Category Archives: Music

My Favorite Christmas Album

When I was a young lad, my family had a (vinyl) record that seemed to me to have the best collection of Chrismas tunes my 9-year-old mind could imagine.

Family Christmas (Vinyl, LP, Album, Compilation) album cover

I’m not sure where our copy of this album got to over the decades, but, thanks to the Internet, I found this link to the image above and the playlist below:

A1: Nat King Cole, “The Christmas Song

A2: Burl Ives, “A Holly Jolly Christmas

A3: Gene Autry, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

A4: The Harry Simeone Chorale, “The Little Drummer Boy

A5: Leroy Anderson, “Sleigh Ride”

A6: Al Martino, “O Come All Ye Faithful”

B1: Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely, “Silver Bells”

B2: Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Star Carol”

B3: Dean Martin, “White Christmas”

B4: Glen Campbell, “Silent Night”

B5: Bing Crosby, “Do You Hear What I Hear

B6: The Roger Wagner Chorale, “O Holy Night

‘Trump’s an asshole,’ sings Denis Leary, 2016 asshole update

Since this post of Denis Leary’s song seems popular and pertinent, I’ll add the updated, 2016 version, done by Denis Leary and James Corden:

Here’s the original:

Link: Covers of Paul McCartney songs

Via Slate, here are covers of Paul McCartney songs by many other artists:

Here’s the tracklist, via Stereogum:

01 Billy Joel – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
02 Bob Dylan – “Things We Said Today”
03 Heart – “Band On The Run”
04 Steve Miller – “Junior’s Farm”
05 Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) – “The Long and Winding Road”
06 Harry Connick, Jr. – “My Love”
07 Brian Wilson – “Wanderlust”
08 Corrine Bailey Rae – “Bluebird”
09 Willie Nelson – “Yesterday”
10 Jeff Lynne – “Junk”
11 Barry Gibb – “When I’m 64″
12 Jamie Cullum – “Every Night”
13 KISS – “Venus And Mars / Rock Show”
14 Paul Rodgers – “Let Me Roll It”
15 Roger Daltrey – “Helter Skelter”
16 Def Leppard – “Helen Wheels”
17 The Cure – “Hello Goodbye” (Feat. James McCartney)
18 Billy Joel – “Live And Let Die”
19 Chrissie Hynde – “Let It Be”
20 Robin Zander & Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick – “Jet”
21 Joe Elliott – “Hi Hi Hi”
22 Heart – “Letting Go”
23 Steve Miller – “Hey Jude”
24 Owl City – “Listen To What The Man Said”
25 Perry Farrell – “Got To Get You Into My Life”
26 Dion – “Drive My Car”
27 Allen Toussaint – “Lady Madonna”
28 Dr. John – “Let ’Em In”
29 Smokey Robinson – “So Bad”
30 Airborne Toxic Event – “No More Lonely Nights”
31 Alice Cooper – “Eleanor Rigby”
32 Toots Hibbert with Sly & Robbie – “Come And Get It”
33 B.B. King – “On The Way”
34 Sammy Hagar – “Birthday”

‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Stylings

Smooth Jazz:

And, using this music, the Saul Bass-style intro credits:

Traditional Jazz


Marching Band

(hat tip to Slate)

Cover songs

Inspired by The Dish’s recent series on cover songs, I’d like to add a few here of my own.

There’s something I enjoy about mock-serious interpretations of dumb pop songs, like Alanis Morissette covering The Black Eyed Peas:

And Allison Williams covering Kesha:

And there’s this medley by Jimmy Fallon and Ariana Grande:

And then there’s this song, which is nearly a parody of itself:

But I like to think of that song as a parody remake of this song:

And then once I’ve heard Gwen Stefani’s song, I have to listen to:

Link: Weird Al’s ‘Word Crimes’

The parodist panders to English teachers (successfully, in my case):

P.S.: Another take on “Blurred Lines” here.

Nirvana via Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, and Lorde

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 induction ceremony (aired last weekend by HBO), four Nirvana songs were performed with vocals by Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, and Lorde. (In the video below, starting at 17:00).

There’s still something about this music that strikes me as raw, real, now, the same way it struck me when I first heard it.

Make it real — compared to what?

I loved the song “Compared to What” (whose history here and here I am only recently learning) when I first heard Al Jarreau’s version:

But last weekend, via the public radio show “American Routes,” I heard a version that was terrific, that was slowed down compared to Jarreau’s version, and that drew my attention more to the startling, poetic lyrics. I learned from the “American Routes” playlist that it was Roberta Flack’s version:

Here’s another great-sounding version:

Song links: Lovely melancholy

Some songs I love, especially on these recent gray fall days:

Laura Nyro: “Let it be me”

Kenny Rankin’s “Blackbird”

Another Kenny Rankin I really like: “Christmas Eve with you”