Merry Christmas, Internets. Peace and love to you and yours.
PIMPS OF YULE: Christmas 2006
1. "Specialized Nutcracker Suite" by FLIP
2. "Another Christmas At Home" by EUX AUTRES
3. "Santa Claus Got Stuck (In My Chimney)" by ELLA FITZGERALD
4. "Merry Christmas Baby" by IKE AND TINA TURNER
5. "Don't Believe in Christmas" by THE SONICS
6. "Holiday Hymn" by ORANGE JUICE
7. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" by THE VENTURES
8. "Frosty DMC" by SAM FLANAGAN
9. "Donde Esta Santa Claus" by LENLOW
10. "Little Drum Machine Boy" by FAKE ID
11. "A Change at Christmas" by THE FLAMING LIPS
12. "Spotlight On Christmas" by RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
13. "Sleigh Ride" by RICK HOLSTROM
14. "Christmas Day" by SQUEEZE
15. "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" by KING CURTIS
16. "Joy to the World" by CLEM SNIDE
17. "Christmas Time is Here (alternate vocal)" by VINCE GUARALDI
18. "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by SUFJAN STEVENS
This month is just flying by, isn't it? It seems like just yesterday that I had all my money in my bank account and my sanity intact. The holiday season seems to deplete those resources faster than my 6 year old nephew changes hobbies (making gift buying that much more of a nightmare. . . "Do you still like superheroes? Dinosaurs? Baseball?").
There's no question that Christmas is my favorite holiday, but there are still so many things that bother me. I'm not going to go into them here, because when it comes to Christmas, there's nothing new under the sun to complain about. What I do love is seeing my family, stuffing myself on my mother's exquisite food and cookies, and watching my brothers' kids buried neck deep in toys and candy.
Oh yeah, and I love a good Christmas song. I'm not talking about the typical holiday fare, like all that Burl Ives/Johnny Mathis stuff (which I have absolutely no problem with, surprisingly enough). I just love when someone writes a holiday song so well that it transcends the holiday itself and becomes something that you don't mind hearing regardless of the time and place.
My buddies in the Portland-via-Omaha duo EUX AUTRES have written one of those songs, and I'm happy to share it with you tonight. Maybe it's because we're all from Omaha that this one hits close to home with me, with its mentions of sneaking away from family to drink "where the champagne's on tap" (if you're ever in Omaha, do not miss a chance to visit The Homy Inn, where you'll find the aforementioned tap champagne and peanuts or popcorn served in dog bowls). It doesn't hurt that I think this may be one of their best songs yet, with a country-esque beat and great lyrics, clever internal rhymes and beautiful harmonies by the ladies in the SHEE BEE GEES.
While I'm hosting the track on my site tonight, you should really head over to Eux Autres' website, where they are selling this special holiday CD single with a fantastic cover of SLADE's "Merry X-Mas Everybody" (those Eux Autres kids have great taste) as the B-Side. The limited edition CD is a dirt cheap $4, postage included(!) and comes packaged with a cool, hand silk screened jacket.
For now, enjoy:
"Another Christmas At Home" by EUX AUTRES
While I'm on the topic of Christmas, I'd like to mention that I am hard at work on my PIMPS OF YULE 2006 holiday mix. I'm assembling and editing the track listing as I type this, and I hope this year's mix will be comparable to the one I made in 2005. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming few days for that mix.
As a special little bonus tonight, I am reposting highlights from that mix right here, to whet the appetite of my newer readers and to remind my loyal readers of old that not all Christmas music sucks ass.
Highlights from PIMPS OF YULE: Christmas 2005
1. "Five Wishes for Christmas" by STEVE MARTIN
2. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by DARLENE LOVE
3. "Father Christmas" by THE KINKS
4. "Merry X-Mas Everybody" by SLADE
5. "Christmas at the Zoo" by the FLAMING LIPS
6. "Christmas Party" THE WALKMEN/NICOLE SHEAHAN
7. "Christmas in Hollis" by RUN D.M.C.
8. "The Christmas Massacre of Charlie Brown" by DJ JOHN
9. "Santar Klaws" by POJ MASTA
10. "The Christmas Song" by THE RAVEONETTES
11. "Santa Claus" by THE SONICS
12. "Merry Christmas, Baby" by OTIS REDDING
13. "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus" by BRENDA LEE
14. "Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!" by SUFJAN STEVENS
15. "Christmas Eve" by GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI
16. "Old Toy Trains" by ROGER MILLER
17. "Blue Christmas Lights" by BUCK OWENS
18. "Christmas Time Will Soon be Over" by JACK WHITE
19. "Blue Christmas (To Whom it May Concern" by MILES DAVIS and BOB DOROUGH
20. "The Last Month of the Year" by VERA WARD HALL
"Shocking You" by SHOCKING BLUE
R.I.P. MARISKA VERES
I was informed via a reader comment this evening that Mariska Veres, lead singer of the Dutch group Shocking Blue, died December 2nd from cancer in Holland. She was 59 years old.
Tonight, I'm reposting a previously written tribute to Veres and her band which appeared on this site a few months ago. If you missed these tracks the first time around, here's your chance to discover a great, underrated band:
A couple of years ago, I worked as a writer and assistant editor for a short-lived magazine published by MacWorld called Playlist. One part of my job was to fact check the celebrity iPod playlists we ran in the magazine. . . you know, making sure the artist's name is spelled right, making sure the song even exists, etc. It was kind of fun, especially when I'd be looking over playlists from Jack White or Rufus Wainwright and discovering all kinds of new music in the process.
One artist whose list surprised me was one of the drunken louts in the group Jet. Included in his list was a shout out to a Dutch group called SHOCKING BLUE. While researching his pick, I discovered that this was the band who had a hit in the '60s with "Venus." His choice was a song called "Send Me a Postcard." After a little scouring of the web, I found the song and was immediately blown away. Psychedelic bubblegum pop in the vein of QUESTION MARK AND THE MYSTERIANS or THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN, but with deep, powerful female vocals from sexy frontwoman Mariska Veres. "Not bad taste for a guy from Jet," I thought.
Regardless of the fact that they were one hit wonders in the U.S., the pathetic entry on the group at AllMusic.com is still less than the Shocking Blue deserve. "They generated enough hits in enough parts of the world to warrant a compilation on Rhino Records" is hardly a ringing endorsement.
The group was around for quite a while, but the absolute best place to start is by getting At Home, the same album that "Venus" appears on. Tonight I'm posting my own homemade EP, which includes 3 songs from that album. For regular readers, I already posted "Love Buzz" once before. For new readers, that is the original version of the song that NIRVANA would eventually make semi-famous on thier Bleach album.
If you like what you hear, happy hunting for the rest:
1. "Send Me a Postcard"
2. "The Butterfly and I"
3. "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind"
4. "Love Buzz"
5. "Hot Sand"
FOR MORE ON TONIGHT'S POST:
- Learn more about Shocking Blue than you will at AllMusic right here.
- Another Blue page
- Some info on lead vocalist Mariska
- Buy Shocking Blue music at Amazon.com