Archive for the ‘Southern Culture on the Skids’ Category

SOUNDTRACKJUST SAY NOËL: A Gift for You from Geffen Records (1996).

This is a weird mix of songs.  I purchased this all those years ago because I loved the Sire Records Just Say series, and this seemed like a fine addition.  But this album really pushes what might have been anticipated in a Christmas collection.

Look at the names!  Beck! Sonic Youth! (when they were riding high), Elastica! But man, this is just a crazy mix of stuff.

BECK-“The Little Drum Machine Boy” (NSFC)
This is like 7 minutes of drum machine nonsense from Beck.  There’s mention of the Hanukkah robot funk.  Gonna drop some Hanukkah science.  And then 7 minutes of Beck’s nonsense lyrics.

AIMEE MANN with MICHAEL PENN-“Christmastime” (NSFC)
This is a little mopey because Aimee is always a little mopey.  The Michael Penn parts are a bit more upbeat.  They sound great together, but “all alone at Christmastime” isn’t really much for holiday cheer.

SONIC YOUTH-“Santa Doesn’t Cop Out On Dope” (NSFC)
I had no idea that this was a cover.  Martin Mull recorded this back in 1973.  That explains the spoken word part that doesn’t sound like something Sonic Youth would construct.  But after the spoken intro, they turn the end into 2 minutes of utter noise.  Thurston sings the actual song almost a capella with strange noises in the background and twinkling bells.  The last 40 seconds are just squelching noise.  And they end with Thurston saying “Merry Christmas, David Geffen.”

THE POSIES-“Christmas” (NSFC)
This song is downbeat and sad (“you made me for the last time.  That’s okay Christmas means little to me”).  The chorus is kind of pretty though.

THE ROOTS-“Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa” (NSFC)
I had no idea that this was a cover.  And never would have guessed it was originally by The Roots.  It is shockingly about incest. The Roots version is even darker (and the recording features an echoed voice making it even harder to hear the words).

This version is bluesy and slightly funky in a very white way.

REMY ZERO-“Christmas” (NSFC)
This is muted and mopey and I have literally no idea what its about.

This is without a doubt the best song on this record.  Although as far as I can tell aside from chanting (and playing) the melody from the Christmas song “Gloria In Excelsis Deo” there is no connection to Christmas whatsoever.

WILD COLONIALS-“Christmas Is Quiet” (NSFC)
This is six-minute mellow folk dirge.  Her voice is pretty, but good lord, six minutes?  Even a build up and backing vocals doing la las can’t rescue this.

XTC-“Thanks For Christmas”
Obviously, I love this song as I have mentioned elsewhere.

The Toys song is such a weird inclusion–clearly it’s only here because they own the rights.  But it’s a really pretty song and it should be played more at the closing of the year, for being a lovely optimistic song.  Even though I like this version, I’d like to hear a cover from someone else with a strong voice (and not necessarily Seal, or whoever that is, joining in).  I’ll bet it could be done really well.

TED HAWKINS-“Amazing Grace”
Hawkins has a low gravelly voice.  This is a lovely cover of just him and his guitar.

So overall, this is a disappointing collection of songs.  Most of them can’t be played in a festive way.  But there are a few rocking standouts.

[READ: December 12, 2017] “Announcements”

Once again, I have ordered The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This year, there are brief interviews with each author posted on the date of their story.

Hello. Welcome. It’s finally here: Short Story Advent Calendar time.

If you’re reading along at home, now’s the time to start cracking those seals, one by one, and discover some truly brilliant writing inside. Then check back here each morning for an exclusive interview with the author of that day’s story.

(Want to join in? It’s not too late. Order your copy here.)

This year I’m pairing each story with a holiday disc from our personal collection.

This was a fun, light-hearted look at Wedding announcements.  And of course, as with any fun, light-hearted look at something, there were undercurrents of seriousness that made the story even better. (more…)

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balabSOUNDTRACK: “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC-“Lame Claim to Fame” (2014).

lameclaimThis track is a parody of Southern Culture on the Skids, a band I don’t really care about.  So yes that whole southern rock whoo hoo style is not my thing.  So, for this one, I have to go for the lyrics, which are very funny.

This is all about name droppers, and he gives some great examples of people who throw names around to seem impressive.

Once I’m pretty sure Mr. Jonah Hill Was in the very next bathroom stall

My sister used to take piano lessons From the second cousin of Ralph Nader

Well guess what, my birthday and Kim Kardashian’s Are exactly the same

I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy Who know a guy who knows a guy who know Kevin Bacon

I don’t mean to brag but Paul Giamatti’s plumber knows me by name

This is the kind of song that, while I don’t like it musically, will grow on me, and will probably be a lot of fun live.

The video for this one, on the other hand, is pretty fantastic.  It is done in a kind of a paper stop-motion style, with the named-dropped celebrity faces cut out and doing all manner of things.  I usually prefer the Al videos in which he is in them, but this one is really stellar.

[READ: July 19, 2014] Confessions of a Blabbermouth

This book was written by Mike and his daughter Louise Carey.  Louise was 15 at the time and also wrote a column for The London Metropolitan Archive called “Diary of a London School Girl.”  And that makes sense because one of the characters in this story writes a column for a London paper about what it’s like to be a teenager.

But she is not the main character.  The main character is Tasha, an angry, volatile (and very funny) teenager who writes a blog called Blabbermouth.  The blog is where she reveals everything about herself and what’s on her mind.  And what’s on her mind right now is that her mom is dating a new guy named Jed.  And she figures that Jed will be like every other guy her mom has dated–annoying, stupid and paternal.  When she meets him for that first fateful dinner, he proves to be just that.  He’s also utterly uncool calling the blog a “blag” and subtly (and not) telling her that her lifestyle is not a good one.  He even comes into her room after she leaves the dinner table and basically tells her that she had better shape up and be more like his own daughter.

His own daughter, Chloe, is new to Tasha’s class.  Tasha wants to give her a chance, but she proves to be snooty, snotty and rude, especially when she reveals that she writes the column for the paper.  This column also gets her a gig at the yearbook, where Tasha is the student editor.  Chloe won’t play by any of Tasha’s rules, since she is a famous published author.  Obviously this goes right onto Blabbermouth. (more…)

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