25 Days of Christmas Music 2018: Day 1

Hello, everybody!!!

Thanksgiving is behind us (great parade as always, especially the Peanuts and Santa floats) and so is the fall finale of “This Is Us” (if you have not watched it yet, I have three words for you-ERIS BAKER.  WOW.).  So that brings us to that magical time of year again:  my 25 Days of Christmas music countdown.  Yay!!!

christmas music day 1

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I am just starting to decorate my place, and I will not get my tree until next week, so I will start sharing pictures of my decor then.  But I am definitely getting into the holiday spirit by listening to all-Christmas-music-all-the-time radio stations as well as researching holiday songs on YouTube.  How about you?  What is getting you in the holiday spirit?

To start us off, I went with the man I have loved and adored since I was 12 years old.  He has been all over the news this last week for a few reasons.  First, because the new issue of Esquire came out.  Say it with me:  SAAAAAA-WOOOOOOON.

springsteen-esquire    ESQ120118_073

Second, his Netflix special is set to air on Sunday, December 16 (see the trailer here), the day after his historic Tony award-winning Broadway show comes to an end after 15 months.  If you were not lucky enough to see this show live (like I was, thank you God) or you need to see it again to savor every word, every note, every emotion  (again, like me), then this is your chance.  To me, the show was like his song “Jungleland”:  so beautiful it hurt.  And if you do not like my words, here are some from the NY Times (“There may never be anything as real and beautiful on Broadway” ) and Rolling Stone (“An intimate triumph”, “Compelling and profound”).  Or choose your own words when you watch it for yourself.

Three, his Esquire interview dives deeper into his battle with depression and how his father’s late in life diagnosis as a paranoid schizophrenic made this legend have a conversation with his own three children about what is in their DNA.  I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating:  I love Bruce Springsteen for a multitude of reasons:  His music, his poetry, his heart, his empathy.  But his openness about his and his father’s struggles with mental illness have given this awful, debilitating and unbelievably scary disease a name and a face to be reckoned with.  It has given it more attention, more conversation and more validity when in the past it was viewed as a weakness instead of an illness.  Springsteen’s courage and forthrightness should (hopefully) bring to an end the fallacy and misunderstanding that this illness can be beat if only we were “stronger”.  Wrong.  Strong has no more effect on mental illness than placebos have on cancer.  A disease must be treated, not simply willed away.  So thank you, Bossman, for once again giving us exactly what we need with your carefully chosen and profound words.  It is a debt no honest man can pay, to quote you.

bruce santa

So let’s celebrate this man and this season with his two contributions to holiday playlists everywhere.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Merry Christmas, Baby

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

 

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 20

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

snowmen-3

(Original source unknown)

This may be repetitive for those who follow me. but it is the truth:  I love Bruce Springsteen.  He is one of my heroes, my favorite singer/songwriter and one of the most decent people to ever come out of the music industry.  He taught me so many of life’s lessons, never tried to sugarcoat what was bad, has integrity beyond measure, is loyal and remembers his roots.

Sure he is not perfect, but from what I have seen from people in this life, he is pretty damn close.  I am thankful every day that I not only found him, but I understood him as well.  When I watched him on “Storytellers”, he said his album “Born To Run” was his invitation to his fans to come along for the ride.  Well, I accepted that offer and it has been one of the best parts of my life.

While other rock musicians are lending their music to big box stores for commercials, he continues to honor his legacy by playing his three hour plus concerts and finding new ways to bring his music to his audience.  Publishing his biography and giving us a glimpse into his mind when he was writing his songs is one example, and performing his Broadway show is another.

I saw that show tonight and, of course, the man did not disappoint.  He was his funny, charming, reflective and rocking self.  He talked about his life, his childhood, his family and his career.  In between his monologues, he played some of his music, including a song from an album he released about six years ago.  And it summed up our vicarious relationship perfectly, figuratively speaking:

“Darlin’ if you’re weary lay your head upon my chest
We’ll take what we can carry and we’ll leave the rest
Big wheels roll through the fields where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams.”

