December 13, 2006

Stuart McLean At the Vinyl Cafe

Carl's G.I.F.T. Challenge Post #2

One of my dearest friends gave me a copy of Stuart McClean at the Vinyl Cafe - The Christmas Concert (cd) a few years ago. I love it for so many reasons.

1. It was a gift from a kindred spirit whom I've know for almost 10 years. We met in an on-line book forum, back in 1997, and have become the closest of pals, in spite of having never meet face-to-face.

2. The Christmas Concert (and all the Vinyl Cafe recordings) is a Canadian broadcast (and I'm half-Canadian).

3. The concert was recorded on my 35th birthday (December 13, 1996).

4. The stories make me laugh out loud, even though I've heard them several times now. Laughter is always a good thing, especially during the holidays when stress levels are high.

If you haven't had the opportunity to listen to a Vinyl Cafe broadcast, I strongly urge you to tune in for a show. Here's some listener information from their website:

Broadcast time:

Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. (10:30 NT) on CBC Radio Two
Sundays at 12:00 p.m. (12:30 NT) on CBC Radio One

United States Broadcast Information

The Vinyl Cafe is heard Saturday mornings on Radio Two and Sundays at brunch on Radio One. The show features music - both live and recorded - stories and the misadventures of Dave, the owner of the "Vinyl Cafe", the world's smallest record store, where the motto is "We may not be big, but we're small." The show also features Dave's wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie and assorted friends and neighbours.

Or, if you can't tune in to CBC, head over to Amazon and buy a copy of the cd and start a new Christmas tradition. My favorite segments are:

Good King Wenceslas and Angels We Have Heard on High

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (performed with a mandolins, fiddle bass, guitar and banjo, of all things!)

Story: Dave on the Roof

Story: Dave Cooks a Turkey (this is quite long, but worth sitting and listening to, perhaps with a glass of wine or cocktail. It's hysterical!)

Silent Night

I love the music and Stuart is a joy to listen to. He's very entertaining and has a lovely sense of humor. There are several other Vinyl Cafe cds and books that I may just have to order. Thanks, Nan, for introducing me to this wonderful broadcast!


  1. I *love* Dave cooks a turkey.

  2. Les, I can't get my CD to play. :(

    I'm so sad I'm going to go buy one as soon as I'm able to drive again.

    More importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO YOU!

  3. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Heard it's your birthday! Hope you have a lovely day Les! :)

  4. Happy happy birthday!!!! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  5. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Hey, Happy Birthday!!!! I will be polite and not do the math to figure out your current age! ;) Hope you have a great one!

  6. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Happy Birthday, Les! According to my figuring I'm 10 years older than you. My b-day is the 30th.

    Do you have some special plans - dinner out, movie, shopping spree, etc.? Hope whatever you do to celebrate the day is enjoyable and brings you peace.

  7. Anonymous6:40 PM

    Well first happy birthday

    2nd, your so lucky to have a virtual friend. Not many people out there can boast of that

    3 this is an odd choice and would have to think about that on the purchase level but wouldn't mind receiving it myself.

  8. Happy, happy birthday. Hope it's a great one. I've so enjoyed meeting you in blogworld.

    This CD sounds really fun. I'm pretty addicted to my Christmas music and listen to it all month long.

  9. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Yes, this is one of the very best cds! I love Stuart McLean. He is my favorite storyteller, whether oral or written. Now, the only thing lacking on this album is a piece called Polly Anderson's Christmas Party. It is on a Canadian Christmas compilation called Christmas Songs, which I highly recommend. The gist of the story is that Dave arrives early to a party and is given the job of filling the two Christmas punch bowls, one for the adults and one for the children. You can imagine what follows.

  10. I'm shamed to say that as a Canadian, I've never heard of the Vinyl Cafe - thanks to you, that is now remedied!

    And Happy Belated Birthday! How funny that we share the same name, astrological sign and (partly) nationality! Hope you had a great day.

  11. Sassymonkey - I crack up every single time I listen to it!

    Bellezza - Oh, no!! I should've double-checked that disc to make sure it worked. Sigh. I'm so sorry. Boy, do I feel like a doofus. Thanks again for the wonderful birthday gift and good wishes! I had one of the loveliest birthdays ever, thanks to all my friends and family.

    Nat - Thank you, dear friend!

    Heather - Thank you, thank you!

    Booklogged - My hubby's ten years older than me, too, but it seems like we're the same age.

    Nessie - Thanks. And actually, I have several "virtual" friends! There are a few I've had the pleasure of meeting, but several whom I only know via the Internet. Interesting how friendships have evolved over the years thanks to various online groups.

    Framed - Thank you. I've enjoyed getting to know you, as well. Let me know if you get a chance to listen to Stuart McLean. I wonder if his cds are available in libraries?

    Nan- Well, I'll just have to get the other cds so I can hear all about Polly Anderson's Christmas Party! I'm sure it's quite hysterical. :)

    Thanks, Lesley. Yes, it does seem a little bit of a coincidence that we're both Canadian, born in December and share the same name and same spelling (although that latter is due to the Canadian heritage). Care to share your middle name? Just curious if we have that in common, too! Mine's Helen.

  12. Ooops. Sorry, Carl. Don't know how I missed your comment! Thanks for the good wishes. Thanks for being polite, but I don't mind telling everyone I'm 45. I still feel like I'm 30 (except for the creaky knees in the a.m.) and am quite content with my age. Now don't ask me how I feel about it in 5 years, though!


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