Wednesday, March 27, 2019

NEW BOOK RELEASE: A Win For Every Stitch: A Fan's Diary of the 2018 Boston Red Sox Championship Season

                            BOOK OPTIONS (Please Choose Based on Your Location)

My new book A Win For Every Stitch: A Fan's Diary of the 2018 Boston Red Sox Championship Season has just been released and is now available for purchase. For anyone who may have missed my original announcement of this book back in November, here's the blurb from the back cover:  

"There are 108 stitches on a baseball and in 2018 the Boston Red Sox won 108 games: a win for every stitch. At the beginning of the season, Drew Athans decided to keep a running diary of every game to have fun and to see if he could do it. With the Red Sox going all the way and winning the World Series, it turned into the perfect memento of an historic baseball season which he's now decided to share with all Red Sox fans. Containing recaps of every game the team played from late March when the season started to the final game of the World Series in October, A Win For Every Stitch is a book for any Sox fan. Relive all of the ups, downs, thrilling wins, and excruciating losses that made up this Red Sox season for the ages."

The book is now available for you to purchase on Amazon as a paperback for $19.99 and a Kindle e-book for $4.99As a special limited time offer, you can order a SIGNED copy of the paperback directly from me for $19.99. This is something I did for my second book and it was very popular. Just use the PayPal button above to select a copy based on your location, order, and pay (you don't need to have a PayPal account in order to purchase). Please MAKE SURE you choose the correct option and make sure to include your mailing address. For the signature, please include in the notes section of the order form any special inscription you'd like me to sign (otherwise, I will come up with my own). Be careful to choose the correct option depending on where you live: the USA price includes shipping anywhere in the USA, but for international orders there will be an additional $10.00 charge for shipping (this is based on what it has typically cost me to ship books out of the country in the past).

Please keep in mind that I am a one-man operation! I am self-publishing this book and will be handling all of the shipping of orders myself, so please bear with me. I will do my absolute best to process every order as quickly as I can and will email each of you when your order has shipped. PLEASE ALLOW 1-2 weeks for your order to get to you after you place it. If you're ordering as a Christmas gift and absolutely need to have it in time, I would recommend ordering an unsigned copy from Amazon. If you want a signed copy and are okay risking the chance of it getting it to you a few days after Christmas, I will still do my best to get it to you on time. 

If there are any questions about the process, please let me know in the comments section below or email me at and I will answer immediately. Thanks and I hope you enjoy my book!

Monday, January 21, 2019

This is Not Supposed to Happen: The New England Patriots Are in the Super Bowl Yet Again

In what seems like a yearly occurrence at this point (mainly because it is), my favorite (and the nation's most reviled) football team, the New England Patriots, has once again made it to the Super Bowl.  I wrote about how incredible this run of success has been last year right around this time, as well as in years past, but this year might be the most improbable of all apart from the first Super Bowl they won in 2001. After losing a heartbreaking Super Bowl to the loathsome Eagles last year, the Patriots seemed to be at the end of their dynastic road. Last year marked their eighth Super Bowl appearance in seventeen seasons and capped off a bizarre end to a season that saw quarterback Tom Brady's seeming estrangement from head coach Bill Belichick as well as tight end Rob Gronkowski contemplating retirement. There was also the Jimmy Garropolo trade that seemed to come out of left field earlier in the season as well as Belichick's inexplicable decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler which may have cost the Patriots their sixth ring. What it led to was an offseason and 2018 regular season that was as up and down as any during the Brady/Belichick dynasty. At times the team seemed old, tired, undisciplined, and mediocre. At other points they seemed to find their old magic and reverted back to their dominant form. The low points were the back-to-back losses in Miami and Pittsburgh in weeks 14 and 15. Sitting at 9-5, it wasn't certain they'd finish as a top two seed and secure a valuable first round bye. The Patriots had no identity for much of the season and I wrote about all of this dysfunction on Guy Boston Sports earlier this season. It was cathartic to write that, but it didn't make me feel good about this team's chances in the slightest. 

