Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Story of Star Wars

Artist: The Cast of Star Wars
LP: The Story of Star Wars: From the Original Soundtrack
Song: "The Story of Star Wars (excerpt)" 
[ listen ]

In case you haven't heard, there's a new STAR WARS movie playing in theaters. This is evidently episode #7, but I honestly can't remember what happened in episodes #1-6. (I know I've seen movie #3, which I believe is episode #6, the one with all the Muppets in the woods, but I missed movie #4, which may be episode #1 if I'm not mistaken; it's the one with Jar-Jar Binkus or whatever, the one that flopped. If I've seen episode #4, which I think is movie #1, it was years ago. I've seen either episode #2 or #3, which would be movies #5 and #6, but I can't recall which one! And it's hard to imagine I'd have gone without seeing movie #2 in the cinemas when I was a kid, which as far as I can tell would be episode #5, but if I saw it I still can't tell you a single thing about it.) 

Anyway, I desperately need a Star Wars refresher course before watching THE FORCE AWAKENS or I'll be completely at a loss. Good thing I found "The Story of Star Wars" at a thrift shop up in Alaska earlier this year. If you're in the same boat as I am, this might help you too! Before we dive headlong into the story, it's important to re-familiarize ourselves with all of the players:

"The Story of Star Wars" takes place

The entire ordeal begins when

And then suddenly

Things seem to be looking up when

But then

Everyone knows what horrors this signifies. Their worst fears are confirmed when

Without wasting a single precious moment,

Meanwhile, as everyone had anticipated,

Momentarily sidetracking everyone, R2-D2 provides a dazzling demonstration of technical brilliance by repeatedly presenting a 

Seizing a golden opportunity while everyone's busy watching the hologram,

Meanwhile, as if from out of nowhere,

Once again,

Knowing full well that time is of the essence,


And then, as if they didn't already have enough to do,

Which keeps them out of the way as

But then

And helps him to understand that choking the rebel officer was wrong!

Thankfully, he escapes with just enough time to shower and dress for the

Where, as a reward for his bravery, 

Sunday, December 20, 2015


 Artist: Heino
LP: Deutsche Weihnacht...und Festliche Lieder
Song: "Still Wie die Nacht" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Medly"
a. "Es ist Für uns Eine Zeit Angekommen"
b. "Kling Glöckchen, Klingelingeling"
c. "Leise Rieselt der Schnee"
[ listen ]

My favorite Christmas vinyl acquisition of the year is probably this 1974 Heino LP that I found at Golden Oldies last week. Heino strumming his guitar and booming "Klingelingeling" is his lovely baritone already puts this one over the top...but then you open the LP gate-fold sleeve and a paper Nativity pops up. Brilliant!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Patti Page

Artist: Patti Page
LP: Christmas With Patti Page
Song: "Christmas Choir" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Jingle Bells"
[ listen ]
Song: "The Mama Doll Song" 
[ listen ]

I think what I like most about my Patti Page Christmas record is how I always feel cool snow flakes melting as they touch my cheek while the album plays. And wait. What's that I taste...peppermint? "The Mama Doll Song" is my new favorite Christmas carol, even though it reminds me of a creepy old episode of The Twilight Zone.

[ Patti Page: November 8, 1927 — January 1, 2013 ]

Monday, December 14, 2015

Boney M.

Artist: Boney M.
LP: Christmas Album
Song: "When a Child Is Born" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Jingle Bells" 
[ listen ]

I sprang a Boney M. when I found this 1981 Christmas record in the Jive Time holiday bins a few weeks ago. I'd heard a few months earlier that such a thing as a Boney M. Christmas Album might have at once existed, but I figured it was probably just an urban legend. Yet here it is, sitting in my kitchen in blue and white.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Kinks

Artist: The Kinks
LP: 7" single
Song: "Father Christmas" 
[ listen ]

One of the things I want for Christmas is to go back in time nine days to before I tried to upgrade to Windows 10, which killed my computer until I had the IT guy at work rescue it (I was 'this close' to putting my laptop in the road and running over it with my car). He was able to restore Windows 7, but then somehow I ended up with a new version of iTunes that isn't compatible for importing mp3s from my Ion turntable, so then I had to update my Ion software. Now the Ion only seems to import wav files to a folder instead of mp3s to iTunes. God, what have I done. WHAT HAVE I DONE? Plus, the new iTunes looks like shit. Everything's humongous. Anyway I've sorted it out so that there's an mp3 up there that I hope at least one person will listen to. 

Oh, and the other thing I want for Christmas is a more exciting picture sleeve for my Kinks Christmas record. This one's so boring it keeps putting me to sleep.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas In Italy

Artist: Various
LP: Christmas In Italy
Song: "La Ninna Nanna a Gesù (Lullaby to Jesus)" 
Performed by: R. Lipparini, Tenor w/ Cleva, Soprano e Coro
[ listen ]
Song: "Buon Natale (Merry Christmas)"
Performed by: Coro di Alunne della Piccola Casa San Giuseppe 
accompagnate dal Complesso Speciale del Pistoia
[ listen ]

It's that time of year again—when poor families all across Italy have to hock their furniture in order to provide a decent Christmas meal. I read today that, because of the Internet, stores in countries all over the world now have to participate in Black Friday discounts on the day after Thanksgiving—even though they don't even celebrate Thanksgiving! I bet the Internet has also pretty much destroyed the Italian tradition of the old, witch-like Befana who comes down the chimney with toys at Christmas, described in the liner notes on the back of this 1957 "Christmas In Italy" LP. On the other hand, the Web has probably also helped Italians realize that eating capitone marinato every year during the holidays isn't such a great idea after all, no matter how much wine you try to cover it up with. Buon Natale!