Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Off season finds part 3

There is one My Space find I forgot to share yesterday that I wanted to share with you today as a way to link yesterday's post with today's...

The Duloks-Bad Vegetarian


Those of you who downloaded my podcasts may have already heard the CW Stoneking track and this track, as I shared both of those in my podcasts.

There is a DJ out of Portland, Oregon named Dave Cusick who hosts a radio show called That Sound. In addition to admitting he's visited my blog looking for music to use on his Christmas shows (and Dave LOVES Christmas music! Be sure to check out his archived programs and download his podcasts, especially his Christmas shows!) and in addition to contributing a track ("The Cat Who Controls Christmas") for the Wayside Waifs CD, Dave also turned me on to Local Cut, which put out a charity CD last year called "Another Gray Christmas." Unfortunately, I learned of the CD a bit too late, as they were sold out of it by the time Dave told me about it. (So if any of you dear readers want to share the CD with me....just sayin' you know!)

HOWEVER, Local Cut did have a couple downloads up on their site and here they are:

Eskimo and Sons-Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown
Starf***er-Happy F***ing Christmas

And some random tracks I found at artist's websites in my talent search for the Wayside Waifs CD...all sites I just randomly came upon in my quest for people who might be interested in contributing a track or two to my effort.

Mike Viola-Give Me A Second Chance for Christmas
The Walkmen-No Christmas While I'm Talking
Unstatuesque with Stafrænn Hákon-Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Unstatuesque with Stafrænn Hákon-White Christmas

Thank you for listening, and be sure to check back tomorrow for your New Years Day Gift!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Off season finds part 2

First, before I delve in further, just a disclaimer: I am not claiming these songs were posted NEW over the summer...some of them I just found for the first time over the summer, and for all I know they have been up online since one Christmas past. So it may show my cunning to find cool stuff online, or show that I am slow to the draw and some other bloggers beat me to the punch.

First off, some tracks I am fairly certain were new this past summer, and these were posted online on individual band/artists websites as they record their Christmas tracks to have them ready for the Holiday period. Many of these tracks I found while looking for bands/artists to contact to see if they would be interested in using their song on the Wayside Waifs CD. And even if these bands/artists said no or declined to reply, I don't hold that against them and gladly feature their music here because I do think it should be heard.

The first example I have of that is Morning Glory and their demo of Not Another Christmas. I believe this is the same version found elsewhere around the Christmas season, so it looks like the demo is the only version so far.

Morning Glory-Not Another Christmas (Demo)

Next up is an unmastered version of a new song...

Maybe It's Reno-Gravestones and Christmas Trees

And one of my favorite finds from the off season...

Gentlemen Auction House-Home for the Holidays
Gentlemen Auction House-On the Rooftops

And there were also a few Christmas songs posted on the My Space profiles of some artists I contacted, so perhaps they were up early or left overs from last year and I missed them previously. At any rate, they were new to me and hopefully new to you as well! And this should give you a nice mixed bag...

Farrah-Christmas is Canceled (this Year)
Declan O'Rourke-Christmas Wine
C.W. Stoneking-On A Christmas Day

Just a word about C.W. Stoneking...you may not tell from the style of music here, but he was born in 1974. He's from Melbourne, Australia and his album King Hokum is well worth seeking out. I did contact him to see if he'd include this song on the Wayside Waifs CD, but he never responded. I just love this song, and hope he does more Christmas music in the future.

And CW is of no relation to me, but I suppose you never know. There's probably a similar ancestor somewhere back far enough.

Thank you for reading and listening, and I will have some more off season goodies to share tomorrow to help you ring in the New Year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Off season finds part 1


For those of you who only check the blogs around this time of year for Christmas music, you may not realize that Christmas music can be found online all year long (or perhaps you don't want to know about it!) Granted, it's not going to be nearly as plentiful in mid June as it is in mid December, but I managed to find a good number of Christmas goodies over the past twelve months while the rest of you were on the beach playing volleyball and getting your tans.

And, since this is the Twelve MONTHS of Christmas, I thought what better time for me to reflect on this past year of Christmas music than to share with you some of my off season finds?

And as I compiled my list, I realized that I had more than could probably be contained in one post, so I will make this a multi parter until I am done...probably on New Year's Eve if all goes well.

First up on the list of things I want to share are a couple radio show goodies I found. Before I got into collecting Christmas music, my big thing was collecting air checks and radio morning show CDs. Man, that got REAL expensive, and difficult! (You don't know how many DJs across the nation did NOT want me to buy the CD of material from their morning show because they were afraid I was going to steal their material...and some of them had material ripped off and used on shows like Crank Yankers and by other DJs!) But I use my past experience in looking for things in helping me find even MORE Christmas goodies. So I visited some of my favorite radio/aircheck haunts this past year and uncovered a couple goodies. Of course, I hope to find even more in 2009, but for now these are rather fun...

Radio Caroline-Batman's Christmas Caper (1966)


Radio Caroline was an offshore radio station that broadcast off the shore of Felixstowe, Suffolk, England. They began transmission Easter Sunday, 1964, and went on to broadcast for 40 years. This broadcast took advantage of the Batman craze at the time and the cast consists of the Radio Caroline disc jockeys.

I sincerely hope to find more Radio Caroline Christmas goodies in the coming year. My search has just begun....

Next up...

KMPC-Robert Morgan 12-23-1983

KMPC was an AM station out of Los Angels and I understand that Christmas was a real important time to Robert Morgan (pictured above), and he went out of his way to make his Christmas broadcasts quite memorable. Here is a snippet of time preserved for us to enjoy today from the 12-23-1983 broadcast from 7-8am. As with more Radio Caroline Christmas goodies, I hope to find more Robert Morgan Christmas goodies.

Ok, well, I will leave you with that to enjoy for now...this should give you plenty to listen to until I come back tomorrow with even more off season Christmas goodies to share with you!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Post Christmas Post

So it's the day after Christmas: servers all across the nation are breathing a sigh of relief as those of us who collect Christmas music ease off on the downloads and uploads, the nog is going sour, the tree needs to be tossed, and what was a white Christmas has melted into a muddy and salty post Christmas. I don't know how many will be here to check out my site for more Christmas songs, but in the event you haven't gotten enough, I have more to share.

Last year I started a folder for new songs I just got in 2007. By the end of the year, I had somewhere over 1100 songs in that folder alone. In the 2008 folder? Well...let's just say I don't think any human being is meant to get this much Christmas music in one year, and I still have a handful of CDs to rip and a good pile of LPs and 45s to convert to MP3 (though me thinks those vinyl sides will be in my 2009 folder) and a good number of zipped files on my desk top waiting to be unzipped and put in my 2008 folder. So when all is said and done this year, I've exceeded my expectations of what I think I would get for music.

Which makes cataloging it all the more difficult. There's just so much to listen to and to connect the dots between all the tracks and that makes coming up with compelling post ideas quite a challenge. But I plow ahead.

When I listen to my Christmas songs, I make notes of common themes that stick out to me (and I often have to listen to the songs SEVERAL times before bigger themes stick out to me) and that's how I get the ideas for my posts here. But from time to time sometimes all I have is just a couple songs that are related and I don't get around to making themed posts on those topics. So today you're in for a bit of a treat...Here are songs I've noticed from my personal collection that may not be great enough for individual posts, but I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at them in one longer post.

One unexpected theme came to me as I listened to my new songs this year: pirate Christmas songs. Granted, two of them are from the same artist, but I was able to uncover one more for this post. An interesting concept...of course, these are comedy songs by default.

Kevin Mahler-Pirate at Christmas Time
Kevin Mahler-Pirate's Christmas
Gastronomical Unit-A Pirate's 12 Days of Christmas

Another curious and unexpected theme arose from my collection of Christmas songs this year...Brady Bunch Christmas songs. No, I am not talking about the old Brady Bunch Christmas album, but songs inspired by the Brady Bunch.

