What's Christmas all about again? Someone's birthday or something? The 25th of December now means different things to different people. So in the run-up to Santa's arrival we'll be asking some of Scotland's music makers what their Christmas message is. First up is Peter Kelly, who has caused quite a stir this year under the guise of Beerjacket...
I must have been maybe eight or nine when I caught my Mum out on a lie for the very first time.
Christmas was but weeks away and the existence (or otherwise) of Santa Claus was a heated topic within my class at primary school. I was a fervent, card-carrying believer in him, flying in the face of the frosty cynics with (and from) whom I learned as a child.
But doubts had been planted in my mind.
Mum has always been an overly cautious driver and she was focusing fully on a tricky mini-roundabout. She was therefore caught unawares when I told her, “Some kids at school have been saying Santa Claus isn’t real.”
Fixated as she was on her manoeuvre, her parental consciousness depleted, she added her concurrence to the matter: “Yes - that’s true.”
Come on, Mum. Everyone knows Santa is for real
Christmas has always been a source of great joy for me. It’s December and I’m a child again. I love the lights... I love the sounds... I love the irrational sniggering happiness of it all. It’s like everybody’s birthday at once. Yes, I know, it’s one particular person’s birthday.
It’s my mate Ross’s birthday. Happy Birthday when it comes, Ross.
I even love the music. And I don’t mean the cool music (Low’s beautiful Christmas EP, Frightened Rabbit’s stunning It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop, the impeccable Sufjan Stevens 5-CD Christmas compendium...) or even the ironic, you-only-like-it-because-you’re-aware-it-sucks music (Christmas Wrapping... Merry Christmas Everybody...). No, I mean, like Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. Like, Do They Know It’s Christmas? Even Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day. I love those songs. In fact, I’m gutted that ill health has prevented me from contributing to the Avalanche Records Christmas album because I had either a Mariah Carey cover or a similarly sappy original song planned for inclusion. Christmas is not only an opportunity not be cool, it is MANDATORY not to be cool.So this is Christmas. And what have you done?
Well, I suppose this might have been the year when my musical project Beerjacket was sort of legitimised in the public eye. A fairly self-destructive rather than self-indulgent solo project, as it has been, I’ve been at this for five years now. It’s never been especially festive given its cheery themes of isolation, disillusion and passive aggression, therefore I’ve generally avoided the month of December for public outings when I’ve run into the likes of female rugby team Christmas nights out when I played shows, more or less into the face of the wind. This year - the year when Beerjacket was outlandishly endorsed by the ohmygoodness likes of Rolling Stone
– has been no different. I hung up my cloak for now in November, at least till sometime next year, playing out my final show of 2009 for Glasgow PodcART. It was a pretty emotional night for me, putting a full stop to this very successful, if tumultuous year.And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.
Well, without fear, what exactly would I write about? What exactly would anyone write about? I’ve actually shelved immediately plans for a new album for now, so soon (too soon?) after Animosity
as I wait to discover what, if anything, I really need to let people hear. I plan to record a few months from now (I had planned to commit an album to tape before the end of the year… but what exactly is the hurry?) and if/when I do, I feel sure it’ll make as excellent a Christmas gift for all the family in 2010 as my current album would certainly make this Christmas, which one can easily find in quality record stores such as Avalanche in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as at iTunes, Amazon MP3 and eMusic.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.Beerjacket: Drum
Labels: beerjacket, christmas, guest blogger, Peter Kelly