December 23, 2009

They're Singing Deck the Halls, But It's Not Like Christmas At All.

Let’s end the Santa drawings with a rendition of PC and yours truly. What a great season. I think we debuted some new songs and touched upon some favorites. It’s always a treat to see readers from across the world enjoying this music, this season, and this site.

The song was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. Judy Garland made the song famous in her 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis. Garland found the original lyrics too sad for a Christmas song. There is a fatalistic view on the world—there is talk of everyone being together, of muddling through, friends once gone who will come back. There is a tender delicateness to this version—that quiet, music box-like introduction that draws the listener into the word. And her voice is heartbreaking and beautiful.

Where would we be without 77 Santas? I hope you enjoyed this year’s drawings. We’re now done with 77 different versions of Santa. Next year, perhaps we’ll start a new list—probably not drawings, since those are tough! Any ideas? I love the childlike awe of this song—it captures that innocent excitement at Christmas. And there’s never enough of that.

The best Christmas song ever recorded. She starts our season. She ends our season. And she is on my iTunes playlist all year long. Tune in tonight, Dec. 23, to see Darlene’s annual performance on The Late Show with David Letterman, one of the absolute treats of the holiday season. It isn’t Christmas without the one and only Darlene Love.

Have a happy holiday season and a great new year. We'll see you again in July!

December 22, 2009

Don’t You Forget About Me

If you’re reading this, you’re alive. That’s a good thing considering that this year claimed just about every celebrity in existence.

We wanted to give a little shout-out to John Hughes. His films have left an indelible impression on our generation. Movies like The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, and Sixteen Candles basically created a whole new genre. It’s spawned many imitations, but none have captured the magic of Hughes. He also contributed some of the best holiday movies in recent history. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is one of the best films of the past fifty years—a truly touching comedy that features the best work by both Steve Martin and John Candy as two wayward travelers making it home for Thanksgiving. Hughes also wrote Home Alone (see the note below on the Mel Torme song), Home Alone 2 (which was still pretty good in my book, if not predictable), and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. These days, it’s nearly impossible to contribute a holiday film that is placed in the canon. Hughes wrote three—PTA, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation—and all are watched in my house in November and December. If you’ve never seen these, please check them out. And speaking of films, what are your favorite holiday movies? Let me know.

For the songs today, let’s highlight some tracks from those great holiday Hughes films.

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.

“I'm not sorry. I did what I did because Buzz humiliated me and since he gets away with everything, I let him have it. And since you're all so STUPID to believe his lies I don't care if your idiotic Florida trip gets wrecked or not! Who wants to spend Christmas in a tropical climate anyway?”

All Along On Christmas – Darlene Love

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.

“I know I don't deserve a Christmas, even if I did do a good deed. I don't want any presents. Instead, I want to take back every mean thing I ever said to my family. Even if they don't take back the things they said to me. I don't care. I love all of them... Including Buzz. I know it isn't possible to see them all. Could I just see my mother? I'll never want another thing as long as I live if I can just see my mother. I know I won't see her tonight, but promise me I can see her again. Sometime. Any time. Even if it's just once and only for a couple minutes. I just need to tell her I'm sorry.”

White Christmas – The Drifters

Home Alone.

“Allow me to introduce myself, Gus Polinski How are you? Polka King of the Midwest? The Kenosha Kickers? No? That's okay I thought you might have recognized—...Anyways I had a few hits a few years ago. That's why I... Polka, Polka, Polka?(singing) Polka, polka, polka... No? Twin Lakes Polka... Domavougi Polka A.K.A. Kiss me polka...polka twist?”

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Mel Torme

Home Alone.

Judy Garland has the best version of the song, but Mel Torme’s is my favorite, originally featured in Home Alone, which Hughes wrote. Torme was called The Velvet Fog, and for good reason—that voice is smooth. Fans of the television show Night Court might remember that Harry Anderson’s character loved Mel Torme. For some reason, my father loved Nigh Court and Mel Torme. My mother and I saw Home Alone twice in December of 1990. My father had been dead for a few months by that point. It had been a hard year and we hadn’t laughed that much in a long time. Even though I had heard the song plenty of times, when Torme’s song played at the end, I actually listened to the lyrics for the first time. The promise that next year would be better, that someday everyone would be together, and that troubles would be out of sight—it stuck with me. Composer John Williams produced this version and adds his unmistakable instrumentation behind Torme’s warm and endearing vocals. Every time I watch Home Alone, I am reminded of sitting in a dark theater with my mother and laughing until it hurt.