First up is from a compilation I found online this past summer (yes, Virgina, there ARE Christmas songs to download during the summer!) and my honest review of the compilation is don't bother seeking it out unless you want something for your audio torture chamber. One or two songs by this "artist" is quite enough in my book. The entire CD worth of music by him not so much. Individually, his songs are unique, quirky, and certainly something fun to toss into a mix to keep people on their toes, but a little bit of this guy goes a long way, trust me.

The second track is from a download I found this past month.

Kenny and the Christmas-Tones - The Ann B Davis Christmas Song

(and I am telling you all of Kenny's Christmas songs sound that way...and he is obsessed by cows.)

Joe Algeri and Friends-All I Want for Christmas is Cindy Brady

Another curious theme that came out when listening to my music was the concept of Christmas trees with FEELINGS. Not too many songs are out there like this, folks...I've only come across two so far. That's not to say there are more, but they are certainly far and few between.

This first track comes from my most absolute favorite compilation I purchased this past year: A Very British Christmas. Crappy cover, awesome collection of music. (As of the time of this post, it looks like it's out of print...or maybe just out of stock for now, I hope...)

Peter Brough & Archie Andrews-The Little Fir Tree

That track reminded me of a track I got last year from Nellie McKay's My Space page, a very passionate plea by Nellie to, please, have sympathy for these Christmas trees we kill every year.

Nellie McKay-A Christmas Dirge

You'd think there would be more war songs, and perhaps if I plunged more into the Christmas music from the 40's I'd find more, but in the modern age we pretty much have John Lennon's famous track. But I did manage to find a couple more examples.

Arthur Askey-I'm Sending a Letter to Santa Claus
Jona Lewie-Stop the Calvary

And if Santa retires some people think he'd have some problems....(though I think if he just shaved and changed his clothes he'd be fine...)

Tina Marie Holbrook-If Santa Claus Retires
Keith Tenley-Gold Watch for Kringle

As always, thank you for reading and listening.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

You gotta wake up....

It's Christmas time in the morning! What did Santa leave us???


Humph...that's not exactly what I asked for, Santa, THANKS A LOT!

And look what he left for you!

Get it while the getting is good...the present will be gone tomorrow!

Santa has gone back to the North Pole, kids! The link has expired!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Present

So I know that the traditions of Christmas are varied and numerous world wide, and even in America. But growing up we always got to open presents Christmas Eve and then get to open MORE presents on Christmas Day that "Santa" left. So today here's my Christmas present for you this Christmas Eve, and tomorrow you will have to see what Santa decides to bring. NO PEEKING!
That present to you is an EP I made in collaboration with Ken Clinger. Two of the three songs feature lyrics by me, and one is a cover version. It should be fairly obvious which is which.

I hope you enjoy.

1) The Elf Song
2) The Clingmunk Song
3) Song of Rahab

Whew! Lots of "song" songs on this!

And for those of you who received the bonus disc for the Wayside Waifs CD, the version of the Elf Song is slightly different here...I re-recorded the vocals. I actually prefer the vocals on this take much more, but in the end you are the final judge.

Merry Christmas, and thank you for reading and listening.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Benji Is...

When I learned of this record, I immediately assumed this was Christmas songs from the more famous Benji, star of movies and TV for years. When I got the record I didn't remember Benji being so...well...evangelical.

It turns out that this record became a bit of a history lesson for me. It turns out Lutheran Television produced these animated specials, and "Christmas Is" featured Benji and Waldo. And Benji is the boy, not the dog, so please don't confuse this Benji with Benji the dog. It took me a minute.

Benji is to be a shepherd in the school Christmas play and he doesn't hide his disappointment. As Benji practices his lines with Waldo at his side he falls asleep and dreams he and Waldo are back in Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth. I have never seen this special, but reading up about it on IMDB.com makes me wish this one would come to DVD.

My understanding is that "Christmas Is" was popular enough to make the title song a radio hit, so we can file this one under "Lost Radio Treasures" as well.

At any rate, I want to share the tracks with you, saved from a flexidisc mailed out back in 1974 for whatever reason (was it a give-a-way? Send in cereal box tops? Did Lutheran Television sell it? Fan club premium?) and I have to say finding Christmas music like this on flexidisc is one of my favorite things to find. Not too many are out there, and it's a good day when you find one in great condition.

1) You Can't Stop Christmas
2) Chip Chip Away
3) Christmas All Over the World
4) Christmas Is

And you can find the special on You Tube...






Thank you for reading, listening, and watching.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The 100th Post

I was going to start off this post with the obligatory Wayside Waifs CD update. Then I saw that this is actually my 100th post, and I thought I should make it something just a little extra special. So, for the little something extra, I thought I would offer a coupon code for the Wayside Waifs CD!

If you order the CD (the physical copy only) you can save $3.00 by entering the code ChristmasPup when checking out. Shipping and handling rates will still be calculated, and the offer remains for the bonus disc of outtakes to be added to your order if you donate an extra $5.00 for the cause.

The coupon code Christmas Pup EXPIRES 12-31-08.

And I realize the economy is in the ditch right now. I get that money is tight, and all of us have trimmed our wish lists and we're cutting back as best we can. But please consider making a donation to Wayside Waifs by ordering this CD. The economy is hitting the animal shelters hard, and I know there are a lot of shelters out there to donate to and you are wondering, "Why should I donate to this one?" I can't say this shelter is better than any other shelter out there, or more worthy of your donation over another shelter, but you do get a CD of pretty darn good music in exchange for your donation. I've checked around to some other places...places like public radio fund drives that would want you to donate a hundred dollars or more to get the "premium" gift of a CD. Here all you have to do is donate the amount of money it takes an average person to eat out once. And your donation at the shelter will go further than money you could spend on elsewhere, and you get that CD on top of it. Sounds like a win/win situation to me.

Friday night I was driving home from work and I saw something that just devastated me. I was driving through this park and I thought I saw a deer at first in the middle of the road. It turned out it was a German Shepherd. It looked like a pure bred dog. No collar, and I think it was a girl. Her belly was all dirty and look liked she got wet and muddy, and she was just barely moving. Standing, but really not in a hurry to move. I stopped my car because she was right in the middle of the street. She looked at me with the saddest eyes and all I could do was race through my mind what it might mean if I picked the dog up. I have a one bedroom apartment, and a lease that allows me only one pet, and even the shelter I know of will only take in surrendered animals a couple times a week on a by appointment basis only. Like the priest and levite that walked by the robbed man in the Biblical parable, I felt at the time my only choice was to honk my horn to scare the dog off the street, and hope that the dog would be spared the fate of being struck dead.

I wanted to help...I wanted to live up to the words of my own CD and help those who cannot help themselves, and if I had a house and the freedom to have more than one dog, absolutely, I would have picked the dog up.

She just ambled to the side and walked along side my car. I was going to see if she was by my door wanting in. She just kept on walking to the side of the road then walked in front of the car behind me and was in the middle of the road again.

My heart just broke for this dog. I am sure you can imagine. But despite all my impulses to open the door and get the dog in my car, there is nothing I could really do for the dog once I had her. Take her home, sure, but I can't have another dog here and there's no collar so it's not like I could call a number on the rabies tag to help track down the owner. So I had to just drive away, wanting to turn around with each passing revolution of my tires as I distanced myself from the park.

And all I could think of was that dog was probably dropped off there and probably waiting in the street for their owners to come back and pick them up. Surely this was a mistake. The people she loved all her life and devoted herself to couldn't just leave her out here in the middle of nowhere, could they? Not on what's going to be the coldest weekend of the season so far. If she stands there her owners will come back, and take her home, give her a bath, feed her and love her all the more. They will realize their mistake and that they forgot their beloved dog there. Right?

Except that people are assholes and this is the thanks a dog gets for a life time of devotion.

