Jeff:Ho, ho, ho, Jason. Merry Mellowmas Eve!
Jason: OH MY GOD, WE’RE SO CLOSE.
Jeff: The readers are laying all snug in their beds. Wait, that’s how it goes, right? I forget. I haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh read “The Night Before Christmas” in awhile.
Jason: While visions of Horst and Sharon Hartung danced in their heads.
Jeff: Oooh, visions of Horst and Sharon. spine tingles
Jason: While I in my stocking, and Jeff in his cap
Prayed for an end to this Mellowmas crap
Jeff: Well, if Mellowmas has taught us nothing, it’s that there is no God. Also, there’s a practically limitless supply of horrible holiday music. What will we ever do if I let you take this back to 12 days? We’ll never be able to come close to keeping up with it all.
Jason: If you’re implying that we should do “The 365 Days of Mellowmas,” so help me God, I will hunt you down.
Jeff: We might actually start to enjoy listening to Christmas music again. I’m not sure I’d be able to process that.
Jason: My window for actually enjoying Christmas music shrinks every year.
Jeff: I think mine was April 3 this year.
Jason: The only good thing I’ve heard all season was Christina Perri.
Jeff: A Verri Merri Perri Christmas! The album I was SO SURE was going to be Mellowmas fodder.
Jason: And Sara Bareilles’ “Love is Christmas,” which came out last year, so it doesn’t even count.
Jeff: Hush your mouth, Sara Bareilles sucks.
Jason: She does not! YOU suck!
Jeff: I wave my hand dismissively at you. There were a few records I was sure we’d cover this year. Rod Stewart, of course.
Jason: I extend the same finger I’ve had extended to you since December 1st. Rod!
Jeff: Blake Shelton. Lady Antebellum.
Jason: What happened there?
Jeff: Rod Stewart’s Christmas album is thoroughly competent.
Jason: I found a few good songs on the Lady Antebellum, but not much.
Jeff: Oh, and let’s not forget Cee Lo Green!
Jason: I found one song I liked on there! His cover of “This Christmas” was no Donnie Hathaway, but was still pretty good.
Jeff: It’s too bad he didn’t give us a good old-fashioned version of “Last Christmas,” isn’t it? There’s always next year’s expanded reissue.
Jason: Yes. Too, too bad.
Jeff: Anyway, all this talk of everything we’ve listened to this Mellowmas has me thinking of the past.
Jason: How far back, exactly? Like, the 1800s? Man, it’d be awesome to do some 19th century Mellowmas.
Jeff: Dave Lifton already did it!
BECAUSE HE’S OLD
Jason: Cue Dave going “ME!”
Jeff: I was thinking of the ’70s, actually. I was thinking of the Mellow Gold ladies of yesteryear. Three of them in particular.
Jason: I hate to ask this question, but which three? Wait, let me guess.
Jeff: MELLOW GOLD POP QUIZ TIME!
Jason: Nicolette Larson, Charlene and Karla Bonoff.
Jeff: Wrong! Here, I’ll give you some hints.
Jason: Okay, I’m ready.
Jeff: Our first singer has very long hair and eyes that change color.
Jason: David Bowie in a wig?
Jeff: God, you suck at this. You’re so out of Mellow Gold practice it’s embarrassing. It’s Crystal Gayle, motherfucker!
Jason: Crystal Gayle! She sucks!
Jeff: Yes. Remember Crystal Gayle? Millions of Americans sort of do. She single-handedly kept the shampoo industry in business during the hippie era.
Jason: I remember her timeless duet with Eddie Rabbitt. That’s about it.
Jeff: Oh, did you say Crystal Gayle duet? I have a treat for you.
Jason: You’re lying. You’re so lying.
Jeff: This is exciting: Crystal Gayle cut a duet with Jay Patten.
Jason: UGH! Not Jay Patten!
…who the hell is Jay Patten?
Jeff: I have no idea! But it’s called “Special Kind of Christmas,” so here we are. Because this has been a special kind of Mellowmas. Or something.
Jason: I see that he’s released an album called “Black Hat and Saxophone,” which are two things I’d like to shove into my ears right now.
Jeff: You’ll have your chance to shove one of them in in just a few moments, because yes, Jason. A HOLIDAY CRYSTAL GAYLE DUET FEATURING SAX. Oh my God, you’re so happy right now.
Jason: I’m prepared for it to be tasteful. I don’t imagine it’ll be overblown in the slightest.
Crystal Gayle and Jay Patten, “Special Kind of Christmas” (download)
Jason: Awwwww yeah.
Jason: I swear I heard this in a Cinemax flick.
Jeff: Starring Tom Berenger as a tough-yet-sensitive cop, right?
Jason: Wait a second. Is he singing to a tree?
Jeff: He doesn’t seem to be singing to Crystal Gayle. Do you think he just put her name on it?
