Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm Bound To Leave
This Dark Behind

























Happy New Year's Eve!

We're finishing up the Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 10 Albums of 2007 today. Wednesday, we'll list our favorite re-issues. Then it'll be back to "normal" round these parts.

Here ya go. 4 great albums (2 at #2 and 2 at #1)

The Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 10 (ish) Albums of 2007, Part 4



2. Mary Weiss: Dangerous Game

Weiss was the voice behind the best songs of The Shangri-Las. In a perfect world, that would be all you need to know. But, wait, there's more. The album was produced by Greg (Oblivian) Cartwright, and her backing band on this Norton release is Cartwright's own The Reigning Sound. Earlier this year we wrote about this album. Here's what we said:

Weiss has a voice that makes good boys squirm and nice girls say their prayers. It's been places you can only dream about, and there's kerosene in those pipes. She's still pissed, still been done wrong, and still not willing to sit back and take it. She's got what some would call an attitude problem. And we like it. Teenage riot in the adult world.

The Reigning Sound provide the perfect backdrop for Weiss' vocals. With Cartwright writing the bulk of the songs, the band layers on with organ drenched, tambourine shaking, rocknrollgaragepop. It's almost sunny, a perfect summer album for the newly broken-up and lovelorn, with a noirish heartbeat. It's as if the past 40 years were compressed, and Weiss picks up right where she left off, all rebellion and shimmering chrome.


Mary Weiss: Cry About The Radio (mp3)


Mary Weiss: Heaven Only Knows (mp3)




2. Bettye LaVette: The Scene Of The Crime

Bettye LaVette's history and troubles with the music industry are well documented. She's been wronged, fucked over, and neglected for decades. But she's back, with a big middle finger. Few Soul voices resonate with the depth of LaVette's, a lived-in, club-tested powerhouse of hurt and defiance.

The Drive-By Truckers, of all bands, provide the backing on this record, with production by the Truckers' Patterson Hood. What seems like a horrendously bad idea turns out to be a genuine masterstroke. The Truckers leave behind the Southern rock to turn in a gloriously funky and slinky take on the Muscle Shoals sound, the "scene of the crime" referenced by the album's title. Better yet is the god-kissed electric piano work of the legendary Spooner Oldham, who imbues the proceedings with the very heart of Soul.

The real star, of course, amidst all the goings-on is LaVette, who howls, growls, and purrs her way through these songs of life and redemption.

Bettye LaVette: Before The Money Came (mp3)

Bettye LaVette: I Guess We Shouldn't Talk About That Now (mp3)





1. Porter Wagoner: Wagonmaster

Porter died this year. Between the losses of Wagoner and Hank Thompson, Country and Western's star grew a little dimmer.

What stings most about Wagoner is that he was back, and back in a big way, gifting us with the best Country album of the year.

Produced with love by Marty Stuart, "Wagonmaster" swung wide the honky-tonk gates, unleashing an Okie jamboree of hillbilly goodness. All the usual suspects are present: Rubber Room-style madness, cheating, loving, road trips, instrumental breakdowns and vocal hoe-downs, peculiar neighborhood characters, gettin' above your raisin', god and the devil. And death.

Wagoner's voice is slightly more fragile than memory serves, but his rich timbre finds a way through, and his phrasing is as impeccable as ever.

Before his death Wagoner gave us the greatest gift of all, a perfect honky-tonk record, a rarity in this day and age. Like last year's Mountain favorite, James Hand, Wagoner takes the whippersnappers and the pretenders out to the woodshed and lays on some heavy learnin' to their backsides.

Porter Wagoner: Be A Little Quieter (mp3)

Porter Wagoner: My Many Hurried Southern Trips (mp3)





1. Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: You Can't Buy A Gun When You're Crying

And then, at last, is Miss Golightly, with our very favorite album of the year. Here's what we wrote when the album came out, lo these many months ago:

Golightly has always flirted with a little neo-noir Country styling, and this record seems inevitable. It's a sepia-filtered affair, drawn from a Southern Gothic that could only be imagined by a girl from a faraway land. Creaky and rattling, the tunes play from the back of a wagon, straw and hayseed clogging the amps. It's an eerie backwoods-styled album full of bad men and badder women, demons, devils, guns, and medicine water. And it features my song of the year, "Devil Do".

That pretty much sums it up, and finishes up our year.


Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: Devil Do (mp3)


Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: Crow Jane (mp3)

Thanks for sticking with us this year, through the drinking songs and site hijackings, and whatnot. We'll try to do better next year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

There Ain't No Dark
'Til Something Shines













Welcome. It's day three of The Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 10 (plus 10) Albums of 2007. Man, that's a wordy headline.

We've got two of our three favorite songs of the year buried in the following post. We'll try to draw them to your attention.

It's "old-timers" day today. Plus one "troubled" young'un. And a couple of guys who never went away. And two women who never stopped kicking ass, who've worked the clubs and the circuits and pulled every last drop of sweat from their audiences. Actually, it's not "old-timers" day at all.

It's a lot of Soul, Rhythm, Blues, and Ranting. Right when I had just about given up on Soul'n'R'n'B as a lost art now controlled by a clutch of hack, warbling divas with no chops, no voices, no melody, no soul, just boobs and a video, we had a year in which two ladies, and a, ermmm, "troubled" young'un, laid down and/or reclaimed the gauntlet, reminding us what it's really all about, and what it always has been.

But first, couple of cranky old men.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 10 (or 20) Albums of 2007, Part 3


4. Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire: Punk Rock At The British Legion Hall

Well, it's Billy Childish again, innit? Last year we bid goodbye to his Buff Medways combo, and this year we welcome in his new band, The Musicians Of The British Empire. There are few constants in the rock'n'roll landscape, change and "maturation" being the usual path followed by bands or artists who manage to last longer than a record or two. Childish hasn't "changed" in the last 30 years. Even more remarkable than the number years he's been at this, are the following statistics culled from the interwebs: 40 collections of poetry...4 novels...more than 100 full-length independent LPs...more than 2,500 paintings. And god knows how many singles and E.P.'s, and how many records he's produced or played on. The very definition of the modern auteur.

On his latest album, "Punk Rock At The British Legion Hall", his best in some years, Billy's more pissed off than usual, and that's saying something. Louder, faster, and more out of control, full of piss and vinegar, Childish leads the Musicians...through a glorious bluespunk trashfest, spitting vitriol and wry Childish-isms into the wind. It's a lesson to young set about who did it first, and did it best. Of particular note is "Bugger The Buffs", one of our Top 3 Songs Of The Year. It's a smackdown to the pretenders, with one particular red and white clad superstar getting his long due comeuppance from the master. If for some inexplicable reason you don't own a Childish album (Headcoats, Pop Rivets, Mighty Caesars, Buff Medways...on and on...), this is a great introduction. If you have any interest in music whatsoever, this is essential.


Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire: Bugger The Buffs (mp3)


Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire: Joe Strummer's Grave(mp3)



4. Von Sudenfed: Tromatic Reflexxions

Did we mention cranky old men? They don't get much crankier than Mark E. Smith of The Fall. Like Billy Childish, Smith has plied his unique brand of ranting and raving over too many years and too many albums to sanely keep count of. And as with Childish, there's no such thing as a "bad" Fall or Mark E. Smith album. Some are better than others, sure, but even a bad Fall album is better than most folk's best.

