The Friday Five: December 20, 2013

Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up the media player of your choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

‘Twas the Friday before Christmas, when all through Popdose
Not a writer was stirring, not even to boast
There were stockings hung by the chimney with care,
A sign that Lifton’s mom surely had been there;
Jeff and Jason were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of bacon-covered meatloaf danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in mine,
Had just settled our brains for a shuffle through the Friday Five

That’s right, my faithful Friday Fivers, it is time for the annual shuffle through the holiday wing of my library. Grab yourself a ladle of Christmas Glogg, a slice of fruitcayyyyke, and settle in for what is sure to be a good time.

“Merry Christmas, Baby” by Lou Rawls (from Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails, Part 2, 1997)

Aside from the original, I’m a big fan of Bonnie Raitt’s take on this tune. Mr. Rawls does a fine job of bringing a bit of swank to this modern classic, with a deft mix of big band swing and some tasty guitar work.

“Babies and Their Kings” by Amy Petty (from Sycamore Tree, 2011)

If you aren’t familiar with Amy Petty’s work, this is not a bad way to get introduced. Her Christmas record is quiet and contemplative, yet joyous and full of the holiday spirit. I implore you: if you listen to but one of the tunes in this week’s Friday Five, make it this one.

“All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) (MJ Cole remix)” by The Nat King Cole Trio (from Merry Mixmas: Christmas Classics Remixed, 2005)

Putting a new spin on the old guard is nothing new; doing it with the utter restraint displayed in this modern remix definitely is. There are a few tracks on this compilation that get it all wrong, but this one gets it right by layering in subtle acid jazz touches to the original.

“White Christmas” by Matt Wertz (from Snow Globe, 2011)

I have no clue who Matt Wertz is other than the fact that he released a lovely Christmas record a few years ago. He voice is a bit of a throwback, without sounding contrived (yeah, I’m looking at you Michael Bublé.)

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Bing Crosby (from The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas, Volume 2 (disc 2), 1987)

Well, nothing like ending on a high note. This collection calls to mind the Christmas celebrations of my childhood, as my Nana would often play the classic tunes while the family gathered for a holiday meal. It sometimes seems like another world in retrospect, but isn’t that part of what the holidays are about–looking back on those special moments from long, long ago, and all that. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy Holiday season.

What’s on your shuffle today?

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Michael Parr
Husband, Father, Writer, Musical Voyeur, Pop Culture Glutton, Gourmet in Training. I'm the tall guy behind all these short guys. You can find me on the Twitter.