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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?
or it must be Holiday Hootenanny time!!!

Okay, so people who say Public radio is boring are out of their flipping heads! We in Pittsburgh are blessed with THE BEST public station on earth.. 91.3 WYEP (

They play anything and everything (except gangsta rap and like, Lady Ga Ga crap thankyouverymuch). In one hour you could hear such new upstarts as Vampire Weekend, Fanfarlo, Bell X1 played next to old standards like Levon Helm, Bruce Springsteen, The Cure next to reggae-inspired Michael Franti and K'Naan. The set lists are inspired and inspiring. Their mission statement is "Where the Music Matters". No truer words were ever uttered by a company. This station is a life line to all of us who crave exposure to new artists, singer songwriters, world beat...pretty much any music that isn't cookie cutter, boy band, bubble gum pop.'s blissfully commercial free. They stream live on their website. I encourage everyone to try it out. I promise you won't settle for anything else.

That said, for the last two years WYEP has put on a Christmas concert dubbed their Holiday Hootenanny. That evening worked wonders on my Bah Humbug, grumpiness last year which I wrote about here.

This year's Hootenanny was moved from the station's cozy but cramped studio to the much more lavish and spacious digs of the Pittsburgh Opera. The space accommodated over 400 festive folks.

It was phenomenal!!

The band, Silver and Gold, comprised of members from a number of local bands, kicked BUTT! They belted out such raucous greats as Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming To Town", Darlene Love's "Christmas, Baby Please Come Home" and a full on, rocking version of the Kinks "Father Christmas" as well as the quieter "Oh Holy Night", beautifully sung by the angelic Casey Corbin.

Anyone leaving this evening without the Christmas spirit firmly planted in their soul would have to have ice in their veins or be named Edward Cullen. (see what I did there? huh, huh... I worked in the whole popular, overused vampire thingie.)

This year my sister and I were accompanied by most of our Card Club gal pals. A fun time was had by all. And we all got to feel good about ourselves since the proceeds went to restock the local food bank. Double karma point score.

Here are some of the festive holiday tunes from the evening.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Last year Sara was pregnant...I mean REALLY pregnant. Really, REALLY preggers. Like the baby's arm was practically hanging out and waving to us. He was born two weeks later. Anywho, she and her husband Scott sang this last year. She was swilling a martini and he was smoking a stogie. A funny visual.

Moving on..

Snoopy and the Red Baron (Christmas Bells)

This diddy was sung by two brothers from Mars. As in Mars, Pennsylvania. Seriously. We have a town named Mars. We also have a township named Moon. Luckily, no town named Uranus. Nobody wants to live in Uranus. Come on... Who would live in Uranus?

*giggle* you said Ur-anus...

Oh! Oh! Check this out! At :27 in, the one brother totally grabs his bro's tat and gives it a honk! No shit! Some suspect brotherly love there, no? Perhaps that's how they roll on Mars. "Merry Christmas! Honk Honk!"

Merry Christmas, Baby (?)

Local singer extraordinaire, Ben Hardt belts out a bluesy tune I think is called "Merry Christmas, Baby". If not, too bad. That's what I'm calling it now.

And then Quentin Tarantino showed up and blew the roof off the joint with his rendition of The Kinks "Father Christmas":

Father Christmas (by special guest Quentin Tarantino)

This song alone puts me in the proper Christmas frame of mind. Love those Kinks!!

There are a couple more songs posted on my YouTube site: "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", "Blue Christmas" and The Pogues' "Fairytale of NY"--which coincidentally the lovely blue-eyed one sang with TV's Jill Hennessy at a bookstore concert we attended on vacation.

*le sigh*

Oh, you know that'll show up on a future posting. Be patient, my lovelies or at least be forewarned.

Anywho, I know I won't be back here before Friday because I'll be hip-deep in muck and mire preparing for the family soiree, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or maybe just a Happy Friday, if you are so inclined.

In any case, may your day be filled with abundant love, laughter and loads of libation... Because sometimes it's the only way to get through family functions. I realize not everyone is as lucky as me.



demoncat said...

loved the videos for sounds like the music concert was fun and that one guy did look like Quentin Tarantino. for the real one is too busy to have shown up.and hope you have a Merry christmas and a Happy New year also.

Murray said...

He did look like Tarantino, right? Anyway, hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas, Demoncat. All the best for a spectacular 2010! Thanks for reading all my bullsh*t. :-)