Best Public Service Announcement Ever

It seems as if both Coldplay and The Killers were competing last week for the award (given out and invented by me, of course) for best Christmas song ever. And they both won, a lot. As Christmas is the greatest time of the year (besides NAMM), I give you…the winners of my imaginary but oh so real award:

(And sorry about the ads. The internet is now cable tv.)

And a live version…not The Killers playing behind him, but Brandon Flowers threw it in on his current solo tour, and the quality of whomever is on tour with him is fantastic:

Mmmm…Christmas. And in reality, it was a three-way tie for the best Christmas song ever, because of U2’s cover of ‘I Believe in Father Christmas.’ But as I’ve posted that video 2 years in a row, I am trying desperately to win the battle with myself not to post it again.

Merry Christmas. 🙂


P.S. I lose. And quite happily, too.


45 thoughts on “Best Public Service Announcement Ever

  1. Is it just me or is Boots’ chorus eerily similar to Moment of Surrender?
    I love Coldplay’s song even more every time I hear it though! Great picks Karl.
    And, for Christmas this year I am getting something even better than gear… a beautiful daughter! Everyone please say a prayer for my wife and soon-to-be-here child. =)

  2. I’m stuck behind a firewall so I can’t watch the vid’s…but if we are talking fav Christmas songs…

    BNL’s version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” and
    “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses (what can I say, I’m an 80’s kinda guy.)
    And the whole freaking Chris Isaak Christmas album.

  3. I am a little disappointed that you didn’t even give Phil Wickham’s covers a shot 🙂 He just released his second christmas album! Check them out Karl!

      • no I was currently out of town 🙁 I was VERY disappointed! But EVERYONE who went said he was an amazing “worship leader”, not artist but “worship leader!” If I was a recording artist I would want people to say that!

  4. “still waiting for the snow to fall, doesn’t really feel like christmas at all”
    this sums up my feeling every year in the southern hemisphere.
    I still haven’t figured out how Coldplay makes something so simple sound so big. Any thoughts?

  5. Christmas songs are always great, just not the same 15 on the radio. Good picks, I also enjoy the killers “dont shoot me Santa” from a couple years back.

    Gear demo request:
    Can you check out the new Vox VR amps? The only demos or videos I find are product ones from salesmen or just some dude jamming. Would like some other opinions other then the dude at guitar center.

  6. Sam–right on! Me too! We usually do a less cheesey instrumentation of Emmy Rossum’s version. 🙂

    Rhoy–very cool! And O Holy Night on sax? Right on! I love the different stuff that comes out at Christmas time. Nice to get out of the drums and delay box every once in a while. But just every once in a while. 😉 hehe

    Nick–absolutely! Praying for you and your family, and congratulations! 🙂

    And I think you’re right on Moment of Surrender a bit…the preluding melody follows the same arc, although different intervals. I feel like Boots is the way Moment of Surrender should have gone, without Eno’s awkward chords at the end. hehe

    Chris–ya, ’80’s!! Can I throw in The Pretenders’ 2000 Miles? I love that song!

    Ben G–lol That album is literally sitting right next to my computer right now. Some good stuff on it for sure! 🙂

    Dan Price–sweet!! Just downloaded all their Christmas songs a couple nights ago. I was quite out of the loop; I didn’t know they did one each year!

    Mark Colvin–seriously!! I think it’s just good song-writing. Anthems are birthed in the melody, not the instrumentation. For instance, I think an accapella Amazing Grace is huger than 90% of any full band song ever written. Just my humble views on it. I’ve never written a melody that good, or a song that huge, so I don’t know for sure. hehehe

    Nater2–right on! I’ll have to check out more of him.

    Jared–yes, they can get overplayed…at least those 15 like you said. hehe

    As for the VR amps, I’ve not played through them, but I’m very, very suspect of any marketing campaign that goes to such lengths to describe the benefits of one 12ax7 tube. I’m gonna guess that their Night Train sounds worlds better than the VR series. But I’ll try to get to a store to try one out. 🙂

  7. Funny how when you are a kid, you don’t ever listen to the same music your folks do, but it can change when you grow up. Now my parents love Coldplay and Travis and stuff. Every time I go to my parents’ house, my mom is blasting her Coldplay. Ha. I’m not a fanatic for them, but they never disappoint.

    By the way, I just got a Blue Sky Reverb. Karl, why don’t you have one of these? I promise, if you get one, it will be really hard for you to ever turn it of. Fabulous pedal!

  8. We did O Holy Night last sunday, probably my fav christmas song too.
    And no waiting for the snow here.
    London, which is near where I live, has almost 4 feet of it.
    We’ve only got a foot or so.
    Cool songs, Karl. Thanks for posting them.

  9. Future of Forestry – Little Drummer Boy
    The guitar tone is killer and something to strive for.
    They have a original on their Advent EP 2 called the Earth Stood Still that is good as well.