Jason: I imagine that’s her in the background?
Jeff: I think it’s Tom Berenger.
Jason: He’s her musical director, from what I read, so clearly this was her throwing him a bone. A Christmas bone.
Jeff: snicker Oh, there she is! Crystal!
Jason: Oh hey!
Jeff: She still sounds 100 percent Gayleish.
Jason: I mean, look at the album art. He couldn’t even get her to stand next to him.
Jeff: SAX SOLO, JASON
Jason: SAX SOLO! I think she just took off her dress.
Jeff: My jeans just acid-washed themselves!
Jason: Of course, she’s covered by her hair, so nobody noticed.
Jeff: It’s you and I together Christmas day! Like that star in the sky, there to guide the way. We were always meant to be here. It’s a special kind of Mellowmas!
Jason: Yes! Finally you admit…oh wait. You’re quoting lyrics. Never mind.
Jeff: A lifetime of Mellowmas cheer! A special kind of Mellowmas this year.
Jason: Ooo, special kind of Mellowmas!
Jeff: Thank your for that closing sax fill, Jay Patten. I was afraid you weren’t going to go there. Just kidding, I knew he was.
Jason: I will not thank him. I refuse. That’s when the camera slowly cut away to the window, where the curtains are blowing in the breeze. Against pink lighting.
Jeff: Yes! YES.
Jason: …I watch too much Cinemax.
Jeff: Well. That was kind of gross. Maybe we’ll get luckier with our second song?
Jason: I don’t even know what it is, and I already know that’s not going to happen.
Jeff: Jeff: This next singer has recorded hit duets with Kris Kristofferson and Glen Campbell! Neither of whom appear on today’s song.
Jason: Oooh. Okay, hold on, let me think. Dolly Parton!
Jeff: sigh Her name rhymes with Shmita Shmoolidge.
Jason: Lita Foolidge? I don’t even think that’s a name.
Jeff: Damn you.
Jason: Okay, okay.
Jeff: This artist wins the 2012 award for Mellowmas Album Cover That Looks Most Like Kathleen Turner’s Christmas Card from 1995.
Jason: Lines like that are why they pay you the big bucks. Rita Coolidge!
Jeff: Yes! You win!
Jason: I actually don’t know much Rita Coolidge.
Jeff: This is a brand new album, Jason. 2012 brought us “A Rita Coolidge Christmas.”
Jason: You’re right! It did! Look at all those classic Christmas songs!
Jeff: Oh, ignore those.
Jason: “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” which I’m betting she does not do! “Santa Baby,” which I’d like to play outside your house, Say Anything style.
Jeff: Rita Coolidge is 67. She might literally rock around the Christmas tree, like a plastic horse. But anyway, yes, so many classic songs. But today, as in so many days past, we’re going to cover an original number.
Jason: You don’t want to listen to her cover of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” a song that people need to STOP COVERING?
Jeff: I do not!
Jason: She put an original number on here? I’m sure THAT’S going to go over well.
Jeff: Nor do I ever need to hear her version of “Amazing Grace” or “Little Drummer Boy.” Or, for fuck’s sake, “Jingle Bell Rock.” Instead, I think we need to hunker down with Rita Coolidge’s “Circle of Light.”
Jason: I disagree with you. About 500%. But I have absolutely no energy to fight you.
Jeff: Yes. Yessssss. This is the Mellowmas spirit overtaking you. Sapping you of the will to not listen to Rita Coolidge’s Christmas songs.
Jason: What is thy bidding, my Mellowmas master.
Jeff: Enter the “Circle of Light.”
Rita Coolidge, “Circle of Light” (download)
Jeff: So gentle.
Jeff: Hey, it really is Kathleen Turner!
Jason: I don’t think I realized how low her voice was. Wait, that’s not her on the cover, is it?
Jeff: Hey there, choir!
Jason: Maybe it’s my eyes.
Jeff: Tasteful choir.
Jason: The person on the cover looks way younger.
Jeff: Younger than Kathleen Turner?
Jason: Shhh, Jeff. We are children of the angels.
Jeff: We are children of the angels, Jason. Keepers of the fire.
Jason: Keepers of the fire.
Jason: This is like when old people finish each other’s sentences.
Jeff: We are not strangers, Jason. We are all brothers.
Jason: She’s a dude! I knew it! Rita Coolidge is packing heat!
Jeff: Here in the circle of light, everyone has a dick!
Jason: She definitely just hit a note that I cannot hit. Whoa, was that a little bit of electric guitar? For, like, two seconds? There it is again!
Jeff: That’s the LAMEST big buildup ever! It just kind of lumbers into the big fi…oh wait, we still have three minutes left.
Jason: “Yeah, baby, I played electric guitar on Rita Coolidge’s last Christmas album, and…hey, where are you going?”
