It’s almost Leif Erikson Day, and so this week we’re covering songs from the land of fire and ice, Iceland! Perhaps predictably, we listen to a song by Bjork, whose rendition of “Jólakötturinn” is the perfect spooky song to kick off October. Then we revisit a Christmas standard with an Icelandic twist – “Ég fæ jólagjöf” by Katla María.
This week’s episode falls on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, so we’re marking this occasion by adding two new Hanukkah songs to our ever-growing list of winter holiday music. “Pass the Candle” by Michelle Citrin is an upbeat little tune perfectly suited for a Hanukkah montage, while “Not By Might, Not By Power” by Debbie Friedman brings a powerful performance and a message of peace.
This week by request, we’re covering two holiday songs hailing from the Ozarks – and more specifically, from Alligator Records’ Genuine Houserockin’ Christmas! We’re charmed by Koko Taylor’s enthusiasm in “Have You Heard The News?”, but put off by Shemekia Copeland’s “Stay A Little Longer, Santa”, both for its unreasonable demands on Santa’s schedule and its… y’know.
Thank you again to Caleb for these requests!
Coinciding with the coming new year on the Jewish and Islamic calendars this week, we’re talking New Year’s songs! “Bringing In a Brand New Year” by Charles Brown brings us a charming, festive holiday anthem, while “Champagne (I’m Ready)” by Lisa Loeb delivers something slightly different than we were expecting from the iconic 90s glasses-wearer.
In this very jet-lagged edition of HARK, we cover two songs auf Deutsch, by German artists! “O du fröhliche” performed by Michelle strikes a familiar note, while “Holz (Weihnachtslied)” by the 257ers is a strange new experience. Prepare yourself for plenty of poor pronunciation and a lot of meta-conversation about dick humor!
As we pass through the final dog days of summer, HARK takes on two dog-centric holiday songs! On her 2017 Christmas album Sia gave us the beautiful gift of “Puppies Are Forever”, the catchiest jingle about responsible pet ownership we’ve ever heard. “Lonely Pup (In A Christmas Shop)” by Adam Faith is a more melancholy tale, unless you presuppose that Santa gives presents to dogs – which of course, would take even longer than children, because they’re all good dogs.
This week’s requests have us hitting some highs and lows on our list! “A House Or Maybe a Boat” by Hawksley Workman feels like a pleasant dream, while “Rudolph Chewed Off” by Dragon Boy Suede feels exactly like listening to a comedy rap about a guy getting his privates mutilated by Santa’s reindeer. Also RJ gets like, just super heated bout ranch dressing.
Thank you to Richard for these requests!
We get back into our requests backlog, covering two songs that sound very much of their time – 1937’s “The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot” by Vera Lynn and 1996’s “Merry Christmas Eve” by Better than Ezra.
Thanks to Brian for these requests!
In honor of British Columbia Day, we listen to holiday songs by two bands from here in beautiful BC! “Christmas Day In the Sun” by Hot Hot Heat sounds like your typical California-obsessed garage rock despite its Canadian origins, while “Puddleglum” by Said the Whale is unmistakably a Vancouverite creation.
This week we’re beating the heat with two Hanukkah songs in musical styles from the Caribbean… theoretically. “Hanu-calypso” by Kenny Ellis offers a bounty of calypso instrumentation, as well as questionable wordplay and problematic accents. “Hanukkah Mambo” by the Yule Logs swings to another extreme, offering a pretty catchy tune with absolutely no resemblance to anything approaching mambo.