Monday, December 11, 2006

an inappropriate christmas mix

Can anyone remember all of the hoo-ha that accompanied the BBC broadcasting Jerry Springer: The Opera? You'd probably be thinking that the Beeb would be being super-careful to avoid upsetting Christian groups at this time of year.

Here's the song they're using to trail their seasonal TV schedule:

Spinal Tap - Christmas With The Devil

Oopsie. Someone didn't think that through...

Visit - Spinal Tap
Buy - Break Like The Wind

One of the most rewarding results of the blog this year was when we prompted a comment from the great songwriter, Tim Hensley - we've been vocal on more than one occasion about our love for his work, almost becoming a nerve centre for Hensley Studies. Here's a seasonal gem from Tim in his Victor Banana guise from a few years back, the spookiest Santa you ever heard.

Victor Banana - Here Comes Santa

Visit - Tim Hensley's MySpace

Another great result of me whaffling on about music came from my Mary Margaret O'Hara post from way back. In it, I wondered if I would ever get my hands on a copy of her near-impossible to find Christmas EP - and lo and behold, a reader sent me a copy! (Apologies, I've lost your name but thanks again if you're still visiting)

Mary Margaret O'Hara - Christmas Evermore

There are some quite odd versions of traditional Christmas tunes but this track is easily the best, the strange lop-sided groove sounding like an offcut from Miss America, complete with beautiful swooning background harmonies - yummy.

If you don't own Miss America by now, you're no friend of mine.

Visit - Mary Margaret O'Hara

Another inappropriate Christmas song here from The Handsome Family, who I managed to see play live this year. I know that some of our friends are not fans but I thought they were great - weird and homely and funny. This is another great song about a Christmas gone horribly wrong.

The Handsome Family - So Much Wine

Visit - The Handsome Family
Buy - In The Air

Here's a truly weird song from Sheffield singer-songwriter John Shuttleworth. John continues to hone his craft in the garage, sitting on cans of Sprite, using the tub freezer as a keyboard stand and churning out classics like this utterly bizarre tune. If you want to ruin someone's Christmas, play them this.

John Shuttleworth - The Christmas Orphan

What's going on with the children's laughter at the end? Chilling.

Visit - John Shuttleworth
Buy - The Yamaha Years

While we're on a downer, here's a great kind-of-Christmas break-up song from Lisa Germano. I've mentioned Lisa briefly in the past but listening to "Excerpts from a Love Circus" again the other day, I realised that I should really do a much bigger post about this fantastic album. This comes quite near the end and my take on it is that the couple in it are meeting up for a friendly drink, shortly after breaking up. In my experience this sort of "being mature" never quite worked out and that's what happens here. Especially when booze and recrimination rear their heads. Oh lordy.

Lisa Germano - Messages from Sophia

This is a beautiful moving song with a great vocal (heart on your sleeve much?) and I love the instrumentation throughout. But why include it in a Christmas post?, I hear you cry. Well, Lisa quietly wishes us a Merry Christmas at 2.10. And the gentle appearance of Jingle Bells at the very end after the final line... well, if that doesn't get you then you're truly made of stone.

Visit - Lisa Germano
Buy - Excerpts from a Love Circus

I promise more good vibes next time....

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