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 Bah freakin' humbug!
Author: Delvin 
Date:   12-19-11 13:00

After three weeks on evening shift at work during which I couldn't do my radio show, and had to miss a couple of cool concerts in my area I took my wife to my company's holiday party. It was being held at the Broadmoor Hotel, which (I've always been told) really does it up for Christmas. (If any hotel in this neck of the woods can "do it up" for the holidays, it's the Broadmoor.)

Well, if "doing it up" means "out-doing every other smarmy, cheesy entertainment package on the circuit," then I guess I've seen the most "done-up" Christmas show available. The seven-piece combo actually was quite talented, but its presentation was buried in gushes of holiday sentiment. When it played the opening theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas (which I thought sounded quite nice), they had this clumsy loop of the animated special's opening ice-skating scene on the big screen behind them, playing over and over.

The show included a trio of female singers, "The Dinettes," giving the chirpiest renditions of holiday classics heard on this earth since The Lawrence Welk Show went off the air. The "girls" all wished to meet Frank Sinatra for Christmas, and whadd'ya know, Ol' Blue Eyes himself (rakish hat and all) came onstage to serenade the ladies, who ooh'ed and swooned and fluttered their eyes at the guy as if they had no idea how Sinatra had treated women when he was alive.

A guy in a Santa suit came out, and did a short magic show in front of the audience. And a well-known local children's chorale came onstage to participate; they entered from either side of the stage, moving in a slow, stealthy way (sort of like Scooby and Shaggy always did, just before they bumped into the creepy villain) and looking about themselves with mock wonder at the festivities they were about to participate in. (Poor kids.)

But the lowest points of the show came from the "star," a singer/guitarist named Jim Salestrom. He looks like a younger version of the filmmaker Michael Moore. He sings in a nasal voice, and performed the most unctuous holiday songs in the book. During some of his songs, the big screen showed photos of Salestrom on stage with some well-known entertainers. Yep, the guy actually was determined to show the crowd, "Hey, I've played with some big names, and I can prove it!"

The show did have some worthwhile moments. The violinist did a great job on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." The band did "Toy Sack," the Bob Rivers parody of "Love Shack" a fun song, and one I never thought I'd hear done live. The Sinatra imitator actually had a good voice. And one of the Dinettes did a solo of "Ave Maria." She sounded great, but the look on her face during the aria made it seem like she was working & concentrating desperately to get through it just right ... as if she'd been warned she'd be demoted back to kitchen staff if she hit a bum note.

The show's absolute nadir (for me) came when Salestrom introduced a song by telling the audience about getting to meet his idol. He then led the crowd in a sing-along of one of his idol's best-known songs ... "Rocky Mountain High." The big screen showed scenic shots of Colorado, interspersed with photos of John Denver. The song culminated with a shot of Salestrom, as a teenager, sitting on a porch playing guitars with John Denver.

Whew! On the bright side, I know I'm gonna have a good Christmas. It's got nowhere to go but up.

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 Re: Bah freakin' humbug!
Author: MrFab 
Date:   12-19-11 13:47

Ha, Jim Salestrom: the new TP idol. I've been to and heard of concerts that were love-fests for the performers, e.g.: Cher, Prince, et. al., but a show that's a ego trip for some schlub no-one's heard of? That's actually pretty funny, in a Christopher Guest-film kinda way.

Of course, when you're sitting thru it, it's probably not as funny...

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 Re: Bah freakin' humbug!
Author: nosepail 
Date:   12-19-11 13:47

Ugh, that sounds awful, Delvin. Please get back behind the sound board and post some set lists ASAP !!

We had a great in-office-halloween party, resplendent with all sorts of pre-IPO extravagance. We had open bar; 9 rooms each containing a different food theme; a Paul Revere impersonator who played accordian, taught the kids how to dress in colonial garb, and served revolutionary-era cocktails; a scavenger hunt based on the nine rooms; a raffle with iPads, TVs and vacations as gifts; a mock-Cheers bar replete with spot-on Cliff and Norm impersonators (yeah, this is Boston); a replica of Fenway's Green Monster where they took your family's picture; a Make Way For Ducklings bridge and face painters/balloon twisters for the kids; etc. I got quite smashed and then had to sit around and write code for several hours since I was too drunk to drive. It was perfect.

