Success measure by excess: Christmas? Skiing in the Alps! Summer? Caribbean nights! Ice of Neptune pounds out the beat with “On Sale,” a rocker of a diatribe ‘gainst capitalism. Eat the rich (foods).
Also fronting, the protagonist of Glenn Frey’s “Big Life” claims: Right now we’re flying over some land I own–Yeh, that’s Aspen right down there; I go skiing there at Christmas time With Don and Jack and Cher. Bouncy pop with an edge.
Juliet Lyons is not as impressed: All my friends, they love getting big gifts: Starting out in June they’re dreaming long lists, Designer clothes, a skiing trip… But in the jazzy pop of “You’re My Christmas” she only wants you. Period.
Kicking off with a ‘Better Off Dead’ sound bite, “Ski Slope” from Cute Aesthetics mines the bebop walk beat of ’80s attitude movies for a never-ending stroll down wintery lane.
Patient Corgi fuses ’80s electronic action movie soundtrack with primal rhythms for “Ski or Die.” It slaps.
“Bikini Skiing” seems to be about dating, or at least getting past third base, on the alpine decline. Waterlaso threads getting hot and heavy around a rather insistent alt-rock beat. Might as well dance.
Chad Mitchell trio folk-spins the tale of “Super Skier.” While a parody (of The Kingston Trio’s “M.T.A“) spoofing the pop folk iconoclasm of the time (1961), this grisly saga is too upbeat to believe. (Bob Gibson’s gory sequel–to ‘Battle Humn of the Republic’–“Super Skier’s Last Race” might be ironic. Oh heck, his album Ski Songs is worth a whirl.)
Skiing (my favorite word with a double i) probably predates skating. But like most cool European inventions, it may have originated in China (i’m looking at you, notebooks of daVinci). This is not a backyard/neighborhood activity, like sledding. You won’t see Charlie Brown schussing in the cartoons. Which means… these songs don’t exactly spring out of the snowbank. I ask you to make some allowances.
Perhaps you’re familiar with “It Happened in Sun Valley,” a lovers’ meet-cute on the Idahoan slopes originated by the Glen Miller Band (feat. Paula Kelly, Ray Eberle, Tex Beneke and The Modernaires) from the motion picture ‘Sun Valley Serenade.’ For all that, it comes off as the documentarian or forensic analysis of some rom-com. South Park does an irreverent big band update.
To help pad my month of interesting Xmas/wintertime tunes, i may finally stoop to lyric-less instrumentals–provided they got class out the ass. F’rexample, Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani’s “Holiday On Skis” is just the right blend of electric jazz guitar and batch’ pad cool.
The novelty gold comes from R. Wyly with poor sound and VHS striations: the wry funky folk of “Skiing for Jesus.” Xmas adjacent.
Tanya Rivera doesn’t want you to break her “Candy Cane Heart.” So, her pop music instructions include drinking, skating, and dating. Then, love. By the book.
“The New Ice Skates” carry her away. He knows she’s leaving so, at least in the Faint Lights alt folk song, buys her a mode of transpo. For when it’s cold enough.
Joni Mitchell’s second most covered song is the anti-Christmas folk mopery “River.” She wishes she had a river she could skate away on… See ya! (Okay, beautiful song, beautifully sung–but, wotta bummer.)
The Easy Button picture a picture postcard when you are skating across the lake and on the frozen streets. I picture infrastructure failure. But “It’s Christmas Time!” is energizing rock/pop, so let’s delude ourselves.
Showing off a few English language traits, David Cavada uses mystical pop with his hoarse vocals to craft a “Christmas Present.” I got: everything is fine. And snowman getting a smile. Not sure about the skating.
Rane has “(No Need for a) Snowy Christmas” because he has ice skating. Not sure how that works, but the folk-pop insistency convinces me he’s on the level.
Megan and Shane update an old Bing toon-a-noodle-hoo into bluegrass rockabilly fun: “White World of Winter.” Falling in love hard, you might split your noggin on a toboggan.
Canadian bro and sis team Love Note to Dexter impress with their certain uncertainty in “We are the Wreath.” This ode to Xmas includes toboggans, and a rainbow of colorful doodads, and a Nativity. Weird and wild folk.
Love Note to Dexter again with “Anthem for the Big Christmas Brawl.” More wild poeticizing: And toboggans they rise From the grave of that guy Who invented sleds in the first place puts this folk drug trip into first place.