The Holiday Shift - Remixed & Remastered for 2018

by Hot Breakfast!

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You ask me what I want for Christmas What a thoughtful thing to do Giving's such a lovely way to live But I still have a plastic bag That's all filled up with last year's swag So how about we give the gift of no more gifts to give - in fact: Consider this song your Christmas present Load it in, and then forget it Play it anytime you wanna hear Maybe it's not that much better Than cotton socks or a tacky sweater Still my words could not be more sincere Please don't get me anything this year Ooh oh oh I don't want a thing for Christmas No kitchen tools or fondue sets Or toys that hug my inner child too. (No!) But if the concept hurts your brain Just donate something in my name Or send me some new music like this song I made for you Consider this song your Christmas present Copy, paste, and then forget it Play it on December first each year Or if you find you just don't need it I won't mind if you delete it If you change your mind I'll be right here Please don't get me anything this year Now I appreciate the thought Some thoughts should just stay in your head Why don't we take back what we bought Call it even, say goodnight and we'll all go back to bed? All year you give to someone else But none of us are blessed with wealth So take what you would spend on me And give back to yourself Consider this a lifetime present To make your holidays more pleasant The gift of one less gift to give away Maybe we can go the distance And formulate a gift resistance Start a new tradition where nobody has to pay This song is your Christmas present Load it in, and then forget it Play it anytime you wanna hear Isn't this a little better Than Santa socks or a reindeer sweater Rung up by an underpaid cashier Please don't get me anything this year Please don't get me anything this year And next year Every year.
Got your invite, I got your letter For your holiday get-together "Let us celebrate, please save the date We would love it if you'd come" It's a beautiful invitation But I'm out for the duration While you're drinking hot-buttered rum I'll be navigating pandemonium On the Holiday Shift, working five to three (the holiday shift), yeah lucky me While you party here's my parting gift Watching morons shoppin' on the Holiday Shift And you tell me "This is outrageous! It's a sickness and it's contagious It's a family day and they shouldn't make you Go to work today" I appreciate your kind wishes But I wish you'd mind your business Cause I like the extra pay Just a bit more than my family anyway On the holiday shift, at your favorite store (The Holiday shift), watch 'em storm the floor If there were no demand, it would not exist But buyers' gonna buy on the Holiday shift - Where you and I will be sharing the same pain If you catch my drift - cause your party and my job are just the same And here's how: Everyone's friendly at the start of the night But the longer they stay, the more they fight They get in the way while we multi-task They give their opinions when we didn't ask We'll both need a week to convalesce From the noise, the smell, and the epic mess When the night is over we can't believe How some people don't know when it's time to leave The holiday shift - while you celebrate (the holiday shift) - they'll be at the gate And ready to throw down to prove their thrift The holiday shift - but while you're drinking wine (the holiday shift) - I'm making double-time I'll think of that when I can use a lift On the holiday shift, it's a long 10 hours (the holiday shift), but I hold the power I rule my register with an iron fist Holiday Shift - you got a chip on their shoulder? (The holiday shift) Yes I can move slower So don't you get your panties in a twist... So while you drink and dine and exchange your gifts Raise a glass to me on the holiday shift
It don't matter where you live or where you work If you're the boss, you're middle management or clerk If you're scraping by or wearing corporate clothes Everyone's a child when it snows It don't matter if your collar's white or blue If you're first in class or low man on the crew Once the flurries start to rise above your toes, I propose That everyone's a child when it snows Sliding cars and stupid trucks Man this traffic really sucks your joy away And though this drive home is a trial Look outside, you can't help but smile And once you make it home okay Catch the weather news with one eye on the clock You just know the plow is gonna skip your block Just turn away and let the window meet your nose, it only shows That everyone's a child when it snows And though your back is gonna scream When you're shoveling, you'll dream of snowball fights Building forts and racing sleds Running wild into snowy beds Till you're called in for the night So tell the boss that you ain't going anywhere Throw your boots on or just nestle in your chair And let the snowfall melt the memories you once froze That's how it goes Maybe you said goodbye to childhood long ago And maybe this is not the life you thought you chose But everyone's a child when it snows
