Christmas One More Time V

The fifth in a series of our carefully curated Christmas Playlists.

You can enjoy the entire playlist through the courtesy of Spotify’s excellent web player. Special note: when you click the link, you will be taken to Spotify’s web player. There, you’ll have a couple of choices: sign in if you currently have a Spotify account; or signup for a free Spotify account (you’ll be glad you did). Here’s that link Either way, you should check it out if you like holiday music. Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images, who have the photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. This image has not been altered in any way. We thank Getty Images for sharing. Enjoy…and Happy Holidays. Special thanks to DJ Tschugge for compiling the list, along with the team at the Media Bunker and Perception Engineering.

Why We Love Christmas Music

The Inside Track 
Why does Christmas and Holiday music always seem so magical?
The easy answer is….it’s traditional. It’s something we look forward to, something we expect, a tradition with which we are all totally familiar. And now, of course, there are more channels for Christmas music than ever before–from CDs, radio, satellite radio, streaming internet sites, TV music channels, even the music beds for commercials (Coke does a great job of breaking new Christmas songs via TV commercial).
If you want to hear some Christmas music, you have a lot of options, starting in early November and running through New Year’s.
Christmas music comes out of the box once a year and when it does, one resonates with the sounds of holiday seasons past, stirring warm memories, and it’s all good. And Christmas itself is tied to your past memories. During the Christmas season, the events of the past year pile up like leaves on a just raked fall lawn, just in time for holiday retrospection and New Year’s resolutions. And, of course, Christmas itself is something of a depository of your entire life history and that of your  family. It’s where great memories from the past are remembered and retold again and new memories for the future are created. And it all needs a sound track.
Music is very good at that—bringing back memories. Five bars into “My Girl” by the Temptations and suddenly you’re back in the fraternity house at a post-game party, squeezing someone tight with one hand and holding a drink in the other.
But the resonance of music with memories may not really be the impetus behind our affection for holiday music.
Perhaps the real reason is that Christmas/holiday music is a known commodity—my goodness, we’ve been listening to the stuff since we were old enough to recognize sounds—and each year we hear a huge group of new interpretations of Christmas music (every hot recording artist puts out a Christmas album, shamelessly promoted by artist and record company alike) which serves to both enlighten us about the potential of individual expression and to make old songs new. “New water over old rocks” a mountaineering friend of mine calls it and I think that sums up the situation pretty well.
The tradition builds on itself every year, as new favorites emerge, new interpretations shake up the Christmas music landscape, time passes and the meaning and affection for the season evolves and changes.  And, Christmas music cuts across a lot of demographic lines: young, old, rich, poor, white, black, urban, suburban, country. It’s a unifying soundtrack for a unifying season and even when you know the song, you may still be surprised at the rendition, interpretation, or production.
The re-casting of traditional songs combined with the influx of new soon-to-be favorites produces a warm and memory-filled soundscape for the season.
So turn it on, play it loud, enjoy the memories and build some new ones.
It’s Christmas music–one of our very best traditions.

The (Secret)History of Christmas Music

This holiday season, in addition to new posts, material, and videos, we are revisiting some of the greats of Christmas past. When the Media Bunker staff started sorting the Christmas posts, they discovered tons of holiday themed articles and posts…dat’s alot. So, no need to keep it all tucked away in a digital cloud….might as well bring it out again..it’s a tradition. First up, the rather amazing history of the song “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”…..it’s a lot wilder than you would suspect. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas (and don’t forget…The famous Christmas One More Time playlists start posting on 1 December 2019.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. Elmo and Patsy.
The Hunt For New Music: It wouldn’t be a Christmas without a Christmas novelty song. The story behind this one is even more wonderful (And weird) than the song. Recorded by the then- husband-and-wife duo of Elmo ( Shropshire) and Patsy (Trigg), it was released in 1979 in the San Francisco area, their home. Over time, the song was played on more and more stations across the country and by 1984, it became a national hit; in 2000 the song was turned into a TV special. Oddly enough, Patsy does not sing or play an instrument on this song, which could just be the reason the couple divorced after the song hit it big. Elmo, however, has ridden it to a very amusing kind of holiday fame as each yule season he does tons of radio and TV interviews (in 2005, he was on 11 TV shows and did 150 radio interviews). Last year, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” was sold on 200,000 CDs in retail stores and—get this—downloaded over 100,000 times as a ringtone, which gives the term ringing in the season a totally new and perverse twist. Elmo is Dr. Elmo Shropshire, Veterinarian, which might explain why he knows so much about the homicidal behavior of reindeer.0

