31 December 2012

31 December 2012 - Karmin - Crash Your Party

I suppose it doesn't surprise too many of you that my pick for Album of the Year would have been Hello by Karmin if it had more than seven songs.  If maybe they had slid this song on the album, I'd feel better about that choice.

I cannot say enough good about these two.  I don't really give a damn what Gawker says about them. Frankly, this post was our third biggest of 2012 - and with this link, I'm pretty sure it'll jump to 2nd.  So.... well, someone likes this white-girl rap.  Count me among that someone.  They're fun, they're musically sound, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying them.

As far as this song, a late-2011 release, it's fun, it's different, and the video is pretty cool.  I really wish they'd re-release this as a single.

I'm a little irked they didn't get a Best New Artist Grammy nomination, but I guess we can't everything....



Thank you for reading this little blog in 2012.  We'll be back next year with more - but probably not quite so much Karmin.

28 December 2012

28 December 2012 - Silverchair - Anthem for the Year 2000

Silverchair were - are? They haven't made their breakup clear - an Australian band of kids - they formed in 1992, when they were 12 - that sound a lot like Pearl Jam.  That doesn't mean they don't have some fun songs.

This song isn't fun.  It's angry and energetic and was woefully under-appreciated in 1999, when it was released.  It's a heavy, anthemic song that should have garnered more attention for the band.  Instead, it was a middling hit on the mainstream charts in the US, and a minor hit elsewhere.  But I didn't forget either the song or the adventurous video!

27 December 2012

27 December 2012 - Phillip Phillips - Home

Ahhh back to the guilty pleasure goodness after a month of holiday cheer...

It's funny how most of my Wicked Guilty Pleasure posts come to me during commercial breaks on the country radio stations I listen to in my truck. Much like Peyton Manning with all of his checkdowns, when the commercials come on I go to the alt rock station, then the indie station, the pop station and finally the AAA station looking for my best option. I recently scored a touchdown (so to speak) when I heard today's song on the AAA station. Oddly enough, I first thought I was hearing a song off of the new Mumford and Sons disc (which I still haven't picked up yet). To my surprise the DJ actually announced who it was -- 2012 American Idol champ Phillip Phillips. Considering how many records I own by former contestants (and yes, I did pick Phillips' fantastic debut) I should really start watching the show. Come to think of it, maybe not. I don't think I could actually put up with Mariah and Nicki.

26 December 2012

26 December 2012 - Cher Lloyd - Want U Back

I didn't think the Christmas season would be so hard to fill with music. But, especially with guilty pleasures like this, it's easy to get back to it.

Cher Lloyd lost to One Direction on the X Factor, and thus far, she hasn't had the huge hits those five boys have.  She has had this - a bubbly, angry, hip-hop fusion.  She doesn't look as bad-ass as she really is.  This video was made for the US audience, and I hope you enjoy it.



While the US video is fun and bubbly and angry, the UK version of the video, where Cher is moving around in still pictures, is much cooler looking. Plus, there's a hip hop guest star that you've never heard of, to increase the street sensibility.... Nah, just kidding.  But enjoy!



UPDATE: I found a live acoustic version of the song that has a completely different feel.  No "Ugh!" or sounding like a helicopter, though.



UPDATE: (28 August 2013)  We found this epic version of the song, a live duet with the unmistakably tall Taylor Swift on 19 August, 2013, and had to share it.  Enjoy.

21 December 2012

21 December 2012 - Billy Squier - Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You

It was 1981.  MTV had just hit the airwaves.  The network turned to a big star of their early days to bring out a rock 'n' roll Christmas song.

The result? A mildly rockin', good feeling Christmas tune that really fit the season.  With Martha Quinn and Nina Blackwood on background vocals! It's cheesy, yes, but it's warm and fun and different.

And seriously.  Check out Martha Quinn's dancing.  Appalling.

