Episode 232: Semi-Ironic Hair Metal

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This week, we tackle some requests for songs belonging to that most 1980s of genres: Hair Metal. And yet, the two songs we’re covering were recorded in this millennium. Could it be that the artists who performed them did so less than 100 percent seriously? It’s kind of hard to tell, which is kind of the charm of both “O Come All Ye Faithful” by Twisted Sister and “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” by The Darkness.

Thank you to Matt for the requests!

Episode 231: We love all our Christmas songs equally

This week, in honor of International Cat Day, we’re covering songs for our two cats: Kurt and Heidi. “Snow Falls on the Patio” by Heidi Happy is a sweet, strange, slightly spooky song that matches our sweet, strange, slightly spooky new daughter. And “Santa Claus is Back in Town” as performed by Kurt Russell in the Netflix original holiday production “The Christmas Chronicles” is full of bombast and bravado, just like our large son, Kurt.

As promised, here is a picture of Kurt and Heidi:

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Episode 230: All the Little Children and All the Big Children

As July draws to a close and the hottest days of summer (so far) hit the northern hemisphere, we return to that perennial source of bottom-of-the-list material: songs about spending the holidays in a warm place. But this year, there’s a twist: The songs we listened to are actually good, it turns out! First, we enjoy the silly “(I’m Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica” by Tom Lehrer. Then, we discover an absolute jam in “Christmas in L.A.” by Vulfpeck.

Episode 229: Counting Horses

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Ian has aged yet again which means it’s BIRTHDAY BOY’S CHOICE TIME!!! For his selections, Ian has gone with two songs that some may say barely belong on our list – but perhaps do belong on a mix CD curated by a moody teen. “A Long December” by Counting Crows has been a long time coming, and “The First Song” by Band of Horses provides a fitting complement from a decade later.

Episode 228: Good Pig Wenceslas

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There are a lot of national food days in July, you guys. This week, we’re celebrating National Hot Dog Day with some Christmas songs about pigs. “The Boar’s Head Carol” by Magpie Lane is pretty much exactly what the title says it is, while “Noche Buena” by Celeste Legaspi has a slightly more roundabout connection to our episode theme.

Both of these songs are referenced in the Bon App├ętit article we mentioned in the show, which you can check out here.

Episode 227: Hot Potato

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This week on HARK, we’re celebrating nature’s neatest root vegetable, the potato! Since National French Fry Day falls on July 13th, we listen to two songs featuring another fried favorite. “Pass the Latkes” by Kid Kosher seems to be a sincere hip-hop ode to this Hanukkah treat, while “No Latkes” by OHT Crew is a more tongue-in-cheek creation about a relationship in turmoil over a lack of potato pancakes.

Episode 226: Canadian Content

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We’re back! And while we may have missed Canada Day on July 1st, we’ve got some requests to help us fill our CanCon requirements. Ontario’s comedy trio The Arrogant Worms provide two holiday tracks for us to dissect – “Christmastime” and “Vincent the Christmas Virus”.

Thank you to Michael (probably) for the requests!

Episode 225: 70 Percent Exciting

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We’re adding the 449th and 450th songs to our list, and that means it’s MILESTONE TIME, BABY! Ian tries to find the greatest holiday song of all time and submits a familiar tune by a legendary artist that contains surprises and multitudes. RJ looks for the worst holiday song of all time and lands on a parody of “Let It Snow” that manages to both be both vulgar and prudish – and it ain’t exactly easy on the ears, either.

Episode 224: Kermit is My Dad

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It’s Father’s Day this week, and here on HARK we’re listening to some songs from those Classic Christmas Dads! In character as beloved and put-upon pop Bob Cratchit, Kermit the Frog performs the poetic “One More Sleep Til Christmas” from the Muppet Christmas Carol. Then Marian Call sings from the point of view of a less gentle holiday movie dad in “Christmas in L.A. (Yippee Ki Yay)”.

Thank you to “John” for the request!

Episode 223: Mother Mary, Husband Nick

The Tony Awards are this Sunday, so we’re celebrating with a musical-theatre-themed request! At listener Emily’s suggestion, we check out two Christmas songs from the not-Tony-nominated show “Songs for a New World.” The first, “Surabaya Santa,” is an intriguing idea that turns out upsetting, while the second, “Christmas Lullaby,” mostly works? Mostly?

Thanks again to Emily for the requests!