Friday, December 28, 2012

Bah Humbug - Christmas Is Done, The Gift Cards Are Spent, Still Gotta Take Down The Tree - Then What?

All Any Nomad Wants For Christmas Is A 5 Star Room at a 2 Star Price Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Funny man Jim Gaffigan describes Thanksgiving as "eating a lot of food with people that annoy us". For the sake of familial harmony,  I would never actually say that. But, if you are like me, you are hungover from too much food, too much shopping, too much Ho-Ho-Ho and good cheer and, now, thanks to Christmas, too little money.

So what are we to do as we complain about the cold weather (unless you are settled in on some ski slope somewhere) and wait for the new year as we make out our lists of New Year's Resolutions?  Actually, edit is probably a better word. All those things we are going to do for self improvement that we almost never actually do - lose weight, eat better, be nicer, watch less TV - the list never ends and it really doesn't change much. Now that we are approaching the last official holiday of the year, it is my fervent hope that Santa brought every Nomad something you can use as you gear up for your next adventure. For me, it was some new travel books on Spain, including The History of Spain by Peter Pierson and a really cool gift from Tara, the newest member of our family (my son's new bride) - the first limited edition of the official Nomad Architect Travel Journal.

Here in God's country, we are just starting to get serious about planning a 2013 excursion to the land of tapas, bullfights and tempranillo. Reading about a country's history helps any traveler understand what they are getting themselves into, so to speak. Maybe I'll re-read For Whom The Bell Tolls just to liven things up a bit. And of course, I can write down all of my cogent thoughts about the land of Hemingway in my new up close and personal travel journal.

From now until early spring, Nomads everywhere are lying dormant, getting that needed rest we all need to strike out on the next trek to an old familiar place or, for the true Nomad, that unfamiliar place that we have always dreamed about. In light of that, I thought a refresher course in planning and dreaming might be in order as you impatiently wait for the days to get longer and the weather to become more hospitable.

The Official 2013 Nomad Architect's New Year's Resolutions for Restless Souls Everywhere

1) Resolve To Get Organized - I have said it many times before. Travel is all about the unexpected. But, you need a plan. While you don't need an hour by hour or even a day by day itinerary, practical things like airline reservations, car rentals and train reservations must be planned for. That's especially true if money is an issue - and money is always an issue.Even the most serendipitous traveller needs to know when, where and how to get where you are going. Just start with a basic written itinerary and go from there.

2) Resolve To Read - Read - Read - And I don't just mean the latest from Rick Steves or Lonely Planet. Read some books about the essence of a place - it's history, its people, its food and customs. Even a novel written by someone that has experienced a country on its own terms can change your entire approach to travel in a country or region. Reading A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle informed our entire trip to that enchanted part of France.

3) Resolve To Become Virtual - I have noted on occasion how the internet has changed travel. Because of the freedom of the internet, we can become Masters of Our Own Travel Domains. The internet provides you the freedom of choice that allows you to customize any trip to meet your own expectations. Just click on the Travel Planning Link under Nomad Architect Labels for some great travel planning resources.

4) Resolve To Write It Down - Whether you are old school, new school or even one of the new millennium crew that seems to have a much too personal relationship with your I-Phone or IPAD,  make notes about the specific things you want to do and experience and the places you think will allow you to do and experience those very things. And be creative. It's not enough just to want to go to, say, Iceland, Seattle or Rome. Write down what you and yours want to actually experience. Because, its the experiences in travel that create the memories and the magic.

5) Resolve To Go Where You Have Never Gone Before - We love familiarity don't we? Our favorite table, our favorite beach, our favorite hotel. While I am not saying abandon your usual haunts - but, come on, without spice, that sea bass I had last year in Savannah is just fish. And a change of scenery changes you. It opens your mind and and your heart. So get out there. Go somewhere you have never been and just soak it all in. Whether it's walking the Appalachian Trail, riding a high speed train through Tuscany, or having a Bellini at Harry's Bar in Venice, its the new stuff that broadens your mind, deepens your heart and makes you appreciate this still fascinating world we live in.

