2016 Christmas Music Playlist: Quality, not quantity

Charlie-Brown-ChristmasLast year I posted a lengthy Christmas music playlist, but to be honest I felt the need to pare down my playlist for this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I have still been adding music to my collection…after all, what kind of connoisseur would I be if I didn’t? But I did trim the fat a little bit, decreasing the odds of getting two or three of the same song (via different artists) in succession while shuffling in iTunes or on a mobile device.

Here’s what I have going on this year so far (I’m not above adding more to this list later):

Somewhere in My Memory (Chorus & Orchestra Version) – John Williams
Snoopy’s Christmas – Royal Guardsmen
Carol of the Bells – David Benoit
Candy Cane Christmas – Darius Rucker
Run Rudolph Run – Bryan Adams
Winter Wonderland (Christian Prommer Remix) – Shirley Horn
I Pray On Christmas – Harry Connick, Jr.
We Need a Little Christmas – Percy Faith
Jingle Bells – Count Basie Orchestra
The Star Carol – Simon & Garfunkel
We Wish You a Merry Christmas / Silent Night, Holy Night / O Come, All Ye Faithful / Jingle Bells / Where Is Love – Tony Bennett
Dominick the Donkey – Lou Monte
Christmastime Again – MercyMe
The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year (Music from the Videocraft TV Musical Spectacular) – Burl Ives
Snow (From White Christmas) – Seth MacFarlane
O Come All Ye Faithful – Amy Grant
Sleigh Ride – The Ventures
I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You – Claudine Longet
All the Love – XO-IQ
O Holy Night – Ray Conniff Singers
Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
Silent Night – Sarah Brightman
Snow Snow Snow – Band of Merrymakers
Go Where I Send Thee – Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians
Merry Christmas Polka – Tex Ritter
We Three Kings – The Edwin Hawkins Singers
Christmas Medley (From “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” TV Special) – Burl Ives
Suzy Snowflake – Dale Evans
What I Didn’t Get for Christmas – Jimmy Buffett
Here We Come A-Caroling – The New Christy Minstrels
My Favorite Things – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
White Winter Hymnal – Pentatonix
I Saw Three Ships – Sting
The Amens – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan
Jingle Bell Rock – Brenda Lee
Name – Artist
Zat You Santa Claus – Louis Armstrong
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
My Everything – Owl City
Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance! – Sufjan Stevens
Where Did the Snowman Go – Petula Clark
Jing-a-Ling, Jing-a-Ling – The Andrews Sisters
Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac) – Owl City
The First Noel – David Archuleta
I’m a Little Christmas Cracker – Diana Decker
Jing, Jing, Jingle – XO-IQ
Silver And Gold (Music from the Videocraft TV Musical Spectacular) – Burl Ives
The Things We Did Last Summer – Dean Martin
Pat-A-Pan / While Shepherds Watched Their Flock – Bing Crosby
Christmas Medley – Neil Diamond
Wish List – Neon Trees
Christmas At the Airport – Nick Lowe
What God Wants For Christmas – Darius Rucker
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) – Elvis Presley
White Christmas – The Drifters
It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé
Carol of the Bells / Jingle Bells – Barry Manilow
All I Want for Christmas Is You – The 88
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Rascal Flatts
Stille Nacht (Silent Night) – Mannheim Steamroller
Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby
Frosty the Snowman – Jimmy Durante
O Holy Night – John Williams & Chorus
Shake Hands with Santa Claus – Louis Prima
What a Glorious Night – Sidewalk Prophets
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas – Gayla Peevey
The First Noel  – Plácido Domingo & Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) [Single Version] – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus – Brenda Lee
Dream a Dream – Charlotte Church
The Twelve Days of Christmas – Mitch Miller & The Gang
Song of the Sleighbells – June Hutton
Christmas / Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental) – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Deck the Halls (Stephen “Shebby” Ruchelman Remix) – XO-IQ
Santa’s Beard – The Beach Boys
It’s Christmas Time – The Five Keys
Merry & Bright – The Ellas
A Christmas Prayer – The Penguins
A Marshmallow World – Dean Martin
Christmas In Hollis – Run-DMC
O Tannenbaum – Naturally 7
Peppermint Winter – Owl City
O Holy Night – Lorie Line & Robert Robinson
Yabba-Dabba Yuletide (extended) – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Hallelujah (Remix) – Mannheim Steamroller
Thirty Two Feet, Eight Little Tails – Dale Evans
Joy to the World – Mannheim Steamroller
It’s Christmas (Medley) [Live] – Chris Tomlin
Happy Holidays – Percy Faith & His Orchestra and Chorus
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Norah Jones
Christmas Lights – Coldplay
Last Christmas (Studio Version) – Jimmy Eat World
Angels We Have Heard On High – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Christmas Dinner Country Style – Bing Crosby
Christmas As I Knew It – Johnny Cash
Sleigh Ride – Johnny Mathis
Deck the Halls – Mannheim Steamroller
The Merriest – June Christy
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (A Shrift Remix) – Andy Williams
Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental) – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Winter Wonderland (Bonus Track) – Jason Mraz
Another Christmas Song – Stephen Colbert
Little Jack Frost Get Lost – Frankie Carle and His Orchestra
He Shall Reign Forevermore (Live) – Chris Tomlin
O Come, O Come – MercyMe
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Mannheim Steamroller
Joy to the World – Percy Faith
Jingle Bells – Band of Merrymakers
It Snowed – Meaghan Smith
They Shined up Rudolphs Nose – Johnny Horton
What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder
We Wish You a Merry Christmas – Weezer
My Favorite Things – Kelly Clarkson
The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle – Burt Bacharach
December Prayer – Idina Menzel
I Believe in Christmas – Glen Campbell
Christmas Dreaming – Seth MacFarlane
Auld Lange Syne – The Lonesome Travelers
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
I Wanna Spend Christmas with Elvis – Marlene Paula
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2
Little Saint Nick (Single Version) – The Beach Boys
Children Go Where I Send Thee – Nick Lowe
The Little Drummer Boy – Harry Simeone Chorale
Rise Up Shepherd – Nick Lowe
Sing We Now of Christmas – Straight No Chaser
Twinkling Lights (feat. Syd Butler, Seth Jabour & Amy Carlson) – Office Romance
Christmas the Whole Year Round – Sabrina Carpenter
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town – Wayne Newton
The Christmas Song – Mel Tormé
O Tannenbaum – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Very Merry Christmas – Dave Barnes
Jingle Jangle – The Penguins
Humbug – Greg Lake
Christmas Is – Run-DMC
Mistletoe & Holly – Robert Davi
Carol of the Bells – Mannheim Steamroller
Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac) – Owl City
Gabriel’s Message – Sting
What Child Is This (Greensleeves) – Lorie Line & Robert Robinson