I did go back, figuring if I could just get the dog I could hope doors would open up for me to help the dog. Or, if this was a case where the dog was too far gone health wise and the decision had to be made to put the dog down, then at the very least I could provide the dog with a warm and loving home for the last days of her life, something her previous owners could not see themselves to do.

I was frightened and anxious as I drove back to the park, expecting to see the dog's dead body in the road or off to the side because somebody didn't even have the patience to stop and honk their horn. But the dog was nowhere to be found. And I looked and looked, even driving down some other side streets in the event the dog wandered down one of those roads. The dog was not to be found.

So I can only hope and pray that the dog was picked up by somebody with a house and the means to help them. I can only hope that dog is going to have a warm home with love for the holiday.

As for what I wish for the owner(s) that dumped the dog off...well, we have to turn the other cheek, I suppose, but that's easier said than done when you see something like this.

So is your donation for this CD going to give that dog a home? No. There will always be assholes dumping their dogs off in the middle of winter, leaving for them done when all the crime the dog could have committed is being a dog. No, your donation won't stop any of that. Nor would it help if I could sell a thousand copies of the CD. But it WILL help the dogs already in the shelter, so perhaps the shelter can be more free to open their doors to dogs like that and people like me won't have to contemplate the measure of help I can find for them when the economy is tight.

So, please, use the coupon code and order your CD today. And remember that you can adjust the total of the amount you wish to donate if you wish to donate more than the suggested amount.

I will leave you with this:

CHRISTMAS AT THE SHELTER
author unknown

'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full - we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care.

They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
Come here, Max and Sparkie - come fetch your new ball!
But now we sit here and think of the days..
we were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways.

Once we were little, then we grew and we grew -
now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?

We jump on the children, don't come when they call,
we bark when they leave us, climb over the wall.
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.

If only they'd trained us, if only we knew...
we'd have done what they asked us and worshiped them too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse -left to roam-
now we're tired and lonely and out of a home

They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye...
"Maybe someone else will give you a try."
So now here we are, all confused and alone...
in a shelter with others who long for a home.

The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can't stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer...
we know that they wonder how long we'll be here.

We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads..
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears --
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn --
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year --
can you give more than hope to everyone here?

Please make a donation to pay for the heat...
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The first day of Winter...

It's the first day of Winter, the longest night of the year (YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! WE GET MORE DAY LIGHT AFTER TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!) so I thought I would share some of my favorite winter songs, and some not so familiar winter songs.

Starting off the festive solstice, here's another one that could be categorized under "lost radio treasure." Surely a song that doesn't get nearly enough spin time on the radio these days...

Milan-Wintertime

It's perhaps one of the coldest days/nights of the year here, perhaps one of the coldest nights in my parts in a long time. At least as long as I've lived here. And the weather forecast calls for more sleet and snow this coming week. But yet it's still good to be alive on this winter day.

The Lundstroms-On a Winter Day

And here are yet a few more lost radio treasures celebrating the winter season...

Vinnie Monte-Hey Look at the Winter Snow

Linda Laurie-All Winter Long


Connie Francis-I'm Gonna Be Warm this Winter


And a few more winter songs to keep you warm this long night...

Eisley-The Winter Song

Remington Super 60-Wintertime

Ingrid Michaelson first came to my attention last year with her My Space song "Men of Snow." Since then she's been quite a contributer to the world of Christmas music, and putting out a very nice body of work. Here's hoping next year we get a full length Christmas CD from her. The following track is a live performance of her song from the compilation Winter Songs.

Ingrid Michaelson-Winter Song (Live on the Tonight Show)


A couple more from the lost radio treasure era...

The Crystalairs-Winter Love


Danny Janssen Group-Winter Wonderland


Winding down today's post, here is a track by one of my favorite groups, Havalina Rail Company. They put out a decent body of work, but largely unnoticed and criminally underrated and under appreciated. They didn't perform any Christmas songs but we do have their ode to winter from their CD Russian Lullabies.

Havalina Rail Company-Winter

Next up is a new track I discovered on MySpace. The leader of Havalina Rail Co. is Matt Wignall. To me, the lead singer of this new band I found reminds me quite a bit of Mr. Wignall. I don't know if that's a coincidence, or if Matt Death is Mr. Wignall's new moniker. Whatever the case may be, this is one of my favorite finds so far this year.

Matt Death and the New Intellectuals-For Winter

And here is a song about a topic we really don't like to think about too much, but this band doesn't dwell too much on the negatives...

Pearlfishers-Winter Roads

Finally, a find from this past summer, when I visited a record store in Kansas City. I picked up this private label folk record and it had a song about the winter on there so I took a chance on it. Not the find of the century, or even the find of the year. But it's a capable recording and I thought I would share the one winter/Christmas track on the album.

Joyce Brookshire-Wintertime in the Mountains

Hope you have a good solstice, and thank you for reading and listening.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Songwriter's Christmas

Now here's something I wish I saw more Christmas music bloggers share: local radio programming. Now you know if you have stations left of the dial that are community supported and if they play local music or unique and interesting Christmas shows. And if you do, start recording them and sharing them! Because this is where some of the great grassroots Christmas music is being found.

So I am going to step out and post a Christmas special that aired on KKFI last night and hopefully inspire more to do the same. It featured a good number of local musicians performing Christmas music live, including Larry Garrett, who provided one of the tracks for the Wayside Waifs CD.

KKFI 90.1 Kansas City Local ShowCase 12-18-08 pt. 1
KKFI 90.1 Kansas City Local ShowCase 12-18-08 pt. 2

Now I am serious about wanting to see more of this stuff online. Streaming broadcasts and low bit podcast downloads are not very much fun. I recorded this off the air and saved it at 160 kbit MP3. If you know of radio programs of this nature in your area this coming week, then by all means please record it. Post it on your site, or contact me if you don't have a site and perhaps I can post your recordings here.

I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just time for some favorites..and more lost radio treasures

Today I present some favorites...some songs that I planned for playlists in my podcasts but didn't make the shows for one reason or another.

First up....

Louis Philippe-The 13th Day of Christmas

The Arcadians-Write Your Letter

These two songs kind of have a timeless feel to them, or maybe it's just me. And I like how they sound. Louis' track comes from World in Winter and the Arcadians' track comes from Chantons Noël Ghosts of Christmas Past. Both are wonderful compilations.

Which takes us into the topic of letters to Santa, and another song that fits in with that older and timeless style just fine....

Anne Lloyd-When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter

Which takes us back into that "Lost Radio Treasures" territory we visited earlier this month. And that leads me to a track from the 2004 Adventures in Carols compilation posted by our friends over at FaLaLaLaLa.

Living Voices-Be A Santa

One of the finest classic recordings of Christmas music, and a must have in any collection, small or large, is the Rotary Connection's album Peace. From their landmark Christmas album...

Rotary Connection-Christmas Child

While dipping our feet in the radio treasures of the past, here's an oldie and a goodie from Tex Ritter on the I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus compilation.

Tex Ritter-Christmas Carols by the Old Corral

There are really so many songs from the "lost radio treasures" era I could share, but I have to save some for the future postings on this blog. But for now I will leave you with this one ...

The Newports-It's Christmas Once Again

And, just for something a little extra...

Don Campau, who contributed a track to the Wayside Waifs CD, hosts a radio program and he put the podcasts up of that program up this past week. It is his holiday episode, though not all the songs he played are Christmas songs. But there are a few Christmas songs to be found here, including a few tracks from my CD. So stream or download...you're gonna find some cool Christmas music and you're also going to find some interesting new music to boot.

No Pigeonholes KKUP edition 14 December 2008 pt1
No Pigeonholes KKUP edition 14 December 2008 pt2

Please note that these are being hosted by Don himself, so they will be gone when he decides they will be gone. Get while the getting is good.