Here Comes Santa Claus – Gene Autry

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

“Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*cking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”

Christmas Vacation – Mavis Staples

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

“Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?”


Home for the Holidays – Perry Como

I am that man from Pennsylvania who just wants some homemade pumpkin pie.

I’ll be Home With Bells On – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

This always brings a smile to my face.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Tift Merritt

One of the saddest songs of the season.

December 21, 2009

Moving Pictures!

Snowy Nights and Christmas Lights

I’ve been shoveling the past two days. I’m sore, and not the way a man in a 1940s movie is sore. I’m actually wincing each time I type a letter. So long PC—we’ll see him again next year, I’m sure. We do hope to have another project, but the response to 77 Santas is so strong each year, how can we stop? I just ordered two new Christmas compilations last night so I’m not going anywhere.

Here are some new drawings. We are getting close to 77! It promised to be a doozey. I’ll be here until Wednesday to send all of you into Christmas Eve in style. So get ready—as usual, I’m closing things out with an explosion of goodness.

Shimmy Down the Chimney – Alison Krauss

Her voice… It’s… Ah, it’s good, it’s good.

It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way – Jim Croce

Jim, it sure doesn’t.

Carol of the Bells – The Vienna Boys’ Choir

Ring, ring, ring.

Nut Rocker – B Bumble and the Stingers

Totally off-the-wall piano.

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Vince Vance and The Valiants

An 80s classic.

Christmas Spirit – The Wailers

It’s in the air, can’t you hear it?

No Christmas In Kentucky – Phil Ochs

Sadly, this song rings all true.

Same Old Lang Syne – Dan Fogelberg

I don’t care what you call it, this is a keeper.

Rockin’ This Christmas – The Tractors

Lead singer Steve Ripley used to play guitar for Bob Dylan. He also used to smoke a lot of cigarettes, or at least it sounds that way.

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Roy Wood and Wizzard

I love the cash register at the start of this song.

Jingle Bells – Reverend Horton Heat

Nothing like some psychotic rockabilly.

Little Toy Trains – Roger Miller

One of my favorite country Christmas tunes.

God Rest Ye Gentlemen – Pedro the Lion

Hushed and soft, another great version.

Hey Santa Claus – The Moonglows


Mama’s Twisting with Santa Claus – Mark Anthony

1. Is mom cheating on dad? 2. Does mom not know some more updated dances?

Merry Christmas to All, And to All A Good Night!

Ok, people, this is it from me! Thanks for another wonderful year! I hope we've kept you rocking and singing this season. We'd still like to hear your favorite songs. It will give us something to do in the off-season... (hint, hint).

Here goes!

A little country to start:

Away in a Manger: The Statler Brothers

This is the only Otis I have:

Otis Redding: Merry Christmas Baby

Almost forgot about this one:

2000 miles (It must be Christmas time): The Pretenders

Let's take it way back:

The Christmas Tree Angel: The Andrews Sisters

Of course, there's this song from the Grinch: Welcome Christmas

And I'll end with three of my all time favorites:

Blue Christmas: Elvis Presley

Christmas Must Be Tonight: The Band

The Christmas Song: Nat King Cole

I hope it's a safe, happy, and memorable holiday.


December 20, 2009

I was a fool, I covered my ears

Wow! Overwhelming responses to our call for songs! We'll do our best. You all suggested quite a few we don't know or have yet, but that's what makes this little workshop of ours so great. Here's my post for tonight. I'll answer some requests here the best I can, and throw in a bundle of others in hopes that that's fair trade. Keep the requests coming, though. At least until Tuesday, when we (I think) shut down for the year. I'm done tomorrow.

Christmas Wrapping: The Waitresses

An Old Christmas Card: Jim Reeves

The Little Drummer Boy: Harry Simone Chorale

Christmas in Prison: John Prine

Father Christmas: The Kinks.
Oh, the Kinks.

I'm not the biggest fan of novelty songs. JV can attest to this. Many a night he's had to withstand my crazed rants against novelty songs. This one's ok with me, as is the one we're named after:

Dominic the Christmas Donkey: Lou Monte

JV has yet to post the video link to this, but I love this song:

Suzy Snowflake: Rosemary Clooney
. Is this a novelty song? "Do I contradict Myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes" Walt Whitman, retired Mall Santa and patron saint of the walkers.

