Today’s track is from Tori Amos and it’s from her 2009 Christmas album, Midwinter Graces. I chose “Holly Ivy and Rose/Snow Angel,” a live performance from her tour with Dutch Metropole Orchestra.
While I’m not as obsessed as some, believe me, I have seen Tori live about a dozen times; she can pretty much be counted on to deliver a solid show. She’s been known to engage with the audience throughout her career; and one of the nice surprises of a live Tori Amos show is hearing her do an improv on the spot about whatever’s on her mind that day.
At the beginning of this video from the Amsterdam show, she sings a brief improv in support of her tour mates, the Metropole Orchestra, who were at risk of losing their funding from the Dutch government. They were subsequently provided funding until 2017, so, happily, the music played on.
Anyway, let’s get on with it – here’s “Holly Ivy and Rose/Snow Angel.”
This is another oldie but goodie – Andy Williams with his 1960s hipster groove, singing “Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season.” – Here’s a version (with his brothers) that was on his Christmas special in 1964. Andy Williams recorded 44 albums and sold over 100 million records during his career.
Today’s entry on the calendar is “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews Band. I haven’t followed Dave Matthews Band in years, but I really liked their first few albums & always appreciated this track.
The studio version as found on Remember Two Things (1993) has a nice little bonus song tacked onto the end after about 8 minutes of silence. The version below is a live acoustic version with Tim Reynolds from 2009.
Starting sometime in the mid/late 1990s, the ProTools people at Digidesign (now Avid), would press a Holiday CD with songs created by employees and distribute the CD internally within the company. I think the last one was released in 2007. It was always was fun to listen to the tracks and see what kind of songs the Digi crew cooked up in a particular year. Songs would range from faithful renditions of the classics to avant-garde noise tracks and pretty much everything in between.
The 2003 Digidesign Holiday Album, entitled A Silent Night at the Opera, contains what I consider to be one of the best tracks of all the Digidesign holiday releases, “Christmas Rhapsody” by Pledge Drive. Readers familiar with the Queen catalog may have already been able to infer that “Christmas Rhapsody” is indeed, a parody of Queen’s operatic masterwork, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and a brilliant one at that. It’s a classic in our household, for sure.
Fortunately, Pledge Drive has made this track available for your downloading pleasure – follow the link to download the mp3 and to view the lyrics.
“I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day” is one of my favorite traditional carols. The lyrics are based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that was written during the U.S. Civil War.
Here’s a nice rendition by Pedro The Lion:
Some years our Christmastimes are wonderful and sometimes they are the worst; in either case, there is just as much to be pensive and thoughtful about as there is to be excited and distracted by during this time of year. When we are young we are rarely burdened by the sense of what we lack in our annual Christmas festivities, but as we collect another holiday season or twenty for our scrapbooks, we see how time changes things. I feel the Ghosts of Christmas Past accumulate, and their presence becomes more felt with each passing year. Today’s song evokes the deeper, more somber feelings of the season for me and it’s a good counterpoint to Sir Paul’s vision of a wonderful Christmas time.
Today’s song is by Sufjan Stevens, “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!” from his 2006 box set, Songs for Christmas.
Yesterday was the last day of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. The price of procrastination was a huge crowd and an inability to see this fantastic show a second time. Non-flash photography was permitted, so here’s some shots I took at the show 🙂