Merry Happy Christmas Holidays

Hey everyone, all the best and merry merry happy happy from James and Aaron this 2019 season!

I know content has fallen off around here from my (Aaron)’s end, but James is still providing the quality content we’ve loved for years and that’s the special sauce. No updates on when/if I’ll get back to this regularly, who knows, but it’s Christmas and I thought you might wanna see the music-related goodies that found their way to me this year… and oh, there was goodness!

Of course, there were other things… I mean, I got a new Tilley hat. My old one (from 1992, I think) is finally beaten enough to be a beach-only hat. So now I can wear this new one for 27 years before I need another new one! See you in 2046, Tilley! Best hats ever. And I got a boxed set of DVDs of 5 Kurosawa films I haven’t ever seen, and that’s solid gold. I love Kurosawa. A few other goodies too, like a subscription to my hockey magazine, and new snowpants for whenever I need to get out the snowblower (not even once this year, yet, which is unnerving and weird)…

Anyway, you wanna see the music-y goodness…


This book always intrigued me, and I see there are other later editions too (which would update things), but this seems to be the first one and it covers a huge swath of the incredible output of this amazing (I love them dearly) collective of people’s music. I think of this as the paperback edition of the site.


This new Opeth album (In Cauda Venenum) was on my wishlist, as I own all their other studio albums (I think) and the completist in me was getting twitchy… It’s 2 CDs, the first all in Swedish, the second all in English. Can’t wait to dig in and see what they’re up to this time around!


This book has been on my wishlist a while, and this year it came to me as a gift! I’ll be curious to see what all is in here, how it differs from the Never-Ending Present book, and so on. Hip Forever! We miss you dearly, Gord.


Yup, this is the double silver-LPs edition. I don’t want to pick a favourite Hip album (that’s like choosing a favourite child, you just don’t do it), but this one ranks very very highly for me, in their discography. This set is glorious all around!


So yeah, it’s been a beautiful Christmas here, lots of family visiting time, and some bittersweet as it’s the first Christmas without my lovely wife’s Dad. But there was so much amazing food, and a fog so thick it caused zero visibility advisories and we couldn’t get home last night and had to stay over and I had to miss work today. The kids are at the right age to be amazing though it all, and they were truely wired for sound and loving every minute of it, so all in all it’s been wonderful.

I hope Santa was good to you, and you were able to get together with family and friends and make the most of it all, safe and warm and loved and happy.

Cheers, everyone!


PS. I am making my annual Best Of 2019 list, and will try to get that posted before the 31st.

20 thoughts on “Merry Happy Christmas Holidays

  1. Heavy Metal Overload says:

    Merry Christmas to you and all the gang! Glad you had a good time.

    Sweet Xmas haul you got there. I got a sweet Venom vinyl box set with lots of rare stuff on it. That’ll keep me amused for a while.

    Bring on the yearly list!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks HMO! It was a good time, best to have family together (and eat way too much ha!). I love the sound of a Venom boxed set. It just warms the heart. Well done!


  2. mikeladano says:

    Merry Christmas! That Opeth made it onto a few lists on my end too.

    The silver vinyl looks great. I don’t know why putting a different colour on it seems to make it better 🙂

    The Never Ending Discography is right! That thing could definitely become essential.



    1. keepsmealive says:

      Merry Christmas Dude! I don’t usually care about colour vinyl, it doesn’t affect anything, but when that one dropped it went on my wishlist immediately. It sure is pretty, and I love love love that whole album, every note.

      The GBV discography is wild and wide and it is no small feat to try to make sense of it all. This Thompson guy should probably be given an award for trying.

      Happy New Year to you and yours too! And tell Mrs. Lebrain I am right there with her, cheering on these no-defense, all-offense, multiple players hurt, new coach Leafs!


  3. deKE says:

    I second what Mr. Snow posted! Our Xmas was kinda chill this year. With ever possible teachers strike looming Sue may be on strike. Having said that the girls got what they asked for as they never ask for much and the bonus of it all is we bought all there gifts off of Amazon back in early December so it got here quick!

    The Girls got me two books (One being the Steve Gorman book) and Metallica’s Master of Puppets on vinyl as I only ever had that one Cassette and CD.
    A simple yet very effective Xmas here in Tbay, Mr. Books.

    Now we wait for the snow to hit Sunday into Monday with approximately 25-40 cm’s of snow! It’s ok as I’m off till the 6th of January!

    Snowblind! hahaha. Hope Cindy and kids are fine on your end!

    Later Fella,



    1. keepsmealive says:

      Chill Christmas is just what the Doctor Doctor ordered. Teachers strike will be what it will be (we had one Work To Rule day here a while back). Early shopping is the best – we try to be done by December 1st. I don’t do crowds.

      My sister was so mad about that Gorman book, but I told her working with those two a-holes surely wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows so she’s gotta rein in her bias a bit haha! Mmmmm Master on vinyl. Yessss…

      Snow! I wish. So mild here. There was a wee little bit on the lawn so we can technically say we’ve had a white Christmas, but not really. When you’re done with it, send it here! We need it!

      More like fogblind, Deke! Man, I couldn’t see further than 20′ in front of the car, and white all around. Crazy bad. So glad we turned around, especially with the family in the car. So yup, we’re all good. Home now and trying to undo several days of indulgence and approbation and wild-eyed children!

      All the best to you and yours up there in the great white north!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. deKE says:

        Well, the Teachers strike hits home as the Boss works for the school board so it’s a little too close for comfort. But your right it is what it is and as I tell Sue we shall cross that bridge when we have too!


      1. J. says:

        Yeah, they’ve had a smashing few days. To be honest, they’ve been more excited about me being home for a few extra days!


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