Friday, December 21, 2007

An X-Mas Post

Well, just a few more days until Christmas. Guess it's time to start shopping (no joke). It's also time for Christmas shindigs, chopping down trees, and posting your favourite festive tunes. Usually I'm already at home for the holidays, but for the first time I've come home for the holidays, which is a bit weird since I basically only moved away for 3 weeks. I feel a bit lost without my own computer to blog from, though I did have the foresight to bring a portable hard drive with all my music on it (not the foresight, however, to write these posts in advance). Since I don't have my itunes here to guide me, I've randomly picked some festive music to brighten your holidays, or at least provide some conversation fodder for your x-mas parties.

Ah, the Chipmunk Song. While nothing has remotely encouraged me to check out the latest incarnation of Alvin & The Chipmunks, somewhere in my brain there is a slight fond spot for the original song. I don't really understand it because even as a kid, Alvin pissed me off with his obnoxious troublemaking ways, Simon was pretentious, and Theodore was slightly retarded. Each chipmunk drove me nuts in their own way and together they were insufferable. As a kid, I guess you watch any TV whether you even like the show or not. Anyway, for some reason or other I happen to like the Chipmunk Song and that solo line about wanting a hula hoop just gets me every time. The 2007 movie soundtrack features re-done versions of The Chipmunk Song and Witch Doctor (though they're not exactly covers) with Jason Lee filling in as the new Dave. Did you know Justin Long was the voice of Alvin? Why? I don't know.

Alvin & The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) [DeeTown Rock Mix]
The soundtrack also features a "DeeTown Rock Mix", which sounds exactly as you might imagine it.

Powder - Christmas Don't Be Late (Chipmunk Song) [originally by The Chipmunks]
Ah, but Powder already did a rock cover for A Very Special Christmas 5. Do they still make those albums? The first two in the series have some of the best Christmas covers ever.

Mau - Chipmunks Christmas Mash-Up
A couple of years ago, someone named Mau made a mash-up of the Chipmunk Song and Royksopp’s Triumphant. The basis of the mash-up is a comedy bit by Patton Oswalt (who incidentally voiced the main character of an exponentially better CGI rodent film this past summer) in which he hilariously describes slowing down an LP of the Chipmunk Song... just listen, it's pretty out there.

Jonathan Coulton - Podsafe Christmas Song
While I haven't gone through all of Jonathan Coulton's Thing a Week songs (all available for free as an iTunes podcast), I think I should really buckle down and do that after recently listening to Tom Cruise Crazy and this one, a parody of the Chipmunk Song. They really nail it especially the hilarious between-verses banter. "I don't want to speak too soon... but, uh, we may have saved Christmas."

John Denver & The Muppets - Little Saint Nick [originally by The Beach Boys]
Anyone notice they re-did that Coke polar bears vs. penguins ad that used to have Little Saint Nick as the soundtrack to the penguin christmas hoedown? Now it's some generic "holiday" music that doesn't match the dancing penguins and when that little bear cub slides in they use that overly cliché record needle scratch sound... except the music doesn't even stop. Ah, the things that bug me that shouldn't.

The Beach Boys - (I Saw Santa) Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
Thankfully this other Beach Boys song never became a standard. Along the same lines as I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, one boy tells his brother what he saw "going on" around the Christmas tree. It's a bizarre song, alternating between the boy talking over a repeated piano chord and the chorus, which has the weird line "And Mama was as close to Santa as you are to me". It's filled with presumably unintentional innuendo with mommy and Santa doing more than just smooching.

Brian Setzer Orchestra - The Nutcracker Suite
Vandals - Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies
A couple Tchaikovsky covers: swing and punk.

Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here [Markus Enochson Remix]
Whenever I hear this now I can only picture the cast of Arrested Development walking around all sad.

The Living End - Jingle Bell Rock (Feat. Kylie Minogue) [originally by Bobby Helms]
My favourite cover of this Christmas staple. I probably don't say this enough, but The Living End do some awesome covers and lead singer/guitarist Chris Cheney is one of the best (and underrated) guitarists in modern rock.

The OneUps - Super Mario's Sleigh Ride
I didn't post anything earlier this week because, um, I was off playing Super Mario Galaxy. Sorry. Anyway, this brilliant Christmas tune from last year [EDIT: 2002] by video game cover band The OneUps seamlessly integrates familiar Mario tunes with Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride. Seriously the best Christmas cover I've heard in years. Looking forward The OneUps next album...


Adam said...

Well, thanks for the songs, as usual - I particularly enjoyed Mau's mashup, which I hadn't known existed until just now. However, I do have to correct a blaring error in this post: 2002 is not "last year". Super Mario's Sleigh Ride is quite possibly the best Christmas cover ever made, but it was posted to OCR a rather long time ago:

Also seemed sort of silly that you went to the trouble of temporarily posting it to a filesharing site, when it's (legally) hotlinkable from the original source here:

Fongolia said...

Thanks for the correction. Last year was when I first heard of it and I neglected to actually check into when it first came out. I didn't realize it was on OCR, having gotten it from the band's official site (which of course says it's 2002 anyway). Speaking of OCR, I used to frequent the site a few years ago though the sheer number of remixes is pretty overwhelming. The Legend of Zelda covered by The Rabbit Joint (NOT System as a Down, which it had been mislabelled on the P2Ps) is particularly awesome. But one of the best all-time video game covers is on there too: Estradasphere's 'SuperBuckJazz' version of Super Mario 2. Some members of Estradasphere have recently been collaborating with Amanda Palmer on her upcoming solo debut and the whole band will likely be the openers for her tour next year. Any other OCR recommendations? I should really do that video game covers post I've been meaning to do for 2 years.

Also, as a general policy I don't do too much hotlinking because I usually don't know each site's policy on that, plus it keeps some consistency within my own links.