I really like Il Volo. The boys have a great sound for such young voices, and they have good arrangers and producers providing them with well-written material that’s also recorded well.

Good stuff. One niggly lil thing though: they all have a strong tendency to take Italian vowel production into all the languages they sing in. Oh, it’s not offensive, but it is pretty glaring at times. Take “Stille Nacht” (below). Beautifully sung, but… the vowels are often not German. Oh, well. Picky, picky, picky. 😉

Wherein I Make a (Pot)LOAD of Work for Myself…

So yes, it was a foolish goal to set myself. It isn’t as though I have nothing else on my plate, after all… *sigh*

I decided to collect all the digital recordings of Christmas music I have on scattered devices all over the place together this year. Yeh, yeh, I’ve been promising myself for several years now to organize it all, and I even have a media server to put it all on, but now I’ve decided to do so with just one genre, I realize what a Herculean task I’ve set myself… and promptly began making my task bigger.

OK, I have many, many hundreds (and hundreds) of digital recordings of Christmas music–mostly sacred solo, choral, instrumental and orchestral, but also tons and tons of secular selections (pop, contemporary, humorous, traditional, etc.), and simply gathering them into one centralized collection is daunting enough, let alone classifying and organizing them. But hey, I promised myself I’d do it and so what can I do but do it?

And then I have been on a buying spree purchasing MORE Christmas music. OK, so I’ve loved the most of the Celtic Woman Christmas offerings in their past work, and the new one has some good stuff, so…

And then there were a few holes in my Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberia Orchestra collections…

And I’ve been meaning to pick up some Libera recordings (a boys’ choir, in case you’d not heard them; I’m a sucker for boys voices performing choral works*)… and Woody mentioned a George Shearing Christmas album on FB, while Kat, also on FB, mentioned a collection of 280 pieces on sale for $0.99 (sucked me in)… and, and…

You get the drift. *sigh* In addition to the hundreds of selections of digital recordings I already had, I’ve managed to add another 500 or so in just the last couple of weeks. *heh*

At least I didn’t commit to digitizing my massive cassette tape and vinyl collection of Christmas music this year, although I’ll have to do it sometimes soon. And also A Good Thing: I have ripped a bunch of Xmas music CDs like this one to mp3 over the years, so that’s a wee tad less to get done, at least (although I’ve not ripped the Yo-Yo Ma Christmas CD that was a gift from my Wonder Woman a couple of years ago… or more than a few others, it seems. The Canadian Brass and the Dallas Brass and quite a few others are awaiting equal time, as well… *sigh*)

Oh, well. At least it gives me something to do when I’m not

    –on a gig
    –getting the house “Xmas-ised”
    –working on new entertainment center/MPC hookups, etc.
    –giving some finishing touches to home “fixup” projects (many and varied)
    –working through my backlog (over 200) of books I want to read (and keeping them from cluttering things up while I do projects, fixups and “Xmas-izing” etc.)

Hmm, looks like anything that sounds like “work” takes up less of my attention energy than puttering tasks. Oh, well again. *heh*

*Yeh, I’ve been that way since I was 17 and invited to sing in the changed voice section (all three of us) for a boys choir that’s since gone on to minor acclaim (minor only in that it’s limited to about 1/4 of the country *heh*). Oh, this was the second year of the group, so it was still in its formative stage, but although my life had been filled with exposure to, performance in/with and other involvement with excellent music groups and amazing musicians, that experience was a revelation to me of the beautiful sound of a cappella boys’ voices. The entire performance repertoire was a cappella and the conductor was probably the second (or perhaps third) best conductor I have ever sat under, both for rehearsal and performance, and that is saying a HUGE bunch, given the batons I’ve been privileged to sit under. Do note that the Libera album linked above isn’t a cappella music, but there are a few isolated examples, and the instrumental accompaniments are all very, very well-written and performed.


I may make this a third world county feature. Who knows?

Anywho, here’s a multi-cultural post for you, a blast from the past rerun of a long-ago Precision Guided Humor Assignment:

The Third World County™s Politically Incorrect Guide to Detecting an Islamofascist Murdering Savage SOB Terrorist.

See a suspect? Maneuver to get the wind on ’em. (Scent The stench of rotting camel–or other–dung may be your first clue apart from the fact that the guy looks like an Ay-rab.)

Step 1.) Does the goober smell worse than–well, Goober? If so, he’s either a Loony Left Moonbat or a Islamofascist murdering savage SOB. Bag ‘im either way.

Step 2.) When you perform a “cranial echo test”–whack ‘im on the head with an ax handle) does a “thunk” or no sound at all procede from his pie hole? If a “thunk” then it’s a Loony Left Moonbat and good for catfish feed or for bait for wild boar. If no sound at all issues, then there’s nothing inside (sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum, you know) and you have a splodydope. Remove any useful explosives and see uses for Loony Left Moonbat, above. If the critter attempts to bite the axe handle, it’s an osama and should be doused with gasoline and burned (after removing any useful explosives for later use fishing or blowing stumps).

Do bury any remains of an osama in pig manure and turn the compost frequently. Use this compost to kill kudzu.

There. Wasn’t that all warm and fuzzy, multi-culti?

(Oh, and before someone charges me with dehumanizing or demonizing Loony Left Moonbats or terrorists, please note that Loony Left Moonbats and terrorists have beat me to the punch and either dehumanized or demonized themselves before I could get in on the act. I’m just calling the cards that are already dealt.)