How can you not love the Kinks and especially that most War on Xmasy song ever:
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys
Now there’s some real War on Xmas spirit!
It’s December though it doesn’t feel like it to me. It means I have to finish the music video Zoe and I killed ourselves on last year. Yay. I’ve not touched it since…December 2018.
I have to say that the War on Xmas has gotten more and more lacklustre over the years. It used to be a joyous time of pretending that the overwhelmingly dominant religion/culture touchstones weren’t quite as hegemonic as some desperate click baiters want to rail against it not being.
But it just doesn’t seem to pack the punch it used to. Ah well!
I’m not a big fan of xmas music, esp. carols. I mean, a lot are kinda pretty but its not like I’d ever need to hear them again. Modern xmas songs tend to range from horrific to stab out my ears.
But there are a few that I love and don’t mind listening too each year. They tend to be a bit more “War on Xmas” than Xmas, as one might expect. The first is “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses:
It’s a great shaggy dog story marred by only two things: It’s all about a guy and they get together in the end. But still:
A&P has provided me
With the world’s smallest turkey
Already in the oven, nice and hot
Oh damn! Guess what I forgot
So on with the boots
Back out in the snow
To the only all night grocery
The A&P line alone is a delight.
I never have been a radio listener so missed a lot of trends and hits. So sometimes I hear a nostalgia piece as if it were new. Tubthumping by Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping is a recent example:
It’s a great song with a lot of neat strands (the C line with lyrics from classic drinking songs really elevates it). It apparently was what made Chumbawamba a one hit wonder as detailed in a Todd in the Shadows episode:
The one hit wonderland series is very very good because Todd does a bunch of research about the artist before and after the hit. And the Chumbawamba story is super interesting. There other fairly big single is also nifty:
Any upbeat song with a chorus like this:
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
I don’t remember.
Is ok in my book.
Meg Christian was a key figure both in public and behind the scenes in women’s music. I got one of her albums early in grad school when I was imbibing a ton of feminist and feminist culture. Some of it was and remains awesome. Some not so much. “Turning it Over” is a perfectly reasonable and pleasant song:
It used to be maybe my favorite of hers (though “Ode to a Gym Teacher” is lots of fun).
Sadly, it doesn’t do much for me now and I can’t really figure out why I liked it at all. (I mean, it was part of my experience of feminism but compared to Ferron or Sweet Honey in the Rock, she doesn’t stand up.)
But songs we used to like but now are kinda indifferent to are an important part of who we are.
Crazy Ex Girlfriend is back for its final (sob) season. I don’t think we’ve had any super star songs yet (though plenty of fun ones) but this one nicely recalls the law school crises:
It also gives Tim a whole song! The show is pretty good at throwing the spotlight to random members of its fairy large cast. They all can sing!
It’s, of course, brilliant:
The video is a classic example of nerd rock aesthetic including the jerky compulsive behaviors (see this Devo video). The Stop Making Sense recording is the best version by the Talking Heads:
Angélique Kidjo has released a cover of all of Remain in Light which includes a brilliant version of “Once In a Lifetime”:
(The video is great fun as well.)
Given the relation between the Talking Heads and “world music”, Kidjo’s cover has interesting resonances.
Regardless, it’s a wonderful perfection.
Over the end credits of BlackKklansman plays a version of “Mary Don’t You Weep” by Prince. It’s part of a posthumously released album, Piano and a Microphone, 1983. Apparently, Prince sat down with a piano and a mix and recorded a bunch of stuff.
Zoe heard this in the theatre and was blown away by the piano. She had no idea it was Prince! She got a ton of inspiration for her own piano work.
He was a musician’s musician who died far too young.