Thanks, Bossman, for the land of hope and dreams.  And for the ride.  And the music.  I will never be able to thank you enough for all of it.

bruce-merrychristmasbaby

Courtesy of Eric Meola

Bruce Springsteen:  “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Bruce Springsteen:  “Merry Christmas, Baby

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

Christmas Song Countdown #18

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

bruce-2

Courtesy of Pinterest (original source unknown)

Today’s song is by one of my all-time heroes, a man I love, adore and admire and the man I will eventually marry soon if his wife would stop hogging him already.  I mean, she has had over 30 years with him-now she is just being greedy.  I will let her visit the Oscar whenever she wants if that is what she is worried about.

Seriously, how refreshing that a man is so dedicated and protective of his music that he does not mess up that gift with drugs, or by letting some big box store use it in a campaign (that they hope will boost their sales in an effort to get the public to forget how bad they treat their employees, the environment or every small business in the free world) or even let even let the President of the United States get away with using his copyrighted music without his permission.

This year alone he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, he & the E Street Band had the #1 highest-grossing tour for the first half of 2016 according to Forbes Magazine, outdid his own extended show length and broke the record for the longest U.S. concert this year (4 hours, 3 minutes and 43 seconds).

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President Obama presenting Bruce Springsteen with the Medal of Honor last month

               (Original source unknown)

What was the other thing he did this year???

It is on the tip of my tongue…..

Come on, Michele, think……..

Oh, right…..

HE WROTE A BEST SELLING AUTOBIOGRAPHY!!!

bruce-auto

Courtesy:  Simon & Schuster

It debuted in the #1 spot on the NY Times Best Sellers list, was one of their top picks for 2016 and their critic Dwight Garner wrote:  “Mr. Springsteen’s memoir is big, loose, rangy and intensely satisfying. It has not been utterly sanitized for anyone’s protection, and it is closely observed from end to end, especially on subjects like sex, art and social class. The Boss could have phoned this book in. He didn’t.”

Amen.

Garner’s review also included this gem:

“Bruce Springsteen’s song lyrics have injected more drama and mystery into the myths of the American road than any figure since Jack Kerouac.”

Ah, two of my favorite men in one sentence!!!!!

“Both an entertaining account of Springsteen’s marathon race to the top and a reminder that the one thing you can’t run away from is yourself.”Entertainment Weekly

How true.

And the best gift of all, IMHO:  

“He must be conceded a magic with words: He can spin not only a yarn but often an extended analysis, too…. His disclosures here are rich, deep, and useful to help destigmatize mental illness.”Slate

I have written this before, but it bears repeating:  

I love Bruce Springsteen for so many things.  

But for that most of all.

And Jungleland, of course.

bruce-merrychristmasbaby

Courtesy:  Eric Meola

Merry Christmas, Boss Man.  Thank you for everything & congratulations on another incredible year.

Bruce Springsteen:  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

P.S.  An honorable mention to James Taylor’s cover, a jazzy-bluesy-piano-infused version that reminded me of Vince Guaraldi’s style from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

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Courtesy of:  me!!!  Foxboro Stadium, MA.  9/14/16

Christmas Songs Of The Day #4

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you doing?  Can you believe we are less than two weeks away from the big day?  It certainly is going by fast.  So before we blink and have it pass us all by, let’s take a moment to celebrate some more amazing sounds of the season.

It is no secret that I am a H-U-G-E fan of Bruce Springsteen.  He just announced several tour dates for next year which will come to my area just in time for my birthday.  So, it is fair to say Christmas came early for me!!!  But this season is never complete for me until I hear his versions of two Christmas classics.

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        Source:  Backstreets.com

The first is a throw back to the innocence of childhood and its cautionary message “to be good for goodness sake”.  The original version comes from one of the three  Christmas specials I MUST watch every single year:  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (see that here), “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” and this one.  It features a beautiful wedding scene under “the first Christmas Trees” and is probably what made me fall in love with the beauty of this season before I knew how truly special it also was.  And as soon as you hear the music, you cannot help but sing along to “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”.

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Source:  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 1970

Springsteen’s version is just as infectious and features some funky saxophone playing by another Big Man, Clarence Clemmons (miss you, Clarence!!!)

The Boss’ other holiday gem is just as special.  “Merry Christmas, Baby”  is a rocking, bluesy, jazzy and romantic way to celebrate the season with that special someone.  It is also perfect for singing along to while you are alone in your car, or while decorating the tree with some of your closest friends or sharing a holiday meal with family.  For me, it’s all those things and another reminder of why I love Bruce!!!

Enjoy!!!