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Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Shopping Days left...

Having successfully hid an elf for two weeks, and realizing our adorable daughter still very much believes in the magic of Santa/Christmas it might be time to grant some wishes.  She has even sat on a few laps over the past few days!!!  Although she was pretty cross with the first Santa visit.  Apparently he was a bit belligerent and short with her.  Wouldn't you be if dozens of kids sat their germ infested bodies on you all day???  We caught him at the end of a weeknight rather than the absurd weekend visit.  There must have been an hour line at 10am yesterday for the Santa photo op yesterday.   Isn't that some sort of child abuse to have your kid wait that long???  Not like they get a payoff either?  The "toy" he handed out was some cheesy paperback Christmas bike.  Yawn.  Some malls, namely Short Hills in Millburn, NJ, should employ the 2nd Santa for weekends.   Kids don't need to be subjected to the perfume smell from Abercrombie for more than 10 minutes.  In fact no one should.  Where is this legislation???

Anyway, back to the Christmas list.  The problem is my daughter keeps asking Santa for a motorized dirt bike.  Naturally the one she wants is a Toys R Us exclusive.  There was a glimmer of hope this was the Christmas that Toys R Us was going to be avoided.  Not so.

Is it wrong I would rather her be asking for a cell phone or clothes?  She wanted a computer a few years back.  It's what I am writing on now.  How am I gonna benefit from this damn bike???

She has grown significantly over the past year to the point she NEEDS clothes.  A cell phone at age 9/10 is probably a great idea too.  Although the prospect of her texting and surfing the web unsupervised is a concern.  You take the good with the bad.

Time to not be selfish though, right?  So what if the motorized bike will lose its appeal after a few months, or less?  The over/under on it joining our basement of misfit toys is roughly 7 months.  If I had the time or inclination to use Ebay we might be able to pay off some debt.  American Girl and Pottery Barn Kids could open up an outlet store right downstairs should they desire.   Maybe they could refinish it while they are there!!

So what if we just tuned up her ACTUAL bike just last week?  She works out plenty with hoops, soccer, and softball.  She can have a toy that requires zero physical activity all the while presenting greater dangers, right?  Gonna have to buy a better helmet too Santa!!!

Again, the perils of parenting once again put to the test.  You desperately want them to grow up and be independent.  At the same time you long for their excitement in elf hunting and genuine surprise and joy when they discover what was left under the tree.

Hence, the trip to Toys R Us is inevitable.  On one hand I root for her to hate how the bike feels.  On the other, I hope it is everything she could imagine, and Santa can somehow manage to make her dreams come true.

Soon enough she will understand and appreciate the stresses and angst that accompany the Holidays.  No need for that to be 2011.

Speaking of 2011...  a few more notes on the year in music.

Swedish acts The Sounds and Lykke LI both had a sweet and succesful 2011(and got some ink in this humble column.)  Let's take a  moment please for their Swedish peer Robyn.  Fresh off a nice spot on last weeks Saturday Night Live, she continues to impress as a pop treat.  Her last album, Body Talk, was released last year.  But the tracks have been slow to arrive stateside.  Her "Call Your Girlfriend" is catchy, as is "Stars 4 Ever", which I heard shopping in Juicy Couture and using Shazam.  Scary right???

"Stars 4 Ever"

"Call Your Girlfriend"  This is 1980s goodness.  Her dancing is unbridled exuberance and a touch scary.  Love it.  And what's with the shoes???  She wore a similar pair on SNL.  So damn kooky.

New York indie duo Cults (Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion) had a big year too.  Their debut album latched onto the retro lounge movement with good melody and clean beats.  "Go Outside" is their calling card, but their entire album is pretty solid.

"Bumper"  Very good live clip for an NYC Mercury Lounger gig earlier in the year.  I'm told from good authority that their live act needs some maturing, but this is pretty good stuff.

"Go Outside"

Quick Hits:

Shiny Toy Guns:  "Rainy Monday"  Always a fan of a song that marries itself nicely to a John Hughes montage scene.  Exhibit A

Viva Brother: "Darling Buds of May"  Exhibit B

Vaccines "If U Wanna"  C

Airbone Toxic Event:  "Wishing Well" D  you get the drift...

Dom:  "Living in America"

And perhaps 5 that make the Grey's Anatomy" and/or "Parenthood" fans happy...

Head and the Heart:  "Lost in My Mind"

Real Estate "Green Aisles"

Fleet Foxes:  "Grown Ocean"

Ryan Adams:  "Do I Wait"  At last a live version on the web!!!  Here he is armed with an acoustic and that wonderful voice.  Amazing.  This just in...  the long running show Morning becomes Eclectic deserves some love.  They continue to push the envelope and provide an outlet for under appreciated artists.  Thank you KCRW.  Takes a lot to make FM radio relevant these days.

Florence and the Machine:  "Shake it Out"    With Adele resting her voice and Amy Winehouse dead Ms Florence Welch is the Brit voice of the moment.  She has the help of an enormous hype machine...  but you cannot discount her lungs.  Impressive and foot tapping stuff for sure.

Happy Monday folks...  have a great week!!!

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