Monday Earworm: Barenaked Ladies (Again)

I love this song, and I love this version, which has Steven Page on it. I know he left the band some time ago and that there was probably some drama — I didn’t keep up with it — but Steven Page has one of the best male singing voices I’ve ever heard, and BNL won’t ever be the same without him, as far as I’m concerned. In the studio, he’s divine. And even live — I’ve seen BNL in concert at least twice, maybe three times? — he does a bang-up excellent job.

This cut comes from their first album, Gordon, and features some of the thoughtful details that put this band on the map: harmonizing vocals, instrumental flourishes in the background, clever and smart lyrics, an engaging storyline. At the height of their abilities, BNL was probably my favorite band, even for a while edging out the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Depeche Mode. (But they never could touch those queens Ani diFranco and Dar Williams. They definitely reached nostalgic The Bangles status, though, easily.)

Do enjoy this. And good luck not doing a little bit of a swaying dance while you’re at it. And then? Give the whole album a listen. Good, good stuff, even if their band name sounds like some frat boy nonsense gone wrong.

12 Days of Christmas Music To Knock Your Socks Off (Day 6)

This song is a little less traditional. I know it from the Barenaked Ladies Christmas music album, but I only just discovered tonight that it was from the soundtrack to one of the live-action Grinch movies, probably the one with Jim Carrey. I didn’t remember it from seeing the movie back in the day. Ah well. I like the song, at any rate, and since we’re currently experiencing a slight warming trend here in Houston (kind of a bummer, not gonna lie), we’re going with it.

12 Days of Christmas Music to Improve Your Playlist (Day 8)

I didn’t post yesterday because I was on a day trip. My daughter and I went to the hill country to visit some friends, and we listened to a lot of Christmas music in the car. This is one I’ve posted before, but it’s a good one and one of her favorites, so please to enjoy it again. This video is of the live version, which is great, although it’s missing Michael Bublé, who does sing on the album track. (Might be Bublé’s best work.)

 

12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck, 2014 Edition (Day 4)

Dear readers, I apologize. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that I’ve been without a lot of reliable computer access for most of this week because of some home renovations we have going on. Oh, and it was finals week. Great timing, but that’s another story.

Anyway, I haven’t been able to post to my blog the last several days, which meant my 12 Days series got interrupted. Never fear, though; I’ll make it all up by Monday.

A few years ago, I heard this song on the radio and absolutely fell in love with it. It was played — and still is — on Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station, which is proof that their station’s programming director has at least some taste and a few brain cells to rub together. When I first heard it, I recognized the voices immediately as being the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah MacLachlan (two musical acts I rather like, especially the first), and it’s a clever blending of two very cool songs: “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (which always reminds me pleasantly of Charles Dickens for some inexplicable reason) and “We Three Kings” (a song I loved when I was a kid).

Enjoy!

 

12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 7)

There is one Christmas song that’s just so funny and smart and entertaining it’s on my iPod playlist year-round:  “Elf’s Lament” by the Barenaked Ladies.  If you come across the original recording — not hard to do — go for that, because it features Michael Buble and sounds awesome (even if you, like me, aren’t all that excited about Michael Buble).  There is a video on YouTube in which someone has set the original song to a video made from scenes from the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie, featuring the elf who wants to be a dentist but who is really a stand-in for any cultural taboo.  (Come to think of it, that movie contained a lot of subtext about cultural taboos…)  That’s a cute video, too.

But here I present to you the BNL performing this song by themselves, live.