I'll end with a few "non-traditional" numbers, but great this time of year nonetheless.

Wish I had A River: Joni Mitchell

Winter's Come and Gone: Gilian Welch

Last Snowstorm of the Year: Low

Winterlong (Live)
: Neil Young and Crazyhorse


Musical Blizzard Offer! Act Now!

It's been a quiet year at 77 Santas. Not us--we're bringing the music in abundance. YOU are being quiet. So, here's an offer: list your top 5 Christmas songs in the comment box here and JV and I will do our best to post as many of them as we can. Yep. Bring it. You have until, say, 7pm tonight.

It's time for YOU to help US close out this 77 Santas season. We might have other surprises for you, too.

PC & JV.

December 19, 2009

Ding Dong, Ding Dong, Christmas Bells are Ringing

Almost time for me to pack up the workshop and hit the road. Not without a few last posts, though.

I treated myself to Gord's Gold yesterday. Here's a gem from that treasure chest.

Song for a Winter's Night: Gordon Lightfoot

Now three upbeat tracks from a master:

Nat King Cole:

Caroling, Caroling

Deck the Hall

Joy to the World

Here are two takes on a fave song of mine by two of my faves:

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear: The Louvin Brothers

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear: John Fahey

This song is awesome, but the video is awesomer

Must Be Santa: Bob Dylan

It just ain't Christmas around here without the Phil Spector Christmas album

Marshmallow World: Darlene Love

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Crystals

I'll close it out with a few tracks by two very soulful ladies

It Won't Seem Like Christmas: Loretta Lynn

Oh, Holy Night: Mahalia Jackson

Silent Night, Holy Night: Mahalia Jackson


Not Fit For Man or Beast Out There

You want a white Christmas? Well, Central Virginia may have a white winter, because I can’t imagine how this snowy wallop is going away anytime soon. 18 inches have piled up outside my house, and it’s still coming down. We might have two feet before all is said and done. But that’s okay. Make some hot chocolate and relax to some Christmas tunes.

We’ve got some great Santa drawings (65, 66 for those keeping score at home) today that put mine to shame. David Gessner was kind enough to pass along some of his drawings. And just for fun, I’m linking to his YouTube videos as well. You know, with this snowstorm blasting the northeast, a lot of people will have to buy some gifts online. If you’re looking for books, you could pick-up Soaring with Fidel, Return of the Osprey, and Sick of Nature. And you could also get The Gossip of Starlings, written by his wife Nina de Gramont, for readers on your gift list as well. Look at how I just solved shopping problems for you.

The Blizzard – Camera Obscura

This is a great sweet little song, laid-back and melodic.

Purple Snowflakes – Marvin Gaye

They aren’t purple just yet. Put I still have

Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Look, it’s not a Christmas song, but it’s by the brilliant Nick Cave (whom PC saw on a street in Chicago this year!). And there’s a good chance we’ll have fifteen feet of pure white snow by the end of the day.

Snowfall – LeRoy Holmes and His Orchestra

Need to get the intensity of Nick Cave out of you? This should do it.

Frosty the Snowman – Porter Wagoner


like the Wagonmaster at Christmas time.

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Vaughn Monroe

Best version of this song in my book. If you disagree, we’ll have to resort to fisticuffs.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street

Get rocked by rocked by the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, hard-rocking, booty-shaking, earth-quaking, nerve-breaking, Viagra-taking history-making, legendary E Street Band.

December 16, 2009

Snowflakes a-fallin', my heart's a-callin'

Sorry for my absence. My workshop is very busy this year.

Here's a re-post of songs that didn't work the first time:

Xmas Curtain: My Morning Jacket

Parade of the Wooden Soldiers: The Crystals

I Saw Three Ships: Nat King Cole

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Bob Dylan)

Ok, now on to some others:

Not the biggest fan of the novelty songs, but I like this one:

Mele Kalikimaka: Bing Crosby

A little country triple shot:

Christmastime's A-Comin': Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys

Blue Snowflakes: Ernest Tubb

If We Make it Through December: Merle Haggard

As if Hag's song weren't uplifting enough, here's this:

7 O'clock News/Silent Night: Simon & Garfunkel

This last one represents the most of my Christmas wish: A Rose Bowl Victory

Sleigh Ride: The Best Damn Band in the Land (OSU Marching Band)

Ok, I'll be back with more.


