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Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

CONTEST – A Stocking Full Of Aimee Mann

Final giveaway for today, but it’s a good one – courtesy of Toolshed, I’ve got a stocking full of Aimee Mann to give away. This consists of Aimee’s entire solo catalog – probably not the Magnolia soundtrack or the Live At St Ann’s Warehouse CD/DVD set but her studio material at least, which would include Whatever, I’m With Stupid, Bachelor #2, Lost In Space and The Forgotten Arm and possibly/probably her new Christmas record One More Drifter In The Snow. I’m not exactly sure.

Mann might at first seem like an odd person to be making a holiday album, what with her being the patron saint of glum, but one forgets that Christmas is, for many, the most depressing time of the year. Think about it. But Drifter isn’t about ruining anyone’s Christmas, there’s only one Mann original, the rest are covers and standards, albeit sung with Mann’s characteristically understated and downbeat style (except for “You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch” – how could you not have a good time singing that one?) But for a Christmas record – which are usually inherently dire – It’s actually quite nice. No, this record won’t deter those who complain that Aimee has gone all MOR on us, but whatever.

Also check out the holiday blog started in conjunction with the record wherein they solicit your holiday memories: “Ever have a bummer Christmas? What was the best holiday gift you ever got? What was the worst? When did you discover Santa wasn’t real? When did you find out Santa WAS real?” They say they want to hear about your best holiday but you know they really just want to hear your worst. Just like you really only want to read the sad stories. Admit it.

Anyway, while most Aimee fans will certainly have most if not all of these records, they’ll also make a great gift to someone whose tastes in music are too happy and need a healthy dose of depression. To enter, leave me a comment telling me about your worst Christmas ever. Doesn’t have to be in excruciating detail, just enough to make the rest of us feel better about our own dour holiday memories. As always, be sure to leave your proper email address so the winners can be contacted and gifted (which you can feel free to re-gift at your leisure).

The contest will run until midnight, December 9. Ho ho ho.

CONTEST IS CLOSED – thanks to all who entered and congrats to Jonathan, who won the CDs. And I sincerely hope your Christmases this year better than the ones you wrote about.

MP3: Aimee Mann – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (from One More Drifter In The Snow)
MP3: Aimee Mann – “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” (from One More Drifter In The Snow)
MP3: Aimee Mann – “Dear John” (from The Forgotten Arm)
MP3: Aimee Mann – “She Really Wants You” (from The Forgotten Arm)
MP3: Aimee Mann – “Long Shot” (from Live At St Ann’s Warehouse)
Video: Aimee Mann / One More Drifter In The Snow preview

By : Frank Yang at 2:49 pm
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. The birth of Santa says:

    Worst Christmas? It’s tough to narrow it down, but I’d say the one in which every kid on my block got a Sega Genesis and I got a frickin dreidel. The joys of being Jewish.

  2. BB says:

    We went to visit my parents, and ended up spending the day snowed in the Dallas airport (I mean really, what are the odds of snow in Dallas?). We just needed a commuter flight. As DFW opened up, most of the commuter airports started closed down. More and more people were arriving in the commuter terminal, and no one was leaving. It was a madhouse. We finally scored a midnight flight to Tulsa, about an 1.5 hour drive from my parents house, and an hour from my brother’s house.

    Then they were all pissed that they had to drive up to Tulsa to get us. Merry frickin’ Christmas.

  3. David says:

    My worst Christmas was the one that my parents gave me a purple bike on. They INSISTED it was "deep blue," but the first day I rode it to school, everyone made fun of me.

    I have never ridden it in public since.

  4. Margaret says:

    I think my worst Christmas has to be, hands down, the Christmas I cam home from college my freshman year deathly ill with what’s commonly refered to as "the finals plague," that potent cocktail of nameless viral infections that wrecks havock on college students inevitably wandering about, underfed, sleep deprived, and underdressed in the freezing cold while stressed beyond all reason about finishing papers. Not only did I manage to get an ear infection and not realize it, but I flew home with that ear infection and the combination of the infection and the high air pressure in the plane left me completely deaf in one ear for my entire month-long break. As if that weren’t enough, 2 days before Christmas my weakened immune system welcomed in an incredibly violent stomach bug that prevented me from keeping anything- even water- down for more than ten minutes. And, on top of that, my mom and brother both caught the stomach bug as well. It was pretty miserable.

  5. Chris says:

    Worst christmas ever I spent on a 18 hour plane ride to Hong Kong because my father was relocated. Got a comforter with zebras on it that year. Also lost all my friends. I’m being melodramatic because it wasn’t all that bad. We all did some bonding in a minimally furnished apartment, which is a highly underrated bonding locale.