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 Re: Bah freakin' humbug!
Author: Delvin 
Date:   12-19-11 16:10

Awww Nose, yer breakin' my heart, man!

I worked for a software startup about ten years ago, and the management at that company really knew how to throw a party. We had holiday parties that measured up to the one you described, plus a happy hour on the first Friday of each month. The company would provide plenty of top-notch Colorado microbrews, and I'd bring a case of my homebrew as well. I had a few of those stay-and-work-till-you-sober-up evenings, too. (Not to mention days the week after, staying late to test the work of coders who'd been guilty of CWI on Friday.) Those wuz the days ...

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 Re: Bah freakin' humbug!
Author: Delvin 
Date:   12-19-11 16:19

BTW, I'll be covering several on-air shifts this week and next, in addition to my own regular Thursday shows. (They scratched my back, I'm scratching theirs.)

Tuesday 20 December at 10:00 PM
Thursday 22 December at 11:00 PM
Friday 23 December at 9:00 PM
Tuesday 27 December at 10:00 PM
Thursday 29 December at 11:00 PM

Streaming on the HD1 channel at KRCC's web site. All times shown are Mountain Time.

And since the good Nosepail has asked, not once but twice (and suddenly I have The Clash playing in my head), rest assured I'll be posting the playlists.

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 Re: Bah freakin' humbug!
Author: breno 
Date:   12-19-11 20:39

Hey Delvin - did you ever post the playlist for the Before They Were Famous show you did when you filled in for the classic rock guy? I only heard the second hour of it but enjoyed the heck out of it.

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 Re: Bah freakin' humbug!
Author: Delvin 
Date:   12-20-11 12:31

Why thanks, Reno! Glad you enjoyed it.

The playlist log function on KRCC's web site was on the fritz that night, so I'm recreating the show here from my song notes, and from my memory:

"Letsagetabitarockin" - The 101ers (Joe Strummer)
"Can't Wait" - Piper (Billy Squier)
"Simple Type/She" - Wicked Lester (Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley)
"Hey Joe" - Band of Joy (Robert Plant and John Bonham)
"Open My Eyes" - Nazz (Todd Rundgren)

"Back Street Luv" - Curved Air (Stewart Copeland)
"The Madman Running Through the Fields" - Dantalion's Chariot (Andy Summers)
"My White Bicycle" - Tomorrow (Steve Howe)
"Crawdaddy Simone" - The Syndicats (Steve Howe)
"14 Hour Technicolour Dream" - The Syn (Chris Squire)

"Changes" - Flaming Youth (Phil Collins)
"Wild Youth" - Generation X (Billy Idol)
"Imposters of Life's Magazine" - The Idle Race (Jeff Lynne)
"So Good to Be Back Home Again" - The Tourists (Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart)

"You've Got a Habit of Leaving" - Davy Jones & the Lower Third (David Bowie)
"Follow Me" - Lyme & Cybelle (Warren Zevon)
"My World Fell Down" - Sagittarius (Glen Campbell)
"Four O'Clock in the Morning" - The Hassles (Billy Joel)
"Ghosts of Princes in Towers" - The Rich Kids (Midge Ure)

"Can I Get a Witness?" - The Steampacket (Rod Stewart)
"Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock & Roll" - Bluesology (Elton John)
"In the Land of the Few" - Love Sculpture (Dave Edmunds)
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" - John's Children

"Father Bruce" - The Great Society (Grace Slick)
"Mud in Your Eye" - Les Fleur des Lys (Pete Sears)
"Love Hate Revenge" - Episode Six (Ian Gillan and Roger Glover)
"What Goes On" - The Velvet Underground (Lou Reed)

I kind of cheated on the Bluesology number; the song actually was released under Long John Baldry's name as a solo artist. But Bluesology was his backing band on that recording ... and I didn't want to use the singer's name, because he was the answer to that evening's trivia question: Who was the British bandleader who gave both Elton and Rod their first prestige gigs?

Thanks to DJ45rpm for the Velvets/Lou Reed suggestion. I probably would've missed that one; it made a perfect wrap-up to the show.

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