Jeff: Ahhh, another fine Mellowmas morning. How are you feeling, old pal?

Jason: yaaaaaaaawn

Jeff: Sounds like someone needs his coffee!

Jason: Well, I just woke up. My eyes are crusty, my breath is awful…

Jeff: Oh, wait, you don’t drink coffee. I know what’ll wake you up.

Jason: So far, vision and smell are screwed. I guess we might as well throw the ears into the mix.

Jeff: You know, nothing says “Christmas” quite like a man peering intensely into the camera while wearing a red blazer and a cross on a chain around his neck. Don’t you agree?

Jason: Unless this image you’re painting for me also includes sky-blue wrapping paper as a backdrop, count me out.

Jeff: Why, you’re in luck!

Jason: Hallelujah!

Jeff: Also what says Christmas: tinny R&B beats. You know I love me some tinny R&B beats, Jason!

Jason: Oh boy, do I! How many years ago was Keith Sweat? You talk about it almost daily! Or “on the daily,” as I guess the kids say.

Jeff: Joy to Keith Sweat! Keith Sweat has come!

Jason: Baby.

Jeff: Hold on, I’m getting my Drakkar Noir.

Jason: So who’s the Keith Sweat of 2011 Mellowmas?

Jeff: Okay, that’s better. Anyway, as I was saying, it wouldn’t be Mellowmas without a little old-fashioned New Jack holiday spirit. And this year, it’s being brought to us by Joe.

Jason: Joe? No way! Awesome!

Who’s Joe?

Jeff: I have no idea! But he’s clearly very famous. I mean, unless you’re as well-known as Madonna, Cher, or Charo, you can’t get away with using just one name.

Jason: Yes, clearly. He had a #2 album on the Billboard 200 in 2000. Which makes me feel very, very old, because I just have no damn clue who he is. But I’ll tell you one other thing about Joe: kick-ass mustache.

Jeff: He likes a red blazer, I can tell that much. Also, he most likely does not own a comb.

Oooh! And he did a Christmas song just for you!

Jason: …just for me?

Jeff: “Christmas in New York”! That’s you! That’s you!

Jason: “Christmas in New York,” huh? I hope this song talks about the guy outside my supermarket who wears a Santa hat and asks every girl who walks by to marry him.

Jeff: Or the Saw Lady!

Jason: Yes! Natalie Paruszszsz! I can’t believe I even know her name well enough to mock it.

Jeff: So many things about New York deserve to be in this song. I wonder how many Joe was able to fit.

Jason: We gotta listen and find out!

Jeff: Ready?

Jason: Aww yeah, baby.

Joe — Christmas in New York (download)

From Home is the Essence of Christmas


Jeff: This is so very tender.

Jason: Wait a minute. Jeff.

Jeff: Hark! I hear a horn!


Jeff: Maybe Joe had his beats jacked?

Jason: Jeff, these are REAL INSTRUMENTS. The horn’s real. The strings are real.

Jeff: I picture Joe walking around a nightclub while he sings this, like Will Ferrell in Anchorman.

Jason: He’s name-checking just about everything in New York City. I can’t wait to see how he rhymes something with “FAO Schwarz.”

Jeff: Or “Paruszszsz.”

Jason: Jeff, this is not New Jack. It’s not even Old Jack.

Jeff: It’s more like Old Burl.

Jason: This is a touch pander-y, but it’s not bad. It’s not even close to bad.

Jeff: No, this is pretty fucking classy.

Jason: A jazz guitar plucking out the notes echoing the vocal? That’s old-school, man. This album cover is misleading. We should sue Joe.

Jeff: Yes! I think the worst thing about it is the album cover, which is making me giggle every time I look over at it.

Jason: Every time I look over at it, I’m expecting his voice to be at least an octave lower. And for there to be at least one line about sex.

Jeff: I know, right? Joe needs to take some lessons from Keith Sweat.

Or, you know, not.

Paul Carrack could totally cover the fuck out of this song.

Jason: It’s probably the same band!

Jeff: Actually, they have sort of the same haircut and facial hair.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: I wonder if Joe took that blazer from Paul’s closet?

Jason: A Carrack/Joe duet album! The world is waiting! I just quickly listened to a bit of every other track on this album, and it’s all the same. Real instruments. I don’t know what the hell is going on.

Jeff: Will Joe join Mike and the Mechanics?

Jason: Oh wait, scratch that. I found the beats.

Jeff: Are they in Joe’s goatee?

Jason: “Make Sure You’re Home.” THIS is what we’re looking for.

Jeff: Hold on, I’m lighting a fire.

Jason: Unbutton your shirt while you’re at it.

Jeff: I love that title — “Make Sure You’re Home.” It has the perfect old school blend of romance and the threat of physical violence.

Joe doesn’t fool around with the falsetto!

Jason: “Lyrics and Music by Ike Turner.” Hey, wait, I didn’t start listening yet!

Jeff: “I Didn’t Mean It for Christmas”

“Jingle Busted Lip”

“Do You Hear What You Made Me Do”

Jason: Oh shit! “Jingle Bell Slap.”

Okay, no more domestic violence jokes. Let’s get to the beats. They’re waiting for us.

Jeff: I started playing this three minutes ago, and I just got to the part where Joe says “I’ve got a present waiting for you.”

Jason: I haven’t even started listening, you bastard.

Jeff: Oh, I’ll start over.

Joe — Make Sure You’re Home (download)

From Home is the Essence of Christmas

Jeff: Joe, baby. Damn.

Jason: YES. This is what I wanted! Melismas!

Jeff: I wish Barry White could sing this. Or Lou Rawls.

Jason: Joe remixed a duet by Barry White and Tina Turner called “Never in Your Wildest Dreams.”

Make sure you’re home, baby, come home this Christmas night! Don’t leave me home alone!


Jeff: He did hit the UNGGGH note!

Jason: You know, this is full of the beats I previously mentioned, but it’s still not bad!

Jeff: I love those pillow-soft harmonies that Joe does with himself on the chorus. Somewhere, Ralph Tresvant weeps softly.

Jason: This is well done. I can’t wait to put the moves on my wife with this song playing in the background.

Jeff: YES.

Jason: I can almost feel her pushing me away now.

Jeff: DO IT.

Jason: “Jason, what the hell are you doing? Stop it.”

Jeff: Even better, set up a camera and film it so we can make a Mellowmas music video.

About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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