Playlist:

3-4 PM
Artist/title/label-source

Ken Clinger/ Radio/ Bovine CD
R. Stevie Moore/ Joy To The World/ Microscope Media Group CD
X Ray Pop/ Fuzzy Christmas/ MBS 7”
Brunos Band/ JamminG/---CD
Background music: Hsia-Jung Chang/ Inside The Piano/---CD
What About Frogs/ The Cat Who Controls Christmas/ Microscope Media Group CD
The Parlotones/ Colourful/ Sovereign CD
Freelove Circus/ Freiliebe/ Guaranteed Cleveland CD
Sneaky Pete/ Three Steps Ahead Of You/---CD
Evan Peta/ Full Metal Al/ Scorched CD
JP Delaire/ Last Call/ Tender Girl CD
Exotica/ Don’t Fight Your Fate/---CD
Joe And Bev/ Favorite Christmas/ Lonely Whistle CD
Brunos Band/ Heartbreak/ R&R CD
Brunos Band/ Watermelon Man, You’re Not Alone/---live
Brunos Band/ Changes/ R&R CD

December 16, 2008 10:16 AM PST

60:00

Nicole Campau/ Snowflakes/ Lonely Whistle CD
Ken Clinger/ I’m Coming Home For Christmas/ Microscope Media Group CD
Sling/ When I’m With You/---CD
Suddyn/ Gravity/---CD
Brunos Band/ Tin Can Blues/ R&R CD
Brunos Band/ Los Suenos, Life’s Too Short/---live
Doug Michael/ Completely Accidental/ Tradewind Music CD
Jerry Keating/ You And The Horse You Rode In On/ Alethia CD
Drift/ The Ultimate Gadget/ Swinging Axe CD
Off The Sky/ Willow Piece/ thelandof CD
Jliat/ Now That’s What I Call Noise Vol 15/ Jliat CD
Harlan Mark Vale/ World Of Good/ Pillars Of Light CD

Thank you for reading and listening.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Podcast Episode Four: The Rock Episode

OK, I know I usually save the podcasts for Thursday night, but time just went by like a bullet tonight. I got off work, went to the post office and then to the vet's office and before I knew it I was getting home more than an hour after I left for work. After Fletcher and I greeted each other and he got plenty of attention, my beloved doggie got his evening walk then it was time to come in, feed him, and then check on emails and post my Wayside update and before I knew it it was 7pm, TIME FOR PUSHING DAISES! And I hadn't even had dinner yet! I was HUNGRY too!

So now it's pushing 9pm. Where the heck does the time go? After taking time to upload the podcast there was scarce time left to make a long, thoughtful post here full of sundry songs one by one so I decided to post my podcast a bit early to keep you Christmas music lovers tide over.

I haven't seen much feed back on the podcasts, but they have downloaded more times than my regular song postings so I guess that's a good thing. I mean, you'd tell me if they sucked, right? RIGHT!!! Ha! Well, any feedback would be welcome, if you wanted to share!

So I present...

Podcast004-The Rock Episode

And parts of it really ROCK!

The playlist:

Beatnik Filmstars-Ho Ho Ho (A Very Cherry Christmas 2)
Dogday-Santa Will Never Get Here (Oh No…It’s Christmas)
Morning Glory-Not Another Christmas (online demo)
The Replacements-Bundle Up (studio demo-Please to Meet Me expanded edition)

The Odgen Steers-Christmas on the Rocks (Christmas on the Rocks)
Dead Artist Syndrome-Christmas (Prints of Darkness)
DJ BC-You Shook Me All Noel
Evil Beaver-Smells Like Christmas Spirit (Still Smells Like Christmas Spirit)
Opiate for the Masses-Christmas Evel (Taste of Christmas)

Fishbone-It’s a Wonderful Life (Gonna Have a Good Time) (A Different Kind of Christmas)
Five Eight-Just Think About Christmas (and Sing What You Want) (Flagpole)

Kenny Roby-When My Dad Wins the War (Have a Holly Raleigh Christmas)
Grande Roses-To Bring Christmas Back this Year (Oh No…It’s Christmas)
Legendary Shack Shakers-God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Redeye Christmas)
Matches-December is for Cynics (A Santa Clause-It’s a Punk Rock Christmas)

Meg-Another Merry Christmas (‘Tis the Season to Be Filthy)
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin-The Wheels Are Off (Peace on Earth Vol. 1)
Follow Now-Santa’s Hard (Flagpole)

Yet another Wayside Waifs update

Normally I reserve my updates for Monday, but today I got some sad news.

I posted previously how I had been trying to contact Wayside Waifs just about every day. I had a couple contacts there and then I started to get emails back undeliverable and I wondered if the contacts I had were even with them anymore. Did they resign? Did they get laid off due to the recession?

It turns out the lady who coordinated my visit there on Saturday the 6th had a terrible personal loss for their family. Obviously I am not sure how public they want this information, but I am not revealing any names. The lady lost her child that she was pregnant with.

On top of that, their whole voice mail/email system was jacked up for some reason, so I guess nobody was getting emails.

So if you've been thinking about donating to get this CD, your help would go a long way and be much appreciated by all.

I did manage to get the CDs for sale at my vet's office, which should help. My vet had to check with the office manager first and said that she wished they could have had them out sooner. Yeah, like right after I took my dog in for his annual booster shots a couple weeks ago! But at least I got them up there and Wayside Waifs told me they would get something on their website as soon as they could. Every little bit is going to help.

I will leave you for now...I hope to have time to come back later tonight to post some more Christmas goodness for you...I have a few ideas in mind for a post this evening.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Forgotten Christmas Characters

Rudolph, Frosty, and Nestor the Long Eared Donkey. Just to name a few. Those are the better known characters of the Christmas stories told this time of year, characters that have captured the imagination of children world wide and continue to be sung about to this day. Well, except for Nestor...I can't think of too many songs about him.

But there are others who vied for the top spot in your heart as a beloved Christmas character. For some reason, time forgot these songs and the characters featured in these songs didn't get new songs done about them by subsequent generations nor did Rankin Bass decide to do an animated special about them.

But I've made a list. Perhaps not an exhaustive list...I am sure I will find even more as this blog goes on...but a healthy list for now. These are the Christmas characters that time has forgotten. Granted, the Christmas music lover/collector reading this will probably recognize most, if not all, these songs, but you're not going to hear these on your radio stations playing Christmas music this year. Nope, you can't have these played anymore on the radio...they are forgotten Christmas characters.

The first on my list is Jingle-O the Brownie. I am not exactly sure what "Brownie" is...he builds toys, so he may be an elf. He can sing and dreams, so he's a sentient being. And apparently he helps compile the list of who is naughty or nice, as he traverses the world each year to check up on you. (HEY! I thought Santa saw when I was naughty or nice! What the heck is that gyp!) But he also shakes the clouds and makes it snow, so he's muscling in on Jack Frost's job as well.

What is he? I think he's the "affirmative action" elf and Santa was, well, not exactly politically correct when he called him "Brownie." That's my theory anyway. Which if we have a black president, then we can now have a Christmas special about the black elf.

Tennessee Ernie Ford-Jingle-O the Brownie

While on the topic of elves, here has got to be the most annoying elf ever. I'd kill this elf if I ever had to work with him. Bernard the Elf is one thing, but this dude needs to take some ADD pills or something. Wow.

Sonny Blochs Coralairs-Louie the Elf

One thing I LOVE about these forgotten Christmas characters are they often have overlapping jobs. I guess the economic recession made Santa lay them all off and that's why we don't hear about them anymore. Jingle-O made it snow. But so does Suzy Snowflake, so go figure. I guess Jingle-O shakes the clouds and Suzy falls out. Oh, I mean tumbles down.

Little Marcy-Suzy Snowflake

But who else helps Santa? He obviously can't do it all...he has to delegate some of the work. Elves and reindeer are what we best know, but there were filthy rodents as well. And when Santa had to decide a name for him he calls him "Santa Mouse." Real creative there, St. Nick. I guess I should have called my dog, "Jeff Dog." Is it any wonder?

