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Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas

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(As posted on Facebook)

 

I'm a fool for Christmas music. I'm just tired of hearing some of the same old songs. For the next 25 days-right up to Christmas-I will be posting some Christmas music. A collection I've titled "Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas". You may know some of the songs but hopefully they'll be versions you've never heard before. You can download them & stuff them in your iPod. Delete "Jingle Bell Rock" to make room!

 

 

Day 1 - "Christmas Lights of Blue" - The Come On's

Genre: Indie Pop/Rock. Suitable for children: Yes. 

Starting off with one of my favorites songs by a now defunct local (Detroit) band. Best as I can tell it's an original.

 

Day 2 - "Silent Night" - Charlie Musselwhite

Genre: Blues. Suitable for children: Yes.

Silent Night is a song that could be played on harps by the angels. Charlie Musselwhite is no angel. And this harp has no strings . . . 

 

Day 3 - "You Gotta Get Up" - Five Iron Frenzy

Genre: Ska/Rock. Suitable for children: Definitely!
Christmas morning from he perspective of a 6 year old. A jumpy tune, just like a 6 year year old on Christmas morning.
The band, Five Iron Frenzy, broke up in 2003, so their name has nothing to do with Elin Nordegren Woods . . . 

 

Day 4 - "Squat (Christmas Blues)" - Shelby Lynne 

Genre: Blues/Country. Suitable for children: No!
While most people reflect nostalgically for a "White Christmas", Ms. Lynne reflects on a "White Trash Christmas"

 

Day 5 - "Feliz Navidad" - Los Straitjackets

Genre: Surf/Rock/Instrumental. Suitable for children: Yes
It has been hypothesized the the opening chord's of Richie Valens "La Bamba" were the foundation for all the Garage Rock & Punk Rock that followed. You can add Instrumental Christmas Surf Rock to that list. 
If you enjoy instrumental Christmas Surf rock music played by guys in old school Mexican wrestling masks, I would suggest seeing Los Straitjackets Thursday night at the Crofoot in Pontiac.

 

Day 6 - "Blue Christmas" - Meditation Singers

Genre: Gospel/Blues/Soul. Suitable for children: YupSince it's Sunday I thought some gospel would be appropriate. If you play this you can skip mass this morning (local laws may vary - please check with your pastor)

 

Day 7 - "Carol Of The Bells" - John Fahey

Genre: Folk. Suitable for children: Yes
"Carol Of The Bells" is one of my more favorite melodies of the season, usually done in a orchestral and choral arrangements with bells (obviously). Legendary folk guitarist John Fahey redefines the song with this amazing version.  

 

Day 8 - "Donde Esta Santa Claus" - Augie Rios

Genre: Latin/Pop. Suitable for children: Made for children, even better if they speak spanish!

We've all heard Cheech and Chong's "Santa Claus & His Old Lady" bit. Cheech starts it off  singing ""Ma-ma-ma-ma-cita, donde esta Santa Cleese" What I never knew was that he was referring to an actual song! A fun little cha-cha made just for the kiddies.

 

Day 9 - "If It Doesn't Snow For Christmas" - Joe Pesci

Genre: Pop / Swing. Suitable for children: Negatory

Having never completely grown up, I still get a chuckle out of the unnecessary use of profanity. Joe Pesci sings a holiday song in his "My Cousin Vinnie" character. One things for sure, my young nephews, who have probably ignored every song so far, will play this one!

 

Day 10 - "White Christmas" - Otis Redding

Genre: Soul / Blues. Suitable for children: YesA very soulful, bluesy rendition, as you would expect from a Stax production, of the holiday classic. This wasn't originally on my list for this collection but once I realized that it was 42 years ago today that we lost Otis, I had to make a change. If you only know Otis for "Dock of the Bay" then you don't know Otis (there's a new years resolution suggestion for you - easier and more enjoyable than losing weight). 

 

Day 11 - "The Holidays Are Here (And We're Still At War)" - Brett Dennen

Genre: Folk. Suitable for children: I guess, but they won't enjoy it . . .

Even liberals celebrate Christm. . .err . . the holidays. Imagine an updated version of Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" with a holiday twist . . . 

