Scott Miller/Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
Scott Miller: Christmas Gift (F.A.Y.)
Easy once he thought of it, right? Appalachia-oriented American and Russian history degree holder Miller picks 'em (guitar-banjo "Ode to Joy," harmonica-piano "Holy, Holy, Holy") and picks 'em (John Prine's beloved "Christmas in Prison," Roger Miller's forgotten "Old Toy Trains"). Writes one, too‑-his very own "Yes, Virginia," about how there is a Santa Claus, and there are also lots of relatives. These are both good things as far as he's concerned. And for the duration of an EP, they are. A MINUS
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks: Crazy for Christmas (Surfdog)
Crazy because he's always been pleasantly nuts, but also because he's crazy not just as a result of but about Christmas, which as all Christmas fans know is a combination with a shot at making the holiday as full of good cheer as it's supposed to be. Scatting "Here Comes Santa Claus" as one retro strategy among many, Hicks lays out an "Old Fashioned Christmas" complete with "Bethlehem scene on the lawn/And a picture of Rudolph in the john" as the elves in "Santa's Workshop" paint millions of wooden boats and planes. Remember wood? This is a good-humored sixtysomething who wants to teach his grandkids the old-timey verities. Then he'll take a nap. B PLUS
is this Scott Miller of Loud Family/Game Theory or of the V-Roys/Scott Miller and the Commonwealth?Sounds like the latter to me, jream. (I'm from Knoxville originally, where the V-Roys got started.)
Two more reasons to be cheerful. (Thanks again, Bob.)
A reason to be sad: Christopher Hitchens, the ultimate devil's advocate, has died. (I only agreed with him about half the time, but then he always seemed to agree with himself only half the time.)
Also, just wanted to say that I adore EW and wish I could contribute/spend more time here. Y'all rock (and, even better, pop)!
P.S. Hi Ioannis. Miss ya, babe!
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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