Bob Morrison-Santa Mouse

Christy Christmas also helped him out. And Christy is a HE. And he's made of the wood of a Christmas tree, so I guess this is like an elf version of Pinocchio. It's his job to pick out all the presents and to load Santa's sleigh as well. Not bad work if you can get it. And I also like it that he brings me food, not just eats it like Santa does. Good job, Christy.

Brenda Lee-Christy Christmas

Angie, the Christmas Tree Angel helps Santa dress up the Christmas tree. Then he thanks her by imprisoning her on top of the tree. What thanks!

Andrews Sisters-The Christmas Tree Angel


Mrs. Claus gets a few songs here and there, but mostly joke parodies of other songs. Here's a genuinely fun one that's a good song about her tasks around the North Pole. Not a forgotten character, I suppose, but do we realize all she does? She feeds the reindeer, she wraps the gifts and packs the sleigh (so much for Christy Christmas! This was what I was talking about with the overlapping jobs!), she keeps his red suit looking nice, she's the one who advises Santa directly, and she also gives Brownies all their spice (the black elves????) You go girl! And she does so much more...every line of this song is like a line of her resumé!

Alma Coogen-Mrs. Santa Claus

And for all the other jobs, there are the Grasshoppers! Wait...Grasshoppers in the North Pole? WHAT???

And if you ever wondered where the idea for the Three's Company theme came from...I am actually not sure which came first.

The Grasshoppers-Santa Claus, Rudolph and Us

Not everybody is out to help Santa. Some are just out to freeload and stowaway, but Santa makes the best of it and puts the little brat to work.

The Golden Orchestra-Little Stowaway on Santa's Sleigh

Perhaps the most curious of the forgotten Christmas characters isn't a sentient being like an elf or a reindeer or an angel or the sort, but a bell. A freaking BELL. But an apparently sentient bell, as it realizes it can't jingle and is crying because it can't go on the sleigh. There were lots of drugs in the 60's, folks. That's the only thing that can explain this song to me.

I said all of these characters didn't get their own animated special. Could you even imagine an animated special about this bell?

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass-The Bell that Couldn't Jingle


As I said earlier, many songs were sung about Rudolph. Not so many about Vixen. If we had more about Vixen we might have had more about Twinkle Toes, the gay son of Rudolph and Vixen. At least that's why I figure they called a male deer TWINKLE TOES. He did not go on to go down in history like his dad, apparently. Shoot, I don't think he even got mentioned in any of the animated specials!

Dino Perrone-Twinkle Toes


And Frosty isn't the only snowman who vied for your attention either. There was The Littlest Snowman, and apparently what brought this snowman to life was a red candy heart. Just an odd story.

Captain Kangaroo-The Littlest Snowman


Frosty and the Littlest Snowman were both alive and apparently could do something about it. But the Lundstroms wrote of a snowman that their little daughter loved to torment. LaShawn Lundstrom dances and sings for the snowman who, unlike Frosty, is unable to come to life. Taunting him with her autonomy and being a fully sentient being, I have to wonder if the snowman feels as if he has been delivered to the bowels of an icy hell while he waits for the sweet relief of melting to come so he can escape his frozen mortal coil. Who knew the Lundstroms could make me ponder such deep topics?

The Lundstroms-Mr. Snowman


Well, that's all for now. I am sure I will find some more oddball characters as I listen to more Christmas music!

Thank you for reading and listening! Oh...and be sure to buy a copy of the Wayside Waifs CD!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Monday Night...

...it's time for HEADLINES!

Oh, wait...wrong show.

But I would like to share a brief update on the status of the Wayside Waifs CD!

First off, here are pictures of the CD and interior for those curious....



And a few more things I would like to note, perhaps some minor details that I forgot to mention before...

This is a LIMITED EDITION CD OF 500 COPIES. When they are gone, they are gone. So those of you waiting to order your copy, please keep that in mind!

This edition is an actual CD, NOT CDR, complete with silkscreen printing.

Also, I don't believe I ever posted the song samples here. Yes, they are on the Wayside Waifs CD blog, but for people who just visit this site or for new readers, here they are...They are minute long 24 kbit samples.

1) ShiSho-Christmas Bells
2) Zen Doggies-Oh Santa
3) Don Campau-It's That Time of Year Again
4) Ray Carmen-Jingle Bell Rock
5) Lord of the Yum Yum-Ukrainian Bell Choir
6) What About Frogs-The Cat Who Controls Christmas
7) The Harvey Girls-Christmas Time Is Here
8) Thee Majesty-I Like the Holidays
9) Fireflies-Xmas Song (new version recorded for this compilation!)
10) Matthias Rowe-A Different Scarf
11) Ken Clinger-I'm Coming Home For Christmas This Year
12) Rick Malsick-Joseph's Song
13) Euchrid Eucrow-A Horse Is Not Just for Christmas
14) John Mitchell-The Reason for the Season
15) R. Stevie Moore-Joy to the World
16) Zen Doggies-Goodbye Christmas
17) Mercurial Rage-It's Christmas
18) Ethan Waters-5AM Christmas Pawn Groove
19) Worm is Green-Jólaljósin
20) Matthias Rowe-Northern Lights
21) Ken Clinger-I Will Hold You Until You Sleep
22) Larry Garrett-Old Dogs

So, how is the CD going? Well this is an update...

Sales picked up a bit since I made my post on here last week. While not exactly breaking the wheels on the post office truck, I did ship out a good number of packages last week and got a few more orders for downloads.

For those who said that they were going to help with the project (Wayside Waifs, my vet, Gary Lezak...I am looking in your directions!) that has been another story. It's just been a cycle of no responses to emails and I don't know what. It's just a bit frustrating, especially not knowing if Wayside Waifs is EVER going to put anything on their website about it. It's like do they realize the sale of this CD can only help them out?

I did get a chance to meet with Gary Lezak (he's the weather man for NBC 41 here in Kansas City and does a lot of work for Wayside Waifs and area shelters) and I personally handed him a copy of the CD so now it's just up to him on how he promotes it. But the bottom line is I am only one guy and only so many people read this blog and I believe this is a great CD and more people outside of this blog will want to pick this up. Word of mouth makes a project like this work. I can't do it all myself, folks! It will be a slow process raising money for them if it's just me here.

So if you run a Christmas site of your own, if you are a DJ, if you do anything where people may read/listen to you/whatever...tell them about this CD! Link back here or to the Wayside Waifs blog. Either or is cool.

The links to buy the CD are right on this page. You have the track listing above, with samples, so there should be no confusion what is on the disc! Buy a copy for yourself, buy a copy for a friend, buy some as Christmas presents!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Is A Classic?

"They don't write them like that anymore."

That's a phrase usually tossed out after somebody posts a long and forgotten moldy (but goodie) oldie Christmas song online. Granted, they don't really record songs like "Kitty Ate the Tinsel on the Christmas Tree" anymore, or like any of the countless dusted off Christmas treasures I've shared here and elsewhere on the blogosphere.

And this is a topic I've been discussing elsewhere on the 'net...what makes a Christmas song "classic." What songs of today will be classics in years to come? What Christmas songs being churned out today will have the staying power of "Silent Night" or even "Do They Know It's Christmas?" I don't know...people tell me they don't write them like they used to.

But then again, they don't write songs like they used to anymore. Take, for example, the song writing team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. (And if those names are unfamiliar to you, then you have some homework to do!) One of my favorite songs by them is "Save the Last Dance for Me." Awesome, beautiful track. Compare that to the new popular songs by the likes of Jay-Z and tell me they don't write them like they used to and I will agree, absolutely. I can't wrap my brain around why stuff like Jay-Z is popular...I tried to listen to some of his stuff when he's performed on TV and give him a chance because I consider myself opened minded and open to new styles of music as the next guy. I felt like my brain was being assaulted when I heard him sing. And I can't imagine those types of angry sounding songs and ferocious sounds having the same standing power of a Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman composition.