6) Resolve To Just Go - Mark Twain said "Why do today what you can put off 'till tomorrow". Not so with travel. Follow the Nike mantra - Just Do It! Even if you can't get away for the full six weeks it takes to walk the Santiago in Spain, go to a place or places that you have always dreamed about. Just two days experiencing the canals and alleyways of Venice or a week lazing on the coast of Santorini, is worth the planning and the money. As my old roomie used to say - What's a few hundred bucks in a lifetime? Although, admittedly, he said that in 1971, so its no longer a few hundred dollars. Be that as it may, if you are a true Nomad, travel is not a luxury - it's a necessity. So GO!!

As we get ready to finally kiss 2012 goodbye, I won't to thank every Nomad that has visited my little travel blog. I hope I have given you some insight or made you think about the world of travel in a different way. As we head into 2013, it is my fervent hope that you will find that proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow on a windswept island nobody knows about or a room with a view that nobody thought existed. So here's a raised a glass to all Nomad's that refuse to settle. Voici pour vous.

Happy Trails To You and Yours In The New Year

d.l. stafford

Travel Quote of The Week - Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

Video Artist of The Week - Norah Jones. The Texas daughter of Ravi Shankar combines an eclectic blend of pop and jazz with nice keyboards and cool vocals to create music for contemplation or reading your next travel book. Sunrise is worth a listen and a look

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

No. 1 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Somebody Say Hallelujah

It's The Day of Celebration in All of Christendom

There really is only one choice for No. 1 on any Christmas list of songs. In my humble opinion, the greatest work of religious music ever written - and performed by thousands of choirs, ensembles, singers, churches and even flash mob singers in food courts since it was written in 1741 by George Frideric Handel - is The Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah.

One source (unconfirmed) states that while Handel was composing this piece, he imagined seeing heaven before his very eyes and 'the great God Himself' enthroned in glory. And whatever the origin of the custom, the piece has such emotional power that to this day in the English speaking world audiences rise as if in prayer as soon as the opening notes are struck.

The history of this master work may be disputed, but its majesty and power is beyond question.

No. 1 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - As originally composed - The Hallelujah Chorus by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


And as a Christmas Day Bonus - The greatest contemporary arrangement of this ancient work featuring a 200 voice choir and orchestra with soloists Twila Paris, Sandi Patty, Wayne Watson, Michael English, Larnelle Harris and Steve Green -

Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain / Hallelujah.


And finally for those who have managed to develop a liking for "new" interpretations of old songs we will finish the Countdown with a haunting arrangement of the Longfellow Christmas poem -

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day by The Civil Wars.

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep / The Wrong shall fail / The Right prevail / With peace on earth, good-will to men.

Peace & Merry Christmas To You and Yours

d.l. stafford


Monday, December 24, 2012

A Few Christmas Eve Bonus Tracks on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Santa Is Doing His Thing Tonight

Here Comes Santa Claus Right Down Your Street
Chris Isaak was probably born about thirty years too late. With his pompadour, sequined suits and rockabilly voice right out of 1956 he would have fit right in with Elvis, Jerry Lee and The Big Bopper. However, he has managed to continue to make relevant music that is linked to that ground breaking decade while being thoroughly modern. On today's first Christmas Eve Bonus Track he delivers a tune that sheds new light on the big man in the red suit.

Christmas Eve Bonus Track No. 1 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Hey Santa! by Chris Isaak.

...and another yule tune that laments the challenge for us all on this day before the big day - Christmas Eve Bonus Track No. 2 - You Gottta Be Good by Chris Isaak.
And as only a true jazz man can do - A live, funky jazz take on a  song about every kid's dream- Christmas Eve Bonus Track No. 3 - It Must Have Been Ol' Santa Claus by Harry Connick, Jr. and His Band.
And finally, something for the poetically challenged who just need something weird - the one and only 60's troubadour reading the greatest Christmas poem of all time - Christmas Eve Bonus Track No. 4  - 'Twas The Night Before Christmas by Bob Dylan.
The Big Fat Man Is Coming To Town - Merry Christmas
d.l. stafford


No. 2 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Just Remember and Believe

No Bah Humbugs Allowed On This Special Day
Do you remember the day you finally figured out that Santa wasn't real? Well I don't. I do have a vague recollection of my brain telling my heart that Chester and Juanita were really the ones that put my HO train on the living room floor and hid my new bike in the garage until Christmas morning. But, deep down, I know Santa does exists. And I have proof. All I have to do is remember Christmas morning with my very own Lance and Lauren and the sheer, unadulterated joyous belief in the big man in the red suit bringing all that stuff or the tears of joy when I surprised my one and only Susie with a gift she never expected that she still wears some thirty five years later. Oh yes my friends, Santa does exist. He exists in every child and every "grown up" that believes in the joy, love and connection to your giving soul that Saint Nick represents. 
So, in honor of this very special day and night when you and yours just can't seem to sleep, just believe in the magic of Christmas and thank your God for those around you that matter in this world.
Happy Christmas Eve - No. 2 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Believe by Josh Groban. This one is for every kid who never quits believing.