Then a funny thing happened: the team finished off the season with two blowout wins against division opponents Buffalo and New York (Jets). They secured the two seed in the AFC, secured a bye, and seemed to be rounding into form. Still, there was a little bit of doubt at least on my part because of the fact that they'd finished 11-5 (one of the lowest win totals of the Brady/Belichick era) and because those two games were against bad teams in the Bills and Jets. I did feel strangely confident as the playoffs began to unfold and I wrote on Guy Boston Sports about how the Patriots had a seemingly straightforward path to the Super Bowl if everything played out a certain way. The Patriots did their part by defeating a very good Chargers team, but the Colts couldn't hold up their end and lost to the Chiefs. That sent the Pats to Kansas City for the AFC championship game with the tall task of having to win a road playoff game for the first time since 2006 (remember: because they almost always finished as the one or two seed, the Patriots have barely played any road playoff games since 2001). I didn't think it was an impossible task, but I did think it was a difficult one. For the first time in my life as a Patriots fan, while I was excited for the game and wanted them to win badly, I felt that they were playing with house money. With how schizophrenic the team had been all season, they had already exceeded my expectations by getting this far. While I wanted them to win in the worst way, I didn't have my usual pregame jitters and just wanted to enjoy the game and see what happened. Either way, they'd salvaged a weird season and I was fine with that.

What we got instead was a vintage Patriots performance on both sides of the ball that resulted in a thrilling overtime 37-31 win that sent the franchise to their record ELEVENTH Super Bowl. It will be the ninth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and Belichick, the team's third in a row and their fifth in six years. To update the overall statistics from last year's post:

Since 2001, the Patriots have now:

- had a winning record every season
- won the AFC East division 16 times, including the last 10 in a row (in 2002 and 2008, when they didn't win the division, they finished tied for the best record in the division but lost out on tiebreakers)
- appeared in 13 AFC Championship games, including the last 8 in a row
played in 9 Super Bowls (2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, and now 2018)
- won 5 Super Bowls in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, and 2016 (and lost the other 3, in 2007, 2011, and 2018 all on last minute fluke catches)
- won 3 Super Bowls in a 4 year span (including 2 in a row: 2001, 2003, 2004)
- appeared in 4 Super Bowls in a 5-year span (winning the first two in 2014 and 2016 and losing in 2017, with this year's appearance marking their first back-to-back-to-back appearance)

This is not supposed to happen, folks! In an NFL with a hard salary cap that has pushed for parity (which is really a nice way of saying they want every team to be mediocre so that everyone has a chance), the Patriots have somehow created the greatest and longest-lived dynasty in NFL history and one the greatest in all of sports. It has all flowed from the ownership of Robert Kraft and the sustained excellent and longevity of Brady and Belichick, who are in their 18th season together. How much longer this can go on is anyone's guess. I and numerous others thought that this year was the beginning of the end, but instead it's only a continuation. Now that the dust has settled from the AFC Championship game and I've had some time to reflect on it, I think this season might be the greatest coaching job of Bill Belichick's career. He took a team that wasn't as talented as his teams usually are, with all of the dysfunction and uncertainty that was never afflicted the Patriots in years past, and somehow got them to play their best football of the season when it mattered most starting in mid-December.  What looms now is a rematch of the very first Super Bowl they won against the Rams (who called St. Louis home but are now back in Los Angeles). It would be a fitting completion of the circle if they won their sixth title by beating the team against whom they won their first. Whether that happens or not we'll have to wait a couple more weeks to see, but in the interim we should all sit back and take stock at how ridiculous this run of excellence has been. I was a month shy of 22 when they won their first Super Bowl; I'm a month shy of 39 as they prepare to play in their ninth since then. This is not supposed to happen, but it has and it has been glorious to behold. As I tell my kids, who are young enough to know nothing but the Patriots winning all the time: This Is Not Normal. It's not supposed to be like this and we will almost certainly never see anything like this ever again once it's over, so sit back, enjoy it, and savor every moment. I know I will.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Why I Prefer Going to Major League Baseball Games Over NBA Games (or the Realization That I'm Getting Old)

This post actually piggybacks off of another one I recently wrote titled Why I Love Sports. That one, which you can (and should) go back and read if you haven't already, was inspired by a comment one of my daughters made at an NBA game which led to the realization that even though I love rooting for my favorite teams, I just enjoy sports in general and for many reasons. There was one sentence in that piece, though, that germinated in my mind and which led to this offshoot post: "we had fun although the constant barrage on the senses (mainly noise) of modern NBA games drove me absolutely nuts (that's a topic for another post)."  At work the day after that game, a coworker asked me how the game was. I reiterated to him that the game itself was fun, but that the game presentation left a lot to be desired. He agreed and then we laughed when we realized we sounded like two cranky old men (I'm pushing 40 and he is in his mid-50s). Still, when I mentioned to him that, for as much as I love basketball, I will go to a baseball game over a basketball game nine times out of ten, he agreed. As is typical with the way my mind works, that got the wheels in my head turning and spawned this post that you're now reading.

