Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White Synthmas

Sadly another one of those vids that aren't artist created to go with the song, but this Monday it's got to be this song as Christmas bears down with enough weight to make this the shortest day of the year. I must confess my love for this confection, despite many (starting with my sweet wife) who mock and probably wisely do, a song featherbrained enough to ramble on about a turkey that doesn't dance but sings, and then those proto-samples of some older gent biting off the word "Christmas" so curtly you'd think Santa just told the guy he had to give back all his Xmas presents retroactively for life.

But this is 1984 and this is Captain Sensible, whose had a damned time of it and ended up doing synth pop created by Tony Mansfield who should be better known as the man behind New Musik but it's not like anybody knew them either. (Check out here for why the music was dreamy fine and why Tony Mansfield as Group Leader sort of had to become Tony Mansfield, Ace Producer--boy, he's one dynamo live!) "One Christmas Catalog" is all of an era for me, though, and getting to drag it out annually makes me want to sing "one Christmas too many," the catalogs ain't nothing. For this music is as fake and lovely as an aluminum tree, one with that spinning color light wheel in front of it, the tree ever awash in change and hope and so much fake it becomes the only thing real. Who needs tinsel when the damn tree is a-glimmer?

And isn't that true of this song, too? That drum machine disco bop, those airy chick vocals making the Captain's croak more sensible, the gloss just getting glossier at 30 seconds in when that other chittery lovely airiness gets all happily staccato. This song has never been touched by a natural instrument. And is all the better for it. Let's all have our little seasonal fantasies, after all--whether it be the son of god laid humble for us and our sins so we'll get someplace to go besides dead, whether it be each day's sun a few minutes more and therefore a sense we can turn any motherfucker around just by dragging it into the light, whether it be for 4 minutes a tune can make you feel a bit timeless and forgetful with its vaporous beauty that's silly enough it's ok it signifies nothing. As if you couldn't hope to aspire to be even that much.

UPDATE (1/6/2010): As commenter Ben pointed out, the original video I posted suddenly became a private video (ooh, to own Spencer's!), so I've put a new one up. Still something someone made, and now my comment about Spencer's is really confusing, but that's the way with memory. Someone always goes and tries to own it on you.



Blogger George said...

And I could and should do a whole entry on Spencer's, the one in the Livingston Mall, the one that I outfitted my little basement den with as a teenager, blacklight bulbs and posters, etc. But that's not a Christmas story, is it.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Ben Varkentine said...

It wouldn't let me play it...gave me a message about this being a private video, and if I'd been sent it I had to confirm I was was friends, blah blah etc.

10:36 AM  
Blogger George said...

New vid version, Ben. Hope this one works!

10:41 AM  

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