Archive | December 2006

Listening Post– Last Minute Christmas Songs

For those of you making the last-minute mixes for Christmas Day– check out this guy's page– whole bunch of mp3's of all your favorite goofy Christmas songs. Happy Holidays!

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Listening Post — top 3 Christmas songs

Marvin gaye - I Want to Come Home for Christmas
Roger Miller - Little Toy Trains

They're all old songs, but I've never heard them before this year and they're all essential.

1)  Marvin Gaye– I Want To Come Home for Christmas
I don't know anyone who's heard of this song.  Marvin was singing from the perspective of a soldier in Vietnam; where's the soldier's-eye-view song of Christmas in Iraq?  Until we get one, this song will more than do.

2) Brenda Lee– I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus
Never was familiar with her stuff until a few weeks ago (she's the "I'm sorry, so sorry" gal you might have heard in a commercial or two), and I've had a good time exploring her unique stylings– this is my favorite because its rhyme structure is so unpredictable.

3) Roger Miller– Little Toy Trains
This is the one everybody seems to know but I've somehow missed– it's got that little touch of melancholy that always pervades Christmas for me– but now tinged with joy at having a new son who will be getting his own toy trains from me soon enough [or a Playstation 8…. or whatever the grabby little bugger thinks he has to have that week……]

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Listening Post — The Beatles “Love”

Saw "Beatles Love" in Vegas about a month into the run from the cheapest nosebleed seats and it was terrific– a bargain at twice the price and distance.  My Beatles-loving parents have already gone back to see it.  And the music has been cleaned up, remastered and remixed in ways that let you hear it as if for the first time.  Here's "Strawberry Fields" done up chronologically from rough acoustic sketch to full-blown psychedelic freakout, with several other Beatles tunes laid over the ending "mashup-style," a trick the album repeats throughout with fascinating results.  I'm listening to it non-stop.  Also below is some video of the show– the picture is way too dark but it gives you a taste. 

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NewCity calls Santaland “#1 Show to See Now”

* The Santaland Diaries*

It was the monologue that launched a career. First heard on public radio in 1992, David Sedaris¹ eight-minute Christmas memoir‹a detail-filled recitation of humiliations suffered (and dished out) by the author during his stint as a Macy¹s department-store elf‹became an instant classic, and was later deemed worthy enough to be included in two of the writer¹s essay collections. Despite its unlikely literary beginnings, "The Santaland Diaries" has become holiday mainstay for the stage, expanded into a ninety-minute work performed by a solitary actor who channels (or doesn¹t) the deadpan Sedaris-as-elf delivery. Locally, the face most associated with this role is Chicago actor Lance Stuart Baker, a likable performer at ease with the material and a lizard-eyed delivery that is winning in its acerbity. But the performance could use some trims here and there. Baker tends to lean too hard on the sarcasm (why underscore what is self-evident in the script?) but to his credit he has made the part his own. Under the direction of Jeremy Wechsler, the Theater Wit production is an especially loosey-goosey affair, which seems just right. The play demands not reverence, but a jaded sort of jolliness that allows for priceless ad-libbing in the direction of late arrivals and the occasional malfunctioning prop. – Nina Metz

* Sundays at 3pm & 7pm, Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 7:30pm & 9:30pm and Saturdays at 7:30pm & 9:30pm Ends Saturday, December 30 *
*Theatre Building* 1225 W. Belmont Chicago [map] (773)327-5252

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Mini review of Santaland on Chicago Public Radio

"David Sedaris' monologue 'The Santaland Diaries' is being done by Lance Stuart Baker, who is a Chicago treasure. He's such a good dramatic actor that he very rarely gets to do comedy. This is an opportunity to see him. Don't miss it." Kelly Kleiman on "Eight-Forty-Eight" WBEZ 91.5fm 12/8/06

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Review of Santaland — Chicago Reader

*THE SANTALAND DIARIES*Lance Baker returns after an absence of three years to play the role that put him on the map in Chicago: delivering David Sedaris's bitter, witty holiday memoir about working as a Macy's elf in New York. Baker remains remarkably fresh in a monologue he's performed on and off since the late 90s, and he does well at re-creating the two sides of Sedaris's comic pose: sweet innocence and a hip world-weariness. But some of the script's pop-culture references are beginning to show their age, in particular a sequence making fun of the once ubiquitous Phil Collins. *–Jack Helbig* Through 12/30: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 7:30 and 9:30 PM, Sun 3 and 7 PM, no show Sun 12/24, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $20-$24.

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TRUEBLINKA by Adam Rapp directed by Anthony Moseley

"They are brilliant. They are absolutely briliant….If you thought the absurd into violent of Pillowman was exciting, then this is your cup of tea." Kelly Kleinman

$5 tickets to the shows Thur., Dec. 7 and Sun. Dec. 10 2 for 1 tickets on Fri., Dec. 8 and Sat., Dec 9

MUST CLOSE DEC. 17th! Take advantage of this offer now!

Just e-mail your reservation to If you don't hear back, consider your reservation confirmed.

go to for more information

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Christmas!!!, originally uploaded by lance & kimberly.

Have a great holiday season. Lance, Kimberly, Noah

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