So what is it about the experience of a baseball game that I like more than a basketball game? (Or conversely, what is it I dislike more about basketball games than baseball games?). Before I start, let me point out that this isn't me saying one sport itself is better than the other. Anyone who knows me and/or has read this blog knows of my passion for baseball, but I am just as passionate about basketball. They were the two sports I started playing and watching when I was five years old and I'm as big a Boston Celtics fan as I am a Boston Red Sox fan. When my wife and I were dating in college and into the early years of our marriage (i.e. before kids), we used to go to tons of Celtics and Red Sox games in Boston. They were always a lot of fun and we managed to still get to the occasional game when our kids were small, but it wasn't until the last few years once our youngest was old enough that we started taking the kids with us. We've taken them to see the Red Sox at two different ballparks (including their first trip to Fenway Park) as well as multiple AA and AAA minor league games. The NBA game we went to recently was their first, though; it was also the first one I'd been to in probably six or seven years. What struck me was how different the in-game experience was in 2018 compared to 2012 when I last went. For all of the games I'd been to since the mid-1990s, I remembered a fair bit of extraneous stuff that went on in between the game action. They'd play some music during TV timeouts or game timeouts, between quarters, and of course at halftime. There was the occasional t-shirt cannon fired into the crowd and of course the silliness on the JumboTron. But there was never, EVER, anything going on during the game except for the game itself. The second the whistle blew and the ball was inbounded, the music, the noise, the extra stuff all stopped and the focus went back to the game. Well, let me tell you that it wasn't like that at the game we just went to a couple of months ago. There was all of the requisite and expected noise during the down time, but during the game itself there was constant music, constant flashing lights, constant nonsense on the JumboTron, just constant STUFF going on. It was so loud and bright and incessant that it drove me nuts. With all the garbage going on during the game, I can't imagine it wasn't as distracting for the players as it was for us in the stands and it's a testament to their focus that they could filter all of that out. Speaking of focus, it's a sad statement on how short out attention spans are as a society that all of the bells and whistles are necessary to keep people entertained when, you know, the actual BASKETBALL GAME itself should be the reason we're all there in the first place. It made me realize how fortunate we are that all of that unremitting noise isn't audible when watching the games on TV.

Now contrast that with watching baseball at a ballpark. True, it's not a sport that lends itself to short attention spans and constant commotion in the first place, but that's one of the many things outside of the game itself that I love about it. When you go to the ballpark, you go for the experience and the atmosphere as much as for the game. What do you hear the majority of the time when you're there? Mainly it's the sounds of the game. The murmur of conversation throughout the ballpark, people yelling out cheers (or jeers), vendors hawking beer and soda and popcorn and peanuts, polite applause after a pitch or a put-out, the crack of the bat, the ball smacking the leather of a glove, the sudden rush of excitement when the ball is put in play. Sure, there's a bit of noise at baseball games, mainly the walk-up music for each hitter (which I think is silly). Still, it's only a 5-6 second snippet per hitter over the course of a nine inning game. For minor league games (of which we go to many), there's a bit more in the way of entertainment during down time, but minor league teams have long been known for this in their attempt to draw people to their ballparks and it's actually one of the charms of minor league baseball. Usually there will be silly things like a wacky race between some kids or a quiz where the contestants chosen from the crowd can win prizes, but even these are much less noisy and irritating than those during NBA games. I'm sure being outside at a ballpark versus inside an enclosed arena helps the sound to breathe and dissipate more which makes baseball games seem less noisy. Again, I realize the nature of the two sports is quite different, but it didn't always used to be so oppressively noisy at NBA games.