As Von Sudenfed, Smith teams up with electronic tricksters Mouse On Mars (wait, come back). It's a pairing that makes sense, in actuality. Smith has always had a dub and drone fixation, and with Mouse On Mars, he finds oddly fellow travelers. Laying down a sonic texture that includes disco(!), dubstep, noisy throbs, and straight up droney twiddling, Mouse on Mars create a sonic template that perfectly suits Smith's ranting delivery. Smith himself is in fine form, his "lyrics" as obtuse as ever, his ragged, soused voice playing in and out of the bed of rhythms, cajoling and threatening. It's like a Fall album you can dance to, albeit in a strange, herky jerky kind of way.

Von Sudenfed: That Sound Wiped (mp3)

Von Sudenfed: Dearest Friends (mp3)


3. Mavis Staples: We'll Never Turn Back

Mavis! Sweet Jesus! I've never made it an especially well-guarded secret that Mavis does things to me. As far as we're concerned she has the voice, the smoky soul of Soul. The rhythm of life, the essence of why we wake in the morning. If there is a god, his/her/its greatest creation was the voice of Mavis Staples. And we'll "... stand on Aretha Franklin's coffee table in our cowboy boots and say that" (paraphrased). We'll go tell it on the mountain, if necessary.

Enough fanboy gushing. What about the record?

Never forget that the Staples Singers were also, among their many accomplishments, a protest group. Along with Pops Staples' genius guitar playing, it was Mavis who carried the emotional weight of the group. And on her new record, "We'll Never Turn Back", Staples revisits classic songs of the Civil Rights and Protest era, and pulls them into a modern context. It's not a "political" album, but a "personal political" record. Mavis surveys the world around her, and reacts. In the only way she knows how. With her voice. Ry Cooder's production surrounds Staples with tribal rhythm and guests galore, but, naturally, it's Staples phrasing and considerable interpretation that shines above the proceedings.

It's a moving album, and, make no mistake, Staples has lived these songs. We're living these songs. She surveys the world around her, and finds solace in the communal nature of the song to transport us to a better place. She'll take us there. Indeed.

"We Shall Not Be Moved"
is one of our Top 3 Songs of The Year.

Mavis Staples: Jesus Is On The Main Line (mp3)

Mavis Staples: We Shall Not Be Moved (mp3)


3. Amy Winehouse: Back To Black

Stop it. Just stop right there. We don't care about the tabloids. Hell, look at some of favorite artists here at the Mountain (Tom Waits, Shane MacGowan, Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, Howlin' Wolf, Billy Childish,, etc., etc., and on and on). Each and every one of them has had, or still has, "issues" with "substances" and bad behavior. We do not give a fuck what People or US or the Daily Mirror has to say about it. We don't care what she's taking, or who she's sleeping or fighting with. What we want to know is, how does the record sound?

"Back In Black" is terrific. More than any other album by a "new" artist, it renewed our faith in Soul music, in the ability to create a record in this day and age that "still gets it", whatever it is.

Maybe Ms. Winehouse will never make a decent record again. Who knows? Who cares? We've got "Back In Black" right next to "Dusty In Memphis" on the rack, ready to be played again and again. And the sneering indie hipsters can go fuck themselves, and go back to their, ahem, "genuine" Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah records. Their loss.

There's really nothing more we can say about the album that hasn't been covered ad nauseum elsewhere. Just enjoy it. It's pretty spiffy.

Amy Winehouse: You Know I'm No Good (mp3)



3. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: 100 Days, 100 Nights

Oh my. There's a reason Amy Winehouse borrowed the Dap Kings for "Back In Black". If they're not the best combo out they're playing, laying down the sweetest grooves and grooviest rhythms, I'll eat my fedora. Like Booker T and the MG's, who they've oft been deservedly compared to, this band knows how to swing. They also know how to pull back and let the star take her turn.

That star, of course, is Sharon Jones. Forged in the fires of the clubs and the jukejoints, the dives and the showcases, Jones has worked. And she has the chops and pipes to prove it. And what pipes! Devoid of marketing machinations and pop machinery, Jones' voice is the raw funk and soul that dreams are made on. A slinky shout factory of insinuation and desperation, Jones swings, jives, cajoles, pleads, and demands your attention. It's a record that could only be made from experience. The road, the gig, the long hard slog to revelation. It's the party album of the year.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: Be Easy (mp3)

We haven't forgotten the Country. Stop back on Monday, New Year's Eve, for our final part of our Top 10 Albums of 2007.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feelin' Full Of Foolish Rhyme





















After the eternal, rambling post from yesterday, let's keep it brief today. How does that sound?

We're counting down The Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 10 Albums of 2007. Part 2 today. You'd be forgiven if you happened to notice that, in some cases, there are more than one album sharing the same ranking. You're not crazy, we just can't count here at the Mountain. We were English majors, not Math majors. Oh, and the groupings may or may not have some sort of stylistic similarities.

Onward and upward.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 10 (or so) Albums of 2007, Part 2

7. The Cave Singers: Invitation Songs

A lovely album. Fireside melodies, muted, and murmured over the sparest of instrumentation. It's not a folk album (and certainly not a, ugh, freak folk record), but something older and darker. Made by some young indie whippersnappers. The songs wonder and wander about, like a reel by the graveside, sad and joyous, a Wake, waking sleepy to a cloudy day of loss and rediscovery. Small and mighty.

The Cave Singers: Seeds Of Night (mp3)




6. King Khan and His Shrines: What Is?
6. Mark Sultan: The Sultanic Verses
6. Harlan T. Bobo: I'm Your Man
6. King Louie and the Loose Diamonds: Memphis Treet

Rawk'n'Roll.

Remember that? Not the bombast and emotionally taxing rock we get now, but the dirty, greasy, 3-minute songs about fucking, drinking, and fighting that bands like the Stones perfected, once upon a time, and a million stadium tours ago. And it had soul. Well, rock's not dead, and never has been. It just went back to the sweaty dive bars and regional labels that feed it's frenzy. It's everywhere PBR is sold for a buck-twenty-five. And just a shot away.

One could make an argument that bands like The Gories (Detroit) and the Oblivians (Memphis) were some of the most important saviors of rawk as god intended it. It's the Oblivians influence we're most concerned with today.

Hang on, cuz this gets tricky.


Mark Sultan
goes by a variety of guises and "band names". He most famously, now, records under the moniker BBQ. As BBQ, Sultan has released two albums with King Khan (The King Khan and BBQ Show, to be exact). Their first, self-titled collaboration was originally put out by Memphis label Goner Records, which is run by Eric Friedl, better known as Eric Oblivian of, well, The Oblivians. The new Harlan T. Bobo album is on Goner Records. And Harlan T. Bobo plays bass and lap steel on the new record by fellow Memphis resident, King Louie and the Loose Diamonds which also features, wait for it, Jack Oblivian on drums tamborine.

Phew. And that's just a rough sketch.

So, why should you care about these 4 albums? What earns them their place in the Mountain's Top 10, outside of some bizarre six degrees of separation? Well, in the first place, these records kick ass. Not subtle, but true. They're maraca-shaking, tambourine-jangling, snare snapping, dirty boogie woogie, greasy, pig-hollerin', Country snarl, three chords and the truth slabs of rawk genius. And these guys might all be slightly mad.

King Khan brings boogaloo, voodoo, sex-obsessed soul'n'shake to the proceedings. Mark Sultan takes his one-man-band to new heights of trashy frenzy. King Louie rides a Memphis train straight to the dumpster. And Harlan T. Bobo? Harlan's had his heart broken, but he's fine. He'd just like to tell you about it.

You need these.