December 15, 2009

Bells Are Ringing, Old Folks Singing—Happy Holiday!

We’re ten days out from the big day. Wow. PC is currently covering his entire neighborhood with fake snow. That’s why you haven’t heard from him lately. But I think he’s got one or two posts left. Enjoy the songs today. And here’s a brand new drawing for you kids!

Merry Christmas Baby – Ike and Tina Turner

Something tells me these two didn’t have the hap, hap, happiest of holidays.

Happy Holiday – The Shells

Is it a Christmas song? I don’t know. But it’s great.

I Hear Bells Jingle – Freddie King

Some dirty blues for your holiday.

Horny Christmas – Loo and Placido

Dig the Dandy Warhols sample. Lyrically, well, it’s basically being horny on Christmas. Probably not one for the office Christmas mix.

Sleigh Ride – The Late Greats

Here’s a little plug for a superb blog The Late Greats. This is from the 2007 mix—each year is stellar.

December 13, 2009

You Children Better Watch Your Ps and Qs

Three Stooges Santa, Peeping Tom Santa, and Naked Burt Reynolds Santa. Only 18 more to go—and I’ve got some dandies planned. In the next day or so, we should hit our 100,000th visit! Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. Tell those Burt Reynolds fans you know and love.

Christmas Island – The Andrews Sisters

This one is dedicated to our dear friend, Pookie McSween, spending Christmas far away from the mainland U.S. on an island in the Pacific. But that doesn’t mean that PC and I don’t miss him everyday.

Donde Esta Santa Claus – Augie Rios

If I’m not mistaken, I believe that Lou Dobbs attempted to have this song banned from the radio for supposedly promoting illegal immigration. That just seems cruel, man. Alright, I go sleep now.

Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You – Billy Squier

Here’s another dedication to the Matterns of Little Brick Road. I think I can see the Christmas lights from here, Clark!

Christmas Time – The dBs

Pure power pop at Christmas time. Add this to your eggnog and drink it down.

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas – Gayla Peevey

The last I can find, Gayla Peevey lived on the west coast. She left the music industry, became a teacher, and later owned an advertising firm. She’s a grandmother now. By all accounts, it’s been a wonderful life for her, and I wish her many more. And I hope that during this time of year, she knows how much joy this song brings people, especially those of us at 77 Santas. We’ll close out the season with another song by her in a few weeks.

Santa Claus Is Watching You – Ray Stevens

He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere! Here’s an old-testament Santa Claus—he knows everything you do. It’s disturbing and creepy.

December 12, 2009

This Christmas Aggression Will Not Stand, Dude

There are only 22 Santas left to be hand-drawn. Today, we had Crying Tim Tebow Santa, Santa Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth Elf—yeah, it was dark. But here we have Lebowski Santas downing some half and half. Clearly you’re not a golfer.

Carol of the Bells – George Winston

I love nearly every version of this song. Here’s a plaintive piano rendition, perfect for looking out the window on a snowy evening.

A Root’n Toot’n Santa Claus – Tennessee Ernie Ford

The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. "VĂ¡monos, amigos," he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.

X-Mas Time (Sure Doesn’t Feel Like It) – The Dogmatics

One of the late great and forgotten Boston bands. Christmas heartache sure is catchy when they sing it.

The Christmas Waltz – Peggy Lee

This song of mine, in three quarters time…

Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day – Brenda Lee

My Queen of Christmas, Ms. Brenda Lee, can’t find much reason to cheer when every day is lonely. (MP4 file.)

Christmas In Paradise – Mary Gauthier

For some reason, this song reminded me of the 1994 film Trapped in Paradise, which I believe took place around Christmastime in the Pennsylvania town of Paradise. Wow, why do I remember that movie?

Jack Frost Nipping On All of Me

Sweet Georgia Brown is it cold outside! It’s not even the middle of the month yet but the winter has fully set. This is the first of two posts today. Enjoy!

My Favorite Things – Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass

I’m really baffled as to how this song came to be associated with Christmas. Anyone know? I love this bouncy, horny version (horny as in brass horns, you perverts!).

The Christmas Song – Sergio Mendes and Brasil ‘66

Put on your smoking jacket, pour yourself some brandy, and relax next to the fire. This is smooth.