Perhaps it's simply a sign of the times? Basketball is full of fast-paced action and NBA gives you constant stimulation of the senses which caters to today's low/no-attention span society. Contrast it with baseball which is more old fashioned, slower paced, demands much more attention, and only has short bursts of action in between pitches. MLB and MILB couldn't get away with offering an NBA-styled in-game experience because it doesn't lend itself to the sport at all. As I rapidly near forty years of age, and even though mentally and physically I still feel like I'm only twenty, I've come to the irrefutable conclusion that I vastly prefer going to baseball games over basketball games, at least of the professional variety. Whether that means my tastes are changing because of age (I don't really think so) or that I just don't like the modern presentation of NBA games (which I'm sure is the real reason), I'm comfortable with this conclusion.

What about you? Do you prefer one over the other? And if so, why?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Jimi Hendrix - The Day I Was There

Astute and/or long-time readers of this blog will recognize that this is yet another entry into a series of books I've read and reviewed called "I Was There." So far I've reviewed "I Was There" books about the Who, Beatles, and Rolling Stones. This latest addition to the series concerns arguably the greatest and certainly the most influential electric guitarist in rock history, Jimi Hendrix. As is usual with these books, author Richard Houghton has collected and collated firsthand recollections from fans who saw Hendrix from his early pre-fame years all the way to his final concert in September 1970 a mere two weeks before his untimely death.

This post contains affiliate links which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This helps me keep this site going to bring you more great content. Thanks and enjoy!

As is typical with this series, the book format is a chronological look at Hendrix' live career as told by the lucky fans who saw him in person. Starting with some of his pre-fame gigs, the book traces the story of Jimi's discovery in New York City in 1966 by Animals bassist (and first manager) Chas Chandler. After taking Hendrix with him to London in the autumn of '66, Chandler set about getting a band together for Jimi and securing a record deal. The earliest gigs played by the newly christened Experience are recounted in the book including the occasions where Jimi sat in with Cream. After the release of his first singles ("Hey Joe," "Purple Haze") and one of the greatest debut albums of all time in early 1967 (Are You Experienced?), Hendrix rocketed to stardom. It's interesting to see how quickly he graduated from playing at clubs and pubs in the UK and Europe to theatres and larger venues. His star really took off once he made his triumphant American debut at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. From there to the end of his career, Hendrix was a megastar who was also one of the top grossing live acts of his era.

What's interesting in reading the fan recollections is that, as Jimi's career progressed, the change in his performance, as well as his appearance and demeanor, was noticed by the fans packing the arenas. Many of the memories in this book clearly state that they preferred his live shows from earlier in his career and that by 1969 and 1970 he was sounding (and looking) very ragged and worn out. It's interesting that even concertgoers were able to notice the effects of the music business (and his second manager, Michael Jeffrey) chewing up and spitting Jimi out as they worked him to the point of exhaustion in order to stuff their coffers. Reading through the concert memories also takes the reader back to a more innocent time when tickets were cheaper, seating was anywhere you found a spot, and it was easy to not only catch a moment or a word with Hendrix, but even hang out with him in many cases! Some of the fans who shared their experiences were wrong about songs played or events at the concerts they appeared at (corroborated by the numerous Hendrix bootleg recordings circulating), but with the passing of so many years (and the consumption of so many illicit substances in those days), it's understandable. More valuable are the concerts for which there are multiple accounts; while in some cases there are conflicting reports of what happened, in most there is corroboration of what was said or done (a particularly memorable concert from Wisconsin in 1970 instantly springs to mind after having read the book).

Jimi Hendrix: The Day I Was There is another fun entry in this series that will take fans who were alive during those heady times in the late 1960s back to their youth, while for those of us too young to have experienced it the first time, we can instead be transported back through the fan recollections. There isn't any new information about Hendrix or his music to be gleaned from the book, but that's not the point of this series. Instead, this book takes the reader back to a time when Hendrix was a completely new and unknown force on the music scene who reinvented what the electric guitar and rock music could do, one blown mind at a time.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Win For Every Stitch is the #1 New Release on Amazon

