There are just a few days left of Mellowmas, and our brave hosts have trudged their way through 27 soul cakes so far this season — as have you, dear readers. Frankly, we’re exhausted — and we know there’s only one man who can offer us a brief, shining light during this awful holiday.


Jason: Ahhh, Michael McDonald. Love of my life.

Jeff: Patron saint of Popdose.

Jason: I don’t think we covered any McD last year, did we? I think we did four songs in a row a couple years ago.

Jeff: I don’t think so. I know we did a bunch one year, because you wouldn’t rest until we found a good one.

Jason: That’s right. And I did! That cover of “Deck the Halls/Jingle Bells” was fantastic!

Jeff: I remember him singing one song in some kind of weird alien bayou tongue.

Jason: “Christmas on the Bayou”!

Jeff: That would probably be the one!

Jason: I remember. You said “Lay zay long go mong boulay?” and I thought it was the best thing you said all year.

Jeff: I’m not sure whether or not to take that as a compliment.

Jason: I’m happy to see McD this year. It means there might actually be some good music this Mellowmas. Other than Lady Gaga, of course.

Jeff: Yeah, maybe, although I’m getting pretty annoyed with his endless series of Christmas albums.

Jason: I was just going to mention that. I think this is maybe his third or fourth?

Jeff: I mean, this one isn’t even new songs. It’s mostly old stuff.

Jason: I know. It’s kind of bullshit. There are some new tracks on this one, however.

Jeff: On the other hand, these Christmas albums seem to be the only time he ever really works with a live band anymore. Which makes no fucking sense at all to me, but whatever.

Jason: And barely. Did you see him on The Tonight Show?

Jeff: He was rockin’ the uke! That’s all kinds of wrong!

Jason: He sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and GOT THE FIRST VERSE WRONG. How do you fuck up “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”? Actually, I guess that’s a question more for David Archuleta.

Jeff: I guess that part of his brain was erased by the second verse of “Sweet Freedom”?

Jason: Love that song. But don’t let me get off-topic. Because I’ll praise McD all day. You know I will.

Jeff: Topic: McD, ripoff artist.

Jason: There’s a duet on this album.

Jeff: With his daughter, Scarlett Johansson.

Jason: …his daughter is Scarlett Johansson??

Jeff: Just fucking with you.

Jason: Goddammit!

Jeff: That would be pretty awesome, though. It would also explain her voice.

Jason: I mean, I’ve always dreamed of having McD as a father-in-law, but I figured that’d be the only benefit.

Jeff: I’m watching a video of him on Soundstage right now, and he’s playing the uke here, too. When did McD turn into Don Ho?

Jason: Right after those Motown commercials.

Jeff: I guess that’d do it.

Jason: Now I want to hear McD doing “Tiny Bubbles.”

Jeff: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! With Auto-Tune!

Jason: Yes! So this song is a duet with his daughter Scarlett McDonald, right?

Jeff: Yeah, what’s it called?

Jason: “Yah Mo Be There.”

Jeff: Ah, right. A holiday classic. Now I want to hear McD pulling a Tommy Tutone.

Jason: God forbid.

Jeff: “I Keep Forgettin’ (What You Wanted This Year)”

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! “Present By Present.”

Jeff: What a fool belieeeeeeeeeeeeeves…he sees…come slidin’ down the chimney!

Jason: I love it! “What a Fool Believes” with sleigh bells!

Jeff: “Santa Is Just All Right”! “Takin’ It to the North Pole”!

Jason: Ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: Would the Doobie Brothers finally snap and murder him?

Jason: And throw away all that perfectly good Michael McDonald royalty money? I don’t think so.

Jeff: Plus, he makes a great Santa at the Doobies holiday party.

Jason: Giving Jeff “Skunk” Baxter a lump of coal, year after year. But anyway, today’s song. See, I told you not to let me go off-topic! You know I can just riff on McD all day!

Jeff: Right, right, the song.

Jason: “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” A duet with Scarlett McDonald. Which is kind of a funny name.

Jeff: Heh. Most names ending in McDonald are probably pretty funny, I think.

Jason: She’s the daughter of Michael McDonald and Amy Holland, so I imagine she sounds great.

Jeff: And probably has a great beard, too!

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Michael McDonald with Scarlett McDonald — I’ll Be Home For Christmas (download)


From This Christmas null

Jason: What the hell? This is, like, burlesque stripper music!

Jeff: Huh? Is this Leon Redbone?

Jason: I don’t know, but I kind of like it!

Jeff: Uh…

Jason: You don’t like it? It’s all dixieland and shit!

Jeff: No, no, I do like it. I’m just kind of stunned. And angry.

Jason: How come?

Jeff: Why isn’t he this cool on his real albums?

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Great question!

Jeff: His real albums are all synths and programs and shitty adult contemporary
ballads with lyrics that don’t rhyme.

Jason: I guess Christmas is his time to get back to his roots or something. Oooo, horn solo! This is pretty good.

Jeff: He really is like Santa. He only comes once a year.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! So where’s his daughter? I’m dying to hear her voice. I hope she sounds like him.

Jeff: I love this song, and I want to punch McD in the face.

Jason: Hey, there she is! Holy shit, she’s awesome!

Jeff: Well, hello there, Scarlett! This is her, I think. Well, her as of two years ago, anyway. Spoiler: She doesn’t have a beard.

Jason: Dammit! Okay, maybe she’s not awesome, but she’s certainly not bad.

Jeff: I think this is her, too. I have no idea how old she is, so I’m just going to go ahead and purge my browsing history now.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Man, that was pretty good.

Jeff: I’d listen to it again.

Jason: Once again, McD comes through for the holidays but ruins Mellowmas.

Jeff: You know, between this, Lady Gaga, and Lemmy, we’re putting together quite the Mellowmas mixtape.

Jason: We sure are! I feel differently about this one, though. I was disappointed to find I liked Lady Gaga. Liking this track is exactly what I wanted. And exactly what I needed today.

Jeff: Fuck it, I’m playing it again right now.

Jason: Yeah, me too!

Michael McDonald with Scarlett McDonald — I’ll Be Home For Christmas (download)


From This Christmas null

Jeff: Not enough songs have tuba. You have to go to Disneyland if you want to hear tuba.

Jason: Or Dollywood. Where I believe a tuba player follows Dolly around every time she walks down the street.

Jeff: But tubas playing “9 to 5” just aren’t the same.

Jason: Here’s the only negative thing I can say about this track: did you notice that it’s not really a “duet”? I mean, he sings his part, and then she sings hers. They don’t sing together.

Jeff: Yeah, what’s up with that?

Jason: I don’t know. It seems wrong somehow. Show your daughter some respect, McD! Don’t dis her just because she can’t grow the beard yet!

Jeff: Ha ha ha! Imagine how much you’d hate singing if McD was your dad.

Jason: Damn, I really like this. I kind of want to get up and dance.

Jeff: Will Jess dance to this with you? Find out.

Jason: She’s staring at me blankly.

Jeff: I think I’ll be able to feel her punching you from here.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha! Thanks, McD, for rescuing us…most likely for the final time this holiday.

As a final treat for your 23rd day of Mellowmas, check out McD rocking the hell out of “White Christmas/Winter Wonderland.” Thanks to Sue for bringing it to our attention!

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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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