Nathan (vovat) wrote,

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A Travel Guide to Holidayland

Since it's now Christmas Eve (yeah, that really sneaked up on us, didn't it?), I'm going to take a listen to the They Might Be Giants Christmas EP, Holidayland.

Santa Claus - A cover of a song by the Sonics. It's not one of my favorites, but it's remarkably good at getting lodged in your head.

Santa's Beard - I already commented on this song back when I reviewed Lincoln. As a holiday song, it's a little weird, but isn't that what TMBG is all about?

Feast of Lights - Hey, a Hanukkah song by a band of gentiles! Hey, Jewish artists have been singing Christmas songs for so long that I guess it's about time. I like the background music on this one, with its somewhat xylophone-like sound. The rhyme of "Hanukkah" with "harmonica" is rather reminiscent of Adam Sandler, but I think it works all right. The one time I heard this performed live, John Linnell changed the words to this line.

Careless Santa - Originally appearing on the first full-length release by John Flansburgh's side project Mono Puff (which means Linnell presumably had nothing to do with this one), this song was part of a brief running gag around when I first joined the mailing list in late 1997. As a song, it's fairly unremarkable, but Flans has said it's based on a true story, which intrigues me.

O Tannenbaum - Linnell sings the first verse of this traditional song in its original German. And that's all he sings; I wouldn't have minded if he'd tried his voice at some of the others. Based on my four years of high school German and one year in college, I think he does a good job at the pronunciation, but a native German speaker might well think differently.

And that's all that's on there, but the band did a few other holiday-themed songs that were somehow deemed not worthy of Holidayland citizenship. The two most notable were:

Christmas Cards - A weird, repetitive song about how all of Flansy's Christmas cards have been stolen, which originally appeared as the B-side of the vinyl release of "O Tannenbaum." Why it didn't make the cut for Holidayland is unclear.

We Just Go Nuts at Christmastime - Not to be confused with the Yogi Yorgesson song, "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas" (although that might well have been the inspiration for the title), this has a similar theme to "Feast of Lights," in that it's about a broken home getting together at the holidays.

And that's it for our trip to Holidayland, which is probably a good thing, as I hear they're currently involved in a bloody war with West Xylophone.

Since it IS the Christmas season, you might want to check out the Nostalgia's Critics countdown of the greatest Christmas specials. And if you've started reading this journal more recently than last December, or would just like a refresher, here are some of my own thoughts on various holiday specials:

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Koopa Klaus (a Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode)
The Year Without a Santa Claus
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and Garfield
A Claymation Christmas, Looney Tunes, and The Flintstones
Home Alone and Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
Jack Frost

I'll probably watch some of those today. I also still need to wrap some Christmas presents.

Incidentally, I've had a lot of weird dreams recently, and not holiday-related ones or anything. Two nights ago, there was one where I was really interested in old-time telephone prefixes for some reason, and I'd somehow gotten them mixed up with area codes. Last night, one dream had me in college and getting angry at a shabby-looking professor who told us we'd have to come to class on weekends. Actually, I'm not sure I was in this guy's class, but I still thought it was unfair. There was also something involving pirate ships, but I think I even realized within the dream that it wasn't real, which takes away a lot of the fun.
Tags: dreams, holidays, music, tmbg

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