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.
BIRTHDAY BOY’S CHOICE!!
Our beloved co-host Ian has completed another year of this thing called life, and in this episode he receives the gift of picking this week’s songs! He selects two songs from an album that caught his eye – “A Winter Romance” by Dean Martin. We cover the title track in addition to the intriguing “Canadian Sunset” and speculate about just how much swinging is going on.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY IAN
Performers go head-to-head in this week’s back-to-back listener requests! First up, Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming perform a cheeky, maybe-subversive rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – then Cyndi Lauper joins The Hives for “A Christmas Duel”, a surprisingly spectacular song about spouses tearing their marriage to shreds.
Thanks to Stuart and anonymous for these requests!
This week we’re celebrating summer blockbuster season with two holiday songs by or pertaining to America’s favorite Will Smith, Will Smith! By request, we begin with a twangy plea from Scott Aukerman and Paul F. Tompkins to show a little kindness this holiday season, titled “Please Don’t Joke About ‘I, Robot’ This Christmas”. Then things get wild as “Will 2k” takes us on a journey through time with the Fresh Prince himself.
Thank you to an anonymous listener for requesting “Please Don’t Joke About ‘I, Robot’ This Christmas'”!
Get ready for double the Dion! We celebrate Canada Day (and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, kinda) with two songs performed by French-Canada’s favorite diva: “Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day”, a sentimental original that Celine co-wrote, and “Promenade En Traineau”, a francophone version of Sleigh Ride from the very first year of her professional singing career. Joyeuses fêtes!
Hark, Herald Angels! It’s milestone time! For our latest experiment in extremes, Ian tries to claim the highest spot with a special recording by an artist who you may be shocked is not yet on our list. Then RJ runs some calculations to decide which of the world’s worst holiday songs we’re going to expose ourselves to this year and lands on a toxic family drama.
Thanks for listening, and be nice to your pets!
It’s World Oceans Day, and in honor of that big blue sea we listen to “Christmas Under the Sea” by The Aqua Kids, which is impressively heavy on sea creature references but pretty light on non-magical ocean conservation tips. Then we contemplate H20 in a different state of matter with a wildly different winter song – “01 Have You Seen It In the Snow?” by The Magnetic Fields.
Thank you again to Joe for requesting The Magnetic Fields’ song!
National Doughnut Day seems to get earlier every year, eh? This year, instead of celebrating with those delicious sufganiyot, we kick of the episode with a different Hanukkah treat: “My Baby Eats All the Hanukkah Gelt” by Alexis Fishman. Then it’s a another sugary indulgence: “Christmas Cookies” by George Strait, who definitely knows what cookies are but is maybe less clear on sprinkles and also sex.
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!