Jason: Hey Jeff, remember last year’s Mellowmas miracle?
Jeff: You mean that it ended? Yes, I remember that. I smiled for a month.
Jason: That was one of the miracles. But there was another one. If I recall correctly, we were in our fourth week of discussing Mellowmas tracks. Which means it was, like, before Thanksgiving. And we had listened to so much crap over the month, but just hadn’t found that one perfect, kitsch-y track.
Jason: I remember that! Fred’s nuts turned orange!
Jeff: A miracle! Is that the one you’re thinking of? Gosh, we had so many miracles last Mellowmas.
Jason: No, although I really like the idea of Kenny kicking Fred in the junk. Ain’t talkin’ ’bout Fred. Ain’t talkin’ ’bout Kenny.
Jason: I’m talkin’ ’bout Charo. Coochie coochie, motherfucker.
Jeff: ¡Charo no!
Jason: ¡Charo si!
Jason: That was a wonderful moment, wasn’t it? An authentic, old-school track that was filled with earnest, Christmas joy.
Jeff: You and I remember this song differently.
Jason: Then now is the perfect time to show you what I’ve found.
¡No es Charo!
¡No es Gloria Estefan!
Jeff: ¡Bueno, bueno!
Jason: ¡No es Julio Fucking Iglesias!
Jeff: This is sounding pretty great!
Jeff: Oh, you son of a Mellowmas whore.
When did Menudo make a Christmas record? Is this ’80s Saturday morning TV Menudo?
Jason: Take a look!
Jason: Feliz Navidad con 14 Exitos Navideños.
Jeff: It’s like Wham! exploded.
Jason: Este disco incluye una Tarjeta Navideña GIGANTE a todo color de MENUDO especialmente dedicada.
Jeff: According to one of the comments here, this is the original Menudo lineup.
Jason: What the hell good is Menudo without a closeted Ricky Martin?
Jeff: JASON, WHAT THE HELL GOOD IS MENUDO ANYWAY
Jason: I vaguely remember, around sixth grade, there was a girl in my class that loved Menudo. She played their stuff all the time. And I used to hang out with her. And yet, I cannot remember a single note of any Menudo song.
Jeff: They were all brown notes. racist cackle
Jason: According to Wikipedia, this was Menudo’s 11th album, and third Christmas album, featuring Ricky Melendez, Johnny Lozada, Xavier Serbia, Miguel Cancel, and Charlie Rivera. This is the third album that this line-up recorded together. THEIR THIRD CHRISTMAS ALBUM, JEFF. They’re the Puerto Rican Anne Murray.
Jeff: They’re the Kenny G of Puerto Rico!
Jason: Same joke, different punchlines. I love you.
Jeff: And I you. Let’s see how much love is in this room after these little Puerto Rican urchins warble their way through “Noche de paz.” Which means “Silent Night,” in case you were wondering.
Jason: I wasn’t. But thank you.
Jeff: I’m kind of disappointed — I was hoping we were about to hear a Menudo original.
Jason: I can send you the entire album if you like.
Jeff: I’m good, thanks.
Jason: By the way, is saying “these little Puerto Rican urchins” racist?
Jeff: Probably not as racist as the things I’m about to say.
Jason: Ah, nice classical guitar.
Jeff: Gentle and pretty. I approve.
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Jeff: Hark, a tone-deaf little girl!
Jason: That’s no girl!
Jeff: Holy shit, man. Is this warped? I feel seasick and a little afraid.
Jason: That’s Rene Farrait, who was apparently told that the most important thing was to add vibrato to the end of every line. It doesn’t matter if you can hold a note.
Jeff: Oof! How about that high note?
Jason: STAND AWAY FROM THE MICROPHONE, RENE!
Jeff: Whistling solo! This is where Foster the People got the idea!
Jason: The most in-tune part of the song!
Oh shit, he’s singing again. Here comes a big off-key note! Yup, there it is!
Jeff: I love how he randomly gets louder.
Jason: Me too! I’m picturing this being recorded in the middle of July, and the engineers were out in the back, chain-smoking and playing poker.
Jeff: Oh my God.
Jason: Every once in a while, someone would come in and throw the kids an Oreo or something.
Jeff: That was brutal. Absolutely brutal. What did that kid grow up to do?
Jason: Good question! Let’s see.
Jeff: “After leaving the band, Rene became a solo singer and made a few albums.” Ha ha ha ha ha! Most dismissive Wikipedia line ever!
Jason: Well, apparently this is one of them:
Maybe you were right. Rene is a girl.
Jeff: Is he fighting off a mannequin in that photo?
Jason: Look at the lifeless hand he’s holding in that picture!
Jeff: “Rene y Kim Cattrall”
Jason: “Rene faced health troubles in the early 2000s, but he recuperated.“
Jeff: “Rene’s trademark song was the hit Subete a mi Moto. (Get On My Bike).” He was kind of like Billy Ocean!
Jason: Wow. That’s especially funny, since “he survived a motorcycle accident that left him with 20 stitches on his jaw.”
Jason: That was apparently in 2005, which is disappointing, because I thought maybe it accounted for his poor singing.
Jeff: That track is fascinating, really. Did people just not care?
Jason: Well, he was cute, I imagine? And the little girls screamed? And the little girls bought the records?
And there was no Auto-tune? So what did it matter?
Jeff: Yeah, I guess. It’s just that, I mean, we’ve obviously listened to plenty of dreck over the years, but it’s all been competently recorded. This, on the other hand, is a mess. It really wasn’t even engineered. The only person who knew what they were doing was the poor guitarist.
Jason: Who was also playing poker out in the back.
Jeff: Well, all things considered, I think I’d still rather see Kenny Rogers kicking Fred Schneider in the nuts. This was some sort of Mellowmas miracle, I GUESS. But I’m not happy about it.
Jason: No, it wasn’t a miracle. It’ll only be a miracle if you wake up in the middle of the night with this kid’s off-key warbling in your head. Then, it will have been the happiest Mellowmas ever.
Noche de Tortura.
Jeff: How did you know that song was still stuck in my head? Ugh.
Jeff: The only thing that’s making all this tolerable is leafing through the Flickr stream where you found the album cover. This person is apparently as obsessed with shitty holiday music as we are.
Jason: Charo is in there!
Jeff: So, so, so many Mellowmas possibilities. The Caroleers! The Dallas Cowboys cut a Christmas album!
Jason: The Moog Machine-Christmas Becomes Electric. Who can get us this album?
Jeff: That cover is amazing.
Jason: Nevermind, I got it!
Jeff: Avon Goes on Record to Bring You the Most Profitable Christmas Ever!
And then, of course, there’s Jimmy Roselli’s I Boxed You Up a Whore for Christmas.
Jason: See? It IS a Christmas miracle! Sorry, everybody, we have to go.
Jeff: I’m pouring myself a hot toddy and downloading for hours. Your inbox will never be the same.
Jason: I hope everybody reading this is shivering in fear right now.
Jeff: I take back all the mean things I said a minute ago. I’m so happy right now.
Jason: You’re welcome. You’re welcome, EVERYBODY.
Jeff: This is the greatest Mellowmas gift of all! ¡Gracias, Menudo! ¡Gracias!
Jason: !Buenas Noche de Náusea!