Thursday, December 18, 2014

How to Write a Number One

Those imps at Popbitch reduced fifty years of UK Christmas #1's to a steaming pile of data for this hilarious feature "Oh, Christmas Three." If you're the type who toggles between Popjustice and FiveThirtyEight, this one's for you. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hollis & Kris Orlowski, "Is This Christmas"

The only thing more absurd than the number of musicians in my life is the number of musicians in my life who have written one or more Christmas songs that don't suck: Little Annie, John Wesley Harding, Sean Nelson, Carolyn Mark, Shelby Earl.

This year I'm delighted to add my next door neighbor Hollis Wong-Wear to that list. You may have heard Hollis on Macklemore's  The Heist and/or seen her wearing a Mark Mitchell original to this year's Grammys. Now she collaborates with Seattle singer-songwriter Kris Orlowski on what might be my favorite Christmas original of 2014.

The merest hint of tinsel

Less tree, more Flat Santa. Keeping Christmas decor simple at the pagoda this year.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Nib: Worst-Sellers From The Drugstore Christmas Aisle

 Worst-Sellers from the Drugstore Christmas Aisle

Mmmm... pharmaceutical bark. Clearly the stockists at my local Walgreens have been sleeping on the job.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells" from The Andy Williams Christmas Show (1969)

All those years cracking a whip over the kids in the Freed Unit paid off for Kay Thompson in later years. *Crank up the volume* and listen to how her arrangements make those Osmond Boys and Williams Bros work.

Sha La Das: "Sha La Da La La (Christmas Time)"

I slept on this one last year. *face palm* Fortunately the formidable Holiday selection at Dusty Groove brought it to my attention when I checked in to purchase Saint Etienne's breathtaking new Songs for a London Winter (more on that gem soon). My 7-inch arrived a couple days ago and I'm stoked to drop it at the "Sophisticated Tiny Tea Dance" all-vinyl extravaganza with DJ Nitty Gritty tomorrow afternoon at Pony.

Tuxedo: Wonderful Christmastime

The Stones Throw crew does Christmas right. The 2007 Badd Santa comp assembled by my boy Peanut Butter Wolf juxtaposes holiday ditties by James Pants and Georgia Anne Muldrow with the Free Design and Quad City DJs. (The companion Badd Santa's Xmas Afterparty podcast delivers more treats, and is free with any purchase. This year they add to the canon with "Wonderful Christmastime," the seasonal Macca chestnut refreshed by Tuxedo (aka Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One). Highly recommended.