Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Alex Chilton was born today

For Alex's 60th birthday (which would have been yesterday) here's his pseudo-holiday song performed by Mike Mills and the surviving members of Big Star (Jody, Ken, Jon)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a song you know well

And we've ruined it completely, so we all say oh well..

Monday, December 27, 2010

That's When You Need a Chelsea Tractor

The Scottish FalsettoCostello Sock Puppet Theatre singing an Elvis-style medley about the UK's recent Wintry weather.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good King Wenceslas

My favorite version of the only Boxing Day Carol I know.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone

Sufjan's older brother Shakin', from 25 years ago when UK Christmas #1's were actual Christmas songs.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Time for the feats of Slade

Brendan Benson covers Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" as part of AVClub "Holiday Undercover"


Brendan Benson covers "Merry X-Mas Everybody"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

I've been waiting for this day since this show eleven months ago.



Today we sing the praises of December 23rd
Although it's not a holiday per se
It's just the day that is the day before the day
Before the day that is the best day in the world

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lee & Lucy

Another pseudo-Xmas track that Scott Miller namechecked in "Music: What Happened?" is Guaraldi's "Linus & Lucy", which he says might be "the world's most famous jazz recording".

The clip of the Peanuts kids dancing to "L&L" has been mashed up almost as much as the Hitler "Downfall" thing, but my favorite imagining is still "A Charlie Brown Kwanzaa"



This is offensive on so many levels, but it's still hilarious. My absolute favorite part is at 2:30 with Schroeder and Lucy at the piano..
"Lee Motherfuckin' Hazelwood!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One More Drifter In The Snow

There aren't more than a handful of single artist Christmas albums from the last 40 years that I can listen to all the way through, but over the past few years, but Aimee Mann's One More Drifter In The Snow has slowly crept into my regular holiday rotation.



Aimee was apparently aiming for a "Mel Torme, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, loungy, sort of Julie London" holiday album instead of a "groovy modern" one, and the results are more inspired than many of her non-holiday releases during the 2000s. She covers all the torch classics like Mel's "Christmas Song", "White Christmas","I'll Be Home For Christmas", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", and Jimmy Webb's "Whatever Happened To Christmas" (made famous by Frank Sinatra).

After this, she adds a couple of original tunes in a similar style: "Christmastime" (co-written with her husband Michael Penn) and this song "Calling On Mary" which ends the album on a Linus in the auditorium coda. "Lights, please.."



This weekend I went to the release party for Scott Miller's "Music: What Happened?" book, and noticed that Scott listed "Calling On Mary" as one of his favorite songs of 2006.
."Calling On Mary," despite a lost-love motif that can function as attenuation, seems to mean more or less the real thing: calling on her who intervenes for the repentant. "When I was young I couldn't see/All that my true love gave to me" is pretty believable as late-acquired self knowledge. That "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas" refrain really sticks in your head.

One of Scott's last public performances before this weekend was performing with Aimee Mann in her 2006 One More Drifter In The Snow holiday cavalcade.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Keep the chestnuts safely from the penguin

Here's a new video for Anton Barbeau's "Xmas Song"



And here's an old school Xmas mix I posted to Facebook this weekend with "Xmas Song" as the leadoff track.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Run Rudolph Run

For Keith's birthday (speaking of people who are still kicking at 67)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Best Christmas Ever

Wrapping up a few days of Spector Christmas, here's the title track from Ronnie's new Christmas EP, as included on my 2010 holiday mix.



This looks like it was recorded on a mobile phone, and I'd like to have a better version, but it's nice to see Ronnie Spector performing and looking so good at 67 years of age.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" is borrowed from Phil Spector's arrangement on A Christmas Gift For You, which is one of the greatest holiday albums ever.

It's mostly traditional standards and carols done up in early 60s Wall Of Sound arrangements, but here's the one original song, which has been covered by everyone from U2 to R.E.M. to Death Cab For Cutie , but Darlene Love's original version is still the gold standard for "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)".

She's been playing it on Letterman every year since he was on NBC.