The Fine Print: Posts produced by The Media Bunker and Perception Engineering, all rights reserved (c) 2019 donald pierce and Southchester Group LLC. Need original or focused content for your site, send an email to admin@donaldpierce.com and someone will get right back to you, despite the fact that’s the Holiday Season.

Christmas One More Time III

The third in our series of seasonal playlists. You can listen to the playlist via our friends at Spotify, who provided the appropriate links below.

You can enjoy the entire playlist through the courtesy of Spotify’s excellent web player. Special note: when you click the link, you will be taken to Spotify’s web player. There, you’ll have a couple of choices: sign in if you currently have a Spotify account; or signup for a free Spotify account (you’ll be glad you did). Here’s that link Either way, you should check it out if you like holiday music. Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images, who have the photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. This image has not been altered in any way. We thank Getty Images for sharing. Enjoy…and Happy Holidays. Special thanks to DJ Tschugge for compiling the list, along with the team at the Media Bunker and Perception Engineering.

Christmas One More Time II

The second in our series of hand-selected and carefully curated Christmas Music Playlists. You can listen to the playlist via our friends at Spotify.

You can enjoy the entire playlist through the courtesy of our friends at Spotify via Spotify’s excellent web player. Special note: when you click the link, you will be taken to Spotify’s web player. There, you’ll have a couple of choices: sign in if you currently have a Spotify account; or signup for a free Spotify account (you’ll be glad you did) Here’s that link Either way, you should check it out if you like music, Holiday or otherwise. The holidays are a great time to discover a lot of great new music. Enjoy…and Happy Holidays. Special thanks to DJ Tschugge for compiling the list, along with the team at the Media Bunker. 

Christmas One More Time I(COMT I)

The Hunt For New (Christmas)Music:
For over a decade, I’ve been putting together a Christmas playlist.
The goal is simple: Introduce friends to new Christmas music they probably haven’t heard, or old Christmas music performed in a new version by a new artist or reprising some traditional holiday songs. In the spirit of Christmas, it’s time to share these lists, all of them, starting with the very first playlist. There are now 17 lists in total and they will be posted every few days starting on  December 1st. Along the way, we will toss in some Christmas classic videos, with music and videos and Christmas themed post running all the way up to Christmas day, 2019.
It’s the season for great music–Christmas and otherwise–so spread the spirit of the season by playing and sharing. These Christmas lists are are available for you to listen to now, on Spotify. Click the link and you can play from the Spotify embed.

 

You can enjoy the entire playlist through the courtesy of our friends at Spotify via Spotify’s excellent web player. Special note: when you click the link, you will be taken to Spotify’s web player. There, you’ll have a couple of choices: sign in if you currently have a Spotify account; or signup for a free Spotify account (you’ll be glad you did) Here’s that link Either way, you should check it out if you like music.  The holidays are a great time to enjoy a lot of great music. Enjoy…and Happy Holidays. Special thanks to DJ Tschugge for compiling the list, along with the team at the Media Bunker. 

Beazely Design Awards 2019

We have a long-standing love affair with all forms of design here in the Media Bunker, and in particular with architecture, graphic, and industrial design. So, it was with great joy when we noticed that the overall Winner of the Beazely Design Awards for 2019 was a map that explored the dimensions of Amazon’s rather amazing Alexa device, a machine that combines Artificial Intelligence, speech recognition, the internet, music, and several other capabilities into an easy-to-use device that can fill many of your daily needs, including a few you didn’t know you had.

