"Only Musicians in Orchestras are real Musicians"

This past Christmas holiday, I’ve been taking my mother around to see family and friends. Many of these drives can be quite long and so I’ve been listening to the local classical FM station. My mom grew up on classical music, it was mandatory listening when she was in Germany. I fell out of listening to classical, which I did do a lot more of in my mid to early teens, but then I also listened to a lot of big band, rock and pop at the time. It has been since I’ve been recording a pianist and cellist. Also with all the other musical endeavors, I grown to appreciate a much broader spectrum of music.

My mom is 80 and isn’t a fan of rock music or anything that has been recorded since 1960 and onward. She said to me, “Wouldn’t you agree that only musicians who play this type of music [classical] are real musicians?”. My answer was “No.”. I know how hard it is to play and read any type of music. I know that hours that anyone who plays any instrument, including voice, puts into getting as close to perfection as possible. Even someone who is only playing for their own sheer enjoyment has spent countless hours working on a single song to be able to play it back.

I understand why she feels this way, I do feel this way about a lot of pop music that has come out since 2000. It has a plastic feel to it, it has been manipulated to be “perfect”. Along with videos it has given a rise to less-than-talented individuals who look good but really can sing / play any better that a person trying their had at an instrument for the first time. There are too many Ashley Simpsons in the industry and we need them to be shown for what they really are.

Now I’ve gone off topic a little bit, but I am paraphrasing my mother’s words. She feels that if a musician can’t read music then they aren’t a musician. She is showing bias because I know many musicians who don’t play for orchestras or play orchestral type music how can sight read better than some people who can read a book.

I know that a lot of the music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s was recorded by a handful of talented musicians who’s knowledge of music would surpass many of the great composers of yesteryear. Why is this? Because they had their work to reference.

Music is one thing that brings like minded people together and, if you are passionate enough, start arguments that can never be resolved. Like I said, I don’t like the “plastic” sound of music that is being made today. That is why I think I’m enjoying recording people who have talent, but don’t expect me to adjust their mistakes. It goes to show that we all have our opinions on music, but it is nice when we can discuss them as my mother and I did on our many drives this season.

Happy Holidays everyone!

— Mike

My Favourite Christmas Songs / Recordings

The season is upon us and so I decided to share my favourite Christmas songs and recordings. I say recordings because I have a bunch of comedy stuff that I also like to listen to around this time since it has a Christmas theme. I have put two stars beside the ones that would be in my top 10.

Here they are, not in any particular order:

  • Cheech and Chong – Santa Claus and His Old Lady**
  • Vince Guaraldi – O Tannenbaum**
  • Vince Guaraldi – What Child Is This?
  • Vince Guaraldi – Christmas Time Is Here [Instrumental]**
  • Vince Guaraldi – Skating
  • Vince Guaraldi – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Vince Guaraldi – The Christmas Song
  • Adam Sandlar – The Chanukah Song**
  • Allan Sherman – The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas**
  • Augie Rios – Donde Esta Santa Claus
  • Death Row Records Artists – Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto**
  • Badly Drawn Boy – Donna & Blitzen
  • Barry Gordon – Nuttin’ for Christmas
  • Boney M. – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord**
  • The Chipmunks – The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)**
  • Chuck Berry – Run Rudolf Run
  • Dread Zeppelin – Blue Christmas
  • Ella Fitzgerald – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Ella Fitzgerald – Jingle Bells, Sleigh Ride
  • Ella Fitzgerald – Frosty the Snowman
  • Elmo & Patsy – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
  • Elvis Presley – Take My Hand, Precious Lord
  • Southpark Cast – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Southpark Cast – O Holy Night, Carol of the Bells
  • Southpark Cast – I Saw Three Ships
  • Southpark Cast – O Tannenbaum
  • Southpark Cast – Christmas Time In Hell**
  • Southpark Cast – Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel**
  • Southpark Cast – The Most Offensive Song Ever
  • Southpark Cast – We Three Kings
  • Exultate Chamber Sings – Away In a Manger**
  • Exultate Chamber Sings – We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Exultate Chamber Sings – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Fats Domino – I’ll Be Home for Christmas**
  • Harry Connick Jr. – (It Must’ve Been Ol’)Santa Claus
  • Harry Connick Jr. – I Pray on Christmas
  • Kinks – Father Christmas**
  • Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song
  • Nat King Cole – Buon Natale (Means Merry Christmas to You)
  • Nat King Cole – I Saw Three Ships
  • The Pretenders – 2000 Miles
  • Ray Charles – The Little Drummer Boy
  • Ray Charles – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  • Ray Charles – All I Want for Christmas**
  • Roy Clark – Christmas Time’s A Comin’**
  • RUN-D.M.C. – Christmas in Hollis**
  • Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody**
  • Stevie Wonder – What Christmas Means to Me**
  • Straight No Chaser – The 12 Days of Christmas[Live]**
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra – An Angel Came Down
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The Silent Nutcracker**
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The First Noel**
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Jazz[Instrumental]**
  • Unknown Choir – Carol of the Bells (From Christmas Around The World CD)
  • The Ventures – Sleigh Ride**

If you want more of an explanation on some of the songs in the list, please watch the video:

My 100th Video and a Retrospective on the Fall Song Challenge

I had an issue with the site on Friday!  Sorry for it being down!  GoDaddy upgraded my site for me and it took everything off line.  It’s back up now! 

Hope everyone is having a good Christmas season!  My 100th video is complete and I am shocked!  Thanks to everyone who has supported the channel!  If you haven’t subscribed, please do!  I would really appreciate it!