A lot of people like a lot of Christmas music. I don’t. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have some favorites, though.
My very favorite holiday tune, and the first one I can ever remember, is Darlene Love’s take on Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). The original is still a transcendent, hair raising recording over 50 years later.
Credit must also go to Phil Specter’s wall of sound production and the bouncy rhythm section that makes the song just go, go, go. It seems to accelerate as it unfolds, bursting with an energy most holiday songs would wilt under. It’s a joy to hear every single year.
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a couple examples of Love’s annual Late Show appearances, where she’s performed the song since 1986.
Here’s a slinky hit from my teenage years, with a video that felt uncomfortable, sexy, and powerful. I was 14 when it appeared on MTV, unable to appreciate what was happening. It was unshakable anyway.
Check out Toni Braxton’s 1996 single, You’re Makin’ Me High.
Some of my favorite songs hurt too much to listen to very often. They send me plunging into those forlorn corners of memory that I spend most days avoiding. I try to remember these songs, play them, and appreciate what happens when I open the flood gates to total despair.
This is the first time I’ve brought politics onto the site, but in light of recent news, it feels appropriate. The song asks an eternally relevant question that we seem to have collectively forgotten the answer to.
Here’s legendary English punk band The Fall, asking Who Makes The Nazis?
I was cleaning out my closet when I came upon a carefully folded envelope with a two page letter inside. It was a “goodbye” letter from my mom, given to me a year before she died. I was moving across the country and she wanted to give me some encouragement. In the wake of her death three years ago, it reads with a little more gravity.
I’ll spare you the details of her letter, the hot tears hitting the paper, and the way I crumpled on the floor as I read it. The most important thing is that her words resonate even stronger now. I’m finally at a point in life where I feel confident that I’m a positive force for other people, that I’m self sufficient, and that I’m a decent person. Maybe even a good person.
I haven’t listened to footwork this bracing since the first time I heard DJ Rashad.
That thought ran through my head mere minutes into this incredible set by DJ Paypal, the brief but incredibly energetic Sold Out. If you’re familiar with the Rashad and the wider genre at all, you’ll know how bold of a statement this is.
When I saw the name Gr◯un土 on a list of recently released albums, my first thought was to pass right on by. After all, there are countless indistinct artists with unpronounceable ascii-fun names. Then I saw the cover art and was intrigued. Something called to me. I found a stream of Vodunizm and a smile immediately crept across my face.