  6. David H says:

    My worst Christmas was also retrospectively hilarious. On Christmas Eve when I was 6 or so, our family was at a family friend’s house for a party. The kids all played downstairs and the older ones were seeing who could do the best jumps off a couch or something. When I did mine, I landed right on my nose, which gave me a terrible rug burn. On my nose. That’s right, I looked just like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in time for Christmas day.

  7. Hugh says:

    My worst Christmas consisted of my cat dying and my dad getting really drunk and accusing my mom of being a lesbian.

  8. Kip! says:

    I think the worst Christmas I ever had was probably one of the best in all actuality. When I was a young twenty-something, I had a little problem with drugs and alcohol that I was totally in denial of.

    I spent Christmas Eve in a fishing shanty with two people I barely knew instead of being at home with loved ones. I stumbled in around 3:30am when the departure of our Christmas destination was just a couple hours away.

    Once I finally peeled myself from my bed, I stumbled downstairs for breakfast. I made a comment about how I hoped my Uncle’s drinking didn’t ruin Christmas…my Mom replied with,"I don’t think it’s your Uncle we need to be concerned about".

    It took a few more years of chaos before the pieces fit together…15
    sober years later, I’m pleased to report I’m sober as a judge.
    P.S. we link to you, any chance of returning the favor?

    http://www.rocksellout.com

  9. Mark says:

    My worst Christmas was 1995, when my grandfather passed away back in Ohio. My Mom’s mom and my Dad’s dad had both passed away previously, so my Mom’s dad married my Dad’s mom (making me a stepbastard and my own cousin). It didn’t work out all that well, primarily because my Grandpa was great and my Grandma was a nasty drunk. When he died, my Dad’s evil sister — who later ended up challenging the will — came into the den where my brother and I were getting crocked by passing a bottle of Old Overholt rye whiskey around. She had the temerity to ask "Isn’t this a great Christmas– the family’s all together!" That and things went to hell with my fiancee, who didn’t fly back for the funeral. We broke up a year later.

  10. patrick6months says:

    My worst Christmas happened when I was 11, in 1991. My father and his brother had been at odds with my grandmother for a matter of years and in fact my uncle hasn’t spoken with her since ’85. I am not sure of why, but on with the story. We woke up on Christmas morning early and had just started opening presents when my dad got a phone call. Apparently my grandmother had a heart attack about an hour before and was being transported to a hospital about two hours away (we lived in the same town as her). So we packed up w/o opening any more presents and left for the hospital. We stayed in the waiting room all day. Later on in the evening I snuck back to my grandmothers room only to find her bitching my dad out, in a quiet after-surgury way, about how horrible of a son he was. I remember this intense hatred for her then, and I think about this every Christmas.
    She got better but relations with her did not. Right now I am the only one in the family who will speak with her, but its always out of pity. She sent me a package a couple of days ago and its riding around in the back of my trunk. I will probably throw it away without opening it.

  11. Tauna says:

    Not a long story, but easily my worst was the year we had to put our dog to sleep on Christmas morning.

  12. Jessica Farley says:

    I feel bad because I don’t have a hilarious worst Christmas. Mine was last Christmas. We found out that my mother was sick. My sister and I decorated the tree without herfor the first time, although she did a fair bit of supervision. She was too tired to really help out with anything, just sat on the couch taking it all in. It was our last Christmas with her. It seems wasted now – but you never really know how great something is until it isn’t with you anymore.

  13. Andy says:

    A whole bottle of Jack Daniels, telling my mum to "treat me like a fucking grown up", storming off and falling asleep in a field. Which all makes me suspect that my mum was spot on in how she was treating me…

  14. Ryan97ou says:

    When i was 5 years old and our heater broke and we froze our asses off for 12 hours in 10 degree ohio. i never wanted mittens so bad for xmas in my life.

  15. Paul says:

    I have never had a bad Christmas – I always enjoy it no matter what happens, and I am still entering this contest.

  16. Carly says:

    Mine would be the time I decided to sleep on the floor in front of the fireplace. I sat straight up in the middle of the night, only half-awake, and barfed all over the carpet because I was too hot.

  17. Jason Carlin says:

    My brother and I were in Calgary, sitting with my mom and dad and watching the Santa Claus parade on TV. That’s the moment when they chose to ask "hey guys, what would you say if we moved from Calgary to Toronto. Oh, by the way, mom would be staying here because we’re getting a divorce."

    Yep, that one sucked a bit.

