Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Christmas

A Christmas present to you: one of the best Christmas albums I have ever come across A Clancy Brothers Christmas. God knows why this is not in print! I cannot believe that it would not be immensely popular. The Clancy Brothers drift easily between drinking songs to songs about Our Blessed Mother, songs with hoots and hollers to songs sung in Latin (a sign of a well rounded culture as my friend pointed out).

Here are the lyrics to Christmas in Carrick courtesy of Recta Ratio

On the road the frost is glistening.
People stream from Midnight Mass.
Friendly candles glow in windows.
Strangers greet you as you pass.
Home then to the laden table;
Ham and goose and pints of beer,
Whisky handed 'round in tumblers,
Christmas comes but once a year!

Puddings made with eggs and treacle,
Seeded raisins and ground suet,
Sated breadcrumbs and mixed spices,
Grated rind and plenty fruit,
Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg,
Porter, brandy, and old ale.
Don't forget the wine and whisky!
Christmas comes but once a year!

Women fussing in the kitchen,
Lay the food on every plate.
Men impatient in the hallway,
Guinness and porter while we wait.
Who cares if we work tomorrow?
Now's the time to spread good cheer!
Pass the punch around the table!
Christmas comes but once a year!

Click here for the download of the whole album

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Top (Five) Records of 2006

Here are my picks from the records I bought which came out this year.

1. The Aggrolites; Self Titled.

The Aggrolites started out as a backing band of Derrick Morgan. This is one of the greatest Reggae albums of all time as far as I am concerned. It is the Aggrolite's second album and it is jam packed with tracks that will no doubt go down as classics. They are already working on a third record due out in May 2007.

2. Midlake; The Trials of Van Occupanther.

A bit Grandaddy, a bit Radiohead, a bit 1970's folk pop. Whatever they have done it turned out to be a most incredible album that I can recommend without hesitation.

3. Portastatic; Be Still Please.

I have to admit that I buy everything Portastatic puts out and that this record lacks the "umph" of Bright Ideas. Despite this it still is an insanely good set of songs from Mac & Co.

4. Yo La Tengo; I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.

Yo La Tengo has been making records since the mid 80's and you think by now their stuff would be getting a bit disappointing or repetitious but no. I Am Not Afraid is one of my favorite Tengo albums to date. My favorite track is Black Flowers. Here is an MP3 of another good poppy one, Beanbag Chair.

5. The Robot Ate Me; Good World.

This is so good. Really strange eerie yet peppy music sung in a super-high falsetto backed with clunks and clinks and toy-instrument type sounds. A lot different than the geek-pop of Carousel Waltz (which I also loved). Check out the track Djien how can you not love this?

OK that is all for now.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Taruithorn Singers

I found this randomly off of a some Russian file-sharing website. A CD of music from the Oxford Tolkien Society.

Wow, this is great, you need to download and listen to the whole thing. It is a bunch of Tolkien geeks sitting around singing songs about trolls, goblins, hobbits and the like, REALLY REALLY GREAT STUFF. 100% gegak. It has some good musicianship and some excellent playing mixed in with some use of an electronic keyboard. CLASSIC! I cant tell you, this is one of my favorite all time records.

click here to download the whole blessed thing.

Look at these guys at work: