Monday, January 29, 2007
If you haven't visited FaLaLaLaLa.com, you're missing out on a great community of Christmas music lovers who offer their picks on great holiday music, web links you have to see to believe, and new and unusual albums or CDs.
This CD was first brought to my attention in the Forums at FLLLL (be warned: once you enter the Forums, you may not come out!). KCMike first told us of this CD back on November 21 of last year (thank you sir!).
I quickly ordered a copy the same day and waited for my copy to show. And waited. And waited. And waited. Two weeks had passed. This might be normal if I had sent in a check or money order but I paid with PayPal!
I dashed off a quick e-mail asking where my copy was. One quicker reply later I got my answer: "Sorry for the delay. Your order slipped through the cracks. The disc was sent today." Lesson learned? Never order anything online before the long Thanksgiving day weekend.
About ten years ago, the retro lounge culture was reaching its peak in popularity. Swing dancing was in vogue as new swing bands popped up everywhere. Lounge clubs began appearing where smoking jackets and martinis were welcome.
Capitol Records released their endless volume collection of "Ultra-Lounge" music (of which I personally own 18 of the 25 volumes released). The Vince Vaughn - Jon Favreau movie "Swingers" perfectly captures this time in our culture.
In 1999, Atomic Magazine published its first issue with dynamic articles on the lounge scene, music and book reviews of retro icons past and lounge swingers present, places on where to buy those leopard print jackets and bowling shirts, tips on how to host the perfect cocktail party in your bachelor pad, and fantastic glamour shots.
Shortly before Christmas 2000, Atomic released this beaut of a Christmas CD featuring new bands doing their new lounge takes on your Christmas favorites:
1.) Lavay Smith - Winter Wonderland
Cha-cha-cha! Sultry singing by Ms. Smith, the orchestra swings, making this totally hip!
2.) The Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra - Jingle Bells
Nails the great Glenn Miller arrangement to a T. When are these guys and gals in town?
3.) Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Christmas Time In Tinseltown (again)
I've yet to hear these guys but I'm told they rock... and if you believe that, you wanna buy a bridge?
4.) George Gee & The Jump Jive and Wailers (with Nick Palumbo) - Run Run Rudolph
Move over Brian Setzer... these guys have Chuck Berry's tune well in hand!
5.) The Jive Aces - Santa Is Back In Town
The UK's number one swing band de-Elvises this tune, swinging it out in the process!
6.) Los Straightjackets - Sleigh Ride
Misspelled on the CD, there's no mistaking that great instrumental sound of these guys!
7.) Dave's True Story - Let It Snow
A jazz combo whose sound is completely off the charts! You'd swear this was an orchestra! WOW!
8.) Michael Andrew and Swingerhead - Mistletoe Mambo
The title say it all... excuse me while I have a whiskey and soda and hit the dance floor!
9.) Casey MacGill - Egg Nog
A lounge track homage to a seasonal drink favorite? This one might make my Christmas comp!
10.) Michael Andrew and Swingerhead (featuring "Broccoli Rob" and Eddie Nichols) - We Three Kings
Starts off slow, they pop the clutch, and off we go! Frrrrrrrrankencense!
11.) The Ray Gelato Giants - Winter Wonderland
Bouncy, gritty, and totally swingable - a great rendition of this song!
12.) Atomic Magazine - Christmas Greetings
The record noise and pops makes this charming...
A fantastic addition to any Christmas music collection. Now I have to check out all those artist links to see if any of them (other than the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and Los Straitjackets) have any full Christmas CDs to their name.
Like with any popular culture trend, the lounge scene died down in popularity and by 2001, it was practically off the radar screen. Atomic Magazine stayed in print for another two years, suspending publication in 2003.
Thanks to the Internet, the magazine is still alive online. You can visit their website to get back issues, read articles, shop for some retro gear, and experience the whole lounge scene once more. Be sure to visit the new online companion sites: The Retro Radar and The Fedora Lounge to keep in touch with all the be-boppers and hipsters around the world!
Oh... you can STILL get this Christmas CD by ordering it here online ($10 - a STEAL!).
UP NEXT: My most embarrassing purchase of the 2006 holiday season.