Jeff: Ahhhh, another Mellowmas morn.

Jason: I just looked out the window. It’s raining. So yes, another Mellowmas morn, indeed.

Jeff: That isn’t rain! Lady Saw is urinating off your roof. shudder

Jason: I wonder if she brought the fine people from Western Union.

Jeff: Yesterday was pretty rough, old friend. Pret-ty rough. I think we could both use something…smooth.

Jason: glares warily

Like, what kind of smooth? Keith Sweat smooth?

Jeff: Nope! This is going to make Keith Sweat sound like Sabbath.

Jason: By the way, that should totally be a type of deodorant. Keith Sweat Smooth.

Jeff: YES! I WOULD BUY THAT. But wouldn’t it just smell like Drakkar?

Jason: Wait, he’s going to sound like the Sabbath? Now I want to hear a record of Keith Sweat singing in Hebrew. Baruch atah Adonai, baby.

Jeff: I’d like to hear that too, believe me. But today, we’re listening to Shakatak.

Jason: Geshundeit!

Jeff: Thank you, but I didn’t sneeze. Shakatak!

Jason: Shalamar?

Jeff: They’re the baddest smooth jazz band who gets all the chicks! Or something.

Jason: It sounds like you’re quoting “Theme From Shaft.” Are you sure you don’t mean Shaftatak (insert mother joke here)?

Jeff: We are under Shakatak, Jason.

Jason: looks up

Jeff: It’s a smooth jazz holiday.

Jason: Can I take your word for it? Western Union is still ringing my doorbell. I really have to go.

Jeff: GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE. Shakatak didn’t record The Christmas Album for me to hear it all by myself. They wanted you to enjoy it too.


Jason: The Christmas Album? Haven’t we seen that title like three times this year?

Jeff: Yes, and it never signifies anything worth listening to. Are you sensing a trend?

Jason: We’re in the 21st day of Mellowmas. YES, I AM SENSING A TREND.

Jeff: But wait, Jason, it gets even better. They also recorded a song called “Happy Christmas to Ya!”

Jason: Please let this be a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” with just one word replaced.

Jeff: Fingers crossed. Ready to find out?

Shakatak, “Happy Christmas to Ya!” (download)

Jason: It IS a cover of “Happy Birthday”! This actually could be on a mid-’80s Stevie Wonder album, and you know it.

Jeff: There are so many things going on here, and they’re all 100 percent Mellowmas. I believe I hear a synth bass. I definitely hear a cheesy keyboard patch, a drum machine, and some annoying background singers.

Jason: Wait a second. Are there no lyrics?

Jeff: Don’t the words “Happy Christmas to Ya!” repeated over and over again count?

Oh good, we’re nowhere near finished.

Jason: Sorry, I said “lyrics” but I meant “verses.”

I have bad news.

I can’t explain it, but I kind of like this.

Jeff: That is seriously bad news. What’s wrong with you?

Jason: I don’t know!

Jeff: This is horrible.

Jason: I’m seriously concerned!


Jeff: Breakdown!

Jason: I know! I’m having a breakdown!

Jeff: What…what were the discussions that went on while the band was working out this arrangement?

“Should I take a solo here?”

“No, the background singers are going to go there.”

“How about in this spot?”

“No, background singers.”

“Maybe here?”

“No, that’s the breakdown with the background singers.”

Jason: cackle

Jeff: I mean…Even for a smooth jazz Christmas song, isn’t it kind of not there?

Jason: I might actually listen to that again. It’s all one note, but seriously? Stevie Wonder has totally released worse shit than this.

Jeff: I might have to cancel the rest of Mellowmas out of concern for your health.

Jason: Don’t make promises you can’t keep. This song could have been on Characters.

Jeff: You’re right, I was bullshitting you. I’m actually thinking that if you like this crap so much, we should just go ahead and listen to another song.

Jason: Double Shakatak?

Jeff: Hey, here’s one that will describe you if you keep listening to “Happy Christmas to Ya!”: “Lonely on Christmas Day.”

Jason: Two Shakataks for the price of one Shakataks?


Jason: I would love it if “Lonely on Christmas Day” was the exact same song as “Happy Christmas to Ya!” with different lyrics in the chorus. Or, even better: if it was “Happy Christmas to Ya!” in a minor key.

Jeff: Oooh, me too.

Shakatak, “Lonely on Christmas Day” (download)

Jeff: I have to admit, I miss this keyboard sound.

Jason: Ha!

Jeff: I’m sure it’s being used for evil here, but still.

So breathy, Jason. This song sounds like velour.

Jason: This person has listened to too much Whitney.

Jeff: Whitney Cummings.

Jason: (insert mother joke here)

It’s a time for memories, Jeff.

Jeff: Sentimental journeys. Goin’ back in time, even.

Oh good, we’re nowhere near finished.

Jason: I am seeing a producer that looks like Darrell from Coming to America. Like, he sits back in his chair and leaves a Soul Glo stain.

Jeff: Yes, and the star of the video is that one girl who played the blind sculptor in Lionel Richie’s “Hello.”

Jason: Absolutely!

Jeff: And every last goddamn person is wearing shoulder pads.

Jason: Jeff.

We understand Shakatak.

Jeff: shakes head defiantly

Jason: We’ve both been Shakataked today. Twice. Which, by the way, is better than being Shatakaked. Totally different thing.

Jeff: Where’s Lady Saw when you need her?

Jason: I just heard my toilet flush, so I’m guessing I can go get her if you want.


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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