But then I hear stuff by Gnarles Barkley and TV on the Radio and I feel all hope is not lost. But they don't write their songs like they used to either. I think that's a good thing. We can't continue to expect new acts to churn out music like we had in the years gone by. But I believe the music of Gnarles Barkley and TV on the Radio stands a better chance of surviving time and circumstance more than Jay-Z. At least I know I would rather be listening to Gnarles Barkley and TV on the Radio 20 years from now than I would want to hear a Jay-Z song 20 years from now, but I can only speak for myself. Maybe I will be wrong...maybe Jay-Z will rise to produce the classics of tomorrow. I honestly don't know.

But that's just one example...I could spend a few more paragraphs talking about whether or not Britney, Miley, Justin Timberlake, the Jonas Brothers, or any of the popular acts today will have the standing power of the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, REM, and others in the future. But I am not that smart, I don't have a crystal ball to tell me what will be a classic of tomorrow, and I certainly don't subscribe to the whole "instant classic" mindset that people try to attribute to popular media today. But if I were a betting man, I would place my bets on new comers like Duffy, Adele, and the sort to have more of a staying power than Miley Cyrus or Hillary Duff, and more able to churn out some songs that may be getting attention 20 years from now.

But back to Christmas music, as this is a Christmas music blog... I like the fact that Christmas music is progressing forward and that we have such an incredible variety of Christmas music to choose from today. I am glad it is NOT like how they used to write them. I would be ashamed, saddened and bored if new Christmas songs sounded like the classics of the past. But "Silent Night" doesn't sound like "Frosty the Snowman" and "Frosty the Snowman" doesn't sound like "Do they Know It's Christmas." I think the best Christmas songs are the best examples of the era they were born in, and I think great music is being produced today on a whole that embraces the time they were born in. I used Gnarles Barkley and TV on the Radio as two examples that give me hope that great music can still be produced today. While not Christmas music, it just goes to show me that great music today does NOT have to sound like great music of the past to be great. It can take elements of the past but put a new twist on those styles and churn out something new and exciting. And I think Christmas classics of tomorrow will be created in the same way.

To examine what makes a classic recording, let's go to one of the more famous modern classics, "Silent Night." Or "Silent Night, Holy Night." Or "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht." That song was far from an instant classic. The lyrics were written in 1816 and a melody wasn't put to those words until 1818 and it wasn't even until 1863 that we got the song translated to English. Wow...so it took 55 years for a song to even start it's path to become a classic? Of course, that was before the Internet and radio...perhaps if they had You Tube or MySpace back then the song would have caught on faster. But I think the principle of what creates a classic are two fundamental elements: time and circumstance. For some reason, people prefer to listen to songs about Frosty and Rudolph this time of year, but there are dozens upon dozens of songs that were great in their own right that were about other characters that, for one reason or another (I guess Rankin Bass didn't do an animated special about the characters), just didn't catch on. Time and circumstance. It took time for the melodies of "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" to become ingrained on the minds of millions upon millions of people world wide. And it took circumstances such as TV specials and the commercialization of those songs to make them popular standards. There are many songs that fell by the wayside that are treasured by a few online but not remembered by a whole on a mass media level because they didn't get the same circumstances over time to become ingrained on the minds of people world wide as the sounds associated with Christmas.

So, what will be the classics of tomorrow? What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhino? Well, the answer to the latter is my answer to the former. I don't know what circumstances will shape the next 20 years. Maybe corporate owned radio will continue to play the same four hour blocks of Christmas music over and over and over again each year during their 24 hours of Christmas music, and NOTHING from today will become a classic of tomorrow. But I don't believe for one instant that doesn't mean there aren't songs being produced today that should be heard 20 years from now. However, I don't think they are coming off of the staples of Christmas radio today, nor are they likely to come off the place holders popular recording artists put out to have a presence on the shelves at Christmas time. But though we have the Disney kids rehashing old Christmas standards for the upteenthgazillionth time I see Ingrid Michaelson on the horizon with some great original songs. I see a handful of independent compilations come out each year...compilations that you aren't going to find in Wal-Mart or Target or Best Buy...with awesome music on them that I love to hear every year. Songs I would love to see get air play, but they don't have a corporate record label behind them buying time for them on the corporate owned radio stations.

But then we get back to time and circumstance. The circumstances of the recording industry as a whole is a shifting paradigm. People predict hard physical copies of music will go the way of the Edsel. I don't know...I think even young people who are compressing all the music they can to get 8 months worth of music on one portable device are finding uncompressed music with the highs and lows present is much more preferable. Blu-Ray DVD uses uncompressed audio, and is creating a new generation of audiofiles. And that new generation of audiofiles will find a way to get their music in the best possible means necessary. For now, vinyl sales are rising again becuase of this, and I don't believe baby boomers are the only reason behind it. I believe young people are finding the value of music that's NOT in MP3 format. What goes around comes around. Now, whether or not the CD format will rise in popularity again remains to be seen. Maybe the new generation of audiofiles will create something better and more convenient and durable. Who knows. Time and circumstance.

Wait...what does this have to do with Christmas music again? Because I believe you can't have one without the other. If music as a whole fades away into kbit files compressed and compressed until it sounds like a cheap AM radio then Christmas music will also suffer as a result, and not be as popular and labels and corporations won't promote it like they once did. And tomorrows classics may never get a chance to survive. But I have hope that the new generation of audiofiles aren't just finding good music out there they want to hear preserved, but they are finding their own Christmas music out there they will want preserved. And, yes, I think time will produce more classics in the future.

As for what I personally would like to be listening to 20 years from now...well, I guess I could find a handful of examples and post them here for you. But music is such an individual experience. And I think any music I put up on this post would be a let down to some. So I will let the past year of this blog stand as an example of songs I think should be noticed 20 years from now. Granted, I try to pick out the songs that are not getting the attention on mainstream radio, so maybe they won't go on to be classics of tomorrow. But then again I don't know what circumstances we face over time. With the state of the economy and the world in what it is right now, I would say anything can happen, and I think those of you who decry that they don't write them like they used to anymore just may be surprised. At least I hope we are.

And if you read through all that text, then give yourself a Kudos bar.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Podcast #3: The My Space Episode

For those of you who were following my blog last year, you may recall I posted a good number of songs I found on My Space. I even posted a compilation of some of my favorites.

There were other songs, naturally, that I never did post on my blog. And when coming up with a theme for this week's episode of the podcast, I thought back to those My Space songs and thought it would be fun to revisit some of those. Some of the songs in the podcast were previously shared in the compilation, but I trust most of them are new...at least to this blog. I am sure some of you eagle eyed Christmas music lovers may have already heard some of these songs!

But, hopefully, there is something new in this podcast for you to enjoy. Not all the songs are from My Space...I did decide to include a few tracks from other sources for a good variety, but the focus of this episode are songs found on My Space.

Podcast003: Episode Three-The My Space Episode

Playlist for Podcast 3

Left With Pictures-Did I Put A Bow On You? (My Space)
Clumsy-Roamin’ Holiday (Electric Ornaments: An Idol Records Christmas Collection)
The Holloways-It’s Christmas, It’s Christmas (My Space)

Greg Yeti and the Best Lights-Christmas Quarantine (the Liver is the Eater EP)
Summer Cats-Plastic Christmas Trees (My Space)
Lima Research Society-Santa Had an Accident (My Space)
Ross Copperman-Christmas Time (My Space)

Project 86-This Time of the Year
Reigning Sound-If Christmas Can’t Bring You Home
Noah and the Whale-To Cyril at Crunkmas
Ten Thousand Dollar Tattoo-My First Santa

Gritty Kitty-Why they Chose the North Pole (Christmas in Stereo)
Chicago Pete and the Detroiers-Christmas All Year Long
Big Dee Irwin & Little Eva-I Wish You A Merry Christmas (A John Waters Christmas)

Verve Pipe-This Christmas Time
54 40-2000 Years of Love
Simon and Garfunkle-7 O’clock News/Silent Night


NOTE...you will hear me say this is the second episode! Which it was intended to be until I recorded episode four and decided to make that the first one. Oh, well!