Darlene Love just made the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, which is kind of surprising as much as I love that song (and "Marshmallow World").

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wonder Winterland

Today is the 32nd anniversary of Bruce Springsteen's Winterland concert, which gave us this famous rendition of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town".



The entire show, which was broadcast on local radio, is archived at Wolfgang's Vault.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the 13th day

Does this qualify as a holiday song? I think so!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And a beer.. in a tree

For the 12th day of December,
here's Bob & Doug McKenzie's 12 Days Of Christmas

Saturday, December 11, 2010

iPod xMas

Another one from the annals of Christmas mixes past. I've reseeded my 2007 holiday mix "iPod xMas", which was the first one that wasn't distributed on CDR, even though it's exactly 80 minutes long.

Click on the cover to download..


Here's the track list, in a cut and pasteable format.

iPod xMas
01. The Mighty Echoes - Happy Xmas (War is Over)
02. Brian Wilson - Christmasey
03. The Bobs - Christmas In L.A.
04. Frank Lee Sprague - Christmas Time
05. Starbelly - Dear Mother Chistmas
06. Eugene Edwards - Dear Mom and Dad
07. Robin Gibb - Good King Wenceslas
08. Apples In Stereo - Holiday Mood
09. Margo Guryan - I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You
10. Hello Saferide - iPod Xmas
11. Joe Algieri - Computer Xmas
12. The Joseph and Mary Chain - Twelve Days Of Christmas
13. Casper and the Cookies - Kiss Me Beneath the Christmas Tree
14. Ted Leo / Pharmacists - Annunciation Day / Born on Christmas Day
15. Lore Sjoberg - Nine Inch Noels
16. Aimee Mann - Christmastime
17. Mercaptan - Joy To The World
18. The Minus 5 - Your Christmas Whiskey
19. Screaming Santas - Let's Get High For Christmas
20. Peter And The Test Tube Babies - I'm Getting Pissed For Christmas
21. Redd Kross - Super Sunny Christmas
22. The Singles - Baby It's Christmas
23. The Smithereens - Christmas Time All Over The World
24. Stratocruiser - Last Christmas Girl
25. The Band - Christmas Must Be Tonight
26. Tralala - Everybody Christmastime
27. The Swimmers - The Christmas Sound
28. The Raveonettes - The Christmas Song
29. Richard Cheese - Christmas In Las Vegas

Friday, December 10, 2010

Time Of The Season

This song by Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan is not a Zombies cover, but it is a great holiday song from their latest album Hawk.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

He's Coming Home

An unimaginative video of a great holiday song by Dean & Britta

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Smells Like Christmas Spirit

From the ghost of Christmas mixes past, here is my 2004 mix "Smells Like Christmas Spirit", which was one of my favorites to do.

It has Pledge Drive's "Christmas Rhapsody, and thirty other worthwhile tracks, on it. Here's the cover, which I had to scan because I didn't have a digital version.



SMELLS LIKE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
1 Can't Wait Till Christmas Day Vince Vance & The Valiants
2. Do All Your Shopping .. At Wal-Mart
3. Xmas Shopping Blues - Christmas Jug Band
4. Santa And The Semi
5. Santa Claus Lane - Hilary Duff
6. I Love Christmas - Fast Food Rockers
7. Christmas Will Be Magic Again - International Language
8. Jingle Bells - Slaw
9. Oranges For Christmas - El Vez
10. Instant Christmas - The Ziggens
11. Santa Song - Honeydrippers
12. Trim Yo Tree - Mojo Nixon
13. Last Month Of The Year - Kingston Trio
14. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Jack Johnson
15. Christ-mas - Cletus T. Judd
16. Kuklapolitan Christmas - Kukla, Fran, and Ollie
17. Marshmallow World - Darlene Love
18. Sing Along With Santa - New Christy Minstrels
19. Santa Claus Is A Lie - New Duncan Imperials
20. Jolly Old St. Nicholas - NRBQ
21. Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy - Buck Owens
22. Xmas Rhapsody - Pledge Drive
23. Grinch Grinch Baby - MC Sizzle Lean and Phony B
24. O Tannenbaum - They Might Be Giants
25. Snoopy's Christmas - Royal Guardsmen
26. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day - Johnny Cash
27. Carol Of The Bartenders - Bob Rivers
28. Better Do It Right - Smashmouth
29. Christmas In The Marketplace - Trolley
30. Toy - Underball
31. Christmas Eve In The Boozer - The Yobs
32. Jingle Bells - The Simpsons
download