As media pioneer, America’s Cup winner, and entrepreneur (and Media Bunker/Perception Engineering fav) Ted Turner once said, “it ain’t as easy as it looks”.

So, here it is: a map that explains the anatomy of an AI system.

Give it some time. We can almost certainly guarantee that the next time one of your friends wants to talk about AI or Alexa or any of Amazon’s “Echo ” devices, you will be the most prepared intellectually. Enjoy.

The Fine Print: Link courtesy of DesignMuseum.org, from the 2019 winners of the Beazley Designs of the Year. Photo courtesy of Getty News, who have the photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. This photo has not been altered in any manner. We thank them for sharing. Post produced by the Media Bunker and Perception Engineering, with copyright (c)2019 held by Southchester Group LLC.

Can Colin Kaepernick Still Play In The NFL

Kap’s back. Or is He. Read FiveThiryEight.com’s reasoned, fact-based analysis of the activist/former QB

Last weekend, ex-NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick participated in a workout that was originally designed to showcase his talents for NFL teams that might need a quarterback, more or less immediately. Kaepernick, or “Kap” as he called by announcers and team mates, was staging the workout in conjunction with the NFL; he has not played in the league in three years and in the past has made a case against the league for “blackballing” him because of his political activism (i.e. he kneeled during the playing of the national anthem at football games to protest police brutality). Pretty heady stuff for a player who once took a team to the Super Bowl. Kap eventually filed a suit against the league for various grievances and it was settled in his favor (he got lots of money) and contends that he now wants to play in the NFL again, but is not being allowed to because of his beliefs and potential activism. His position on playing and the league’s reasons for him not playing are a subject of much debate and will not be taken up here, but it’s important to know that at the time he quit playing for the San Francisco 49’ers he had a contract offer on the table (he didn’t think it was good enough and so decided to see what free agency would bring). Which was nothing, partially because he could be considered “disruptive” to a team’s discipline but more likely because he was 1-10 won/lost in his last season as a starter for the 49’ers and so not exactly a sure thing winner.

There are lots of disputing viewpoints on how Kaepernick’s “tryout” went but the simple fact of the matter is it did not go well, did not take place at the schedule venue, involved a last minute dispute on participation waivers, and lost a lot of the scouts who had traveled to see it because of the location switch. So, on a lot of fronts and all sides–the NFL and Kap and his advisors–share some responsibility for an event that botched (amazing to me that his reps didn’t clear ALL the paperwork before scheduling the “workout”…something anyone involved with sports and events should do as a matter of professional guidance).

But no need to rehash the present with emotional viewpoints, but instead to get a totally unbiased, unemotional take on whether or not the guy can still play. For that, we turn to this video, produced by the gang at FiveThirtyEight.com (you need to follow them) which details how the former pro quarterback would rank with today’s QBs. Click the link above and enjoy an unsentimental look at a player whose time has probably passed.

The Fine Print: Video produced and courtesy of FiveThirtyEight.com via YouTube..this video has not been altered in any way; all rights belong to their respective holders. We thank FiveThirtyEight.com and YouTube for sharing. You should follow them–they have the numbers for the life we lead now and are masters of the art of statistics. Their take on Kap and his potential today is realistic and unemotional and intelligent. Well done. Post produced by the Media Bunker and Perception Engineering. donaldpierce.com is (c)2019, donald pierce.

Enough

Embed from Getty Images

Really–enough is enough. Here are some (but certainly not all) people, places, and things that have worn out their media/cultural/societal welcome. You may be familiar with some or all of them, but–even if not–take it from us, we’ve heard and/or seen way too much of them recently and they should bug off.

