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22 Dec

1st Ever Four Track Guestimony: Larkin Novak’s Holiday Favorites!

I am really excited about today’s Testimony!  Let’s begin with the fact that it is the inagural Four Track Guestimony.  All four songs today are brought to you by very special guest, Larkin Novak.  Larkin is my partner in crime at most rock shows.  Together we have braved deserts, mosh pits and memory lapses, all in search of the perfect musical experience.

Larkin Novak and John Waters, together at last.

Larkin’s quirky musical sense and love of Christmas made asking her to do this Guestimony a no-brainer, and she has put together a list of 4 fabulous songs.  I hadn’t heard even one of these songs before, and I love them all.  Now, for your enjoyment, the first ever Four Track Guestimony: Larkin Novak’s Holiday Favorites!

Christmas Time is Coming (A Street Carol), Henry Farag/Stormy Weather (1980)

LN: My favorite track from my favorite Christmas tradition “A John Waters Christmas.” This song is beautiful and soulful. It somehow evokes a feeling of joy and sadness at the same time. Just like Christmas Day!

 4TT: When you can sing a capella like that, there’s no need for instruments.   And like Larkin said, “A John Water’s Christmas” is worth a listen.  It’s full of nostalgic and slightly askew carols.

 

Ring Those Christmas Bells, Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians (1957)

LN: The soundscape in this song is incredible. I feel like I’ve been transported to Christmas time in 1888, or some shit.

4TT: I feel as if Turner Classic Movies is on in the background.  Dandy gentlemen walking around escorting ladies down the street, caroling all the while.  I might be revealing too much here, but this is the kind of song that is great for putting on socks and “ice skating” on wood or tile floors.  A very theatrical soundscape indeed! 

 

At the Christmas Ball, Bessie Smith (1925)

LN: It’s Bessie Smith… singing about Christmas. I mean, what more does one need?

4TT: Larkin is my go-to person for jazz, female vocalists in particular.  There aren’t too many non-traditional Christmas carols that I can get into, but “At the Christmas Ball” is a song that’s going to class up every holiday playlist.  I like that this is a really good song, not just some forced piece of crap put out just so some pop star can sell a million Christmas albums.  Times have changed, man.

 

I Am Santa Claus, Bob Rivers (1993)

LN: Who doesn’t love a good parody song? This is sentimental to me because it’s my dad’s favorite Christmas song, so whenever I hear it, I just think of him wheezing with laughter year after year every time he hears it.

4TT: I think this song is pretty epic.  I also recognize it’s power over dads.  Parody, clever rhymes and jokes about beer.  This is the trifecta of dad-humor wrapped up in lights with a star on top.

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