Amazon Advent 04 – “Artistic Roll Call” (Bill Hicks)

Artistic Roll Call Bill Hicks Rant In E-Minor Genre: Comedy I’m going to wind down my “Comedy (But Let’s Acknowledge Them For Something Other Than Their Comedy)” thread by dropping the parenthetical. Bill Hicks died in 1994 at age 32 and he still looms large. His comedy was so very intense. But his anger wasn’t…

Amazon Advent 2012: “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby” by Jerry Lewis

Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody Jerry Lewis Jerry Lewis Just Sings Genre: Comedy My BFF John has been simultaneously inspiring and shaming me with his Movie Year project. He’s watched and reviewed 1300 movies over the past four years — each one new to him — and has kept up a one-a-day pace…

Amazon Advent Calendar 2012: The Preamble

This can’t possibly be the first day of my annual Musical Advent Calendar, can it? First objection: “The Advent season doesn’t begin until Sunday, December 2.” I’m not sure why this is your first objection. If you’ve been sent here expecting additional guidance and insight about how to prepare yourself and your family for Celebration…

“Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues (Advent Calendar day 26)

Fairytale of New York The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl The Best of The Pogues Genre: Pop What’s your favorite Christmas-ish song? Note the decisive use of the hyphenated suffix. If the lyrics include references to either the Batman or the Superman of this season (Santa and Jesus) then you can clearly file it under “Holiday.”…

“The Spirit Of Christmas” by Ray Charles (Amazon Advent Calendar day 23)

That Spirit of Christmas Ray Charles The Spirit of Christmas Genre: R&B/Soul How many Christmas songs can there be, do you reckon? And I’m not throwing my hands in the air and whining that there are too damn many of them. I’m saying that there seems to be a fixed number of Christmas songs that…

“Christmas Time Is Here” – Amazon Advent Calendar day 22

Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal Version) Vince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown Christmas Genre: Holiday We’re at Kringle Minus 6, people! Clearly it’s time for me to stop diving deep into the back-catalogues and give up any attempt to make myself seem like the Ahmet Ertegun of my generation. Although yes, admittedly, inserting a reference…

“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone (Amazon Advent Calendar day 21)

Feeling Good Nina Simone Feeling Good Hit Pack Genre: Vocal Most of the popular cover hits are songs that have already been nationalized by our socialist cultural system. Nobody “owns” it and everybody’s free to do their own thing with the song, free of preconceptions. But some songs become the iconic property of one performer.…

“Creep” by Scala & Kolacny Brothers (Amazon Advent Calendar day 20)

Creep Scala & Kolacny Brothers Creep – Single Genre: Alternative You’d like to think that your musical tastes are fair, pure, and shrewd. You’d like to believe that you simply have an ear for good music and that if you applied a controlled, peer-reviewed scientific protocol for evaluating a song and deciding whether or not…

“And I Wonder?” by The Slackers (Amazon Advent Calendar day 19)

And I Wonder? The Slackers The Question Genre: Alternative Rock Maybe the most sophisticated version of the Turing Test for any given technology is actually the simple question “Is it capable of helping us and screwing us at the same time?” Then and only then can we say that a machine is truly Human. “And…

“Shine On Your Shoes” from “The Band-Wagon” (Amazon Advent Calendar day 18)

A Shine On Your Shoes Fred Astaire The Band Wagon Genre: Soundtrack I don’t want to get into the exhausting argument “Which is the greatest musical ever made: ‘The Band Wagon’ or ‘Singin’ In The Rain’?” It’s tiresome and unproductive and it misses the entire point of MGM’s Golden Age. The point being that the…

“Genius In France” by “Weird Al” Yankovic – Amazon Advent Calendar day 17

Genius In France “Weird Al” Yankovic Poodle Hat Genre: Comedy Today’s artiste is a callback to two previous Advent Calendar selections. I’m seriously convinced that at some point, “Weird Al” Yankovic talents will be fully appreciated. He’s most famous for his straightforward song parodies and he’s so successful at it that when choosing an example,…

“Por Una Cabeza” by Carlos Gardel (Amazon Advent Calendar day 16)

Por una cabeza Carlos Gardel Remasterizado año 2010 Genre: Latino 1992’s “Scent Of A Woman” had two positive impacts upon our culture. First, it expanded the vocabulary of any valid Al Pacino impression. To “It was you, Fredo. You’re the one who broke my heart” and “Say hello to my little friend!!!” the movie added…