If I may be a little self-indulgent, I was on Amazon yesterday checking out the sales reports for my new book A Win For Every Stitch when I saw this. The book is ranked as the #1 New Release in the category of Baseball: Essays & Writings! Both the paperback and the Kindle versions have been selling very well and so far the response I've gotten from readers has been 100% positive. I've also been signing and shipping out loads of signed paperbacks, so many that I had to order another box from the printers right after Christmas. If you're interested in a signed copy you can still order them directly from me HERE on the site (please allow ~2 weeks turnaround time). Paperback ($19.99) and Kindle ($4.99) versions are available on Amazon and if you buy the paperback, you can download the full Kindle version for only $0.99 more! Stuffed with opinions, stats, and detailed recaps of every game the Red Sox played in 2018, A Win For Every Stitch is 350 pages of love for the Sox and baseball in a book that makes a great memento of that historic season. I sincerely hope everyone who reads it enjoys it and if you'd be so kind as to leave me an honest review on Amazon, I would really appreciate it. They really do help. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Does Music Even Mean Anything Any More?

I was recently driving in the car and had my two oldest daughters with me. They're thirteen and twelve years old and as is typical for when they're in the car with either me or my wife, they wanted to listen to the radio. When they were younger, they liked whatever my wife and I listened to whether it was the Beatles, the Who, Rush, Blur, or (most) anything else we put on. Over the last couple of years, though, they've really gotten into the current spate of pop music on the radio. Even though it seems to be the same ten vacuous, computer-generated, autotuned "songs" played in an endless loop across every Top 40 radio station sung by people who all sound the same (especially the female acts...they ALL sound identical), they can't get enough. Conversely, while my youngest daughter likes a mix of current pop music and whatever I'm listening to, my son is really into the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and the Who (his favorites).

Along these same lines, this past summer drove from where we now live in the Midwest back to New England for vacation to visit family. Over the two-day drive, we surfed the radio so we could listen to music along the way. After getting tired of hearing the same songs over and over, my wife and I started stopping on stations with songs we wanted to listen to. Every time we landed on a song we knew and loved from either our era of the 1980s and 90s, or a song from our parents' 50s and 60s eras, our girls didn't want much to do with it. It wasn't that they actively disliked the songs, but they had no interest in listening to them or learning who wrote them, who sang them, etc. That spurred a conversation between my wife and I about how our kids' generation is growing up very differently from ours. When we were growing up in the 80s and 90s, we were not only aware of the pop culture going on around us, but were immersed in that of our parents' (and even our grandparents') generation. My brother and I probably watched as many reruns of sitcoms from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s as we did the current stuff that was on. Shows like the Dick Van Dyke Show, Andy Griffith, Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, the Munsters, the Addams Family, Happy Days, and too many others to list were among those we watched and enjoyed. There was comedy like the Three Stooges (only the Curly episodes, of course), Monty Python's Flying Circus, and Saturday Night Live (a show that was great in the 1970s/early 1980s and again in the 1990s). And the music? Forget about it. I was raised on the music of the 1960s and 70s thanks to my parents and I've written about most of my favorite bands from that era on this site. That classic rock still makes up the bulk of my listening. For as great as the alternative and indie rock coming out of the US and UK was in the 80s and 90s (which I still love), there is something about 60s and 70s rock that just does it for me. That was the music I grew up listening to and it's the music I studied when I was teaching myself how to play guitar, bass, drums, and write songs.

What I see with my own kids and their friends of that age is that there is not a lot of curiosity beyond the prevailing music (and by extension, the pop culture) of the immediate present. It's all about which songs are hot at this moment and these also happen to be the ones they hear incessantly on the loop every station has them on. Songs that were hot one month are eventually disliked or worse (for the "artists"), utterly forgotten. Whereas my generation has a lot of songs where we'll say "remember that one? I love that song!" my kids will say something to the effect of "eh, that was popular a little while ago but now I don't like it." I guess what I'm trying to get at is that there doesn't seem to be much staying power to the majority of pop music these days.  It's not surprising when you think about it: these songs are written by teams of (usually) a dozen or more people adhering to the "hit formula" or the month, "performed" by a computer, and almost entirely devoid of human musicianship. Lyrically they're equally as vapid: gone are the days of musings on romance, love, heartbreak, or the state of the country and/or world. Instead, the airwaves are filled with autotuned voices extolling the virtues of getting wasted, partying, being pissed off at an ex, how much money said performer has, how sexy said performer is, and other utterly meaningless pronouncements. Now, to be fair, there were songs with shallow subjects in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, but they weren't the only thing being broadcast far and wide and in actuality they were either here and gone as fleeting hits or widely mocked and ridiculed for the intellectually bereft garbage it was. The exception has become the rule and I can't say I enjoy much, if any of it.

