Friday, 7 December 2012

think of my lifelong sorrow....

Earworms of the Week

Joseph Spence - "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - "The Fairy Tale of New York"

I suppose catching a certain amount of Christmas music collateral damage is inevitable at this kind of year: they play it on the PA in reception, for starters, not to mention all the shops you pop into.  Yeah, it's pretty much unavoidable.  As I've said many times before, I actually really like seasonal music.  What annoys me is how unimaginative we apparently are, and that for most of us, Christmas music means the same twenty or so songs played over and over again.  There's an interesting feature in the Guardian today about the making of Fairytale of New York.  It's a marvellous song, no doubt. It's just that it has now apparently become everyone's favourite Christmas song.  Yes, like everyone else, I enjoy that this is a far, far less sentimental view of the season than we normally get.. it's just that over-exposure - and it is everywhere at the moment - is kind of spoiling it for me.  Instead, I like to get my seasonal kicks from a Bahamian folk legend and his paean to "Sandy Claw".  Why don't we hear that in the shops and give the Pogues a bit of a rest this year?

Led Zeppelin – “Heartbreaker

Now, that's a riff.  I used to quite like the Dread Zeppelin version of this too.  Remember them?  Heartbreaker (At The End Of Lonely Street), I think the song was called.   Sounded okay.  Well, I thought it did when I was 15, anyway.  Elvis, Led Zeppelin and Reggae.  Together at last.

The Killers feat. Toni Halliday – “Great Big Sled

They do a Christmas record every year to raise money for Red, the HIV charity.  I've bought a couple of them, I think, but this is my absolute favourite.  Key thing to note: it's actually a good song that happens to be seasonal.  Not everyone bothers with that subtlety.  My favourite Xmas number one is Killing in the Name.  Obviously.  You don't hear that enough on seasonal compilations in the shops either.

Barenaked Ladies - Theme tune to The Big Bang Theory

I'm still not totally sold on this show: I don't like several of the characters very much (I'm looking at you here, Raj, Howard, Amy....), the acting is pretty poor some of the time (Sheldon... that's you) and the concept kind of annoys me.  On the other hand, I seem to be watching it quite a lot at the moment, so I guess they must be doing something right.  Howard is kind of growing on me too.  I think it might be the beard.  Dammit.  I don't want to be the geek who talks about the show about geeks.  It's bad enough that I get many of the references already.  And for reference, although I'm passingly friendly with the guy who runs my local comic shop, he's not a candidate to replace my best friend whilst he's in space.  OK?  Oh, and I only have one superhero t-shirt too.  Wait.  Yes.  Only one.

Vic Damone – “The Street Where You Live

Love this record.  A real karaoke candidate for me.  I have often walked.....

Doris Day & Dean Martin – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I love this song, and especially this version (the link is to a different Deano version, sadly).  It's the way that they're both so unconvincing in their denials.  Whether it's Doris Day pretending that she really ought to go, or Deano laying on with a trowel how concerned he is about the storm and the possibility of contracting pneumonia.... it's just perfect.

Squeeze – “Up The Junction

They were playing in Nottingham this week and the Evening Post was lucky enough to have David Belbin as their gig reviewer.  He had mixed feelings about the gig, but I was listening to Squeeze only the other day and this song is an absolute cast iron classic. Love these lyrics.  "The devil came and took me from bar to street to bookie".  Perfect.

Laura Marling – “Goodbye England (covered in snow)

Wow.  I really have been listening to seasonally appropriate music this week, huh?  Another one that is all the better for being about winter without being specifically about Christmas.  And for being sung by someone other than Noddy Holder.  I like Noddy Holder, but it's nice to hear something different for once, eh?

Barry Gibb & Barbra Streisand – “Islands in the Stream

No idea where this came from, but it's been sat in my head from the moment I first arrived at work this morning and it's still there now.  It's definitely not the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers version, either.... it's definitely the Robin Gibb and Streisand version.  Go figure.  Ah, well I like the Bee Gees, right enough, so it's all good.  Sadly, the song is also accompanied by the mental image of Barry Gibb as a lion.  It's that mane of hair and those teeth, you see.  I can't help it - just look at him in this video! I also put on a bit of a Barry Gibb voice when I sing this to myself.  Well, don't you?

Right.  That's your lot.  Have a good weekend, y'all.

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