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Bear Cat by Rufus “Hound Dog” Thomas, Jr. (from Blues Masters Vol.12: Memphis Blues, Rhino Records, 1993)
Gary's Take: What?!? This isn’t the official fight song of the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats? Shocking…
Paintball Triple Mix by dj laigi (from Paintball, self-published cd, 2004)
Gary's Take: Why, oh why hasn’t this gifted mixmaster been given more opportunities to create jammin’ grooves about fringe sports? Wait, I think I just answered my own question…
K.O.B.E by Kobe Bryant with Tyra Banks (from Columbia Red Hot Music sampler, Columbia Records, 2000)
Gary's Take: This ultra-stupid rap starts off with supermodel actress Tyra Banks asking Kobe Bryant “How many girls have said ‘I love you’? Not like ‘I love you’ like a fan, but like for real, like ‘Baby, marry me.’” Kobe’s response is little more than an embarrassed laugh. It’s just too perfect, and then the rest of the song makes Vanilla Ice sound brilliant in comparison. Kobe’s manifesto of the libido is just too ridiculous for words, given his more recent history. Or even NOT given his more recent history.
Oh, I forgot…Bryant’s a great guy now that the Lakers are champs again. I’m not supposed to criticize him. My bad. Go Lakers!
Bankrobber by The Clash (from The Clash on Broadway, Epic, 1991)
Gary's Take: But he never hurt nobody…
OK, here’s this year’s Gift Guide music:
Here Comes Santa Claus by Bob Dylan (From Christmas in the Heart, Columbia Records, 2009)
Gary's Take: Some are going to hate me for foisting this on an otherwise moderately cheery holiday mob. Others (fans of irony and the firm placement of tongue in cheek) may celebrate the choice. It makes me smile, that’s all, even more than Lawrence Welk does.
Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire by Bob Rivers (from Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire, Atlantic, 2000)
Gary's Take: Maybe Dylan can cover this song someday. Maybe not, though, because if his voice is pitched up to chipmunk range, it may sound like Theodore has a collapsed lung.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Louis Armstrong with Velma Middleton (from Christmas Through the Years, Laserlight, 1996)
Gary's Take: It’s Satchmo’s holiday, we just carol in it.
Joy to the World! (from 50 Most Loved Christmas Carols, Liberty, 2005)
Gary's Take: These might be the 50 most loved carols, but the performers must not be on anyone’s “most loved” list…they’re not mentioned anywhere on the covers or in the booklet. Bah humbug!
Happy Chanukah by 2 Live Jews (from Christmas Jews, Kosher Records, 1998)
Gary's Take: Sung to the tune of “Feliz Navidad”, this ecumenical wonder would have Jose Feliciano spinning in his grave, if he were indeed muerte. Which is good, because I bet even Jose laughs when he hears this song’s chorus:
“If you’re not Jewish, that means Merry Christmas”
Hark! Now Harold’s Going to Swing by The North Pole Armchair Quarterbacks (from A Sports Fan’s Christmas Carols, Red Letter Press, 2001)
Gary's Take: Speaking of Jewish, there’s some irony here as well, because Felix Mendelssohn was from a Jewish family, but he later cast his lot with Lutherans. You can just hear all of that influence deeply imbued within the song, can’t you? Except for the golf part.
Sleigh Ride by Squirrel Nut Zippers (from Christmas Caravan, Mammoth Records, 1998)
Gary's Take: Take me back, prithee, O glorious and exalted Music, to simpler, carefree days when Yuletide thoughts of chestnuts, mulled wine, wassailing and myrrh stirred my Soul. Take me back! I say, O Music to…to…to 1998?
Jingle Bells by Paul Roberts (from Organ and Keyboard Christmas, Pulse, 1997)
Gary's Take: From The Master of Holiday Cheese. Gotta get one of his “interpretations” in the Gift Guide each year.
The Elf Song by The Vacancies (from A Blackheart Christmas, Blackheart Records, 2008)
Gary's Take: It’s The Elf Song. What the heck else do you need to know? By the way, thanks for making it this far…
This program aired on December 11, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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