Episode 302: Noodly & Non-Threatening

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In honor or Burns Night, we’re discussing some holiday music by Scottish artists! First up, we’re delighted to find a potential 21st century Christmas classic in “Santa Will Find You” by Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook Band. Then we enjoy the nostalgia for incredibly recent times induced by “New Year’s Resolution” by Camera Obscura! RJ says “New Year Resolutions” instead of “New Year’s Resolution” the whole episode, so listen: we know.

Our ranking music this episode is “Piazza New York Catcher” by Belle & Sebastian.

Thank you to David from Bristol for requesting “Santa Will Find You”!

Episode 301: Inscrutable Epiphany

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A new year has begun, but we’re starting with a throwback – we address our oldest remaining requests from back in the tumblr days of the podcast! “Christmas Eve Eve” by Paul and Storm extolls the virtues of a liminal-space-esque not-holiday with cheerful charm, while “Calling on Mary” by Aimee Mann offers mystery, melancholy, metaphor maybe, and surely other words beginning with m.

The ranking music in this episode is “Christmas is Interesting” by Jonathan Coulton.

Thank you to our anonymous listener (probably Julius Caesar) for these requests!

Episode 300: Good to Better, Bad to Worse

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We made it to our last episode of 2021 (and a big round number of episodes/songs) and to celebrate, we’re trying to unseat the top and bottom songs on our list! As per tradition, RJ & Ian surprise each other with their picks – and by coincidence, both have picked new versions of songs that we’ve covered on the show before! Will these improved/impoverished updates be enough to enter the list as one of our best or worst songs?

Our ranking music this episode is “Christmas Carousel” by Peggy Lee.

Episode 299: She Was The Man With The Bag The Whole Time

Howdy, Herald Angels! This week on HARK: two underdogs in the canon of classic Christmas music. “(Everybody’s Waiting For) The Man With The Bag” by Kay Starr is cheerful nonsense that teaches us some fun facts about music history. Then we hear another banger off of an album that has already landed in our top 100 songs once before: “The Merriest” by June Christy.

Our ranking music this week is “Seven Shades of Snow” by June Christy.

Episode 298: Not An Improvement

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As we rapidly accelerate towards the winter holiday season, we’ve got a Hanukkah song and a Christmas song that go together like music and lyrics! Uh, you know, fine. “Hot Rod Hanukkah” by Meshugga Beach Party is a lukewarm track off of an otherwise great surf rock album, while “Christmas Nights in Blue” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in carolization.

Our ranking music in this episode is “Wizards in Winter” by the Trans-Siberia Orchestra.

Thank you to CJ for requesting “Christmas Nights in Blue”!

Episode 297: Snowman Lore

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It’s RJ’s birthday week! And we didn’t forget about birthday boy’s choice this year! To celebrate, RJ lets Ian choose one of the songs (just like he did for them on his birthday in Episode 289), and he opts to finally add “Frosty the Snowman” (the original version by Gene Autry) to the list after all these years. For their choice, RJ selects the much more modern “Merry Merry” by The Bird and The Bee.

RJ would like you all to know that Frosty’s wife’s name was Crystal, and the snow parson was animated using the magic of The Bible.

This week’s ranking music is the excellent synth solo from the aforementioned “Merry Merry.”

Episode 296: A Bat, A Plan, A Canal, Aurora Borealis

It’s time for our annual Halloween episode, with no less than twenty-two ghouls! Listen, I made up that number of ghouls. I’m not sure how many ghouls we have. We listened to “13 Nights of Halloween” by Elvira, who rules, even if her novelty song is a bit too “spooky sounds for Halloween ambiance cassette tape”. We also listened to “Aurora Borealis” by Lemon Demon, an unsettling but upbeat track that will surely appeal to a couple of you freaks!

Our ranking music this week is “Bustin” by Neil Cicierega. Our seasonal theme music is “Night On Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky.

Episode 295: I Dunno Kid, Maybe He’s At The Player’s Ball

While we bide our time between the first and second phases of Eggnog Watch 2021, we’re covering a request that’s been languishing for years! And it offers plenty more blasts from the past – “Donde Esta Santa Claus” by Augie Rios is a 1958 novelty hit, and uh, you know how those are. Thankfully, “Player’s Ball” by Outkast is a refreshing (so fresh) palate cleanser (so clean).

Thank you to Dave for these requests!

Our ranking music in this episode is “So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast.

Episode 294: Quirky Aunt Energy

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This week: listener requests! First, we unpack the time capsule of the mid-sixties that is “7 O’Clock News/Silent Night” by Simon & Garfunkel, and then interrupt that program to do some PSAs about the dangers of ornament consumption as we discuss “Tinsel in the Tea Leaves” by Kathy Lowe.

The ranking music this week is “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon.

Thank you to Eben for these requests!

The resources mentioned for Indigenous folks who need culturally safe support are the KUU-US 24 Hour Crisis Line and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. These are also great orgs for settlers to support with donations.

Episode 293: Earth, Wind, Fire, Trainor, Water, Heart

Do you remember? That’s right, it’s almost September the 21st, and to celebrate, we’ve got two Christmas songs by Earth, Wind, and Fire! The first is “December” by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and if you’re wondering – yes, that’s it, what you’re imagining, it’s that exactly! Then we discuss “Holidays” by Meghan Trainor featuring Earth, Wind, and Fire – and manage to say a lot about a song that wasn’t giving us much to work with.

This week’s ranking music is Demi Adejuyigbe’s remix of “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire circa 2017.