Also...just one more thing to add...there is somebody who emailed me not too long ago making a request...they needed one track of the Winter Warnerland CD and I seem to have deleted your email by mistake. For that, I profusely apologize. I certainly wasn't ignoring your request. My hope is you are reading this, and if you are, please email me back again.


(And, yes, I take requests! Should I do long distance dedications too?)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Is For the Animals!


Keeping a bit in the theme of the Wayside Waifs CD, but not really going on so much about it in this post, I thought I would make a few themed posts that could tie in to the project and still bring you some cool Christmas music to boot!

There are a couple animal related Christmas songs on my CD..."The Cat Who Controls Christmas," "A Horse Is Not Just for Christmas," and "I Will Hold You Until You Sleep." Of course, Larry Garrett's song "Old Dogs" that finishes off the disc is about dogs, but it's not so much of a Christmas song as it is just about seeing the decline in the health of a loved furry one.

But there are, from time to time, fun animal Christmas songs out there. Some of them I just discovered (or I would have asked some of the contributing artists to cover a track or two!) and a couple of them I shared previously (such as "Lonely Pup in a Christmas Shop") and I had a couple on my podcast last week for you to enjoy as well.

But here are some new ones...

First, I want to start with a new one to me, but an oldie. How did I get through my life without hearing this song before? This could also be filed under "Lost Radio Treasures" as well, as this may have been played on the radio back in "the day" but for some reason it just doesn't get rotation on the air any more.

Ricky Zahnd & the Blue Jeaners-Something Barked on Christmas Morning

I don't know...maybe the song would have done better if they didn't have a person doing the barking and actually were able to record a real dog!

Speaking of something old that's new to me, and a song with a person barking... Here is one that could also be cross referenced under "Lost Radio Treasures" and I've been planning a "Forgotten Christmas Characters" themed post for a while now and this would certainly fit in that post as well, but for now I will share it in the animal post, because I think it's much more outstanding for being one of the rare Christmas songs to be about a dog.

Tennessee Ernie Ford-Little Klinker

The real klinker for me on that song is the grown ass man barking at the end! What is that about? Were real dogs barking hard to record back when these songs were recorded?

There is a newer song about a similar topic, recorded in 2006. I found this song on You Tube, and while it is a newer song, the recording is decidely low-fi. But I think it's a decent song, and worth sharing here for this themed post.

Martin Metcalfe-Santa's Dog

Ok, I know, I've been playing a few dog songs and the cat lovers out there are wondering where their cat Christmas songs are! I haven't forgotten you!

From the Cwistmas Twee compilation...

Colin Clary-Meow Meow


I haven't been able to track down as many oldie cat Christmas songs, but here is one goody from the Marty Gold Children's Chorus...

Marty Gold Children's Chorus-The Kitty Ate the Tinsel on the Christmas Tree

It makes me wonder what the kitty will cough up later on if they eat all that tinsel! But at least it won't be cat hairballs...

Ren and Stimpy-Cat Hairballs


From Canada we have a more modern cat carol...and a bit of a sad song at that...just so you are warned.

Meryn Cadell-The Cat Carol


That makes me wonder if Christmas is indeed safe for animals...

Of Montreal-Christmas Isn't Safe for the Animals

After all the dog and cat songs, there are others...Christmas donkeys for example...but I would like to share one more animal song I found. And this goes out to one of my followers...it's not a parakeet song, but at least it's a Christmas song about a bird! Maybe the bird isn't a parakeet, but if they ever do make a parakeet Christmas song I will be sure to post it here!

Red Coffee Quaky the Singing Duck-Ducky Christmas


That comes from an online compilation I downloaded back in 2006 called Holiday Freakin. (It doesn't look like anything Christmas related is on that site today, however...) Another track from that compilation isn't so overtly about animals, but the last bit is a decent Christmas message for our furry friends.

Alain Marcoux-Noel Jai Mal Au Coeur

Wow...there actually turns out to be a good handful of animal Christmas songs out there! And I do know there's more...quite a few more. But these are just the ones that came to my mind first when I thought of this post.

If you enjoy these animal Christmas songs, then by all means pick up the Wayside Waifs CD! It's available either as a physical CD or a download...which ever you prefer! And I did have a few sales since yesterday! Thanks to all who ordered! It is appreciated!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wayside Waifs CD Update

Ok, I am going to post my CD updates here. The main reason is because I want the sale of the CD at my Wayside Waifs blog to remain at the top of the page when people visit the page. Also, I wanted to bring more attention to the project here. A good number of my faithful readers have purchased a copy already, but a good number of you have not. That could be George Bush's fault for making the economy turn out the way it has, or it could be I just haven't promoted it enough here. And I feel The Twelve Months of Christmas gets considerable amount of traffic, and many of you viewing this post probably never knew I had a CD available of Christmas music.

Or at least I am going to go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt.

I mentioned earlier that I would be at Wayside Waifs on Saturday the 6th selling the CD with my faithful pooch by my side, and that's exactly what I did. Here I am with my dog:



It wasn't exactly a prime locale...not right by the main doors where people came in and out all day, but it was the first table (after the coffee) people saw as they headed down the hall to get their pet's pictures taken with Santa Claus. But I had a fair amount of traffic, and all in all that day I sold 6 CDs. I thought I would sell more, so maybe the sales slump from this site has spilled over to Wayside Waifs!

They did keep 25 copies there to sell off, so hopefully all goes good with that. Larry Garrett was also there to help out for a bit, and he took this picture. He also contributed a song to the CD, called "Old Dogs." He played a show that evening at Latteland and took 5 copies. He sold 4 of the 5.

So, total sales so far, as of today: 38. That's not counting the 25 Wayside took to sell, of course. 63 would be a decent number to report, but I don't know how fair it is to count those as sold quite yet. I am trusting they will sell.

So, if you haven't ordered your copy yet, I encourage you to do so. All the money made off of this CD will go to benefit Wayside Waifs of Kansas City, and I don't just feel it's an important enough project to interrupt this "regularly scheduled blog" for this post, but I also feel it's a fine CD, a damn fine CD. I am not just saying that because I produced it, either. I feel the artists that contributed brought their A game. They didn't just record something for the sake of recording it and moving on to the next project. You can tell they put time and effort into their music. And it's an eclectic collection and, while I like every song, I don't believe everybody will like every song. But I think there's something on there for everybody. At least for everybody I think would dig buying a CD like this.

And ten dollars? There's not too many ten dollar CDs around like this, folks. Even online...I've seen a few other Christmas charity CDs being sold for more than that. I realize the economy is in the dog house, but ten bucks for a disc of nearly 80 minutes of music? Not too shabby at all, even in an economic slump.

And I know how many times my most popular MP3s have downloaded from this blog. #1 was downloaded 2674 times when I looked this morning. A song I put up can have a hundred hits in no time at all before a day or two is completed. So I know this site gets traffic, which is why I am plugging this here. By contrast, the number of times the song samples I have on my Wayside Waifs blog were downloaded is about 50 times. So 50 times....38 sales...wow...just imagine if I had that same percentage of the 2600+ that view this site buying the CD! Come on, people!

So you understand why I am spending just a bit more time promoting the Wayside Waifs CD here. And I think I am beginning how those NPR people feel during their pledge drives!

The links to buy the CD are right near the top, to the right of my post. I look forward to your order!

Thank you for reading and listening...and buying!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Podcast #2-Mixed Bag Episode

If this podcast seems more like an introduction, it was the first one I recorded. Which made episode one last week actually the fourth one I recorded so that's why I decided to throw the Star Wars reference in the title last week.

