Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What's in the Snow? Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to my stop in the What's In the Snow? Scavenger Hunt! A huge thank you to my dear friends Jessica @ Reviews Abound and Cal @ Read Books and Live Green! for hosting this winter scavenger hunt AND being awesome blogger friends in general. Here's CLUE #22:What animal, often associated with winter/coldness, is integral in Coca-Cola’s advertisements? Apologies for not hiding it better! i have no idea how else I could have incorporate it haha. Go visit their sites for the GRAND PRIZE giveaway, and don't forgot to check out the other blogs for their prizes!

Today I have Len Vlahos, author of The Scar Boys (out January 21st, 2014) here to share a special post about holiday music! For those of you who have yet to read Len's AMAZING book about music and soul, check out my review here to see more!

   I love lists. (I also love charts and graphs, but that’s a conversation for another time.) Today, I’m talking about lists. I click through to every stupid BuzzFeed list that shows up on my Facebook –- yes, BuzzFeed, that’s me driving up your analytics -– and have spent uncountable hours throughout the course of my life discussing the top ten this or top five that. In fact, each January 1 my wife Kristen and I compare our top five moments of the year just ended. It’s a tradition.

So, when the purveyor of Fiction_theNewReality (love this blog!) asked for a list of my favorite holiday music, it took exactly zero seconds of arm-twisting for me to say yes.

First, a word of background. I dropped out of NYU film school in the mid 1980s to go on the road with a punk-pop band called Woofing Cookies. We put out our own record, bought a van, and booked a tour. Eleven days into that trip, the van broke down and we were stranded in Athens, GA. That experience forms the backdrop for what happens to the characters in The Scar Boys.

I’m telling you this story, because the first holiday song on my list is the only surviving Woofing Cookies Christmas song. It was released on a compilation put out by Midnight Records called Midnight Xmas Mess, circa 1986. Someone –- I think one of my bandmates –- posted the song to YouTube. You can hear it, here:

1. Santa Ain’t Santa

Be warned, this is dark. That’s Woofing Joe singing, and it is his ad-libbed riff at the end that still makes this fun for me to listen to today.

2. I’m more emotional than I’d like to admit, and one song that always gets me is The Pretenders’ “2000 Miles.” While I (and pretty much everyone else) think of this as a song about two lovers separated by 2000 miles during the holidays, it’s really about the band’s original guitar player, James Honeyman Scott, who had died the year before. The version in this video features an older Chrissy Hynde in an acoustic setting. For my money, she is one of the all-time great rock singers.

3. Because any song by the Ramones is a good song, I’m going to include “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight).” I don’t have a lot to say except that, yeah, it’s the holidays, let’s not fight. This video is not only so very 80s, but anyone who lives in metro NY will recognize it as being so very Long Island.

4. Okay, yes, I know it’s overplayed. And okay, yes, I know it’s more or less a cliché at this point. But I love, love, LOVE Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s take on “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” I don’t know how Bruce’s enthusiasm doesn’t bring a smile to your face. This is a great old clip.

5. A favorite holiday movie in our house (we have two sons, ages five and three) is Elf. Zooey DesChanel and Will Ferrell’s rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” is for me, an instant classic. It brings a smile to my face every time I hear it or see it.

6. Finally, if you really want to get into the holiday spirit, play the Vince Guraldi Trio’s soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. You’ll find yourself dancing around your living room halfway through.

What are your favorite songs? Post them here, or better yet, come find me on The Scar Boys book tour and tell me in person!

Len is a total rockstar for being on my blog today, and for writing such an amazing book! So now Egmont USA, Len Vlahos and I are teaming up to giveaway an ARC copy of The Scar Boys!

Rules of Entry:
2) The ARC will be sent out to the winner at the publisher's discretion.
3) The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email, or I will be forced to pick a new winner.
4) Don't cheat with the entries, I always check!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. AH! Jayne! This is a fabulous post! I loved getting to see all of this music and it's amazing that you had such a cool author participate! Thank you so much for joining us on this hunt!
    YOU ARE AMAZING! And great songs! :-)

  2. This is such a great post! Some great music choices. And an awesome prize! Thanks so much for participating! :D (Also, your clue is placed just fine. ;) )