Monday, December 31, 2012

Cousteau "Last Good Day Of The Year"

Hopefully you had many good days this year . . . but either way, this is the last good day of 2012.

Happy New Year!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Head And The Heart "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"

This is a song that makes it's way to the playlist on New Year's Eve.

Which really doesn't make any sense.  Because if you are going to ask someone out for New Year's Eve, you should do it before New Year's Eve.

So I'm posting it the day before New Year's Eve, to remind you to ask that special someone out, NOW!

Enjoy this recently released version of the classic tune, from the Holidays Rule compilation.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mumford And Sons "Lover Of The Light"

As noted on the earlier-this-week posts, the statistics of the Top 25 are pretty interesting.

For years, the Number One album on mvy was usually by a stalwart, heritage artist.  Someone like Bob Dylan or Mark Knopfler was most likely to garner the votes to get the top spot.  And that’s because our listeners, young and old, were operating under the consensus mind that Bob Dylan is a pretty amazing artist, and so lots of different kinds of listeners were voting for his album.

But over the course of the last few years, the Top spot has gone to a young artist who can build enough consensus from the bottom up.

Instead of being an established artist, the Number One record has been by a upstart artist with a breakout record.  And maybe that record started with the younger end of the audience, but was quickly embraced by the full spectrum of listeners.

Yes, your college student kid may have brought home the record first, but even your Dad taps along to the beat when the song comes on the radio.

So it was with last year’s Number One record, from Adele.

Adele’s “21” album managed the incredible feat of receiving twice as many votes from mvyradio listeners, as the Number Two record.  (You're gonna crack up, when you realize what was Number Two, last year)

I didn’t think anyone could pull that off again.

And yet, here we are.  Mumford And Sons’ “Babel” record actually receive more than twice the votes of the Number Two record.

You can view the whole list, and draw your own conclusions about what folks were excited about this year, on our Top 25 of 2012 page.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, December 28, 2012

JD McPherson "Fire Bug"

One of the things I wonder as I look over the Top 25 of 2012 list, makes me feel a little guilty for casting aspersions.

But I look at some folk's lists and think, "Okay, did you really listen to this album?"

And I say this because I know for certain that there are some folks who have not listened.  How do I know?  Because occasionally, we get votes for albums that aren't even out yet!  The folks are voting for the singles (which are out), but they most definitely haven't listened to the album.

So I take it a step further and assume that many of the votes we get are based on the voter liking the single, but the voter has never listened to the album.

Album listening is increasingly rare, in this digital, singles-driven world.

Hell, I don't always get around to checking out full length albums.

Looking at the voting list, the number of full length albums that I've listened to more than 5 times?  It's pretty short.  I really have to like a full record these days, to give it multiple plays, what with so many records competing for attention.

"Signs And Signifiers" was definitely one of those records.  So I'm glad it made the list.

JD McPherson is #15 on mvyradio's Top 25 of 2012.  Check out the full list (so far)!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Joan Osborne "Shake Your Hips"

The Top 25 countdown is always an interesting, educational experience for me, because it is an exercise in perception versus reality, which is a great thing to keep in mind at all times when programming a radio station.

I can hear a song and think it's great.

We can play a song and get great feedback from the listeners.

We can keep that song in rotation, and follow the chart success of the tune, on Billboard.

We can believe that our listeners love the song/artist.

And then the Top 25 voting happens.

I have never been a huge fan of Joan Osborne's records.  I do think they are uniformly good, solid efforts.  But previous releases have never quite hit my sweet-listening spot (whatever that is).

However, her 2012 album "Bring It On Home" had the grit that I was looking for.

And every time her version of "Shake Your Hips" hit the airwaves, I cranked it up.

So I thought this record was a surefire Top 10 choice for mvyradio listeners.

Not quite.

While it wasn't completely off the radar, it didn't have the impact I thought it was having.

In a year when the most important name in politics may have been Nate Silver, I'm happy that a little bit of statistical sampling is there to keep our list in line.

