Episode 244: It Sure Doesn’t Feliz Like Navidad

This week, we tackle a pair of punk-adjacent requests from listener Kevin. “Feliz Navi-nada” by El Vez is, despite the title, a joyful reimagining of the Jose Feliciano original, and “X’mas Time (It Sure Doesn’t Feel Like It)” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is an extremely sad and also surprisingly nostalgic experience.

The ranking music this week is “The Impression That I Get” by the aforementioned Bosstones.

Thanks again to Kevin for the requests!

Episode 243: Underneath the Birthday Lights

      No Comments on Episode 243: Underneath the Birthday Lights

That’s right, it’s Birthday Boi’s Choice once again, and RJ has selected two songs that we’ve discussed before… but only behind a paywall. John Legend’s 2018 original “Bring Me Love” is a strong contender for a new Christmas radio standard, and Sia’s 2017 album closer “Underneath the Christmas Lights” is an ethereal experience to savor.


Episode 242: Troubling Pumpkins

      No Comments on Episode 242: Troubling Pumpkins

RJ and Ian are back, and just in time for Halloween! This week, in our annual spooky episode, we tackle our first Halloween winter song (and also revisit the world of Homestar Runner) with “Decomposing Pumpkins” by Brainkrieg. Then, we discuss “It’s Halloween (A Christmas Song)” by Randy Brooks, as well as the troubling revelation that the man responsible for bringing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” into the world might also be funny sometimes, the implications of which we’re not even remotely prepared to consider. 

This week’s ranking music was “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and the special intro and outro music was “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

Episode 241: Science Gone Wrong

      No Comments on Episode 241: Science Gone Wrong
By request, we’re covering two songs that feel like experiments. “Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year” by Rosie Thomas feels like a blend of Christmas music conventions tweaked and polished into uncanny twee perfection, while “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Rhan Wilson is a shambling nine-minute-forty-five-second abomination.

Thank you to Travis for these requests!

Episode 240: Once More, With Canada

      No Comments on Episode 240: Once More, With Canada

This week on HARK, it’s Canadian Thanksgiving, and while we’re always thankful for all of our listeners, we’re feeling particularly thankful for the ones who live north of the U.S. border. To celebrate, we cover two songs suggested by a long-time Canadian listener making his first request. “Jacob Marley’s Chain” by Aimee Mann is interesting, if only vaguely Christmas-related, and “Jack Gets Up” by Leo Kottke is perhaps even more interesting (and perhaps even less Christmas-related).

The ranking music this week is “Springtime” by Jeffrey Lewis.

Thank you to Ben for the requests!

Episode 239: Hanukkah Noir

      No Comments on Episode 239: Hanukkah Noir
As we did last week, we’re adding two more Hanukkah songs to our list – but this time we’re contemplating some more solemn selections. “Light the Lamp” by Emily Kurn is a folk tribute to family connections, while “Chanukah Prayer” by Carole King offers tradition mixed with atmospheric jazz.

The ranking music this week is “Eight Candles (A Song for Hanukkah)” by Dave Koz.

Episode 238: It’s December 22nd, FYI

      No Comments on Episode 238: It’s December 22nd, FYI
Shanah Tovah! The High Holy Days are here, and as per tradition, we’re adding some Hanukkah tunes to our list. We appreciate the sophisticated indie-rock elements of “I Won’t Be Home for Chanukah” by TeamMate, such as the claps, and the beep-boops – and while “(When is) Hanukkah This Year” by Mêlée may have a catchy hook, it asks more questions than it answers.

Episode 237: Astronomical Phenomena

      No Comments on Episode 237: Astronomical Phenomena
In honor of the upcoming Autumnal Equinox, we listen to two songs of exactly equal length! “A New Year” by Stars has a hopeless sort of hope, while “Sunshine” by Sia perhaps overshoots on the optimism. And also Santa’s elves are involved somehow?

A note: our pre-song banter contains some bummers this week!

Episode 236: How to Make Toothpaste

      1 Comment on Episode 236: How to Make Toothpaste

This week on HARK, we tackle two requests for which the requester provided very little context. The resulting episode includes discussions about mass incarceration and toothpaste jingles. “Everybody Deserves a Merry Christmas” by Ronnie Fauss is a type of twangy jailhouse rock, and “I’d Like You for Christmas” by Julie London has old-timey musical theatre vibes. You can guess which one prompted which discussion.

Thanks again to Brenda for the requests!

Episode 235: Eggnog Watch 2019

      No Comments on Episode 235: Eggnog Watch 2019
September is here and you know what that means: somewhere in Canada, cartons are being filled with eggnog. Soon these cartons will make their way to grocery stores, and the eggnog within, to RJ’s tummy. But for now, we quench our nog-thirst with two songs about this holiday treat. Unfortunately, “Give the Gift of Egg Nog” by Samantha Bee (featuring a full Do-They-Know-It’s-Christmas-style chorus of celebs) turns out to be pretty eggnog-negative – luckily, “Nutmeg” by John Legend (featuring Stephen Colbert) delivers all the sweetness and spice we were looking for.