Jeff: What are you up to, Rita Coolidge? There’s an electric guitar buried in the mix. You can hear it if you listen with headphones, which I totally do not recommend.
Jason: JEFF. This song is SIX MINUTES WRONG.
Jeff: Ting! Ting, ting, ting! Is this the first synth bell solo we’ve ever had?
Jason: Ting ting ting ting ting ting kill me ting ting ting I think it just played a wrong note!
ELECTRIC GUITAR AGAIN
Jeff: Me too! That was jazz.
Jason: That wasn’t jazz, that was someone getting paid scale.
Jeff: Where’s Jim Steinman when you need him? Bonnie Tyler could have rasped the shit out of this. That choir is way too far back in the mix. We need six pianos. And glockenspiel.
Jason: You know, I just realized I wrote “SIX MINUTES WRONG” when I meant to write “long.” How’s THAT for perfect?
Jeff: Freudian Mellowmas slip!
Jason: 38 seconds left.
Jeff: Here in the circle of light.
Jeff: SHUT UP BELLS
Jason: Ting ting ting.
Jeff: Now she isn’t even singing! She’s just humming!
Jeff: Maybe we’ll get luckier with our third song?
Jason: I don’t even know what it is, and I already know that’s not going to happen.
Jeff: I’ll give you another clue, because it’s a special kind of Mellowmas and I’m feeling charitable. Our third singer has the same first name as something that comes in a box, and also she sings about royalty.
Jason: Her first name is Dick?
Jeff: Yes! Good old Dick King. You stupid bastard. You really need to get back in the Mellow Gold saddle.
Jason: If my name was Dick King, I’d just go by Dicking.
Jeff: That’s how you got through college!
Jason: Oooh wait! I know! I know! I KNOW WHO IT IS!
Jeff: Tell me and our readers!
Jeff: Highfives! It’s Juice Motherfucking Newton!
Jason: The Mellowmas Angel of the Morning. Or in this case, the Mourning!
Jeff: Did you know that in addition to knowing the Queen of Hearts, Juice Newton also released a Christmas album a few years ago? How we missed it, I have no idea.
Jason: I didn’t, and I’m oddly ashamed of us. Like, why didn’t our Mellowmas Spidey senses tingle?
Jeff: I guess this goes back to that whole 365 Days of Mellowmas thing. I guess we just need to cover more songs! Right?
Jeff: I can see you need some time to think about this. That’s okay. You can think while listening to Juice Newton’s “Shining Star.” Which is not, unfortunately, an Earth Wind & Fire cover with sleigh bells added.
Jason: Juice Newton covered Earth, Wind &….oh. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not. Mellowmas has skewed my judgment.
Jeff: It skewed Juice’s too.
Juice Newton, “Shining Star” (download)
Jason: OH NO.
Jeff: Hey, it’s that trademark Juice Newton sound! It’s nice to hear she hasn’t tried chasing trends.
Jason: Ha ha ha ha!
Jeff: HA HA, JUST KIDDING. SHE’S RAPPING.
Jason: It’s like someone played her “Rapture” like 20 years too late.
Jeff: I know I say this a lot, but I don’t think you can get more Mellowmas than this. Juice Newton. Rapping. About Christmas.
Jason: She just rapped about the camel. And the sheep.
Jeff: Plus, on the album cover she looks like she’s peering out of an abominable snowman’s vagina.
Yay! We still have like three minutes left.
Jason: This isn’t just inappropriate rapping, Jeff. This is inappropriate religious rapping.
Jeff: I’m not sure either of us can really describe this song with words.
Jason: Yeah. I’m kind of speechless.
Jeff: GREGORIAN CHANT SAMPLE
Jason: Oh good, the monks are here. She’s throwing in the Christmas sink.
Jeff: Jason, someone thought this was a good idea. More than one someone, probably.
Joy to the world! Juice has gone mad! This is AMAZING.
Jason: BIG FINISH!
Jeff: It sounds like it’s swirling down a toilet.
Jason: The spaceship is landing to take her back to her home planet!
Jeff: And then she just yelped “Wow!”
Jason: WHY IS IT STARTING UP AGAIN, JUST TO FADE OUT
Jeff: Because Juice Newton doesn’t obey human laws!
Nothing can ever top that, as long as we live.
Jason: That was awful, and yet absolutely perfect.
Jeff: There were so many things wrong with it. I think we only discussed maybe six.
Jason: Another artist who has no idea that what they’re doing is really wrong. You know the only thing that could have made that better? Racist lyrics.
Jeff: Please tell me you listened to the rest of the Juice Newton Christmas album and discovered that she recorded a really misguided song about Kwanzaa.
Jason: It’s a duet with Dr. Elmo!
Jeff: I just heard a few synapses explode in my brain.