Monday, December 25, 2006

The big payback.

Soul Brother Number One, Mr. Dynamite, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk, Mr. Please Please Please, The Boss, the Godfather of Soul.

Our little burg had a big civic celebration back in 1966. I was twelve. Said celebration included a "Teen Dance" featuring a few local bands, and headlined by The McCoys ("Hang on Sloopy) and the James Brown Revue.

Sweet Jesus. James Brown in 1966 playing for a buncha pimply-faced, slack-jawed yokels at a roller rink in Wheeling W.Va. Talk about pearls before swine. We had heard him on the radio, of course. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I Feel Good" had been huge hits. But when James Brown came to our town and got all the way down on "Please, Please Please", and they came out to place that red sequined cape on his apparently exhausted frame, and he burst forward in a climactic cloud of trumpets and triumph and sweat and pain and cheap pomade, well, what could a 12 year-old white kid do but literally burst into tears from the sheer passion of it all.

It was like having a ticket to watch Michaelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. But with a horn section.

UPDATE: Jason Chervokas has a nice piece on JB.

FURTHER UPDATE: It seems JB will be lying in state, as it were, for a public viewing Thursday at (wait for it) The Apollo Theatre. Now that's just perfect. Just perfect.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I've changed my mind. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!

Friends, I once was lost, but now am found. I was blind, but now I see. Put me down as a 100% tree-trimming, stocking-hanging fan of Christmas!

You see that fella to your right? That would be Santa. And, as you can see, Santa is taking a shite! Pinchin' a loaf of fruitcake! Delivering the ol' Yule log! (What am I, 13 years old? Sorry.)

Imagine my surprise when I learned that in Catlan Christmas tradition, the nativity scene contains, in addition to the Three Kings, Joseph, Mary, Babyjeesus, ox, ass, etc., a character called "El Caganer" or, en Ingles, "The Defecator"!

Hey, don't take my word for it. Here's what MSNBC has to say:

Throughout Spain's northeastern Catalonia region, statuettes of "El Caganer," or "the great defecator" in the Catalan dialect, can be found in Christmas scenes, and increasingly on the mantelpieces of collectors, where for centuries symbols of defecation have played an important role in the season's festivities.

(Just an aside. I'm pretty well-read and over-educated. How is it that I have never heard of this?)

And as if Santa himself had granted my most fervent Christmas wish, you can get un caganer representing George W. Bush himself, for the low, low price of 12 Euros.

But wait....there's more!

The Catalonian Christmas festivities wouldn't be complete without an appearance by "Tio de Nadal", or, roughly, "The Yule Log." The tio is also called "caga tio" which translates to "shit log." There's even a carol:

caga tió,

caga turró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
¡caga tió!"

Shit, log,

shit torrons,
hazelnuts and cheese,
if you don't shit well
I'll give you a blow with a stick.
Shit, log!

The local confectioners sell candy resembling feces. I'm laughing too hard to continue. More later.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

NWA - newborn, with attitude.

That's right, kiddo. Yours is the world and everything that's in it. You're number one! Uh...wrong finger, but we get the message. You make your grandpa Doc Roxtar mighty proud.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

War on Christmas? Sure, why not?

Charlie Brown Xmas Alternate Ending

Look, if you're easily offended by atheistic mockery don't even bother clicking. Really. I think of you as my friends, and I don't want to get all in your face. On the other hand, if you're up for a chuckle, give it a whirl!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I can see a better time when all our dreams come true

I haven't much use for Christmas, but it's a great occasion to revel in the besotted Oirish genius of Shane Mac Gowan and the Pogues, and the best Christmas carol ever! Feel free to sing along!

Fairytale of New York

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They've got cars big as bars
They've got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you .