Ron Sexsmith Sings “Maybe This Christmas”

maybe_this_christmas_album_coverListen to this song, by the almost unfairly talented singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, “Maybe This Christmas”, which is a seasonal tune as featured on The O.C Christmas Album, from the TV show of the same name.

Sexsmith is a giant among his  peers, if not the wider record buying world.  Elvis Costello, Feist, k.d lang, and Paul McCartney are fans, among many others.  This might be because  his songs deliver often complex ideas in digestible form, yet never come off as being simplistic.  And he seems to be able to translate this ability into nearly every tune and every genre he sets his mind to.

In this song, we get our Christmas spirit payoff in much the same manner. We  get something about the state of the world too,  a less-than-ideal state at that.  But, it’s tuneful, and the lyrics are heartfelt,  not preachy.

The Christmas story, whether you buy all the hype on a religious level or not, is still a pretty powerful one either way.  I think ultimately the point of it was that even in the middle of struggles, in having to make due with inhospitable conditions like traveling while pregnant and bunking down with livestock before delivering your baby, there is ultimately a need to celebrate the hope that the world is not lost as long as we believe there’s enough good in it from which to draw meaning.  When I think of the ‘Christmas spirit’, I think it’s this idea that shines through most. And in this, Sexsmith has captured the intent of every Christmas tune.

So warm your feet by the fire, and of course…

Enjoy!

Ron Sexsmith Performs His Song “All in Good Time”

Ron Sexsmith Time BeingHere’s a clip of the video for Ron Sexsmith’s tune “All in Good Time”, taken from his 2006 album Time Being.

I was thinking recently about optimistic songs, once again. I’ve written about some of them before of course in my 10 Songs of Optimism article. And it struck me that I could have chosen nearly any song of Ron Sexsmith’s for that list. One of his key strengths is putting a positive spin on a bad situation in song, while not making that spin sound trite, or disrespectful of the dark side of things which are just as important. I think it’s one of the elements which makes him a great songwriter; he’s got enough respect for the complexities of the human experience to write about it seriously, without the fashionable miserablism which often goes along with that. It’s refreshing not to hear another singer-songwriter banging on about how depressing life can be. There are times when that kind of writing is cathartic, of course. But, that takes a certain kind of talent too, to strike the fine line between creating catharsis, and just being a self-indulgent whiner or worse; a phony.

With Sexsmith’s work, there is a sense that we’re all in this together whatever it is, that what is common among human beings is our uncertainty. And from here, we can take this as a call to arms to seek out our own meaning, or we can weaken to bitterness. But, as he says in another song of his, “Listen”, taken from his 2005 album with Don Kerr Destination Unknown:

“Listen to that inner voice/Telling me I have a choice/to condemn life or rejoice/I think I’ll choose rejoicing”.

And that choice really what it’s all about if nothing else, isn’t it?
For further reading, check out this interview with Ron Sexsmith. And for more music and information, check out Ron Sexsmith’s MySpace page.

New Ron Sexsmith album news

Well, this is news from a bunch of fans such as myself (and may therefore be a case of wishful thinking based on spurious information) but here’s a link to the Ron Sexsmith message boards discussing news of a spring 2008 release of a new record.

Ron is playing Vancouver next month at the Orpheum theatre, a show at which I hope to be in attendance. I’ll bore you with the details then, if I go which I’d obviously like to do. Feist, who regularly plays Sexsmith’s tune ‘Secret Heart’, is opening. Which is nice.

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Update on New Ron Sexsmith Album News (June 25, 2008  )

Not long now, folks. I’ve ordered this from Yep Roc, Ron’s new label. There is a download of the track “Brandy Alexander”, a song written with Feist (a version of which also appears on her record…) available on the Yep Roc site. Also, check out the Ron Sexsmith MySpace Page, on which you can preview the track “This is How I Know”, a superlative track (very soul-influenced to these ears…) from the upcoming record Exit Strategy of the Soul. Enjoy!

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Update on New Ron Sexsmith Album News (May 28, 2008 )

Finally, here are the details to the album in question, Exit Strategy of the Soul, to be released in July. Read about it here.

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Update on New Ron Sexsmith Album News (April 4, 2008 )

This story has fallen flat, it seems. The link on the RS forum is dead to boot. I can only guess that this was indeed a rumour, for I haven’t been able to locate any news about a new record anywhere else, although I seem to recall hearing at some point that it was being recorded (at least partially) in Cuba! I might have dreamed that. Anyway, good people; no solid news of a new Sexsmith record yet, which was meant to come out in Spring of 2008 – now, in other words. But, I’m going to keep looking for it.

I did not get to go to the show at the Orpheum in February, the show referred to when this article was originally published. I had to take my daughter to hospital instead. She had an asthma attack – she’s fine now. But, if anyone did get to go, or saw a show of that tour, I’d love to hear about what I missed.