Back from a holiday yesterday. Apologies but I just needed a day away from the computer. Without delay, let’s get to the songs.
All I Ever Get for Christmas Is Blue – Over the Rhine
Honestly, as you’ll see from my little post-Saturday football wrap-up below, it disgusts me to even think about the colors blue or white. This is a beautiful and depressing song off. Check them out if you get a chance—very good Ohio-based band.
Tag Along – The Wilburn Brothers
Obviously trying to ride the wave created by Rudolph, The Wilburn Brothers sing about a little dog named Tag Along who helps Santa Claus. It’s fun.
Winter Symphony – The Beach Boys
Yet again, Brendan at The Rising Storm went out of his way to send us an early Christmas present—Ultimate Christmas by The Beach Boys. Many of the songs I had heard before—though some not for years—but this is one I never knew, an outtake off the Beach Boys’ MIU album. This is a beautiful song with great arrangements.
Christmas Is Canceled – The Long Blondes
These women have a pretty great English-pop sound. Everything from 60s pop, The Ramones, and Pulp seem to have influenced their sound. This song has some bite to it.
Carol of the Bells – The Calling
Apparently this is a modern rock band. I vaguely remember the crappy local radio stations in Pennsylvania playing one of their songs repeatedly, yet I don’t remember its name. “Carol of the Bells” has always been one of my favorite holiday songs—this version isn’t spectacular but it’s not horrible either.
And now, here’s something totally unrelated to Christmas—a rant about Penn State football. It’ll most likely be the final one of the year.
Congrats to PC and his Bucks. Yet again, they dominated Michigan and it’ll most likely mean the departure of Lloyd Carr, one of the most classless men in college football. Anyway, it was a solid routing marred by ugly weather. As for my Nittany Lions and their loss at Michigan State—this was flat-out embarrassing, by far the worst loss I had seen all year. The team finally decided to open its playbook and go for broke—they had the punt team fake a field goal, a wide receiver threw a pass. And, somehow, they squandered it all—after half-time, I think most of the Nittany Lions were on the plane for State College, especially quarterback Anthony Morelli, who will now go down as one of the most-promising yet also most-disappointing quaterbacks in many years. Rumors persisted that he wasn’t smart enough to learn the plays—and I wholly believe them. He exerted horrible leadership and piss-poor instincts for the game of football. Sure, he had an arm (and, I believe he had legs, though to see him run, you wouldn’t think so) and a few tools, but he didn’t have a brain for the game. Now, with the season finished, the Lions record is 8-4—pathetic, considering this was the record last season. The team did not grow at all. A few players matured, a few had their moments, but as a team, they didn’t do a goddamned thing to prove they were worthy of that number ten ranking we had at one point in the season. And for as touted as our defense was, they sure made a point of pissing away some games—how in the hell does a team like Michigan State run all over us? But it’s not all for nothing—we’re bowl eligible. But I don’t even care what bowl we play in or who its against. We don’t deserve a bowl and I fully hope that when the bowl invitations are announced, Penn State will decline. This year saw more problems off the field than I can ever remember—allegations of fighting against many players, our starting running back accused of rape, and several busts for underage drinking. On the field, nothing at all improved over a lackluster season last year. These kids don’t deserve to take a trip anywhere warm. And neither does Joe Paterno. His leadership, along with the entire coaching staff, has been non-existent this year. He’s got one more good year left—many seniors and experienced players return next season—but if we’re looking at an 8-4 record next year, or even a 9-3 record next year, it’s time for JoePa to leave Penn State. Hell, it might be time for me to leave Penn State as a fan. After all, the University of Virginia is ranked higher than Penn State this year and I live two miles from the Cavaliers stadium. I’m sure they’d like another fan.