December 16th @ Free Times Café

You know what we need in Canada now? And please don’t stop reading this and go away to think hard about what we really need in Canada now and engage in weighty discussions with friends and family and then, in a week or two, email me your considered comments, because I’m not really interested in what you think we need in Canada, this is just a literary device to let me say what I was going to say in any event. And what I was going to say was what we need in Canada is a holiday in November.

I know we have Labour Day in September and Thanksgiving in October, which is where it belongs, not in late November like they have in the U.S., and then after a bit of a wait we have Christmas and Boxing Day and that works out to four holidays in four months which is one a month and that seems about right. And of course there’s also Hallowe’en which isn’t a holiday that you get to skip work for (which is really what a holiday is all about) but it’s still a holiday.

I get all that. The reason I want a holiday in November is not because we need the holiday itself, it’s more that having a holiday in November postpones the onslaught of Christmas advertising, songs, etc., for a while. Because the reality in this country is that once the decorations go down for Hallowe’en they go up for Christmas and they stay up until the end of December (and if you want to call the event that is being celebrated with Santas, and Christmas trees and Christmas carols something like the winter holidays and not Christmas go ahead – but we all know what’s going on).

We spend two months being unable to escape Christmas. Think of it, in Canada 1/6 of the year is spent in overt pre-Christmas anticipation. And sure you may not be spending that time anticipating Christmas but it’s hard to avoid it whenever you go out into the world because it is everywhere.

It’s not that I’m some sort of hard-hearted Grinch (well maybe I am, but that’s not why I’m writing this) it’s just that holidays don’t need that much of a build-up – in fact, it takes away from the specialness. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about a holiday, but if you can say “Just 45 sleeps to Christmas” I think we can all agree that’s too long.

Let me give you an idea of the right space between anticipating an event and the event itself. And for this example I will draw from the real life experiences of Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room – and be sure to pre-order my new book – Everything I Learned in Life I Learned From Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room – available at all fine book stores and on-line if I ever get around to writing it.

On Sunday, December 16th, we will be holding our annual, much-anticipated, all-request show. Every December we ask you to pick the songs we are going to play at our all-request show. That’s pretty exciting isn’t it? And we let everyone in on the fun. If you’ve seen the band, if you haven’t seen the band, if you’re coming to the show, if you wouldn’t be caught dead at the show – everyone gets a vote. But, because we want this to be special, we make the voting period a short one so the thrill is there – but you have to act fast.

And how do you get that thrill? Easy – just go to http://www.galr.ca/vote/. Once you get there you will find over 350 songs. Browse amongst the tunes, be amazed at the breadth of our musical palette, and imagine how great the songs you pick will sound when (if) we play them. Pick one, pick ten, pick 25 or 30 (we don’t usually do 30 songs in a night but hey – knock yourself out). Vote early and vote often. But vote soon because voting will close on December 15th.

And of course we hope you will join us on Dec. 16th at 8 pm at the Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina) to hear the most popular songs as chosen by you, played by us. In addition to the great music, there will be lots to eat and drink as well. And because we want to make this as special as we can, there is no cover for those who voted or any guest that a voter brings along. How much more special can it be.

Hope to see you there.

Jonathan

P.S. When you go to the site you will note that you can’t vote for any of the bagpipe tunes. That’s because research has shown that for a substantial portion of the public knowing that bagpipes will be played at a show tends to replace feelings of anticipation with those of dread.

December 16th Set List:
Set #1:Set #2:
Christmas Medley (Bagpipes)
I Believe In Father Christmas
Mr. Grinch
Echo Beach
Breathe In Breathe Out
Sister Goldenhair
Cry If You Want To
Famous Blue Raincoat
Redemption Song
Hasn’t Hit Me Yet
Song For A Winter’s Night
Sway
Glenora Ferry
All You Need Is Love
Lost On The Bayou
I Can See Clearly
Until I Met You
Girl In The Transparent Dress
Have I The Right
Saskatchewan Sky
Drinking Whiskey Like Water
People Are Crazy
Rocket Man
Down In The Boondocks
Bang Bang
C’est La Vie
Come Together