Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I really don't much care for "modern" makeovers of American holiday classics, but this one caught my ear. Many such recordings feature warbling divas trying to out-warble each other -- much like the endless "improvements" on the national anthem.

When I first heard it -- without knowing a thing about Zee Avi -- I thought that she must be Russian and had given it a traditional Russian folk arrangement -- a sort of "Those Were Days My Friend" lilt. I also thought I could hear Bertold Brecht's "Three Penny Opera."

Do you have any favorite re-recordings of Christmas classics?
added: Sort of the flipside of Zee Avi's mood elevator is Fiona Apple's latest screed:


Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Don't know if this qualifies, but we have a Chris Isaak Christmas album that's one of my favorite things.

AprilApple said...

Chris Isaak is perfection.

Like the version of Frosty.

While searching for a holiday re-make that I like, I found this.

Political Correctness and SJW
Well done.

AprilApple said...

Future Loop Foundation w/Vic Damone - Winter Wonderland

chickelit said...

@Fruitbat: Do you have a favorite from that album?

@AprilApple: Love it! I can hear Ian Curtiss and Joy Division in that version!

AprilApple said...

Fiona Apple - big nobody. These celebrities who think their opinions matter. Fuck off.

chickelit said...

I could almost chuckle over that Fiona Apple piece until the very end when you know that she's dead serious. What and ugly, ugly thing. She makes me want to be mean to her.

Sixty Grit said...

I have posted this one before, but it is a long time favorite of mine. Not exactly a Christmas song, mind you, but it's a catchy tune.

deborah said...

Thanks, chick! Never heard of Avi...that's an interesting interpretation of Frosty.

William said...

Bing Crosby hasn't aged well, especially in comparison to Frank Sinatra. That said, his White Christmas is the preeminent Christmas song of all time.......Fiona Apple is an also ran. When I want to be outraged, my singer of choice is Madonna. You've got to hand it to Madonna. Every year for the past thirty years she has come up with new ways to be annoying. I used to look forward to her becoming a has been, but it never happened. Still irritating and still here.

Christy said...

William, "Madonna don't preach" is the earworm in my head today.

rcommal said...

OT, but can I give out a shout-out about President-elect Trump's very interesting choice of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as Ambassador to China? I know that there are a number of voices out there who appear to be a bit taken aback by the selection, but I think there's a lot of potential there and that it's a pretty inspired pick. Of course, we'll have to see how things go, as always.

(Branstad was governor of Iowa when we first moved there, and, of course, ran again and won the office in 2010--during which election, in the interest of disclosure, both my husband and I supported him in both the primary and the general.)

Although not well known, I mean generally speaking, outside of Iowa until now, it was well known within the state that Branstad had long-term contacts within China and access that many American officials could not gain there. Also known within the state was Chinese President Xi Jinping's ties to Muscatine dating back 30 years. So it will be interesting to me to see how this all plays out in the event.

Muscatine, Iowa is not that far, in Iowa terms anyway, from where we lived in the Quad Cities, and in fact my husband commuted to just outside of it throughout our early years in Iowa, to which we had moved after he was head-hunted to run process-control design for a from-the-ground-up steel plant startup. In addition to the ag in the area, which why Xi Jinping first ended up the area, it also had a varied industry and manufacturing base. (A next-door neighbor and close friend worked for a large office equipment firm in Muscatine for years and years, too.) I was there pretty regularly, too, in later years because of various homeschooling activities and groups (and a memorable sock-knitting class I took at a shop adjoining a coffee shop at which I ended up meeting the Gingrich's during a campaign stop in last election season in Iowa before we moved back East). It's an interesting place, because it brings together a lot of what Iowa is "about" in one area, at least from my perspective during many years we lived in that state. And it's fun to think about the implications of that being the area in Iowa with which the Chinese president is especially familiar.

Anyway, just some thoughts, Chickelit, that I thought you might find interesting.

Hope everyone's having a good holiday season.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

No favorite. They're all great.

But "Brightest Star" makes me cry.