In Regards to the Holidays…..

Hey everyone!!

Still holiday shopping? Well, I know I am!

Anyway, since Christmas is coming up, I’ll be taking a break for the next eight days. Why eight? Well, I don’t want this holiday hiatus to last for two weeks, so by the time the 26th comes around, there will be something new to check out on here!

With that being said, I want to wish all of my friends, family, and all of my fans the best. You all have helped me make it this far into my career and I don’t intend on stopping anytime soon.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, whatever you’re celebrating. I hope you all are spending it with the people that you love, and to close out this, I’m going to post an improv poem about Christmas:

With one week ’til Christmas is coming around,
Have you got all of the things on your shopping list down?
With My Little Pony, Spider-Man, maybe Mr. Fantastic,
Your kids will relish all of those commercial hunks of plastic.

“But it’s not what I wanted” they silently utter,
Common complaint, I just hope they recover.
Because if in their teens these kids are still pricks,
Why should you even give them an iPhone 6?

But it’s not only kids that worry about gifts,
I’ve seen man-children that throw plenty a fit.
The season of giving can’t get as much joy
When the people who receive are constantly annoyed.

Understand that Christmas is a special time,
And shouldn’t be comprised of “Mine, mine, mine!!!!”
You have plenty of charities that represent a good cause
But then there are off-shoots that have broken a few laws.

So, do me a favor and keep this in mind:
Good nature today will help in good time.
Whether saying “I love you” to a parent or friend,
Or volunteering to help the homeless be happy again.

There are too many things that can be done this year,
But not enough people willing to spread the cheer.
So stop what you’re doing and open your heart,
There’s a lot to be done, so let’s go ahead and start.

-Marshall Stone

 

Happy Holidays everyone! If you’re still looking for a gift, my album Good Times Never Fade  is available on Amazon, CDBaby, and iTunes now! Visit marshallstonemusic.com to get the proper shortcuts available!

 

 

Top 5 Worst Christmas Songs

Before I begin, I must give an honorable mention to a song that I did not include in my top 5 best Christmas songs.

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

The reason why I didn’t include it was because I originally saw this as more of a villain type of song than actually a Christmas song. However, after thinking more about it, I can see why. How The Grinch Stole Christmas  is a great book and the animated special had some wonderful music in it, so it only made sense that I included this song in the running. I just made an oversight, and for that, I apologize, I just didn’t see it as a TOTAL Christmas song.  Keep in mind though, THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S A BAD SONG.  I love it, it’s one of my favorites that I grew up listening to, and I always enjoy it time and time again.

Now let’s dive into the polar opposite……..

These are the Christmas songs that suffer through a lot of faults to the point where I either can’t get into them or, to put it nicely, I DESPISE THEIR EXISTENCE!!!

So……. let’s just get this over with. As much as it pains me to have to listen to these songs, I give you my top 5 worst Christmas songs I have ever heard.

5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Ok, this may be a little bit of an odd choice, but in my defense, I don’t really HATE this song. But even with that said, it’s probably my least favorite in terms of the actual songs that tend to be labeled “classic carols”. When listening to this song again, I found it to be kind of dull. I don’t think the lyrics have any real substance to them, except for some…… mixed messages. How comfortable are you knowing that Santa “sees you when you’re sleeping” and “knows when you’re awake”? If any stranger that I knew acted like this towards children, they’d be serving 15 to life. Oh well, I know that people like this song, and I can see why, I’m just not a fan.

4.  The Chipmunks Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)

Why????? Just why?????

Even as a kid, I did not like this song. As an adult, it’s even worse. I understand now why my parents didn’t like to talk about this song or try to ignore it when it plays on the radio. Have you ever had that friend that can’t take a hint and is an ultimate buzzkill and you’re only friends with them out of pity? That’s sort of like this song. It’s irritating, obnoxious, grading to the ears, and a waste of pen and paper. Mostly because the genius who thought of multi-tracking  extremely high pitched voices won’t shut up!!! I guess if it were regular song sung by natural voiced males or females, it would be marginally better, but if you have to use that defense, you failed. I’m not even going to specify in what, you just fail.

3. Funky, Funky, Christmas- New Kids On The Block

This is a first for me.

Whenever I’ve listened to Christmas songs, I tend to bite the bullet and just listen the whole way through whether they’re good or not.

Then this song came and I couldn’t even get through half of it. You can say that it’s not credible of me to put it on the list, but here’s my point: THE SONG IS 5 MINUTES AND SEVEN SECONDS!!!!

I am not a fan of New Kids on The Block to begin with, but this song is trash and the worst song from them I have ever heard. The “writers” try to put a Beastie Boys mixed parody spin on a hip-hop Christmas song but it fails miserably because if you’re going to write a parody, it’s supposed to be funny. This isn’t. Funny is a word that dies with this song, and everyone involved should be ashamed.

2. Last Christmas

Which version? ANY of them.

From the way that I trashed the last……. thing…… you would think that this song would be ranked near the beginning of this list, but I cannot give this song that luxury in any way at all. This song suffers from so many problems, but it all comes down to the writing.