 Sleep Tight And Merry Christmas

d.l. stafford


Sunday, December 23, 2012

No. 3 on THE 2012 XMAS Countdown - It's Sunday - Let's Have Church

When Heaven & Nature Sing - Jennifer Hudson Rocks The House
The fact that Jennifer Hudson did NOT win American Idol probably says more about American Idol than Jennifer Hudson. Of course, we know that she is not a pop singer like most winners of the most popular talent show in history. What we do know, however, is that she is a multi- talented gospel/soul singer and actress, very deserving of the "diva" title along with some of the biggest names ever to wear that moniker, holding  her own with the likes of   Aretha, Whitney, Mariah,  or Celine. Because of her soulful delivery, she brings emotion and feeling to every note she sings. Whether performing a subtle ballad or belting out a medley of Christmas standards like today's Countdown selection, the girl holds nothing back. In this age of over hyped mediocre talent like Gaga, Manaj and Beyonce, its nice to hear the real deal.
Bringing the joy on a Sunday morning with an absolutely kicking gospel choir behind her - No. 3 on The 2012 Christmas Countdown - Christmas Gospel Medley by Jennifer Hudson.
And, for a very special Sunday Bonus Track,  I hope you enjoy this rare cut from the The 1994 New Young Messiah Tour featuring a 200 voice choir and the incomparable Michael English singing Lift Up Your Heads from the greatest contemporary version of Handel's Messiah ever recorded. 
Have A Merry Gospel Christmas

d.l. stafford


Saturday, December 22, 2012

No. 4 X 2 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - It's A Random Kinda Saturday

Jars of Clay and  Los Lonely Boys - How's That For Random?
One of the challenges in doing this little Top 25 thing is finding new music. Political commentator/funny man Greg Gutfeld said the other day that we really need some new Christmas songs. And I completely agree. In my search for new and exciting music for the Christmas music lover out there, I have spent countless hours scouring You Tube and other sources, with many suggestions from friends and family far and wide, to come up with some new Christmas stuff. Or, at the very least, an arrangement of a familiar tune that makes it completely new.
I saw the Christian rock band Jars of Clay long before they became the multi platinum crossover band with hits like Flood and Liquid. With unique lead vocals, great instrumentation and a rock sensibility, this Grammy winning band is always moving forward. Today's Random Countdown Tune is a very fresh take on a Christmas poem written in 1885.

Today's Random Saturday Countdown Bonus features one of the best "family" bands around. Los Lonely Boys, comprised of three brothers, combine excellent guitars, flawless duet vocals and a unique sound they call Texican Rock and Roll that just makes you feel good. With their No. 1, Grammy award winning hit Heaven, this group of brothers established themselves as a band with a point. And today's Countdown tune is no different.

 Have A Nice Saturday Before Christmas Day
d.l. stafford

Friday, December 21, 2012

No. 5 X 3 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - It's Friday & It's Time To Rock

The Rips, DC Talk & The King
I never heard  of The Rips until I stumbled upon them last week. They don't have a record deal and, apparently, very few have heard of them outside the UK. They bill themselves as "one of the top wedding bands West Yorkshire has to offer". How's that for self assured marketing?  At this point, you couldn't even say they are an "Indie" band. What you could say, however, is that they have one of the most unique lead singers - with at least a six octave range - of any rock band you will ever hear. And, if you could score them for your next party or wedding, let's just say a good time should be had by all.
Rocking in on the last Friday before Christmas - No. 5 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Christmas Time by The Rips.

Next up - DC Talk. No other Christian rock/hip hop band has a body of work that is as compelling  as DC Talk. Their creative brew of rock, pop and hip hop, without sacrificing the message, ushered in an entirely new genre of Christian contemporary music. Since their hiatus in 2000, the Grammy winning trio has continued to spread their message as individuals and, occasionally, together. I had the pleasure of seeing them live with my kids some years ago and it was amazing in every aspect with powerful music delivering a powerful message.