20 December 2012

20 December 2012 - Jill Sobule - Merry Christmas from the Family

Looks like this is my last scheduled Holiday post here at Wicked Guilty Pleasures. Figured I might as well go out with a laugh. Here's the wonderful Jill Sobule playing the Robert Earl Keen classic Merry Christmas from the Family. Hope y'all have a great Christmas.

18 December 2012

18 December 2012 - The Pogues (featuring Kirsty MacColl) - Fairytale of New York

When Tony and I came up with the idea of posting Christmas videos here all month we had to come up with some ground rules. This mostly consisted of calling "dibs" on certain songs. Tony already knew what song I wanted to claim and graciously let me do "the Fairytale post." I'm a huge fan of The Pogues. But I'm even bigger fan of Kirsty MacColl, who was sadly taken away from us 12 years ago today. Fairytale of New York isn't just my favorite Christmas song, it's one of my all-time favorite songs any time of the year.

17 December 2012

17 December 2012 - Amy Grant & Vince Gill - Tennessee Christmas

Y'all know I love Amy Grant.  This song is from her first Christmas album - she's done at least two - but this version is done with her then-future husband Vince Gill.  It's simple, beautiful.... and not Bible-thumping.  Enjoy it.

14 December 2012

14 December 2012 - Lucille Ball - We Need A Little Christmas

This Christmas song is from the musical "Mame".  Let me give you some context.  The setting is late November, one week before Thanksgiving.  Everyone thinks Auntie Mame is nuts for wanting to decorate for Christmas.  But she deems it necessary, to raise everyone's spirits.

Now, we see Christmas stuff in stores in early September.  Who's buying this stuff?!

Anyway, as a Christmas song, this works great - it portrays the season as a real morale booster.  And it is!  And Lucy - who we all love - isn't much of a singer, but she is perfect in portraying the improving mood of this delightful song.

13 December 2012

13 December 2012 - Sunny Sweeney - One More Christmas Beer

I really don't have much to add here. This hilarious and relatable Sunny Sweeney Christmas song pretty much speaks for itself.

12 December 2012

12/12/12 - Everclear - Santa Baby / Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby

This is a song meant to be sung by a girl.

Art Alexakis is not a girl.

So why does this version work?

But it does.  It's slightly creepy, and it's still compelling and fun and brings something that others just couldn't.  Plus, it sounds great with guitar.



And, for those of you who think this version is an abomination.... here's Eartha Kitt.  She wasn't Catwoman yet, but she purrs through this song beautifully!

11 December 2012

11 December 2012 - Lady Antebellum - A Holly Jolly Christmas

Here's the ridiculously cute A Holly Jolly Christmas video from Lady Antebellum's recently released On This Winter's Night record (which I still haven't picked up -- yet). The kid in this video is freaking brilliant.

10 December 2012

10 December 2012 - Cocteau Twins - Frosty the Snowman

I've always loved Elizabeth Fraser's voice on this classic song.  It practically oozes cool.   As in, a chilly winter.  It's not QUITE as light and airy as other Cocteau Twins tunes, but it's light and airy enough.



I don't usually do this, but here is a link to download this tune yourself.  Have a nice day, and Happy Holidays!


07 December 2012

7 December 2012 - Adam Sandler - Chanukah Song

Chanukah is.... a festival of lights.  And it starts tomorrow.

Sure, he's a little schticky, but Adam Sandler certainly has an encyclopedic knowledge of famous people who are Jewish.  This song started off life as a one-off on Saturday Night Live, when he was a cast member, but it has taken on new life, for its celebration of Jewish culture.  Yes, people take this song seriously.  And really, even through it's a joke, it's also a serious assertion that Christmas isn't the only holiday happening this time of year.



Actually, Adam takes it seriously, too.  So seriously that he revisited the same joke twice more.  This is Part 2.  I'm not certain I agree that Courtney + Lenny = a funky, bad-ass Jew.



Here's Part 3.  It might be my favorite of the trilogy, if just for the cameo by Rob Schneider.



He also turned this song into an awful animated movie, called Eight Crazy Nights.  I won't insult your taste by posting anything from that.

