Most of us have holiday traditions that we have adhered to since childhood. Watching a particular movie (Albert Finney’s 1970 version of Scrooge). Attending the same neighborhood Christmas Eve fete. My brother and I knew that no matter how early we woke up we would have to say a prayer before our antique nativity scene before we could even see our haul from Santa. When everything else had been torn open, we would always find a Clementine at the bottom of our stockings.
It is impossible to imagine Christmas without these rituals. The first time it was suggested that we maybe open presents on Christmas Eve (rather than Christmas morning), the idea was treated as blasphemy and shot down almost immediately.
Holiday music retains an equally precious place in our hearts. From hymns and carols (“O Come All Ye Faithful”) to modern classics (“All I Want For Christmas Is You”) creating new versions of these old favorites is a delicate proposition. Done incorrectly and the listener feels violated; that scene in The Santa Clause where Scott Calvin is utterly horrified to see Santa Claus ditching his sleigh for a panzer.
The holidays are a time of friendly gatherings, a time of joy, a time of cheer, blah blah blah…but, have you ever had one of those kinds of Christmases or holidays? There’s so much storytelling surrounding these traditional celebrations, but what if you don’t feel much like celebrating? There’s a story there too.
Like certain music blogs or labels, we all have those friends that we can turn to for a good band recommendation. More often than not, when those people tell you that a band is good – they are right. That is precisely how I became acquainted with Bay Area indie rockers, Picture Atlantic. Somewhere between winding down from a California tour this past August and pushing through the final stages of a brand new EP titled When Everything Is Numbers, band membersNik Bartunek and Ryan Blair were able to put together a gut squirming mixtape definitely evocative of their own raw, emotive sound. In it they reflect on the tricky part of growing up that I like to call “freshman year of life.” Rather than elaborate myself, I’ll let Nik and Ryan explain what they’ve called “22 Going On 40 – The Soundtrack For Growing Up.” And make sure to check out a couple of Picture Atlantic’s own tunes at the end of the article – a free download of “Muses” as well as a track off their new EP!