King Khan and His Shrines: Let Me Holler (mp3)


Mark Sultan: Beautiful Girl (mp3)

Harlan T. Bobo: So Bad (mp3)

King Louie and the Loose Diamonds: Gypsy Switch (mp3)


5. The Cakekitchen: Stories For Late At Night

There's something about the cluster of islands that make up New Zealand that breeds great music: The Clean, The Chills, The Verlaines, Tall Dwarfs, Chris Knox solo, The Smoke, Straightjacket Fits, The Bats, etc. to name just a few of the more recognizable groups to represent their country's recent recorded history. I've often referred to many New Zealand bands as having an Autumnal feel, an almost melancholic sense underlying the the jangles and drones they produce so well. Since the late-80's, Graeme Jefferies has been leading his "band" The Cakekitchen (essentially Jefferies plus guests who have included Hamish Kilgour and Alastair Galbraith) through an even more pastoral brand of New Zealand pop, to brilliant effect. On the aptly named "Stories For Late At Night", Jefferies weaves a dreamy, pastoral bedsit cycle of midnight observation and regret. It's an album for keeping the wind at the door, and a bottle of wine on the table.

The Cakekitchen: Another Dumb Mistake (mp3)



5. The Clientele: God Save The Clientele

We do, too, listen to indie pop, contrary to popular belief. The Clientele's new album is very much a piece with the aforementioned Cakekitchen's "Stories For Late At Night", in that it's not an album for "your fucking sunny day". The Clientele evoke rainy London streets and tea in bed. Shimmering and translucent, their fragile melodies swirl in minor key beauty. This album was recorded in Nashville, of all places, by Lambchop's Mark Nevers, who adds violin and pedal steel to the mix, creating a Country and Western album by way of a twee English pub. Autumn into Winter, an album for window gazing.

The Clientele: These Days Nothing But Sunshine (mp3)

To be continued on Friday. Mmmm hmmm.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chained Upon The Face Of Time


















Howdy! Hope your Holiday went well. Ours went especially swell, as Mrs. Mountain presented us with a present that is not only a gift to us, but to you as well. It's a device that's going to significantly expand the breadth and scope of keen tunes we can share with you. More on that down the line.

But now, welcome to the first part of world renowned Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 10 Albums of The Year. Over the next four days, we've got the 18-19 albums that made our Top 10, our favorite reissues, ummm...favorite television program, plus a bunch of other crap. How fun! Really, could it get any better than this?

Normally at this point I'd give some kind of year-end rant about how everything sucked this year, and rail against the record companies and marketing campaigns and PR-purchased music magazines, or some other nonsense. We're a bit curmudgeonly here at the Mountain. But I'm not going to do that this year. The whole pretending towards the "good old days" of music is more than a little disingenuous. Popular music, and the marketing and homogenizing thereof, has always existed, and for every Britney Spears and American Idol now, folks had to endure a "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" back in the "golden age". We're not so removed, we just have more cameras. A great tune, or album, has a way of persevering, perhaps hovering in a dark corner of your weird uncle's record collection, or in some vault of some obscure regional recording company, just waiting to be discovered. And shared. Perhaps by, oh, I dunno, some blogger on the world wide internets.

I realize that for the past 5 years or so, someone has proclaimed each year the Year Of The Blogger, or some sort proclamation similar. But this year it seemed, more than ever, that a slew of sites popped up that were more interested in sharing records and tunes from the farthest dusty corners of recorded history, than in posting the latest band or artist of the moment. Cultural preservation vs. cultural hubris? Populist vs. Popular?

Several "cultural critics" sniffed recently that music blogging, particularly the types who posted full, long out of print, and virtually public domain albums, were killing the long-cherished record-bin collecting trend. Several problems with that argument: The Internet has never stopped me from going to the record store; It assumes that everyone has access to the coolest record store, with all that prime obscure vinyl (whatever that is); And it contextualizes a record as a thing to own, not a thing to enjoy, to play for friends, whether they be in your home or part of more disparate worldwide community. And music has always, ultimately, been about the shared experience, barring the occasional late-night drinking song. Everyone benefits from those sites that say, hey, if you like Nirvana, try the Sonics (and this other record of forgotten garage punk), if you like Steve Earle, try Townes Van Zandt (and this other collection of old Hillbilly music), if you like John Legend, how about giving Stevie Wonder a try (and while you're at it, here's a scratchy collection of pre-rock Rhythm and Blues). And on the other side, since great new music is still be made, despite what the naysayers would have you believe, bloggers are bringing new sounds, stripped of marketing, to ears that might never have the chance to hear. Sure, there's a lot of crap to sift through, but there's a lot of crap to sift through at the grocery store and the record shop, but people still manage to find something they're looking for.

All of this merely to say, we're pretty excited about the state of music nowadays. The Music Industry may be in trouble, but fans aren't. Maybe we won't ever have another cultural unifier like "Like A Rolling Stone" or "Let It Be" or "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as I argued a year or two ago. Maybe we will. Who knows? I was wrong in my argument to suggest that that was a bad thing. Whether you like songs about umbrellas, rehab, faeries or pickup trucks, you've got more choice than ever. And we think, in the words of our favorite convicted criminal, that it's a good thing.

So, as promised, here's the first part of our Top Ten List. There are 20 records that made our list (hence the repetitive numbering) because we couldn't make up our minds. They may not be the "best" albums of the year, we're not qualified or psychic enough to make that far-reaching decision. But they're albums we thought were pretty swell, and listened to the most. Maybe you'll like them too.

10. Steve Earle: Washington Square Serenade

Steve sounds...happy. It's strange to hear Earle make a happy record. My initial thought was that I was going to hate this album, Earle's best previous albums being led by some kind of existential dissatisfaction with the world, himself, his addictions, the government, or the state of Nashville. But with this album, Earle comes out swinging, not at the world, but with it. He's obviously digging New York and his new wife, Allison Moorer, a great artist in her own right, who adds angelic vocals behind Earle's rough-hewn coal-into-diamonds voice. It's a city record through the eyes of a (jaded, to be fair) country boy. A love letter, to a woman and a town, that takes Earle on a whole new direction, at a time when he could have spun his wheels. We're intrigued where he's gonna go next.

Steve Earle: Down Here Below (mp3)


10. Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

Caveat: Josh Ritter's best record was "The Golden Age Of Radio". Go buy or download it now. It's flawless. Caveat: Singer-Songwriter albums make us tired and irritable. Caveat: This is a great E.P., not a great album. But it's one fucking hell of a great E.P. Working through his Dylan and Cohen obsessions, Ritter finds his own voice in the minutiae. His fascination with the animal kingdom is lessened, but in it's place is a more straightforward take on the human. The Americana elements are, likewise, pushed back, removing the album from the road and placing it on the back porch. Ritter's voice is the kind of sleepy voice you hear in the twilight, honeyed with a rye-whiskey edge.

Josh Ritter: To The Dogs Or Whoever (mp3)



9. Son Volt: The Search

S'funny. When Uncle Tupelo broke up, I followed Wilco. Sure, I bought the first couple of Son Volt albums, and "Trace", in retrospect, was a classic. But I was initially drawn to Wilco's "A.M." and, particularly, "Being There". Time and influence have a way of changing things, though, and the more Jeff Tweedy's band moved into Beach Boys territory and fiddly sound experiments, the more I began seeking out Jay Farrar's warmer, sand-blasted voice and tunes. Perhaps I was merely a victim of nostalgia. On his second album back with the "reformed" Son Volt, Farrar makes his best record since "Trace". "The Search" is just that, with Farrar taking his gravel road voice through the heart of America, in all it's ugliness and beauty. Lyrics are still as obtuse as ever, suggesting something you can almost touch, but frustratingly out of reach. Musically, the band speeds through Stones-ish raveups and pedals through canyon-sized atmospherics. And in "Adrenaline and Heresy", Farrar creates his most heartbreaking song yet.

