What’s Your Christmas Soundtrack?

One day you’re walking through the shopping centre as normal, then the next day, WHAM!

Not just Wham, but Mariah Carey, Michael Buble and a host of others singing Christmas favourites. I think I first heard Christmas music playing as the soundtrack to my shopping experience back in late October this year.

For those who enjoy the music of the season, you’ve probably had a good couple of months of ever-increasing Christmas melodies ringing in your ears. For those who don’t, you won’t have to block your ears much longer.

I’ve got over five hundred Christmas songs on my iPod and they’ve been filling our home and car with Yuletide cheer … whatever that is … for weeks. Everyone from Michael Buble to Diana Krall, Bing Crosby, Run DMC, Barry White, The Wiggles, Guy Sebastian, Jimmy Barnes and even Russel Coight, along with many others, are singing about Christmas on our stereo.

What is your favourite Christmas music?

Do you have a favourite Christmas song? Do you have a favourite artist at Christmas time? Does Mariah Carey’s very successful Christmas album still get a spin at your place each December?

A few of my favourites.

I couldn’t possibly fit all my Christmas favourites in one post, but here is a handful.

I’m not a huge fan of the song Little Drummer Boy but I am a fan of both Bing Crosby and David Bowie so I love hearing their Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth medley around this time every year. The chat at the start of the video is cheesy and somewhat awkward but I just love it.

A new favourite this year is a reworking of the old Slade classic, Merry Christmas Everybody. Yes, I’ll admit it. I do enjoy a little Robbie Williams. I’m also a fan of Jamie Cullum so this combination is just joyful.

One of the strangest Christmas songs ever released has got to be this one by Bob Dylan. Bob is definitely a favourite of mine and so this one’s certainly worth a mention and a viewing. It seems that everyone in the video is having an amazing time, except Bob. It’s weird and wonderful.

This collaboration between Elvis Costello and Stephen Colbert is just wonderful.

I certainly feel that friends don’t let friends go through life without knowing about the great Gregory Porter, so I absolutely must include a song from one of the greatest voices of our time.

While I could go on forever with Christmas favourites, maybe I’ll finish off with this one from Diana Krall.

Let me know about your musical tastes around Christmas.



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How Embarrassing

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I posted on Facebook a few days ago that I was listening to Air Supply’s Greatest Hits. This immediately split people into two groups; those who thought it was a great musical choice and those who ridiculed my Monday afternoon listening. One person even asked if I had any Barry Manilow CDs in my collection. As a matter of fact I do have one.

My musical tastes are eclectic to say the least. If you put my iPod onto shuffle you would be likely to hear everything from Lorde to Alicia Keys, Electric Guest, Eliza Doolittle, The Whitlams, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Jim Croce, a fair amount of Amy Winehouse through to plenty of Regina Spektor and you’re very likely to hear lots of Diana Krall. There’ll also be The Jam, The Clash, The Who, The Band, The Beatles, Boz Scaggs, Neil Diamond, Hoodoo Gurus, Joe Jackson and far too many others to mention. You might say I’ve got Everything But the Girl … and you’d be right. I’m a big fan of their music.

I’d love to know what your ‘guilty musical pleasures’ are. What are the albums you’re happy to hear but that others find a little embarrassing? You can see a few of mine above. As well as Air Supply and Barry Manilow there’s Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee and countrier than country Dwight Yoakam. I’m sure if you spent a while looking through my whole collection you’d find others that’d make you groan.

What music do you own and listen to that others would consider ‘totally uncool’?



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John Lennon on The Voice

When I saw this video earlier today I couldn’t wait to share it with you. I’ve often wondered how some of the greats of the music world would be received if they tried to turn a chair or two.

I love the fact that shows like Idol, The Voice, and others give talented performers a platform to perform for a far wider audience and I’m glad that we’ve discovered some great artists through those shows, but it’s always concerned me that the unique and different can get lost.

Obviously any such program can only give us a small window into the lives of the people involved and their music and so it becomes a popularity contest, but what about some of the acts that have built up massive followings and have remained popular over many years? Would they have found a following on those programs?

I think of artists like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and many others who have continued to draw audiences for decades. I’m not sure that many would get past the auditions which is why I’m thankful that there are several ways to enter the music industry. I just hope we keep providing a variety of avenues for those with something to say through music to reach their audience.



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Happy Birthday Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan turns 71 today.



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Memories Crashing Down

It’s the end of an era. If all goes to plan, the place that I created so many memories will come crashing down early next year.

The Perth Entertainment Centre, originally named the Channel 7 Edgley Entertainment Centre, is about to be knocked down. When it was built it was like nothing Perth had ever seen. It was Perth’s primary large concert venue, with seating for over 8000 people, from 1974 until it closed its doors in 2002.

Demolition work will begin on the Perth Entertainment Centre next month after a land swap deal between the building’s owner, Seven Group, and the State Government.

The Entertainment Centre, disused and a growing eyesore since it was closed in August 2002, will be demolished to make way for a new mixed use development likely to include office space and apartments.

Seven Group chief executive Peter Gammell said the company was yet to finalise its plans but at this stage there was no intention to move Channel 7 Perth’s operations from their studios in Dianella. – thewest.com.au

Some of the concerts I remember seeing at the centre included Amy Grant, Australian Crawl, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Cliff Richard , David BowieDC Talk, Dire Straits, Elton John (with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra),  Feargal Sharkey, Gangajang, GenesisHoi Polloi, Hoodoo GurusJames Taylor, Joan Armatrading, Joe Jackson , John FarnhamLloyd Cole and the Commotions, MotelsOlivia Newton-JohnPhil CollinsRoxette, SadeSimple Minds, Spandau Ballet, Split EnzTom Petty & the Heartbreakers, U2, Van Morrison, and Whiteheart.

I’m sure there were other shows I saw there as well. I know that I was at the Entertainment Centre for a conference or two, to watch basketball, and even to see Disney on Ice many, many years ago. I also remember sleeping on the pavement outside the Entertainment Centre to get the best possible tickets to a couple of shows.

If you’re a Perth local I’d love to hear some of your memories of the Perth Entertainment Centre. What shows did you see there? Will you be sad to see the old place knocked down?



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