Christmas 4 Everyone
The Internets are magic. I can tell what search-engine phrases are leading to hits on this blog, so I know that lots of people were trolling the web by searching some combination of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "Christmas" last week. They were trying to find the music featured in the show's December 4 episode (which The Mrs. and I finally got around to watching last night--and which will be repeated on December 18), a gorgeous New Orleans interpretation of "O Holy Night" that captured both the wonder of Christmas and the city's lingering hurt in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The song was billed to a group called "City of New Orleans," real New Orleans musicians whose appearance was organized by the Tipitina's Foundation, which was created after the hurricane to benefit displaced musicians. (See the segment and download the song here.)
Of course, people trolling the Internet for Christmas music are thick on the ground these days. If that's you, you'll want to stop by PCL Linkdump for a ridiculously enormous collection of links. How enormous? Somebody out there digitized one of my favorite Christmas albums--The Spirit of Christmas With the Living Strings--and I'd never have found it otherwise. Not all of the links are live anymore, but you'll certainly find something there to dig.
And speaking of Christmas music: Two of my favorite music bloggers--Jefito and Jason Hare--are teaming up for the "12 Days of Mellowmas," which got underway yesterday at Jefitoblog and continued today at Jasonhare.com. For questionable music but grade-A snark, you can't do better.
Mailbag: A reader whose taste in music is eclectic but impeccable is recommending a Christmas album by Bootsy Collins, a bassist who's played with James Brown and George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic collective. If you know Collins' music, two things spring to mind: A) he wouldn't be among the first 500 people you'd expect to do a Christmas album, and B) if he did do a Christmas album, it would probably be unique. Which it is. Orangejello Lemonjello posted a couple of tracks from Christmas Is 4 Ever last week--the links were still live as of this afternoon, but get over there quickly before they disappear. Another reader sent me a bunch of links to YouTube videos featuring K-Tel record ads (find them here) as well as one for the late-80s Freedom Rock anthology, in which a couple of painfully bad hippie caricatures sold a really great compilation of classic rock hits.
I get all kinds of cool things in my e-mail from people who read this bilge on a regular basis. Thanks a lot.