Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal: A Christmas Morning Mixtape

Merry Christmas from ClapTrack! As our gift to you, here is a two-sided ClapTrack exclusive Christmas Morning Playlist. Enjoy!

Rocky’s Side

1. “This is Christmas,” The Eastern Sea
2. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Bright Eyes
3. “Christmas Day,” Johnnyswim
4. “Katey’s Christmas Card,” John Schneider
5. “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas,” The Decemberists

Landon’s Side

1. “Put The Lights On The Tree”, Sufjan Stevens
2.”I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”, The Civil Wars
3. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings”, Barenaked Ladies & Sarah MCLaughlin
4. “Winter Song”, Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
5. “Santa Stole My Lady”, Fitz And The Tantrums

 

January, Come Quickly: Five Albums I Can’t Wait For

2014 isn’t even over, yet I’m already geeked about a bunch of stuff coming in 2015. Here’s a look just at the releases slotted for the new year’s opening month. The big one goes first.

The Decemberists, “What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.” January 20th on Capitol Records

The kings of narrative folk have already released a video for one of the album’s tracks. If Colin Melloy isn’t enough incentive of his own bearded and bespectacled self, there’s Nick Offerman. With a German accent. The year could end on January 20th and I’d be fine with that.

Guster, “Evermotion.” January 13th on Ocho Mule/Nettwerk Records

I’ve loved Guster since Amsterdam. The track they released from Evermotion, though, has me puzzled.

Belle And Sebastian, “Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance.” January 20th, Matador Records

Belle And Sebastian are a band I’ve always wanted to like more than I actually do. “The Party Line,” the first single for their forthcoming album, is more electronic than what I’ve heard before, and I like it.

The Lone Bellow, “Then Came The Morning.” January 27th, Descendant Records

Their 2013 debut was a revelation. Let us pronounce a hex on the sophomore slump.

The Dodos, “Individ.” January 27th, Polyvinyl Records

I was all kinds of goofy over 2009’s “Time To Die,” but subsequent Dodos releases haven’t done as much for me. I need a bounceback here.

What January releases are you anticipating?

Stevie Wonder, Talking Book

I have, for as long as I can remember, submitted that Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” is the best pop song ever written. It is an unassailable assertion. You cannot dissuade me if this notion, for it has become in my mind as central to life as breathing oxygen and submitting to gravity.

Last weekend, I found an original vinyl copy of the album that contains “Superstition”: 1972’s Talking Book. The price tag said “$3.99.” I snapped it up right quick.

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I have to confess, with much embarrassment, that I have never listened to Talking Book all the way through. In fact, there are songs on this album I had either forgotten were Stevie Wonder’s or never knew. Giving it a full listen was 43 minutes of heaven.

Wikipedia tells me that Talking Book is viewed as the seminal work of Wonder’s classic period. I see why. It has all the elements I love of that era of soul and easy listening. (Yes, I have favorite elements of easy listening. Don’t judge. We still had 8-tracks growing up.) Continue reading