If Christmas Can’t Bring You Home – Reigning Sound

Then nothing will. (MP4 file.)

One of You In Every Size – Marty Robbins

Yep, this one is just kind of creepy. Creepy in that “kiss her once for me” kind of way.

I Know What You Want for Christmas (But I Don’t Know How to Wrap It) – Kay Martin and Her Bodyguards

Okay, now this is horny as in let’s be naughty under the mistletoe. Actually, that might be too innocent for Kay Martin.

December 10, 2009

Everything is White, Tonight (Revised Links... Let me know if they work)

I think I'll make a post of some contemporary songs by bands/artists I listen to regularly to build off of my first post.

I'll start with Xmas at the Zoo by the Flaming Lips. A throwback of sorts for them, as they've since made a Xmas movie, but I love it.

While listening, go get yourself one of these.

I'm absolutely nuts over Califone these days. Here's an older song of theirs called On the Steeple with the Shakes (X-mas Tigers). Congrats, too, on their film All My Friends Are Funeral Singers getting picked up by Sundance! Great album of the same name, too!

How about a double shot of Low? How about Blue Christmas and Little Drummer Boy? That's what I thought.

As JV previously mentioned, we are quite high on The Felice Brothers these days, brought on mostly by seeing them in Virginia, a mere 24 hours after seeing The Possum, where we got hammered drunk and saw a huge fight and ate a whole bag of Doritos in his driveway. Glad you cleaned up and showed up, Possum! Anyhow, here's Murder by Mistletoe, but The Felice Brothers. They refuse to let the murder ballad die, thank God.

I bet Bob Dylan and The Possum got drunk together once or twice, but not while he was recording O'Come All Ye Faithful (Adestes Fideles). You can't sing in Latin while hammered. I tried. At church once, at twelve years old.

Then there's the inimitable Will Oldham, under the Palace Songs moniker, singing Christmastime in the Mountains.

Speaking of Kentucky, How about My Morning Jacket, doing Xmas Time is Here Again?

In a couple weeks, I'll be Going Home for Christmas, though not with Nicolai Dunger.

That's all you get from me today. I think I'll come roaring back with some classics next. Please let me know if the links work.


December 09, 2009

Santa, Welcome to the Modern World

A little different post today—I don’t have this song, unfortunately, and we’re going to YouTube it. When I was a kid, I used to listen to Dr. Demento every Sunday night on Magic 99. It was the highlight of my week—yes, those were dark days for me! I taped the songs off the radio… Wow, I’m not doing myself any favors here, am I? Anyway, one of my favorite songs from the doctor’s annual Christmas show was “Santa, Welcome to the Modern World.” Years passed. I all but forgot about this song but then it hit me tonight—just popped into my head. So I did a little Googling on the interwebs and found this. It’s not a video. It’s not an MP3. It’s just the song. If anyone out there has this though, let me know—I’d love it.

December 08, 2009

I Make My Runs About the Break of Day

Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) – Death Cab for Cutie

Nothing tops Darlene but this stripped version holds its own.

The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes

One of the best modern Christmas songs, especially for those who love reverb.

Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter

So wait, why is he running out the back door? Oh…

Christmas in Hollis – Run DMC

A rap classic.

Xmas Curtain – My Morning Jacket (live)

PC posted this a few days back. I love both the studio and this live version.

December 06, 2009

There's Only So Much Wine You Can Drink In This Life But It Will Never Be Enough to Save You From the Bottom of Your Glass

The first true snowfall of the year and I couldn’t be happier. Central Virginia doesn’t get nearly enough of the white stuff, and it was all the more beautiful that it came on a weekend, when I could sit in my office at the computer and watch the flakes out the window. Unfortunately, it will be gone too soon, but at least there were a few hours of that silent tranquility.

PC reports a wicked cold front moving into Chi-town. And that means he had to give up eating those fudgesicles. I believe he’s now working with kebob sticks.

Joy to the World – Clem Snide

Stripped down and bare.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Hoax Funeral

This song inspires some great versions. This is the opposite of the Jigsaw Seen track from a few days back—full of reverb, whistling, and menace.

In the Bleak Mid-Winter – Sarah McLachlan

Looking at that white blanket out my window, this seemed a perfect fit. There’s no way that this song could sound anymore melancholy.