 

Day 12 - "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Ella Fitzgerald & Bing Crosby

Genre: Swing/Pop/Jazz. Suitable for children: Please!I had never heard this version until I stumbled across it a few years ago. Why doesn't it get more play? Two huge stars and an absolutely swinging version of the song. "Is it Herman? (No!) Is it Sherman? (No!) . . . "

 

Day 13 - "Donna & Blitzen" - Badly Drawn Boy

Genre: Indie/Pop/Rock. Suitable for children: Yup

This is what Paul McCartney would call a "Silly Love Song", sprinkled with Christmas flavor. 

 

Day 14 - "I Know What You Want For Christmas" - Kay Martin & Her Body Guards

Genre: Burlesque/Jazz Suitable for children: Yes*

A lovely little song about a cocker spaniel.

* You could share this with your children. But someday they'll get the double entendres and be scarred for life. Worse yet, they could try to sing it at school! 

 

Day 15 - "Why Can't It Be Christmastime All Year" - Rosie Thomas

Genre: Power Pop/Rock Suitable for children: Yes

Don't know a whole lot about her . . . Wikipedia says she is from Michigan. A bouncy, infectious song none the less.

 

Day 16 - "Baby, It's Cold Outside" - Louis Jordan & Ella Fitzgerald

Genre: Swing/Pop/Jazz Suitable for children: Yes

Not even my favorite version of this song - that would be Leon Redbone & Zooey Deschanel (grrrrr) version from the movie "elf" but you've probably already heard that one. This is a fun version as well; Ella makes her 2nd appearrance in the collection, this time with the jump jazz legend Louis Jordan.

 

Day 17 - "Where's My Christmas Morning ?" - Princeton

Genre: Indie/Pop/Folk Suitable for children: Nooooo . . .

Sung from the perspective of a converted Jew is appalled to find that Christmas trees and lights are not even mentioned in the New Testament. And he get's a dig in at his mother too!

 

Day 18 - "El Nino del Tambor" - George Conedy at the Hammond Organ

Genre: Jazz/Soul Suitable for children: Yes 

"El Nino del Tambor" translates from Spanish as "The Child of the Drum" which, in my opinion, sounds a lot more bad ass than "The Little Drummer Boy". A smoky, soulful slow burn instrumental version.

 

Day 19 - "Jingle Bells (Ring For The Lonely)" - Mitch Albom & Janine Sabino

Genre: Swing/Pop Suitable for children: Yes 

A duet written by the little fella and performed with his wife, Janine Sabino. She has a great voice. And Mitch ? Keep the day job.

Day 20 - "Calling on Mary" - Aimee Mann

Genre: Rock/Folk. Suitable for children: Yes

From the former 'til tuesday lead singer's excellent 2006 album "One More Drifter in the Snow" (the album title is lifted from the lyrics of this song). She covers some classics as well on the album  - "White Christmas", "I'll Be Home For Christmas" - so it's not all as somber as this track, but it is my favorite from the album.

Day 21 - "Blink Before Christmas" - Phil Moore Four

Genre: Jazz/R&B. Suitable for children: Probably Not

A hipster, bohemian style version of the "Twas The Night Before Christmas" from 1953. Love some of the imagery they drop : "Leg Sacks" "Smoke Hole" "Think Boxes". And I'll save you the google - "Sneaky Pete Wine" was slang for cheap, homemade wine. 

Day 22 - "Pilgrim In The Temple Of Love (a.k.a Santa Gets a Blow Job)" - Bruce Springsteen

Genre: Folk. Suitable for children: Not! 

Bruce is no stranger to Christmas music, notably for his version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" that has graced rock stations for 30+ years. This is from a bootleg from his "Tom Joad" tour in 1997. A humorous story of a visit to a strip club during the holidays. It is dated, however, since there is no mention of Tiger Woods being there . . .

Day 23 - "Nothin' For Christmas (Poor Little Eartha is Sad)" - Eartha Kitt

Genre: Swing/Pop. Suitable for children: Sure

While she was begging for fur coats and other gifts in her 1953 smash "Santa Baby" here we find Eartha Kitt in 1955 refusing the same gifts! What a tease . . .  

Day 24 - "Don't Forget To Feed The Reindeer" - Come Ons

Genre: Pop/Rock. Suitable for children: Please!

While everyone puts out milk and cookies for Santa (and it shows), nobody leaves anything for the reindeer. I think they like carrots.

Day 25 - "Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas" - E

Genre: Indie Pop/Rock. Suitable for children: Yes 

Saved the best for last. If you have ignored every song so far I ask you to give this one a shot. Guaranteed to make you smile.

And everything is gonna be cool this Christmas . . . now get off of Facebook and go be with family and friends!