View the list as we reveal it, at

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Max Gomez "Run From You"

Here's an end of the year Let Me Ruin This Song For You post.

I keep an iTunes playlist of all the songs that record companies and promoters and artists have asked me to listen to, to consider for adding to mvyradio's rotation.  It being the end of the year, it's time to cull that list.

Lots of songs have run their promotional course.  If they didn't catch on before the end of the year, it's unlikely that their will be a promotional budget to keep pressing into the new year.  So I delete those.

I also keep a number of songs on the list, not because I think I'm going to add them.  I just like them.  And when you are listening to 100 songs you're probably not going to like, it's good to have a couple of ringers in there.

And there are a straggling few that I've kept on the list for one reason or another.  Like, they merit a blog post.

I couldn't remember why this tune by Max Gomez had been hanging around on my list for so long, until I hit "Play" and recalled that I was saving it for a  Let Me Ruin This Song For You post.

Listen to the tune.  See if it doesn't remind you of a famous 80s hit.  And if you want to see if you've guessed correctly, click through the link below, to be taken to Youtube to hear the 80s song.

Hear Max Gomez on Youtube.

Hear the mystery 80s tune on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mitch Miller "12 Days Of Christmas"

We had these "Sing Along With Mitch!" Mitch Miller records when I was a kid, and my sisters and I would listen to them endlessly.  Hearing this song now, takes me right back to our living room and the Christmas tree and the stockings and the build up to the holiday that seemed to go on forever (not unlike this song).

I'm a Dad now, and I'm acutely aware that what I am doing now, today, the way the living room looks and the songs we are playing and the gifts we give each other and the special foods we eat, that these are the memories that my kids will leap back to, when they are in their mid-40s, thinking about what Christmas sounds like and smells like and feels like to them.

It's kind of a strange premise---to give the future a memorable past, you must live in the present.

But it's a good resolution for me, who spends a whole heckuva lotta time reflecting on the things that have gone by.  Live in the present.  Make today and every day memorable for the kids.

Not that every day has to be Christmas.  But can every day be visceral?  Can every day have sounds and smells and a feel?  Can I make every day something more than a rote recitation of a bunch of random, useless and frankly weird items you could by for your true love (not unlike this song)?

It's hard to make scrambled eggs, special.  But, though she's been gone for 20-plus years, I still remember what my Grandmother's eggs taste like.  Why?  They were just eggs and milk and salt and butter---no different than the way my mother made them or the way I make them now.  Why were they special?  Was it love?  Care?  Passion?  I don't know how they were different.  They just were.

I, like probably every parent in America, have spent a lot of time thinking about my relationship with my kids these past 10 days.  I guess that's why I'm wandering down this path now.

My wife and I have spent weeks thinking about what fun things we can do for the kids for Christmas.  But I don't know how much time I've spent thinking about making things memorable.

This is starting to feel like a New Year's resolution, more than a post for Christmas Day.

It also feels a little like a wandering post from a guy who is avoiding putting that train table together and is instead working on scheduling a blog post for Christmas Day.

Anyway . . .

I hope you have a happy, and memorable Christmas.  And that you only receive as many Leaping Lords as you feel comfortable with having.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Boss Martians "3 Ghosts"

A weekend/Holiday post, since today is kinda like a weekend/Holiday day for many folks . . .

There are multiple Christmas songs about so many various bits of Christmas minutiae, but I have to say that this recent discovery (recent for me, anyway) is the only song I've ever heard devoted to the ghosts of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Soupy Sales "Santa Claus Is Surfin' To Town"

A weekend/Holiday post

If you start searching, you may be shocked to find out just how big an intersection there is between Christmas music and Surf music . . . though very little of it is performed by Children's TV Hosts.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Matt Mullholland "Silent Night"

Here's another "I Looked At The Internet Today So You Don't Have To"  feature.

I keep seeing this video being posted on Facebook by various friends of mine.  I have weird (and hilarious) friends.