Son Volt: The Picture (mp3)


Son Volt: Highway and Cigarettes (mp3)



8. Jim Mize: Release It To The Sky

And then there's the bar band guy. And, gee whiz, it's a Fat Possum album in our Top 10. Actually, this is less shocking than one might imagine, considering how far afield the label has gone from it's original modus operandi. Mize is a beer-drinking juke and VFW honed singer and musician in the vein of other Mountain favorites like Seasick Steve, Tom House, Cast King, and James Hand. He's been in the trenches too long to be pretty. Ostensibly, Mize is a blues singer, minus the guitar solos and throaty wails. He's taking you to a darker place, a wellspring of down and out beyond the cliches of the genre. His voice has a cracked weariness that matches his neon-lit, southern observations. A dark album that rocks, taking you to closing time with a shot glass and loneliness.


Jim Mize: Acadian Lullaby (mp3)


Stop back tomorrow for more of our Top Ten. Yep.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wrapping Up Christmas


















We made it! It's Christmas Eve (or Shane Macgowan Eve, since we've never met a joke we couldn't drive into the ground...but hey, the man's birthday is on December 25th)! We're not done yet, of course, as we'll finish out the year with our Top Ten lists and sumsuch, starting the day after Christmas.

Below you'll find our final Christmas Mix of the year. It's a greatest hits collection of the songs we posted this year, with nifty soundbites.

But first, the greatest Christmas song ever written. I do this every damn year, so it's no surprise. But in these increasingly cynical times, full of fear, manufactured or real, and isolation, where we retreat into our digital facades, and stake our lives on a sound bite, this song seems to take on more relevance to us here at the Mountain with each passing year. The song hopes to hope, and dreams to dream. Between the ragged voice from hell and angelic voice of heaven, the song becomes something human. And in the end, I guess, all we have is each other. I built my dreams around you, indeed.

The Pogues: Fairytale of New York (mp3)


Thanks to all who stopped by for the sleigh ride. Here's wishing you a better day, and days ahead, now matter how you choose to celebrate.

Link to mp3 follows track listing.

A Big Rock Juke'n'Jive Xmas

1.Christmas In The Congo (The Marquees)
2.Xmas Twist (Twistin' Kings)
3.Santa Claus (The Sonics)
4.Christmas Tree's On Fire (Holly Golightly)
5.Rockabilly Santa Claus (Wanda Jackson)
6.Christmas Boogie (The Barnstompers)
7.Bring That Cadillac Back (The Doc Bagby Orchestra)
8.Here Comes The Fattest Man In Town (Bob Chester)
9.Santa and My Semi (Dale Watson)
10.The Christmas Cannonball (Hank Thompson)
11.Cowboy Santa Claus (Prairie Ramblers)
12.On A Christmas Day (C.W. Stoneking)
13.Santa's Secret (Johnny Guarnieri)
14.Christmas In Jail (Leroy Carr)
15.Christmas Lights (Wild Billy Childish)
16.Blue Grey Christmas (King Coleman)
17.Hey Santa Claus (The Moonglows)
18.God Rest You Merry Gentlemen (Rev. Frost)
19.Will Hell Be Your Santa (Rev. J.M. Gates)
20.Santa Claus Boogie (Hasil Adkins)
21.Christmas Boogie (The Davis Sisters)
22.Christmas By The Bar B Que (Lynn August)
23.Christmas In The Mountains (Faron Young)
24.Gone Home For Christmas (Red Simpson)
25.Santa To The Moon (Sonny Cole)
26.Jingle Jangle Jump (Dexter Gordon)
27.Christmas Rush (Dead Moon)
28.Let Me Hang Your Stockings In Your Christmas Tree (Roosevelt Sykes)
29.Santa's Messin' With The Kid (Eddie C. Campbell)
30.Zydeco Christmas (C.J. Chenier)
31.What Will Santa Say (When He Finds Everybody Swinging) (Louis Prima)
32.Christmas Time Blues (Roy Milton and His Solid Senders)
33.If We Make It Through December (Merle Haggard)


A Big Rock Juke'n'Jive Xmas (mp3)

Peace.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Truckload of Toys















Hey! It's the Saturday before Xmas, so that must mean it's time for another Holiday Mix. How about 4 of 'em?

We're full of the Solstice spirit today, so for all y'all who might've missed any of our previous Yuletide mixes, we've got you covered. It's re-gifting Saturday. Below you'll find all the previous Christmas mixes from this year, re-upped, and ready for downloading. Be the hit of your family Christmas party this year with these super keen tracks of Holiday cheer!

And, gee whiz, can't get enough of these Big Rock Candy Mountain extravaganzas? Did you miss some of the swell Christmas tunes we posted this year? Well, come back and visit us on Monday, Christmas Eve, for a final Holiday gift from the Mountain (plus the greatest Christmas song ever written. Honest).

As ever, the mp3 link follows each track listing.

Git your Santa on!


A Big Rock Candy Cane Xmas

1. Christmas Spirit (The Wailers)
2. Don't Believe In Christmas (The Sonics)
3. Reindeer Boogie (Hank Snow)
4. Rootin' Tootin' Santa Claus (Pee Wee King)
5. I'll Be Your Santa Baby (Rufus Thomas)
6. Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas (The Staple Singers)
7. Santa Came Home Drunk (Clyde Lasley)
8. Beatnik's Wish (Patsy Raye)
9. Deck 5 (Saturday's Children)
10. We Free Kings (Roland Kirk)
11. Merry Christmas (Lightnin' Hopkins)
12. Christmas Day (Detroit Junior)
13. Feliz Navi Dada (El Vez)
14. Old Man Spivey's Egg Nog (The Dalheart Imperials)
15. Christmas Carols By The Old Corral (Tex Ritter)
16. Santa Santa Santa (Gene Autry)
17. Santa Got A DWI (Sherwin Linton)
18. Santa Stole My Whiskey (The Rimshots)
19. The Mistletoe and Me (Isaac Hayes)
20. Xmas In Nevada (The Willard Grant Conspiracy)
21. Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis (Neko Case does Tom Waits)
22. I Wish I Was Santa Claus (Merle Haggard)
23. Please Come Home For Christmas (Little Junior)
24. Christmas Past (Mike Ireland)
25. Christmas Eve Can Kill You (The Everley Brothers)
26. What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas (The Emotions)
27. Go Tell It On The Mountain (The Blind Boys Of Alabama w/Tom Waits)


Big Rock Candy Cane Christmas (mp3)

The Big Rock Candy Mountain Junk Shop Christmas

1. Christmas Wish (Andre Williams)
2. Be-Bop Santa (Babs Gonzalez)
3. I'll Be Walking The Floor This Christmas (Ernest Tubb)
4. To Heck With Ole Santa Claus (Loretta Lynn)
5. Rocket Ship Santa (The Bellrays)
6. There's Trouble Brewin' (Jack Scott)
7. Santa's Doing The Horizontal Twist (Kay Martin and Her Bodyguards)
8. Empty Stockings (Floyd Dixon)
9. We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo (Big John Greer)
10. Santa Done Got Hip (Marquees)
11. Truckin' Trees For Christmas (Red Simpson)
12. I'd Like to Have An Elephant For Christmas (Hank Thompson)
13. Put The Loot In the Boot Santa (Mae West)
14. My Last Christmas (The Dirtbombs)
15. No Christmas For John Quays (The Fall)
16. Christmas In Jail (The Youngsters)
17. Christmas Date Boogie (Big Joe Turner)
18. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus (Mabel Scott)
19. Rockin' and Rollin' With Santa Claus (Hepsters)
20. I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus (Brenda Lee)
21. Dasher With The Light Upon His Tail (Kitty Wells)
22. Old Toy Trains (Roger Miller)
23. Blue Christmas Lights (Buck Owens)
24. Lonely Christmas Call (George Jones)
25. Christmas Comes But Once A Year (Amos Milburn)
26. Good Times Are Coming (Eddy Clearwater w/Los Straightjackets)