Part 2 of Friday's Christmas Rock Bonanza, with a hot gospel choir backing - We Three Kings by DC Talk.


No Christmas Countdown would be complete without The King of Rock & Roll and Blue Christmas. So, in honor of the last Friday before the big day, here is a stripped down version featuring a black leather clad Elvis and his band with guitar, drum box and tambourine as accompaniment. And, of course, vocals by the one and only. Plain and simple, like it should be.

Part 3 of Friday's Christmas Rock Bonanza BLUE CHRISTMAS BY ELVIS

So Rock On and Be Safe - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year To All Our Mayan Brothers & Sisters
d.l. stafford


Thursday, December 20, 2012

No. 6 on The 2012 Christmas Countdown - From The Civil Wars Comes Elegance & Grace at Christmas

This Duo Changes Everything you ever thought about  the singing of a traditional Christmas hymn. The Civil Wars, comprised of singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White, have not been around very long, but, have made an impression on fans and critics alike. The band won a Grammy shortly after release of their 2011 album Barton Hollow. Unfortunately for us, the band decided to call it quits in November of this year due to ""internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition".
Be that as it may, they left us with some pretty amazing music, including today's composition, taken from Isaiah 7:14, of one of the most hauntingly reverent versions of  O Come O Come Emmanuel Ever Recorded - by The Civil Wars - No. 6 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown.
And to make your Thursday a nicer day, please enjoy  one of the most interesting Indie bands around today - Bonus Track No. 7 - All That I Want by The Weepies.
Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like Music for The Soul
d.l. stafford

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No. 7 Plus on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - It's Buble' Day With Some Bing To Make Your Season Bright

Crosby, Torme', Sinatra, Dorsey, Ella and Now Buble'

My friends thought I was weird because I actually had my very own copy of Bing Crosby's White Christmas album growing up. At a very young age I listened to and sang along with all of those big band guys (and girls) from the forties. Sinatra, Torme', Ella,  and The Glenn Miller Orchestra, just to name a few,  were all in my record collection.  Michael Buble' is carrying the torch today for a style of music that is the most American of all musical genres. Swinging big bands, crooners and great songs never seem to go out of style. And  style is exactly what Buble' brings to every song he sings. His Christmas album was No. 1 when it was released in 2011 and is certain to maintain its position as one of the great Christmas albums ever recorded.
So,  sit back, snap your fingers and enjoy some forties Christmas music done a new way from Michael Buble'. No. 7 on the 2012 XMAS Countdown, a standard  by Michael Buble' and The Puppini Sisters, musical descendants of The Andrews Sisters - Jingle Bells.
and another standard with a big band behind him and a cool little video to go with it, Bonus Track No. 6- Santa Clause Is Coming To Town.
And finally, as a bonus, the Countdown brings you possibly the most enduring Christmas song ever recorded. Written by Irving Berlin and first performed by Bing Crosby on Christmas day in 1941, it is the top selling single of all time, with over fifty million copies sold worldwide. With the help of some new millennium technology - Bonus Track No. 7 - White Christmas by Michael Buble' with The One and Only Bing Crosby.
So Swing Away - Christmas is Almost Here
d.l. stafford

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bonus Track No. 5 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - If Its Tuesday, It Must Be Cold Outside

One Day Lyle Lovett Will Make A Christmas Record
But until then, we'll just have to enjoy his very cool take, along with Kat Edmonson, a brand new, fresh voice and jazz musician, on a song that his been recorded by virtually everyone who has ever made a Christmas record. If you are not a Lyle Lovett fan, shame on you! He is one of the most original singer/songwriters ever to come out of the great state of Texas and that is no easy task, given the music that has been made by artists, famous and infamous, from the Lone Star State.
In today's Bonus Countdown tune, Lovett brings his signature wry, dusty vocals to a nice, easy country jazz arrangement of one of the most recorded Christmas duets ever penned - Bonus Track No. 5 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Baby It's Cold Outside by Lyle Lovett With Kat Edmonson.
Stay Warm and Merry
d.l. stafford

No. 8 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Away In A Manger Has Never Been This Funky