It will be your instinct to stop this video after the first 30 seconds.  Don't.  It just gets awesome-er as you go.  Not that anything surprising happens.  It just wins you over with its ridiculousness.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Elmo's Christmas Countdown "Countdown/I Hate Christmas"

My wife asked my 2 year old son if he wanted to write a letter to Santa.  His big sister had already done one, and he feels left out if you don't invite him to do whatever she does.

"I'll start," my wife told him.  "'Dear Santa . . .' Okay, now what do you want to tell him?"

"I hate Christmas!"


Both my wife and I did a double take on this one.  Hate Christmas?  A 2 year old?

Then it clicked, and we kinda cracked up.

Of aaaallllll the Christmas specials my kids have viewed, their favorite is something I'd never heard of, prior to receiving it.  It's called "Elmo's Christmas Countdown."

I can't say that I've ever seen it on TV.  Or heard another person mention it.  But we've got it memorized in our house.

It stars the voice of Ben Stiller as Stiller The Elf and is chock full of mid-2000s stars (Ty Pennington!  Kevin James!) and mid-2000s references ("Heckuva Job, Brownie" and the Sopranos famous "fade to black" moment) and a slew of great songs from Sheryl Crow and Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Hudson.

And there are plenty of repeatable, Christmas-y quotables from the show, including:

"Elmo is making a Christmas Wish on a Christmas Star for a Christmas miracle!"  and "It's like Alicia Keys said, 'When things are at their darkest, that when you have to believe the most!"

But for whatever reason, my son latched on to the song sung by Stiller The Elf and Oscar The Grouch.

It's a classic back and forth style argument song, where Stiller tries to convince Oscar that he should be the one to "Count-down-Christmas" but Oscar sings back, using the same melody, "I-Hate-Christmas."

So that's where he got it from, and we think it's cute and it's silly and hopefully he won't repeat it outside the home, because if he did, that would be, to borrow a phrase from Oscar, a "pain in the King Wenceslas."

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Howard Blake "Walking In The Air"

My friend Erica posted a story on her Facebook Newsfeed that led with this headline:

"Raymond Briggs: The Snowman is not really about Christmas, it's about death"

Uh, a five year old could have told you that.

Hell, a two year old could have told you that.

Specifically, my five year old and two year old.

If you've never seen it, "The Snowman" is an Oscar-winning, half-hour animated feature about a boy who befriends a snowman.  The Snowman and the boy play, bond, fly and dance with other snowmen in beautiful, word-less, animated tale.  We got our VHS copy as a hand-me-down from my friend Lynn, who's kids had outgrown it.

The music, by Howard Blake, is haunting, beautiful and magical, and I'm sure that is largely what drew my kids in to their first viewings of the Special, last year.

But after a few showings, my daughter, then 4, seemed uneasy with the end.  In the last scene, the boy awakes the morning after his adventure, goes outside to play with the Snowman, only to find it has melted.  My son, who was only one last year, had no particular reaction, and asked to watch it again.

This year was a whole different story.

A year is a long time for a kid and I don't know if either of them really remembered the plotline of "The Snowman."  But I can tell you that emotionally, this long year put them in a different space.

This year, when it got to the final scene where the Snowman is gone, my 2 year old son did process what had happened.  And he himself nearly melted.

He's not so old that he can really articulate his emotions.  But he knows how to sob.  "The Snowman.  Gone!  Aaaaaaaaaaah!"

Being one to take emotional cues quite easy, my daughter, who was slightly upset already, also began to cry.

So my wife and I talked to the kids in the way that you talk to kids about death, without talking about it.

"The Snowman lives in the little boy's heart.  A Snowman can't last forever, but what beautiful memories the boy will always have."

I have the feeling that if my son could articulate his feelings, he would have yelled, "Why did you make me watch this movie when the existential end seems so bleak!!!"

So yeah, Raymond Briggs, thanks for the big reveal.

I never would have guessed that your story was about death, by the way my kids cry, even now, at the site of the VHS cover.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pearl Jam "History Never Repeats"

I really came of age in music during a period where vinyl fell out of favor.