So this was not your best year And you just want to hide in bed Until the first of next year Then maybe you’ll poke out your head But like it or not, the season’s here You can’t avoid, you can’t stay clear So when you’re tired of tryin’ to hide Just step outside And look at all the colored lights Don’t they brighten up this night Don’t they make you wanna just believe But if Silent Night can’t set you free You can drive around with me I’ll be home on Christmas Eve You’ve done no decorating You’ll never get your shopping done You’re not participating In all the office party fun And all the pressure to be nice And all the Rankin Bass advice Could crush the soul of any man I understand... But look at all the colored lights Don’t they brighten up this night Don’t they make you wanna just believe But if "Silver Bells" can’t set you free You can hang around with me I’ll be home on Christmas Eve Whoa-oh-oh well it’s okay To turn your cynic’s eyes away To let it go and feel all right If only just for one good night Hey hey hey! And you don’t have to play in snow Or watch some Lifetime picture show And you can fight the righteous fight Just not tonight…not tonight… And look at all the colored lights Don’t they brighten up this night Don’t they make you wanna just believe But if Darlene Love can’t set you free You can drive around with me I’m coming home I’m coming home Yeah come on man, now it’s all right You can feel alive tonight Cause I’ll be home on Christmas I’ll be home on Christmas I’ll be home on Christmas Eve
Christmas is for the believers That's what they tell me on certain news stations They say Christmas is for the believers And we're fighting a battle, and there's only one winner But I see the lights on the rooftops And wreaths on every door And I can't accept this incredible feeling Could ever come down to me versus you Reduced to some silly war Now I know the origin of Christmas Is sometimes disputed - it gets complicated A star light, a birth in a manger Or simply the solstice, and a mythical story But right now, the snowflakes are falling It's almost Christmas Eve And so in the spirit of this festive season I bet we can blend in your faith with my reason So here's what I believe I believe in artists and all their creations My friends, my family and our celebrations in teachers and leaders who share what they know In farmers and gardeners who share what they grow I believe in drama that stays on the stage I believe in the fiction you shared on the page I believe in people who search for the truth I believe in scientists searching for proof The activists fighting to keep people warm Those studying radar predicting the storms I believe in the planets (yes Pluto counts too!) I believe in you, yes I believe in you So I'm a believer, too Now I know some people will tell you This day belongs to them But I say just look all around us The shopping, the music, the anticipation Department store Santas, and bad decorations The trading of presents, the bells and the chimes And watching that movie you've seen 90 times You say that your holiday isn't for lost ones Well sorry, you shouldn't have made it so awesome So tell me I'm doomed, like all the forsaken Even though all the good stuff you took from the pagans Then pray for my soul, and pray for my saving Then come pick me up, cause I've got a craving We'll drink Irish coffee in winter apparel While looking at houses and singing some carols Like Joy to the World, and War is Over And maybe this battle can bring us some closure Cause I know in the end Christmas is for anyone Christmas can be for anyone
In with the new, say goodbye to the old Hello to warmth, say goodbye to the cold, and Hello peace of mind, peace of heart and peace on earth Hello and goodbye to the thirty-first Say goodbye to pain, say goodbye to hate Hello New Year's Day and a clean blank slate And a clean blank slate We all agree it was a terrible year Just a few more hours and we're all in the clear All of our faults, all our problems, all our rage Are getting thrown away with the calendar page Say goodbye to fear, say goodbye to hate Say hello to love and a clean blank slate And a clean blank slate Wouldn't it be great if it really worked that way If we could reboot our lives on New Year's Day? Wouldn't it be grand if this song were really true If December's problems weren't following you If November's troubles weren't January's troubles too But in with the new, say goodbye to the old Goodbye to copper, hello to gold Goodbye broken hearts, goodbye sadness, goodbye fear Hello to the start of the perfect year Say goodbye to fear, say goodbye to hate Say hello to love Say goodbye to pain, say goodbye to hate Say hello to love and a clean blank slate And a clean blank slate
All the leaves are nice and green The air conditioner's cool And hear the sounds of happy children Playing in the pool It's 92 degrees outside But don't you get me wrong Cause even though it's summertime This is still a Christmas song… Cause I'm not gonna be an idiot this Christmas This year I'll start buying gifts real soon You think I'm over-dramatic, but I'm avoiding panic I won't be shopping in the snow, I'll be kicking it off in June I'm making up a list down on the boardwalk And stopping at the outlets on the way I'm not gonna be an idiot this Christmas I'll have my shopping done by Labor Day So okay I bought no one gifts this summer Shopping in the heat is hard to do Besides who can think of Santa, when you're still chugging Mylanta Cause you ate too many chili dogs at Uncle Henry's Barbeque? I still have lots of time to look for bargains I'll buy the finest gifts you've ever seen I'm not gonna be an idiot this Christmas I'll have my shopping done by Halloween Well now December's almost gone The time just disappeared And it's too late for Amazon To get a package here So I'm scraping off the windshield Wrap a scarf around my ears Cause it turns out I'm an idiot this Christmas I never did that shopping after all It turns out I'm an idiot this Christmas I'm spending Christmas Eve at Christiana Mall!


