YouTube Video Vault: Squeeze, “Hourglass”

Okay, it’s by no means their best single, but it’s a damn fine one just the same, and the video is a certifiable hoot. My favorite part was the birth-school-work-death sequence in the second chorus (hmmm, that gives me an idea for a future installment). But what was with Jools Holland’s makeup?

Bad holiday treats for you

OK everyone, back to work! Christmas is ovah! What? I’m the only one here? Ah well, I have gathered together for you three fine clips of some of the worst musical crap you’re ever to likely see or hear! First up, it’s a terrible band tackling a terrible song – Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” Dig that Casio! Dig those vocals!

Next up it’s a band doing some godawful original noise. The first couple minutes of setting up their gear is skippable, but once they get going, look out! Who knew that a trombone could be tortured in such a way? Is this what our tax dollars are going towards? Gimme back my moolah!

If you’ve made it this far, congrats! (And if you’re clicking on this one first, shame on you.) Lastly, we have Jan Terri’s infamously crappy song and video “Lose Tonight.” I first saw this terror on one of the great TV Carnage DVDs, but it’s also online for so many more millions of people to enjoy. So enjoy it! Happy ongoing holidaze!

If you’re a cheapskate like me…

…then you’re also one of those people who generally waits until immediately after Christmas to pick up their Christmas music. I mean, after all, it’s invariably on sale, y’know? Anyway, here are two suggestions to keep an eye out for:

Christmas with Dino: Thirteen classic Christmas songs as interpreted by that little ol’ wine drinker him. But what’s this? There are actually seventeen tracks…? That’s because the album is filled out by three bonus alternate versions of “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” and “Let It Show! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Okay, Mr. Mathematician, so you noticed we’re still one track short. Well, trust me, you’re better off skipping the first song; it’s a newly-created “duet” between Dean Martin and Martin McBride, and while Dean’s buddy Frank managed to do two albums worth of duets without actually sharing a studio with any of his collaborators, at least Frank was still among the living. This thing is just tacky.

Christmas with the Rat Pack: But, hey, as long as we’re bringing Frank into this, let’s head into this collection of material by Sinatra, Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.. It’s 21 tracks, with one of them previously unreleased: Sammy’s “Christmas Time All Over The World.” Funny how there’s nothing here by Peter Lawford or Joey Bishop. Actually, no, it isn’t, come to think of it. (Have you ever heard those guys sing…?)

Happy birthday, Jesus; hope you like crap!

Now you, too, can understand why Norm Macdonald’s “Weekend Update” joke was so funny:

Merry Christmas, everyone

My gift to you: the video for Billy Joel’s “She’s Right On Time.”

Read the rest after the jump...

Goodbye, Dolly!

Looks like Jessica “DD” Simpson won’t be paying tribute to Dolly Parton during an upcoming show. She was slated to perform “9 to 5″ but screwed up the words, so the producers of the show gave her a second chance. She wasn’t happy with that one, either, and requested to be dropped from the tribute. Maybe they can make room for someone who can actually sing.

Do you love “Last Christmas”? These people do

What is the Internet good for if not bringing everyone some holiday cheer? Well the folks over at Last Christmas have been busy seeking out any and all bands who have covered the classic (?) Wham! song and bringing the goodness to your ears. Frankly, I get pretty sick of Xmas music around the day after Thanksgiving, but a lot of people really dig it. There’s definitely nothing better than shopping in the mall and hearing 50 million different versions of all the Xmas classics in a few hours. Well nothing better until now, that is.

Luckily, I have yet to hear “The Twelve Days of Christmas” so far in any form this year, and yes that’s including the equally overplayed Bob and Doug Mackenzie version. Bah, humbug.

Britney voted “Worst Celebrity Dog Owner”

How can things go from bad to worse like this? First Britney dumps K-Fed, and now she’s been voted as “Worst Celebrity Dog Owner.” Jesus, what a tough time Spears is having as of late! But leave it to the readers of “Hollywood Dog” and “New York Dog” to dog the dog.

