This year's first legitimate Christmas music post

Legit because of the well-selected posting time, of course.

This weekend I'm having a house warming party (any readers are welcome to show up, comment for details) and the theme is going to be appropriately seasonal, including the music. Since the new apartment is large enough, there's going to be two separate sound sources, and since CDs are useless and boring, we're going for the computer vs. the vinyl player. The former is easy enough: It's going to be all-parang. As usual, Imeem is the best source for trini music, and I've found this enormous parang playlist:

2008 & Back Christmas Parang Holiday Music*** (New)

115 songs, that should last all night. Or until my girlfriend decides to switch to Spotify, which should be about fifteen minutes.

The vinyl, that's trickier. I had about four Christmas albums plus the odd extra track last week, and so I've spent several days hunting down as much as I can, with I must say surprising success. (A convenient record fair helped.) I now have eighteen Christmas albums, plus a single, an album with a Christmas song on it and an unfortunate duplicate, all for about 400 kr. About half are actually reasonably good, too, including some bona fide classics like A Christmas Gift for You, Christmas Jollies and Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas.

But I also have some albums that are less well known. I thought I'd go ahead and highlight three of them quickly.

Ramsey Lewis Trio - More Sounds of Christmas

This is a surprisingly tight package of instrumental jazz (mostly in some sort of vague cool-jazz vein) with some seriously different interpretations of Christmas classics coupled with originals. If I have one complaint it's that some of the originals are a bit too much jazz and a bit too little christmas for their own good. As a sample, here's the radically redone version of "We Three Kings".

The Whispers - Happy Holidays To You

Somewhere (1979 to be exact) on the border between modern soul and eighties R&B, this has a somewhat similar problem to to the last album - the interpretation of standards is great, very soulful, but the originals tend to be a bit clichéd and cheesy. "Funky Christmas" is probably the best of the lot, although it's uncharacteristically disco.

Half Man, Half Biscuit - All I Want For Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit (from Back again in the D.H.S.S.)

Right, this isn't really a Christmas album at all, but this particular song is one of the greats in the genre. It shows painfully, I think, what indie fucked up from punk's legacy: this is in equal parts a story of a pained childhood, a total absurdism and a subtle piece of social critique. It's the last bit most indie bands today tend to forget.

1 comment:

Dj Baccha said...

We playing stricly parang in our latest episode of Caribbean Bacchanal: http://caribbeanbacchanal.podomatic.com/