We're mostly pretty familiar, I guess, with the ol' rum pa pum pum
of the Little Drummer Boy
. He shows up every Christmas, marching drum slung round his waist
for the Son of God, thanks to that familiar song about him. A catchy little tune it is, too... heck, David Bowie and Bing Crosby
think so! Let's keep in mind, though, that back when a certain Holy Infant made his first grand appearance at a stable back in Bethlehem, any little drummer boy that might've serenaded him wouldn't have been playing any paradiddles or ratamacues
. Nah, he'd have been laying down beats more like this
, or this
, or (from actual boys
. I think the baby Jesus would've dug the groove, too. Merry Christmas, y'all!
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Dec 24, 2009 -
For many, this time of year brings to mind George Frideric Handel's
- a three part oratorio for orchestra, chorus and soloists. For many
, the holiday
season has not begun until the local Messiah Sing-Along. (Need a score to sing along?
It's always a good idea to check the Choral Public Domain Library! And before you go, make sure you're ready with a handy - and hilarious - quiz!
) But the Messiah narrative has much less to do with that omnipresent, tacit, eponymous character and much more to do with the shared and often painful condition of the human family and our attempts to understand and commune with the universe. Director Claus Guth has staged the oratorio using a setting that mirrors that experience: a funeral. [Clips of that performance within.] [more inside]
posted by greekphilosophy
on Dec 22, 2009 -
For television stations around the world, December is the season of the Christmas tape
. Unlike ordinary blooper reels, Christmas tapes (also known as goof tapes) are produced as entertainment for the staff Christmas party, with the intention that they will never be seen by the general public. Tropes of the genre include
cruel practical jokes
, after-hours misuse of the studio's green screen
, in-jokes about unreliable equipment
, sarcastic assessments of colleagues' work habits
, and the usual piece-to-camera screwups
. The B-B-C's tradition of in-house production, however, has ensured that its Christmas tapes contain such oddities as indecent daleks
, Nazi weather presenters
and on one occasion, a rather bad
. Most links mildly NSFW.
posted by embrangled
on Dec 22, 2009 -
In 2006, LibriVox
released a small collection of traditional Christmas Carols, sung by volunteers from around the world, all in the Public Domain. It was a neat idea. Then, years of silence, no carolers came. Now it's December 2009
and the carolers have returned, with a second larger collection of traditional carols. (orig LibriVox page. Project page.)
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 19, 2009 -
(part 1) ...For Wings...
(part 2) ...That Work
(part 3). The only Christmas Special you'll see this year with hairballs, a cross-dressing cockroach, Ronald Coleman and a 22-second warning. The apex for Berkeley Breathed and Opus (for Bill, notsomuch). via.
posted by oneswellfoop
on Dec 12, 2009 -
Every so often, the Opie and Anthony radio show run a Homeless Shopping Spree, where they take some homeless people off the streets and take them out to an upscale mall to buy clothes for them. This year, a man who calls himself Mustard mentioned to them that he used to be a musician, so they gave him a guitar
posted by flatluigi
on Dec 12, 2009 -
This month the ClassicShowbiz Twitter feed
is linking to all kinds of classic Christmas themed TV episodes, including Andy Kaufman
, Sanford and Son
, Welcome Back Kotter
, The Jeffersons
, Mr. Ed
, Fat Albert
, Alfred Hitchcock
, Twilight Zone
, Bob Newhart
, Happy Days
, That Girl
, All in the Family
, and much more with more to come.
posted by twoleftfeet
on Dec 8, 2009 -
Abandoned in a hat in the middle of a snowdrift as a newborn, rescued by a woodsman and guarded by a lioness, stolen and raised by a wood nymph, instructed in the ways of all the languages of the animals as a child, on the threshold of manhood he visited medieval Europe, feudal Japan, and Arabian markets to learn the inherent evil of humanity. For his insistence on toymaking, he was terrorized and repeatedly captured by a race determined to corrupt young minds, until his immortal protector came out to defend him with a laser-shooting axe which eradicated the malevolent culture. But can that same protector defend his ward's life to the likes of the Commander of the Wind Demons? The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause, a Rankin/Bass production, Part     
posted by Navelgazer
on Dec 7, 2009 -
'Ten years ago, while working on The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler. “Ken,” he said, “if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched.'
That film has been made
. The story behind it
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Jan 25, 2009 -
"Modern Christmas is like primitive Keynesianism, a short-run-oriented economic experiment that has been tried and found wanting." Economist James S. Henry weighs in
on "Why the Grinch has it right."
posted by nasreddin
on Dec 24, 2008 -