Welcome home, little one

  1. December 29, 2011 3:29:14 PM EST
  2. Up until recently, my husband and I have been in sort of an extended battle with our 10-year-old (alias Young Blue) regarding her piano lessons, which she had really soured on.  Rather than cause Young Blue to hate learning music altogether by forcing her to continue, we gave her the out of choosing a new instrument, provided she would be reasonably serious about it and get in regular practice.  We had discussed drums and a few other options, but Young Blue hadn’t settled on anything.  We were starting to wonder what we needed to do to get the kid back on track.  Music is an integral part of education as far as we’re concerned, and a big part of our family as well.  We find the idea of her not learning music unfathomable; even the kid agrees that she should study something, but she and the piano simply did not get along.  We all agreed that by January she would have chosen her new instrument.  We had been discussing a new direction for weeks, and we still weren’t sure where we were headed.  There was no concrete answer from Young Blue.  Perhaps we would just need to choose for her? Continue reading
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Five New Pop Holiday Songs That Don’t $*(%!

  1. Christmas Without You.  Lannie Flowers gives us a twangy-guitar litany of Christmas regrets that is probably more appropriate to listen to with a bottle of beer than with an eggnog.
  2. I’ve Been Good This Year.  The Turnback will rock your socks off with this one — I hope Santa brings you a new pair!  The uptempo rockabilly sound suggests that you get those decorations up quickly.  You will not want to throw a holiday party without this on your playlist.
  3. The Smile of Rachael Ray. David Mead brings us a wistful holiday story without being sullen.  He presents his little world in wordplay that deftly avoids gimmick, and it’s utterly believable.
  4. Christmas’ Sun.  Here’s a big, warm Christmas ballad from Italian band Cirrone.  They have nailed the smooth vocals and melodic arrangement of classic power pop, with that same let’s-hold-hands feeling that you got from “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” (at least the first handful of times, before it was overplayed by Coke to death).
  5. Merry Christmas Around The World.  You’ll be bopping along to this happy tune by Australia’s Joe Algeri & The Sugarbits when you remember (probably at the chorus), “Hey, this is a Christmas song!”  And that’s a good thing in this case.  Smiles all around.
  6. Bonus: The Jewish people (my people!) may suffer from a shortage of pop holiday songs, but please see my list below for some “Chanukah Uncommon” music.