Well, now that that‘s over and done with…

Farewell, holidays, farewell, cats eating pine needles, farewell, mountains of cookies, farewall, xmas musics, see you next year. Here are some of the holiday CDs I listened to:

93-94) That Christmas Feeling: 50 Original Recordings

Hmmm, not sure about the title of this collection, “original” is not the adjective I would apply to any collection of Christmas songs; I have heard many original interpretations of Christmas songs, and every once in a while a song gets added to the xmas canon, but Christmas is a tradition, duh. And, most of these songs are the canonical versions of the canonical songs: Bing Crosby doing “White Christmas,” for example. So, not I guess what Prism Leisure, producers of this collection, meant by “original recordings” is that these are digital transfers of recordings from the 1920’s-50’s, recordings that we hear in stores that purchase the upper tier muzak feeds. No sacred music, just pop songs; yes, “Come All Ye Faithful” and stuff like that is on hear, but even the “sacred” songs are done big band orchestra style. Perfectly adequate for filling in the cracks in your brain made by repetitive seasonal listening of these same songs since you were in the womb. Or before. (bonus: A lot of songs get repeated, so the discriminating listener can compare, say, Woddy Herman’s “Let it Snow” with Vaughn Monroe’s version. I, however, am not that discriminating.)

95) Christmas Cocktails: Hi-Fi Holiday Cheer From Santa’s Pad

Not nearly as sleazy as it should be, but that pretty much sums up the whole retro-lounge phenomenon. Fun for a minute, then you forget it’s on, like a goofy party cocktail that’s blue and tastes like pledge mixed with deer urine and pop rocks–laugh at it, take a sip, put on the coffee table, look around 2 hours later and wonder what happened to it. (bonus: The “Ultra-Lounge” series, of which this CD is a chapter, led to the founding of Coolsville Records, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and helped market the swing revival to impressionable starving actors everywhere. Remember the swing revival? Vaguely? Like the time you had chinese food once, at that place? You know the one? Next to the gas station? The fortune cookies were broken?)

96) Aimee Mann: One More Drifter in the Snow

Hell yeah, one of the most dour singers around putting her melancholy touch to the holiday song book. These songs help underscore the fact that the Christmas season, and holidays in general, are not simply about celebrating, good cheer, giving thanks, and so forth, but are also a time to be reflective, lonely, and sad–and that these are all important things to feel. And don’t give me any of that “xmas is about Jesus” crap either, that just underscores my point. (bonus: “Whatever Happened to Christmas,” written by Jimmy Webb, definitely deserves a more prominent place in the canon.)

97) Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus: Vol 1

I don’t have vol 2, for some reason, but so what. As one of the interchangeable groups on here says, “you know, christmas ain’t very punk.” Then they launch into a punky version of some chestnut or other, yeah contradiction! Contradictions, however, are very punk. Punk is a marketing demographic, sorry guys, and things like “Little Drummer Bitch” and “Merry Christmas, Fuck You” are just ways of filling the order, so thanks, that’s just what I wanted, slide it in the CD changer with the other xmas CDs, put it on Full Random mode, and wait for people to exchange uncomfortable glances. (bonus: no idea what became of the Phenobarbidols, but what a great name…)

1 Comment

  1. Richard


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