By the late 80s, hardly any bands were putting out "records."  Everything was on CD or cassette.

But by the early 90s, some underground bands, who's members DID grow up valuing vinyl, were emerging from the underground and into the mainstream.

Michael Stipe and Peter Buck of R.E.M. famously started their friendship in a record store, and were among the first major artists of the early 90s to insist to their record labels that their albums be released on vinyl, as well as CD and cassette.

Being record collectors themselves, they appreciated the fabulous 45 too.

So continuing a tradition started by The Beatles, they released an exclusive 45 at Christmastime, sent to all members of their fan club.

Back in the early 90s, I was single and employed and, no, not rich, but I could put 10 bucks into a membership to a fan club or two.  So I have a nice, small collection of 45s from R.E.M. and from Pearl Jam.

I LOVED getting this disc from Pearl Jam, because I discovered that Eddie Vedder was also a fan of Split Enz.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Neil Finn "Song Of The Lonely Mountain"

Neil Finn is a great songwriter and an enormous talent.

But here's a quote from Rolling Stone Magazine, about the song he wrote for the new "Hobbit" movie.

"I'd get a little melody and I'd think, ‘Would a dwarf sing that?'

Yeah, I think when that's the question you find yourself asking as a songwriter, nothing good can come of it.

I dunno, maybe you'll like this one . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stephen Colbert "Another Christmas Song"

Usually around the first weekend in December we buy our Christmas tree.  We like to get it up on the earlier side, though it does become a little crusty by the time Santa actually arrives.

And bringing in the tree, means going down to the basement and hauling up the boxes of Christmas decorations.  Not only things to hang on the tree, but lights for the window, the manger scene, nutcrackers, snowglobes, a mechanical Bob Hope figurine that sings . . . and the box of Christmas DVDs.

When I was a kid, Christmas specials were an event.  You'd study the TV page that came with the Sunday paper, to see when "Charlie Brown Christmas" or "The Grinch" was going to be on.  You'd wait all day for 8pm.  And the tension would build when you'd see that old "Special Presentation" bumper, that let you know that regular programming had the night off---here comes a Christmas special.

And woe be unto you if you missed it.

If a Christmas special aired, and you weren't in front of the TV, then you missed it for the year.  It didn't repeat.  You didn't have it on Tivo.  There were no VCRs to have recorded it.  You missed your chance.

It made watching a Christmas special, an event.

Today is a different experience.

I brought that box of DVDs up from the basement 2 weeks ago.  Since then, I bet my kids have seen "The Grinch" five times already.  And "Frosty" and "Rudolph" and "Charlie Brown" and others.  Hell, it's possible that "Elmo's Christmas Countdown" has been screened daily around these parts.

My kids won't remember Christmas specials as an event.  They'll remember them as a season.

Nowhere is this more evident, than on the DVD in that box, that only I will watch.

Yeah, the kids aren't really into Stephen Colbert.  But I got his Christmas special on DVD and really get a kick out of it.

One of the most on-the-nose jabs at the holiday-special-trope is that at the end of the show, Colbert holds up a DVD copy of the show he is currently in the progress of creating, saying it's for sale and you can watch it again and again.

Of course, unlike the kids, I'll only watch it once this year, like last year.

But maybe that just makes me as old and as crusty as our Christmas tree will be by New Years . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

See the CBS "Special Presentation" bumper on Youtube.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Keith Richards "Run Rudolph Run"

A weekend/Holiday post

It occurred to me this week, that of all the artists we play on mvyradio, there are very, very few, who don't have at least ONE Christmas tune in their stable.

But surprisingly, The Rolling Stones don't seem to.

Of course, it makes perfect sense that Keith Richards  covers this Chuck Berry tune . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peter Serafinowicz "Ringo Remembers Christmas 1979"

Here's another "I Looked At The Internet Today So You Don't Have To" feature.

I mentioned previously that "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney is "one of my least favorite Christmas songs."  But this comedy piece does a much better job of reflecting my true distaste for that song, by mocking it.

