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Sunday, October 31, 2010

227. "In the Absence of Christmas" by Charlie McDonnell

Eden requested this one just about every day in October, and I promised her that if the randomizer didn't pick it by Halloween, I'd do it then. So here it is.

Actually a pretty disturbing song, chilly and stark in its original incarnation, I tried to make it even starker and chillier at the same time as expanding its arrangement. I thought that would be difficult, but it flowed pretty naturally and it gets pretty convincingly crazed at about the point where it should. I usually don't place much emphasis on the sound effects in songs-- in fact, as a rule I tend to dislike them rather intensely, but I've spent so much time on elaborate Halloween mix tapes over the decades that I tend to make an exception for one month and one milieu-- but I like how, on this one, the wind at the beginning reads (to me) like a spooky haunted house exterior type of thing, but by the end, coupled with the sleigh bells, it's clearly something from the depths of winter itself. The pounding drums toward the end and on the fadeout are indeed jacked from Peter Gabriel's "Intruder", as disturbing a portrait of a deranged individual as you could ever want, and it feels appropriate. Santa comes off as a bit of a sociopath, and the overprotective parents are their own kind of monsters... Gabriel in his prime would have been proud.

Rex ~ Everything except
Eden ~ Backing vocals

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