Post by hleopold Post by Don Martin Post by Mattb
I am just wondering how many atheist like Christmas music and exchange
gifts and have family time during the holiday.
Pretty much this is my favorite Christmas song.
Merry Christmas, Darling - The Carpenter
I exchange gifts and detest "Xmas music." generally speaking...
While I have a soft spot for "Stille Nacht" auf Deutsch,
This is its 200th anniversary.
Post by hleopold Post by Don Martin
loathe christmas music, particularly as it is played on American
radio, back to back carols for a solid two weeks. During that time, I
use my Roku to tune in Radio Swiss Classic in either German or French
for better listening.
“(B)ack to back carols for a solid two weeks.” Oh you poor baby, try
working at Monkey Ward back in 1977 in Oakland, Ca. I had just gotten out of
the Navy and needed a job quickly so ended up working at Montgomery Ward
selling sewing machines and vacuums for about a year. Unknown to any working
there the head office had decided that that particular store would be closing
in early 1978, so they started cutting way back in the usual stuff, we got a
really cheap and very bad copy of Christmas music “by famous artists”
(that nobody had ever heard of before or since) that I swear started playing
about late September, all though the rest of the year and on at least another
couple of months of 1978, more then FIVE months of crappy Christmas music,
even the customers were getting tired of that by the end of October. These
days I still flinch when I hear most Christmas music, if I hear too much of
it I start turning into the Grinch, or at least I turn a delicious shade of
green. So either I am turning into the Grinch or it is nausea, it is kind of
hard to which without a doctors exam.
Mall Music horror story: late 70s, early 80s. I worked in a large,
national-chain bookshop as a receiving clerk, down in the basement.
When the heavy shopping days hit, I was sometimes seconded to cashier
at the front of the store. Our store was sited on a corner of the
center of the mall, which was an ice skating rink. The rink played
music that we could hear in the front of the store, and we had no say
over what was played. Sometimes it was a mix of various carols,
and holiday pop, from "Black Friday" on, but other times, when
figure skaters or skating clubs were practicing routines, it was the
same song, on repeat, for what seemed like hours. We had the order
of the Christmas tracks memorized.
A few years later, I had a "back office" job at another store,
ordering stock, creating inventory reports, etc, for an independent
store. Our business books department manager would put the same
new age flute music cassette on to play at lunchtime almost every
day. Steve Kujala, "Fresh Flute." Totally innocuous, unless you heard
The thing is, the guy had run a decent record shop, in walking
distance of the local state university, before working for us.
He knew music. I used to buy my punk and new wave LPs from him.
He slapped that flute stuff in because it was aural wallpaper,
unlikely to either annoy the clientele or engage them. He wanted
them to spend their lunch hour making purchases. Interesting tunes
for the morning or afternoon crowds - or lack thereof: the store
was in a downtown, and weekday traffic was heavily concentrated
around folks' work schedules - were OK, but when the store was
hopping, bland was better. The local classical music FM station,
which we advertised on, was a safe bet most times.
When I worked out of customer earshot, my default was a local
student-run non-commercial FM. When they played "Little Drummer
Boy," it was likely to be by "Bad Religion."
Or "Merry Christmas..." from the Ramones.
Or The Waitresses cut, "Christmas Wrapping."
(A&P, kids, was like Whole Foods for people without money to burn.)
(Patty Donahue died from lung cancer at the age of 40.
Shit. Damn cigarettes.)
One had to know that station's schedule, and be ready to change
the frequency or slap in a tape when the next jock's shift started,
if it wouldn't be "store appropriate" music. Shoppers don't
always appreciate Burundian folk song. :)
The Sunday before Christmas, New York's WFUV plays Christmas
music in the Irish and other Celtic traditions on their
regular weekly programs, A Thousand Welcomes and Ceol na Gael.
www.wfuv.org. They archive for a couple of weeks @
http://www.wfuv.org/weekendarchives. They start at 7 am with
the syndicated "Thistle & Shamrock," and they do interrupt
with a broadcast of Catholic Mass at 11.
I've been known to record those shows and fast fwd through the
more religious bits. The trad instrumentals are very enjoyable.