Oh, how me all miss Bit-Bit, Lacy and Lucky! But Brit-Brit and K-Fed gave them away to friends after two kids fell out of Britney’s torso. And she took better care of those dogs than those kids! At least she wasn’t dropping them and letting them drive. Such a shame. In other news, Oprah won “Best Celebrity Dog Owner.” Bit-Bit 4-EVA!!!

Mix Disc Monday: A holi-holi-ho, and a holi-holi-hey, another holiday

While we find it downright creepy that radio stations are flipping to all-Christmas-music playlists before Thanksgiving, it doesn’t diminish our love of Christmas pop. This list could easily stretch out to 30 tracks, but we will stick to the 15-song limit, if only to make it easier to justify our glaring omissions. We’re leaving off album titles because these songs are available on about 60 compilations each.

“Fairytale of New York,” the Pogues w/ Kirsty MacColl
May as well start with the best of the bunch, and you have to love the opening lyric: “It was Christmas Eve, babe / In the drunk tank.” The story is terribly depressing, full of dashed hopes, bitterness and drugs. But seldom has such ugliness sounded so pretty.

“Christmas Wrapping,” the Waitresses
Patty Donahue is one of the most underrated singers ever, and just try not to whistle along when the sax line comes in.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” Band Aid
Where “We Are the World” was self-congratulatory, we’re-rich-and-that-makes-us-better-people nonsense, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s plea for assistance is heartbreaking and relentless. If you want to make your mix really special, hunt down the 12” mix, which features a bonzo drum break from Phil Collins and the stars of 1984 (Bananarama, Big Country) wishing you a happy Christmas.

“Christmas Day,” Squeeze
“Bands Reunited” need to take another crack at getting Squeeze back together. Glenn and Chris’ solo records are nice and all, but neither one of them is writing “Another Nail for My Heart” by themselves.

“December Will Be Magic Again,” Kate Bush
Filled with every ounce of pomp that you would expect from a Kate Bush Christmas song.

“Christmastime,” Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
Mann just did a version of this on her latest Christmas album, but the duet with hubby Penn (it originally appeared on Just Say Noel) is the one to look for.

“O Come All Ye Faithful,” Twisted Sister
Yes, I scoffed at the idea too, until I realized how much it fit the arrangement for “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” the band’s big hit. At that point, I couldn’t stop laughing.

“Thanks for Christmas,” XTC
Brainiac Andy Partridge keeps it simple and sweet, for a change. Funny to think this is the man that would write “Dear God” a few years later.

“Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” the Cast of “South Park”
Not to be played in front of the kids, unless you’re okay with them singing, “Jews, play stupid games / Jews, that’s why they’re lame.”

“Donde Esta Santa Claus?,” Guster
Even the Jewish kids get in on the hot Santa action.

“Twelve Days of Christmas,” Bob & Doug McKenzie
Heh heh, drunks are funny.

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Medley,” Barenaked Ladies w/ Sarah McLachlan
As long as you have this, you can skip BNL’s Christmas album entirely. And Sarah McLachlan makes everything better, doesn’t she? She’s like caramel sauce: sweet and delicious.

“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight),” the Ramones
You know that Joey Ramone was Jewish, right? Just making sure.

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” Whirling Dervishes
It’s far too short, covering only the first two verses and a few choice one-liners, but it’s still tons of fun. This one will probably require a trip to Half or eBay, sorry.

“Blue Christmas,” Collective Soul
One of my wife’s all-time favorites, which is saying something since Collective Soul is otherwise verboten in the Medsker household. But their Elvis-style rave-up of “Blue Christmas” is truly special.

He spends his money on drugs

Ah, Lou Reed. This is when Lou was bleached blonde and giving great interviews to the Australian press about how he didn’t take drugs but spent all his money on them. I wish he was still like this. Drugs were good for you, Lou.

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