Jason: Oh man, Jeff, what a night I had. I didn’t sleep a wink.
Jeff: All I know is that I waited up for you, and you never came home, and then I got a phone call that sounded like it was coming from a Mexican prison around 3 AM.
Jason: I might have called you. I was in and out of consciousness. Horrible nightmares all night. First I had this dream that there was some kind of three-way going on with Rush Limbaugh, David Coverdale and Aretha Franklin. It ended with Rush and Aretha tearing Coverdale limb from limb, trying to find a piece of meat on his bones.
Jeff: I had a nightmare about Shelley Duvall writhing on the hood of a Ferrari.
Jason: In the end, Coverdale was dead, Aretha was wounded, and Rush emerged victorious, which is just about the worst nightmare I’ve ever had.
Jeff: I always forget about the nightmares I have at the end of Mellowmas.
Jason: And then…and then I had this really, really odd second nightmare. I don’t even know if I should explain it, it sounds so ridiculous.
Jeff: Did it have anything to do with Jeffrey Osborne and Chuck Berry teaming up for a non-musical project? Because I’ve had that one, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. “Hail! Hail! Something Warm.”
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! No, that would have been preferable, actually. I had this dream that Bob Dylan released a Christmas album.
Jeff: You dreamed Dylan released a Christmas album? That’s just crazy!
Jason: Can you believe that one? Bob Dylan — Robert Zimmerman! — released a Christmas album!
Jeff: That’s even more unlikely than Dylan doing a Victoria’s Secret commercial!
Jason: Wait a minute. I remember that Victoria’s Secret commercial. That actually happened. Does that mean…?
Jeff: Is it just me, or did it get really cold in here all of a sudden?
Jason: shivers I think you’re right. Maybe I should Google “Bob Dylan” and “Christmas” and see what happens. I just have to convince my fingers that it’s okay to actually type those two things.
Jeff: I’m going to do the same thing at Amazon.
No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
I have to get out of here.
runs to door
The door! It’s…locked from the outside!
Jeff: Shit! Do you smell that? It’s mustache wax!
Jason: I do! And do you see…it looks like…a little tiny bolo tie?
Jeff: Do you hear that?
Faintly. In the distance.
Jason: I do! I hear it!
Jeff: It sounds like an accordion, only more…leathery.
Jason: Are we sure that’s not your mother?
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! No, wait, it can’t be your mother. She’s all out of mustache wax.
What just fell down the chimney?
You go look. I don’t want to.
Jason: I can’t look. I’m covering my eyes.
Jeff: That’s fine. You go ahead and cover your eyes. I’m covering my ears. And would you look at that? The jar of gefilte fish I left out last night is gone. Who ate my gefilte fish?
Jason: Uhhh…must be Santa Claus?
Jeff: Son of a bitch, who drank the diet borscht?
Jason: Oh no. I think it’s who we think it is.
Jeff: Is it Santa Zim?
The Mayor of Bethle-Phlegm?
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I’m going to be brave and go look in the chimney.
Hey, what’s that? It’s a CD. Wrapped up all nicely in Chanukah paper.
Jeff: What does the tag on the wrapping say?
Jason: “Dear Jeff and Jason: Fuck you. Happy Holidays, Bob Dylan.”
And oh my God, here it is: Christmas in the Heart, by Bob Dylan.
Jason: I know what this is. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. It’s…it’s….THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE MELLOWMAS.
Jeff: cue Psycho strings
Jason: Except it IS Mellowmas. Today’s the 25th, right?
Jeff: It feels like it’s the end of January, but yes, you’re right. It’s Mellowmas morn.
Jason: Oh my God, that makes it even worse.
Jeff: Goddammit, Jason. After last year’s Wing finale, I thought we might have earned a Mellowmas reprieve.
Jason: It doesn’t look like it.
Jeff: I am so sad right now.
Jason: You know what? Fuck this. I’m opening a window and throwing this out into the snow. Oh, God. THE WINDOWS ARE LOCKED!
Jeff: Well, clearly, someone or something really wants us to listen to Bob Dylan versions of holiday classics.
