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Jim and I never wait until the 25th to give xmas presents. This bad habit is actually mine, but I've dragged him down with me to the point where we're now starting at Thanksgiving and handing each other little gifts every few days until the end of the year. We're not much for the rules here. When I find something wonderful for him, I just can't wait for him to have it. Is it so wrong to want to make someone happy? Is it? Didn't think so.

Anyway, he's given me some great presents this year so far, such as the Concert for George DVD, which is wonderful -- a joyful tribute to Mr. Harrison with no maudlin speeches and no tears, just lots of great music played with love. It also contains the naked asses of various Pythons. And The Lumberjack Song with Tom Hanks subbing for John Cleese (this is never explained). Eric Clapton forgets some of the words to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and Paul McCartney can no longer reach most of the notes in "All Things Must Pass," but it was nice that he tried. And the assembled musicians wisely skip the big blowout "Rockshow" finale in favor of finishing off with Joe Brown on ukulele singing "I'll See You In My Dreams" as red and yellow rose petals drift down from the rafters to cover the audience. I think I'll watch this one a lot.

And, speaking of tributes, last night Jim gave me Chips from the Chocolate Fireball, the anthology of the Dukes of Stratosphear's two albums, 25 O'Clock and Psonic Psunspot. I've been listening to it all morning, reminded of my freshman and sophomore years of college, when I listened to my dubbed tape of the two records until it wore out and broke. I haven't heard these songs in years, and I'd forgotten what perfect silvery slices of psychedelic pop they are.

The lads from XTC steal liberally and affectionately from The Kinks, The Beatles, Brian Wilson, and just about everybody else making cool records in the mid to late '60s. And they give themselves delightful stage names like Lord Cornelius Plum and E.I.E.I. Owen. It's a shame they were all murdered in a kitchen accident that may or may not have involved a scalding vat of treacle, because the world could use more intelligent, soaring pop songs with titles like "Bike Ride to the Moon" and "Brainiac's Daughter."

Replies: 2 Confessions

Poor, poor, Jim. Doomed to a life of drudgery in order to earn enough lucre to satisfy your ever-mounting consumerist tendencies.

Poor, poor, Jim.

Ric L @ 12/15/2003 11:37 AM CST

Ah, yer just jealous, Leo!

amyc @ 12/15/2003 11:59 AM CST

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