  10. Brandon, he may be running his acoustic through the tuner->delay->direct box. I know one of my favorite acoustic players, Monte Montgomery (look him up on youtube sometime), plays an old beat up Alverez through several pedals. Sounds pretty cool when he does it.

  11. Hey Brandon, I used to have a FD2 but I just didn’t bond with it. I haven’t used the OCD so I can’t comment other than on what I’ve heard via sound clips. The FD2 is a nice pedal but it just didn’t do it for me. I have a Tim on order from Paul Cochrane so I am hoping it will be the what I need.

  12. Sam–hehehe I’m kinda with ya on that. (Apologies to any Barlowe Girl fans out there! 😉 )

    David & Sam–ya, that’s actually one of the things I love about Coldplay’s music is how it seems to span both age and stylistic preference sometimes. 🙂 As for the Blue Sky…ya. Strymon is a wonderful company, but the Blue Sky did not do it for me. I’ve tried really hard to keep that a secret and only answer when people email me about it, but it’s starting to get out there; so I may as well admit that I had one and sold it. So many people are making beautiful music with it though, and just love it; so more power to them! I’m sure it’s a fantastic pedal, just not in my hands, my rig, etc. With apologies to probably every reader of this blog. hehe

    Don–right on with O Holy Night! And you’ve got snow?! So jealous. You’re in Canada, right?

    Randall–nice! And his voice annoys me because it is so good. haha

    Brandon–a good majority of acoustic players plug into boards before the direct box. Check out Tommy Emmanuel for some lovely acoustic with delay. Kevin Max’s guitarist also has a killer setup for acoustic. 🙂

    Chris–sweet! I’d love to hear a live version! Such a killer song.

    Brandon–very cool, I”ll have to check it out.

    Dan–nice! I need to listen to more Future of Forestry anyway. 🙂

    Randall–ah, you got that one. 🙂 Thanks!

    Brandon–it depends on what you mean by ‘heavier.’ If you mean a more ‘metal-ish’ heavy, than the OCD. It has the scooped mids sound that makes heavy guitar work such as In Flames. However, it also means that it won’t work as well if you’re going for a very present, heavily distorted sound such as some of Jimmy Page’s stuff. In which case, the Fulldrive is probably ‘heavier.’ Hope that helps!

    Randall–Tim is so choice. 😉 And I also didn’t bond with the Fulldrive or any of the OCD versions.

  13. Has anyone else seen this? It’s awesome!!

    Now we can all go to fully digital rigs on our ipads instead of buying a Prariewood and a Matchless!! 😛

    I kid, I kid. How is the Prariewood btw?

  14. Rhoy, Craig, & Sam–wow! I guess it’s never perfect anywhere. We’re having a heat wave here which kind of sucks, but I guess it also sucks to have to shovel snow or deal with floods.

    Nate & Brandon–haha Oh yikes. I can’t remember where I was, but someone was trying to talk me into selling my whole rig because the iPad now rendered that archaic technology obsolete. I love it when folks explain these things to you as if the only reason you play through an amp and pedals is because you’ve never heard of a computer. lol I think I’m gonna pass on that app. 😉

    • Karl,

      Y’all are welcome to some of the 14-20″ of snow we got today. Although I did manage to make it safely back and forth from rehearsal this morning.

      The driveway has been shoveled three times and still no plows on our street. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

      BTW Minnesota is pretty much perfect from May-September 😉

  15. Haha! Karl, I’m with you on that one! I don’t think anyone could get me to sell my whole rig to switch to an ipod! 🙂

    I don’t know if you saw my post or not on the DeltaLab pedals, but have you tried them yet?

    Curious to see what others think of them because I think they are incredible!

  16. Craig–haha Wow! Ya, when I was in Minnesota last year, it was June, and it was spectacular. 🙂

    Brandon–haha In all honesty, I was trying to skip that comment where you mentioned your blog post on DeltaLab, as I’m not a huge fan and didn’t want to come off as a jerk. hehe Doesn’t mean they’re not awesome pedals, I just wasn’t overly impressed when I tried them. But if they’re giving you great tone for great music, then rock on! Plus, I most definitely just could’ve been using them incorrectly. 😉

    • Totally understand-Karl! That would have not made you sound like a jerk…everyone has their own opinions.

      But maybe they just did nto work with your set up. They are incredible with mine so i will just advise people to try before you buy! haha!

      So what is on your current board?

  17. Hey Karl,
    looks like our friends from Temecula will be meeting us in LA instead of us coming to them, so looks like we’ll have to meet another time. Hope you and your wife have a great time celebrating her birthday and have a very merry Christmas!

  18. Brandon–what amp are and guitar are you using them with in your setup?

    And currently I’m using two Fulltone Fatboost’s at 12 volts each and a This1smyne Super Duper clone to drive my Matchless. 🙂 It’s fairly decent for the time being, but always checking around. 😀

    Mark Colvin–ah, no worries! Hope you guys have a great time! Be sure to check out True Tone in Santa Monica if you have a chance. 🙂

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