The Blind Boys of Alabama Just Keep Singing
The Blind Boys of Alabama started singing in 1939 at nine year olds at The Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega, Alabama. After a seventy plus year history, numerous personnel changes and five Grammys, this iconic group of singers is still lifting spirits and impressing audiences all over the world. In addition, they have collaborated with a who's who of the recording world - Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits and My Morning Jacket, just to name a few. 
Today's Countdown Tune was first published in 1885. And today's version is one of the most soulful, funky versions of any Christmas carol you will ever hear. No. 9 on The XMAS Countdown - Away In A Manger by The Blind Boys of Alabama joined by funk masters George Clinton and Robert Randolph.
Here's Hoping You and Yours Are Enjoying This Season - Merry Christmas
d.l. stafford


Monday, December 17, 2012

No. 9 on The 2012 Top 25 XMAS Countdown - Colbie Caillat Says You Can Have Your Beach & XMAS Too

A California Girl and Christmas - Works For Me
As someone who grew up in the sixties, I generally do not enjoy Gen Y pop music. But today's Countdown tune made  the Top 25 cut because A) It's new and catchy B) Finding new and catchy Christmas tunes is not easy and C) The video improved my mood on what, so far, is a very gloomy day in God's Country - Part Deux. Colbie Caillat released her first record in 2007. Five years is a nano-second in the world of popular music. Based on her work thus far and her critical success, let's hope she is around for a while.
So for those Nomads that may be suffering from the Blue Monday Syndrome, looking out at a grey sky or just missing summer, maybe today's Countdown tune about Christmas at the beach by a real California Girl will lighten your load-
Only Nine Days Left - Are You Having Fun Yet?
d.l. stafford
P.S. For those who are mall weary and need a boost to get you through the rest of the day, here's a little bonus number by modern day descendants of The Andrews Sisters - Bonus Track No. 4 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Step In To Christmas by The Puppini Sisters. The still images in the video will take you back a few decades.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No. 10 X 4 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown for Sunday - Shout Hallelujah! Handel's Messiah - A Soulful Celebration

One Man's Brand New Song Is Another Man's Heresy
The purists will banish today's Countdown tunes to the black hole of undesirable noise. And they will forbid them to be played in their presence ever again. But, this whole countdown thing is predicated on the idea that a diversity of styles, artists and yes, even centuries is a good thing. George Frederic Handel composed his master oratorio The Messiah, arguably the greatest work of religious music ever written, in 1741 in a scant 24 days. Pretty amazing when you consider that it took the Eagles a year and a half to produce Desperado, which only reached No. 41 on the Billboard charts in 2004.
And then there's 1992. A talented group of arrangers, producers and directors including Mervan Warren, Richard Smallwood and Take 6 collaborated with an equally impressive roster of R&B, gospel, big band and jazz  artists like Andre Crouch, Larnelle Harris and Quincy Jones  to make one of the most original interpretations of Handel's master work ever recorded.
And today, just because it's the second to last Sunday before Christmas with only ten days left until Christmas, you can listen to four tracks from this Grammy and Dove award winning project and enjoy  the essence and variety of this innovative recording project.
No. 10 X 4 Inspirational Tracks on the 2012 XMAS Countdown from Handel's Messiah - A Soulful Celebration: 
Every Valley Shall Be Exalted (Isaiah 40:4)
Vocal gymnastics and a little hip hop make the rough places smooth indeed.


Why Do The Nations So Furiously Rage Together? (Psalm 2:1) 
Al Jarreau jazzes up this scripture like no one else.
You've never heard coral singing like this.
This will make you get up and praise the Lord!
Hallelujah and Merry Christmas
d.l. stafford
P.S. - Note To Purists: Handel's Messiah - A Soulful Celebrations has been officially and publicly recognized by Handel House, the official George F. Handel museum in London, England.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No. 11 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Brian Setzer Rocks The House

He's Come A Long Way Since The Stray Cats
To say that Brian Setzer has evolved since his days as the front man for the 80's Rockabilly band, The Stray Cats, would be an undertstatement. Some may remember that funky little ditty from 1981 - Stray Cat Strut. The evolution of Mr. Setzer has created a unique cross generational sound that  blends rock, big band, blistering guitar riffs and old school rock and roll vocals. In any case, for today's Countdown selections, he brings a fresh big band/rock and roll sound to old and new Christmas tunes alike.
Rockin' us with a live clip from his Annual Christmas Extravaganza is - Brian Setzer and His Orchestra Slaying Dig That Crazy Santa Claus and Boogie Woogie Santa Claus. These tunes should get you jumpin' before you go to the mall along with the other bazzillion people who have not learned to shop on line yet.
Boogie Woogie & Merry Christmas
d.l. stafford

Friday, December 14, 2012

No. 12 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Jingle Bells, James Taylor & The Blues - Oh Yeah!

