This blog’s quiet time

Things have been pretty quiet around here over the last few weeks but that’s set to continue as Christmas-time proper kicks off.

From past experience what tends to take place from today is an annual but still confusing tear in the fabric of reality where money, waist-lines and the Roman calender no longer matter and everything becomes an extended blur of eating, drinking, giving, spending and sleeping.

This little galactic hiccup tends to sort itself out by January 2nd, so expect normal service to resume around that time.

Until then remember; it’s a celebration, bitches. Enjoy yourself.

Don’t forget to Waits

Waits For Christmas has started strong with ‘Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis’ being placed in the top 30 songs sold on iTunes Ireland after just one or two days of sales. With just under four days of purchases left to go there’s still plenty of time for this song to slap X-Factor and Co. down.

If you’ve not done already make sure you head over to the blog and show your support by spending a euro or two at some of the official online outlets (the ones that get counted in the charts).

The numbers to get to number 1 are far bigger than normal at this time of year so your purchase could make all the difference.

Thanks

An offbeat pitch for Christmas number 1

[A dedicated blog has been set up for this campaign – keep an eye on it for more information and get buying online on the 14th of December! Thanks for your support!]

Even though I was never a big pop-music fan I always remember being entranced by the race for Christmas number 1 as a child. It was never about wanting one song or another to win but simply about the heightened excitement of the race that surrounded the whole exercise. None of the other 51 weeks of the chart topping year seemed to matter nearly as much as what song was number 1 for the 25th of December.

Nowadays it’s different. For a start we can be pretty sure that the winner of X Factor will be number 1 in Ireland as well as the UK. How sad is it that the favourite for Number 1 is an as yet undecided artist singing an as yet unknown song?

If it’s not X-Factor it will probably be Westlife and whoever it is they’re unlikely to have an actual Christmas song – at best it will be remotely “wintery”, thanks largely to the addition of bells to an otherwise neutral song (see East 17′s “Stay” for further information).

So here’s my idea to counter this boring, dull trend. I want to get Tom Waits’ “Christmas card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” to number 1 for Christmas.

If you’ve not heard this song before let me say this before you do – it is the absolute antithesis to what generally gets the Number 1 slot in Ireland nowadays.

For a start it’s not a manufactured song sung by a manufactured artist. Secondly it’s extremely funny and not a drab, safe ballad. Finally it’s actually packed full of real emotion – it’s tragic, beautiful and hilarious all at once.

It’s absolutely perfect as a protest against everything that’s wrong with music today and it even has some real humanity in it to boot.

And let’s not beat around the bush – it would also be very enjoyable to hear the song on mainstream radio, or even to hear its title read out as part of a chart line up.

Getting it into the charts will be tough but not impossible. The song is available on iTunes, Eircom’s music service and Sony’s Connect – all of which are counted in the IRMA charts. Next week will be the one sales need to be made on, so there’s a short time frame to get the job done but selling a few thousand songs (that’s all that’s needed) at around €1 each a pop is more than do-able.

So who’s up for it? At the very least it will be a bit of fun. I’ve started a blog here to be the campaign’s ‘Hub’ and have also started a Facebook group for anyone looking to join – more info on the blog.

Here’s a live version of the song, by the way, but it’s worth checking out the studio version for the full impact (on his Blue Valentine album):

Want

I’m drawing up my Christmas list and as part of the process have been browsing a few sites for ideas – that’s when I came across the latest object of my desire.

Breath it in, TV fans. This is your new God.

The chances are it’s only a fancy box which contains the five regular sets just like you can buy individually on the same site, but my word it’s one hell of a fancy box.

I did the maths and to buy seasons 1-5 of The A-Team individually from Play.com would cost you around €138 – €15 or so cheaper than this collection. But you know what? I’d pay that extra few quid in a flash, no question.

Talking about the new Xbox360 rental service on The Last Word

I’ll be on this evening’s The Last Word on Today FM to talk about the newly announced movie rental service on Microsoft’s Xbox 360. I’ll be there alongside a MS rep, more than likely talking about whether the service is any good and what it means for the home and the traditional rental market.

The bit should be on at around 5:45 so be sure to tune in on your FM or DAB radio, PC or digital TV service. today

‘Paper review on Newstalk’s Culture Shock

I’ll be doing the Sunday newspaper preview on Newstalk‘s Culture Shock tonight – if you’re near a radio or PC be sure to tune in if you can.

Culture Shock starts up at 7pm and the newspaper bit will be on at the end of the show (so from around 8:45 – 9pm).

Hopefully there’ll be something significant for us to get our teeth into!