Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

21Dec/083

Good Listening: Special Aimee Mann Holiday Edition

If you're still searching around a bit for that Xmas spirit, boy do I have something that's going to help out a lot!

First, a quick flashback to last year's holidays: Last year's holiday cheer was provided in my household with the debut of a Christmas album from The Smithereens. You all remember how much I love The Smithereens, right?

Christmas With The Smithereens was the best Xmas release of 2007 that everyone SHOULD have heard, crafted from the same musical thought process that brought us holiday gold like the Beach Boys Xmas album back in the day.

It was that good.

I had heard the hype from plenty by the time I finally brought my own copy home to listen to, and wouldn't you know it, the 'Reens Xmas joint blew my Christmas stockings right off. The neighbors were very unhappy about that last part...something about indecent exposure, or something like that.

The Smithereens - Christmas with The Smithereens (purchase)
The Beach Boys - The Ultimate Holiday Collection (purchase)

Holiday music had laid pretty low this year in my world, with the exception of a version of "Winter Wonderland" by Jason Mraz that found its way into my ears. I've been planning at long last to make my own rock and roll xmas mix from all of my holiday tunes, but haven't gotten around to it yet. And then all of the sudden, THIS came along.

Perhaps "Christmas cheer" isn't the first two words that come to mind when you think of Aimee Mann, which is something that Mann herself pokes fun at in today's listening material. Aimee released her own Xmas platter One More Drifter in the Snow a couple of years ago, and just completed her third annual holiday tour with a tantalizing list of guests joining her at each of the tour stops. I would have LOVED to have seen Juliana Hatfield and Aimee on the same stage at the Boston date!

Aimee's PA gig at the Keswick Theatre was broadcast by Philly's WXPN-FM and after hearing only a few tracks, I immediately began making mental plans to drive anywhere I have to in 2009 to catch (hopefully) a tour date on the next holiday tour. For the PA date, Aimee was joined by singer-songwriter Nellie McKay, longtime friend and comedian Paul F. Tompkins, Grant-Lee Phillips, and Philly native Amos Lee.

This isn't just friends singing Christmas songs to make a buck - this is a wonderfully produced and comedically dark Christmas SHOW. They're singing some really cool Xmas tunes ("Snow Miser, Heat Miser!") mixed with the staples, and original material.

In costumes (Kinda.)

With a STORY!

And video!

I know you're probably talking to the computer right now to let me know "hey Matt, this is a radio broadcast - that costume and video stuff doesn't translate too well on the radio." And that's what makes this one a magical must hear. Like the old radio broadcasts of the 40s and 50s, the WXPN broadcast of this visual holiday performance translates brilliantly to the airwaves. Hopefully they'll post the videos from this year's show on Youtube. Last year's videos can be found right here. There are a couple of naughty words that make this one a little bit unsafe for airing around the Xmas-loving bambinos, but you'll love this one to pieces, and I guarantee that you'll be sharing it with a few friends!

I was smiling the entire day while listening to this, especially hearing "Willie Nelson's" version of "Voices Carry," which dammit, "Willie" totally nails it!

When I do get around to making my holiday mix, there will be a few tunes from this that will be included without question. And like the Smithereens and Beach Boys holiday discs, I will be pulling this one out for future holiday airings in the Vinyl household.

Happy holidays!



Aimee Mann - Calling on Mary (live in Keswick, PA)

Aimee Mann's 3rd Annual Christmas Show
The Keswick Theatre
Glenside, PA
12/13/08

Broadcast by WXPN-FM

Download full-resolution files of this broadcast from Dimeadozen (free membership required)

DISC 1

complete zipped download

01 - WXPN intro
02 - show intro (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies)
03 - Calling On Mary [AM]
04 - Paul F. Tompkins intro & banter
05 - Sleigh Ride [AM & PFT]
06 - Nelly McKay (wearing a big red corset) intro & banter
07 - Sleigh Ride (cont'd) [NMK-sung in high voice]
08 - Grant-Lee Phillips (in snowman costume) intro & banter
09 - Sleigh Ride (cont'd) [GLP]
10 - Aimee banter & film introduction
11 - ~ Film pt.1 (The Ghost of Christmas Past) [GLP, Michael Penn, PFT]
12 - Paul F. Tompkins comedy routine #1
13 - Snow Miser, Heat Miser [AM, PFT, GLP, NMK]
14 - Paul F. Tompkins comedy routine #2
15 - I'll Be Home For Christmas [AM]
16 - Christmastime [AM & NMK]
17 - Take Me Away [NMK]
18 - Nelly with Rudolph toy
19 - A Christmas Dirge [NMK]
20 - The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) [AM]...interrupted by...
21 - ~ Film pt.2 (The Ghost of Christmas Present)

Aimee Mann and "Willie Nelson" - Voices Carry (live in Los Angeles)

DISC 2

complete zipped download

01 - Wise Up [AM]
02 - Save Me [AM]
03 - Aimee introduces Amos Lee
04 - Winter Wonderland [AM & AL]
05 - Christmas In Prison [AL]
06 - Baby I Want You [AL]
07 - Paul F. Tompkins introduces "Willie Nelson" (Grant-Lee Phillips)
08 - Voices Carry [as sung by "Willie Nelson" and AM]
09 - ~ Film pt.3 (The Making Of The Christmas Movie) w/Michael Cera
10 - Aimee introduces Grant Lee Phillips
11 - You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch [GLP & AM]
12 - An Old Fashioned Christmas [GLP w/AM]
13 - Winter Glow [GLP]
14 - banter
15 - "The Hanukkah Fairy" (Morgan Murphy) appears
16 - The Immaculate Conception of the Hanukkah Fairy [MM]
17 - ~ Film pt.4 (The Ghost of Christmas Future) w/John C. Reilly & Michael Cera
18 - Freeway [AM]
19 - Dear John [AM]
20 - Long Shot [AM]
21 - ENCORE BREAK & Station IDs
22 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) [ALL, including GLP in a Rudolph costume]
23 - station outro

Relevant Links:

Purchase Aimee Mann's One More Drifter in the Snow from Amazon - CD or MP3

Aimee Mann's official website

WXPN official website

Aimee Mann with John Krasinski - Winter Wonderland (live in Los Angeles)

Aimee Mann and Amos Lee - Winter Wonderland (live in Keswick, PA)

  • http://vivalamainstream.wordpress.com TJ

    Don’t know how I missed this when you first posted it, but a Hype Machine search for Amos Lee turned this up, and I went nuts because

    1) The Keswick Theatre is seriously 5 minutes from Arcadia (my college). Game on.

    2) Amos Lee opened for Springsteen when I saw him in October. He is wonderful.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    I hadn’t heard Amos Lee before this show….this show really made my ears perk up and take notice. I’ve got a couple of his discs on my want list….

    I remember you telling me that about Keswick, when I was thinking about going to see Jackson Browne….I think it was this venue. Regardless, I know you’re close to a few venues :-)

    I’m thinking about coming that way to see Fountains of Wayne at The Tin Angel in mid-February…

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