(This is one of those entries I started weeks ago and put aside for paying work; haven't had time to flesh it out, but if I don't post it soon, most of its contents will go away.)
A celebration of ephemeral things. Seek these out soon, or they will be gone (if they're not already):
1. Discovered a couple of iTunes radio stations in the “holiday” channel that are worth a listen if you go for that kind of thing—and I realize many, many people do not.
“A Capella Hoiday” is exactly what it sounds like—not too cheesy, a few curveballs. (Warning: “It’s a Small World” was played at one point, which was my cue to head to...)
“Xmas in Frisco” -- the real find. A couple of nice traditional songs done in nice straightforward manner, but also LOTS of parodies, weird versions, Hannukah & Kwanzaa carols, even anti-holiday songs. Punk and old school rap coexist next to soundbites from Bob Newhart and various Simpsons characters. “Christmas in Hell,” sung to the tune of that song the Whos sing after the Grinch is captured and re-educated, was an instant fave, along with a hilarious ditty about gift exchanges sung to the tune of “Do You Hear What I Hear” in which the title line becomes “Didn’t I Get This Last Year?” I also enjoyed a medley of a calypso hanukkah song and a reggae version of "I have a little dreidel" attributed to "Konecky, Wilde," which sounds like a law firm to me. Oh, and a beautiful Durutti Column oldie, "Snowflakes," and a "Teddy, the Red-Nosed Senator" which was so exquisitely performed that I could overlook the right wing slant. Warning: unlike your average holiday station, this one sometimes merits an NC-17 rating--and if that ain't enough to get you to tune in, I don't know what is.
If you don't want to access it via iTunes, you can go straight to the Soma FM site, which is worth a trip any time of year, since their regular stations are also supercool. (Mostly electronic stuff in various subgenres--IDM, ambient, etc.)
2. The very enjoyable MP3 blog "Locust St." has already run a series of posts saluting certain years. Now it's moved on to a compendium of songs about alcoholic beverages. Here's a long, detailed one on wine and another on coffee, for instance, but there are others on beer; additional spirits to come. The eloquent words will remain, of course, but the song samples will disappear shortly (if they haven't already).
3. I sure hope David Byrne's entire radio station does not disappear! This rant regarding the RIAA's response when he devoted a month to the songs of Missy Elliot could be a scary sign of things to come--not just for him but for everybody else who is making creative use of the internet to promote music. Grrrrrr. (Now playing on RadioDavidByrne: "Rednecks, Racists and Reactionaries: Country Classics"--although I'm sure that particular playlist's days are numbered as of this writing.)
I've got more to say on other gone-in-a-flash online offerings, but I'm way late for a Christmas Eve get-together, so let me just wish you all a merry whatever and a jolly fill-in-the-blank. See you real soon.