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THE M:M MUSIC TEAM (LOTR):
Crystal Ann Lea, Meg MacDonald, Rene Magallon 
FEATURED ARTISTS
Liz Phair
"Good Side"
Tom Walker
"What A Time To Be Alive"
Wilderado
"Surefire"
MSB/Michael Sackler-Berner
"Death To The Uptight"
The Rua
"Hey You"
Jerad Finck
"Home"

Last week several people suggested I write about the insanity of Christmas starting in October. 
 
Every year around this time people go on social media to complain about giant cardboard grocery store Santa Clause cutouts blocking the Halloween candy. 
 
The movie “Love Actually” starts running on a non-stop loop, The Hallmark channel runs their original Christmas movies (all mysteriously starring Candace Cameron) 24-7 and all over the country there are annoyed neighbors because Christmas lights are out performing the sad, lopsided Jack-O-Lanterns their kids made.
 
I do not see the problem.
 
I put together my first Christmas present for 2019 in February.  I finished all my holiday shopping in August.  I have an official “Countdown to Christmas Clock” on my FB page.
 
Given my druthers, I’d skip Halloween altogether.  I still dig Thanksgiving, although it also comes with its share of annoyances.
 
On Halloween we’re saddled with strangers coming and going from our homes.  On Thanksgiving we’re saddled with strange relatives who come but always seem to forget to go from our homes.
 
On Halloween people spend the evening jumping up every 15 seconds to tackle scared pets when the doorbell rings.  We open the door to children screeching TRICK-OR-TREAT!!!!!!  at the top of their annoying, surprisingly powerful lungs, which then requires us to re-tackle our pets.
 
Thanksgiving is supposed to be about amazing food and football.  My family never got that memo.
 
Sidenote:  Yes technically it’s about the Pilgrims and Indians sitting down to a yummy dinner trading beads and buckled shoes while becoming BFFs, but I think we all know too much to keep the Thanksgiving portrayed in the Charlie Brown movie farce going.
 
Growing up, the game was on in the background on the only television in the house, with no volume and blocked by some shirt-tail relative of ample girth telling the same story that had been told every family Thanksgiving since the Great Depression.  The food was actually very good, especially the year Mom and Dad both had the flu and the Colonel saved us with his bucket o’chicken.
 
Present day in my home, half the time some niece or nephew who shall not remain nameless (Dylan and Molly) commandeer the TV for the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving farce.  The meal though is still amazing.  I’m a great re-heater of the Whole Foods dinner package.
 
Christmas however, is the exception to all usual holiday annoyances.  As soon as the winds change and the first leaf falls from a tree, I find myself looking through red and green colored glasses.  
 
All is well.
 
Screaming sticky children now become adorable little urchins just anxious for Santa to arrive.  The annoying relative who re-tells the same stories over and over becomes the sweet, misunderstood scamp who just needs another glass of eggnog.  The guy in the 10 items or less line with 28 items is probably just in a rush to get his tree up.  Completely acceptable, go right ahead sir.
 
I haven’t yet cracked the code to this trifecta of holidays, but it’s an annual quest for me to skip candy/doorbell-palooza, make it through the turkey and go straight for the wrapping paper. 
 
I’ll get through Halloween by not being here to witness my dog’s nervous breakdown (relax, my friend stays with him and I’m pretty sure he likes her better).
 
Thanksgiving will be a welcome change this year as I’m spending it in Nashville with my better half and a mix of both of our family and friends.  But mainly because she cooks and the only reheating that will be done will be the Friday leftovers.
 
After that, it’s clear sledding to Christmas.  And so, back by popular demand, the link for counting down to Christmas by days, hours, minutes and seconds: 
  
Actually, not a single one of you demanded it, but it’s my column.


Christmas Countdown Clock

“There’s nothing more American than complaining all day about not having Columbus Day off.”
– Someecards, In honor of Columbus Day
 

CRIMINAL HYGIENE
"With its bright guitars and undulation bass, 'Greeting From a Postcard,' which the band calls "an observational song about desperate boredom," recalls artists like Soul Asylum and Goo Goo Dolls right before they became hit-making machines. (That's a good thing, by the way)” 
– BUZZBANDS LA 
"'Greetings From A Postcard' has a warm acoustic feel paired with lyrics that tell a story." – NEW NOISE 

THE JASON SPOONER BAND
“The Jason Spooner Band honed in on their sound early on and they continue to deliver it seemingly effortlessly with their new album Wide Eyed. It’s a sound that evokes the warmth of starry nights, friends around a fire, bare feet in the grass, cold drink in hand... the simple pleasures in life.”
– Jess Phaneuf, MUSIC DIRECTOR – MVYRADIO, MARTHA’S VINEYARD

MARCUS KING
“Marcus is known by so many as a phenom guitar player, and rightfully so.  He’s regularly the best player in the room, hands down.  I was equally blown away by the way he can sing – so effortless, so soulful, straight from the heart.  He’s a naturally gifted writer too…He’s really one of a kind and I’m proud I got to work alongside him on this record.”
Dan Auerbach

 

NOAH CYRUS
“This is a good song.  It’ll be a good song tomorrow and next year. 
Songs like these are made of leather.  They’re good forever”
John Mayer

“Chill-inducing harmonies layered over simple acoustic instrumentation allow the song's contemplative lyrics to take center stage” – Billboard

 

Liz Phair CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions
Kat Cunning Music Video
Rachael Sage Blackbook Premiere
The Cringe Music Video
The Teskey Brothers Music Video
Joseph CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions
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