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FCA recommends CITH songs!


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Wow. :cry4: I fear this poor little project will never see completion, especially with OMWH just over 5 weeks away from release. Does anybody care?

I care, and periodically feel guilty too. We need KAndre to break out the spork and start threatening people.

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Wow. :cry4: I fear this poor little project will never see completion, especially with OMWH just over 5 weeks away from release. Does anybody care?

I care, and periodically feel guilty too. We need KAndre to break out the spork and start threatening people.

I care, too.

I downloaded all of the material I need to review and it's on a computer that won't boot up. :cry4:

I have an appointment to get it checked out next week. If it looks dire, I'll just start over.

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OK - I've just downloaded everything for MCWL from the CH vault. Is that OK? Do I have to search out more versions??

Luckily.... MCWL is not a favorite for peeps to record!! I only have 29 to listen to (so far)!

I will try to listen soon. I need to get ready to go to NYC on Saturday but I might be able to squeeze them in!! :cryingwlaughter:

And let me add an OMG! Has anybody posted theirs yet? I didn't look at page one...

OK - I see a couple people are on the bal!


I would like to make a teeny suggestion tho. When you post the mp3 files, can you number them in sequence as per the performance order? i.e.: 01, 02, 03, etc, at the beginning of the file names so they can be loaded in order.

I can't tell you how often I've had to go thru the itunes library and renumber the files so they would be in order!!

:thankyou: :F_05BL17blowkiss:

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I would like to make a teeny suggestion tho. When you post the mp3 files, can you number them in sequence as per the performance order? i.e.: 01, 02, 03, etc, at the beginning of the file names so they can be loaded in order.

Sure, that's a great suggestion!

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Time to break out the spork. I actually woke up this morning thinking of doing my reviews (subliminal messages, luckiest?) but once I got out of bed, I totally forgot. Looks like we'll have some down time after the first round of album promo and will be in need of something to keep from going nuts. So there's still hope.

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I'm almost finished with the Sentimental Medley recommendations. I have it narrowed down, and just need to make final choices. It won't be long, promise! I knew that if I didn't get it done before OMWH came out, I wouldn't get to it!

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Eeeeek! There's been so much fun stuff going on with Spam and OMWH promotion that I haven't done my CITH recommendations until now. What a pleasure to listen to the jazzy medley again! Some of the clack gatherers have excellent equipment, but the acoustics in the venue weren't great, or the crowd noise is distracting. But Clay's performances were consistently great.

So, after listening to clip after clip, here are my favs:

1. DC Mimefan - of course, she has excellent recording equipment, the acoustics were great, and the symphony excellent. This recording has a full, lush sound to it. It's beautiful!

2. RedBank NYCityClayFan - This recording has a brighter tone to it than Mimefan's DC recording, so some may not like it for that reason. However, Clay's voice is front and center. It almost sounds like he's sitting right next to you singing! I was struck by how much better I could hear his voice than on most of the other recordings. There's a tiny little vocal bobble on the last long 'Winterland', but it doesn't spoil the recording for me at all.

3. In third place is Albany by Canfly. A nice recording! And I love the crowd applause and excitement at the end of the recording.

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Sentimental Medley

WOW, what a wonderful time I had listening to these recordings! I love the arrangments, especially the transitions from I'll Be Home for Christmas to The Christmas Song to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The first 2 have been my favorites from tours past, as I am partial to I gentle-voiced Clay. But it is the power he brings to the final section that makes me take my hands off the steering wheel in my car to clap.

Thank you so much to the Clack gatherers who made them available to us. :F_05BL17blowkiss:

Before I list my recommendations, I should say a bit about my criteria for selection. First, of course, was how Clay sounds. His voice quality didn't vary a lot, but was a factor in elimination. I also listened to the orchestra for the best blend of voice and instrumentation, but I really don't have a very sophisticated ear. I'd like to say I attended to the quality of the recording, itself, but unless there was an eggregious error, I probably didn't notice. Sorry about that. I didn't include any recordings that had bits of the stories on either end, which was a challenge in this case. And, then, my final criteria was noise in the audience. There were some recordings that were beautiful, but punctuated by coughing, which was distracting to me, so I eliminated them. I must also admit that, as a collector of special Clay Syllables, I was influenced by that unusual sound that occurred here and there.

