Episode 337: The Bluegrass is Greener

We’re going to be taking our next scheduled episode off because we’re doing some traveling this month. To help prepare us for our trip to the U.S., we’re taking two requests for some good old fashioned American country music. “Christmas Time’s A-Comin'” by Emmylou Harris is a song from a country tradition we enjoy, namely bluegrass. “364 Days to Go” by Brad Paisley is … Well, it’s definitely better than his other entry on our list.

This week’s ranking music is “Christmas Time’s A-Comin'” as performed by Bill Monroe.

Thank you to James for the requests!

Episode 336: Santa Thanks

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This week on HARK, we’ve got two songs with the same title and very different stakes. By request, we cover “Santa Please” by Bill Medley, a tale of alcoholism, regret and reconciliation at Christmas that leaves us troubled. Then, we discuss “Santa Please” by Toni Braxton, which is basically just four minutes of the singer sexily asking to speak to the manager about travel logistics. The manager is Santa Claus.

The ranking music in this episode is “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas” as performed by The Decemberists.

Thank you to Misty for requesting the Bill Medley song!

Episode 335: Backup Episode

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Sometimes we take requests, and sometimes we take a while to cover those requests. And sometimes, sometimes, someone who’s waiting to hear us cover their request sends us back-up requests in case their first requests were not holidays-ish enough. Thus, sometimes — specifically this time — Ian uncerimoniously schedules those backup requests for an episode several years later even though one of them is about a incredibly sad real-world tragedy. Soooo, we’re talking about “Christmas Eve Blues” by Blind Lemon Jefferson and “1913 Massacre” by Woody Guthrie.

The ranking music for this episode is “Solidarity Forever” as performed by The Mountain Goats.

Thank you to Myles for these (backup) requests!

Episode 334: James Bluntmas

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Listen. When the universe gives us two songs titled “Feeling Like a Right James Blunt at Christmas” (by Death of Guitar Pop featuring James Buckley) and “Merry Christmas James Blunt” (by Wash Your Dirty Money With My Art featuring Martin Meincke), what are we supposed to do, NOT theme an episode around it?

The ranking music in this episode is, I mean, exactly what you’d expect.

Episode 333: Joy to the Weed

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It’s that time of year again, baby! Blaze it up with us (figuratively) as we discuss two weed-related Christmas songs, “Green Christmas” by Snoop Dogg featuring Jenn Em, and “Merry Christmas Mary Jane” by Katie Pruitt.

The ranking music in this episode is “Roll Me Up” by Willie Nelson featuring Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson, and of course, Snoop Dogg.

Episode 332: Sting, Stang, Stung

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Easter and Passover are fast approaching, so as is HARK tradition, we listen to two more traditional, religious songs – one for Christmas, and one for Hanukkah. Except this year, we kind of blew it? You could call these songs religious, and they’re both of a tradition, but we’re going more folk festival than liturgical this year. “I Saw Three Ships” as performed by Sting offers us some whimsy from his weird phase (~1990-Present). Then, marking the second recontextualized Leonard Cohen song on our list (and thankfully, this time for Hanukkah), HAIM delivers a beautiful, haunting rendition of “If It Be Your Will”.

The ranking music in this episode is “Sad Trombone” by Sting and Shaggy.

Episode 331: A Large Pile of Spaghetti

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By request, we’re taking our first look at the Christmas tunes of music legend Neil Diamond! “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” is nothing if not very, very Neil, while his rendition of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is a dozen other things he was apparently trying out.

The ranking music in this episode is (what else) “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

Thank you to Nearly Nearly Neil for these requests!

Episode 329: The Squeakquel

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By listener request, we’ve got two covers of cartoon-related Christmas classics! “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” as performed by JP Maurice says a polite no-thank-you to skits, while Khruangbin’s version of “Christmastime is Here” is a whole vibe.

The ranking music in this episode is “Skating” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

Thank you to Dave and Dan for these requests!

Episode 328: Brand Synergy

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Valentine’s Day is approaching, and we’re celebrating with two tracks from one of our favorite (bad) holiday romcoms, Christmas in the City (2013). “You’re My Christmas” by Juliet Lyons may have been stuck in our heads for years now, but there’s still something a little off about it. After revisiting it, “Christmas Love” by Ashanti feels like a breath of fresh air.

The ranking music in this episode is “White Wedding” as performed by Juliet Lyons.

If you want to hear Jam experience more (bad) holiday romance, check out Book Club For Masochists new episode on February 7th!