Ringing in the New Yearish Times.

Howdy folks. I’m sure that you’ve missed me as much as I’ve missed you guys. Holidays are over, school has started and everyone has a bit less time on their hands than before. And that, is Fantastic. Going to take this opportunity to express my devout gratitude to you guys for sticking with us this long and hope that you stick with us for another year. (Regardless of how often we do/do not update) Here’s to new loves, new joys, and new music to your ears. Cheers!

XIV

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13 or XIV Days of Christmas: Christmas Day Finale

So, it comes down to this. I had a few other people to throw some at, but I really couldn’t see another post coming that would have been totally different than the one for my siblings. Thus, I’ll dedicate this post to all of the people who helped shape our music loves. So, unfortunately, this post won’t have a long drawn out musical score, but I’m going to give you a simple song to listen to as a Christmas Present.

As a simple post, mainly cause my head is killing me, this is kinda  small I know. But, we’ll be  back next year and we’ll have a whole bunch of fun and disaster in store for you. Till then,

Thanks for following us this far, we’ll be glad to see you again soon.

XIV

13 or XIV Days of Christmas: Day 8

And now for the second post of the day. It’s Christmas Eve night, the perfect time to spotlight my favorite Christmas song and quite possibly my favorite hymn ever, “O Holy Night”. The first version of this song I have for you today is my favorite, a rock version performed by Barlow Girl.  I was thrilled to be able to get the girls in my high school pop/rock choir Unity to perform this back when I was a part of that group, and now I get to share it with you all. This version has it all; smooth harmonies, heavily guitar, violins, and power. What more could a fan of rock and Christmas ask for? Not much:

As awesome as that was, the song doesn’t really need anything extra to shine. That’s one of the great things about this hymn: it’s beauty and power are almost entirely self-contained in the melody. All it needs is a good voice to sing it. So I’ll cap you off with one of the finer voices around, that of Broadway and Glee star Lea Michele.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and experience the awe and majesty of this Holy night.

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13 or XIV Days of Christmas: Day 7

Christmas is my favorite time of year. Always has been. I know that as many people get older and start having to worry about more things, like last-minute Christmas shopping and money and kids and commercialism and careers and bills and everything else, Christmas starts to lose its joy, but that hasn’t happened for me yet, and I hope it never will. I love that this holiday is one in which we can remember the birth of our Savior by thinking about others instead of ourselves. Yes, I realize that’s not why everyone does it. But Christmas is still a great time of year, as long as you are putting others before yourself, remembering and spending time with family and friends, and looking at the world in a more loving way.

In the spirit of all that, I offer up this song by tobyMac and Nirva Dorsaint. “This Christmas” is a great song about adopting a kid from an orphanage for Christmas. It’s really catchy and it makes your heart feel good:

Since today is Christmas Eve, I’ll be returning with a bonus post later today, so be sure to check back. It’s going to be a really special one. Until then, Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

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13 or XIV Days of Christmas: Day 6

Alright folks, today I promised you something totally different from yesterday, and this is me delivering on that promise. Yesterday, we rocked out with My Chemical Romance on a cover of an already modern pop hit; today we’ll calm down a bit and listen as Nicole C. Mullen covers an old but wonderful Christmas hymn.

If you’ve ever heard of Nicole before, you know why she’s on my list: she has an amazingly beautiful voice. I don’t mean that she belts out high notes like Christina Aguilera or Kelly Clarkson (although she actually probably can belt a lot of them if she wants), I mean that she knows how to give a song the perfect little nuances it requires to reach out from the radio and touch you personally. I’ve said before that I like my music with a heavy dose of emotion, and you can hear that perfectly in Nicole’s music. So, interestingly, I like Nicole for the same reason I like Foxy Shazam, My Chemical Romance, or Avenged Sevenfold. They sound nothing alike, but they all have that special way of singing that conveys their music to the listener as something more than just a catchy tune. The difference between Nicole and the others is that she doesn’t have to belt to get her point across. Sometimes she says it loud, and just as often she says it quietly, but she always says it clearly. She is ever aware of the mood and how to use it to express the heart of what she is singing.

Today’s cover is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. This song is one of my favorite hymns, and it’s the perfect one for Nicole. Some people just go through the motions when they sing this song, just like any other holiday tune, but that doesn’t really work. This is a prayer, a proclamation. This is a song of desire, of redemption, and of everlasting hope. The singer is asking the Savior to come and save the people from this rough world, to save them from the oppression which they (the Israelites) have undergone in exile.  She is telling us that He will come. You probably know that that’s what the song is about, but when you hear Nicole sing it, you’ll understand.

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13 or XIV Days of Christmas: Day 5

As you all know, XIV shocked the blog back to life the other day with a 4-part mega-post to get this Christmas thing started. Personally, I’m glad to be back. This semester has been the most grueling one I’ve ever taken, though I’m proud to say I made it through in one piece. My grades weren’t all as high as I would like, but I did very well where it counted most. XIV and I have plenty of ideas for upcoming blog material, so rest assured you should start to see some stuff popping up more regularly in the future.

Enough about my personal life though, you’re here to listen to some music. XIV originally thought it would be cool for both of us to share songs that remind us of the people who are special to us as a countdown to the Holiday. I liked the idea too, but after some thought, I decided that in addition to Christmas sentiment, I would also like to post some actual Christmas music. So I’m calling an audible. XIV will continue with the original plan on his days, but on my days I will share with you some of my favorite modern (or at least modernized) Christmas songs. I love Christmas music, so I am really excited to be able to bring these to you this holiday season.

The first entry for me will be a song you’ve probably heard on repeat every holiday season since it came out, and depending on who you are, you probably either love it or hate it. Fortunately for those of you who hate it, the version I am sharing with you today is not the version you’ve been listening to:

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one other than that I love that MyChem took on a Mariah Carey song and showed it could hold its own as a rock number. Listening to the original, you wouldn’t expect it, but it lends itself surprisingly well to this take.

If this cover wasn’t your cup of tea, have no worries. The next entry in my list will be totally different.

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13 or XIV Days of Christmas: Days 1-4

Okay, I might be cheating. I”m probably cheating. However, I’ve got good reason for it. I’ve got four sisters, and taking all that into consideration I didn’t feel right making four brand new posts about them. So, I plan on just making a longish post about the whole group. Let’s start from the youngest to the oldest. Because you aren’t getting any younger reading this, and I’m getting better looking as I type this:

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