Here are my top 3 recommendations for a Best of the CITH tour. They aren't in order of preference. Each brings something different.


This version of the Sentimental Medley is oh so smooth, and it contains a few special syllables: the little growl in the 'and' at 0:58 and in the 'al' of 'although' at 3:44, the catch in 'self' at 4:21 (mistake maybe? treasure to my ear). Sublime.

DC mime_fan

There is so much to love about this recording - the purity of Clay's voice, the gentle quality in the beginning, the building power at the end, the perfect touch of the piano. After numerous listens, narrowing the field from 36 to 15 to 9 to 3, this is the one I kept coming back to. It's not note perfect, but it's darn close, and it's the one that I kept putting on a loop. It's the quietest of the 3. I might be biased by the fact that I heard this one in person.

Minneapolis_dlh7777 (first night, 12/19)

I am attracted to this one purely for the emotion in 'home' at 0:38. And of course, it's a wonderful vocal performance, one of the best. I also appreciate that the applause isn't heard until after the last note from the orchestra - a rarity. Very nice all around.


I also wanted to note two clips that don't make my "Best of" recommendations, but have something unique:

New Brunswick_MBlovesClay

This is the performance in which Clay got a bit mixed up... must have been thinking of what to have for dinner.... He goes into Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas after I'll Be Home for Christmas instead of The Christmas Song, which of course, messes up the arrangement. At one point, as he tries to get back on track, he sings, "Chestnuts, tiny tots, with their eyes all aglow." You can hear laughing in the audience, Clay stops to acknolwedge Angela who gets him back on track.


This one is special for the way Clay sings 'you' at 0:30 in "I promise you" -- not to mention the catch in his voice on 'back' at 0:25.

Observation of little importance, just a curiosity:

Sometimes Clay sings "I'll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me." Other times he sings "I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me."

And a special plea.....

Of the 3 shows I went to, my recollection of an especially wonderful performance of the Sentimental Medley was in Wilkes-Barre. I didn't find any clips from that show. I'd love to know of any that are out there!

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So am I too early with my picks? Is six months long enough for these lovely versions of O Holy Night to coalesce into something resembling "favorites" --

I've changed my mind on these over time, because O Holy Night is the dearest Christmas song ever to me, going back to the first grade. Could be the choice would have been easier if the song meant less to me than it does, but I requested this one, and listening to Clay's interpretations on any given night was pure joy and wonderment.

I don't belong to any organized religious group, but if I did it would be one that makes it against our religion to analyze music, which for this song I prefer to leave in the realm of the supernatural.




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Hey -- I'm not the last one! Go me!

Hark the Herald Angels Sing/O Come All Ye Faithful

This was really rather difficult, because by the time I whittled it down to 11 clips, they were all pretty consistent in both performance by Clay and sound quality. Also, there wasn't a lot of crowd noise to almost all these clips. Finally, I found that I didn't have all that many clips to listen to originally -- since he's done this song for a few years, and there wasn't much variation between this year and previous years, not as many people recorded this song. *g*

My top 3 (and I've found I've gotten one early, in the middle and the end of the tour):

071128 South Bend, from jojoct -- Fantastic sound quality on this clip, and his performance is rock solid.

071207 Albany, from xxx4clay -- Again, not much to complain about with this one.

071222 Merrillville, from canfly172 -- The sound quality trumps this clip; he does, IMO, splat a note IIRC. On the other hand, by this point, he was taking the last "Oh come, oh come ye to Bethlehem" up the octave, and I always enjoyed that!

Finally, if you don't mind a little "testifying" to your performances, try 071130 Kalamazoo from dlh777. At the very end of the clip, someone near the camera says a well-timed "Hallelujah!" It's quite funny to me...