Since Fire & Rain James Taylor Has Become A Legend
If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing James Taylor live then you know that he has amassed a body of work that is amazing in its quality and diversity. The word legend gets tossed around far too much in this age of hyper commercialism, but, in Taylor's case, it is more than appropriate. Much like another great artist, Paul Simon, he is constantly evolving  as a singer, arranger & songwriter. And something you would never have expected from an artist who made his name with tunes such as Fire & Rain and You've Got A Friend is his unique brand of blues and rock and roll that comes very much front and center on his Live (James Taylor) album.
Today's Countdown tune shows what can be done, even to a really old, familiar tune, when you are a talent like James Taylor. With more blues than you will ever find on any Christmas standard you will ever hear comes No. 12 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Jingle Bells by James Taylor. The lead guitarist and the B3 player ain't too shabby either.

Here's To Enjoying Mo' Better Blues This Christmas

d.l. stafford

Thursday, December 13, 2012

No. 13 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - A Very Hip Rudolph Is Comin' Too Town

Finally a New Version of The Most Classic of Christmas Tunes
When I first heard Jack Johnson do Better  Together, I became an instant fan. With  a very tight band of drums, bass, piano and acoustic guitar, Johnson brings interesting vocals to his simple, heartfelt lyrics about life and love. I have always felt that listening to really well crafted music, no matter the "style", is a pleasure that needs constant replenishing. I mean we all have our favorites, but, in the world of music, fresh is always good.
So, in honor of "fresh" comes Jack Johnson doing the coolest version of a song that was first recorded in 1949 by none other than Gene Autry, he even adds a new verse just to clear things up - No. 14 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Jack Johnson.


Merry Christmas to The Rudolphs of The World - Your Time Is Coming
d.l. stafford

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No. 14 on The 2012 Christmas Countdown - Twelve Days of Christmas - WOW!

This One Is For All Those People Who Have Suffered Through All Those Rehearsals

You know who you are. I know who many of you are. I have been a part of singing groups since I started singing with the family quartet at the age of twelve. And, for better or worse, I have directed various groups over the years. What I remember the most about all those years of singing is rehearsal. Good singing takes practice, practice, practice and that is especially true of  ten singers singing acapella like today's featured group.

I am certain that today's tune by Straight No Chaser involved countless hours of rehearsals late into the night and it shows. Acapella singing requires the most ability, talent and discipline and this group has it all. So, in honor of Wednesday 12/12/12, which will not occur again for a thousand years, comes - No. 14 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - An Absolutely Killer Version Of Twelve Days by Straight No Chaser.


Merry Christmas to Singing Nomads Everywhere

d.l. stafford

P.S. If you have way too much time on your hands, check out this little synopsis of the significance and weirdness of the number Twelve and 12/12/12.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bonus Track No. 4 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - A Superfan Watching Fallon, Mariah & The Roots

And Then There's This
OK - This has nothing to do with Christmas - but this is a must see - a friend sent me this link to a hilarious video watching a super fan watching Jimmy Fallon and Mariah Carey with The Roots perform yesterday's Countdown tune All I Want for Christmas Is You. If you are like this guy, you need to check yourself in somewhere today.
Merry Christmas thenomadARCHITECT

No. 15 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Santa & The Boss Came To Town

Bruce & The E Street Band - It Just Doesn't Get Any Better

Springsteen - The E Street Band - Clarence on Sax and Ho Ho Ho's - Born In The USA Tour -Tallahassee, Florida - December 7, 1984 - We were there! Due to a friend not being able to attend, we scored tickets  the afternoon of the show ten feet from the stage.  It was a memorable experience to say the least. Springsteen was at the height of his career and touring for his triumphant album Born In The USA. And he did not disappoint. At the end of a three hour plus show, the band closed with today's Countdown tune. And it was pure magic.

In my humble opinion, Springsteen's  version of today's tune, first recorded in 1934 by Tom Stacks, is the gold standard by which all other covers of this longtime Christmas classic must be judged. Rockin' for all to enjoy - No. 15 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band Live.

If You Haven't Been Good This Year It's Probably Too Late
D.L. Stafford