The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

By Request #1
The Art of Public Performance #3:
Christmas Week Edition

On December 18, 2002, Belle and Sebastian performed an extended set at John Peel's Christmas bacchanal, broadcast live over Radio 1 in London.

Now, those of you who've been visiting this blog for more than a year will, in all probability, be scratching your heads (with some justice), asking yourselves if this is some kind of joke; if this year's Christmas Day offering could really be the same one as last year.

Well . . . it is; but for two very good (I think) reasons:

1) A regular visitor to this blog asked me to repost it this year.


2) I doubt if I've ever heard a better, less widely known musical Christmas bash than this. Of course, there is the Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas from 1965, but beautiful and haunting as that LP is, and will always be, it's so well-known and easily obtainable that posting it here would constitute laziness on a scale that outstrips my reposting the sublime Belle and Sebastian set.

Departing from last year, however, we are bringing you the broadcast in a single archive file, rather than track by track, and . . . to ameliorate our guilty conscience over throwing old material your way . . . tossing in another Belle and Sebastian Peel session from June of the previous year.

We here at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger . . . would like to close by wishing all our visitors, be they regular, random or yet-to-come, and all our fellow bloggers (too numerous for words) all the best we can wish for this, the season of wintry holidays.

Merry Krimble to y'all!!

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