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Got Something For You

A Christmas collaboration between Best Coast & Wavves



This song is on a free Target holiday compilation that can be downloaded here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fruitcake

A song on my Christmas mix by Fred Schneider and the Superions



A little bit of mace,
The stuff they spray in your face?
Oh no, you sillies!
It’s a spice for taste!
Put the oven on low,
Three hours or mo
Wrap it in rum…
Yum, yum, yum,
Fruitcake!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Every Christmas You Fake

Following up Mojochronic's "Rudolph" with this song seemed logical.



I don't like "Last Christmas" or "Every Breath You Take", but somehow the combination of the two wins me over!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rudolph (Put On The Red Light)

This seems to be one of the more popular songs on my 2010 Holiday Mix. The video is even better. Courtesy of mojochronic, the mind behind Yuletide Zeppelin and Yuletide Zeppelin II.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Come On Christmas

The second track on my Christmas compilation is by Cheap Trick



This was the an extra track on their 1996 box set, and was recorded in the early 90s for a charity Christmas compilation. They re-cut "Come On, Come On", added the word "Christmas" at the end and viola! Instant Cheap Trickmas! I think I included this song on one of my early compilations back in the cassette years, but it's worth digging up every dozen years or so.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here Come The Christmas Zombies

I don't really have a theme for this month besides "Christmas Music". The first track on my 2010 holiday mix is by Bah & the Humbugs, who are billed as "America's Premier Satiric Christmas Rock Band". I wonder what they do the other eleven months of the year? Here's a song that I didn't choose for my mix, because it sounded a little too much like the B52's, and I already had another song by the real Fred Schneider.



This is by the Humbugs "tribute" band Area 25, who I suspect are just the Bah & the Humbugs under a different name, but I could be wrong.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Falsch Tannenbaum

Happy December Everyone! Here is my 2010 Holiday Mix.

15 minutes on MSPaint

FALSCH TANNENBAUM [Fake Christmas Trees]
1. Mr. Big Christmas / Bah & the Humbugs
2. Come On Christmas / Cheap Trick
3. Almost Christmas Time / Dwight Twilley
4. End Of The Year / Neilson Hubbard
5. Fruitcake / The Superions
6. Got Something for You / Best Coast + Wavves
7. He's Coming Home / Dean & Britta
8. Time of The Season / Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
9. Bethlehem 9 / The Butties
10. Christmas Is Holy / John Wesley Harding
11. Mrs. Claus Ain't Got Nothin' On Me / Little Jackie
12. 1 2 Xmas U / Monkey Typing Pool
13. Rudolph (Put On The Red Light) / Mojochronic
14. Every Christmas You Fake / Divide & Kreate
15. Fake Christmas / St. Nick's Lonely Christmas Band
16. No More Christmas Singles / Spitting Image
17. Sleighing Bells / The Found Sound Orchestra
18. Everything Is Cool At Christmastime / Parthenon Huxley
19. Best Christmas Ever / Ronnie Spector
20. Rocking Tree / Marguerite Trina
21. Little Drummer Boy / Rex Broome
22. Getting Ready For Christmas Day / Paul Simon
23. Christmas Eve Eve / Paul and Storm
25. Up On the Howzie Top / The Yule Logs
25. Falsch Tannenbaum / Schei├čekopf
26. Squat / Shelby Lynne
27. We Wish You A Hairy Chestwig / Ren and Stimpy
28. Noel Song / Animaniacs

Download link: (should be valid for the whole month)