By Christine Leonard
CALGARY – It’s funny how the holiday season casts an aura around everything that makes the world seem a little bit more magical. Like the nutmeg in your nog or the beeswax in your moustache, The Dudes’ Annual Christmas Special is one of myriads of elements that come together to create the perfect holiday. Ready to put a rock in your sock, vocalist/guitarist Danny Vacon and The Dudes have a long history of hanging up the mistletoe and wrecking the halls whenever the occasion arises.
“You know when sometimes a person finds you charming, so they ask if you want to come home with them for the night? Does that happen to you ever? Imagine you both had such a nice time that they asked you to come back and bang every year. It’s like that. I’m guessing this is our… eighth?” says frontman Vacon, attempting to recall how long they’ve been hosting the popular event.
“It started at the Republik. Then she moved to Flames Central. Now she’s at The Palace Theatre. Have Christmas will travel!”
Comfortingly, Bad Santa Vacon, guitarist Bob Quaschnick, bassist Brock Geiger and drummer Matt Doherty, won’t be alone in their turkey-induced haze. The more the merrier, after all.
“We’re lucky to know the best musicians. Our own beloved 36? opens. They’re gonna make you feel good,” he assures.
“Charlie Handsome and the Brats are this hard rockin’, sweats wearin’, epic eight-piece band from Kelowna. I saw them this summer and was addicted. The most fun. Like if a bucket of chicken had an apartment and a band!”
The Dudes aim to adorn their decked-to-the-halls fantasy with some surprise visuals that are sure to complete the illusion. A guitar isn’t the only tool that string-slinger Quaschnick brings to the party.
“Bob is a carpenter. He always builds something impossible for the show. We do all sorts of things. Imagine Cirque on a trailer park budget.”
Perfect for your champagne in a can vacation plan, just don’t expect any kitschy carols with your cocktails. The Dudes have been off the school pageant circuit since the unfortunate snow globe incident of ‘08. But that doesn’t stop them from enjoying themselves. In fact, their festive spirit is simply contagious.
“I just embrace it at this point. I glittered my high tops last year to look like Dorothy of Oz. People can’t help if they’ve got the herpes. People can’t help it if they need to be fabulous. Aesthetically, I’d like to see more people dazzling their herpes. C’mon, it’s Christmas. Put in a little effort.”
Traditions are what you make them, so when it comes to creating a unique holiday experience The Dudes have their own ideas about what it means to ring in the New Year properly.
“You might be under the impression we’re gonna be playing Christmas songs. That’s would be torture, for everyone,” Vacon warns. “We have one song about a Christmas miracle. This dude’s landlord is on a date with his lady on Christmas Eve. He plugs in his guitar and the most wonderful things start happening. Also, he gets an old Big Muff Pi in his stocking, so… it’s a bit of a triumph.”
Maybe the perfect gift isn’t something you find under a tree. The Dudes have discovered that sometimes the best present is just being present for those who really matter to you.
“I dug a girl a giant hole once. No joke. Labour is love. I hid in a wrapped gift box when I got home on temporary leave from my deployment in 2005. Snuck myself under my ex’s tree while she slept on Christmas Eve. Morning comes and, ‘Whoa boy,!’ was she ever surprised. Her new boyfriend even more so.”
Behold the unholy glory of The Dudes Annual Christmas Special on Dec. 21 at Palace Theatre (Calgary) and Dec. 22 at Station on Jasper (Edmonton)Blue Grotto, Capital Ballroom, Dorothy of Oz, Flying Steamshovel, Palace Theatre, Quaschnick, Republik, Rickshaw Theatre, Rockwater, Station On Jasper, The Dudes