(Due to computer problems, this week's schedule has been pushed back one day. Sorry for the mess!)
Last December, as the comps began to flood my PO Box, this one stood out (not because of the semi-racy cover located above).
It was the first package that I received that contained multiple copies of Christmas comps. I had assumed everyone would send me a copy of their work and that was that (what were YOU thinkin'?).
Mike Quinn of Overland, Missouri obviously read and re-read the yuleblog entry asking for comps and noticed that I never had said "Limit one comp per package". I smiled thinking that was the most I'd receive from one person (what were YOU smokin'?).
Along with the three submissions came a letter (more on that in a moment) and another disc that I thought was an audio CD at first. Boy, was I wrong!
It was a tape-to-DVD copy entitled "Peter Clark's Christmas Tree Tips" that we played at our Christmas party. The 30 minute DVD was looped and the emotions ranged from other party goers ranged from "Sweet mercy!" to "Can I get a copy of that?"
The letter of introduction was simple and to the point:
"It is great to find like minded people. I found your yuleblog by chance searching for Christmas music on the web.
"Enclosed is my annual Holiday Collection from the last couple of years and one bad DVD on Christmas decorating from the 1980s. Enjoy!"
I sent Mike a set of questions that I will be asking everyone whose comp will be reviewed here. The answers:
1. When did you begin creating your Christmas compilations?
In 1990, I made my first compilation for a few friends. I have been collecting records since high school in the early 1980s. I was tired of the same old Christmas music and started looking for odd and funny holiday music.
In 1995, the title was changed from "Mike's Ho Ho" to "Mike and Cindy's Ho Ho" to include my wife. She is still not too sure that was good move. We bought our first CD recorder in 2000 and made the leap from tape to CD.
2. Explain the process on creating your Christmas compilation.
I have worked part time at a record store in St. Louis for 15 years and I am always keeping an eye out for odd Christmas stuff there and other stores in town as well as resale shops, garage sales and, as of late, online but I am not a big down-loader. In early November, I usually hunker down in the record room of my house, gather all my new and old Christmas stuff and assemble the new compilation.
Cindy keeps me on track by offering her ideas as the process moves along and I agonize about what to put on this year's compilation. This usually takes an entire weekend much to Cindy's consternation. I then make a master copy and start running dubs. I then start making art work for the label and the cheesier the cover looks, the better.
3. Who do you share these compilations with? How many do you send out?
Cindy and I share the CD with just about anyone who is remotely interested. We hand them out to our coworkers, friends and family as well as complete strangers who look like they might enjoy it. We have about 15-20 people who live out of town whom we send the CD off to. In 2006, we had our largest run yet of 400 CDs.
4. What is it about Christmas music that appeals to you?
I find Christmas music interesting because there is so much to choose from and can be very eclectic. I tend to go for the funny and humorous. I like the challenge of trying to find strange Christmas music which gives me an excuse to go record and CD shopping. As a bonus it is much easier than writing Christmas cards.
5. What kind of feed back do you get from the compilation?
I get mostly positive feedback on the CD. Many people have told me that they listen to it while trimming their tree, shopping or holiday parties. Several people tell me they look forward to a new CD every year and that it has become part of their holiday tradition. I am a bit amazed by that but take it as a high compliment that they enjoy my silly little CD.
6. What other projects / websites do you work on other than Christmas?
Nothing really. I think of my Christmas compilation as a chance to share some of my record and CD collecting hobbies with others. So I try not to take myself to seriously and will quit making them when it is not fun anymore. However, with all the positive response I don't see that happening anytime soon.
7. Anything you would like to share with people reading this review?
I would just like to thank the Captain for all his hard work on his blog. It is always nice to find like-minded people. I have enjoyed all of his blog entries. I have really been enjoying the reviews of others' compilations. It is really great to see how people are able to express their individuality with their collections.
I am honored that someone has taken the time to review my silly little compilation. Thanks and I will continue the search for next year's offering.
MIKE & CINDY's HO HO 2004 - TRACK REVIEWS:
1.) A "Lord Of The Rings"-esque type introduction of Santa! "Bow down to the power of Santa!" Where did THIS come from?
2.) This is Robert Lund - cleverly parodying R.E.M's "Stand"! Why haven't I picked up this CD yet?