Big Rock Candy Junk Shop Xmas (mp3)


A Big Rock Candy Happy Hour Chrstmas


1. Poor Mr. Santa (Andre Williams)
2. Trim Your Tree (Jimmy Butler)
3. Mama's Twistin' With Santa (Mark Anthony)
4. Santa Looked A lot Like Daddy (Buck Owens)
5. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus (George Jones and Tammy Wynette)
6. Yulesville (Ed "Kooky" Byrnes)
7. Sometimes Santa Claus Is Brown (El Vez)
8. Santa Never Comes To The Ghetto (Yellowman)
9. Santa's Coming In a Big Old Truck (Red Simpson)
10. I Won't Decorate Your Christmas Tree (Loretta Lynn)
11. Merry Christmas Baby (Bellrays)
12. Merry Christmas From The Family (Robert Earl Keen)
13. Senor Santa Claus (Jim Reeves)
14. Santa Claus (Thee Headcoatees)
15. Six Tons of Toys (Dave Dudley)
16. A Real Live Doll (The Trashmen)
17. I Want My Baby For Christmas (Jimmy Liggins)
18. Dig That Crazy Santa Claus (Oscar McLollie)
19. Hard Candy Christmas (Dolly Parton)
20. They Shined Up Rudolph's Nose (Johnny Horton)
21. Christmas Time's A Comin' (Jerry Reed)
22. Holly and Her Mistletoe (Jim Lauderdale)
23. The Rocking Tree (Marguerite Trina)
24. Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney (Ella Fitzgerald)
25. I'm Gonna Tell Santa On You (Faron Young)
26. Santa Claus (Sonny Boy Williamson)
27. Gonna Wrap My Heart In Ribbons (Hank Thompson)


A Big Rock Candy Mountain Happy Hour Xmas (mp3)

A Big Rock Candy Aluminum Christmas

1. Cancel Christmas (Rocket From The Crypt)
2. Baby It's Cold Outside (Dean Martin)
3. God Rest You Merry Gentlemen (Jimmy Smith)
4. Santa Claus Blues (Champion Jack Dupree)
5. I Want Elvis For Christmas (Holly Twins w/Eddie Cochran)
6. Xmas Lights Spin (Mark Eitzel)
7. Call It Christmastime (The Supersuckers)
8. Come On Santa Let's Have A Ball (Kay Martin)
9. Country Christmas (Loretta Lynn)
10. Santa Is A Texas Cowboy (Red Sovine)
11. Christmastime in the Mountains (Palace Brothers)
12. There's a Star Above The Manger Tonight (Red Red Meat)
13. Christmastime Is For Sinners (The Mono Men)
14. Rock'n'Roll Christmas (Cordell Jackson)
15. Goin' Home For Christmas (Merle Haggard)
16. Out On The Road For Christmas (Red Simpson)
17. My Mom and Santa Claus (George Jones)
18. Merry Christmas Fritz (The Buff Medways)
19. Sonny's Christmas Blues (Sonny Boy Williamson)
20. Santa Claus is Ska-ing to Town (The Granville Williams Orchestra)
21. We Wish You A Protein Christmas (The Fall)
22. Christmas In My Hometown (Charley Pride)
23. Silent Night All Day Long (John Prine)
24. Listening to Otis Redding At Home During Christmas (Okkervil River)
26. Fairytale of New York (The Pogues)


A Big Rock Aluminum Christmas (mp3)

Stop spending money. Relax and enjoy.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas In The Congo















Quick and late post today. We're a little, erm, under the weather, as it were.

'Tis the season for giving 'n all that. I asked for a copy of "Christmas In The Congo" by the Marquees a week ago and what do I find in my email, but two copies of the song courtesy of Steve and Steven (what are the odds?).

"Christmas In The Congo" is the Mountain's 2nd favorite Christmas song (tune in Monday for our very favorite). It's a glorious,jiving, rhythm and blues slab of Yule joy. We'll have more on it's author, Ric Masten, in a later post.

Stop by tomorrow for a special treat, and again Monday for a Blowout Christmas Eve Special. Yep.

Hooray.


The Marquees: Christmas In The Congo (mp3)


Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kitten For Christmas






















Phew. Ok. From here on out, 'til the end of the year, every post here will be a very special post (you, know like an ABC After School Special, or a very special episode of Blossom...egad, I'm dating myself). Super duper Holiday posts through Christmas Eve, and the day after Christmas we're gonna start presenting the 20 or so albums that made our Top 10 Albums of the Year. Everybody's doing it, dontcha know.

Since we had us some hillbilly lovin' yesterday, we're gonna load you up with a little jumpinjivinharmonizinhepcatjazzbluesgospelswing-type Yuletide finger poppin' today.

The following tunes were brought to you in high(ahem) spirits courtesy of Bob Chester, Dexter Gordon, Eddie C. Campbell, Louis Prima, Paul James, and Rev. J.M. Gates.

And don't forget to fill your Holiday liquor cabinet over at Barstool Mountain when you've finished here.


Bob Chester: Here Comes The Fattest Man In Town (mp3)

Dexter Gordon: Jingle Jangle Jump (mp3)

Eddie C. Campbell: Santa's Messin' With The Kid (mp3)

Louis Prima: What Will Santa Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin') (mp3)


Paul James: Crazy Little Kitten For Christmas (mp3)


Rev. J.M. Gates: Will Hell Be Your Santa Claus (mp3)


Ah, hell, it's the Holidays. Give a little something at your local food pantry. Seriously, sometimes a warm meal or a blanket can be the greatest gift.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hillbilly Holiday





















Oh, yeah. We're gettin' our Country and Western fix today. A hillbilly holiday up here on the Mountain. Ultimately, is there anything better? We think not.

So.

We got Mountain favorite Hank Snow riding the Christmas train. Honky Tonk Angel Kitty Wells (aint she a little cutie) laments the good old days. Cowboy Copas is tired of being taken advantage of and wants us to know he aint no guldurned Santa Claus. Merle Haggard just wants to make it past Christmas. And the gunslinging Marty Robbins puts down his six-shooter for a special Holiday message especially for you.

Set your boots out by the Christmas tree. See what they get filled with. Then head over to Barstool Mountain for a little Yuletide liquid refreshment.


Hank Snow: The Christmas Cannonball (mp3)


Kitty Wells: Christmas Aint Like Christmas Anymore (mp3)

Cowboy Copas: I'm Tired Of Playing Santa Claus To You (mp3)


Merle Haggard: If We Make It Through December (mp3)


Marty Robbins: Merry Christmas To You From Me (mp3)

Support your local, independent shit-kicker manufacturers this special time of the year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Rev. Frost Christmas




















One week to go until Shane Macgowan's birthday.

Today, a toast to missing friends.

I mentioned on Saturday's post how we missed the Right and Good Rev. Frost and his site Spread The Good Word. , which is on hiatus for awhile. Frost posted some of the best Holiday tunes and mixes out there. And then I thought to myself, we don't have to have a completely Rev. Frost-free Xmas. As many of the regular visitors here know, Frost is not merely a music blogger, but a killer musician. And a year or so again, the revered Reverend shared a couple of his own Holiday recordings with us. And I'm gonna post them here. I don't think he'd mind.

