The Canadian Pacific Christmas Train is a rolling holiday party for a cause. Two beautifully lit trains - on a US Route and a Canada route - cruise through the Midwest, stopping in 150 towns along the way to present live music and light shows while bringing donations of cash and food to local food banks.
"It all began with an idea to do something other than an old, tired, traditional card to wish our customers a happy holiday. It seemed rather fitting to do something more light-heartened and entertaining...an idea that revolved around music and holiday lighting...oh, and porta potties of course." [more inside]
Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas gets a whole lot of love, but for sheer musical enjoyment it shouldn't overshadow his work on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Here for your cooking-soundtrack pleasure are Thanksgiving Theme, Play it Again Charlie Brown (aka Charlie Brown Blues), Peppermint Patty, and Little Birdie (incidentally, Guaraldi's own vocal, and the first time any adult voice appeared on a Charlie Brown show). [more inside]
Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are Holiday songs that aren't about being jolly, rocking around Christmas trees, and drugging your girlfriend's drink. From the dirgelike to the hopelessly obscure, here are some Christmas carols you probably won't hear on Black Friday. [more inside]
It's not the holidays until DJBC releases another Santastic mash-up compilation. Yes, we have covered these compilations in the past.
It's almost Christmas, and if you have not yet had your fill (and then some) of holiday music, you can hear non-stop Jingle Jams on (W)XPN2 online, also available through NPR.org. If the randomness of radio isn't your thing, NPR has a more (alternative) holiday music for your listening pleasure, from a cappella renditions of sacred music for the Christmas season from the English Tudor era (58 minutes) and live jazz piano holiday music, to funky takes on the seasonal themes and five blues tunes to counter all that cheer. NPR also attempts to answer: what makes a modern pop holiday tune sound like Christmas?
"Mele Kalikimaka" (Ukelele cords) is a Hawaiian-themed Christmas song written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson. The phrase is borrowed directly from English but since Hawaiian has a different phonological system - Hawaiian does not have the /r/ or /s/ of English and doesn't have the phonotactic constraints to allow consonants at the end of syllables or consonant clusters - "Merry Christmas" becomes "Mele Kalikimaka". Enjoy the canonical version with Bing Crosby And The Andrew Sisters (lounge remix) or by KT Tunstall or Bette Milder or Jimmy Buffet or Gianni And Sarah or The Puppini Sisters or Reel Big Fish or Country Western style or pared down instrumental or Celtic Rock style or performed on the Metro by Pokey LaFarge or ..whatever the hell this is.
dj bc's beloved holiday mashup series Santastic returns with Santastic Seven: It's a Wonderful Mash. Previously.
Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy played on a glass harp. [SLYT]
What's the worst part about the holidays? The consumerism? The awkward office parties? Belligerent relatives and needy offspring? No, its holiday music, especially those involving former heroes [NSFOP]. This year, give the gift of non-suckage.
Santastic I, II, and now III, holiday mash-ups, alternate treatments and bootleg remixes.
Santastic: Holiday boots for your stockings. Mash-ups of decades of Christmas records just in time for the holidays. The quality varies throughout, but it makes for some fun manic listening if you've grown tired of the same perennial chestnuts. Merry Christmash to all, and to all a boot night.
Mistletunes - your one-stop resource for those half-remembered Rock 'n' Roll Christmas songs of today and yesteryear. I'm partial to the novelty tunes of the '50's and '60's myself (as well a bit of punk), but you can also check out the lists of Hanukkah Hits, Surfin' Christmas, and keep up with the latest Christmas releases.
Make this year's xmas a special one by buying the Flavor Flav Talking Alarm Clock with five alarm phrases "Bass In Your Face, Get Up Get Down, Yo G Yo, Yeaa Boy." Have you seen any other similarly bizarre gifts on sale this holiday season?
Twas the night before Xmas and all through the net, The geeks would be googling the ascii character set; Metafilter refreshed on their PCs with care, In the hopes that their FPP soon would be there; Then up in the blue there arose such a clatter, Mathowie sprang up to see what's the matter; When, what to my wondering eyes there should be, The canonical list of "Twas" parodies.
Tired of Christmas music? I reckon so. I sure understand. Still, trust me on this. You're in for a treat. We're Just Three Kings gives me goose pimples on the back of my neck every time I hear it. Most know about mp3c, but few wanna dig around in there. It's like falling into a record bin big as Cleveland. Here let me help you. I'm recommending only sure-things here - Tamashiro's What Child Is This is straight-forward, no-nonsense, feelgood Christmas fare. Liona Boyd's instrumental guitar is heavenly background music that would warm the heart of the coldest Grinch. If you find yourself surprised with a need to have free Xmas music real fast, it's just a pooter away, Santa Baby.