Tommy Tune

As we wind down the month, i must admit to locating many musicals that have no published soundtracks. I had no intention of invoking their specters. But, for the Hanukkah special i had to reference with what little was at hand.

For example, ‘Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins’ piques our interest with its title. It’s a children’s picture book that got adapted by Z Puppets Rosenschnoz. Check out the advert. And a home movie of a production in which the trickster fools the monsters with overcomplicated religious practices. “There is Something Wrong Here” makes a nice somber intro. “O Hershel, Beware of Goblins” is a fine pep talk for the wandering jester figure. “We Hate Hanukkah” is fairly cute for the Goblin chorus kick line.

Now Adam Sandler doesn’t get a pass in my house. He has to earn titles like ‘funnyman.’ So, i rewatch Eight Crazy Nights and i tip the hat. “Davey’s Song” is such a blend of jolly tune and self loathing, it gets me every time. What i dig the most is the casual plot turns put into song, like in “Long Ago” and “Bum Biddy.” Good stuff. There’s even a catchy tune in there: “Technical Foul.” Earworm!

A Hanukkah Carol, or GELT TRIP! The Musical is the (finally) cultural cross-over of Dickens and The Chosen people. Narcissistic influencer Chava Kanipshin overdoses on pot (Marley reference) and envisions her life through a humanistic lens. Can’t get a full soundtrack here either, but the “Trailer” is fun. The message song “A Light in the Night” has a nice beat, but the schmaltz is too slippery. “The Present is a Gift” is much more clever. I’d see it.

Christmas Countdown: 7 hours/days

Overspending and spending 7 shitty hours on a bus to my hometown, Girlfriend Material whines altrock about “Xmas Specials.” All this joy sucks. I mean, is that all there is?

Chris McParland has only “Seven Days to Christmas.” Two problems for this ukulele pop serenade: the wife’s list is interminable, and he’s too drunk to shop. Maybe he’ll take her to the pub and buy her drinks….

Happy Accident has got the existential blues, but in the garage pop of “The Days” we take it back to When Christmas evening it took 7 days. Those were the days.

The Chosen Girls (feat. Madisynn) enjoy “Spending Christmas With My Baby” because with Only seven days to Christmas My baby he with me, Spending quality time treating me like a queen. Then there’s six, then five, four, etc. And he’s still a treat. Hypnotic soul.

When you’re WITHOUT that baby, however, you count differently: It’s only seven days ’til Christmas, Six more ’til New Year’s Day; It’s not a good time to feel this way. Hurts sings “All I Want for Christmas is New Year’s Day” with boy band slickness.

In Time for Christmas” measures the 7 days since he saw you. But Find Me continues the boy band flavor for a second helping of cheesy pop.

More happy slave music from Harry Connick Jr. See “The Happy Elf” says, Seven days a week, Ev’ry week of the month, And ev’ry month of the year, He’s got us making presents; And I’m happy! Big band showtune from ‘Harry for the Holidays’ perpetuates the stereotype of the made-for-labor Santa’s helper.

A lovely personal scene from Blackaby about “Last Year’s Christmas Tree.” Everyone’s there. Caroline’s special Gin, But Terry’s not joining in this year–Dry for seven days. Smooth single malt pop.

Even more personal is Leek Mali’s “Christmas Lockup.” In his 6 by 8 he’s rapping alone. No one else is there. In fact I hit Ms. Lela, she ain’t smoked a jay in seven days. So, not as merry. But only a minute and a half.

The Listies mock ’12 Days’ with their “7 Days of Christmas.” Australian gross kid humor is lost in translation for me. Hope you cope.

The Press help out with actual rocking involving nights. “Seven Nights of Chanukah” starts arguments over which food, games, calendaring, and the actual number of nights are appropriate. It’s a boss happening mystery.

Christmas Countdown: 1991

I’m leaving you todayChristmas Morning 1991” gushes Guts Crew Records with ukulele abandon in an attempt to garage band the breakup. Works for me.

Zach Sherwin jew-raps “Pop Music” judging his fatherless musical upbringing and exposure (BLUE ALERT excerpt from Naughty by Nature–which was a Hanukkah 1991 gift). It culminates in a rap battle much later. Regular Disney underdawg that boy.

X-claim: hey (pt. 4)

Christmas may be largely reverent. No exclamations are countenanced at Midnight Mass. But Hanukkah… well, let’s see.

Hey! It’s Hanukkah!” is the Jewish Wedding Band’s klezmer party anthem that will get you shouting.

Hey, Little Dreidel” from Brave Combo also whirligig old world music into funzapoppin’ times.

Geeta Brothers hail us in Punjabi with “Hey Hanukkah” as well. Uh oh, that’s not enough.