  18. christian says:

    i was 10. it was my 5th year in a row asking for a puppy, and santa always had an excuse. So i wrote him a note with the cookies i left him reading "If you dont have the dog- then take a hike". I woke up to find all my brothers and sisters had presents and I had none. I had to sit and watch them open, all the while pretending i was fine with it, holding back my need to cry. My parents sat trying not to burst into laughter. After everyone was done they told me to check the laundry room, and there i found my presents. No dog though. Still no dog. 16 years later.

  19. monkeyinabox says:

    Another pet story. Had to put our 17 yr old cat to sleep on Christmas eve. I went with my dad, and after we left he said, "Just think, one dad you’ll get to do that with me".

  20. Ed says:

    Thanks for all the Aimee, am still loving the cover of God rest you merry gentlemen. BTW check out my blog if you have time

  21. Richard Brandt says:

    Probably the Christmas I was on my own and broke, and thought about splurging on a turkey loaf for Christmas dinner, but decided to save money and get a can of Austex beef stew instead.

  22. Dave says:

    It started in the year nineteen hundred and ninety three. I was living post high school, carefree (well, sort of) and in love with the girl of my dreams (up until that point at least). She was beautiful, athletic and most of all she was cool. Not acceptable “cool”, we’re talking, “I’d probably marry her ‘Cool”. She was my friend first so I was gently working on taking it to the next level, so, I kept the feelings on the down-low till the time was right. She did love me; she loved me as a friend; she trusted me and told me everything, I was feeling all high on the horse being I was so significant and all. With my naive mind and inexperienced heart, I awaited the day it would all change. So as December came I decided I would buy something really nice and take her out in grand style to show her I am serious about our relation together.
    The Christmas seasons’ prior were fairly traumatic for me; two Decembers before I’d lose my beloved Grandfather to cancer, and the previous year, I had lost my eight year old cousin Andrew to a rare disease. So with this thing with Misty brewing, it seemed the god forsaking month of December would actually turnout grand for once.
    She had called me one night while I was Christmas shopping. She asked me to come to the restaurant where she worked to visit. I, (sensing nothing) obliged whole heartedly. I was with my friend Mark and we were on our way. When I arrived, all the usual people said “hi” to me, Amber, Christine and of course Misty. We were seated and awaiting or beloved server and when she got there, all hell broke loose. She found out I was talking about her behind her back, spreading lies in the like; she was livid.
    Flashback: Since the mental build up had been so tremendous and my patience not yet developed; my dumb-young-mind thought it appropriate, along with my primitive reasoning, alluding to another that Misty loved me but was to shy to tell. I figured that Lisa knew nothing of Misty and could careless about my fabricated tales’ significance. Unbeknownst to me, Lisa had a friend that worked at the restaurant where Misty did; so one harmless blurb (or so I thought) -practically overnight- turned into headline news and was being talked about by everyone there. Misty, embarrassed, later commenced her anger and disgust with me. She said, she never wanted to see me again and iterated aggressively that she was seeing someone (someone I didn’t know about).
    After the hammer dropped, I left the restaurant to collapse and wonder what the hell I was thinking. The one thing that stirred in my stomach (in addition to the vomit) -was the feeling of complete and utter humiliation. It was the first time I had no excuse, no explanation and no basis for an alibi. With all that hanging over my head, I came to realize the hardest part; the fact that she was seeing someone and failed to mention it to me. It was beyond jealousy and beyond any anger I could muster; I was disappointed that she would go on about her life and leave a major detail like that out of mine. That’s the day I came to the realization that you never really know a woman, even though you may be totally convinced otherwise. I understood now that as much as I wanted to bring that lie to life– it ended up killing me and my friendship with Misty in the end. I thought I knew everything there was to know about her and I assumed she wanted me to know it all too.

    It amazing how life teaches you, it’s not series of courses or events; it all hits you in one fell swoop, especially in December.

  23. Jonathan says:

    I remember two different Christmases that were particularly bad.

    First, my parents announced a month prior to Christmas that they were divorcing. This was when I was in the third grade. Having two Christmases was never worse. I would only have one more Christmas with my father in the next 21 years.

    Second, last year my father-in-law died suddenly a week before Christmas. We were living with him and my mother-in-law, and it basically shot Christmas for everyone. We were hoping that my two year old daughter would be the silving lining for our Christmas, but she woke up Christmas morning sick and so we were all miserable on Christmas

  24. Kate says:

    I can’t recall which year this was but it was one winter I returned home for the holidays from university. I was absolutely miserable and left my house after the Christmas meal to take a drive, obstensibly to clear my head. I drove around town and found myself outside of a friend’s house. I wasn’t thinking clearly, at the time, and only realized when she came to the door that I was interrupting her (happy) holiday dinner. I apologized and spent the next hour driving around aimlessly, wishing I wasn’t so effing lonely.