Jeff: It’s like this, Jason.
Jason: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
Goodbye, you jerk.
Jeff: [grabs Jason by his collar while his adorable feet windmill off the ground]
The thing is this: Recording technology has come AN AWFULLY LONG WAY.
Jason: Technology HAS come an awfully long way! How else do you explain “12 Items or Lust”?
Jeff: Yes, exactly! A person could theoretically just sit in their bedroom and make a FANTASTIC sounding album.
Jason: Sure! Many have done it, with great resu…oh wait a minute I see where you’re going NO NO NO NO NO
Jeff: You will notice that I said “theoretically” just now, which was very much for a reason.
Here is the thing, Jason, and the thing is this: Ra’Sean Blyden.
Jason: What the hell is a Ra’Sean Blyden?
Jeff: Beats me! But he’s chilling with Santa on the cover of his album, Merry Christmas to Everyone.
Jason: Hang on. Isn’t that Jaleel White?
Jeff: God, how I wish it were.
Jason: As with many of our Mellowmas artists, he has impeccable taste in fonts.
Jeff: I feel like there must be, like, a Pizza Hut promotional single featuring Jaleel White singing carols in character.
It would be one of those little CDs. It would be from, oh, 1991, ’92.
Jason: Don’t you have a CD like that from that era? It had Christopher Cross on it! The Stars Come Out For Christmas or something?
Jeff: That was from Taco Bell! Stephen Bishop was on there too.
Jason: Is that why we made the Christopher Cross/chalupa connection all those years ago?
Jeff: Yes, absolutely. Good ol’ Christopher Cross and his chalupa habit. “Sailing” can buy a shitload of chalupas, Jason.
Jason: …you can tell I’m stalling, right?
Jeff: “It’s not far down to Taco Bell / At least it’s not for me”
I’m stalling too. This thing that looms before us, it is not a good thing.
And yet. Duty calls us, as it called to Ra’Sean Blyden.
I admit I have not listened to the complete “Merry Christmas to Everyone,” Jason. I have merely skimmed it, as a cartoon character skims across the ocean whilst desperately trying not to drown.
Jason: As I skim your mother’s most recent list of tests she’s had done.
Jeff: All positive, by the way.
Jason: Ehh, you take the good, you take the bad.
Jeff: Anyway, I’m confident that you could pick any random track from this record and plunge us into a disorienting sonic landscape the likes of which we have not ever heard.
Jason: So pick one, my friend! I’m “ready.”
Jeff: Hmm. So many choices. I wonder if we should go with the title track? We do tend to have a lot of “success” with the originals from these albums.
Jason: “Merry Christmas to Everyone” it is!
Jeff: Multiple Ra’Seans! Have yourself a happy one, Jason.
Jeff: Enjoy that mic pop while you’re at it, too.
Jason: Just one question. Is this in a key?
Jeff: Ra’Sean is all keys to all people.
Jason: What the hell is going on here?
Jeff: Have yourself a happy one.
Jason: Was this guy just messing with the vocal effects in GarageBand? So whiny.
Jeff: I think maybe his copy of GarageBand was left out in the sun?
Jason: I didn’t know “Whiny” was a setting.
Jeff: I mean…there’s so much other stuff going on here that I didn’t even really notice the whiny part. I feel like I’m sitting on a warped LP as it travels ’round and ’round.
Jason: I just Googled him to make sure we weren’t making fun of someone who might be mentally incapacitated.
Jeff: Feeling confident that you didn’t discover he’s a comedian and this is an act.
Jason: Uh, no.
“Reh Dogg was quickly noticed all over cyberspace — for many of the wrong reasons.”[points at nose, points at you]
Jeff: Reh Dogg, the anti-Obama rapper!
“He was ridiculed for scenes in which he sang naked in the shower.”
His video was featured on “Hot Ghetto Mess”!
Jason: This article goes down some serious rabbit holes. I suggest you stop reading now.
Jeff: I like how one review’s pull quote was “What the hell?”
Jason: “Animation is used extensively in two recent videos decrying the election of Barack Obama, including one in which he seems to strike down the president-elect — whom he supported until Rush Limbaugh started an anti-Obama campaign, then voted against.”
He’s a Rush fan, Jeff.
Jeff: Another Mellowmas artist! The circle of Mellowmas.
Jason: I don’t feel so good.
Jeff: Wow, Ra’Sean has taken some critical lumps over the years. I wonder if maybe we should give him another shot.
Jason: JEFF DON’T
Jeff: I wonder if maybe Merry Christmas to Everyone has all its best tracks up front. Some albums are like that.
Jason: I hate you.
Jeff: Maybe if we listen to the opening track, we’ll get a better sense of what Ra’Sean Blyden is all about.
Jason: Okay, “Away in a Manger.” How bad could THIS be?
Jason: Reh Dogg sure does like his bass.
Jeff: He does not, FYI, like Auto-Tune. Or meter, really.
Jason: This has more melody than the last song, which is saying NOTHING.
Jeff: I think the vocal fadeout he did at the end of that verse was live.
Jason: Are we sure this guy isn’t pulling one over on us?
Jeff: These vocals sound like they were recorded in a bedroom closet while someone else was sleeping. He’s trying to get emotional on us here, but he’s also kind of whispering.
Did he listen to this before he released it?
Jason: I am sitting here in silence, fuming at you.
Jeff: Well, not in silence. Ra’Sean still has a minute or so left.
Jason: NO, NOT IN SILENCE.
Jeff: No place for his heeeeaaaaad
Jason: *shakes fist at Reh Dogg*
Jeff: The little lord Jesus
No place for his heeeeeeeeead
Jason: Let’s go away now.
Jeff: Away in a manger?
Jason: Away to some railroad tracks, so I can take a long winter’s nap. You’re pretty much the worst person I know.
Jeff: Listen. Before tonight, you couldn’t say you’d heard Ra’Sean Blyden! Or knew anything about him! Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Jason: This is true. I know so much now. I know that you’re a dick. I know that Reh Dogg has never taken a voice lesson.
Jeff: You know it’s possible to do incredible things with notes and tempo.
Jason: I know that it may seem like Mellowmas is a fun holiday, but all it takes is Ra’Sean “Up With Limbaugh” Blyden to really ruin the season.
I know that the only redeeming part to today is knowing how many people came along with us on this awful journey.
Jeff: You know that no matter how far technology takes us, home recordings that sound like shit will never go away — which, now that I think about it, kind of means that Mellowmas will never have to end. Unto us this day, a Mellowmas savior is born!
Jason: Leprechaun dances to all, and to all, a Very Reh Dogg Mellowmas.
PS Go to hell, Jeff.