The Strange Holiday Mix, 2015

The annual list of holiday songs now in heavy rotation on my phone. Lots of odd, fun stuff, with some sorta traditional music mixed in. Think of it as my own personal war on Christmas. :-)

1. Winter Wonderland / Don’t Worry Be Happy – Pentatonix (feat. Tori Kelly)
2. I Feel It In My Bones – The Killers (feat. Ryan Pardey)
3. Christmas In Heaven – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
4. Blue Christmas – Michael Bublé
5. Christmas Wish – She & Him
6. Everyday Is Christmas – Straight No Chaser (feat. Colbie Caillat)
7. (Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man With the Bag – Seth MacFarlane
8. The Santa Claus Boogie – The Tractors
9. Santa, Teach Me to Dance – Debbie & The Darnels
10. Yabba-Dabba Yuletide – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
11. More Than I Wished For – Schuyler Fisk
12. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – She & Him
13. Let’s Ditch Christmas – Jeremy Messersmith
14. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
15. The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
16. Dirt Sledding – The Killers (feat. Ryan Pardey & Richard Dreyfuss)
17. Christmas At Ground Zero – Weird Al Yankovic
18. Christmas Blues – Canned Heat

Whatever you are celebrating this time of year, enjoy.

Two Cities

I took so many pictures today in Shanghai, it's difficult to pick just two to represent our experiences. The top is a view many people have seen (at least in photos), a cluster of skyscrapers, each taller than the next and brightly lit at night. The bottom is a band we happened across while visiting the beautiful Fuxing Park in the former French area of the city. An example of a quiet, human moment in an incredibly large and chaotic city. And they were pretty good.


In The Neighborhood

After two days of riding the bus in traffic to various locations, we spent today exploring the neighborhood around the on foot. Which still looks like a big city with tall buildings and plenty of development (the first line of their new subway system opens next year). Although the weather is very nice, we saw few people on the beach. Bathing season starts July 1 (ending September 15) and I guess most take those dates very seriously.

Aside from the sightseeing, the reason we're here is the series of concerts my wife's choir is doing with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, the first of which was tonight in their home hall. They are very strict about photography (everyone is carrying a smart phone and not shy about using the camera!) so this is a shot of the choir filing out after the performance. I was probably caught on security cameras and will deported soon.

Tomorrow we are headed for Beijing on a bullet train.


The Strange Holiday Mix 2014

The annual collection of the tracks in heavy rotation on my holiday playlist. A few traditional songs mixed with a heavy dose of the humor needed to cope with this season. Too much cynicism? Maybe, but enjoy.

  1. Christmas In LA – The Killers
  2. Always in the Season – Pomplamoose 
  3. Donde Esta Santa Claus – Straight No Chaser
  4. A Christmas Song – Original Broadway Cast Company of Elf
  5. You’d Better Open Up My Present – Chicago Voice Exchange
  6. Nutmeg – Stephen Colbert & John Legend
  7. Eight Candles (A Song For Hanukkah) – Dave Koz
  8. Children Go Where I Send Thee – Nick Lowe
  9. Text Me Merry Christmas – Straight No Chaser & Kristen Bell
  10. Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton
  11. Ocho Kandelikas – Pink Martini
  12. Joy to the World – Celtic Woman
  13. Nutcracker – Straight No Chaser
  14. Blue Christmas – She & Him
  15. Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
  16. Do You Hear What I Hear, Man? – The Bobs
  17. Christmas Is Leading Me Home – Hayley Sales
  18. Little Jack Frost Get Lost – Seth MacFarlane & Norah Jones
  19. Wonderful Christmastime – Straight No Chaser & Paul McCartney
  20. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? – Elvis Costello, Feist, John Legend, Stephen Colbert, Toby Keith & Willie Nelson
  21. Auld Lang Syne – Pink Martini

Holiday Mix 2013

Welcome to my annual very short list of seasonal music that I can actually listen to more than once (as opposed to the all-purpose holiday crap playing most places). I’ll leave it to you to find any semi-psychological patterns in the collection.

  1. Christmas Is Starting Now – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  2. Mary’s Boy Child – The Idea of North
  3. Twinkling Lights – Office Romance
  4. Run Run Rudolph – Dwight Yoakam
  5. Mambo, Santa, Mambo – The Bobs
  6. 2600 – Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick
  7. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Ben Folds & Sara Bareilles
  8. Carol of the Bells – Pentatonix
  9. Rasta Reindeer (Little Saint Nick) – The Bobs
  10. Christmas In the Sand – Colbie Caillat
  11. May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas – Irma Thomas & Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  12. Merry Christmas, Baby – Rod Stewart, Cee Lo Green, Trombone Shorty
  13. Deck the Halls – Twisted Sister
  14. Hey Santa! – Carnie and Wendy Wilson
  15. If You See Rudolph – Gretchen Wilson
  16. Mele Kalikimaka – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
  17. All I Want For Christmas – The Bobs
  18. Christmas Medley – The Idea of North
  19. Walking In a Winter Wonderland – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  20. Santa Baby – Pink Martini
  21. Atheists Don’t Have No Songs – Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, enjoy!