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

Happy Boxing Day!

I know it’s not Christmas anymore, and most people could really go without hearing another Christmas song for at least eleven more months, but this song, which I wanted to hold out until today, isn’t really about Christmas so much as the chill limbo between Christmas and New Year’s. Enter “The Week Between” by Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick. (I’ve inserted the plain song below, but you can easily find live versions on YouTube with all kinds of entertaining banter, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

This song concludes this year’s broadcast of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck. We’ll probably do it again next year. Let me know if you have any suggestions for next year’s series.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday, whatever it might be.

 

12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck, 2014 Edition (Day 1)

Yes, it’s that time of year again. “Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station” — which has been broadcasting Christmas and winter-themed songs since the Friday night before Thanksgiving — has once more conformed to the belief that they must play the same dozen tired crap songs over and over again, with only an occasional good one thrown into the mix.

Thank goodness for my iPod.

Since this series on my blog was such a hit last year (click here to see the first post and then follow the “next post” links to see the rest), I’m doing it again! And while I’ll be sharing a lot of different stuff with you this time around, I’m going to kick things off with what is still one of my all-time favorites, “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses. Perhaps there will come a time when my life isn’t insanely busy, and then I won’t be able to relate to this song as well or enjoy it as much, but honestly, I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen.

Happy Holidays!

12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 3)

So, shocking as this might be, Christmas isn’t just about rock music for grown-ups.  It’s also, in part, about kids.  Right?  (Be in a house with kids, and you’ll be assured this is so.)  I do have some child-oriented music on this playlist, but it is also music that offers some humorous content for the grown-ups in the room.

This song does occasionally get some radio play now and then, which is where I first heard it a couple of years ago.  It seems to have fallen out of rotation on Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station, though, which is unfortunate, since they should be actively trying to retain all the interesting songs they can.

Anyway, this one makes my kids sing at the tops of their lungs with joy, even when they’ve previously been in a Grinchy mood.  It’s Gayla Peavey’s “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” and it’s like magic.  Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 2)

Did you enjoy The Waitresses yesterday?  A few of my friends told me, after I posted it, that they’d had that song in their head this week, too.  Good, good stuff.

Today I present a song by Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick, whom you might know for their quirky senses of humor.  (Jonathan Coulton’s “Code Monkey” comes to mind.)  They put out a Christmas album not too long ago that’s especially dear because it’s some of the only Christmas music my husband can stand to listen to on our commute after the radio onslaught has been going for a few weeks already.

And this song is on my mind today because I’m headed out this afternoon to try and finish up my Christmas shopping and cannot get some of the members of my extended family to tell me what they want.  I’ve told my dad — who has pretty much everything already — on several occasions that if he doesn’t give me some ideas, I’ll be buying him a goat through Heifer Project.  Here’s how that conversation usually goes:

“Give me some ideas, or I’m buying you a goat.”

“I don’t want a goat for Christmas!”

“The goat isn’t for you.  It’s for an impoverished family in a third-world country.  They’ll use it to make a sustainable livelihood and improve their circumstances in life.”

“Oh, what a nice program.  But how are you buying it for me?”

“I’m donating it in your name.”

“That’s sweet.  But I still want a gift.”

“Then give me some ideas, or it’s going to be a goat.”

“I don’t want a goat.”

“DAD!”

“Okay, I’ll reflect on this when I have some time and get back to you later.”

“Grrr.”

Now, my dad is a kind and generous and warm-hearted man who willingly and frequently gives to the less fortunate in many ways.  In fact, I learned many of my philanthropic proclivities from the shining beacon of his example.  But, just like anyone else, at Christmastime, he wants a little something under the tree to open that’s just for him.  And don’t we all???

I’m probably just going to get him a bottle of nice Scotch.  Don’t tell him.

In the spirit of wanting something specific for Christmas, please enjoy “2600.”  The music starts around 3:20 and goes until about 5:25; this video is from the live premiere of the song.  (Another entertaining video of a live performance of it is here, although the sound quality might not be quite as good.  The banter beforehand may contain a four-letter word, just so you know.)