So Much Wine – The Handsome Family

The Handsome Family is gothic country at its very best. Whether or not this is a true Christmas song is debatable. However, what’s not up for argument is the awesomeness of this song.

December 04, 2009

Ho Ho Holy Shit! The semester is over!

Time to get to work.

Just a little test run tonight. Please let me know if the links work correctly.

A few of my all time faves, plus one new classic, to kick it off. A greater smorgasbord awaits.

My Morning Jacket: The Xmas Curtain

The Crystals: Parade of the Wooden Soldiers

Nat King Cole: I Saw Three Ships

Bob Dylan: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Turn off the crappy, sappy radio station. Come here.


December 03, 2009

Calling on Mary Is Voluntary

The holidays should usually be a blast, but I realize more and more, my favorite songs of the season aren’t about joy or happiness. They’re about loneliness, death, and sorrow. But relax—I don’t want to depress everyone so I threw in two bouncy tunes to clean your palette of the salty taste of your own tears.

I know PC is enjoying his first snowfall in the second city. The weather forced him to abandon his project of sculpting a life-size Santa out of the mud of Lake Michigan. Now, he’s working on building a life-size replica of Santa’s sleigh out of fudgesicle sticks. And is he ever eating the fudgesicles! I told him to just let them melt but he insisted that it would be cheating. Hopefully he can get a picture up of his progress, just as soon as his body temperature rises to a level where he’s capable of basic hand-eye coordination.

Last Month of the Year – The Blind Boys of Alabama

The twenty-fifth day of December in the last month of the year. (Yes, this is one of the happy tunes!)

Calling on Mary – Aimee Mann

A choice nugget from Mann’s fantastic holiday album, One More Drifter in the Snow, has some fantastic images. There’s just something here that drives you into a depression—the commercialism, the starless sky, and the endless search for comfort.

Hard Candy Christmas – Dolly Parton

Me? I’ll bounce right back. Something tells me that she won’t. Dolly nails the restless, aimless days of spending the holiday season alone.

Call Collect on Christmas – Del McCoury

A true bluegrass weeper with an important message—don’t forget to call your mother on Christmas.

Christmas in Heaven – Eddie Bond

This seems like a natural follow-up—another staggering tearjerker.

It Won’t Be the Same This Year – Vince Gill

And yet another song about facing death at Christmas—this one is about the death of Vince Gill’s brother. Gill, a supremely underrated as a modern country artist, has a voice that could carry the weight of Santa’s sleigh.

Snoopy’s Christmas – The Royal Guardsmen

Enough with the downers! Let’s close out today with that bloody Red Baron. Merry Christmas, my friend!

December 01, 2009

Hallelujah, Everybody Say Cheese

Today brings a special treat for those who enjoy my Santa drawings—several in one! Maybe I shouldn’t assume anyone enjoys my crude childish drawings. First up, we h

ave Triangle Santa, followed by Iwo Jima Santa. Of course there’s The Old Santa and the Sea. And my favorite of the year thus far, a little tribute to my dearly beaten-up Steelers. Let’s hope no. 43 can get out on the field before he delivers presents this year.

I’ll close out the year with a new Santa (or two) everyday. PC has promised that he is going to hand-sculpt a life-size Santa out of the mud of Lake Michigan. I’m sure he’ll get right on that.

I’ve hopefully fixed the links from the first day. If there are problems today, I’m going to hang my head in shame and find something else. But we’ll try it again.

Carol of the Bells – John Fahey

Year in and year out, I usually love pretty much every version of this song—we’ll certainly post many more. But Fahey is absolutely one of the best musicians to ever pick the guitar.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – The Harmony Grits

Yes, Santa Claus is coming. But come on—say it like you mean it. I bet the big man hears this scream all the way in North Pole.

Just Like Christmas – Low

There aren’t many modern Christmas songs that I’d put in the cannon, but this quirky, bouncy tune would perhaps make the list.

Merry Christmas From the Family – Robert Earl Keen

This one is a bona-fide classic in my book. No matter the eccentricities and drunken debacle, the holiday is ultimately about family. Kudos to Keen for his recent cameo in The New Yorker.

Christmas Times A Coming – Jerry Reed

About half-way through you get to hear Jerry Reed tear into a solo. An underrated guitarist and sadly, the Snowman is no longer with us.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Jigsaw Seen

Paint It Black meets Christmas. I love the full-on force of this track. Few Christmas songs make you want to pump your fist. This one does.