gwalla: (ornament)
Because nobody demanded it, here's my Christmas playlist* on iTunes. Album titles are in italics, individual tracks are in artist - title format. Album tracks are not listed except for various artists compilations. Comments are in brackets:
  • Abney Park - Carol of the Bells
  • Béla Fleck & the Flecktones Jingle All the Way
  • Bob Rivers - Walkin' 'Round in Women's Underwear
  • Bob Rivers - Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire
  • The Bomboras - Lil' Drummer Boy
  • California Guitar Trio Christmas Album [The CGT are disciples of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, playing surf-inspired guitar instrumental versions of mostly classical but some pop tunes]
  • Carla Bley Carla's Christmas Carols [Bley is an avant-garde jazz pianist and bandleader; this album is amazing]
  • Clockhammer - Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Commodore 64 - A Commodore Kind of Christmas [Christmas nerdcore rap]
  • Dale North, Mustin, Nate Cloud, The OneUps - Super Mario World Super Mario's Sleigh Ride OC ReMix
  • Danny Elfman - Scrooged: Main Titles - Show Time at IBC - Elliot Gives Blood - Walter Ablaze - Wild Cab Ride - Luncheonette - Asylum - Crematorium
  • Dave Brubeck A Dave Brubeck Christmas
  • Esquivel Merry Christmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad [hi-fi lounge]
  • The Flaming Lips - Christmas at the Zoo
  • Joe Meek Vampires, Cowboys, Spacemen & Spooks

    • The Fabulous Flee-Rekkers - Green Jeans
    • Roger LaVern & The Microns - Reindeer Ride
    • Roger LaVern & The Microns - Christmas Stocking

  • John Fahey - Christmas Medley: O Tannenbaum/Angels We Have Heard On High/Jingle Bells
  • Joseph Spance - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
  • Kick the Can Crew - Christmas Eve Rap [Japanese Christmas rapping!]
  • Los Straitjackets 'Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets [Christmas surf guitar]
  • Loudon Wainwright III - Suddenly It's Christmas
  • Moon Duo - Silver Bells
  • Pac-Man The Pac-Man Christmas Album [yes, you read that right]
  • The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)
  • Red Peters - Holy Shit, It's Christmas
  • Rev Run - Santa Baby (feat. Mase, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Salt 'N Pepa, Onyx, Keith Murray)
  • Smashing Pumpkins & Radiohead - If There Is A God (Acoustic Christmas '98)
  • Squirrel Nut Zippers Christmas Caravan
  • Stan Kenton - What Is A Santa Claus
  • Sufjan Stevens - Christmas In The Room
  • Sufjan Stevens - O Holy Night
  • Sufjan Stevens - That was the Worst Christmas Ever!
  • Sufjan Stevens - It's Christmas! Let's Be Glad
  • Sufjan Stevens - Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time
  • Sufjan Stevens - Get Behind Me, Santa
  • Sy Mann Switched On Santa! [Christmoog]
  • The Vandals - Christmas Time For My Penis
  • The Vandals - A Gun For Christmas
  • The Vandals - My First Christmas (As A Woman)
  • Various Artists The American Song-Poem Christmas: Daddy, Is Santa Really Six Foot Four? )
  • Various Artists A Jazz Christmas )
  • Various Artists Thunderdome: The Xmas Edition )
  • Various Artists A Very Indie Xmas )
  • Vince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Wesley Willis - Kris Kringle Was a Car Thief [technically not a Christmas song at all, but c'mon]
  • Wonderful World of Joey - What Sweet Child O' Mine Is this?
  • Wooden Shjips - O Tannenbaum
  • Various Artists The Edge of Christmas )
  • Various Artists The Original Soul Christmas )
  • Various Artists We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! )

    *I should point out that I don't listen to this playlist straight through. Instead, I have smart playlists that select rotating sections of it to mix in with other stuff.
gwalla: (ornament)
Another quickie movie review! This is the latest by Aardman Animation, the people who brought you Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, though this one is CGI and not stop motion. Santa Claus is a hereditary position, passed down from father to son since the days of St. Nicholas himself. Everybody at the North Pole expects the current Santa (voiced by Jim Broadbent) to retire soon, especially the heir apparent, his overachieving son Steve (Hugh Laurie), who is already basically in charge of gift-giving operations and has organized it into an incredibly efficient system. Santa's other son Arthur (Jim McEvoy), on the other hand, has been relegated to a small office where he answers letters children have written to Santa. He's clumsy, a bit obtuse, and afraid of heights and speed, but good-hearted and upbeat. When it turns out after "Christmas Accomplished" has been declared that a child has been overlooked and her gift was never delivered, Steve attempts to sweep the news under the rug while insisting that it's too late to go back, and what does one child out of millions matter? Arthur, though, informs crotchety old Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), who pulls him along to deliver the package with the aid of his old sleigh and the reindeer ("Dasher and Dancer and...Bambi and John...and you and you and you and you") and, yes, save Christmas. But it's been a while since Grandsanta has delivered any gifts, and the old sleigh doesn't have the radar blocking and cloaking features of Steve's high-tech S-1 aircraft...

