It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for audiophiles! Record Store Day has rolled around again, and we celebrate with songs from albums purchased this past Christmas at one of our local independent music stores – Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” (the album, not the song), and “It’s A Holiday Soul Party” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.
This week marks a first for HARK as we cover a song performed by a listener! “The Angel Gabriel” by PC Muñoz is a modern take on a centuries-old carol, and we pair it up with another slick update on a classic song – “Dreidel” by Erran Baron Cohen featuring Jules Brookes and Y-Love.
Gosh, we can’t wait to celebrate the holidays happening this week! Let’s see, the first week of April, that means it’s… oh. Oh no. Oh no, no no. For April Fools Day, we have given ourselves the unpleasant task of covering two holiday song parodies. Hear us gnash our teeth as “12 Pains of Christmas” by Bob Rivers teaches us true despair, and “Chanukah Honey” by Rachel Bloom is, you know, also not our favorite.
We grow tired of Santa Claus and jingle bells — it’s time to cover some songs inspired by the good book. We review two new-fashioned songs about old-fashioned stories — the charming “Joseph Who Understood” by The New Pornographers and the perplexing “Christmas Song” by The Dave Matthews Band, which despite its title, only just barely qualifies for this project.
This request was anonymous: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. Having been tasked with covering a song of our choosing from the Muppet Christmas Carol, we select the cheerful “It Feels Like Christmas” performed (primarily) by Jerry Nelson. As RJ is particularly biased towards Muppets, we then endeavor to find the worst Muppets Christmas song in existence, and possibly find it in “Christmas Smorgasbord”.
In honor of Pi Day, the annual celebration of baked goods and nerd jokes, we review two nerdy Christmas songs: “X-Mas Rulez, Voldemort Droolz” by Harry and the Potters, and “Christmas in the Stars”, the first track off of the Star Wars Christmas album of the same name, featuring the voice of C-3PO, Anthony Daniels, and some other people. If you want to know more about Christmas in the Stars, the CBC offers this oral history.
This week, we take on an anonymous request (which is probably totally 100% from Mrs. Claus) for “River” by Sarah McLachlan, and decide to pair it with the original by Joni Mitchell. It’s not just ladies’ night: it’s Canadian ladies’ night.
Since February is extra-long this year, we cover some extra-long holiday songs for Leap Day! Are our lengthy selections from esteemed eccentrics Sufjan Stevens and Beck the hard-wrought work of master holiday music craftsmen, or just the product of some jolly screwing around?
By request this week, we add funny songs to the list by two comedy-music masters. But are they funny-ha-ha, funny-sad, or just funny-interesting? Ponder with us as we analyze “Christmas Is Interesting” by Jonathan Coulton and “The Night Santa Went Crazy” by Weird Al Yankovic. Thank you again to firehawk32 for this request!
As Valentine’s Day approaches once again, we break out two original holiday songs for the lovers. The always-sensual Boyz II Men offer comfort (and rebound sex) to the brokenhearted, while Destiny’s Child sing the praises of their boyfriends’ gift-giving game, which is, uh, all over the place.