25 December, 2010

Advent Calendar in Song: Sidebar: On Some Other Channels and What We've Learned

Other Song Collectors, Things We Learned, and What I Forgot to Mention

Whilst researching some of the songs on my list (yes, I actually have a list, I'm not making this up as I go), I've stumbled across some others past and present who've done similar projects. It has been interesting to look at overlap in choices from complete strangers, selecting from the same universe of recorded pop culture.

I did find some other supposed advent calendars, The Guardian UK has one under music, but it pretty much has nothing to do with seasonal tunes, just an excuse for a string of music articles. Others from record labels along the same lines.

If you've enjoyed what I've done you may want to check these out.

In no particular order:

Steve Carey's 2008 25 Songs of Christmas

John Gushue's My Musical Advent Calendar for 2009

Steve's 25 Days of Christmas Music 2001-2009

I've also picked up some facts whilst writing this thread over the last four weeks. What we've learned:

  1. Brave Combo were David Byrne's wedding band.
  2. Thurl Ravenscroft was the voice of Tony the Tiger for over 50 years.
  3. Chuck Jones and Theodore Geissel worked together on WWII Army educational cartoons called Private Snafu years before they reteamed on The Grinch...
  4. George Harrison made a Christmas single Ding Dong Ding Dong
  5. Tom Waits birthday is December the 7th.
  6. Charlie Grima of Wizzard is alive and well and is teaching percussion to visually impaired children and students, and his acting career has seen him alongside Robert DeNiro and Jerry Lewis (although not at the same time, that would have been King of Comedy).
  7. Ozzy Osbourne guested in the Bob Rivers video for his repurposed version of Iron Man: I am Santa Claus.
  8. Even Paul McCartney is openly embarrassed about Wonderful Christmas.
  9. According to the Bobs, we light the eight Hannukah candles to commemorate the suffering of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
  10. Robert Earl Keen's trailer trash saga Merry Christmas from the Family was such a hit he wrote both a book and a sequel song.
  11. Advent doesn't necessarily start on December 1st, it starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25th, which could be the Sunday from November 27th to December 3rd.
  12. The I Wanna Jagwa sketch was not by Stan Freberg as I mistakenly thought, but Eddie Lawrence a stand up slightly better known for his Old Philosopher character.
  13. Pia Zadora and her husband bought and demolished the old Hollywood landmark Pickfair, the house of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, despite their promise to restore it.
  14. College age students in the 1960's paid half the fare for standby plane tickets that FBI Agents did.
  15. Thundercats look particularly loving whilst having group sex with droids.
  16. Frank Zappa and Paul Henreid's love child looks like Leon Redbone.
  17. The answer to the musical question, What do you get a Wookie for Christmas, When He Already Has a Comb? -- a Brazilian.
  18. The moustachioed singing ghost bust in the Disneyland Haunted House ride is not based on Walt Disney, but similarly tonsored singer and voice artist Thurl Ravenscroft.
Things I should have mentioned:

The Cardigans did the best cover of Iron Man.

Last year, Billy Bragg and 'er out of Florence and the Machine did this cover of Fairytale of New York:

I like it, but I'm a bit disappointed that Florence didn't give it the kind of brawling welly she put into A Kiss in a Fist, she mumble/sings insults at Billy. Billy is too nice a bloke, Shane woulda had her for breakfast.

The Dandy Warhols and Will Ferrell John C Reilly covered The Little Drummer Boy, the latter doing an almost beat for beat reenactment of the Bowie Bing sketch (stay with it, it gets better).

Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy with Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly from Will Ferrell

Perhaps we could use this as incontrovertible proof that Will Ferrell is only funny in the presence of John C Reilly. Filmmakers take note.

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