What’s the story? You have a person singing about how he/she had their heart broken after confessing their love to someone on Christmas and they proclaim that the next year they’re going to give it to someone special. Ok, that would be fine if that was it ,but it’s not. You have a first verse that has the narrator being flirtatious with the person they’re singing to  (I thought this was the person that broke your heart???) and then you have another verse with them being spiteful towards that person. THIS SONG IS A FOUR MINUTE CASE OF BIPOLAR DISORDER!!! Songwriters, it’s ok to write a serious and heartfelt love song, but don’t make your narrator a nutjob!! It’s ok to be head over heels about someone, but with the literal tone that this song has, I feel like someone’s going to be dead by the time this song is done. It’s cruel, a cock-tease, and really mean-spirited. If you like this song, that’s fine, I’m not going to judge and I can sort of understand, but….. to me,  this song is just not good. I guess I can say that the production on every version I’ve heard is fine, and the singing has never been bad in any means (I’m not going to name drop on a particular version that says the opposite), but if a song has bad writing, it’s not a good song. That’s pretty much as nice as I can be about it.

1. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

Before I begin riffing on this garbage, there’s one funny version of this song I heard that had a hardcore punk feel to it….

But I can’t find it. Let’s get this over with a list of problems this has…..

1. This is a Christmas song about death, not just a death in Christmas, but a death in the narrator’s family on Christmas! Did you think that Grandma was ok? No, she’s dead!!!! And this is a problem because…
2. This song is supposed to be a playful little comedic tune, there’s no mellowness in any of this. The fact that this is supposed to be comedic is baffling to me, it gets everything wrong. Which brings us to…

3. Speaking of everything being wrong, listen to this song and tell me how many times it takes for that chorus to be annoying. I’ll wait.

 

Oh you’re back! Do you know what the answer is? Great! Let’s say it together. ONCE. ONCE. ONCE.

I’m talking about the singing, the musical arrangement, nearly everything about it has this tendency to want to keep annoying you. ANYTHING FUNNY IS NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!!!! Why this song had the notoriety and success that  it did, I don’t know.

 

Until next time, I’m going to give myself an eggnog hangover because I can’t stop thinking about that drek.

My Top Five Christmas Songs!

Hey everyone!

With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the joy of the holiday season fast approaching, I’ve decided to embrace the spirit of winter by making December a Christmas-themed month!

FA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA-yeah.

Anyway, part of that festive spirit of Christmas lies in music. It can be warm, bouncy, wild, calm, most anything, really. You even have hardcore punk covers of Christmas carols……..

You don’t need to re-read that last sentence,  it’s just as funny and odd as you think it is.

So, let’s take this occasion for me to name off my top 5 favorite Christmas songs!

(DISCLAIMER: CHRISTMAS SONGS ENTITLES NOT JUST CAROLS BUT ALSO POPULAR MUSIC, ODDITIES, AND ANYTHING WITH A CHRISTMAS OR WINTER RELATED SUBJECT, THIS IS ALL OPINION BASED SO IF YOU HAVE HITMEN ON SPEED-DIAL…….. WELL, I GAVE YOU THIS DISCLAIMER. ENJOY!)

5. Jingle Bell Rock

Yeah, yeah, not surprising, but still, why wouldn’t this be on my list? I think this one of the first Christmas songs I really got into when I was a little kid. The sound of the original recording just sounded so appealing to me, and looking back on it, it still has the feeling of a timeless classic. From the smooth vocal delivery to the tight rhythm section, this is one of the perfect songs to hear while decorating your christmas tree.

4. O Holy Night

Through college, I had a bit of voice training, so I grew to appreciate classical singing and operatic voices more with each passing lesson. THIS song is one of the perfect examples of me cherishing voices in certain musical pieces. Now, you may ask, which do I prefer for this song?
Well, my two favorite singers of this song are Charlotte Church and Josh Groban. They each provide their own skill-set and talents to capture the true beauty of this piece. When I hear them both sing these lyrics, I feel like I’m there in a symphony hall hearing both of them.

So, what about the piece itself? It’s graceful, the lyrics are touching, and the movements are really soothing. This song is a true staple of Christmas, and I love listening to it every year.

3. Carol of the Bells

Which version? Pretty much all of them that I’ve listened to. I haven’t found a bad one yet!

This is a song that always makes me feel like joining a choir and performing it out of the blue. This song contains a sense of darkness and suspense that I truly love, and with the booming vocals, it makes the result far more powerful!

The Trans Siberian Orchestra version is really nice too. I think it’s a TAD overrated, but I know why people love it, and I still think the piece is very well performed!

2. Christmas All Over Again- Tom Petty

Again, another obvious choice for me because of my rock background, but I really do love this song!

I think I’m a sucker for songs that sound really full in the production and instrumentation because this song has all of those elements! Complete with  jangling guitars, awesome rhythm section, sweet piano playing, and even some sleigh bells for a nice touch! I always find Tom Petty’s voice kind of hit or miss, but his vocals in this song provide a certain charm that helps turn this good song into a great one! Bonus points for his “Christmas list” at the end that he recites.

1. Silent Night

Ah, a classic carol. I chose this song because it captures the beauty of Christmas and the very sight of the manger scene. Sometimes it’s the imagery that truly helps a song shine, and this song has plenty of it. I’d have more to say on it except, you’ve probably heard this song already, the very nature of it speaks for itself! It’s calm, soothing, and provides a great close to a wonderful set of carols.

Thank you to everyone for checking out this list! I hope you enjoy it, because next week………. we’re diving to the bottom of the barrel. So enjoy these songs before I reveal next week’s things.

Ok, that’s a bit harsh for most of them, but one of them deserves that distinction. Which one? You’ll find out next week. Have a great night everyone!