it’s cliched to be cynical at christmas;
At this time of year there is a special subset of humanity I tend to reserve my deepest level of disdain for. Small talk seems to ebb and flow in waves, and by the time we’ve suitably recovered from discussing our summer holiday experiences with all and sundry it’s time to talk Christmas preparation. And so taxi drivers, shop assistants, people in the lift see fit to ask me how my preparations are proceeding; and when I tell them I’ll more than likely catch a bus to Braehead on the evening of the 22nd, when my wages arrive, regale me with such expressions of horror you’d think I was that woman who put the kitten in a microwave.
As fun as that level of organisation may be, I’ll never be the type who starts to pick up “bits” in the summer sales. Indeed, I’d settle for next year being prepared enough to actually get some Christmas cards posted. To assuage the guilt I’ll doubtless feel as I string the ones that have come in over the past week or so up in the living room this week, I have compiled a third volume of my festive compilations which as usual is as heavy on the sad-bastard alt.country and sleigh bells as it is crass humour and Joey Ramone. I don’t mind admitting I put it together as an excuse to include the Franz Nicolay track on a mix, even although it has very little to do with Christmas. I suggest you enjoy with a glass of spiced apple cider, from this recipe posted on A Beautiful Mess. I tried it out last night, although I might have overdone the spiced rum somewhat having little clue how “3oz” translates into a carton of apple juice.
They Faked Their Way Through Fairytale of New York, vol. 3
1. Franz Nicolay: “The Hearts of Boston” (live)
2. Jenny Owen Youngs: “Things We Don’t Need Anymore”
3. A Band Called Quinn: “Snowblind”
4. Best Coast and Wavves: “Got Something For You”
5. Matthew Ryan: “Here Comes The Snow”
6. Jose Vanders and Keston Cobblers’ Club: “O Holy Night”
7. Low: “Just Like Christmas”
8. Aidan John Moffat: “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
9. Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler: “Jesus the Reindeer”
10. Mike Doughty ft. Roseanne Cash: “Holiday (What Do You Want)”
11. Frank Turner: “Last Christmas”
12. Joey Ramone: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
13. The Plimptons: “Xmas in Motherwell”
14. Tom Waits: “Silent Night/A Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” [live]
15. Lissie: “2000 Miles”
16. Half Man Half Biscuit: “It’s Cliched to be Cynical at Christmas”
DOWNLOAD: They Faked Their Way Through Fairytale of New York vol 3 [zipped mp3]
Spiced Apple Cider recipe from A Beautiful Mess
INGREDIENTS: 4-5 cups of apple juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 3oz spiced rum (optional), cinnamon sticks and apple slices to garnish
In a small pot heat the apple juice, spices and rum (if using) over low/medium heat. Stir often while the mixture is heating so the spices will blend into the juice. Once hot, pour into mugs and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Serve warm.
OH HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TONIGHT? Because we’re off to see LYG’s Speakeasy veteran Dave Hughes and his full Renegade Folk Punk Band in A Renegade Folk Punk Christmas at MacSorleys and we’d love to see you! Get there from 8pm for support from The Giddy Things and Algernon Doll, and it’s FREE ENTRY.
Also, on Thursday night there’s the Second Hand Marching Band with Withered Hand and The Last Battle at the 13th Note, more details and ticket link here.
WHICH IS ONE OF MANY GIGS YOU COULD GO TO, FOR FREE, IF YOU ENTER THIS COMPETITION on which I will extend the deadline because a) I have been rubbish; b) IT’S CHRISTMAS. You have until tomorrow.