Well, well, uhh, Pajamarama kid bops “Hey Ho Hey Holiday” for the non-denominational. Uhm, erm….

The surprising funk of the uncredited “Hey Now” from ‘Hanna Barbera’s Christmas Sing-a-long’ HARDLY mentions Mr. Christ’s Big Day. So, we’ll include that.

Let’s end where we knew we would, full-on Xmas mode. “Hey Now (Merry Christmas)” rocks hard and merely repeats the title on occasion. Since the C-word is parenthetical (and since Watch Out for Rockets is so cool) we’ll end this day’s offering thusly.

Chanukah Lights

It’s not a contest, but Hanukkah started using lights first to celebrate late December. Maybe not the most songs about it, though.

Eli Goldstein rocks the pop with “Night of Light.” It’s heavy, regardless of the rap solo, because you know ritual, reverence, history.

More Jewish rap? “Light Your Lights” by T-Chai (feat. Rihanniwitz) relies on a backdrop of Oy-vey-ee-yay-ee-yay. More for the youth group than the elders.

The ’05 cast of ‘Wicked’ gets into the candlecraft with “The Chanukah Song (We are Lights).” A traditional celebration orchestrated for the whole stage. Wotta production.

Hasidic breakdown from 8th Day in their boy band jumper “Miracle of Light.” Huh?

Ari Goldberg leans into the bouncy pop of “Hanukkah Light.” It’s uplifting, which just seems weird for that holiday.

ël-No, the sixth

There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation why there’s no Christmas. Mayhap you’re Jewish. QED.

Its The Real unfortunately backbeats their rap “Christmas Missed Us” with McCartney’s ‘Wonderful’ to ream Santa’s anti-semitism.

An acceptable Mariah Carey parody from Momjo (Liat and Carolina) “You Don’t Get No Christmas” is fun and educational, too.

Xmas Tech Support: Wikipedia

Whereas if you use Google you get ads; if you use Wikipedia to research you get whatever fabrication it amused the last contributer to append.

Worth repeating are Bill & Sam’s “Kwanzaa Song” just to teach you the evils of the computers and leisure time.

“Wikipedia Chanukah” samples Leonard Nimoy for Jonathan Coulton’s own comedic means to explain the history of this Jewish holiday. It adds his usual puckish electronica for full play. Not a song. But hella fun.

Xmas Tech Support: technicolor

The Twentieth Century begins with tweaking and developing the great inventions of the last century. Hence we jump ahead a few years. Adding color to motion pictures begins in the 1910s, but Technicolor (as a trademark) takes another decade.

Tommy & The Greyhounds are actually emphasizing something culturally significant in “It’s a Technicolor Christmas When You’re Jewish.” See, the cinemas are more empty on the 25th of December and some (chosen) people get them all to themselves. Ragtime folk fun.

And a Party in a Pear Tree: Kosher time

You can have a Hanukkah party, right? They don’t just sit shiva, they get out the candles and get lit, amiright?

First off, let’s allow for a non-offensive/generic “Holiday Party Song.” Eugenegenay gets abstruse with steel drum soul. And God gets a shout out, but which one?

Earle Monroe gets instructive with cooking rock in “Ultimate Holiday Party Song.” His inclusivity gets a little pointed, but it’s all in good שַׁעֲשׁוּעַ.


Welcome to the Millennium. In 2006 Bobby Henderson wrote a book satirizing religion (and perhaps science) as being a bunch of post hoc ergo propter hoc. In The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster our new theory that a pasta based entity created all allows that disproving is harder than proving (see ‘Russell’s teapot‘). This oddness became the new freak flag for hipsters to wave, since they liked the beer-drinking, pirate-talking, colander-wearing nonsense it promoted. Have you been touched by His noodly appendage?

Patrick Rebun and friends (The Oufs) gives us our best introduction “Flying Spaghetti Monster” with appropriate grunge.

This belief-system is wide ranging (shoutouts on South Park, Futurama, and a CNN segment), so it has many holidays–not just a 12/25 translation. (Which would be “Noodlemas.”)

But gospel inventions include “Amazing Taste” by the Pastafarian Gospel Choir invading the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. Can i get a Ramen! [Herein is the reason for the religion: to insert itself among the established rites that waste the time of our culture–heck, i ‘member doing that with other younguns who touted Oy Danky Goo as belief in everything and nothing.] Also comes the so-called Spaghetti Monster hisself with a “Pastafarianism Hymn.” Devotion of the ocean!

Time for the ‘caroldies’: “O Noodly Night” from Dogeyed Welders is pretty and charitable. Funny.

Barlow has a labor of love: “Carol of the Bells (FSM version).” These adherents go all out for their anti-identity.

[Ed. note: the Invisible Pink Unicorn competes for this demographic, but currently has no cool holiday carols.]