eleven, I saw the truth.

By the way, great picture. You make an excellent Grinch. One of the best Christmas specials ever.

David said...

I hear ya , Pete and I know that "grinchy" feeling , but I think that's just being a realist.

Have you ever read C.S. Lewis's little satirical jibe at the Xmas "racket" (sort of like Schulz having Lucy say "We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know. ) "Xmas and Christmas: A Lost Chapter from Herodotus" and What Christmas Means to Me ?

But in the true spirit of the Season let me wish you a very Merry Christmas (and haul our the holly and bring on the Sinatra, Bing, Ella, and Dino records !)

David said...

Oh, and by the way , Pete, remember this from SCTV:

Frank Incense

I think you'll like this .

Anonymous said...

I've been complaining about that for weeks! Thanks!

Pete Emslie said...

I'm glad to know that my Grinchiness is shared by others. Only the music of Sinatra and his cronies will be played in The Cartoon Cave all year round.

Jim A. said...

Sorry, I spent so much time on the soapbox I neglected to wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

This definitely one of my favorite blogs Pete. Keep it up.

Eric Noble said...

Don't forget to add Bing to that list. He did some great renditions of other Christmas songs, not just "White Christmas".

By the way, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's make the next year better.

Mitchel Kennedy said...

PETE!! Just buy people food! You can't go wrong!!

Hodges said...

i going to have to say that all xmas music sucks and is annoying, including the video here of the "kings of cool"

i also dislike generalizing music like rock and hiphop and criticizing it from a narrow perspective, run dmc did my favorite xmas song, which was still super cheezy, but you dont have to hate on what you dont understand, just understand its difference and try to see its appeal to others

Pete Emslie said...

Sean, I'm allowed to hate any kind of music I want - that's my privilege. I despise contemporary rock and rap with every fibre in my body. Deal with it. :)