I have to say, this guy has one of the best McCartney impressions, in terms of getting his mannerisms down, that I've ever seen . . .

See the video on Youtube.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Staples Singers "Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas"

Sure, you can listen to cable news and get all caught up in "The War On Christmas" and who is "X-ing" out Christ in Xmas, etc, etc.

But The Staples Singers report on the real story.

While the media is focused on the "X," no one has noticed that there is a diabolical plot to take the "Merry" out of Christmas!

Which, of course, is "code" for wanting to take "Mary" out of Christmas.

Don't let them fool you. And don't let them take your Merry!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Brew "Into The Remembering Sun"

We wanted to support The Brew for a number of reasons, not the least of which is, we think they are good.

As a station, we want to get on board with a local/regional band that is a step or two from breaking wider, and we have a great history of giving early support to folks like Cheryl Wheeler, Martin Sexton, Grace Potter and The David Wax Museum.

Plus, the band has let us record and stream several of their live shows.  And let's just say that their one visit to the station, left a few of the staffers quite charmed by their sincere love of what they do.

So we added the song.

After playing this tune for a while, one interesting, pleasant thing sticks out for me.

Any young artist we add, local or not, has a musical connection to the core artists of our station.  While we don't want copycats, we hope that you can draw a straight line from some new, unfamiliar artist, to The Beatles or Talking Heads or Bob Dylan or one of the many classic artists we play.

So what was sticking out for me?


Man, Boston was such an important band to a kid growing up in New England in the late 70s and early 80s.

mvyradio doesn't play Boston.  They fit better on a classic rock station, because the sound is a little more mainstream than many of the more edge-pushing artists we rotate.  But I bet that band is still a touchstone for many listeners.

And really, is there a band or a song out there now, that is employing a style that you'd trace straight back to Boston?

So when the Tom Scholz-like guitar kicks in on this one, it gives me a warm feeling inside.  Maybe that's why it's called "Into The Remembering Sun."

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

B-Boyz "Fight For Your Right To Dreidel"

Here's another "I Looked At The Internet Today So You Don't Have To" feature.

Had to post this one before Hanukkah ends this week.  It's not great, but with a dearth of Hanukkah songs out there, the bar is pretty low.

At least give the kids credit for being creative . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Lyle Lovett "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)"

I'd had my leg pulled before.

Several years ago, I had met the director, Harold Ramis in a social situation on the Vineyard.  A day later, I got an email from him asking if I'd read a script he'd written about life on the Island.

I hesitated.  Something smelled fishy.  I didn't respond.

Later, I found out it was Craig Sherman, pranking me.

So you can imagine that I was suspicious when I got an email from Lyle Lovett.

It was nice enough.  He'd had a show in New Bedford that night, and was writing to thank us for playing his music and supporting his shows over the years.

I hesitated.  I didn't write back.

Then the other messages started coming in, from mvy listeners who'd been to the New Bedford show.

"Lyle Lovett talked about you from the stage last night!"

"He said he called the station but no one answered the phone!"

"When he said 'WMVY' the whole crowd cheered!"

Well, maybe it really WAS Lyle Lovett.

I wrote him back and we exchanged a couple of emails.  We said we were big fans and happy to support him and appreciated that an artist of his caliber always remembered to put the Cape and Southcoast on his touring map.  He in turn thanked the station for always supporting his records, saying that support makes it possible for him to come back to the area year after year.

It was a really nice exchange.  And unusual too.  It's pretty rare for an artist of Lyle Lovett's caliber to pick up the phone and say thank you.  Very classy.  Very thoughtful.  Someone raised that man right (or maybe they're all like that in Texas!).

And, even though I was already a fan, this really cemented my appreciation for the Lyle Lovett. 

When the Save mvyradio campaign started, we immediately started thinking about artists who could speak on our behalf as we tried to get the press to write stories about us. 

Not surprisingly, friends like Carly Simon jumped to our defense, and appeared in some of the first news stories.

