O Tannenbaum aka A They Might Be Giants Christmas

O Tannenbaum1993 was a good year for a lot of good reasons. Mainly, it saw this two-track holiday offering by the two Johns (Flansburgh and Linell) of They Might Be Giants. Featuring O Tannenbaum and the b-side Christmas Cards, this nifty little stocking stuffer comes on mistletoe green vinyl, and bridges that perfect gap between early 90s college rock and classic holiday warm and fuzzy music.

Christmas CardsAlthough released in 1993 (wow, that’s now 20 years ago!), both songs harbor that “timeless Christmas” vibe, and if you’re like me and enjoy the cheese-filled, gluttonous, help me forget about my everyday life kind of distraction, They Might Be Giants have a neatly wrapped 45 with your name on it. It’s under the tree next to the zeppelin and the Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle.

Shep Lives!

Bahn Frei BlueJean Shepherd is neither a shepherd, nor a woman. If you know who that is, I have absolutely no doubt that you are already an enormous fan. The mischievous New York radio personality, whose eloquent tenure spanned from 1948 to 1977, was nothing short of an eggheaded genius, a word I VERY rarely use (well, I seldom use eggheaded either for that matter). His brilliant storytelling and enthusiastic delivery has, very poorly put, never been equaled and, I’m certain, never will. Also an established writer (who, if anyone, has never heard of A Christmas Story?!), Shep, as his fans knew him, shared his magnetic rants over every conceivable medium, and will forever be identified as radio’s most overlooked legend.Shep

Like with any show, there is a theme song. Shep, for reasons not entirely clear, chose Arthur Fiedler’s version of the Bahn Frei Polka to kick-off his shows. Like the start of a marathon horse race, the Bahn Frei Polka launches from the gate with a galloping wallop of fury and anxious anticipation that, to this day, gives me goosebumps and an enormous smile every time I hear it.

Bahn Frei RedPlease, I beg of you… if you have iTunes and an internet connection, treat yourself to one of life’s most cherished treasures, and subscribe to the (free) podcasts, The Brass Figlagee and Mass Backwards. With nearly 1400 recorded shows (you read that right), the prosperous servitude of this man’s objective vision should be shared and analyzed by any and every fan of the childhood laugh. Long live Jean Shepherd!