We learn a lot in this episode – about music, about ourselves, and about New Kids on the Block. I guess mostly that last thing. We are, for reasons that are not quite clear even to us, covering two songs on the basis of their inclusion of the word “funky”: “Funky New Year” by The Eagles and “Funky Funky Xmas” by New Kids On the Block. We’re dreaming of a white, funky Christmas.
This week we’re back to requests! “The Atheist Christmas Carol” by Vienna Teng delights us with its beauty and complexity, while “Snow in Los Angeles” by Dead Sara delivers some mixed messages.
The post by Benito Cereno that RJ mentions in this episode can be found here!
Thank you to Emily for requesting this week’s songs!
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so we’re listening to two songs about Mother Christmas! The first – “Mother Christmas” by J.S. Ondara – uses the right nomenclature, but is actually a sincere, transcendent lament about missing one’s mom (if Mother’s Day is a tough day for you, maybe skip this one!). “Mrs. Santa Claus” by Nat King Cole, however, offers a saccharine salute to Father Christmas’s put-upon wife – who does all the housework, menial tasks, and emotional labour? It’s Mrs. Santa Claus!
This week is MAY the FOURTH, so you know what that means! That’s right, it’s Rhode Island Independence Day!! We celebrate with holiday songs by two bands from our beloved little home state, “Holy Shit It’s Christmas” by Deer Tick and “All I Want for Xmas” by Draco and the Malfoys.
Find the playlist of Deer Tick’s favorite winter holiday music that was mentioned in this episode here!
This week, we cover two requests for songs about Christmas wishes – mature, adult Christmas wishes. “My Grown Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant is a sentimental classic that doesn’t quite pull our heartstrings, while “I Want a Boob Job for Christmas” by Virginia Kegel is a theatrical romp exemplifying the immature version of “mature” content.
Thank you to anonymous and Dylan for the requests!
OK, look. We’ve run out of funny things to say about April 20th, the weed holiday, here in the episode description. But we will never, ever run out of winter holiday songs about weed: for 4/20/2018, we listen to “Weed (All I Want for Christmas)” by Nellie McKay and “Have a Willie Nice Christmas” by Kacey Musgraves featuring Willie Nelson.
This week on HARK, we cover two songs by request: the haunting reverie of Loreena McKennitt’s “In Praise of Christmas” and the playful brevity of the Squirrel Nut Zipper’s “Winter Weather”. We also have our biggest disagreement about a song since covering Ian’s sworn enemies The Killers!
Thank you to merikus for the requests!
In honor of Passover, we’re listening to some new music about another Jewish festival – this week features Hanukkah songs released in 2017! Incidentally, both are raps about food – “8 Days of Latkes” by Ben Schwartz (THE Ben Scwartz) and “Bimuelo” by Sarah Aroeste featuring Kosha Dillz.
Easter approaches, so this week be get biblical – “What Child Is This” as performed by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige offers a powerful rendition of a familiar tune, while “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill is a wholly underwhelming original.
By request, this week we cover a kitschy tune from a 70’s children’s record – and then try to out-do it. “10,000 Santa Clauses (But Not One Gift For Me)” by The Caroleers is a strange delight, but it’s in “Roly Poly the Polar Bear” by the Peppermint Kandy Kids that we discover a cool new friend.
Thanks to Thom and our anonymous listener for requesting The Caroleers!