When we got wind of an opportunity to appear in the New York Times, we were thankful that Lyle Lovett had reached out just a month earlier.  He was kind enough to speak to a reporter on our behalf.

Pretty awesome.  Thanks Lyle!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Van Morrison "Caravan"

"Caravan"!!  What a song!  How did I not know that so many amazing Van Morrison songs existed?

I got off the ferry boat and was immediately approached.

"Hi PJ, come with me."

"How did you know I was the guy you were picking up?"

He laughed.  "Because you were the only guy coming off the boat, wearing a tie.  So I was pretty sure you were here for the interview."

And that is how I was greeted on my first trip to Martha's Vineyard.  Then-webmaster Al Mahoney had been dispatched to pick me up at the Steamship Authority and bring me to the station for my job interview with Barbara Dacey.  And he was mocking me.

My first lesson on how Martha's Vineyard was different---ties were not required.


I wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Vineyard Gazette about the Save mvyradio Campaign and it starts with me talking about my first experiences with the Vineyard and WMVY.

What's written above, is some of the stuff I had to cut out, for length.  Those are the two things that stand out for me, that when I started listening to mvy I realized how much good music I had never heard before.  And that I looked like a doink wearing a tie on Martha's Vineyard.  But I cut them out.

Take THAT, Al Mahoney!  It's payback time (12 years later).

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Animals Of Youtube "Deck The Halls"

A weekend/Holiday post

I am really flummoxed . . . I am trying to remember what life was like before the internet.  How did we fill our days before we could spend them making and/or watching videos of dogs and cats?

(I mean, really, my Facebook newsfeed is literally 20% animal pictures with ridiculous captions)

That being said, this video made me laugh pretty hard . . .

See the video on Youtube.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Garfunkel & Oates "Present Face"

A weekend/Holiday post

While Christmas is still a few weeks off, it's not too early to start practicing your "Present Face" when the neighbor comes over with a gift basket of unidentifiable foodstuffs . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Joe Satriani "Sleep Walk"

I came home last night and my wife was playing this track.  It seemed perfect for the moment.

After a week of my wife being sick and losing her voice, along with both my kids coughing AND with Barbara and Laurel being sick at the station, well, it was bound to happen to me.

By the time I got home last night, my voice was reduced to a whisper and the haze of a cold had surrounded my head.

The nights have been long and the mornings have been early these past two weeks.  It's been a non-stop blur of the Save mvyradio campaign, plus the seasonal craziness of trying to prepare for Christmas.

My body has just hit the limit.  I'm not unhappy, but I'm tired and dreamy and fuzzy.

And I'm certainly in no position to sing.  So it's an instrumental today . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Supremes "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"

So many of the old songs you sang as a kid have anachronistic phrases that you just don't understand when you 5 or 10 or even 16.

I can remember being a kid and singing the National Anthem in school, and wondering what the hell the phrase "O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming" meant.  I mean, several of those words were familiar, but they didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

So too, did I find this to be true with Christmas Carols. 

"His horse was lean and lank/Misfortune seemed his lot/He got into a drifted bank/And then we got upsot." from "Jingle Bells" was wholly impenetrable to a modern boy.

Less thorny in terms of bygone terms, but equally impenetrable, was this popular Holiday lyric:

"You better be good for goodness sake."

Okay, so there are all familiar words in there, and nothing that word require any special equestrian or militaristic knowledge.

But what did it mean.

And it was important to know what it meant, because "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" is a roadmap on how a child can insure that Santa delivers.

"You better be good."  That part makes enough sense.  No shouting, crying, pouting, etc.  Listen to your parents.  Clean your room.  Basic stuff.

"For goodness sake."

Now, at first, I thought that this was simply an exclamation.  "Oh, for goodness sake" is what polite people say instead of saying "Dammitall!" 

So the song was saying, you better be good, if you know what's good for you.  Or, you better be good for crying out loud.  Something like that.

Years later, I was taking a philosophy class and we were discussing the reasons to be "Good."  And the phrase, "for goodness sake" came up.

