Episode 358: I Have a Little Weed Day

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Our annual 4/20 episode is back, and this year? Good songs only!!! You may be surprised to hear that we were still able to find two good weed-themed winter holiday songs, but indeed: “High on Hanukkah” by Micah E. Wood (featuring Ari Pluznik and Seth Kibel) is an enjoyable ode to holiday paranoia, and “Kushmas” by Smino is… well, surely it’s about something, but that’s sort of beside the point.

The ranking music in this episode is “Sleigh”, also by Smino (featuring Monte Booker and Masego)!

Episode 357: Holidays Doth Rule

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As per tradition (at least from days of yore when we did episodes weekly), we’re using the week of Easter to add some more traditional Christmas music to our list. And it just so happens that both of this episode’s songs are from the same album, 2012’s Holidays Rule! Both songs were also composed by guys named Henry who were better known for other things, which I guess is also kind of a fun coincidence? Calexico’s take on King Henry VIII’s “Green Grows the Holly” is a breath of fresh air, but Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” as performed by The Civil Wars is just kinda… air.

This week’s ranking music is “The Holly and the Ivy” performed by Los Campesinos!

Episode 356: Lots in Translation

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By request, we’re tackling two holiday songs that expand the number of languages and dialects represented in our list. “Jingle Bells” as performed by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones featuring Alash marks the first appearance of Tuvan, and also, of Tuvan throat-singing! And, I don’t know, maybe like the thirtieth post-modern banjo performance? And while we’ve had a good amount of French under our belts and in our ears already, “23 Décembre” by Beau Dommage is our first in the Québécois working-class dialect of Joual. Er, probably? Listen, we got really sidetracked in the middle of this one.

The ranking music in this episode is “Fa La La” by Bündock.

Thank you to merikus for these requests!

Episode 355: Ten Lords a Leap Year

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To celebrate the Leap Year, we’re leaping into two versions of The 12 Days of Christmas! Kind of!!! Neither “12 Days of Christmas” by Gucci Mane or “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by The Popguns use the traditional lyrics or structure of the song, but hey, we can consider that an improvement.

The ranking music in this episode is “8 Days of Christmas” by Destiny’s Child.

Episode 354: A Special Kind of Horny

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It’s Valentine’s Day, one of the horniest holidays on the calendar, and we’re celebrating with two songs from the 1950s that illustrate an uncomfortable truth: people have always been nasty little freaks about Christmas. In the case of “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney” by Ella Fitzgerald, it’s entirely listener interpreation that takes this song from silly to risqué. In “Trim Your Tree” by Jimmy Butler, however — maybe you wouldn’t call the lyrics explicit, but they are definitely intentional.

The ranking music in this episode is “Molasses Molasses (It’s Icky Sticky Goo)” by Ella Fitzgerald!

Episode 353: The Super Bowl Sneak

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Gosh, the Super Bowl seems to come earlier and earlier every year, doesn’t it? Football music starts getting played the radio, kids start lining up at the mall to sit on Bill Belichick’s lap. Hmm? What’s that? Ok, I’m getting word that it’s actually the opposite, that the super bowl comes later now. And the other things I said have never happened? Apparently? No child has ever desired to approach Bill Belichick? And “football music” isn’t anything? Well, we beg to differ (with the last thing specifically)!!! We listen to “Merry Christmas in the NFL” by Willis the Guard and Vigorish, and like, woof. That’s followed by “Santa’s Night” by the Philly Specials featuring Jason Kelce, which is akin to a refreshing Gatorade shower after that first one.

The ranking music in this episode is “Heavy Action” by Johnny Pearson (the original Monday Night Football anthem, which, fun fact, has a title that rules).

Episode 352: Upstanding Podcast Citizens

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It’s podcasts all the way down! By listener request, we’re discussing “Don’t Wait For Me Beneath the Mistletoe” by The Allusionettes. The band — comprised of Jenny Owen Youngs, Martin Austwick, and podcast host Helen Zaltzman — was formed for an episode of The Allusionist podcast about creating a 2020-appropriate holiday hit. We pair that with another Jenny Owen Youngs holiday tune, “Maybe Next Year”, which definitely came out in 2019 and not 2020! We got this wrong and there was absolutely no way we could have fact checked it while recording! Jam had a headache and Ian was trapped under a cat!! Please, we’re sorry, we’re upstanding podcast citizens!!!

The ranking music in this episode is “Fuck Was I” by Jenny Owen Youngs.

Thank you to Matthew for requesting “Don’t Wait For Me Beneath the Mistletoe”!

Episode 351: Grinch Rap Granuary

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To kick off our tenth year of HARK, we’re writing the first page of what will surely be many chapters exploring the question of our time: why are there so many hip hop songs about the Grinch? “I Am The Grinch” by Tyler the Creator is a pleasant but not very illuminating entry in Grinch Rap subgenre, while “The Grinch” by Bad Lucc gives us a little more to speculate on, but is, you know, no “Landy in My Eggnog”.

The ranking music for this episode is “Grinch 2000” by Busta Rhymes featuring Jim Carrey, and the intro/outro music sting is “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft.

Episode 350: Lawrence the Network Technician

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It’s finally here: our 2023 milestone episode! When looking for a candidate for all-time greatest Christmas songs, Jam attempted to laser-focus their pick to Ian’s taste. When looking for the worst of the worst, the song Ian selected has more of scattershot strategy. 

The ranking music in this episode is “Christmas Unicorn” by Sufjan Stevens.

As mentioned in this episode, we were recently quoted in an article about Christmas music! You can read it here: How Simon Cowell and John Lewis killed the British Christmas song

Episode 349: Fresh Cut Holiday Songs

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The 2023 holiday season has arrived! We’re celebrating with some brand new holiday songs. Since Hanukkah begins this week, we begin with the delightfully catchy “Just A Little Hanukkah” by Oliver Richman featuring Jessica Toltzis and Nathan Brewer. Then we consider the new Christmas release by Wheatus (remember Wheatus?), titled “Christmas Dirtbag” (now you probably remember Wheatus).

The ranking music in this episode is “Hanukkah” by The Manischefits.