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Steve Keller (Robotkarateman)
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I'll dance to anything by Depeche Commode
I'll dance to anything by Depeche Commode

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-12 Days of Christmas Music
Day 5 - Jim Croce, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way (Shouldn't)

Jim Croce's It Doesn't Have To Be This Way has all of the hallmarks of a Christmas ballad - wintery imagery which includes snowy nights and icy window panes, references to Santa and Salvation Army bands, even the word Christmas itself. But it's not a Christmas song. It's a song about a guy in the midst of a post-breakup sadness convincing himself that all can be easily fixed when he just "drops by".

The fact that it was released posthumously and advertised as "Jim Croce's Christmas Love Song" calls into question Jim's actual intent for the song.

But, admittedly, it's exactly the kind of sentimental melody that makes for a good Christmas ballad. So if you're going to include the song in your Christmas mix, do yourself a favor and go for the Ventures' instrumental version instead. It's just as beautiful and doesn't muddle your Christmas with someone else' relationship.

#minus12daysofchristmasmusic
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-12 Days of Christmas Music
Day 4 - Iona - Virgin and Child (Should)

I missed the actual day 4 for mental health reasons, so you're getting two today.

Iona are well known for their combination of jazz fusion, Celtic music, and progressive rock. They're also known for their religious messages and themes. It should be no surprise then, given the band's name and religious focus, that their second album, their first with their full lineup, was a rumination on the Book of Kells itself.

And while not written as a Christmas tune, the track Virgin and Child is a beautiful instrumental that should be a part of any Christmas mix.

#minus12daysofchristmasmusic
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-12 Days of Christmas Music

Day 3 - Baby It's Cold Outside (shouldn't)

Ever since the world was exposed to Zooey Deschanel singing the song with a man old enough to be her great grandfather, there's been a public acknowledgment that the song is pretty damn creepy. Frank Loesser, the song's composer himself acknowledged the aggressive nature of the "male" side of the song's call and response, putting to rest any claims that in historical context it was somehow viewed as being more playful or teasing.

Loesser wrote the song as a party act for himself and his wife. He later sold the song to MGM, who put it in the movie Neptune's Daughter, where it won an academy award. But it didn't win just on the strength of the Esther Williams / Ricardo Montalbán duet featured early in the film. Actually, what garnered the most attention was a comedic flip on the song's roles featured in the second half of the film, as sung by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton (starting just after the two minute mark in the video below).

This version is so self aware that it makes the song a wonderful bit of comedy, with Garrett and Skelton dancing around each other wonderfully, both in the song and in the dance.

But that still doesn't make the Zooey Deschanel / Leon Redbone version any less oogy.

#minus12daysofchristmasmusic
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New Specials music makes this week significantly better.
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Jesus. I just removed 11 tumblrs from InoReader that've gone dead in the last 24 hours - 2 of which are vintage costuming tumblrs I just managed to back up before they went.

This shit sucks, Tumblr.
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-12 Days of Christmas Music
Day 2 - Suo Gan (Should)

Suo Gan is a tune that quickly divides people into different camps. Some folks know it as the Welsh lullaby that it is. If you're of a religious bent, you may know the tune as the basis for Christ Before Us. Or maybe you just know it as the song the young Batman sings in Empire of the Sun.

Whatever your history with it, the lullaby's gentle lyrics - Sleep peacefully tonight, sleep; Gently sleep, my lovely - make the song a natural addition to any tranquil Christmas mix. It's been a staple of choral holiday celebrations for a number of years, but here in the US, anyway, it wasn't really part of the public consciousness until Chanticleer put it on their 2001 holiday album, and that's the version I'm linking below.

#minus12daysofchristmasmusic
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-12 Days of Christmas Music

This year's theme is a two-fer! I'll be mixing things up with six songs that aren't in your Christmas mix but are pretty enough / seasonal enough that they maybe should be, and I'll be interlacing those with songs that may already be in your Christmas mix but probably shouldn't be because they're actually about depression and/or fucking.

Day 1 - My Favorite Things
(Should & Shouldn't)

This song has reached Christmas standard status based on its music alone. Lyrically - and in its proper context - it's not Christmasy at all. It's a song about trying to keep your mind occupied on things that make you happy while all around you your life is going to shit. In the movie version of Sound of Music, the song is used to soothe children's fears over a thunderstorm - but in the original musical the song is sung by a nun who is sending a young girl off to be a servant to a rich family she's never met. Oof.

But while the song's "please don't shoot yourself during seasonal depression" lyrics land it in the "shouldn't" pile, musically it's a killer tune. Combine that tune with a genius like John Coltrane and, well, you've got a version that just absolutely crushes it. It's jazzy, it's melodic, it's hopeful and it's soothing. This version definitely should be in your mix.

#minus12daysofchristmasmusic
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I think tomorrow I’m going to start a -12 Days of Christmas music because it’ll be my last chance to do one on G+.
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2019 is going to be an interesting year in social media.

Two questions, gang -

1. Where can I go find the kind of hyper-curated topical image collections that are going to be killed off on Tumblr because they contain “female presenting nipples”? Yes, there’s porn all over the internet, but the ability to find folks who focused exclusively on niche topics like cyberpunk art and vintage burlesque is one of the few things that Tumblr excelled at. So where are those folks going now? Is there even a viable alternative out there?

2. Is there a tool I can use to grab the archives of the Tumblrs who will be shut down in two weeks? Some of these archives will be lost to me forever otherwise and they’re extremely useful.
Edit : yes, I know there are tools out there. Don’t just Google it for me and expect me not to delete your condescending comment. I’m looking for recommendations for software that people may have experience with or know someone who has.
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Never before have I actually felt like leaving this state out of concern for my own safety. I've been through earthquakes before, but nothing like this. Yesterday's 7.0 was the most terrifying thing I've ever been through and all day yesterday it was non-stop aftershocks - more than 200+ earthquakes followed that first one all over 2.5 on the magnitude scale. This afternoon it slowed to a crawl, but almost every hour we got another THUMP 3.5 slam against the house to remind us that the earth can kill us any moment it chooses. I've been living an almost non-stop panic attack.

Then this afternoon, as the earthquakes subsided, we got hit with a warm front that melted all our snow and brought with it 45 MPH winds.

Tomorrow night we're scheduled to get at least 8 inches of snow because that's what happens when the temperature rises and moisture moves into the area, so we've got that to look forward to.

I'm really just so exhausted from all of it. I know it's going to be a very long time before the minor earthquakes that I'd been habituated to previously stop causing new anxiety.
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