Confession: I’m a Christmas music fanatic. Actually, that’s not much of a confession, as anyone who knows me knows this all too well. My Christmas card for the last 11 years has been a mix CD called Santapalooza, which is also the name of my Christmas music twitter feed, where I highlight much of the best new Christmas music to be found (usually for free) in stores and online these days (Nick Lowe’s Quality Street gets my pick for best new holiday album of 2013).
Like with most Christmas music fans (I’m not alone out there), I’m always on the lookout for new holiday hits that are new, unique, fun, peppy and yet still capture the spirit of the season, just right, and in my constant search this year, I’ve found these nuggets that not only fill those requirements, but also pay tribute to my other great love in life: the movies.
Christmas music and movies have proven to be a most perfect partnership, considering that it’s brought us three of the greatest songs – Christmas or otherwise – ever written: “White Christmas” (of course) from Holiday Inn; “Silver Bells” from the very good Bob Hope comedy The Lemon Drop Kid; and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from the classic Meet Me in St. Louis. Yes, there are plenty of other good ones and some downright terrible ones (I’m looking at you, “Where Are You Christmas?”), but when a holiday song in a movie gets it right, it’s kind of magical.
But even more so, when a song is able to point out how great this union can be, that’s pretty great in its own right, and my Santa hat’s off to NYC singer/songwriter Ian McGlynn and his new holiday single “Our Favorite Christmas Movie.”
The song appears on McGlynn’s six-song EP North Pole Vault (available for sale on iTunes or McGlynn’s website or as a free sampler at Noisetrade) and it really nails how the love and magic of holiday movies can accentuate the season. The video also does a perfect job of showcasing how much holiday movies can mean to us at this time of year, and kudos to whomever cut the video for some ideally selected clips (I’m assuming they’re all cleared) that makes you want to watch them all again.
One of the Christmas movies not featured in McGlynn’s video is, of course, Home Alone, but not to worry, as that John Hughes favorite gets its own song (and accompanying video) courtesy of NYC comedy troupe The Gregory Brothers, who manage to recount the entire movie in under three minutes, all to the tune of John William’s great score. It’s pretty funny and it also serves as a reminder that Home Alone is a pretty twisted movie when you think about it. “Home Alone: The Song” is also available for free at Noisetrade:
And before we bid Christmas 2013 farewell, I can’t let this pass without mentioning Vancouver filmmaker Mitch Kezin’s upcoming documentary Jingle Bell Rocks!, which tells the history of Christmas music and the fan base that can’t get enough of it (no, I’m not in it). The film is actually available to stream in Canada, but U.S. viewers will have to wait until next year as it locks down U.S. distribution. Looks like I have something to look forward to for next year. Merry Christmas!
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