The Twenty-Third Day of Mellowmas: Taint Sweat for the Holidays

Written by Mellowmas, Mellowmas 2013, Music

Jeff: Ha ha! YES! It’s December 23rd. I’m virtually trembling with anticipation.


Jeff: Mellowmas has made me yearn for Christmas like I haven’t since I was a kid!

Jason: Mellowmas has made me yearn for an enclosed garage and a running vehicle.

Jeff: Back in the early ’80s, when Reagan was in the White House and all the best bands were still on the radio.

Jason: Oh, man. Don’t even get me started. Remember when you could flip to any radio station and just hear awesomeness?

Jeff: I do. I totally do. Pop, rock, and R&B, all rubbing shoulders in the Top 40. And sometimes even on the same album!

Jason: Yes! Music was…I don’t know. It was fresh. Exciting.

Jeff: Me listening to Chicago, you to Kenny Rogers.

Jason: It was so exciting to me.

Jeff: Me listening to Christopher Cross, you to Air Supply.

Jason: Both of us listening to Billy Joel.


Jason: Love you.

Jeff: I had Ruth Pointer’s Adam’s apple, you had…what, maybe Kool & the Gang? Weren’t you the one who loved their Indiana Jones video for that one song?

Jason: Yes! I think I covered that for CHART ATTACK! once. They were so good, man. Jo-aaanaaaa! I looooove yoooooou! Victory! Vic-toe-ree! Even goddamn “Celebration.” Loved ALL that stuff.

Jeff: And then, man, what happened to Kool & the Gang? The singer left and they hit the state fair circuit. So sad.

Jason: They totally got Commodore’d.

Jeff: Yes! But then, Jason, it got worse.

Jason: It did?

Jeff: Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to be “Kool for the Holidays”?

Jason: Funny you should ask. No, I haven’t. Gotta go!

Jeff: Get your ass back here! It’s time to hear what Kool & the Gang have been up to in 2013. Spoiler alert: It kind of sucks.

Jason: They’ve had a relatively productive year, haven’t they? They toured with Kid Rock. They opened for Dave Matthews Band. Didn’t they even tour with Van Halen?

Jeff: Holy shit, I forgot about that! They did tour with Van Halen!

Jason: And KID ROCK.

Jeff: I wonder if they took all that money and put it into the sessions for Kool for the Holidays. Spoiler alert: They did not.

Jason: You can tell I’m stalling, can’t you.

Jeff: We’ve had such fine luck with “The Little Drummer Boy” during Mellowmas, I feel like we should probably start there.

Jason: I can’t tell you how much I hate that song.

Jeff: Pa rum pa pum pum?

Jason: I just think it’s a really dumb song. And I can’t think of any versions I really like.

Jeff: I like the one with Whitney Houston and Molly Shannon. But otherwise, yeah, I’m with you.

Jason: Well, I guess the Bing/Bowie version. But that doesn’t really count.

Jeff: Maybe Kool & the Gang funk it up on the smooth R&B tip!

Jason: Spoiler alert: they do not?

Jeff: You’re getting the hang of this. Shall we?

Kool and the Gang, “The Little Drummer Boy”

Jeff: *sigh*

Jason: Oh, what the hell is THIS?

Jeff: …Kool?

Jason: Kool is dead, Jeff.

Jeff: Well, we have live horns anyway.

Jason: At least that’s a real trumpet.

Jeff: Oh, you’re right. One live horn doubled with a synth. And all kinds of obnoxious bullshit going on everywhere else in the mix.

Jason: I have slightly greater tolerance for this if it’s truly an instrumental.

Jeff: I feel like if Vanilla Ice had recorded a Christmas album in 1991, it might have sounded like this.

Jason: Cool as Icemas!

Jeff: Ugh, the vocals.

Give the drummer some, Jason.

Jason: Oh, is that what they’re saying? I thought they were saying “Get drunk, son!”

Jeff: Is it ironic or sad that there are no actual drums on this track?

Jason: You think those bongos are canned?

Jeff: Bongos? I just hear a dying 808 and that farting noise.

Jason: By the way, I canned your mom’s bongos the other night.

Jeff: *cackle*

Jason: Oh shit! Sax!

Jeff: For the 20th time this Mellowmas, I find myself surprised that a song is technically shorter than it feels.

Jason: Yeah, seriously. I’m bored.

Jeff: You know, if they had bothered to cut this with a live band, it would have been fun.

Jason: Wow, 20-second fadeout.

Jeff: They had to make sure Not Herb Alpert got his last few licks in!

More than anything, I think I’m sad that Kool & the Gang didn’t record that in 1981. I don’t know what they were thinking with this cruddy automated arrangement.

Jason: Even better would have been a 1973 Christmas album.

Jeff: Hell yes. FUNKY. Kool & the Gang: Taint Sweat for the Holidays.

Jason: Also the name of your mother’s 2009 Christmas album! Including the “Kool & the Gang” part.

Jeff: That’s how Kool died!

Jason: Who knew Kool was allergic to Penicillin?

Jeff: Well, we’re sitting here lamenting how great Kool & the Gang used to be. Should we give them another chance?

Jason: Sure, why not! I’m confident they will improve upon what we just heard! Spoiler alert: I’m not confident they will improve upon what we just heard.

Jeff: How about we go walking in the Gang’s “Winter Wonderland”?

Jason: I feel like this track will not evoke Winter or a Wonderland, but sure, why the hell not.


Jason: Wait a second.

Jeff: NO, NO, NO

Jason: Is that a female?

Jeff: NO

Jason: Multiple females? Since when are there women in Kool & the Gang?

Jeff: The singing is the least of our worries.

Jason: Jeff, have you seen the chords for this song? All but one of them seem to have disappeared.

Jeff: What…what is the thinking here? Who is the target demographic? Is there a club anywhere in the world that’s going to play this?

Jason: Ours? Well, I think that’s it’s that we’re looking for shitty…oh. Good question.

Jeff: Oh good, a rap.

Jason: It’s Nicki Minaj’s non-union equivalent!

Jeff: I think she rapped about pumpkin pie at one point. I admit I don’t mind this guitar solo.

Jason: Yeah, they’re at least in tune. #brighteyes

Jeff: Everything else about this song can die and go to hell.

Jason: This is ridiculous.

Oh good. I believe we’re breaking it down.

Jeff: Much like Kool & the Gang have done!

Jason: They ended it with a fucking scale.

Jeff: Ugh, Jason. Ugh. Isn’t this band’s main audience like 50 years old right now?

Jason: You’d think so, right? But they opened for Kid Rock!

Jeff: I’m fascinated by whatever thought process prompted a club banger version of “Winter Wonderland.”
I feel like Kid Rock would have put a stop to this if he’d known about it.

Jason: Look, I haven’t listened to a Kool & the Gang song since “Victory,” so I have no idea what has brought them to this point.

Jeff: I’m just very sad.

Jason: Look on the bright side: at least the Commodores didn’t release a Christmas album this year.

Jeff: Wait, are the Commodores still together? Do they get to open for Uncle Kracker, Train, and Bon Jovi?

Jason: I don’t know, but they DID release a Christmas album in 1992. I’m just saying…