Most of these are available on iTunes, but I lack the ambition tonight to build the links. 🙂  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Nick Lowe.  You may remember his one big USA Top 40 hit in the 80s, “Cruel to Be Kind”.  He is the single greatest surprise I encountered when looking for new Christmas music.  You owe it to yourself to check him out.
  • Owl City (Adam Young): He’s got some awesome Christmas tunes, one of which is featured in a Veggie Tales film.  I have three in this playlist.  One is not Christmas specific, but a great tune nonetheless.
  • Sidewalk Prophets: I admit, I’m a sucker for any song that starts out with dialogue from A Charlie Brown Christmas.  But it’s a great song anyway.
  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra: These guys have a really upbeat take on Christmas music, and I especially like their Yabba Dabba Yuletide (obviously to the tune of the Flintstones theme).
  • Actor Robert Davi channels a pretty good SInatra.  I’ve seen him in dozens of films and TV appearances, but I always think of him of the Bond villain Sanchez in “Licence to Kill”.

I have lots of the old classics…the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and the like. But in this list I’m more selective with the old standards and trying to painstakingly grab the best of the newer stuff.  I hope you like it.

After years of driving Divide Avenue, I couldn’t take it any more

The life of a freelancer does not jive well with sleeping normal hours (or at all, some days).  The past month and a half has been insane and, while I’ve been buying a lot of gear and software with the proceeds, I haven’t actually gotten to use any of it for my own enjoyment.  Yet.

You know how I say, “The best camera is the one you have with you!” ad nauseum?  Well, in this case I took my iPod Touch out to snap a quick pic with some Photoshop in mind.

winger_aptsEvery time I drive down East Divide Avenue and pass the Winger Apartments, I can’t help but start singing “Seventeen” or “Down Incognito”.  I’m not a Winger fan, but I’m aware of the body of work.  So in this case I dug up a photo of Kip Winger, threw it in the foreground, and while it is not my finest work it at least got this out of my system.

If I was a renter here I’d get a cardboard standup of Winger and put it in the window.  How many folks do you think would get it?