This movie is a ton of fun. It's a roller coaster ride featuring the trademark Aardman wackiness, with a bit of modern satirical edge without descending into cynicism. There's something fun to see in just about every frame, and no filler. Also, the 3D is well done and well utilized. Highly recommended.

The only downside, though, is that to get to the movie you have to sit through a video of Justin Bieber massacring "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" (did that song really need the addition of the line "Shake it, shake it baby"?), which BTW I think marks the definitive end of the steampunk fad.

Trailers:
  • The Adventures of Tintin - Looks like it could be a lot of fun. The story seems to be mostly adapted from the two-parter The Secret of the Unicorn/Red Rackham's Treasure (though the treasure in those was gold & jewels, while in this it's described as "something that could have changed the course of history") with some parts pulled in from The Crab with the Golden Claws (the story that introduces Captain Haddock). There's also a scene where Snowy must recover a ring of keys from a sleeping guard but is distracted by a sandwich, which I swear is from another story but I can't remember which. A (very cool) image of a ship crashing through sand dunes that turn into waves may be a replacement for the "uncorking" dream from Crab. There's also a scene with a dam and a rocket launcher that appears to be original, and a chase scene where Tintin crashes a motorcycle and goes flying only to use the front part as an improvised zip-line pulley on an overhead wire, a superhuman feat that he was never shown as capable of in the comics. Oddly, the Thompson twins don't appear at all in the trailer despite playing important roles in all of the stories this draws from, which makes me wonder if they've been excised.
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - This looks like a pile. Apparently a sequel to that dire 3D Journey to the Center of the Earth movie starring Brendan Fraser some years ago, this has a teenage boy and The Rock in search of the eponymous Mysterious Island of Verne's novel, which the boy believes his grandfather has found. To get there they hire a helicopter pilot played by Luis Guzman along with his cute teenage daughter, and of course they crash there. The island is a sort of lost world featuring dinosaurs, giant insects, and miniature pachyderms, all rendered in the fakest looking CG I've seen in years, and the boy's grandfather, played by Michael Caine, who must owe a lot of back taxes or something if he's taking parts in crap like this.
  • Pirates: Band of Misfits - The next Aardman stop-motion feature, with the voice of Hugh Grant as an incompetent pirate captain looking to win the Pirate of the Year award. Lots of madcap action and some great visual gags ("I'm here for your treasure!" "No treasure here, sir. This is a leper ship." *arm falls off* "See?" "Gah!"). Looking forward to this one.
gwalla: (ghost rider xmas)

The Anti-Claus Painted
by *Blairsculpture on deviantART
gwalla: (ornament)
What I got this Christmas:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Books:
  • The Metamorphoses of Tintin, or Tintin for Adults by Jean-Marie Apostolidès
  • Cocktail Boothby's American Bar-Tender by William T. "Cocktail" Boothby ("Endorsed by all Clubmen and Mixologists")

CDs
  • The Ventures - Walk Don't Run: The Best of The Ventures
  • Devin Townsend - Ziltoid the Omniscient
  • Vijay Iyer Trio - Historicity

and a Slinky.

Also, new suits in preparation for an upcoming job interview. Not shown because I'll be picking them up on Tuesday.

I got my dad several jazz CDs: The Man Who Cried Fire by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Guitar by McCoy Tyner (featuring Bela Fleck, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, John Scofield, and Derek Trucks), and a box set of Sonny Stitt (with booklet by Harvey Pekar). For my mom it was books: the Oxford Book of English Verse, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and Ursula Vernon's Irrational Fears.

Dinner was our traditional Christmas spread: roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, stuffed mushrooms, and creamed spinach garnished with hard-boiled egg yolks and toast stars. This year mom supplemented the usual menu with homemade dinner rolls. Dessert was a trifle made with custard, pound cake, sherry, sour cherry jam, and Cherry Heering.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas!
gwalla: (wreath)
Thanksgiving is over, so the Christmas season has semi-officially begun. Time to break out the Christmas avatars and the Pac-Man Christmas Album!
gwalla: (ornament)
Every pop musician eventually does a Christmas tune.

Even...well...

gwalla: (wreath)

Profile

gwalla: (Default)
Garth

December 2011

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
1112 131415 1617
181920212223 24
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:33 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios