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December 26th, 2007


The Final Day of Mellowmas: Wonderful Christmas Hell

December 25th, 2007


Happy Mellowmas, everyone!

Today, we celebrate many, many things. We celebrate Christmas, but we also celebrate the official Final Day Of Mellowmas 2007. We celebrate the fact that you made it through. We celebrate the fact that we made it through. Forgive us, but we’re getting a little teary-eyed here. Oh, Mellowmas, why do you have to end?

We don’t have anything as magical as last year’s complete presentation of Starland Vocal Band: Christmas At Home. (However, all those tracks are still active, should you want to re-live such a “special” moment.) What we do have for today is something that truly celebrates the Mellowmas spirit.

And what is the Mellowmas spirit, you might ask? Well, chances are you pretty much know by now, but in case you’re not sure, we’ll tell you. The Mellowmas spirit is taking awful, awful holiday music and sharing it with the ones you truly care about. Taking the misery you’ve received – from the ringing in your ears to the indigestion in your gut – and making sure someone else is feeling the exact same way.

Today, we truly exploit someone’s hatred of a song.

“Wonderful Christmastime.” Paul McCartney & Wings. Everybody has an opinion. Jeff hates it. I like it. For me, for some inexplicable reason, it scratches an itch for me. It’s so bad, it feels good. I’m guessing I’m in the minority here; most people despise this song. It’s one of the dumbest Paul’s ever released, and God knows that’s saying a lot. However, if you think you hate it, you clearly haven’t heard from our good friend Jeff Vrabel.

Vrabel, as we shall call him from now on so as not to confuse him with Giles, is a lot of things: a dad, a Springsteen fanatic, and a graphic designer. But most importantly (to us, anyway; he probably holds the “dad” thing in higher regard), he is one of the funniest writers on the face of the planet. If you’re not reading him already in your local newspaper, you should be reading his website daily; he’s one of the only writers that truly makes us laugh out loud constantly.

Also: Vrabel really hates “Wonderful Christmastime.” Really, really hates “Wonderful Christmastime.” Witness his column on November 9th, where he states:

Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime”…is the single worst song ever written in the history of the human experience, and frankly, just bringing it up is sort of making me want to drive to the nearest parking lot and start punching widows.

What emotion! What passion! What a chance for us to totally exploit his irritation! Which, as we stated previously, is what Mellowmas is all about. Jeff, after reading Vrabel’s column, knew just what to do: Namely, get in touch with our old buddy Py Korry, noted DJ to the stars, and ask him if he could whip up an extra, extra long remix of “Wonderful Christmastime.” Py, good friend (and evil, evil bastard) that he is, was only too happy to oblige. Hence “Wonderful Christmas Hell,” which we dare say is a brand new holiday classic along the lines of…well, along the lines of anything we’ve listened to all Mellowmas, certainly, and that’s saying a whole lot.

Vrabel could have just ignored this creation. Hell, Jeff sent him the entire Captain & Tennille Christmas album, and we still don’t have any confirmation that he ever listened to it. But instead, Vrabel took his lumps like a man, and listened to “Wonderful Christmas Hell.” All 9:53 of it.

And, dear readers, if you’ve made it this far, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to take a listen, too? Share it with your loved ones this Christmas day. And when they ask you why someone would have the horrible idea to put this mix together and share it with the entire Internet, along with over 30 other abysmal steaming piles of crap, you can quote Bono from “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and tell them: tonight, thank God it’s them instead of you.

Listen in, won’t you, as Jeff Vrabel goes through his own personal lake of fire and brimstone and liveblogs “Wonderful Christmas Hell.” Feel free to liveblog along and post it in the comments. Today is a day for giving. We’re taking Christmas off and letting Vrabel – and you – run the show.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Thanks for joining us on this treacherous journey. You can bet we’ll do it again next year!

Paul McCartney, Py Korry And Friends – Wonderful Christmas Hell (download or stream below)

[audio:http://www.wwmmd.net/tunes/mellowmas/Py Korry And Friends – Wonderful Christmas Hell.mp3]

0:09: Aw. Anyone want any cider? I love Christmas. And friends and family and mistletoe and stockings and stuff. Hey, what’s with the synth here? Wait, is … is this JESUS TAP DANCING CHRIST ON A HOT SPICED CRACKER IT’S “WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME.” KILL ME! KILL ME WITH MY SHOELACES! I HATE YOU, JESUS!

1:28: I will have this fucking song in my head for four days. Dozens will be killed.

1:39: I don’t even care what this new song is, it’s like a temporary break in the waterboarding, except that … wait … it’s …. JESUS TAP DANCING EVEN MORE VIOLENTLY CHRIST IT’S A MIDI VERSION OF “WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME?” WHY DOES GOD HATE ME? WHY?

2:22: I can’t hear what this guy is saying. It sounds like “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” except that it’s … SON OF A WHORE, HOW MANY VERSIONS OF THIS SONG ARE THERE? I AM FILLED WITH A RIGHTEOUS AND ALL-CONSUMING RAGE!

3:04: Son, get Daddy’s rifle.

3:24: If you’re quiet, you can hear the engineers laughing in the booth.

4:06: I can’t help but notice this song is still going on.

4:25: Oh good. More blinking piano. Wonder what this could be.

4:40: Son, get Daddy’s Drambuie.

4:45: Oh good, it’s Oasis doing “Wonderful Christmatime.” Which is good, because it had been like three months since I’d been annoyed by Oasis.

5:20: Right now on CNN they’re talking about how the China-painted Thomas the Tank Engine toys are toxic, and I’m trying to figure out how many I could eat in the next four minutes. Probably, like six, at least.

I now understand why people get depressed at Christmas.

6:16: What is this, Wham!?

6:42: Yeah, it’s probably Wham!.

6:51: I am sending Py Korry several boxes full of piping hot ranch dressing as soon as this is over.

7:20: Oh good, Paul’s back.


7:50: This is the first time that I’ve laughed during this, for a reason other than shoving aside the hideous terror.

8:14: You bastard.

Son, get Daddy’s heroin.

8:45: I hope Paul gets fleeced in the divorce. I believe you, Heather! I believe you!


Once again, thanks to Terje Fjelde for his wonderful Mellowmas designs!

Mellowmas Eve: The Redemption Of The McD

December 24th, 2007


Our Twenty-Third Day Of Mellowmas left us depressed, restless and unsatisfied – which, to be honest, wasn’t much different from the other twenty-two days. But yesterday was different. Michael McDonald – The Patron Saint Of Mellow Gold – had let us down. It’s Mellowmas Eve, and excitement is in the air: can he turn it around? Can we go to sleep tonight dreaming of sugarplum fairies instead of McD eating jelly donuts and phoning in vocals with Olivia Newton-John? Only one way to find out!

Michael McDonald: Christmas On The Bayou (download or stream below)

From Through The Many Winters: A Christmas Album Amazon


[audio:http://www.wwmmd.net/tunes/mellowmas/Michael McDonald – Christmas On The Bayou.mp3]

Jeff: This is Christmas?

Jason: Drums!

Jeff: Fiddles!

Jason: ….down south? What the hell is going on? AAAUGH!!! What the hell IS this??

Jeff: McD has been possessed by the spirit of Bouzou Chavis!

Jason: I wish you could see my face right now. It’s all contorted. I’m going to get a headache from this.

Jeff: Is it a face of stunned, stupid shock?

Jason: Jeff, what’s going on? I’m scared. Hold me.

Jeff: When I hear “Michael McDonald Christmas album,” this is not what I think of. I mean, I’m thankful for the lack of synthesizers, don’t get me wrong.

Jason: This is NOT the McD I was banking on, Jeff! What is up with the “Ya Ya Ya Ya?” He sounds like Animal.

Jeff: Maybe he’s calling Ya, so Ya Mo B There.

Jason: slams head on desk

Jeff: Yeah. You know you liked that one. Suck it.

Jason: If he says “ya” one more time, I’m…I’m… I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Jeff: Gonna Ya Mo burn this place down?

Jason: AUGH! He did it again! Jeff, I don’t know if I can get through this.

Jeff: We’re only about halfway through. Get down yo’ fiddle!

Jason: I don’t even know what the fuck he just SAID.

Jeff: We gonna dance and sing!

Jason: NO!

Jeff: All the way to Mardi Gras!

Jason: Ya, Big Easy!

Jeff: Ya Ya Big Easy!

Jason: Ya ya ya! Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya. I GET it.

Jeff: Long before Mardi Gras! I feel like making moonshine for some reason. And eating crawfish.

Jason: I feel like drinking gasoline for some reason.

Jeff: Lay zay long go mong boulay?

Jason: Suck my dick, Jeff. This sucks. Get me something else.

Jeff: Hmm.

Jason: What was the first song you suggested we cover?

Jeff: “Through the Many Winters”?

Jason: Cue that one up. He has to redeem himself, goddammit.

Jeff: All right.

Michael McDonald – Through The Many Winters (download or stream below)
Also from Through The Many Winters: A Christmas Album Amazon


[audio:http://www.wwmmd.net/tunes/mellowmas/Michael McDonald – Through The Many Winters.mp3]

Jeff: This sounds more like the McD I was expecting.

Jason: Okay, promising opening.

Jeff: Minus that Stevie Wonder impersonator on the harmonica.

Jason: Some harmonica that could or could not be real harmonica. Although I think it is. Hey, it’s whispering McD! He doesn’t want to wake up the sleeping children! He sounds like it was mastered at the wrong speed.

Jeff: That’s exactly what it sounds like, actually. And he sounds so sad. Why are you so sad, McD? Did Christopher Cross eat all the chalupas?

Jason: snicker (No, not Snickers, McD! Snicker!)

Jeff: You should remix this at double speed.

Jason: Tasteful piano.

Jeff: Tasteful everything.

Jason: I don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about, but I can kind of get behind this slow Christmas groove.

Jeff: So fucking tasteful. Gawwwwwwwwwwwd.

Jason: I’m kind of grooving in my chair.

Jeff: I’m getting angry, and I don’t know why. I want him to hurry up and go somewhere with this.

Jason: Is it because we’re at the twenty-fourth day of Mellowmas?

Jeff: It’s because this song is boring.

Jason: Well, I’m sure it’s almost over. Let me see…

Jeff: No, it just started.


Jeff: I know!

Jason: This song has like 4:45 left! Can’t do it. Can’t do it. I’m sorry.

Jeff: No. Me too.

Jason: He has to redeem himself and this isn’t cutting it. Let me quickly scan the list of songs. “Wexford Carol?” I don’t even know what the hell that means. But it sounds like it belongs on the Fogelberg record.

Jeff: Are you reading the phone book? Who is Carol Wexford?

Jason: Ha ha ha ha! Which is funny, because I always said I’d listen to McD reading the phone book. How awesome would it be, though, if the song was just McD, reading names?

Jeff: Can we please pick something? Because I hate this.

Jason: Okay. “Deck The Halls/Jingle Bells.” That has to be an improvement.

Jeff: Better than this, that’s for sure. And appropriate, because I want to deck him.

Michael McDonald – Deck The Halls/Jingle Bells (download or stream below)
Yet again from Through The Many Winters: A Christmas Album Amazon


[audio:http://www.wwmmd.net/tunes/mellowmas/Michael McDonald – Deck The Halls – Jingle Bells.mp3]

Jason: Oh YES!

Jeff: Now this is more like it.

Jason: This is what I was talking about!

Jeff: A tempo.

Jason: McD is Arisen! Ooh, listen to those Fa la la las! YES, McD! YES!

Jeff: He still sounds kind of sleepy and/or drunk.

Jason: Fall on your knees! O hear the McD’s vocal!

Jeff: This was totally done in one take.

Jason: Oh yes. I agree.

Jeff: McD was probably in the parking lot.

Jason: Ha! He’s fa la laing all over the fucking place, Jeff. And I couldn’t be happier. I feel like doing the Snoopy dance on the piano.

Jeff: You know, it bears mentioning that this album was released by Hallmark.

Jason: !!! Jingle Bells! It’s a medley! YES! I love you, McD! Todd, you are forgiven! Barely!

Jeff: I ain’t forgiving you, Todd.

Jason: He’s back to decking those fucking halls.

Jeff: I’m forgiving McD barely.

Jason: Sing we joyous, all together! YES!

Jeff: You, Todd, are still on my shit list.

Jason: I’m not typing anymore. I’m clapping.

Jeff: Guitar solo!

Jason: Great piano. Great guitar. He’s going up the octave!

Jeff: Great drums, actually.

Jason: Watch the fuck OUT! Fa la la LA, McD!

Jeff: I’ve learned to take my live drums where I can get them on McD recordings. This is kind of funky.

Jason: Stop thinking so hard, Jeff. Just enjoy this.

Jeff: I do not hate it. Big finish! Jazz hands!

Jason: Fosse! We totally deserved this.

Jeff: Oh, we worked for it.

Jason: We sat through three shitty McD tunes to get to where we are today. I’m so happy.

Jeff: He has re-earned his Patron Saint status.

Jason: It’s like we finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel, y’know? Tito, get me some tissue!

Jeff: Jermaine, stop teasing!

Jason: Mr. Michael McDonald, you are forgiven. I have forgiven all your trespasses.

Jeff: For now.

Jason: Namely “Through The Many Winters,” “Christmas On The Bayou,” that shitty song with Olivia Newton-John…

Jeff: Most of your solo albums,

Jason: and what the hell, I’ll throw some of that shit from Blue Obsession on there as well. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Jeff: How about the “Sweet Freedom” video? Is he forgiven for that?

Jason: No. I LOVE that video. Don’t you even, Jeff. Don’t you even. McD. Hines. Crystal. CLASSIC.

Jeff: You…you have problems.

Jason: I can’t hear you right now. I have my fingers in my ears. FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA


And, as a very special Mellowmas Eve bouns – because you can’t make this shit up – Michael McDonald, Amy Grant, Vince Gill and Chet Atkins (!!) singing “The Chipmunk Song.” (Jeff: “Look at those mom jeans! He looks like he’s hiding a sack of potatoes in his crotch!”)


Happy Mellowmas Eve, everybody! Snuggle up tight in your beds, and join us tomorrow morning for Mellowmas Day!