My Christmas music playlist for 2015

Charlie-Brown-ChristmasI know, Christmas is so yesterday.  Literally.  But I don’t care, I’m going to continue the Christmas spirit for a while. One of the things I do is to pump Christmas music out on  102.5 FM using an extremely low-power FCC-legal transmitter, allowing me to turn on a radio anywhere on my property and listen to the music playing on my garage computer.  I love Christmas music, and it’s great to be able to have it on in the background wherever I may be when I’m at home.

If you’re into Christmas music, I invite you to peruse this meticulously prepared Christmas playlist.  Clocking in at nine hours and fifty minutes in duration, it’s enough to play throughout the day with nary a repeat.  There are some real gems here, and I have no problem admitting that I’m a little proud of the collection I’ve curated this year.   They appear in no particular order; in fact, I went out of my way to randomize them.

Next year I will have to select a new frequency, as Dakota Media Access will be broadcasting on that frequency.  Now worries, a flip of a few DIP switches and I’ll be happy as a clam on another vacant frequency.  My sincere hope is that some of you take the time to check out some of these songs on iTunes and enjoy them for yourselves in future Christmases.

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Bing Crosby
The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year – Burl Ives
Gabriel’s Message – Sting
Jingle Bells – Count Basie Orchestra
Yabba-Dabba Yuletide (extended) – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
Deck the Halls – Mannheim Steamroller
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow – The Andrews Sisters
He Shall Reign Forevermore (Live) – Chris Tomlin
Christmas Candles – The Andrews Sisters
The Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby
The Little Drummer Boy – Johnny Cash
Winter Wonderland – The Andrews Sisters
I Wish You a Merry Christmas – Bing Crosby
Sleigh Bells – Gene Autry
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Mistletoe & Holly – Robert Davi
Song of the Sleighbells – June Hutton
Silent Night – Jingle Cats
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2
Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy (With Dialogue) – Bing Crosby & David Bowie
Silent Night (1947 Single) – Bing Crosby
Little Jack Frost Get Lost – Frankie Carle and His Orchestra
A Merry Christmas At Grandmother’s (feat. Danny Kaye) – The Andrews Sisters
White Winter Hymnal – Pentatonix
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (A Shrift Remix) – Andy Williams
Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby
Here Comes Santa Claus [feat. Bing Crosby] – The Andrews Sisters
Christmas Alphabet – The McGuire Sisters
The Little Drummer Boy – Harry Simeone Chorale
Christmas Dreaming – Seth MacFarlane
Look Out the Window – Gene Autry & Rosemary Clooney
Christmas Dinner Country Style – Bing Crosby
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Thurl Ravenscroft
Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer – Dr. Elmo
Here We Come A-Caroling – The New Christy Minstrels
The Reindeer Boogie – Hank Snow
That’s What Christmas Means to Me – Eddie Fisher
The Things We Did Last Summer – Dean Martin
What Child Is This – Vince Guaraldi Trio
We Need a Little Christmas – Percy Faith
Peppermint Winter – Owl City
Twelve Days of Christmas (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
The First Snowfall (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
Carol of the Bells – Mannheim Steamroller
Happy Holidays – Percy Faith & His Orchestra and Chorus
O Holy Night – Ray Conniff Singers
Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Santa Claus Meets the Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
What God Wants For Christmas – Darius Rucker
It Snowed – Meaghan Smith
When It’s Christmas on the Range – Bob Wills
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
Christmas / Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental) – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Christmas on the Plains – Roy Rogers
A Marshmallow World – Dean Martin
Suzy Snowflake – Dale Evans
Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance! – Sufjan Stevens
Jingle Bells – Dean Martin
The Christmas Song – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Nuttin’ for Christmas – Barry Gordon
The Walk – Dickon Hinchliffe
Silent Night – Dean Martin
Sleigh Ride – The Ventures
Away in a Manger – Jeannie C. Riley
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Single) – Bing Crosby
Star of Wonder – Sufjan Stevens
O Come, O Come – MercyMe
Winter Wonderland – Bing Crosby
It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé
Silver Bells – Dean Martin
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
O Fir Tree Dark (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
The Littlest Angel – Bing Crosby
Thirty Two Feet, Eight Little Tails – Dale Evans
Christmas the Whole Year Round – Sabrina Carpenter
We Are Santa’s Elves – Burl Ives
Parade of the Wooden Soldiers – The Andrews Sisters
Sleigh Ride – The Andrews Sisters
The Christmas Song – Mel Tormé
Joy to the World – Percy Faith
O Tannenbaum – Naturally 7
Mele Kalikimaka (the Hawaiian Christmas Song) [feat. Bing Crosby] – The Andrews Sisters
Carol of the Bells / Jingle Bells – Barry Manilow
Christmas Island – The Andrews Sisters
Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental) – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Run Rudolph Run – Bryan Adams