3.) Bachman had this available at his website for download several years ago (where I found my copy). Sometimes credited to Bob Rivers' Twisted Christmas.
4.) =WINCE= Tell me when it's over... Hung has hung on to his 15 minutes way too long!
5.) Robert Lund's parody of "Feliz Navidad" - way too close to Bob Rivers' "Police Stop My Car" for my tastes.
6.) WOW! A Beatle-esque Christmas song from a Chicago group I've never heard before? Excellent!
7.) Maybe the only song about a dog urinating on a Christmas tree. A career lowlight for Rodney.
8.) A five second clip of someone shouting something... Say wha?
9.) I applaud Mike and Cindy for their use of this on their comp - I don't have the stones to do it. Too f-----' funny!
10.) Robert Lund's parody of the Police's "Every Breath You Take" - pretty fair to good.
11.) A tragic song about the handicapped orphan Little Mary Christmas. From the "John Waters Christmas" CD!
12.) High-energy rock version of Brenda Lee's perennial favorite. Off the "Happy Christmas V2" CD.
13.) Talk about a gem! Who is Little Peggy (who sounds a lot like a young Dolly Parton)? Where did this come from? Clues, please?
14.) Even though it's Christmas related, I still can't stand Bobcat Goldthwait - the human equivalent to nails on the chalk board.
15.) Okay... I've been looking for Mojo Nixon's Christmas CD forever. After hearing this, it's moved to the top of my wish list!
16.) Robert Lund's version... I think this one first came off of Kevin & Bean's series of Christmas CDs. Seen it credited to "The Kids Of Widney High".
17.) Another "Lord Of The Rings"-esque rant - about the destruction of Santa. Decaf is looking good for this guy.
18.) LAFFIN! Nice rhythmic tune about the darker side of Santa. I'm impressed with these guys!
19.) The American Comedy Network's answer to Adam Sandler's "Hannukah Song". I used this one on my 2005 Christmas comp.
20.) Lewis Black rants better than anyone else on the planet! From Kevin & Bean's "Fo' Shizzle St. Nizzle" CD.
21.) Title says it all! Getting my polyester slacks and dancing shoes on for this one.
22.) What if the Doors met Bing Crosby? A great track I've yet to use! The "Blame It On Christmas" CD is a blast!
23.) Robert Lund's parody of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated". Might have worked if Robert got a female singer to sing and not him!
24.) This may be my favorite song off all of the "South Park" Christmas stuff. Who sings to a mail order meat product?
25.) Bob Rivers' parodies never disappoint - when taken in low doses. From the "More Twisted Christmas" CD.
26.) You can't get any more Jewish than this - a kosher version of "Jingle Bells"! Oy vey!
27.) Cross "Do You Hear What I Hear" with The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" - an exceptional rockin' tune!
28.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! Designed to clear any room in a matter of seconds! "Falllllllll on your knees"...
29.) Robert Lund's parody of Toby Keith & Willie Nelson's "Beer for My Horses" - strictly for the country set.
30.) "Oh, here comes Fatty with his sack of s--- and all them stinkin' reindeer!" I again applaud your courage Mike and Cindy!
31.) The Burgermeister Meisterburger (aka Paul Frees) sings "The First Toymakers To The King (Reprise)" from the "Santa Claus / Frosty" soundtrack!
32.) A nine second clip that yells "HAIL SANTA!"
33.) Country-rock-gospel Christmas tune that's a toetapper! From their 1992 Christmas CD - a rare one to find!
34.) Norris The Troubadour & The Seaboard Coastliners sing this trippy 60s gem from "The American Song-Poem Christmas" CD.
35.) Ever hear a surprising song about Santa involved in an old west shootout? Look no further! Find this one on the "Christmas Time Again" CD.
36.) Robert Lund's parody of "My Favorite Things" - we're hitting bottom here with this one.
37.) Portsmith Sinfonia's cover of B.Bumble & The Stingers "The Nut Rocker" - classy!
MIKE & CINDY's HO HO 2005 - TRACK REVIEWS:
1.) OMG! I can't stop laffin' at this one! I'm posting this one for everyone to hear!
2.) Senor Tonto's techno-pop version remains the gold standard for this song! Go download it here!
