Well, folks, it’s here. No, no. Not the holiday season. That’s been here since roughly August. I mean the holiday party season. The most wonderful season of all!
The holiday party season typically begins when we’re just under two weeks out from Santa’s birthday, er, Christmas. By this point, Thanksgiving is but a faint, fond memory. And, between unending Christmas commercials, TV specials, Bob Rivers’ Twisted Christmas carols on the radio and the incessant jingle of the Salvation Army guy — I seriously think he’s following me — we’re just about reaching the holiday cheer breaking point. Hence, the holiday party.
Holiday parties are great, if only for the unintentional comedy inherent in mandatory socializing. They represent a perfect storm of yuletide frustration, awkward conversation with coworkers and unchecked booze consumption, gift-wrapped in an ugly sweater and cinched with a Santa tie. The holiday party is when Bill from accounting makes out with Ellen from marketing in front of half the company. When Roger from sales tells his boss to go fuck himself in his acceptance speech for Employee of the Year. It’s when Dan from the music section karaoke-serenades Maeve from the sex column. Hypothetically, of course. Erm, moving on …
Fortunately, the local music scene has its own Christmas parties. And, let me tell you, they’re a lot more fun than your average office shindig.
We begin with what has become something of a surprising annual tradition, the Crapulous Christmas Party this Saturday at the Monkey House, hosted by Rebecca “Nuda Veritas” Kopycinski . This year’s bash will be the third annual and, by most accounts — OK, Facebook — the biggest yet. Expect performances from — read this in your best Don Pardo voice, please: DJ Disco Phantom ! Comedians Colin Ryan  and Pat Lynch ! The Crapulous Sing-aLong Honky-Tonk Christmas Band! Dean Martin! Holiday Movie Trivia! Paul and the Mystery of Gravity ! The Rockettes! And a very special reading of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Betty White.
All right, I made up a few of those. However, the show is a benefit for COTS and will feature a raffle with loads of nifty prizes from the likes of Mars Pyramid Records , Sneaker’s and the Outdoor Gear Exchange. And, you never know, Betty White might show up …
Betty White will almost definitely not be at Nectar’s that same night, however, when a slew of Burlington’s finest rock the halls to benefit the Spectrum Youth Center, including Dr. Green , Blue Button , Spirit Animal  and Lendway . Dueling benefit shows … it must be Christmas.
On a related note, Blue Button sent along a sneak peek of their forthcoming debut record a couple weeks back. Two words: Christmas miracle.
Meanwhile in Montpelier, Langdon Street Café gets into full yuletide mode with an entire week of typically random holiday nonsense they’ve dubbed “X-Mess Fest.” The fun begins Sunday with, obviously, traditional Celtic folk band the Turning Stile  and continues through Christmas Eve. And I’m told that whatever you do next Wednesday, don’t miss “Nutty Cracker,” the café’s “cheesy ballet” featuring a cabaret composed of ghosts of LSC past and present, presented by Nutty Steph’s Granola.
Speaking of the magic of the holidays, Higher Ground was blessed with its own Christmas miracle this past week when it was (finally) announced that the one, the only, the really-tough-to-pin-down Ms. Lauryn Hill  had finally settled on a date for her much-talked-about appearance at the club. Drum roll, please! It’s Sunday, December 19. Set it in stone. I found out the way I’m sure most folks did: HG co-owner Kevin Statesir flagged me down from his car in the parking lot of PetSmart in Williston — where I was definitely not buying my dog an ugly Christmas sweater for a party … ahem — and passed along the good news, while an increasingly agitated woman not-so-patiently waited for his parking space and shot me several dirty looks, and maybe even a yulefinger afterward. Ah, Christmas.
And once again, this week’s totally self-indulgent column segment, in which I share a random sampling of what was on my iPod, turntable, CD player, 8-track player, etc., this week.