Sounding like a rumble between Hank Williams, Link Wray, The Cramps, and, yes, Tom Waits, Frost weaves a voodoo stew of junkyard trash and Holiday glee. Perfect for gift-wrapping and cookie-baking.

And don't forget to stop by Barstool Mountain for more Holiday cheer.

Rock the tinsel!


Rev. Frost: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (mp3)


Rev. Frost: Frosty The Snowman (mp3)


Are you broke yet? It's not the Holidays until you've spent all your money on bad sweaters and singing fish.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Truck Santa

















Over at Barstool Mountain, we've got our favorite Holiday Drinking song of all time. Just, you know, lettin' you know.

Over here we're gonna go with yet another Truckin' post, Yule-style. What can we say? If y'all haven't figgered out our obsession with Big Rigs by now, we obviously haven't been doing our job.

It's the usual suspects, Red Simpson and Dave Dudley. Red's thinking about hanging up the ole CB for the season. Dave's not singing about his Eighteen Wheeler in this track, but he's still the voice of the Trucker's soul. If you close your eyes, you can still hear the rumble of a convoy in the background.

Truck Santa!

Red Simpson: Gone Home For Christmas (mp3)


Dave Dudley: Can I Sing A Christmas Song For You (mp3)


Support your local truck stop this Holiday season.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Big Rock Aluminum Christmas





















Damn, I miss Reverend Frost. His was our favorite blog out there in the whole worldwide interwebs. Our mixes are but a pale imitation of his brilliant work over the year. His "Bloody Christmas" mixes (scroll down), in particular, were slabs of Holiday genius. Let's hope he makes it back to us soon.

Well, we've had selections from Seasons 1,2, and 3 from past Big Rock Candy Mountain Holiday Blow-Outs on past Saturdays, but many songs from each season got left out (due to thematic reasons, repeated artists, space issues(do you really want to sit through a download 2-3 hours long?), etc.). Today, we're gathering up most of those lost orphans from each previous season for another peachy, Technicolor, spinning lights selection. And we're not done yet.

As usual, the mp3 link follows the track listing.

A Big Rock Candy Aluminum Christmas

1. Cancel Christmas (Rocket From The Crypt)
2. Baby It's Cold Outside (Dean Martin)
3. God Rest You Merry Gentlemen (Jimmy Smith)
4. Santa Claus Blues (Champion Jack Dupree)
5. I Want Elvis For Christmas (Holly Twins w/Eddie Cochran)
6. Xmas Lights Spin (Mark Eitzel)
7. Call It Christmastime (The Supersuckers)
8. Come On Santa Let's Have A Ball (Kay Martin)
9. Country Christmas (Loretta Lynn)
10. Santa Is A Texas Cowboy (Red Sovine)
11. Christmastime in the Mountains (Palace Brothers)
12. There's a Star Above The Manger Tonight (Red Red Meat)
13. Christmastime Is For Sinners (The Mono Men)
14. Rock'n'Roll Christmas (Cordell Jackson)
15. Goin' Home For Christmas (Merle Haggard)
16. Out On The Road For Christmas (Red Simpson)
17. My Mom and Santa Claus (George Jones)
18. Merry Christmas Fritz (The Buff Medways)
19. Sonny's Christmas Blues (Sonny Boy Williamson)
20. Santa Claus is Ska-ing to Town (The Granville Williams Orchestra)
21. We Wish You A Protein Christmas (The Fall)
22. Christmas In My Hometown (Charley Pride)
23. Silent Night All Day Long (John Prine)
24. Listening to Otis Redding At Home During Christmas (Okkervil River)
26. Fairytale of New York (The Pogues)

A Big Rock Aluminum Christmas (mp3)

Support your local vintage shops for the best retro Santa Claus outfits.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Xmas Fruitcakes




















Does anybody actually like fruitcake? They still make it, and folks still received logs of the stuff during the Holiday season. Someone must be eating it. I just don't know who. Does anybody out there have a defense for fruitcake? Has anyone ever re-gifted a fruitcake a year later? We'd like to hear about it.

Speaking of fruitcakes, we're proud to present three fellers who sound as if they're a few eggs short of a nog. Two of 'em from the Norton Records stable, if that means anything to you.

King Coleman shouts, wails, and murmers his way, against a honking dead goose of a saxophone, through a bizarre Rhythm and Blues Christmas tale. On Norton!

You'd be forgiven for initially mistaking "On A Christmas Day" by C.W. Stoneking as one of them there old-timey "blue" Dixieland Ragtime numbers. 'Course Stoneking aint old-timey, he just wants to be. His most recent album (on the essenital Voodoo Rhythm Records)is called "King Hokum" for a reason. Here he trades randy vocals with a female counterpart, detailing a very special Christmas gift. I'd like to stand under that mistletoe.

Nervous Norvous sounds like a Bedlam saint in arrested development, beating Daniel Johnston to the (rum)punch by a good 20-30 years. Norvous has a plan to catch Santa in the act and he's not gonna rest 'til he accomplishes his mission. On Norton!

Don't forget to stop by Barstool Mountain for more Holiday fun. Today, Santa's in his cups, and decides against taking a cab home. See what happens next.

Bananas!


King Coleman: Blue Grey Christmas (mp3)

C.W. Stoneking: On A Christmas Day (mp3)


Nervous Norvous: I'm Waiting Up For Santa (mp3)

Santa's heading straight to the looney bin this year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Accordion
To Santa




















Do I have to keep pushing Barstool Mountain? Cuz we've got some super keen dysfunctional family, booze-laden Christmas songs up over there today. Like us here, Barstool Mountain is daily through December 25th.

Zydeco-flavored Xmas goodness today. And a bonus.

The accordion is one of the Mountain's favorite instruments by the way.

"Christmas By The Bar-B-Que" by Lynn August is...well, it's exactly what it sounds like. And it's mighty tasty.

Accordion squeezing madman C.J. Chenier takes his Red Hot Louisiana Band through a whiz bang bayou stomp.

Chuck Willis is a Rhythm and Blues man,not a Zydeco musician, though he shares some stylistic similarities. We just think that his not-so-subtle song below fits perfectly today's Festive Fais do do.

Git Cookin'!


Lynn August: Christmas By The Bar-B-Que (mp3)


C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band: Zydeco Christmas (mp3)


Chuck Willis: All I Want For Christmas Is To Lay Around And Love On You (mp3)


Please support your local Cajun chef. Garontee!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Swingshift Santa


















Does anyone have a digitized copy of The Marquees' "Christmas In The Congo"? All we got here at the Mountain is a tragically scratched vinyl version. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

As ever, some swell besotted Holiday tunes can be found over at Barstool Mountain.

Here, we're putting on our Rockabilly and Swing Santa hats today.

Sonny Cole (can't find a link) wants to send Santa off into space. Apparently the boys and girls on the moon need a little love this Holiday season too.

The Barnstompers bring their bass thwacking, pedal steel groovin' western swing stylings to the party with a little "Christmas Boogie". Yep, another "Boogie" song. Please note that this "Christmas Boogie" is not the same tune as the previously posted one by the Davis Sisters.

And, finally, a bonus Blues number from Harry Crafton and the Doc Bagby Orchestra. Seems our fella woke up on Christmas morning to find his baby gone, along with all his possessions and his Cadillac. Understandably bummed, he wants one of them back. Guess which one?

Swing!

