Friday, November 25, 2022

Kenny And Corky - Nuttin' For Christmas / Suzy Snowflake

 

 Kenny And Corky - Nuttin' For Christmas / Suzy Snowflake 

 Kenny And Corky - Nuttin' For Christmas / Suzy Snowflake 






Vintage Christmas Music YouTube Jukebox Day Three

 


Grandfather Kringle - Burl Ives 


Snow Coach - Russ Conway

,


 Gus Schwartz 



 A Marshmallow World = Bing Crosby



 Santa Claus, Jr. ~ Eddie Cletro with The Frontiersmen



White Christmas  - The Ravens 



 Ralph Emery


Disney Jingle Bells Book and Record Read-Alongs 1976 & 1987

 

Here are two entirely different Disney Book and Record Read-Alongs titled Jingle Bells...


 Jingle Bells | 1976 Little Golden Book & Record 



 Disney "Jingle Bells" Book-and-Audio Read-Along (1987) 

Friday, November 18, 2022

New Christmas Releases from A Girl Named Tom, The Tabernacle Choir, PG Roxette, Kalani Pe’a, Blane Howard and more...





 One More Christmas

A Girl Named Tom

I haven’t watched The Voice in ages so I was unfamiliar with A Girl Named Tom but based on their holiday release, One More Christmas, I’m going to have to check them out. This is a charming and fun collection and about as poppy as I can take. The originals hold up really well among the more familiar fare.

Recommended


O Holy Night: Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square


Wish You the Best for Xmas

Per Gessle / PG Roxette

Swedish pop legend Per Gessle (Gyllene Tider, Roxette) offers this four track holiday Single/EP (it’s really two songs plus two instrumental versions of those songs).Catchy europop,

Recommended


Purple Hawaiian Christmas
Kalani Pe’a

Perfectly pleasant, if fairly generic holiday offering elevated by a warm layer of Polynesian flavor. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll like this sort of thing.



Happy Xmas
Michela Anne

Four track EP limited by its choice of four massively over-covered songs that should IMHO, just be left alone if you don't have something exceptional to add to them. Outside of a slightly  better than average take on Last Christmas nothing here really stands out. Most of the tracks are fine but do nothing to justify listening to them as opposed to the existing iconic versions. It doesn't help that they include one of my least favorite Xmas songs, and a song so generic that only its original version is worth listening to. Plus, I already have a handful of amazing versions of River to choose from. Michela Anne’s take on the one song that can survive incessant cloning, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, is…fine.


Fans of the artist will enjoy this, no doubt.


A Living Room Christmas
Lunar Vacation

Three track single/EP that at least tries to salvage their uninspired choice of covering Last Christmas by making it fairly unique, fairly. I’m guessing whoever wrote the Spotify Christmas algorithm was a big Wham fan, what else would explain the glut of these covers?) The other two tracks include a a slightly left field take on Skating and a surprisingly recent cover choice Norah Jones’ Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones).



Christmas in the Car
Blane Howard

Solid country release with a nice mix of familiar tunes with fresh arrangement plus an excellent new song. There are a couple of tracks that aren’t all they might have been, a tepid take on The Christmas Song, for example., but a generally enjoyable effort.

Recommended


Christmas Night with You
Straight No Chaser

One great thing, or maybe not so great, depending,, about the Christmas music scene is that it turns would be one hit wonders into perennial chart hitters. If Straight, No Chasers’ claim to fame had been a clever cover of almost anything other than a Christmas song they would be novelty, with a small n, act. Luckily for them it led to a seasonal windfall, (not to the same extent of say Pentatonix, but still…) sadly it leads to abysmal tracks like this one being forced upon us at holiday time. Unlistenable.


We’re Home for Christmas
Our distant worlds

Minimal solo piano arrangements that barely register even as background music. 


I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Diego de Galdeano

Another low effort solo piano EP tailor made for Spotify “Relax” “Peaceful” “Calm” playlists.



Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
Spoon

Faithful cover of the Beatles Christmas tune, so barely listenable



Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Ordeal by Hallmark (Part 2) My Grown Up Christmas List, A Maple Valley Christmas, Well Suited for Christmas, All Saints Christmas and more...

