Monday, February 19, 2007

Irving's Space Age Christmas 2006

This compilation was one of the first I received last year after I issued my call for Christmas comps. However, it was not created by a guy named Irving!

The comp was the creation of Gus Calandrino of Clinton Township, Michigan. This CD came with a handwritten note (perfect penmanship as well) that read:

"Hello CaptainOT!

"Here is our 2006 Xmas CD. It is a Calandrino family tradition that begun about ten years ago.

"The CD is named for our beloved Boston terrier, Irving, whom is featured on all the covers. The two astronauts are our two children Giulia and Dominic. (CAPT'S NOTE: I wonder if any of those astro kids are wearing NASA diapers?)

"We hope you enjoy it and will include it in your CD reviews."Merry Christmas from the Calandrino Family: Gus, Kelly, Giulia, Dominic, and Irving."

Unfortunately, there was no e-mail address listed on the note. I sent the Calandrino's my standard set of questions that I've asked everyone who sent a comp but as of press time, I still haven't received them. As Casey Kasem would say "And now, here comes the countdown..."


(Click on image to enlarge)

1.) S-A-N-T-A, C-L-A-U-S, Hooray for Santa Claus! Any song from the 1964 film "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians" is welcome here!
2.) "Merry Christmas Earth People" - cleverly lifted from Dickie Goodman's "Santa And The Satellite" is the perfect start to Esquivel's space age version of "Frosty"!
3.) The countdown and other sound bites from Apollo 11 are just one of the highlights on this one - it says Moog but it's more theremin than anything else! Where o where did this one come from?
4.) The New York Percussion Trio seems to be missing - just a 31 second track of Moog playing "Jingle Bells".
5.) Great version by the only group that I know of named after an authentic cocktail!
6.) Here's a great song-poem classic that I first heard on Andy Cirzan's "Off The Christmas Cosmos" comp last year!
7.) A hip, swinging instrumental version of "Baby It's Cold Outside"? You bet! Outstanding track!
8.) "Zoomah" - a 1950s cutesie wutesie kiddie song that's a step above the rest thanks to its space age feel.
9.) "This message from worlds out in space..." this one came from Mr. Cirzan!
10.) If you happened to have dozed off listening to this one, "I Want An Alien For Christmas" by the Fountains of Wayne will do the trick! Great song.
11.) Forget "Jingle Bell Rock" - this is the Bobby Helms Christmas song I'd rather hear on the radio every Christmas!
12.) Smooth! Eddie Layton's organ version of "Winter Wonderland" has that skating and space age feel all at once!
13.) This isn't the Gus DeWert Trio - it's The Hal Bradley Orchestra (with Patty Marie Jay) and it's a beaut!
14.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! The quick tempo, the piano, the chimes, the xylophones! Where did the Latin rhythm combo with maracas come from? Astounding!
15.) Recorded sometime in the 1970s at the height of disco. The second worst Christmas song I've ever heard (first place is also Tiny Tim: "Santa Claus Has Got The AIDS This Year").
16.) MOOOOOOOG! "Jingle Bells" never sounded so good! This is just reverberating all around the room!
17.) Nice follow-up to the Moog. Herman Apple, wherever you are, you did REAL good!
18.) More MOOOOOG! Taken from the landmark Sy Mann Christmas album "Switched On Santa".
19.) My favorite track from that man Welk! It's a great Christmas space age pop song!
20.) Recorded live at a New Year's Eve concert where Arthur Lyman was playing - I wanna go to THAT party! Love the balloon pops in the background!
21.) A quick 36 second clip of the famous 1968 Christmas Eve TV broadcast from Apollo 8. Fitting sendoff.

I really enjoyed this Christmas comp! Each one of the tracks maintained the space age theme throughout, it was never dull, always upbeat, and I've listened to it about five times and it hasn't gotten boring yet!

Gus, Kelly, Giulia, Dominic, and Irving - Thanks so much for sharing your Christmas tradition with the yuleblog! I hope you'll reply to the questions so I can post them here and leave any additional comments you want!

Long live Irving!

UP NEXT: Dave Wright's Christmas 2006



stubbysfears said...

I'm really digging everybody's artwork. There are clearly some very talented people out there.

Anonymous said...

hey there,

this is gus (irving's owner!).
we lost your email address so we never answered the questions. please provide your email and we'll respond.


CaptainOT said...

Gus - With my recent computer troubles, you're probably better off if you can send the questions to the P.O. Box.

I will post them when I receive them!