Jason: Jeff, we’re stuck. We’re stuck here with Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart for Mellowmas Day.
Jeff: I don’t know what we did to that someone, but I’m going to go ahead and guess he or she is a Third Eye Blind fan.
Jason: Or maybe a FTS Speedwagon fan.
Jeff: Shit, maybe it was Neil Diamond. And if he’s outside, I’m glad the doors and windows are locked.
Jason: You mean it’s a conspiracy by the Jews? A Jewspiracy?
Jeff: gasp Do the Jews control Mellowmas?
Jason: It would explain all the grief, wouldn’t it?
Jeff: And the guilt!
Jason: Oh, man. What do we do?
Jeff: We fulfill our Mellowmas destiny. And then we vomit for the next several hours.
Jason: I guess you’re right. I mean, all of Mellowmas has been leading up to this day We can’t turn back now. As much as I want to turn back now.
Jeff: I know how you feel. I’d rather listen to almost anything else right now. I wish Cher had made a Christmas album.
Jason: I’d listen to Marie Osmond right now.
Jeff: I’d listen to the surviving Jacksons right now.
Jason: Shit, I would take “An Andy Gibb Christmas” over this.
Jeff: I would take any random matinee show in Branson, Missouri over this.
Jason: Or Don Henley & Benny Mardones: A Christmas Together.
Jeff: Unfortunately, this is the Mellowmas hand we’ve been dealt. All we can do is sit here and listen to Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart while we stare at the gefilte leavings floating in the jar.
Jason: Ugh. Okay. But none of this multiple track bullshit we’ve been doing all season. I’m listening to one track, and one track only.
Jeff: That’s the best Mellowmas gift you could have given me.
Jason: I’m just going to close my eyes and point to one track at random. And we’ll see what’s what.
Jeff: Point to “All Along the Watchtower.” Or “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Jason: Okay, here I go. Let’s do….HEY, WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU GOING??
Jeff: whistles casually
Jason: Nice try, Giles! Get your ass back here!
Jeff: I had a leg cramp. Had to…stretch.
Jason: I’m not closing my eyes again. You’ll be on the first bus out of town, I know it.
Jeff: Hey, are gefilte bits soundproof? And do you think any of the ones in that jar would fit in my ears?
Jason: You can have the bits, but save me the brine. I think if I chug it, I might be able to throw up this entire day. I’m putting the CD behind my back and pointing to one song.
Jeff: Point to something from Blood on the Tracks.
Jason: And it’s….”Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Jeff: That is not something from Blood on the Tracks.
Jason: It is definitely not.
Jeff: I’m so glad I haven’t had breakfast yet.
Jason: I have Christmas on the stove at the moment, but it’s still cooking.
Jeff: You aren’t burning Christmas, are you?
Jason: Let’s just say that if Christmas burns while listening to this track, I won’t be able to chalk it up to coincidence.
Jeff: glares at Bob Dylan
Jason: Let’s just get this over with.
Jeff: Well, to cop a phrase from our pal Jack Feerick, how bad can it be?
Jason: Famous last words.
Bob Dylan –Hark the Herald Angels Sing (download)
Jason: Hey, those strings are really pretty! This might not be so bad!
Jason: OH GOD
What the HELL?
Jeff: How long has Bob Dylan been dead?
Jason: He sounds like he’s been eating lumps of coal but hasn’t gotten them quite down to his stomach.
Jeff: This is stunning.
Jason: Define “stunning.”
Jeff: The background vocalists are clearly talented, and they clearly outnumbered Dylan.
Jason: Are you kidding? The music is beautiful! As are those backing vocalists!
Jeff: I don’t know why they didn’t stuff him in a kick drum.
Jason: He was paying the studio bill.
Jeff: I seriously think this might be worse than Wing.
Jason: I don’t understand, Jeff. I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Jeff: If only because Wing’s Christmas album was made for less than $20.
Jason: I mean, why would Bob Dylan do something like this?
Jeff: For the same reason the Taliban blew up those thousand-year-old statues?
Jason: He hates our freedoms? He hates Christmas?
Jeff: After what I just listened to, I’m convinced Bob Dylan hates everything.
