Episode 36: There’s No Place (For Hating Your Family) Like Home for the Holidays

Bite tongue. Deep breaths. Count to ten. Put in headphones. Listen to this podcast instead of having awkward interactions with family members. This week, we cover two songs about the misery of holiday togetherness: “Home For the Holidays” by Gentleman Auction House and “Just For Now” by Imogen Heap. Also: we experience a Christmas Miracle in September. Thank you to our #1 Fan Time Machine for requesting this week’s songs! Check out Time Machine’s podcast, “I’ll Show You”, at jessandjoshshowyou.squarespace.com!

Episode 34: The Ideal 1980s Doucebag

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In an attempt to populate the list with some underrepresented decades, Ian and RJ look to the pleasant, predictable Christmas classics of the 1940s and the abrasive holiday hits of the 1980s. Listen to us pontificate on the cultural status of Rudolph and puzzle over the inexplicable popularity of Max Headroom. Seriously, what was that dude’s deal?

Episode 33: Wild Speculation

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Having reviewed so many songs from the 21st century, this week we reach back in time to the early days of recorded music. The radio-play-esque “The Fairy On the Christmas Tree” and Fats Waller’s “Swingin’ Them Jingle Bells” transport us to the 1930s, and we enjoy our stay.

Episode 32: The Artist Formerly Known as Krispy Kreme

This week, we look at two more Christmas comedy songs born on YouTube. First up is the criminally under-watched “Fuck You If You Don’t Like Christmas” by Crudbump, which might be our most explicit song ever. Then we peel back the layers of one Froggy Fresh, a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in John Cena pajamas, and his simply titled song, “Christmas”. Meet @drewtoothpaste on twitter in X mins if u want an ass kicking: https://twitter.com/drewtoothpaste/media

Episode 31: Contact Hockey Knowledge

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It may be a hot and humid outside, but it’s always sweater weather in our hearts. This week, listener Jenny points us toward an ode to Christmas gear from a highly unusual source – “Holiday Sweater” by the San Jose Sharks. We also consider a song about alternative festive threads – “Christmas Sweatz” by Rhett and Link.

Episode 30: Sex on the Beach with Santa Claus

Our theme quickly goes off the rails this week as we cover another Bing Crosby classic (but one we hate) and a recent pop original by Colbie Callait (also bad). Corrections to some of our statements in this episode: Hawai’i was invaded in 1893, not 1898 – it was annexed in 1898. The Hawai’ian language is considered vulnerable, but not dying. Heroin, like alcohol, does not cause hallucinations. We hope this has been an informative preview of the episode.

Episode 29: Sad, Gentle, and Recorded Before 1985

There’s a lot of music of one particular genre populating the bottom of our list: country music. This week we give country its fair shake by reviewing two country Christmas songs we actually like, “Hard Candy Christmas” by Dolly Parton and “Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson. Grab your harmonica and get ready to get melancholy, y’all.

Episode 28: Happy Birthday Mara Wilson

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What do Summer Glau, Karl Malone, Lynda Carter, Banana Yoshimoto and our co-host Ian all have in common? They were all born on July 24th! In this week’s episode, we celebrate Ian’s birthday by listening to Christmas covers by The A-Teens (member Dhani Lennevald was born July 24, 1984) and actress Daveigh Chase (born July 24, 1990). Also mentioned in this episode: Jingle Bell Rocks, the documentary about Christmas music and it devotees, which we liked a lot! See the trailer here: http://jinglebellrocks.vhx.tv/

Episode 27: Deez Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire

We’ve covered a number of crappy pop songs from the late 1990s and early 2000s on HARK. But the world of crappy original pop holiday music from this era is vast and diverse, as illustrated by this week’s songs, requested by Katelyn. Hilary Duff gives us the uninspiring but possibly science-fictional “Santa Claus Lane”, while Canadian wunderkinds The Moffatts deliver the maddeningly catchy “Earl the Christmas Squirrel”.