The current list:

Lavar Ball, Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball, LiAngelo Ball and the failed Big Baller Brand 

Rudolph Giuliani

CBS Morning News Staff Shuffles

Boeing 737 Max management team

“Breaking News” lead-ins

$250 basketball shoes

Any Kardashian 

Instagram “Influencers”

College Admissions Scandals

“Stable Genius” self-pronouncements (from those who can’t spell)

NFL Players Behaving Badly

Think how much better your life would be if you never hear of any of these people, places, or things again. Cut them out of your attention span. 

Enough.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday for many Americans. While the common assumption is that the favorite holiday is Christmas, that’s not necessarily true. Although most of us love the Christmas season, the holiday itself –Christmas, The Big Day–is full of stress, expensive, all-too-often -demanding (on both diet and finances and travel) , something to be survived vs. enjoyed. The expectations are just too high.

Thanksgiving, however, is a totally different deal. You can enjoy a great meal with friends and family (just remember: no politics at the dining table), listen to the seasonal music and watch the seasonal TV shows, catch a great holiday sporting event, and emerge relatively unscathed from the event (except for a few extra pounds).

And so, in the spirit of brotherhood and fine food and wine, we have decided to promote a little Thanksgiving thought-piece: if you could have your choice of anyone in the world to share that once-a-year Thanksgiving meal with, who would it be. The idea is to gather a group of your own best and brightest and fill out the table. The format is simple: a dining room table with room for 8 guests. That’s a manageable number of guests. That means eight chairs to be filled. No relatives, please..you can see them another time and that’s too easy a choice for this project. Instead, make a wish list of the people you’d like spend a few hours with: entertainers, writers, leaders, businessmen, sportsmen, athletes, commentators, artists, comedians. It’s your table, you make out the list. Have at it and send your Ultimate Thanksgiving Guest List to us at the Media Bunker. (admin@donaldpierce.com).

The top 5 lists get published–judging is based on the thoughts and preferences and, dare we say it, intellectual bias, of the staff in the Media Bunker and at Perception Engineering. But–and this is important–every list will be read and pondered. A few ground rules: everyone you would invite has to be alive at the time the list is prepared, highly charged political figures are to be excluded (we get enough of that in daily life), and the invitees have to actually exist (i.e. you cannot invite a Chewbacca or some other tv/movie character). Your list should contain eight names, spelled correctly, with a note to the side about who they are–college professor, novelist, film director, writer, religious leader. All entrants receive a free, one year subscription to donaldpierce.com (which is, as you’ve noticed, already free but it does sound nifty. The form is below. Hop to it. To get you going, we’ve made up a few guest lists just as inspiration

A Sample Thanksgiving Guest List

Seth Meyers Late night TV Host

Warren Buffett Investor

Jose Altuve Professional Baseball Player

Roger Penske Entrepreneur, race team owner

Gloria Steinem Author, feminist

Reese Witherspoon Actress, Southerner

George Lucas Film maker (Star Wars, Indiana Jones )

Retired Admiral Bill McRaven Former top SEAL Commander, planned Bin Laden raid

Another Thanksgiving Guest List

Thomas Keller One of the top chefs in America

Paul Simon Songwriter, entertainer

Anna Wintour Editor of Vogue Magazine

Daniel Weiss Head of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

Bill Gates Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Dr. Peter Mansell Immunologist, former head of Louis Pasteur Institute

Phil Mickelson Professional Golfer, 5x Majors Winner

Jeff Bezos Entrepreneur, CEO of Amazon

You get the idea…..the best and the brightest from a wide variety of fields and professions, to provide a once in a lifetime conversation that expands the boundaries of thought for everyone attending Got it? Hop to it. Look forward to seeing your thoughts.

The Fine Print: Send an an email with your eight choices, and the reasons why you selected them, for Thanksgiving dinner attendees to admin@donaldpierce.com . We will read all of them and, if past is prologue, will publish all of them on the site. Obviously rude, derogatory, or poorly mannered communications will be deleted. Image courtesy of Getty Images (www.gettyimages.com) , who have the photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. This photo has not been altered in any way. We thank them for sharing; donaldpierce.com is produced by the Media Bunker and Perception Engineering. Contents (c) 2019 donaldpierce.