O Holy Night – Sufjan Stevens
Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac) – Owl City
Christmas Carols by the Old Corral – Tex Ritter
If Santa Could Bring You Back to Me – Jimmy Wakely
Great Pumpkin Waltz – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Old Tex Kringle – Tex Ritter
Here Comes Santa Claus – Gene Autry
Frosty the Snowman – Jimmy Durante
Winter Wonderland – Dean Martin
The Winter Solstice – Sufjan Stevens
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Bing Crosby
White Christmas (1947 Single) – Bing Crosby
Jingle Bells (Single) – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
The Christmas Song (Chestnut Song) – Love Tractor
Humbug – Greg Lake
Peace On Earth / Silent Night – Dean Martin
Winter Wonderland (Bonus Track) – Jason Mraz
Auld Lange Syne – The Lonesome Travelers
Silver And Gold – Burl Ives
Silver Bells – Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely
Christmastime Again – MercyMe
Where Did My Snowman Go? – Gene Autry
Christmas Medley (Music from the Videocraft TV Musical Spectacular) – Burl Ives
Frosty the Snowman – Bing Crosby
What a Glorious Night – Sidewalk Prophets
Angels We Have Heard On High – Aretha Franklin
Christmas As I Knew It – Johnny Cash
Pat-A-Pan / While Shepherds Watched Their Flock – Bing Crosby
I Saw Three Ships – Sting
Für Elise – Vince Guaraldi Trio
White Christmas – Dean Martin
I’d Like to Hitch a Ride With Santa Claus – The Andrews Sisters
The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) – David Seville & The Chipmunks
Jingle Bells – The Singing Dogs
The Twelve Days of Christmas – Mitch Miller & The Gang
I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Dean Martin
Poppa Santa Claus (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
O Holy Night – John Williams & Chorus
Jing-a-Ling, Jing-a-Ling – The Andrews Sisters
Silent Night – Eddy Raven
December Prayer – Idina Menzel
Blue Christmas – Dean Martin
Skating – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Single) – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Faith of Our Fathers (Single) – Bing Crosby
Jingle Jingle Jingle – Burl Ives
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Bing Crosby
Only at Christmas Time – Sufjan Stevens
Blue Snowflakes – Ernest Tubb
The Closing Of The Year (Reprise) – Happy Workers (“Toys” Soundtrack)
Up On the Housetop – Gene Autry
Jangle Bells – Love Tractor
My Little Drum – Vince Guaraldi Trio
May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You (feat. Bing Crosby & Nat “King” Cole) – The Andrews Sisters
Joy to the World – Jeannie C. Riley
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Bing Crosby
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry
Happy Holiday (Beef Wellington Remix) – Bing Crosby
What Child Is This? / The Holly and the Ivy – Bing Crosby
O Tannenbaum – Vince Guaraldi Trio
What Child Is This (Greensleeves) – Lorie Line & Robert Robinson
Do You Hear What I Hear? – Bing Crosby
Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
Little Donkey – Beverly Sisters
Winter Wonderland (feat. Perry Como) – The Andrews Sisters
All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth (feat. Danny Kaye) – The Andrews Sisters
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
Snow Snow Snow – Band of Merrymakers
Santa’s Beard – The Beach Boys
You’re All I Want for Christmas (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
Christmas in Killarney (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
Silver Bells (Single) – Bing Crosby & Carole Richards
Jingle Bells (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
Thanksgiving Theme – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Snoopy’s Christmas – Royal Guardsmen
Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton
Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
Jingle Bell Rock – Brenda Lee
Somewhere in My Memory (Chorus & Orchestra Version) – John Williams
White Christmas – The Drifters
O Holy Night – Lorie Line & Robert Robinson
Is Christmas Only a Tree (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters
Christmas Is Coming – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Merry Christmas Polka – Tex Ritter
Very Merry Christmas – Dave Barnes
Overture and A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
Track Meet – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Christmas Candles (feat. Curt Massey) – The Andrews Sisters
It’s Christmas (Medley) [Live] – Chris Tomlin
Joy to the World – Mannheim Steamroller
Hallelujah (Remix) [Bonus Track] – Mannheim Steamroller
I Pray On Christmas – Harry Connick Jr.
Jingle Bells – Band of Merrymakers
Winter Wonderland (Christian Prommer Remix) – Shirley Horn
Blue Christmas – Ernest Tubb
Snow (From White Christmas) – Seth MacFarlane
Adeste Fideles (1942 Single) – Bing Crosby
Little Saint Nick (Single Version) – The Beach Boys
Greensleeves – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Wonderful Christmas Night – Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Single) – Bing Crosby
Christmas Candy – Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely
O Holy Night – Bing Crosby
My Everything – Owl City
Angels We Have Heard on High – Sufjan Stevens
The Merry Christmas Polka – The Andrews Sisters
The Star Carol – Simon & Garfunkel
The Christmas Tree Angel – The Andrews Sisters
Be a Child at Christmas Time – Doris Day
Last Christmas (Studio Version) – Jimmy Eat World
Frosty the Snowman – Gene Autry
Happy Holiday (feat. Bing Crosby) – The Andrews Sisters

