– Monday night while I was DJ’ing a Christmas party at the Saint, someone came up and told me to “pump the bass” on “Christmas Time is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas. I never really expected someone to want to really feel the pounding of Vince Guaraldi’s left hand.
– That night, I really heard “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” from the new Happy Holy Days by 11 Acorn Lane. At sensible volume, I heard the album as a charming, ADD tribute to Esquivel-era lounge music with an undercurrent of electronica holding together the scramble of musical ideas that shift mid-bar. With a little volume, the dance club aesthetic came to the fore and the groove became more pronounced.
– Last night, we held our second annual Caroling Pub Crawl Uptown, and it was an overwhelming success by my standards. It was the right combination of tradition, mayhem, theater and punk as we barged into bars and restaurants to hit them with a carol or two. There were those who didn’t feel us (the crowd at Henry’s generally seemed far too interested in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl – seriously, who’d admit to eating or drinking in a place with a name like that?) to entertain a verse or two of “Joy to the World,” but the diners at Vizard’s not only welcomed us but joined in. I felt akin to my ruffian counterparts from the early days of the colonies when we sang for a Christmas party that was breaking up and were invited in for drinks and food. Successful wassailing! Who saw that coming in 2010? Our hosts joined us for “Good King Wenceslas,” which by that point we could rock. (For a great account of wassailing and the Christianization of Christmas, check out Stephen Nissenbaum’s The Battle for Christmas.)
– Next stop: Lutcher/Grammercy, for the Christmas Eve bonfires. It’s well worth the half-hour drive to walk the levee and join a small town in one of the central events in its social life. Of course, the fire and fireworks help.