3.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! A parody of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" wrapped around some bad nog. Adding Gastonomical Unit's Christmas CD to my wish list.
4.) Sarah Silverman is either brilliant or blasphemous depending on who you talk to. This song adds to the argument!
5.) Here's one from the "Christmas Cocktails III" CD. I used this on my annual Christmas comp last year.
6.) Whatever this guy was on, I hope he got help! From the first 365 Days project (scroll down to May 28 to download).
7.) The American Comedy Network's take on the "Secret Santa" grab bag to the tune Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man"! A few chuckles guaranteed.
8.) "Maybe This Christmas" I'll have the courage to play this one... Don't count on it.
9.) A nine year old sings to a dead Elvis! Another one from the first 365 Days project (scroll down to December 23 to download).
10.) Off the "Winter Warnerland" promo CD - actual title is "Ways To Save Money At Christmas".
11.) This one always makes me guffaw - thank you Count Floyd! Aawwooooooooo!
12.) An honest to goodness rabbi doing a twangy country yodel take on the dreidel! OY VEY!
13.) 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").
14.) An anthem for all those Santa conspiracy believers. It's been awhile since I heard this one! Salute!
15.) Funeral dirge like song about Santa's appetite. This is eerie and depressing.
16.) This is Buddy Max and you can find this one for download at the first 365 Days project (scroll down to February 26).
17.) Another Bob Rivers parody - a better one for sure! Off his "I Am Santa Claus" CD.
18.) The good father's classic Christmas song (with Joe Walsh on guitar!). Check out his latest Christmas song - clocks in at 14 1/2 minutes!
19.) That was Bela Lugosi I heard it... not a Christmas clip but it fits!
20.) Okay... it's Andy Dick and his usual tired schtick. Skipping ahead (sorry).
21.) Darn it... I really want to find Mojo's Christmas album... the perfect man to record this song!
22.) A cajun classic! You can find it on this album or this album (where Mike and Cindy got it from).
23.) Tortured country Christmas song about Santa's option for bad kids in their stocking. Where did this one come from?
24.) That voice... shield the dogs! From the first 365 Days project (scroll down to April 25 to download and to view the Billboard ad I submitted of this very song!).
25.) I'm on record as stating anything Christmas crossed with anything Halloween is an instant turn-off for me. This one's not going to change my mind.
26.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! The MistleTones completely nail this! Snatches of "Sweet Caroline", "Love On The Rocks" and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" can be heard! This one's gonna get some consideration for my comp this year!
27.) "This is Marc Bolan here. I'd like to wish you all a SuperFunk Christmas and a Golden New Year.... Yeah!"
28.) A smooth jazzy blue Christmas song about Judaism at the Christmas season. Where did you find this... nevermind!
29.) My favorite rendition of this song! Their Christmas album is chock full of great stuff - get a copy if and when you can!
30.) The penultimate punk version of "Silent Night" - find it on Rhino's "Punk Rock Xmas" CD.
31.) Another visit from The Sisterhood and their rockin' disco Santa... I've heard this way too many times already this year.
32.) WOW... it's been ages since I first heard this on "The Dr. Demento Show" - find this on the "Holidays In Dementia" CD!
33.) Nothing says "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" edgier than this punk cover (see "Punk Rock Xmas" above)!
MIKE & CINDY's HO HO 2006 - TRACK REVIEWS:
1.) Sounds like "South Park"... Mike and Cindy, you have strange intros indeed!
2.) TWISTED SISTER SPOTTED! If these released this album back at the height of their popularity, we'd be speaking about it in hushed tones...
3.) "I Got Yule Babe". No one ever thought of it before. More power to Joel Kopischke! Laffin!
4.) All I want for Christmas is Bobcat tied down on an anthill and one large jar of honey.
5.) Mull's two Christmas songs are classics; this one and his incredible "Santafly" take on 1970s blaxploitation theme songs. Good to hear this again!
6.) Parodies of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" are just as unfunny as the original. NEXT!
7.) Hilarious cover! From a much-sought after OOP Christmas album called "Santa & Satan, One & The Same".
8.) YESSSS! From the amazing "Spirit Of Fruitcake V4" Christmas CD! Too funny!