Jason: You know, I wouldn’t consider myself well-versed in Bob Dylan, but there are a few of his more recent songs that I’ve liked. I’ve told people that I prefer his voice now to his voice in the ’60s. But then this song.
Jeff: His voice is definitely an acquired taste. I think it peaked in the ’70s, but I understand what you’re saying.
Jason: Yes, his voice is an acquired taste. Like eating cow pies.
Jeff: I’m reading some of the choicer reviews at Amazon. Here’s a good one: “Forced to sit through it again I might very well have to hang myself by the chimney with care.”
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha! Let me pull some up on iTunes.
Jeff: “It sounds like karaoke at a nursing home.”
“At some point there is so much phlegm in his voice it actually made me ill.”
Jason: See, those sound like sensible reviews. But I’m actually reading some positive ones on iTunes.
“If you don’t like it, then you simply don’t get it.”
Jeff: “It would have been a better idea to put in a free sample of Tide or Planter’s Peanuts.”
Jason: “It is very sincere, very poignant, and will absolutely go down as one of his biggest successes.”
Jeff: “If you want a mix of Harvey Fierstein and Tom Waits with bronchitis singing in your ear as you open presents with your kids have at it, but this has got to be the most ill conceived project of his entire career.”
Jason: “O come all ye Dylan faithful and partake in what may be the master’s most important album since Blood on the Tracks.” That MUST be irony. Right?
Jeff: “There is no doubt that Mr. Dylan has good intentions, but this sounds like a cross between Joe Cocker & a chainsaw.”
Jason: “Christmas in the Heart is a delightfully old-fashioned album from a modern master.”
Jeff: “I’ve had more pleasant sounds coming from my bathroom after a triple espresso and bran muffin.”
Jason: Damn, Jeff, all the reviews you’re posting are stealing our best lines!
Jeff: We should do this every year! No one will ever know!
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha! Think of how easy Mellowmas would be!
Jeff: Here’s my favorite one: “Bob has a voice like a fart.”
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Except really awful farts can be a point of pride.
Jeff: I’m sure Dylan is proud of this.
Jason: You’re posting all bad reviews. I’m posting all good reviews. Clearly there are people out there who like this album.
Jeff: Fun fact: The five-star reviews at Amazon are just about balanced out by the one-star reviews.
Jason: The thing is, you just don’t know. Maybe the people who posted good reviews did so because Dylan was pointing a gun at their heads. Or threatening to sing more Christmas carols.
Jeff: Yeah, I think singing is more likely. I mean, he could be singing AND pointing a gun at me, and I think I might just beg him to pull the trigger.
Jason: You know what? I have an idea.
Jason: I know it’s Mellowmas Day and all, but can you stick around for a few minutes? There’s something I need to take care of outside.
Jeff: Sure, why not? I can’t feel my legs anyway. The Dylan numbness is actually a blessing, because I think I may have wet myself while listening to that song.
Jason: Dammit, Jeff, how many people from the Giles family are going to ask me to change their underwear today?
Jeff: Hare change us, every one!
Okay, sit in your urine for a second. I’ll be back in five minutes.
Jeff: I can’t believe you played that album for strangers!
Jason: I can’t believe that some of them liked it!
Jeff: Nice scarf, by the way. My mom said it took her like a month to finish knitting it.
Jason: Thanks. It’s a great scarf, the only problem is that it still smells like Funyuns.
Jeff: My mom loves her some Funyuns! I’ll have to show you the ball cozy your mom knitted me.
Jason: That ball cozy was actually meant for our kitten, but it was too big for him, so she gave it to you.
Jeff: It’s still better than what she gave me last year, believe me. scratches nutsack inconspicuously
Jason: Hey, what says Christmas more than a little Penicillin?
Jeff: Penicillin has more holiday flavor than this shitty record.
Jason: Not according to some of my new friends from Union Square.
Jeff: Well, none of them have ever caught monkey herpes from your mom, but I understand where they’re coming from.
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha! You know, I went into each little interview trying to be
completely impartial. I didn’t want to influence anybody one way or the other.