 

I feel slightly guilty that I'm not including my recent viewing of the Lindsey Lohan rom-com Falling For Christmas here. Not because it was a Netflix Original, Netflix is more than capable of turning out junky Christmas flicks, but because it was a pretty good movie. And, I mean :movie" as opposed to Hallmarkesque inspired holiday product consume repeat consume repeat. So, if you want to accuse me of putting my thumb on the scale by omitting a much better than average film from my ordeal - fair enough.


My Grown Up Christmas List



Inoffensive but dull trifle that a few years ago would have been considered a weak effort but nowadays it’s solidly middle of the road. It tries to do something a bit more interesting with time jumps but I've already forgotten most of what happens in the film.


A Maple Valley Christmas 



Epic drama set in the rough and tumble world of a family Montana Maple Syrup Barons, it's basically Yellowstone with pancakes. Well, not really, I wish it was though. Instead we get a pedestrian real estate McGuffin driven romcomdram.

Though Hallmark are the ne plus ultra of these types of festive fodder they're clearly not the only ones peddling quickie Christmas pix this time of year so, let's move on with a couple of offerings from Lifetime - Television for Women...


Well Suited for Christmas 



My first Lifetime flick of the season combines my favorite time of year with the world of high fashion, something I literally care nothing about. Despite my antipathy towards the films McGuffin, a bachelor tuxedo design contest, the film wasn’t terrible. It was certainly a step up from My Grown Up Christmas List, if only a small step, though it felt as if the Christmas aspect was merely an afterthought.


Merry Swissmas



Another Lifetime movie, this one starring Jodie Sweetin as an architect whose Mom owns a Swiss inn , in the Swiss quarter of British Columbia apparently, and nothing interesting or charming happens. It’s too bad because it had a promising premise. This one was a definite step down even from MGUCL. In last place so far.


Back to Hallmark 


All Saints Christmas



Not a holiday musical starring 90's girl group All Saints (which is probably a good thing ?), but it is set in some fictional music industry where huge stars can browse Christmas markets on their own and their albums go "double gold".

Pretty good New Orleans set rom-com, definitely above average thanks to a snappy script and some solid performances from the leads. I sort of enjoyed it.


Christmas on Mistletoe Lake



While All Saints Christmas buffeted my sails a bit but Christmas on Mistletoe Lake was like hitting a dead calm.

Meh but not terrible holiday filler. I've already forgotten it, which is becoming a bit of a theme here. FWIW, I can still recall loads of scenes, snippets of dialogue and major plot points and superior performances from a bunch of Christmas movies from the last few years that I've only seen once and yet the vast majority of these films slide of my brain like it's been coated in Teflon .


In Merry Measure 



In which a group of seemingly sentient mannequins act out a dull and predictable story about a a high school singing competition. The “actors” are surprisingly lifelike, with little of the uncanny valley effect you usually see with this technology, though the supporting characters are still stock royalty free NPCs . Sadly the AI scriptwriting app has produced a weaker than usual story and In Merry Measure doesn’t measure up to much at all in the end.

 

Before we get to the current standings I want to stress that, while I have a general disdain for these films, it's absolutely not the actors or the crews that I dislike, it's the cynical assembly line corporate product churn that grinds my gears. Just as I think the fans of these films are lovely people who just want to settle into some cozy comfort viewing, I'm sure the bulk of the people on the screen and behind the scenes are doing the best they can with what they've been given and what little seems to be expected of them.

I don't hate the players, only the way the game is being played.


So, this time most of the films fell into the "Meh" category with only one Watchable, meaning if I had to rewatch it I could, if I had to. The good news is only one fell to the newly renamed Unrewatchable ranking. I've switched to a softer definition of "I would walk out of the room, and maybe the building, if the alternative was having to watch t again". 

I've also added a new ranking, the Worth Rewatching. So far only Netflix's Falling For Christmas would have qualified, but since I reviewed it in my Yule Blogged series instead I'm not sure I should include it.

 

The Watchables

  • All Saints Christmas
  • Ghost of Christmas Always
  • A Kismet Christmas


The Mehs

  • Christmas on Mistletoe Lake
  • Jolly Good Christmas
  • Merry Swissmas
  • My Grown Up Christmas List
  • Well suited for Christmas 


The Unrewatchables

  • Catering Christmas
  • Christmas Bedtime Stories
  • Destined at Christmas
  • In Merry Measure 
  • Noel Next Door
  • We Wish You a Married Christmas