Thursday, December 23, 2021

Be a Santa, Part 10

Track 34
Christmas at the Airport, Nick Lowe (2013)

Nick Lowe
Around the time I left for college in the late '70s there were some big changes taking place in the American rock music scene. I'd been into the whole California soft rock scene (CSN and CSNY, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Steely Dan); I loved the Beatles, the Stones and David Bowie; I was crazy about Motown and all kinds of R&B  hell, I was even getting into disco. I had a couple of shows on our college radio station and hung around with other folks who were big into music and what was really capturing the attention of my edgier friends was the punk, new wave and power pop stuff that was coming out of London and New York  The Clash, Elvis Costello, The Police, Talking Heads … and British rocker Nick Lowe, for example. 

Lowe earned his chops on the London pub scene in the early to mid '70s as a member of the band Brinsley Schwarz. After leaving that band in 1975, Lowe played with Rockpile with Dave Edmunds, recorded a number of well-received solo albums and produced records by such artists as Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and the Rumour and The Damned. He was a prolific songwriter during this period, writing or so-writing such hits as "So It Goes," "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass," "Cruel to Be Kind," and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding." Lowe's version of "Cruel to be Kind" made it all the way to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979, and his singles "Crackin' Up" and "Switchboard Susan" were also big hits. 

Although he released a string of fine records over the next 30 years, Lowe wasn't able to match the success he enjoyed in the late 1970s. To be honest, I sort of lost track of Nick Lowe until 2013, when he released a terrific holiday album called Quality Street:  A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, which record I'm happy to say was noted in this blog. David Letterman had Lowe on the Late Show in December 2013, and we reported on that here, too. For some reason, however, I've never included anything from Quality Street on my previous mixes. I'm happy to remedy that oversight this year by featuring "Christmas at the Airport."

Track 33
Rudolph (You Don't Have to Put on the Red Light), mojochronic (2010)

I found this little number in a file on my computer marked "Holiday Mashups," where it's been sitting for about ten years. I can't say I know a whole lot about mojochronic, but from what I can tell it's a person or group of people who combine two or more individual tracks into surprising and not-quite-discordant mashups. The two songs mashed together here, of course, are Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Roxanne, by The Police. The common element is that Rudolph's nose is red and Roxanne, a prostitute, likely plies her trade in a red-light district. I'm not sure there's very much more that needs to be said about this one, other than the fact that the video does a great job of cutting up the classic 1964 Rankin Bass television special to track to the beat of The Police. Enjoy.

Track 32
St. Nicolas, Filobin (1978)

This is another track I've had on my computer for quite a while but haven't found the right spot for until now. Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of information about this track. All I can really report is that Filobin is the stage name of Guy Philobin, a French animator and musical clown who released this holiday single in 1978 with a B-side titled "The Toys of a Wise Child." It's a cute little number, and I remember just enough of my high school French to be able get a rough gist of what the guy's saying.

Only three more tracks to review, and I'm hoping to post something on them around the same time Santa finishes his Christmas Eve deliveries in France tomorrow night!

No comments:

Post a Comment