tl;dr: We recorded this EP shortly after election night of 2016 - emotions were high. We self-produced and engineered and mixed it ourselves but weren't thrilled with the results. So in 2018 we remixed and hired Cliff Hillis to master and it sounds a lot better. Pay what you will. $0 works. ✌️➕❤️

- - - -

'The Holiday Shift' is a little glimpse into how Hot Breakfast! sees the winter holiday season. Sometimes, it brings out the worst in us; we behave badly ("The Holiday Shift") and resent having to shop for presents ("Don't Get Me Anything"). But sometimes, it fills us with joy, whether we're just driving around with a good friend in need ("I'll Be Home On Christmas Eve") or letting the sight of snowflakes fill us with innocent wonder ("Everyone's A Child When It Snows").

We wrote most of these songs in the summer and early fall of 2016. But we had scheduled our recording session for November 9, 2016 - a day that happened to follow what we can safely call a deeply stunning and wildly historic night. In fact, we were stunned into wildly historic silence, and we realized we needed to put our project aside for a few days. This wasn't the most practical option, as our EP release party was less than five weeks away, but it was certainly necessary.

We finally shook out of it and got to work. But while the recording sessions were fun (there are few things we love more than recording), we really had to hustle. We recorded in our home studio, so we could work all night if we wanted. But it takes a highly skilled professional to engineer and mix music, and while this wasn't our first roldeo - we engineered and produced our first EP, and half of our debut album '39 Summers' - it's a tremendous challenge, especially under the pressure of a time crunch.

Bottom line: we were happy with the results, but not thrilled. 'The Holiday Shift' was always intended to have a loose homemade sound, but we really struggled with it. Some of the songs just didn't have the sonic coherence we were hoping for.

So this year, we decided to do something about that.

We made two crucial decisions. The first: we wouldn't record any new tracks for these songs, an excellent declaration of artistic integrity which we immediately broke it by adding our newly acquired baritone saxophone to "The Holiday Shift." The second: we wouldn't change the arrangements, alter the performances or (crucially) clean up any mistakes. Our goal wasn't to make the SONGS better - we just wanted them to SOUND better, while still sounding like the same songs.

But really, what we needed was someone to Master the songs. Mastering is a specialty that requires someone with the ears, the thoughtful consideration, and the technical skills (and tools) to bring mixes to life. Especially when those mixes, like ours, are sincere, but flawed.

Enter the amazing Philadelphia-based musician, singer, songwriter, and producer Cliff Hillis. Not only was he a joy to work with - he put up with our many re-re-remixes and answered all our neurotic questions - but he made our mixes shine in a way we never could.

So many, many thanks to Cliff Hillis. And to Ritchie Rubini for recommending him.

Finally: our liner notes from December 2016 read, in part, "as we head into 2017 filled with anxiety, fear, and even a little hope, knowing that New Year's Day changes nothing but the calendar date, we remind each other - and ourselves - that this season really can be a time of renewal, of love and respect for each other, and peace on earth - no matter what we do or don't believe."

That's all still true. The anxiety and fear we lived with two years ago is still with us, growing deeper, poking us whenever we dare to relax and get comfortable. It's a drag, but the hope - that's still there too. And it's growing deeper, too.

So please have a happy, healthy, hearty, and safe holiday season. 'The Holiday Shift' is currently free, because the best present you can give us this holiday is letting us be a part of yours.

Peace, Love, and Dork-Rock,
Jill and Matt

And oh yeah - don't be like us. Get your shopping done early ("An Idiot For Christmas").


released November 24, 2018

Jill Knapp: lead & harmony vocals, drums & percussion, recorder, melodica, keyboards
Matt Casarino: guitars, vocals, bass, mandolin, keyboards, drums, programming

Joe Trainor: piano solo on "I'll Be Home On Christmas Eve"

All Songs written by Matt Casarino & Jill Knapp

Produced by Hot Breakfast! at Knappshack Studios (Wilmington, DE)
Mastered by Cliff Hillis


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Hot Breakfast! Wilmington, Delaware

Matt Casarino and Jill Knapp are Hot Breakfast! - Delaware's premier acoustic dork-rock power duo.

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