Sonny Cole: Santa To The Moon (mp3)

Barnstompers: Christmas Boogie (mp3)


Harry Crafton and The Doc Bagby Orchestra: Bring That Cadillac Back (mp3)

Support your Ho Ho Ho this Holiday season. Heh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brand Spankin' Santa























Welcome back. Thanks for stopping by

We've got a swell little Holiday libation from The Minus 5 over at Barstool Mountain. Check it out.

Here at the parent site, we're gonna drag things down to the gutter for your Holiday enjoyment today.

Dead Moon bring their glorious mess of murky garage trash to the Yule, still sounding like snotty teens just learning to play their instruments (they've been at this for 20 years). Featuring the lowest of lo-fi production values (push play, turn up the dollar store amps), Fred and Kathleen Cole swap greasy vocals like spit, lamenting a laundry list of Christmas woes. Punk Rawk!

The second tune is culled from one of The Mountain's "reissues" of the year, "Make It Stop! The Most of Ross Johnson (on Goner Records). Ross Johnson's a bit of a ranter, and with a little help from Monsieur Jeffrey Evans, here spins a harrowing little tale that resolves itself nicely into a swell little nihilistic Christmas message.

Dead Moon: Christmas Rush (mp3)

Ross Johnson (with Monsieur Jeffrey Evans): Mr. Blue(Cut Your Head Off On X-Mas) (mp3)

Give me, give me more, more, more.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tear Jerkin' Santa


















Quick programming note. Barstool Mountain is back in business. For the next 2 weeks, Barstool Mountain will be mirroring this here little site, providing daily doses of Holiday Cheer. Key word being Cheer, as Barstool Mountain's gonna feature all your favorite Seasonal drinking songs. Good times, so hop on over and pick up the first round, an inebriated good eve from Red Sovine. Drinks are on the house.

Here at the 'Candy Mountain we're gonna wade into a sea of Xmas cheese. The following three artists are known for ass-kicking tunes about trucks and trains. But they have a dark side. A very dark side. They've all committed the mortal sin of the "talking" song, a style so vile it becomes hilarious after repeated listening, reducing one to tears of joy and hysteria. Your local poetry slam participant has got nothing on these guys. This is my special gift to you this festive time of year.

Red Simpson weigh-stations in with a tale of orphans, orphans, farmers, and semi trucks. No, really.

Boxcar Willie details a very "special" relationship at Christmastime between central casting characters Santa Fe Sam and Hobo Bill.

Red Sovine, the worst offender of the genre, imagines Santa as some kind of skid row pervert. You have to hear this to believe it.


Your Holiday experience is not remotely complete without these fine tunes. Git your hankies ready.

Red Simpson: The Old Christmas Truck (mp3)

Box Car Willie: Santa Fe Sam and Hobo Bill (mp3)

Red Sovine: Faith In Santa (mp3)

I've got nuthin' to say after this post.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Happy Hour Xmas

















Yep. It's time for another Saturday Xmas mix from The Mountain. This'un features the greatest hits of Season 3. And you'd be forgiven if you pointed out that Andre Williams leads off this mix as well as last week's. What can we say? We love us some Andre. But be warned, this Andre Williams tune is decidedly not safe for the young ones. Or Grandma, for that matter. Grandpaw may get a kick out of it, though.

As ever, the mp3 link follows the track listing.

This mix goes out to the memory of Hank Thompson, who gave us plenty of happy hours, wrapped in ribbons.


A Big Rock Candy Happy Hour Christmas


1. Poor Mr. Santa (Andre Williams)
2. Trim Your Tree (Jimmy Butler)
3. Mama's Twistin' With Santa (Mark Anthony)
4. Santa Looked A lot Like Daddy (Buck Owens)
5. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus (George Jones and Tammy Wynette)
6. Yulesville (Ed "Kooky" Byrnes)
7. Sometimes Santa Claus Is Brown (El Vez)
8. Santa Never Comes To The Ghetto (Yellowman)
9. Santa's Coming In a Big Old Truck (Red Simpson)
10. I Won't Decorate Your Christmas Tree (Loretta Lynn)
11. Merry Christmas Baby (Bellrays)
12. Merry Christmas From The Family (Robert Earl Keen)
13. Senor Santa Claus (Jim Reeves)
14. Santa Claus (Thee Headcoatees)
15. Six Tons of Toys (Dave Dudley)
16. A Real Live Doll (The Trashmen)
17. I Want My Baby For Christmas (Jimmy Liggins)
18. Dig That Crazy Santa Claus (Oscar McLollie)
19. Hard Candy Christmas (Dolly Parton)
20. They Shined Up Rudolph's Nose (Johnny Horton)
21. Christmas Time's A Comin' (Jerry Reed)
22. Holly and Her Mistletoe (Jim Lauderdale)
23. The Rocking Tree (Marguerite Trina)
24. Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney (Ella Fitzgerald)
25. I'm Gonna Tell Santa On You (Faron Young)
26. Santa Claus (Sonny Boy Williamson)
27. Gonna Wrap My Heart In Ribbons (Hank Thompson)


A Big Rock Candy Mountain Happy Hour Xmas (mp3)

Blah Blah Blah

Friday, December 07, 2007

Secret Santa's Secret





















Happy birthday Tom Waits! Special bonus celebration song at the end of this post.

There's no scientific study confirming this, but it seems as if Jazz and Blues have the richest vein of Holiday songs. Not the traditional stuff you can find elsewhere, but the odd the little corners of the Holiday experience that we're particularly keen on. Naturally, the Blues tunes often start with things going badly, and go downhill from there. Usually somebody's baby is gone, and the singer is pleading with Santa to bring her back. The stuff of life. But most of the Jazz, and some of the Blues sides, are more hopeful, and often they're downright giddy.

For giddy, we've got swinging jazz cat Johnny Guarnieri. Over a rollicking saloon piano, Guarnieri lays some serious hepster beat jive on us, explaining the secret to Santa's jolly nature. For fans of Patsy Raye's "Beatnik's Wish" and Babs Gonzalez's "Be-Bop Santa Claus", "Santa's Secret" is a finger poppin', daddy-o, speakeasy classic. And what exactly is Santa's secret? Well, let's just say it might be herbal in nature.

Harmon Ray (couldn't find a link) sounds downright looped on "Xmas Blues", particularly on the intro. What distinguishes this nifty little piano Blues number is Ray's hilariously slurred delivery over a piano that has obviously been drinking. He's broke, down and out, and the only bells he hears are the "mission bells." Good times.


Johnny Guarnieri: Santa's Secret (mp3)


Harmon Ray: Xmas Blues (mp3)


And, as promised, a little Tom Waits to warm your cold, cold hearts. Taken from a live performance in Sydney, Australia in 1979.


Tom Waits: Silent Night/Xmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis (mp3)


The Mountain, naturally, does not endorse the partaking of illicit substances or adult beverages to help one through the Holidays. Nevertheless, we would highly encourage you to support your local, independent barkeeps and street corner entrepreneurs.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Santa's On Fire



Whoo boy. Ever get a bad ankle sprain at the precisely the wrong time? The Mountain is infirm, laid up with our feet in the air (that sounds kind of funny....). Perfect timing. Let's hear it for Internet shopping for the Holidays! And let's hear it for pills! Lots and lots of painkilling pills!

The show, as always, must go on, though, so we've managed to drag ourselves over to the computing machine (yep, we're still in the dark ages of the desktop pc) for another installment in the Big Rock Candy Mountain Festive Extravaganza. There's no such thing as too much hyperbole.

We've pretty much got our schedule planned out from now 'til Shane Macgowan's birthday (December 25th), barring any new surprises that might come our way, and we've tried to mix up styles as much as possible. For some reason we've got an overload of trash this week, but I'm going to stick with it. There's plenty of Country and Blues coming your way over the next few weeks. And I stand by every damn song I post.

Holly Golightly is another in a long line of secret crushes in which The Mountain indulges. You may know her best as a member of Thee Headcoatees, the all-girl response to Billy Childish's Thee Headcoats. (you might be seeing a pattern here, based on the post from Tuesday). 'Course Ms. Golightly has forged her own way in the world out from under Childish's shadow. Today, she suffers the consequence of too much Christmas tree love.

The Sonics may be one of the most influential bands ever. More hyperbole, yes, but I think it may be deserved. Loud, nasty, and snotty, they built a template for every garage and trash band to follow, for better or for worse. We last heard from them way back in Season One with a different tune. Today, we get their classic Xmas tune. A cover of which we featured last year by, wait for it, Thee Headcoatees. A tune covered this year by, keep waiting for it, Billy Childish and The Musicians of The British Empire. Phew. And...there's another great version done by Sonic Boom/Spectrum, which a quick Google search should hook you up with. Nevertheless, The Sonics original is the one you need the most. It's one of the most perfect songs ever written.

Yep.

Holly Golightly: Christmas Tree On Fire (mp3)

The Sonics: Santa Claus (mp3)


Please buy plenty of goods and products for The Holidays. Otherwise, the terrorists have won.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hillbilly Santa





















Special thanks to Aquarium Drunkard for their kind words 'bout this little corner of the world wide internets. If you're not stopping by the 'Drunkard on a regular basis, you're missing out on one of the best damn sites out there.

Today, the Mountain's heading to the mountains for a little hillbilly Holiday. Hell, it's the Country we're probably best known for anyway.

Known as the the "Hillbilly Heartthrob" and the "Singing Sherrif, Faron Young brings the hardwood floor to the saloon. We get a double dose of Young todya, as he honky tonks us 'round the mountain and follows up with a hoedown take on a Country Christmas.

Ferlin Husky's got one of the greatest names in all of music. Here we find him rooting around through Santa's bag. What will he find? Don't ask, don't tell.



Faron Young: Christmas In The Mountains (mp3)


Ferlin Husky: In Santa's Bag (mp3)

Faron Young: Country Christmas (mp3)

Please support your local yodeler this festive season.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Holiday Bash



Before we get started I wanted to point out/warn y'all that all tracks are kept up for one week only. If you've missed a tune from the first stages of this year's Holiday joyfulness, maybe we can work something out. Or keep your eyes peeled on Saturdays.

Now then.

I keep trying to find new and innovative ways to cover the King Of All Trash, Mr. Billy Childish, and yesterday I received the greatest gift of all: Christmas 1979 by Wild Billy Childish and his new combo, The Musicians of the British Empire. A whole guldurned album of Childish and company bashing through future Holiday classics (and a cover or two)! It's a riotous, lo-fi, beat trash racket like your best seasonal office party. Nurse Julie and Childish trade sleazy vocals like George and Tammy on Viagra. Wolf Howard beats his drums to a bloody Xmas pulp. And Childish's guitar is still, after all these years, a noisy, two-chord, autistic thing of fuzz and wonder.

If you grab only two songs from the Mountain this year, these are the two you need. Hell, if you don't like 'em, I'll give you your money back. If you do like 'em, pick up the album. Childish has given you a gift this year, and he could probably use a few extra pounds (or is it euro's now?) for the Holiday season and a trip to the pub.

We're not done with Mr. Childish. I'm thinking we might hear a little more during the week between Xmas and New Year's. Hmmm....

Christmas Rawk!

Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire: Christmas Hell (mp3)

Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire: Christmas Lights (mp3)


Please support your local, independent pawn shop this Holiday Season. The home of shitty amps and Sears Silvetone guitars.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Santa In The Slammer


















The Mountain's getting locked up for the Holidays.

Nah, not really. But some folks are, so we'd like to send a shout out to our men and women in (striped) uniforms. Actually, do prisons even use those caricatured striped outfits any more?

Regardless.

If Santa's been checking his list, there's a lot of naughty out there. There's some swell Christmas in the Big House-type tunes out there. We've already covered a few in past years (The Youngster's "Christmas In Jail" and John Prine's version of "Christmas in Prison"), and we're going acquit ourselves of a few more (sorry about that) today for your listening enjoyment.

Long interred Blues pianist Leroy Carr brings us a scratchy tale of Christmas woe. Apparently being in jail for the Holidays is a pain in the ass. And get your adolescent minds out of the gutter. Shame on you.

Crackpot genius Seasick Steve brings his homemade git-tars (The Three Stringed Trance Wonder, The One Stringed Diddley Bow) to the lock-up for a little junkyard rave-up. The song's a killer.

Enjoy.

Leroy Carr: Christmas In Jail(Aint That a Pain) (mp3)

Seasick Steve and the Level Devils: Xmas Prison Blues(mp3)


Please support your local, independent pickpocket and purse snatcher. We all want some bread on our table and big screen tv for the Holidays.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Junk Shop Xmas



25 days to go until Shane Macgowan's birthday! And if you're wondering what all the fuss about the elephant was earlier this week, check out track 12 on the mix below.

Yep it's time for another Holiday Smash Hits mix from the Mountain. Below you'll find a fantastic mp3 featuring all the swell tunes that helped keep you warm during Season 2 of the Big Rock Candy Mountain Xmas celebration. Download it for easy use on train, planes, and automobiles! It's portable!

I would, of course, be remiss if I didn't point out that there a ton of great sites out there that do this kind of thing even better than the Mountain. So after snatching the tunes below, head over to Senses Working Overtime, Santa's Working Overtime, Falalalala.com, and bongobells to get you started. They're super swell sites, and you're gonna want to visit them daily. We'll get those links and more up on the sidebar over the weekend.

For now, please enjoy the following mix. Mp3 link follows the track listing.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain Junk Shop Christmas

1. Christmas Wish (Andre Williams)
2. Be-Bop Santa (Babs Gonzalez)
3. I'll Be Walking The Floor This Christmas (Ernest Tubb)
4. To Heck With Ole Santa Claus (Loretta Lynn)
5. Rocket Ship Santa (The Bellrays)
6. There's Trouble Brewin' (Jack Scott)
7. Santa's Doing The Horizontal Twist (Kay Martin and Her Bodyguards)
8. Empty Stockings (Floyd Dixon)
9. We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo (Big John Greer)
10. Santa Done Got Hip (Marquees)
11. Truckin' Trees For Christmas (Red Simpson)
12. I'd Like to Have An Elephant For Christmas (Hank Thompson)
13. Put The Loot In the Boot Santa (Mae West)
14. My Last Christmas (The Dirtbombs)
15. No Christmas For John Quays (The Fall)
16. Christmas In Jail (The Youngsters)
17. Christmas Date Boogie (Big Joe Turner)
18. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus (Mabel Scott)
19. Rockin' and Rollin' With Santa Claus (Hepsters)
20. I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus (Brenda Lee)
21. Dasher With The Light Upon His Tail (Kitty Wells)
22. Old Toy Trains (Roger Miller)
23. Blue Christmas Lights (Buck Owens)
24. Lonely Christmas Call (George Jones)
25. Christmas Comes But Once A Year (Amos Milburn)
26. Good Times Are Coming (Eddy Clearwater w/Los Straightjackets)


Big Rock Candy Junk Shop Xmas (mp3)


Give your local record shop clerk a hug this Xmas season.