Let’s recall that we embarked on 12 days of Christmas songs, unranked, and on the second day I premiered my new English-language lyrics for a Swedish tune that I first heard earlier this month in a concert by Harald Haugaard and Helene Blum's band. Here it is again in a remarkably fine performance by students … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Staffansvisa
A year ago, Kanye West was in the news because he had premiered a high-concept and well-publicized Christmas “opera” at Lincoln Center. I wrote about it then, and today I am bringing this earlier reflection back so that people have another chance to find it. I do this, in part, because of how interestingly this … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Kanye’s Christmas Opera
Today I want to share my favorite song from what, in my experience, ranks among the most sadly unknown and underrated records ever made: Ice Age Paradise, by Sienna Dahlen. https://siennadahlen1.bandcamp.com/track/ice-age-paradise I learned of Dahlen when I spent a semester working in Edmonton, Alberta, and hung out at the great jazz club there called Yardbird … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Ice Age Paradise
After my post for the third day of Christmas, I need a day to relax and take a little breather. We need to pace ourselves. This classic song by the great Stephin Merritt and his band the Magnetic Fields should fit the bill. Stop mumbling and cheer up! Put down the book, pick beer up! … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Everything is One Big Christmas Tree
Trigger warning! I am the sort of geek who actually cares both about schisms among subtypes within subtypes of Calvinists (Presbyterian and Congregationalist) in the antebellum US (which mattered for things like ending slavery and the ongoing curricula of US liberal arts colleges) as well as which factions of the academic left have a correct … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: “Every Star Shall Sing a Carol (new millennium peace version)”
As I announced on Christmas Eve, I decided to start a "12 days of Christmas" music experiment on this blog. One song a day, with a few comments about some of them. Not ranked. Second up is a brand new song! I wish I had time to polish the recording and add a couple … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Christmas Party!
Writing on Christmas Eve, I have decided to start a "12 days of Christmas" music experiment on this blog. One song a day, with a few comments on some of them. Not ranked. First up, in honor of the solstice that just passed, is what might be the most beautiful song I know: Björk’s … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Vökuró
Recently I asked my dentist—with whom I have made small talk about teeth and sports teams for years—how long he thought it would take his office to get back to normal in light of the COVID vaccines that are rolling out. He responded with a bitter tirade about how things might be OK fairly soon…. … Continue reading A Lament for How We Live Now