During my week run of Christmas comps last year, the comp I was most thrilled about reviewing was "Andy Cirzan's Off In The Christmas Cosmos Vol XVII 2005".
To quote from that review (read the whole thing by clicking on the link above):
"By day, Andy Cirzan is a mild-mannered vice-president working for a great metropolitan concert promoter. By night, he becomes DJ Lo-Fi - a Christmas music collector extraordinaire; spinning incredible Christmas records he found using his Vinyl-Vision all over the world.
"For the past seventeen (now eighteen) years, Cirzan has been issuing his own homemade compilations - 100% all-vinyl - no fillers!"
Like many people, I was constantly watching the Sound Opinions page where Andy's annual Christmas pastiche is posted for a limited time.
Last December, I placed the call asking for people to send me their Christmas comps. I went to my P.O. Box and found an actual COPY of the CD awaiting for me - one of the highlights of not just Christmas but my year! Thank you so much Andy!
A1.) Solemn anonymous intro from a long lost Christmas record. Moment of silence please.
A2.) My friend Ernie used this on his compilation that I reviewed yesterday! Great minds again...
A3.) How 60s can you get? The Anita Kerr Singers with Rod McKuen? Groovy, baby!
A4.) Andy lives in Chicago - home of the blues! Great Christmas example right here.
A5.) A Casey Kasem type intro and a trippy, brassy Christmas pop anthem about shepherds & wisemen! WOW!
A6.) "Beautiful..." Taken from the fantastic 1967 James Coburn movie "The President's Analyst"!
A7.) I love simple Christmas songs like this. One of my favorites on the CD!
A8.) The background music gives this drab Christmas song some life! Great organ playing!
A9.) A young boy wants to give Santa his wish list full of war weapons. Charming, disturbing, and political?
A10.) It's bad when the chorus of kids drowns out the lead adult singer... A fun song though!
A11.) Reminiscent of Paul & Paula, this one actually has a beat and you can dance to it!
A12.) Another great song-poem from The Sisterhood! This one's catchy and the lyrics are... well...
A13.) GREAT SONG! A very low-key Tom Jones type of song and crooner! Coo-coo!
A14.) Taken from the great "Winter Sequence" album! Brilliant stuff!
B1.) The title comes from the title of a preacher's sermon. Rescued from a home recording? 78? Edison cylinder?
B2.) Proof positive that there's always room for the blues at Christmas!
B3.) This one has the feel of the original Claudine Longet recording but not the Saint Etienne version.
B4.) One man, one gut wrenching Christmas song, one banjo = pure GOLD!
B5.) If the Harmonicats met the Three Suns, this is what it would sound like! MARVELLOUS!
B6.) Mortimer Snerd recorded a Christmas song? Someone has one too many mai-tais!
B7.) I recall seeing something for download by Bob Kames on the web. Great organ version of this tune!
B8.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! I've been after this one for a long time! From the same guy who gave us "Shaving Cream"!
B9.) Any Christmas song with the Elvis-Sun Records sound gets my vote of approval! Yeehaa!
B10.) POLKAAAA! This one will get your foot tapping! Heel and toe and away we go!
B11.) I was set to share this entire album by Melachrino but it's available on CD! Watch for my review in June!
B12.) Santa asks whose chimney is this and we get some Ferrante & Teicher thrown in for good measure!
Around the time I was receiving Andy's CD in the mail, the King of Jingaling at FLLLL contacted Andy for a Christmas Eve interview.
Andy answered many questions about his collecting and his Christmas comps - the territory my standard six questions I'm asking everyone who submitted a comp would have covered.
The icing on the cake was Andy gave the King an EXCLUSIVE Christmas mix entitled "Twilight Zone Xmas: Into The Vortex Mix"!
Two Andy Cirzan Christmas CDs in one year? They don't call it Christmas for nothing!
To quote Andy from the FLLLL interview:
"These were songs that in my opinion were so bad they were good, though I refuse to describe them as novelty stuff. That said, I could never use more than one on each year's mix because they can be quite disturbing in larger doses. So one year I decided I would stack them end to end in a single mix and whatever that says about how totally off the wall Christmas music can be... well, the music speaks for itself."
The mix is still posted at FLLLL.com - head over but come back!
A.) "Hellooooo..." Santa rides a horse?
B.) This is just bizarre. Who knew gnomes spoke in echo chambers?
C.) We've found the definitive Chipmunk knock-off Christmas song! The lyrics must be heard to be believed!
D.) This cutesie wutesie kiddie Christmas song is just a cut above the rest. I don't understand the sisters but whadda band!
E.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! I had to stop the CD because the laughter brought tears to my eyes! What is the story behind this one?
F.) When the storyline of this song is revealed, the whole song takes on a whole new meaning! An eye-opener!
G.) I've heard this song so much over the past several years that it needs to go away for awhile.
H.) Has an Indian/twangy country feel to it as it describes how Indians could help Santa. Bury this song at Wounded Knee!
I.) "So dear Santy, would it be any use to ask a gentlemen like you to reduce?" A plea for a thin Santa! HILARIOUS!
J.) Another attempt to introduce another Christmas (elves workshop supervisor) character to the lexicon of characters.
K.) A Trinidad piggy pleads for Santa to rescue him from someone's Christmas table. "Santa Claus, oink oink"!
L.) At least the kids in this song aren't greedy... all they want is a turtle for Christmas!
M.) Her vibrato is so bad and drowned out by the music that I can't make out whether Daddy's serving in Vietnam or on the road or waiting for her to stop singing!
N.) Not sure if she's doing an Elvis or Cher impersonation (or maybe both).
O.) What is Santa broke his hip and couldn't load his sleigh? Sorry Charlie. This is just plain awful (in a great way)!
P.) My friend Ernie used this on his compilation that I reviewed yesterday! Great minds again...
Andy, thanks for your usual brilliance again on both of these CDs. You are indeed "The King Of Obscure Christmas"! We look forward to next year's offering!
If I try to add anymore to that, I'll be gushing here for another 20 minutes and I promised I wouldn't do that.
UP NEXT: Al's Christmas Ale 2006