The only Super Bowl halftime show you’ll ever need

Super Bowl XXXVI had a special significance outside the football realm: it was the first after the terrorist attacks only a few short months before. Concerns about security ran high, as the nation was traumatized by the events of September 11th and worried whether more such attacks on civilians were in store. Thanks to President Bush, we have not been hit since, but some healing was in order. Who best to deliver a halftime show to help along the way than U2?

The YouTube video I’m going to link to below contains the second half of the show. I have a copy of the full show, raw as it was sent from the truck to the network, but I don’t have permission to put it online. The first song they play, Beautiful Day, is also on YouTube; just search for “U2 Super Bowl Halftime” and you’ll find it. But the part that had me standing, jumping, and cheering that day was the second song, perhaps their most famous: Where the Streets Have No Name.

When Bono is walking with the microphone before he begins to sing, he quotes Psalm 51:15 – “O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” In an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, U2’s manager tells the story of how, in the band’s early days, he’d find them in the bus after their shows reading the Bible instead of out partying it up. Apparently they’re Christians of some sort. According to the program, they almost called it quits when all the fame took hold because they didn’t know what it might do to them. They didn’t break up, however, although Bono has since jumped the shark. I like their music and choose to remember where they supposedly came from.

Tonight’s halftime show was predictably garbage – half dressed “dancers” writhing around without a musician among them – so I tuned it out. In fact, I didn’t even get to begin watching the game until the start of the second half, which turns out to be the best part of the game. I kept a thumb on the remote button to switch away from any of the racy commercials, caught the Dodge Ram “Farmer” ad (easily the highlight of the night), and kept my family’s eyes safe from whatever assault Big Media had prepared for them.

Buildings amd mountains…well, okay…buildings

We had a pretty dramatic, golden-orange sunset several nights ago…and my boys and I were there to capture it. It’s always characteristic of others’ misfortune, when forest or grass fires plague areas north and/or west of us: the smoke makes for some amazing sunsets.

We haven’t had much for clouds lately, at least not at sunset, but this particular evening was pretty well adorned. I have a “secret spot” that’s the best place to take such sunset photos of the capitol, and permission to be there, so we bolted to catch the combination of color and clouds before going home for story time and bunk beds.

The Sunset Song of the Day for this photo is an old favorite of mine, “Buildings and Mountains,” by The Republic Tigers (iTunes link). It’s also a great song for a road trip through the wide open plains with those beautiful North Dakota skies overhead.

Pilings-on and a double-barreled Sunset Song of the Day

After work today I took off with my camera to walk much of the Lewis & Clark trail along the Missouri River in Mandan, starting from the northwest trailhead. While I took a lot of photos of the changing leaves and meandering dirt path, some of which I may post later, I really had a goal of taking a photo of the old wooden pilings near the trailhead itself. Someone was about to begin a senior session down there, so I decided to walk a few miles first. I’m glad I did.

I returned to the truck right around sunset, with only the last bits of pink and purple remaining in the western sky. I got into position and eyeballed the shot, unsure whether I’d actually get an angle I liked. I did, as you can see, but I hadn’t brought my camera down to the rocky shore with me in case I didn’t like what I saw. I dashed back up before the light went away from me, returned for a quick setup and series of shots trying different things with fill flash and long exposures, then it was time to come home for some homemade chili.

Due to the amount of time spent walking, I had plenty of opportunity to select two songs for tonight’s Sunset Song of the Day. The first one is “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand” by the Primitive Radio Gods (iTunes link) and the second is “Black Chow” by Big Spider’s Back (iTunes link). Both have a good tempo suitable for walking back to your truck at the end of a nice, long hike. They also set the mood for a relaxing purple-and-blue end to the evening, down by the river as it laps against the rocks.