Joshua Reynes

The Musical Mystery of the Holiday Season, Actually [PAWPRINTS S1E2]

Mello Mellon (Chad Mellon '18) and J.Rey (Joshua Reynes '18) explore the commercial holiday season and DMX's new rendition of a beloved Christmas classic.

December 11, 2017

The meaning of the Christmas holiday season may vary from person to person, but an inescapable binding agent fills the ears of any driver, pedestrian, or shopper who happens to be out and about. The conspiracy of commercial holiday music in an industry chockful of Christmas albums as seen from acts like Mariah Carey and Michael Buble, who “disappear” for the year only with a resurgence of performances during the Christmas season. Some of these performances are very commendable, particularly Buble’s, while others (Mariah’s) have shown a disappointing sense of devolution from their former glory.

Mello Mellon and J.Rey also talk about the ongoing #WarOnChristmas as seen through the lens of Starbucks Coffee’s “Peppermint Mocha Season.” Along with other holiday lore, they debate if the long-acclaimed hype of Pumpkin Spice is overrated. One thing definitely agreed upon by both Mellon and J.Rey is that the Christmas season is such a busy time for the world and America enough for it to be labeled the “Holiday Season,” which arguably starts with Halloween and is legitimized by the commencement of Thanksgiving whereas the Christmas Season (a part of the Holiday Season) begins at the beginning of December and is validated with the start of Advent. In terms of whether saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”, the duo follow the practice of the legendary boy-band *NSYNC who preach not to be lazy by saying both terms of endearment in accordance with each other. The mention of this lead J.Rey to promote an upcoming alleged formation of a boyband started by the JTNN staff featuring the likes of himself, Eli Davenport, and Tyler Peterson among other people. The purest neutral term for this time of the year for students across the country is “exam season.” Mellon and J.Rey mentioned that Christmas is seen as the end game and any thought of it before time come is an obstacle to exam week.

With an increase of Christmas music being made each year, the enhanced commercialization of Christmas is made more apparent. While this may seem like a deterioration of the family-centric nature of the Holiday, it also calls for more songs to be added to an already extensive catalog of holiday music. Many indie stars like Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend have seen their songs “White Winter Hymnal” and “Holiday”, respectively, gain attention around the holiday. Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig said he had the summer in mind when he wrote the song. J.Rey and Mello Mellon conversed about the use of “Holiday Road” from “National Lampoon’s Vacation” franchise in a recent Honda Commercial, a song which J.Rey has been trying to find for 4 years. On the screen, the same treatment can be seen in shows and films which are not focused on the holiday but feature winter elements such as Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone, Mean Girls, Frozen, Iron Man 3, and even Game of Thrones to an extent.

In association with Spotify, hardcore hip-hop recording artist DMX released his own version of the beloved family hit “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, the theme of the classic family stop-motion television special of the same name. The duo could not come to a consensus on their feelings about it, but their minds with met with waves of confusion. Mellon and J.Rey also speak about other anthropomorphic animals such as Alvin and the Chipmunks and their live-action trilogy which only consists of features released around Christmas time. Mellon’s feelings toward the franchise are that of hatred, while J.Rey’s are of regret for investing money to support the Chipmunks during their box-office run. Many times people view the holiday season as a time to watch their favorite movies, now those movies may not always be holiday-focused. The Star Wars franchise now sees the Christmas season as a time to release their movies since more people show up to contribute to the holiday box office numbers over the summer box office. This also can be said with Marvel Studio’s movies although they release multiple films throughout the year (2017: GOTGv2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok).

The overall consensus of the Pawprints Posse’s view of Christmas and holiday season was that of love. Because although the death rate may be shown to statistically increase around the holiday season or companies shove their products in your face for impulsive consumption, the holiday season consists of three-plus potential times to reconvene with family which is what the time is all about, and good music of course.

Listen to the Pawprints Posse’s hand-picked Christmas playlist featuring music from and inspired by the special podcast (LISTENER ADVISORY: there are Jake Paul songs on here):

Catch up with Pawprints:

O.J. on Parole, Weezer and Boybands (PAWPRINTS S1E1)

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