9.) "Santa Mack The Knife"? No one thought of this one either? Another great parody from Joel Kopischke!
10.) This is purely heartbreaking until Kyle starts getting angry, drops the F bomb, and the Meat Loaf wannabe comes on. A pretty good track from "South Park".
11.) I've heard Dick Grande before and don't think much of his philosophy of "let's see how much raunch we can stuff into a song and get away from it."
12.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! FAN-DAMN-TASTIC! Do you know how long I've been searching for this one? I think that's Thurl Ravenscroft as Santa! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
13.) The actual title of this song is "Tub Of Lard" to the tune of "Deck The Halls" - off their "Christmas Jihad" CD.
14.) A brilliant parody of The Violent Femmes' "Blister In The Sun" - about the tortures of exposure to the winter elements!
15.) Not really John Madden but it's so perfectly captures the bumbling NFL analyst that I wet myself every time I hear it!
16.) Another track off the "Spirit Of Fruitcake V4" CD - I used this one on my 2006 Christmas comp as well!
17.) WOW! A new-wave punk-ish cover of the "Rudolph" tune! Incredible total sound! From this tantalizing Christmas CD that has been added to my wish list.
18.) You'd never know this was a Christian band hearing this They-Might-Be-Giants like tune! From the first "Happy Christmas" CD.
19.) I didn't think anyone could have done a parody of "Schnitzelbank" aka "Yah Das Ist Ein Christmas Tree". I was WRONG! Joel Kopischke strikes again!
20.) SANTA! SANTA! SANTA! A wicked parody of those dragstrip commercials! Wait... this isn't the American Comedy Network. Where did this one come from? Ah-ha! Mark Jonathan Davis!
21.) Nothing like Christmas 'round the trailer park with that special hairdo! See the "Fo' Shizzle" link above!
22.) Take "Gloria" by Them!, cross it with "In Excelsis Deo", and you'll get this! From the classic 1984 "Midnight Christmas Mess" album.
23.) "That's Amore"... "That's A Menorah". "Amore", "Menorah". I sound like Letterman! Joel Kopischke's Jewish take on this one must be heard to be believed!
24.) A quick cute song about Christmas physics! See #13 above for the link!
25.) I used to like Heywood Banks but here in the land of Bob & Tom, his stuff has been beaten to death. Sorry Heywood.
26.) If you asked a third grader to sing this song without knowing the lyrics, it would sound like this!
27.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! A parody of Barenaked Ladies "If I Had A $1,000,000"! The best parody by Joel Kopischke I've heard so far!
28.) Another awesome track off the "Spirit Of Fruitcake V4" CD! Can't wait to hear the other "volumes"!
29.) Love this track! El Vez gives it some much needed juice! I vote for replacing Jose Feliciano's original with this one!
30.) They're back! This is the song the Del Rubio Triplets played on the "Pee-Wee Playhouse Christmas Special"
31.) A parody of Bobby Darin's "Beyond The Sea" - wowza! Joel Kopischke's remarkable parody CD just made the top of my wish list!
32.) The glam pop Christmas national anthem! Still sounds as fresh as the day it was recorded!
33.) Another anonymous outro from Mike and Cindy... where's this from?
34.) Pure bluegrass take on Bill Monroe's "Christmas Time's A-Comin' ". From the "Cold Mountain" movie soundtrack.
I'm feeling lightheaded... what a trip this has been! I sat down behind my computer this morning around 8 AM to start these reviews. It's close to 1 PM and I just finished.
Mike and Cindy, there's some real gold in these here CDs... not fool's gold, mind you, but absolute 24 carat nuggets that have shined through. You guys obviously enjoy Christmas parodies, Jewish Christmas takes, comedy for Christmas, and a great ear for old and new Christmas classics.
Which one did I enjoy the best? That's like asking me "what plate of spaghetti do I like the best?" Each comp had a great voice, a feel all their own. I winced several times, I laughed out loud more times than I could count, and I thoroughly enjoyed each comp.
When I have the time, I'll relisten to these again and again and laugh again and again. You guys have done a stupendous job on these comps and I hope people who have received them in the past realize how grand they are! I tip my Chicago Cub hat to you both!
UP NEXT: Jingle Belles From The Welles 2006