It’s Christmas time. Yes, I can say “Merry Christmas,” because it’s Christmas!
Speaking from a non-denominational perspective, I really enjoy this time of the year with the wonderful music on the radio, in the stores, on the television, online, at the supermarket, in the elevators, at the office, the gas pumps, in my head… Make it stop!
Actually, it’s not that bad when you know it’s only temporary. This time of year also brings out the best in the majority of people, especially in the music industry. Many songs and renditions have come from classic Christmas carols from past artists like Nat King Cole or Elvis Presley. Then there are fresh and contemporary songs from artists like Bruce Springsteen and Run DMC. They all have put their flavor on the season.
Let us also not forget the genre of comedy which has brought us some of the most fun-filled tunes around the holidays like, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Christmas at Ground Zero by Weird Al and my all-time favorite comedy Christmas song, The 12 Days of Christmas performed by Bob and Doug McKenzie.
If you’re unaware of this duo, they were a bit on an old television show in Canada called Second City Television, SCTV. It was their version of Saturday Night Live that aired for the first time in 1976, one year after SNL’s debut and it propelled into movies and stardom the likes of John Candy, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin and Harold Ramis. Pretty impressive, eh?
I don’t want to forget about all the great films we get inundated with like Elf, which I love.
There’s The Wizard of Oz ... because why? I never understood that tradition. What about the classic of all classics, A Christmas Story? “You’ll shoot your eye out” has been a staple in many a moviegoer's vocabulary. And don’t forget “I double-dog dare you!” I do think a 24-hour run of the movie on TBS is a bit much, but then I guess you can probably piece the movie together throughout the day while you’re stuffing your turkey and cleaning up the mess of ripped up wrapping paper off the floor.
This week I wanted to write about a few bands here in Phoenix and their contributions to the holiday season. We aren’t short of talented musicians who have come up with their own Christmas spirit through their interpretation of the celebrated day. The first band that comes to mind is Watch For Rocks. They’re made up of geologists from Arizona State University. Cute name, right? They came up with a song for two holidays and put it into one track called, The Chrismukkah Song.
Analog Outlaws is a newer band that created a Christmas song for a contest the Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation puts on every year. With this song and performance, Analog Outlaws was the Proof Is In The Pudding Contest winner and recently opened for Alice Cooper at Cooperstown following the Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper concert at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
There’s also Japhy’s Descent’s Christmas at Tent City. Scattered Melodies has Christmas Time, and Zero Zero has a song called I Know What I Want 4 Christmas. These are just a few of the many songs our local artists bring to us this and every holiday season.
Kubota is from Phoenix and has appeared on Last Comic Standing and has traveled the world entertaining our troops. He’s one of my favorite comics in town. For more information on the shows, you can check out az.houseofcomedy.net.
On Saturday night Dec. 26, you can check out Pub Rock Live’s Christmas Hangover Party in Scottsdale at 8005 E. Roosevelt St. in Scottsdale.
Whatever you do this weekend, please be safe. If you plan on partying like a wild animal, then remember there are services that will come pick you up and drive you home safely. You can use my Lyft code for a discount on first-time Lyft users: KEVIN326794.
Remember that this is a time when most people gather with their families and friends. However, there are many people who will go without any support. So please be kind to others who are not as fortunate as you and keep in perspective what the true meaning of the holiday season is.
• Kevin Gassman has been in Phoenix radio for more than 15 years. He routinely does stand-up comedy and can be heard weekday afternoons on 99.1FM All That Rocks! Follow him on facebook.com/kevingassman and on Twitter @radiogass. Email: email@example.com.