Our Garage Band Xmas Concerts #10 are just around the corner!  Sunday, December 16 at 4pm & 7pm.  Our 10thyear!  This is kind of a bid deal for me.  But not for reasons you may think.

Often times I can make some very snobby judgments about the music I hear—often if in my own head.  Holiday music is a large part of that.

I’m not a huge fan of holiday music, in general.  I think this is mostly from working in the grocery store in my hometown and hearing the annoying songs like “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Little Drummer Boy” on the piped-in music network over, and over, and over, and over, and over… “Paper, plastic or pa-rum-pum-pum-pum, Ma’am?”

Other parts of me really got tired of Christmas music from being a church choir kid singing all the classic churchy hymns like “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Joy To The World” and “O Holy Night” over, and over, and over, and over, and over… I know all three verses to everything.

Don’t forget all the TV show songs like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” and “Silver Bells” over, and over, and over, and over, and over… These are the songs that we sing at grade-school concerts.  [BTW, I don’t let my kids watch that stop-motion stuff.  Too dang creepy.]

What happened when I started making music at Spirit Garage?  I had to arrange all those tunes to A] celebrate Christmas in our own rock & roll way, B] put some creative life into something I was less-than-thrilled about and most importantly C] remove my tastes from the equation.  This might be one of the biggest maturity lessons to being a professional musician that I’ve had to learn.  You don’t have to like it to play it.  As I sometimes say, it’s more fun to PLAY golf, than to watch it.

“Wow, Kernsey, you really are doing a super job of hyping up the Garage Band Xmas concert!”

I know, I know.  But here’s the thing: I like making music with my friends more than I like the music.  It’s not that I hate festive music, but I have so much audio-baggage with all these “holiday songs” from my youth that it’s hard to focus on today. All I hear is the grocery store intercom, the pipe organ, and the TV blaring in my memories.

This is why I keep going.  I like community and bands and music, and the GBX 10 show is all those things together.   Additionally, I realized that in order to remove that audio-baggage, I needed to force new musical memories into my ears, and that is where GBX comes in.  With all these new arrangements and fresh scenery of these well-trodden paths, I enjoy Christmas music again.

In the 10 years that we’ve been performing this show, we’ve played country, reggae, bluegrass, metal, classic rock, pure cheese, hip-hop, and blues versions of all those classic “hits” and several originals too. We’ve had shows focus on gifts, snow, lights, angels, Bethlehem, baby Jesus, and now, the rockSTAR of Bethlehem—Jesus, of course, but also the star that lit the way to Jesus.

Our guest artists each show have been amazing and this year is no different.  HUMBIRD, aka Siri Undlin, is a gift to modern songwriters and we are lucky to have her here in Minneapolis.  She will be performing solo and with the band and that excites me.  Her voice is mesmerizing.

Please join us at the Hook & Ladder this Sunday afternoon & night for two amazing shows with HUMBIRD and the Garage Band. Our 10th year.  That’s a big deal for all of us here at Spirit Garage. Let’s make some new audio memories.

PS: Here’s the setlist…