Sunday, December 17, 2006

Many thanks to Pat for putting up this year's holiday music compilation. Download, or stream it. Email me if you'd like me to send you a burned cd copy, but it may not arrive before xmas.

* The sleeve pictures are of some trees on our property in fair play.
* The sepia toning and peace symbol clip-art demonstrate my photoshopping skills haven't improved in '06.
* I also have no excuse for the impossibly unimaginative title.
* There isn't a recurring theme to the song selections this year, however there are more olde-timey tunes than I usually use. It might be due to the jukebox influence.

Tracks - (click on the song names to get the mp3):

1. We start off with the Reverend Edward W. Clayton,
The Guitar Evangelist, playing slide and preaching on 'The Wrong Way to Celebrate Christmas.' Recorded in Chicago, Oct 18, 1928.

2. Butterbeans & Susie must have missed that sermon, 'cause they are in the middle of a physical negotiation on one way to celebrate, with 'Papa Ain't No Santa Claus (and Mama Ain't no Christmas Tree).' From 1930, with accompanying piano by the great Eddie Heywood (Beguin the Beguine, Canadian Sunset). Tracks 1 & 2 come off an interesting holiday compilation, from Dust-to-Digital.

3. Joan Osborne and Susie would probably relate, as Joan asks Santa 'What Do Bad Girls Get?' From last year's Christmas Means Love. Woooh Joannie, Butterbeans has some balls he wants to hang on your tree!

4. Jet comes back with an appropriately male response in 'Back Door Santa.' I should be embarrassed to admit this track comes off last year's Victoria's Secret holiday cd.

5. Oh fuck it, I'm gonna have a party. Good advice for the holidays, from local guys Nada Surf. 'Blankest Year.'

6. A chestnut, 'Enjoy Yourself' was recorded by lots of folks during the 40s & 50s. It took The Specials to update it for the 80s (I guess it's time for someone to bring it into the naughts). I like this Guy Lombardo version - it sounds like the band are really enjoying themselves. I've never included GL's 'Auld Lang Syne' on any compilation... and I never will.

7. Bill & Louise Kirchen's (see comments in previous post) 'Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus' is from Hungry for Music's A Holiday Feast - vol 6. A noteworthy and important non-profit, Hungry for Music puts out great compilations. You can catch up on the series with their latest Creme de la Creme 2 CD best of.

8. Bobby Salvatore's 'Stick em Up Santa' is off a 45 I found in a Pollock Pines antique shop. I love the kitschy backing vocal vibratos. These kids are belting it out like they're headed for the Great White Way. Bobby, on the other hand, is classically bratty and deserves coal. Well, maybe that's 'shooting' the messenger: the lyricist deserves the
organic sedimentary rock formed by diagenetic and submetamorphic compression of peat bog material.

9. The holidays and family reunions go hand in mitten. 'Blood Reunion' can be found on Judith Edelman's 2000 release Drama Queen. A few years ago, she did a holiday concert at our place & she was fantastic. As the daughter of a Nobel Prize winner, you think there might have been some serious paternal expectations? blood reunion, ain't it fun, sharing dna with everyone. heyhey, blood reunion, family genes, alcohol and drama queens!

10. 'Footprints' is from 2003's Barenaked for the Holidays. I'm not a big Barenaked Ladies fan, but I do like this clean and straightforward arrangement. Pure as the driven snow, i guess.

11. No Wave label Ze Records put out a A Christmas Record in 1981. I believe it was the first place where you could get The Waitresses' now ubiquitous 'Christmas Wrapping' - at least it was for me. They reissued the record again in '82, and 22 years later it was augmented a third time and re-re-released as A Xmas Record ReLoaded. The '04 version includes Lisi's 'My Silent Night.'

12. Some old school hip hop, 'Ghetto Santa' by Spyder D. From 1987's Christmas Rap.

13. When it comes time to crank it up - like roughly halfway through a holiday comp - one is tempted to turn to Modey Lemon. And we give in to temptation. With 'Jesus Christ (for dinner)', are the boys suggesting there is a wee bit of hypocrisy running rampant in today's society? Again: Oh fuck it, I'm gonna have a party!

14. I found Jimmy Charle's 'Santa Won't Be Blue This Christmas' 45rpm at Village Music. Released way back in 1960, it now gets regular play in our jukebox. Yeah santa, Come on and twist now.

15. Roger Christians' 'Little Mary Christmas' is a vinyl single I found in that same Pollock Pines antique shop. Googling for a link, I now see it's also included on A John Waters Christmas. Drat, it's not as obscure as I thought it was!
However, it still is most annoying - so I've messed with it a little. I wonder if this is the same Roger Christian who wrote Little Old Lady From Pasadena? I have to think - not.

16. The next tune is a pallet cleanser to remove the Little-Mary-cripple-orphanness from our taste buds. This version of 'Deck The Halls' is played by
Grace Castagnetta on the Siena Pianoforte, which has quite a remarkable story behind it. I've had this LP, Christmas on the Siena Pianoforte, forever - I'm pretty sure I found it at a garage sale in TX, maybe 25 years ago. Ulp, that made me feel old.

17. Next up is Rudy West & The Key's sublime 'I Want You For Christmas'. Damn, I just realized I should have used a picture of our jukebox in the insert! This is the model we have: a Seeburg USC1 Bandshell.

18. Another pretty little number,
David Kitchen's 'All I Need Is You This Christmas.'

Madeleine Peyroux's (with a little help from k.d. lang) evocative rendition of Joni Mitchell's 'River' is off her latest release.

Mogwai's 'Christmas Song' has an uplifting feeling to it, don't you think?

The Meditation Singer's 'Blue Christmas' is not that song. It was written during the Vietnam war era. It still resonates, unfortunately. Off of Have A Merry Chess Christmas.

22. And we end it with a chooglin' little 'Happy New Year' from
Lightnin' Hopkins. Tear it up, ya'll.


Blogger Mark said...

Another top job. Have it downloaded and burned.

And I'll have you know, we have a little cottage industry remixing songs from your past Xmas CDs for cow orkers and friends down here... :-)

1:16 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Hi Dean -

I could not find your email addr. My gmail is banjogirl - send me mail there - I have a question and a story about the Grace Castagnetta album. It's one of my favorite recordings.


9:57 AM  

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