Today I decided to take as a diverse collection of music I could think of and compile it into one episode. As I make my podcasts, I often have a set list in mind when I begin but as I start searching through my collection as the podcast progresses, it often takes on a mind of it's own. This is such an episode. I hope you enjoy!

Podcast002-Episode Two: Mixed Bag Episode

Playlist:

The Accelerators-Christmas is a Pain in the Arse

Monty Python-Christmas in Heaven

Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass-The Bell that Wouldn’t Jingle

Jack Hayter-Balloons

Jack Hayter-All To Do In Wagin

Laakso-Merry Christmas

The Duloks-Bad Vegetarian

Fountain-Shout For Trout At Christmas Dinner

Goddakk vs. JM-A Winter Rhythm In You

Remora-O Come O Come Emmanuel

Firefox AK & Tiger Lou-Christmas Eve

Elvis-Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees

Brazos Valley Boys-Gonna Wrap My Heart in Ribbons

The Bobby McGee’s-God Save the Queen’s Speech

Ray Saporita-Sixty-Seven Santas

Gayla Peevey-77 Santas

The Bobs-Too Many Santas

Adam Faith-Lonely Pup in a Christmas Shop

The Eels-Christmas is Going to the Dogs


Also, just an update on the Wayside Waifs Charity CD...the first week it's been available has been a good week. While I certainly wish I had more sales (it wouldn't bother me one bit to come home from work to see I had 20 orders or more!) what I have had has been good. So for those of you who have purchased the CD, I hope you enjoy and I certainly hope you spread the word! And if you haven't purchased it yet, just keep in mind the donations you make for the CD goes to benefit Wayside Waifs, I am not profiting from this CD at all. It's all for a good cause, and it's a great collection! And I am not just saying that because I produced it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Low-Fi

Ah, low-fi music. I just have a soft spot in my heart for those songs...often homemade, DIY artists of varying talent, but always very interesting results.

Of course, since most of it was released on cassette tape back in "the day," a lot of it is hard to come by these days. But some has not only survived the passing of time, there are still artists and people who have taken the home recording cassette scene to a new level and are recording through email and file downloads.

But, first, I am going to revisit some of the greats from the cassette culture era.

Don Campau
is one of the main artists of this genre, with a recording career that spans back to 1970. He is the founder of Lonely Whistle Records and also hosts a radio show called No Pigeonholes. While he did contribute a new track to the Wayside Waifs Charity CD, he is certainly no stranger to Christmas music (though he has told me in the past he hates Christmas music!) and produced a compilation of Christmas music for Lonely Whistle back in 1986. While I don't have a direct link for that compilation, there is a comp from Norway that features many of the same tracks.

Don was kind enough to share with me a CD copy of his compilation, and I do know that there are a few of the artists on there who may not want their music shared online. But I am sure Don is fine with it...he's been a friend of this blog and a supporter of the Wayside CD since I told him about it... so I am going to share with you some of the early Christmas tunes from that compilation.

Don Campau-Drummer Boy/Do You Hear?

Ken Clinger is also another one who's influence on the home recording scene dates back more than a quarter century and aside from his vast body of work he's personally put out he's contributed to many projects and collaborated with various artists in his career. It was sure an honor when he decided to contribute (and collaborate) to the Wayside Waifs CD! But I found that these were not the first Christmas songs he collaborated on. Back in 1986 he had two songs on the Lonely Whistle compilation, one solo and one he did as a collaboration. I would like to share those with you today.

Ken Clinger-Astounded by Snow

Ellen Miz Elle & Ken Clinger-Jingle Bells

While we are honoring those who have been mainstays in the home recording scene, I have to give a nod to Ray Carmen, who also contributed to the Wayside Waifs CD with "Jingle Bell Rock." But Ray recently released a Christmas cover on his My Space page that just blew my socks off. I wrote to him and said I wish he had included that song for the Wayside CD, not that I had any problems with "Jingle Bell Rock," but I simply just love what he did with this song. Yoko Ono would be proud...

Ray Carmen-Listen the Snow is Falling

In my quest for some goodies online by artists from the cassette culture era, I did find a few goodies I would also like to share with you, goodies that I believe capture the spirit of the cassette culture in a modern setting.

Tapehiss Recordings is the first I found. Started as a means for Scott Carr to release his solo work, it has gone on include a few more acts. Hot Buttered Elves is one of the acts included on the label and I am astounded by what I have heard so far and will certainly seek out more of their work.

This comes from Tapehiss Recording's My Space page so I credited the song to Tapehiss Recordings but it appears that this song is actually by Hot Buttered Elves.

Tapehiss Recordings-That Winter Mood

Hot Buttered Elves is a collaboration between artists from both sides of America, collaborating over the Internet. The results are perhaps some of the best Christmas music being released today. They have a number of recordings available on CD Baby, and I have to say this is perhaps some of the best work I've found on CD Baby.

Here is their single they released on My Space...

Hot Buttered Elves-A Winter Perfect Moon

Last, but not least, is an oddity that I just randomly found while not deliberately looking for it. In fact, I can't even recall how I found it, but it was at bomb-MP3. It had that home made feel to it that I felt was fitting for this post.

Colleen Af Venable And Annie Sanders-A Very Fluffy Christmas


And I would be remiss if I didn't remind you to BUY a copy of my Wayside Waifs CD! It's available as a CD or a download! Please click on the links to the right of the screen for more details. ALL the money made off the CD goes to benefit Wayside Waifs. I am not profiting at all from this, folks, and nobody involved is even getting a free copy of the CD! Heck, I even bought my own copy, so be sure to get yours TODAY!

Thank you ever so kindly, I appreciate you reading and listening.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lost radio treasures

This blog was started to showcase songs that may not get airplay but should in a perfect world. Naturally, we have navigated into some territory that most radio stations would NEVER touch, but hey, it's been a fun journey nonetheless.

I am reminded from time to time that there are songs that were once played on the radio quite a bit but, for some reason or another, just didn't have the staying power of some of the standards. And this coming week I am going to focus on some of those songs.

Now, I must let you know I am not from the era that these songs would have been popular on the radio. I don't have access to the playlists of radio stations of years gone by, and I can only surmise that these did get air play in their day. Perhaps they were extremely popular, perhaps they were one hit Holiday wonders. Regardless, you don't really hear these songs much these days anymore. And I often wonder why.

First up, a request and also one of my personal favorites. And perhaps the inspiration for this themed post. I shared this track previously last year on this blog, but that link has long since expired.

Brenda Lee-I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus


Brenda Lee always gets air play to this day with "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree," which is a great track in of itself, and I don't think any version of that song has come close to touching Brenda's version. After all these years, her take on "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" reigns supreme in my book. But this was before then, recorded when she was nine, and it's as every bit as great as "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" in my book. It's a cute song, though I still wonder why she feels she can do a better job than Santa Claus! But if anybody can give Santa a run for his money, I'd place my bets on Brenda Lee!

When these songs played on the radio, I imagine both Elvis and the Beatles vied for top spot on the Billboard charts. It certainly wouldn't be long before somebody tried to capitalize on that success with their own Christmas songs, and sure enough, that great era of radio delivers.

Cindy Rella-Bring Me A Beatle for Christmas

Marlene Paula-I Want To Spend Christmas with Elvis


I don't think Marlene received the news, though...Linda Hughes has some bad news...

Linda Hughes-Elvis Won't Be Here For Christmas

Since we are rocking around the Christmas tree with these songs, let's take rock around once with Santa Claus...

The Hepsters-Rockin' 'n' Rollin' With Santa Claus


Ok, so maybe the Beatles and Elvis aren't what they used to be, so they don't play those songs on the radio, but I am not buying it. Elvis is the highest ranked money maker who is dead. The Beatles will always be popular. And who doesn't like good ol' rock and roll? It amazes me why these songs don't see air play these days on the radio. While I am glad we have what standards we have, songs like this, and more I will bring you this week, really makes me ponder all the more why the 24 hour Christmas radio stations seemed intent to repeat the same songs several times a day.