06 December 2012

6 December 2012 - Colbie Caillat - Christmas in the Sand

This October, the always adorable Colbie Caillat released her Christmas in the Sand album. The record is a mix of original and classic Christmas songs performed in Colbie's California sunshine way. Here's the video for the title track. This is my kind of a Christmas party...the beach, Santa surfing, a bunch of elves, some cocktails and of course Colbie.

05 December 2012

5 December 2012 - A Christmas Wrapping Special

Perhaps the greatest Christmas carol ever written and recorded was released in 1981 by The Waitresses.  A tale of missed romance and mellow celebration, with a twist ending, this song brought a different slant on the season.  The title is a sly reference to the new "rapping" music style that the band was demonstrating in the song.

Sadly, they didn't actually make a video for this song.  But at least one nice family was kind enough to set their lights to the tune.



This song has been often covered. Here, The Donnas deliver the song with a much harder edge, while still retaining a lot of the original charm. We've featured The Donnas in the past on Totally Covered.  They're a lot of fun, and that shows on this song.


Not everyone should be doing a cover of this song, though.  Here's one by Carly Shay Miranda Cosgrove.  Someone born in 1993 should not be singing the line "most of '81 passed along those lines." Nevertheless, even though it is a lot poppier than the others, it's a respectable version.



Did you know that the cast of Glee did this song, too?  I'm kind of sad that I know that.



Save Ferris did a slightly different take on the song.  They rewrote it completely, and sang it from a Jewish point of view. There are some fun Hanukkah reference in this version.  See if you can catch 'em all!



I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but this is one of my favorite covers of this song.  The Spice Girls - really just Sporty and Baby Spice doing a duet - did a cover with slightly changed lyrics.  I admire the fact that they knew their audience well enough to know that cranberries are not a UK staple and they were in 1998, not 1981.  Again, this is a very poppy version, but it works, partly because of the lyric changes, and partly because their best vocalists were on it.  I reiterate the statement that I made on January 21st of this year - there are four talented women in this group (OK, three plus one marginally), plus Victoria.




04 December 2012

4 December 2012 - A Fine Frenzy - Wish You Well

OK, I know that this is a video blog site, but sadly I couldn't even find a live video of the lovely Alison Sudol (AKA A Fine Frenzy) playing Wish You Well. The song is simply too sweet not to post so just imagine someone walking in snow covered woods in quiet contemplation. Or monsters. BIG ASS SCARY FREAKIN' MONSTERS!!!

Whoa. Where did that come from? Anyway, A Fine Frenzy's Oh Blue Christmas is one of the finest Christmas cds I've bought in the past few years. So enjoy this song and then head on over to YouTube and watch some of her other videos -- Come On Come Out off her 2007 debut One Cell in the Sea is a personal favorite of mine.

03 December 2012

3 December 2012 - The Pretenders - 2000 Miles / The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - 2000 Miles

It's one of the sappiest songs The Pretenders ever did.  It's also a Christmas song....ish. It's been called "good enough to NOT be a Christmas song" because it is a song that doesn't need the holiday to make it relevant.

And Chrissie Hynde hated it.  Which is why it was only a B-side in the United States - to "Middle of the Road".  In the UK, however, it was released as a single in its own right, reaching #15 there.  And now, it's a Christmas staple.  It's a slower-paced, mournful song, written not for long-lost lovers, as it seems, but for James Honeyman-Scott, the band's original guitarist who had recently passed away, a victim of cocaine intolerance.

Update: We had to use a new video, from the show Top of The Pops. It's still the same song, though. That's what happens when musicians perform live.

This song has been frequently covered.  One recent cover I thought you'd enjoy is one done by Boston staples The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  This video contains a lot of rare footage and home movies by the band, adding to the song's legacy as a mournful look back at Christmastime.



I wanted to give you frequent readers of this blog a gift.  So, here is an uncredited (in the title of this post, anyway) third version of this song, by KT Tunstall.  She is the one who made the earlier declaration that this song was "good enough to not be a Christmas song".  And her version is absolutely beautiful, and faithful to the original.