Holiday Music Quarterly: Santa's Crack

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Dancing Queen

Step into My Hot Rod

Holiday Hits

I'm sorry. There--I said it. I, and the rest of the Stranger music staff, have been feeling recalcitrant remorse over having recommended (at times downright gushed about) certain live shows that, much to our horror, fucking sucked once we got there. In our defense, please consider this, the poorest of excuses: We have to fill an entire music section once a week. What do you want from us?

I did it most offensively with Elliott, who, despite my glowing, orgasmic preview and praise-singing review of their new album promising the contrary, stank up at least the biggest part of an evening at the Paradox on October 28 with a grotesquely physical and severely U2-esque performance. First came Waxwing, whom we responded to as funny-bad, so much so that my friend Theo and I decided to leave the all-ages venue for a beverage down the street. Feeling irresponsible, we went back and gave the show another shot. Some of the kids in there were probably loving it, and I doubt they would have appreciated the sight of us doubled over in laughter at the sheer overblown emo-ness of Waxwing. We should have stayed in the Irish pub in which we had sought fleeting refuge, but we were determined. Two songs into Elliott, we began scoffing at their pumped-up physiques and overly hip bassist. Still steadfast that I wasn't full of shit, we waited out another couple of songs before leaving the club for good. I swear to God it sounded as if the Edge were playing along with them.

Jeff DeRoche is very sorry for recommending you see Wheat in September. "The show was awful," he admits. "They were big goofy geeks, with a Guido frontman who had chest hair sticking out of his silky shirt. He sang lovelorn, heartbreaking lyrics--with which I had once identified--through a big toothy grin that made me just want to punch him. Aside from that, the music simply didn't carry at all." DeRoche is still insistent that he loves the band's excellent album Hope and Adams.

Nathan Thornburgh apologizes for his enthusiasm toward the late Tito Puente; he forgot that age does not always shed a flattering light upon one's career. Says Thornburgh, "I thought, Tito Puente, he's the man, right? I got to the show and I felt so guilty because it was Tito Puente, and the show was complete bullshit."

Genevieve Williams recommended Chuck Mangione based upon his inarguable musical competence, but we are not to blame for our production department's decision to use Mangione's publicity photo as an anchor for the music calendar's Up & Coming section. The effect, much to our torment once the issue hit the streets, made it look as though the entire music staff was in 100-percent agreement that Mangione's show was our Pick of the Week. We are, after all, not the Seattle Weekly, and we would be loath to confuse our readership with theirs.

Nate Lippens regretfully confesses that he "had no idea Badly Drawn Boy would unleash a drunken, rambling, three-and-a-half-hour set. The album was full of miniaturist portraits, but the show was epic. I know [Damon Gough] loves Springsteen, but a three-hour show with running commentary is way too much. If I wanted to see a monologue, I would have gone to On the Boards." Our local members of R.E.M. ventured out to the show, but were spotted drinking it off at the Cha-Cha before the set was finished, complaining of wankery and jamming on the part of Badly Drawn Boy. If they wanted to subject themselves to an evening of wankery on purpose, perhaps we could have suggested they ignore the hype over the show and the album and just stay home listening to Monster instead.

We know we are far from perfect, and that it is human nature to make mistakes, as well as give people we don't know personally the benefit of the doubt. Miracles, however remarkable, never cease. But we would like to point out for our own fortification (though The Stranger did sponsor the show) that we did not recommend anyone attend the Movement with Corey Feldman--except maybe for the sake of having a good laugh. And with that saving grace, we stand (somewhat) validated.