Ever since I started my job at my current workplace, I’ve played the Santa at the Company Children’s Christmas Party (or CCCP (no politics)). This Saturday will find me returning to The Suit. I always find it horribly stressful. I tend to have two or three children start crying pretty much every year (exception: the first year had *NO* freakouts… it’s been that bar that I’ve held myself to ever since). Some of the kids still believe and are excited and run up holding pictures from coloring books that they’ve colored JUST FOR ME, some of the kids are old enough to know that I’m merely a guy in a costume and they’re sooooo over this (excepting the present they get), and some of the kids are too young to understand anything but HOLY CRAP THIS IS UNCANNY VALLEY TERRITORY.

The fact that every single adult in the room starts howling with laughter whenever one of the little’uns starts crying adds to the stress level.

Sometimes our culture is very, very weird.

Anyway, it’s with that in mind that I bring you Skrillex this week (trigger warning: drug use, santa violence).

So… what are you listening to?


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to


  1. Gotta love Skrillex.

    Anyway, this is what I’m listening to, my version of Holiday Music, in honour of Santa, the patron saint of greed. Long ago, when I lived in a real home and I’d have parties, this is what I’d play upon those occasions.

      • Youtube attracts dumbasses, what can I say? Anyway, the Rameau album began as a set of recordings Bob James did as a private Christmas present for his friends and family, using the new FM synths and MIDI workstation software then available.

        I can play a good deal of it by heart now. My kids could tootle along on some of the simpler parts (roughly 5:28 to 7:13) on violin, cello and recorders. I arranged the Air and Les Triolets for my kids to play with me. All my musical friends sorta joined along. Those were great parties and this music has tremendous emotional power over me.

        Anyway, this is is what’s currently in my headphones. Bibo no Aozora by Sakamoto. Guilty pleasure music, profoundly associated with lovemaking.

  2. Not holiday-related, but I grabbed a Whiskeytown bootleg recently that rocks in itself (great energy) and has also sent me back to their records too (particularly my fave, Strangers Almanac).

    Here’s Ryan live on Morning Becomes Eclectic (with his Slayer shirt, natch, for such a gentle song):

      • Glad you liked it, it’s definitely one of my faves. What’s so great about it (besides the melody, and his voice, and pretty much everything) is the economy of the storytelling – in around 2.5 minutes you get a whole dang novel or movie, with 5 characters named or implied: narrator, his lover (and her implied father), her mother, and her mother’s dead lover; and 3 locations (the attic, which may or may not be in the house on the hill under stars in the sky, and a WWII European beach).

        There’s beauty and darkness; loneliness and family; loss and love; survival and memory.

        Ryan Adams gets guff from some for being too trad or derivative (Westerberg in particular is a clear precedent, among others), but not from me. While I value artists who pursue novelty in structure or subject matter or sonics, I also value traditional songwriters like Adams or Stephin Merritt; classicist craftsmen who aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with the avant-garde, but instead keep striving to build one small sturdy perfect (but not *too* perfect – make sure to leave in some flaw or ambiguity, keep it human) thing after another to send out into the world.

        Long after we are done talking about this movement and that genre and that other school – it’s the songs themselves that people remember; it’s the songs that will last.

        If you want to investigate Ryan Adams further, his more “rock” side is well-represented on Whiskeytown’s “Strangers Almanac” (which has this song, so it isn’t all “rock”). If you want stuff that is more like this, you might want his first solo record “Heartbreaker” (which features Emmylou Harris on one song).

        What the hey, his “Wonderwall” cover, which, upon hearing, reportedly prompted the original songwriter to bequeath the song to Adams:

        “I went to see Ryan Adams in Manchester… So he’s playing away and he just does ‘Wonderwall’ right in the middle of the set. The fishing place went silent. It was so beautiful. I was just like, ‘Fishing J.C. what a Fishing song!’ Afterwards, I told him, ‘You can have that song, man, because we could never quite get it right.” -Noel Gallagher (edited by Glyph)

        • I am a huge fan of Ryan Adams. There is nothing particularly stellar in his music (good, but not amazing), but he is definitely a great lyricist.

          I hate Oasis with a passion, but Ryan was able to make me like Wonderwall.

          • Yeah, novelty or virtuosity in rock music can be overrated, but a great lyricist is something to be prized. Replacements were pretty musically classicist too, doesn’t make them or their descendants (Adams & Tweedy amongst them) any less great.

            Oasis’ first two records are good for what they are – Beatles/T. Rex pastiches. Big, sturdily melodic (if ultimately empty) songs that sound good roaring from a radio. Speaking of good lyricists, if Noel Gallagher had found a Morrissey to his Marr (not that Gallagher is as great a guitarist as Marr, but he has an ear for a hook and catchy song, even if purloined from the greats), Oasis might’ve moved from OK to great.

            Weirdly, I kind of like Noel. He’s usually a good/funny interview subject, seems like a down-to-earth guy who has no illusions about himself and his place in the musical firmament (unlike his brother Liam – yeesh. What a putz.) Again, Noel’s sort of a craftsman in that sense.

  3. you forgot “trigger warning: skrillex” 🙂

    good luck with the santa bit. i’m kinda ambivalent about the whole santa for kids thing in general but i got outvoted on that front.

    anyway, my earholes are jammed with

    the first and third tracks in particular are awtheummmm.

    and there’s a new burial ep on the way sometime soon!

    • Oh, and I completed my Boards of Canada re-evaluation, and here’s the verdict.

      A: They were actually better/more enjoyable than I remembered, and I am glad I ripped them in. I think this is in part because, per your comments, I focused more on the tones/melodies than the rhythms/beats, which leads me to

      B: I remembered/pinpointed what bugged me: the rhythms/beats are kind of simple. At the time, what I was used to getting from Warp guys like Autechre or Aphex were weird rhythms, sometimes multiple layered shifting ones, or minimal but jagged/funky. BoC ones are sort of simple and plodding – there’s no “snap”, and this is the part I think I get impatient with.

      It may be relevant that the only musical training I have, from way back when, is vocal and percussion. There’s obvs. no vox here, so I probably tend to notice percussion more.

  4. You as Santa?! No, never. Somehow you seem born for the role. I can see it.

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