Jeff: The main thing I wanted to do was brush that one guy’s hair out of his face.
Jason: Maybe his hair was in his ears, and that’s why he liked it.
Jeff: Well, in any case, that was highly educational. I wish we’d thought to do this with the Shelley Duvall record.
Jason: I don’t think I could have done that to innocent bystanders. And I felt bad
playing them “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” but not one person slapped me in the face. Which, I have to say, was a little disappointing.
Jeff: Would you slap someone who bought this album? You don’t know what else they’re capable of.
Jason: Well, I bought the album, and I’ve been slapping myself in the face since that day, so…
Jeff: Plus, those people could have just stepped out of a subway station where they heard the Saw Lady. Oooh, imagine Bob Dylan singing with the Saw Lady.
Jason: No, thank you. I will not be imagining that.
Jeff: Bob Dylan, the Saw Lady, Wing, and Robin Gibb!
Jeff: It would be like USA for Africa, only people would be purposely starving themselves to death after they heard it.
Jason: I’d contribute to just about any charity to stop that album from happening. Well, like I said in the video, there’s just no accounting for taste. Some people are perfectly happy to spend their Christmas with Bob.
Jeff: Is it all right with you if I refuse to believe that?
Jason: The proof is right there on the video!
Jeff: I want to think this is part of the same “performance art” experiment that sent James Franco to General Hospital.
Jason: Well, whatever it is, it’s truly confounding to me, and I guess that’s why it’s a perfect part of Mellowmas.
Jeff: Next year, I hope Dylan joins the cast of General Hospital and James Franco releases a Christmas album. After this, that will make perfect sense to me. And Shelley Duvall can do a Victoria’s Secret commercial.
Jason: throws up egg nog
Jeff: Hey, look! It’s Christmas on the rug!
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha! Well, friends, we hope you’ve enjoyed our little holiday. More importantly, we hope you can forget absolutely everything you’ve heard over the past 25 days, and enjoy Christmas. I know I can’t. Mellowmas scars me every year, without fail.
Jeff: As always, it’s been a uniquely painful treat to bring you these songs. To experience them with you. You HAVE been experiencing them with us, haven’t you? Because if you haven’t, that’s kind of fucked up and I don’t want to hang out with you anymore.
Jason: I’m sure they have, Jeff. You’ve read the awesome comments. And you know how they say “in the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas”? Well, I definitely feel Mellowmas in the air, even from those who haven’t commented. I know there are a bunch of lurking Popdose fans who are cursing the shit out of us right now.
Jeff: You’re right, I do feel it in the air. As well as “Bob has a voice like a fart.”
It takes a special kind of person to seek out holiday music, ladies and gents.
Jason: It sure does.
Jeff: And an even more SPECIAL-er kind of person to seek out BAD holiday music.
Jason: Amen! So thank you for being so, um, special.
Jeff: (But not Very Special. Screw those guys.)
Jason: And as always, thank you, Jeff, for being my loyal co-host throughout. While I may never forgive you for some of the shit you’ve sent me, your term “the Mayor of Bethle-Phlegm” helps me to at least forget it for a little while.
Jeff: Thank me? Jason, you invented this holiday. I’m just glad you let me force my way into it. Every Mellowmas morn, I’m filled with the special joy and sadness of the season, and I can’t imagine how next year can possibly top what we’ve just heard. Yet the Mellowmas magic never seems to run out. Who will bring us new songs next year? McCartney?
Jason: Billy Joel?
Jeff: The Stones?
Jason: There’s only one guaranteed artist for Mellowmas: McD.
Jeff: Ha! Yeah, between McD, Harry Connick, Manilow, and Neil Diamond, I’m sure next year’s holiday release schedule will be packed.
Jason: I think we’ll just have to wait and see on the rest, with an emphasis on “wait.”
Jeff: My emphasis is on “rest.” As in “rest my ears.”
Jason: A great idea. Happy Mellowmas Day, everybody!
Jeff: See you next year!
Jason: cue Psycho strings
All proceeds from Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart go towards Feeding America — we encourage you to buy the album or make a donation. Tell ’em Jeff and Jason sent you! Happy Mellowmas!