Billboard Greatest Christmas Hits/Wee Hairy Beasties
The 12 Shopping Days Till Christmas
Billboard Greatest Christmas Hits (1955-Present) (Rhino '89)
"Present" was a misrepresentation even in 1989‑-nine of these 10 songs in 27 minutes were hits between 1956 and 1964, and will presumably mean more to those who were young back then. I was, and I play this record with pleasure every "holiday season," cough cough. Between the mildly defiant rock and roll compromises of Bobby Helms and Brenda Lee, the kiddie novelties proved durable even though you never liked the Chipmunks and never heard of Barry Gordon, the Drifters' alternative "White Christmas," Charles Brown and Elvis Presley sexing it up, and the secular piety of the Harrys Simeon and Belafonte, it's a testimony to pop culture's eternal need to put mildly untraditional twists on the holy holy holy (and why the hell wasn't there a "Twistin' Santa"?). Then there's the capper and chronological ringer, Elmo 'n Patsy's 1983 smash "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"‑-a cornily deadpan, cheerfully macabre tall tale that will have romantics idealizing the old weird America for as long as Christmas is commercialized. A
Wee Hairy Beasties: Holidays Gone Crazy (Wee Beatz '08)
Kiddie music risks ick even when a curmudgeon like Jon Langford is cleaning the snot off its nose‑-cf. too much of 2006's Animal Crackers (although not "I'm an A.N.T," sung to the tune of Muddy Waters's "I'm a Man"). My theory is that by the time of this follow-up, he had a kid old enough to ask, "Hey Dad, what's that little arm sticking out of your bellybutton‑-looks like there's a little man . . . " There is, and he's "not known for his liberal views," unlike Rick Cookin' Sherry, whose interjected P.S.A.'s warn of the dangers of shoveling snow and eating your vegetables‑-dangers that pale before those of "Dinosaur Christmas": "Wrapped up in her stocking/There's a human for a pet." That Langford‑-always with the sense of history. A MINUS
Looks like I'll be putting myself in the holiday spirit today. I just might let the three-hour long A Very Special Christmas Playlist Plus go on after these two, even if it does have one or two that might not be easy to abide ([I'm straining for a] White Christmas by Michael Bolton). [On second thought, I'm going with the Milo recommendation of just the red one.]
Ho, ho...uh, ho...
(Before he passed out, Santa put in a request for "Because It's Christmas Time," by Buck Owens and his Buckaroos.)
Thanks, Cam for the generous Tom Ze sampler. When it comes to Tropicalia I need the Complete Idiot's guide to Tropicalia. I've got some nice studying to do as I just fell hard for that Brazil Classics 4 during our poll mania this year. Here on the North Coast we usually get down and polka to Frankie Yankovic in the grey dark days of winter so some aural sunshine via Tom Ze is going to go a long way to help combat my SADD.
EDIT: Also, this kind of sharing will prompt me to BUY more Tom Ze , Veloso, and Ben, etc..
For those scrambling for the Billboard CD, I'd suggest googling the title, as there are copies out there in various nooks and crannies (including EBay) that are hella cheaper than what is left at Amazon.
If anyone else here is a SwapaCD member, they have 5 copies available (well, 4 now).
"Mission accomplished," said protest organizer Boots Riley...
Did anyone else see this quote (taken from the AP article today about the Occupy protest that shut down Oakland's port)? Actually, if you enter "Boots Riley" and "occupy" in your search engine of choice, you will see that Boots has had a busy couple months.
Harry Nilsson's "Coconut"Yes! Other good "accidental children's songs" I've put on mix CDs for the kids: Manu Chao's "Bongo Bong"; TMBG's "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)"; various pre-rock novelties by the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, etc.; girl-group novelties like "The Name Game", etc.; and the theme from "Hawaii Five-O."
Novelty Songs: 1914-1946: Crazy and Obscure [Trikont, 2001] A
My personal favorites on this one are the Groucho Marx "I'm Against It" and the Durante "Inka Dinka Doo", and my kids love "I like Bananas (because they have no bones) and "Mama Don't Allow".
Spike Jones can also be a good source too but watch out for the , you know, bawdier material.
(I wish I could get to other playlists than my own with the MOG Mac player.)
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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