Many people practice being "good" because it is a way to get into Heaven or to get Santa to bring you a gift or a way to keep the cops from taking you away.  There is an outside incentive to be good.

But others practice the concept of "good" because the goodness is its own reward.  You behave ethically, not for anyone else, but so you can sleep at night with a clear conscience.

And that's when "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" really started to bug me.

Okay, here's a song about all the things you should and shouldn't be doing if you want good stuff for Christmas.  And, take note kids, Santa can see everything you do.  He's got his ever watchful eye on you, and is expecting you to be good.

And then the singer throws in "So you better be good for goodness sake"?


The whole song is built around the concept of being good for Santa's reward.  The song gives no indication that being good is an end unto itself.  It just the opposite.

Philosophically, I find Santa's reasoning to be lacking, and even suspect.

Yeah, suspect . . . this time it's me who's got an eye on you, fat man.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

David Wax Museum "Harder Before It Gets Easier"

Here's another "I Looked At The Internet Today So You Don't Have To" feature.

The Boston Music Awards were this week, and we're happy to send congratulations to The David Wax Museum for their second consecutive "Song Of The Year" Award, this time for the new "Harder Before It Gets Easier."

If you like the video below, definitely check out some videos for DWM's past songs too.  They're pretty great at making low-budget-but-eye-popping videos.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale "I Lost My Job Of Loving You"

As even the hearty crabgrass on my front lawn begin to wither, so too does the crop of incoming new CDs.

But that does open things up for a few fun forays.

I don't know if we've ever added a Jim Lauderdale song, but we've practically stalked the guy, recording him at Merlefest and The Americana Music Awards and other places.

And I can only recall adding one Buddy Miller tune over the years, though he's guested on dozens of tracks that we've played, including the recent Robert Plant cuts.

Both guys are great musicians and songwriters.  But both are usually a little twangy for mvyradio.

Interestingly, though this song is not short on twang, it's close enough to the center that we'll play it, because its pretty fun.  And totally worth it to support two guys who should be legendary.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ben Folds Five "Philosophy"

On top of waiting ages to get around to writing the story of the last day of WABN, I've had a handful of other stories I wanted to write, but didn't make sense to put out there, until the big story was told, and context was established.

I've written about Lori T before (and for context, you can check out her stories, plus a few of her guest posts).

I always think of her when I hear this Ben Folds Five song, because she chose it as the last song to play, on WABN's last day on the air.

I knew it was her pick, but I didn't really know why until she got on the air.

Her speech was pretty short.  But she said something along the lines of:

"I'm playing this song, because of the one lyric that pretty much sums up how I feel right now.  "I've seen that there is evil/And I know that there is good/The in-betweens I've never understood."

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Year Without A Santa Claus "Here Comes Santa Claus"

A weekend/Holiday post

Whenever I think of a Christmas parade, I see this little scene from "A Year Without A Santa Claus" in my mind.

This was the idealized version of what it would be like to have Santa arrive via flying reindeer.

I'd always be disappointed by reality when Santa would come by in the local parade on top of a firetruck or in a convertible.  Sort of anti-climactic.

How will Santa appear during today's Falmouth Christmas Parade?  Only time will tell, but don't miss mvyradio's yearly broadcast of the event.  Like I always say, if you can't make it to a parade, then hearing a DJ describe it on the radio, is most certainly the next best thing.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Annie Lennox "Lullay Lullay"

A weekend/Holiday post

While December is the beginning of Christmas music, note that the 1st is also World Aids Day.

Let's combine the two.

Annie Lennox has done amazing work to draw attention to the plight of African children in the Aids epidemic.  Here she sings a version "Coventry Carol" backed up by The African Children's Choir.

(And for good measure, I'm also posting Lennox singing "Many Rivers To Cross" on an Idol Gives Back special; it is perhaps one of the most beautiful, emotional music performances I've ever seen on television)

Hear the song on Youtube.

Hear the song on Youtube.