the Buzz for December 17th, 2010


Wham! — “Last Christmas” (from Twenty Five) — Last Christmas (Remastered 2006) - Twenty Five

Last night, A and I tromped down to the Alamo Drafthouse to take part in the annual Christmas Pops sing-along, which was an odd melange of the off-the-wall (John Denver and the Muppets doing “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” or Charo and Pee-Wee Herman ripping through “Feliz Navidad” on Pee Wee’s Playhouse) and the emotionally gripping (Sinead O’Connor’s aching take on
“Silent Night,” and, of course, John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”). And after the show, we joined the other hundred-odd theatergoers out on Austin’s 6th Street for what is evidently an annual tradition called “Renegade Caroling,” wherein we all — each of us wearing felt Santa hats and brandishing jingle bell bracelets — ambushed a series of unsuspecting fools on the street and sang one of the evening’s songs to that person at the top of our lungs while they beheld us with a palpable mix of admiration, astonishment, and fear. The three songs that we sang to people most often during Renegade Caroling were: Mariah Carey’s 1994 classic “All I Want for Christmas is You” (which A — temporarily forgetting that the Buzz is largely a Mariah-free zone — actually suggested should be today’s dispatch from the Hive); this classic from Wham! (whose emergence as something of a modern Christmas standard has always mystified me, seeing as it has almost nothing to do with Christmas and is, instead, a rather depressing love-gone-wretched ballad); and, uh, Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake’s riotously randy ’tis-better-to-give ode
“Dick in a Box” (don’t ask). It became instantly clear to me that one of this gleaming triptych would stand as Friday’s song of the day, and since a) I’m ever looking for ways to pull the eternally, heartbreakingly gorgeous George Michael into the daily discourse; and b) I spent the entire ride home driving A positively mad singing select lyrics from “Last Christmas” with entirely apropos passion
(“a man undah-covah / but you TORE ME UH-PART!”), the choice was eminently and decidedly clear.