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So cool to see some recommendations!

I posted this on main but I'll post it here too. I updated the FCA Media page yesterday with the newest recommendations and mp3's. I incorporated the suggest that we should number the clips as to where they fall in the grand scheme of the concert. That way they play in order on a playlist. Please let me know if there are any problems with any of the links, or the clips themselves.


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My Grown Up Christmas List

I must have thrown out my list. Since this is a mostly talking song there is very little variation in Clay's voice, so it comes down to venue and orchestra.

Here are four that I like:

New Brunswick- MB Loves Clay- A little echoy but best voice

Morristown- mel ladi - Clearer sound

Waukegan- dlh777

Albany- MB Loves Clay
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Just a reminder......here is the list of recommendations we are still waiting on. No time like the present! :)

ococe - atinal

mdyk - ansa

mcwl - cha cha trusty

cw - liney23

wwiak - ialreadyam

wtow - jmh123

wayc - PuddinsJoy

dsiafcd - couchie

aiw - kandre

Funny, I think I see 4 mods' names there.....can they spork each other? :cryingwlaughter:

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By Jove - I think I've got it!

I've narrowed it down to three, with one more to consider for very different reasons.

First - the THREE:

071130_Kalamazoo_MCWL_ShyGirl.mpg - this one has a nice rich, soft sound to it, and Clay's voice sounds great, nice and soft. Full song, and no audience noise.

071211_Red Bank_MCWL_NYCityClayFan_large.wmv - this one has a little tinnier sound, but it starts with the instrumental intro, and his voice sounds really good on it.

071222_Merrillville_MCWL_canfly172_large.wmv - this one has a rich sound, a little audience cheer in the very beginning. Clay's voice sounds really good.

I have issue with Clay's voice on this song at times. The first verse he seems to emphasize the words/notes "way" and "bright" as in:

"the way it had been...

would shine bright in their eyes..."

To me, and this is JMO, he seems to give those two notes a little too much power and they kind of jump out at you. Well, me anyway! So I picked songs where he didn't do that. :)

on to my next commentary!


Consider this one. 071215_Williamsport_MCWL_chachatrusty_large.wmv

First, it's not because I shot it. :D

Second, it's not considered for the audio because I missed the first few words. (the rest isn't too bad tho!)

Third, it's not the greatest video either, because I was a little fumbly and the focus went out a bit.


I noticed something about Clay's performance here. Something we hadn't seen before.

And mind you, I am only looking at MCWL vids and so am not qualified to say what the other songs looked like.

I'm just focusing on this one right now.

He looks HAPPY. He keeps breaking out in a smile while he's singing.

Given the date of this, and what we now know to be true,

Do you think he might have gotten some really good news right before this show?

In between this and the one before? Like maybe Jaymes was officially pregnant?

He looks like he might have thought about what the next Christmas might be like.

Anyhow, watching him sing that song in Williamsport puts a big smile on my face!!

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YAY! cha cha, you made my day, and it's only 6:45 am. :)

ETA: I watched your clack. It put a big smile on my face too! At times it almost looks like he's making eye contact with someone in the audience. Of course, it's probably nothing out of the ordinary, but it's kind of fun to wonder. In any case, I bet the holiday season was extra special for him last year!

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Just a reminder of who is supposed to be doing what.

O Come O Come Emmanuel - atinal

Mary Did You Know - Ansa

Christmas Waltz - liney23

Who Would Imagine a King (Angela) - ialreadyam

Welcome To Our World - jmh123

Where Are You Christmas (Quiana) - clazycoffin (thank you for offering!)

Don't Save It All For Christmas Day - couchie

All Is Well - KAndre

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I'm really missing Clay singing this Christmas and came here to finish up my CITH recommended recordings from last year figuring they had to be done by now.

I know people are busy and I REALLY appreciate the hard work that goes into these recommendations.

I hate to be a pest and a whiner but...(I'm whining now).

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