atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#6043: Snowing on Christmas Eve!

That is a rarity here. It does not look like there will be much of it, but it's accumulating and it is turning the world white.

About time.

* * *

Over a Borepatch's place someone's put up Bruce Springsteen singing "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town".

Bruce Springsteen is probably one of the most overrated acts in his genre.

Prior to his 1984 release "Born in the USA"--which made his career despite being bloody awful--he put out a couple of decent songs, but nothing that I thought was particularly noteworthy.

The problem is that his music is dead simple, consisting mostly of unvarying repetition. Once a song establishes a theme, it clings to it, never varying or embellishing. The music for the title track of the album, "Born in the USA", consists entirely of what would be a synth intro in a song written by anyone with talent; it's three chords in a repeating pattern over and over and over again.

Springsteen himself has an extremely limited vocal range. When he sings "My Hometown" it's a droning sequence of notes; the sequence of notes used to sing the first phrase of each couplet are echoed half an octave lower for the second couplet, and then it repeats.

"Pink Cadillac" consists of three notes. Most of the lyrics repeat.

So it comes as no surprise that the the chorus for "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is too much of a stretch for him. In that song, he sings it they way he sings everything else: a sequence of a few notes, and when he reaches the end of the chorus with the long "Santa Claus is comin' to town!" he uses two notes, descending to a third one on the last note. His version of this Christmas song reduces it to the same formula his original music follows: remove all variation and complexity, and reduce it to as few notes as possible.

There are a very few of his songs which do not feature this minimalist approach to music. And the few times that happens, you may depend on the lyrics being endless repetition, the exact same words sung the exact same way to the exact same notes, over and over and over again.

The Wikipedia entry on Springsteen talks about his "poetic lyrics". No.

...I would go on about this, but from here it descends into politics, and the holiday ban on politics is in
effect. But suffice it to say Springsteen's hard left, and that's why the critics love him so much.

* * *

This is a favorite of mine. "The Gift of the Walmagi" is all about how capitalism is a good thing.

The one disappointing thing: yesterday I tried to buy a couple of polo shirts at Walmart, but they didn't have any. All kinds of long-sleeved shirts, of course, and t-shirts galore...but no polos. *sigh*

* * *

The Falcon Heavy test payload. It's a Tesla, all right. Win.

* * *

This does prove that Vikings were in North America sometime in the 11th century. Long before Columbus, certainly.

* * *

Speaking of Christmas music annoyances--

Listening to "Traditional Seasonal Radio" (TSR), I keep hearing songs from the Christmas records Dad would periodically get. Dad got a lot of swag by virtue of being moderately high up in the power structure at his employer; vendors did their typical thing and sent swag to people at his level and above, and the result was a Christmastime full of surprises at the Fungus household. Dad never made VP, but that's because he was too good at developing the best paint in the industry. Montgomery Wards was a leader in house paint, and Dad's talents were a major factor in "why". He was too valuable to promote out of the lab; they pushed him as high as they could without that, because other companies kepty trying to hire him away.

My Christmas vignette from 2015, "Wrapping Paper", was based on one of those gifts, which was--as described in the story--an assortment of wrapping paper. Its arrival heralded the holiday season. (The rest of the story is fictional, although I did once suggest that my brother and I stay awake to listen for Santa, and he told me Santa wouldn't come unless we were asleep.)

But there were other things. Mom's predilection for making cookies and desserts with pecans began when we started getting 10 lb sacks of pecans in the shells. There always seemed to be a Christmas amaryllis. Fruit baskets, cheese boxes--swag, in other words. And Christmas records.

And lots of the songs on this channel are right off those records. They're floating around here somewhere, but most of which have succumbed to the ravages of time, one way or another.

But TSR keeps trying to run Gregorian chants and selections from the Nutcracker, which I don't want to hear, so I skipped a few in a row. And the instant I used up all my skips for the hour, what does Pandora choose to put up? Only one of my top five despised Christmas songs of all time, Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You", of course. That channel, so far, has not even tried to front any pop songs, which is why I've bothered to listen to it. No "Do They Know It's Christmas?", no "So This Is Christmas", "Wonderful Christmastime", "Last Christmas", or any of the other craptastic extrusions which are guaranteed to make me turn that shit right the hell off.

Click thumbs down, get the stupid circle, choose between "get skips" and "not now".

So I changed the channel.

* * *



Merry Christmas, everyone.
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