Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not a surprise

Onasis, one of the area's best restaurants for Greek cousine and freshly prepared seafood, has forever closed its doors. It never had a chance, really, unable to compete with the massive outdoor mall project right across the street. There used to be a horse racing track there, but it was torn down to be replaced by a complex of chain restaurants, department stores, condiminiums and apartments meant to appeal to the middle and upper middle class residents.

It's sad that this area cannot maintain a healthy selection of independent and quality restaurants. Philadelphia proper has many of these types of eateries, but that's because it's so large. Even in the city, you'll find TGI Fridays and Pizza Huts. Yet, there is a selection of superb food to be found there. Many people in the outlying areas are hesitant to drive into the city due to outrageous parking costs and tolls, and so the outlying counties should be able to capitalize on this. They don't. What can be said for a populace that has allowed the Olive Garden to represent authentic Italian cuisine? The American palate is dying.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Never mind the elves, it's the Yobs

Moreso than any other band in recording history, the Yobs produced the best collection of alternative Christmas songs, 1979's The Yobs' Christmas Album. The Yobs were the alter-ego of British punk band The Boys, who in '79 charted at #4 on the UK indie chart with To Hell with the Boys. Although the group broke up in 1982, on the twentieth anniversary of their prior Yobs release, they put out a second Christmas album in 1999, Volume Two, a record which, to my ears, is even better than the first.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sleigh bells ring, ears are bleeding

Corporate Christmas time means, among other things, repetition of the same holiday oriented pop songs over and over again. Walk into any department store, supermarket, or pizza parlor, and your ears will be tickled by the crooning of the long dead and the shrieking of the currently popular. Some radio stations go so far as to convert to a 24 hour Christmas tunes format, churning out the same Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole staples, along with vapid pop diva spins on religious ditties. To quote Stephen Colbert,
Hey! It’s another Christmas song
Yay! Another oft’ returning
Royalty earning Christmas song
I’ve got plenty more so go buy a modem
Log on to iTunes and pay to download ‘em
Pay! For another Christmas song
As Brenda Lee's royalty checks fly in this month, I thought I'd try and share some lesser known winter wonders. To kick things off, the Punk Rock Advent Calendar has a new track available for listen or download every day from now until Jesus slides out of his mother's tight birthing hole.