This story takes place in 2009, and really happened out of nowhere. A group of six of us all piled into our friend’s Chevy Tahoe and made the two hour trip from Mt. Pleasant to Detroit to watch our school, Central Michigan take on Ohio in the MAC Championship Game. It was there during halftime that the inspiration struck.
We were a goofy bunch of guys, always coming up with random ideas, plans, and schemes, and with it being near Christmas we wanted to do something special for everyone.
During halftime of the game, the stadium speakers started to play Christmas songs, so myself and a couple others in the group started to sing along, loudly. That’s when it dawned on me. I looked at everyone else in the group and said, “We should make a Christmas album!”
Everyone else in the group was on board with the idea immediately, and that became as much our focus as the rest of the game. In case you were wondering, CMU did win, 20-10, and would finish the year 12-2.
A few days went by and there was still no album made, mainly because it was finals week, following the weekend of the MAC Championship game. But that Wednesday of finals week, everyone had pretty much finished with exams, and in the early afternoon we got started.
My friend Chris, who’s room we made this entire album in, had an audio editing program, and a shitty desktop microphone. That was all we used to record and edit everything.
From there we started talking about what songs to add, and how to make it possible to have music with them. We decided the best, and fastest idea would be to just rip the karaoke versions of the song from YouTube, and then sing along with the words on the screen, and hope for the best.
I should also point out at this time, that of the six people who contributed with their singing on this album, MAYBE two or three of us had any singing ability whatsoever.
But from there it just spiraled out of control, coming up with different songs, that we were going to sing, song we couldn’t sing (anything by Mariah Carey) or songs we wanted to, but couldn’t find a karaoke version of.
To add to the hilarity of this album, we even kept the people who actually sang some of the songs, Frank Sinatra and Taylor Swift, in the songs so it sounded like they were on the album with us. I’m sure this is all completely legal.
Perhaps the most amazing part of all this, is during the recording and singing of this album, not one drop of alcohol was consumed. It wasn’t until we had finished everything that a bottle of Evan Williams egg nog was pulled out.
When we had finished singing, and editing, and organizing the order of the songs on the album, we were nowhere near being close to done. We decided to have a photo shoot, to make an album cover, and a bunch of ridiculous individual shots to make us look like real musicians.
All of the pictures were taken in a freshman dorm’s lounge room, and at one point an RA came in and threatened to kick us out until we explained what we were doing. Her name was Lindsay, this comes back into play later.
So with out pictures taken, we went back to Chris’ apartment to select and album cover, and most importantly, a name for the band. We did the tried and true method of Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” a few times before Mining In Afghanistan came up. We knew it was meant to be.
Now that we had a name, a full album, and a photo for the cover, we knew there was only one thing left to do, find Lindsay. So we went back to the dorm and searched the halls until we passed a girl in the hall, who we thought looked like her.
“Excuse me, are you Lindsay?” my friend Josh asked.
“We have something for you.”
From there we pulled out a copy of the album, and all six members of the band signed it for her right then and there. I have no idea if she ever listened to it, but if she did, I’m sure she regrets not asking for phone numbers along with the album.
After that, we all went to our respective towns for Christmas break, and did what we could with the album, I personally gave every member of my immediate family a copy of the album at my family Christmas parties. I only ever heard back from a couple people about the album.
So that’s the story of the time a few friends and I made a Christmas album, it’s not because we were musically talented, but because we just wanted to do something funny for our friends and family around Christmas. Plus, it’s always a nice feather in your cap to say that you’ve made an album.
If you enjoyed what you heard up there in the YouTube videos, and would like to hear more, feel free to get in contact with me, and we can figure out a way to get you the full album.