Before this turns into a "Rock is Dead" redux post, I don't think it's merely coincidence that this coincided with the demise of rock music as the dominant genre around the year 2000 while hip hop and computer-generated pop ascended. Music used to be about musicians with something to say writing and performing music from the heart and mind about things that mattered to them. The best of it had a way of communicating with the public and tried to resonate within the shared human experience as it connected on a deeper level. Nowadays it's mostly performers chosen by record company executives for their looks and marketability "singing" "songs" (I put both words in quotes on purpose) about nothing at all. As I said in the Rock is Dead post a few years ago, though, music used to mean something to connected us with fellow fans and the artists themselves and touched an emotional spot inside of us beyond catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics. Now it's just another disposable commodity, like a wad of gum to chew up, spit up, and throw away once the flavor is gone. Doubly so now that most music can be had for free on the internet (case in point: I still buy CDs and vinyl while my kids and their friends stream everything online).

This post wasn't meant to disparage my kids or other young people and their musical preferences; rather it was inspired by that moment in the car and how it made me think to highlight the differences between my generation and that of my children. That evolution is something that completely changed the meaning and function of music whereas my generation had (predominantly) the same connection to music that young people in the 50s, 60s, and 70s had. Bob Dylan was right: the times they are indeed a-changin'.

Friday, December 21, 2018

My Favorite Rock and Roll Christmas Songs

While I love Christmas (minus the crass commercialization), I normally can't stand Christmas music. This is mainly because of how ubiquitous and annoying it is on radio stations and over shop speakers from the moment Thanksgiving ends until December 25th. Most Christmas pop music is also cheesy (I swear if I hear "Last Christmas" or "All I Want For Christmas is You" one more time...); add in the fact that most radio stations play the same 10-12 songs on an endless loop all month and you might be starting to see why I can't stand it. Even my beloved rock music isn't immune as most rock Christmas songs are either overly schmaltzy (see: Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town") or downright bad. That being said, with Christmas only a few days away I thought I'd share some of my favorite rock and roll Christmas songs. These are songs I never get tired of hearing even during the rest of the year. In no particular order:

John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War is Over)

Does it suffer from being a bit too of its time (the height of the Vietnam War)? Yes. Does it suffer from ripping off the melody to the old English folk song "Skewball"? Yes. Does the children's choir make it a bit cheesy? Yes. Does it suffer from including Yoko Ono? Hell yes. Still, it's a pretty song whose message is mostly still as relevant in 2018 as it was in 1971. Plus John's voice, as always, is simply fantastic.

Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime

John's former songwriting partner in the Beatles got into the act in 1979 with his slightly more saccharine take on a Christmas song. Paul was working on his McCartney II solo album and threw this song together in a couple of days. It's since become a Christmas standard alongside Lennon's song. While it doesn't have the gravitas of John's song, Paul's song is fun and shows how he can effortlessly come up with a catchy melody as easily as you or I breathe. It's been said he makes approximately $400,000 a year in radio play royalties from the song...not bad for something dashed off in between album sessions. 

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

I love 1980s music, and it's not just because I grew up during that decade and have a fierce nostalgia for it. Pop music in the 1980s was fun as hell and the memories it evokes of my childhood, the good times I had, and the more innocent world it was are very powerful. I've always had a soft spot for The Waitresses one-hit-wonder-hit "I Know What Boys Like," but the other song they're known for is their 1981 funk/New Wave song "Christmas Wrapping." (Does that make them a two-hit wonder?). Vocalist Patty Donahue's laconic singing style is perfect for the wry and Ray Davies-esque lyrics about a woman who is too tired to have fun during Christmas and decides to spend it alone before the fates intervene. And that bass line...

Speaking of Ray Davies...

The Kinks - Father Christmas

My choice for the greatest rock and roll Christmas song of all time is this Kinks classic. In typical Kinks fashion, Ray Davies wrote a killer rock song with humorous lyrics that have a more powerful message below the surface. If you don't know the words (or can't figure them all out), I urge you to look them up. They're funny, poignant, and contain his classic social commentary without bludgeoning the listener over the head. All of that and it's just a great song.

That's my list...what are some of your favorite rock or pop Christmas songs?