Showing posts with the label Music

Holy Russia Celebrates the Festival of Christmas (2006)

Snowy winterscape. Christmas music. Shot of a cathedral. Repeat for an hour. Neither Lindsay nor I recall adding this to our Netflix queue, but somehow it got on there. Maybe it just migrated its way on or something. It's difficult to imagine either of us intentionally putting it there. Regardless, it arrived at our home, so we watched it. It was, first and foremost, kind of boring. It wasn't bad, of course. It just wasn't anything more than what it was. And what it was can be accurately described in the fragment-filled opening paragraph of this review. There was essentially no substance - it was music and video; that's all. For what it's worth, the music was good. Though the subtitles were pretty awful. "Wast"? Really? And here I always thought the past tense of "was" was "was". The video was good, by which I mean it was pretty. Lots of snowy streets, trees covered in snow, frozen lakes that were coated in snow, churches ad

A Very Brady Christmas (1988)

I haven't seen very many episodes of The Brady Bunch , but from the little I remember, A Very Brady Christmas managed to capture the stone and style of the show perfectly. Incidentally, I believe the previous sentence ranks among the all-time most condemning insults I've ever lobbed in a review for this blog. It should be noted that this was produced in 1988, which was about nineteen years after the series had started. By this time, the Bradys had actually expanded into something of a cinematic Universe. Most of the kids had gotten married in earlier reunions and spin-off series, opening up a whole new generation of cloying Brady children. The best description for the plot is that of a blender. What little story exists does so in brief, unrelated chunks. The impetus for the reunion revolves around Mike and Carol Brady trying to surprise each other with a Christmas vacation. The special sets this up as a potential major plot point, before defusing the tension in a scene a

New CD's - 2014

And when I say "New CD's," I of course mean really old music. It looks like we're adding an additional 245 songs this year through albums we mainly picked up at used book and consignment stores for between $1 and $3. We bought a handful at yard sales over the summer. Let's see how much of this year's haul is something I'll ever intentionally put on again. You Sleigh Me! (Various) Not a bad start, all things considered. This mid-90's compilation from Atlantic features an assortment of their artists mostly playing classic or traditional songs, along with a couple of original pieces. As is always the case with new versions of old songs, it all comes down a simple question: did they bother to do a distinct version, or did they just copy an arrangement that's been done to death? In this case, they put in the effort, and some of the results are phenomenal. Mary Karlzen's "Run Rudolph Run" puts a country-rock spin on the song. L

Christmas Notes 2013: Another Year, Another Pile of CDs

Once you've heard every Christmas song ever recorded, you've heard them all. I'm not sure whether I'm quite there yet, but I'm a hell of a lot closer than most people would ever want to be. Since last year, I've assembled quite a few additional holiday CDs from the clearance racks of used book stores, yard sales, and occasionally from Amazon. Now that everything's been ripped, I'm ready to start the annual tradition of listening to the new and reporting what how it's different from what I already had. Spoiler alert - with very few exceptions, it isn't. So, without further ado, here's the "new" music: We Wish You A Metal XMas and a Headbanging New Year (Various) This is exactly what it sounds like - metal versions of Christmas songs. It's a compilation which includes Alice Cooper, along with a bunch of musicians I've never heard of because I don't own a lot of metal. My one complaint is that s

Slight Reworking of the Nightmare Before Christmas's "What's This?"

So, this is making it's way around the internet. The lyrics are definitely NSFW, so take that in consideration before hitting play. I disagree with the claim this improves on the original , but I do think it's clever and surprisingly well executed.

Christmas Music From Old Time Radio

I stumbled across this the other day, and it’s AMAZING. It’s a compilation, in podcast form, of a bunch of classic radio recordings of Christmas songs which originally aired between 1944 and 1952. They aren’t all winners, but they’re really interesting recordings. At least listen and marvel at the very beginning: Bing Crosby reciting the “GI Night Before Christmas.” Talk about your gallows humor... The “Jingle Jive” is a great version of Jingle Bells. Whenever the Sportsmen quartet comes on, you know they’re going to shill Lucky Strikes cigarettes. You get a bit of Bing Crosby and Jimmy Stewart singing Baby, It’s Cold Outside together. The “Rudolph Jive” is amazing. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer would have just become popular in 1950, and Bing Crosby and Judy Garland see nothing odd about making adult jokes and adding a totally great ending to the song. These are all live radio recordings, I think, so sometimes