December 2011 Script
Neil Patrick Harris - Christmas Medley (2011)
Well, that was sure not lacking in enthusiasm, but Neil Patrick Harris seems to grab gusto whenever we see him. That "Christmas Medley" was from the "Harold & Kumar Christmas" movie, and I'm JD Doyle bringing you one of my favorite editions of Queer Music Heritage of the year. This is when I play for you, as I like to call it, Xmas music you won't be sick of by now. As on all my shows I'll only be playing music by GLBT artists, so here we go.
And I'm going to start off with a world premiere, and I'm very pleased to tell you about it. I recently became aware the music of New Yorker Matt Ryanz, and we were emailing about some of his songs I was using on my OutRadio show this month, and I mentioned I was working on the script for this xmas show. He said he had been thinking of recording a holiday song and now really wanted to do one, for my show. And he did; it's a very fun and very gay cover version of the Britney Spears song "My Only Wish."
Ryanz - My Only Wish (2011
That was Eugene Ebner, and "Santa Claus Is Coming Out," who was preceded by Billy Dortch singing "Christmas Baby Please Come Home," one of my very favorite Xmas songs. Also in the middle of that set was TimPermanent updating "Joy to the World."
Crom - What I Don't Want for Christmas (2002)
That was Broadway writer and performer Rick Crom giving us "What I Don't Want for Christmas," and that came from the 2002 edition of the Broadway Cares series "Carols for the Cure." He was followed by the Triad Pride Men's Chorus, doing "Homo for the Holidays," from their 2006 CD "Sing, Be Merry, or Elf!" And that chorus is out of Greensboro, North Carolina. And as long as we're in a choral mood, what this next piece may lack in a formal setting and controlled background noises, it makes up in gay politics. It was recorded last year in front of the San Francisco City Hall. They called it "Marriage Equality Holiday Caroling."
Equality Holiday Caroling (2010)
The Youtube video I got Marriage Equality Caroling from was uploaded by San Francisco uber activist Sean Chapin, whose series of GLBT Rights videos have gotten over two million hits. I ended with just a slice of one he did himself, a parody called "12 Days of Justice."
And, last year the Indigo Girls released a very nice holiday album, which included a song written by country artist Chely Wright, who is now very out of the closet. Late in the year the Indigo Girls performed Chely's song live, and got her to join them, on "It Really Is a Wonderful Life."
Indigo Girls & Chely Wright - It Really Is a Wonderful Life (2010)
When I was putting these shows together I put the word out on Facebook that I wanted artists to send me their songs, and several did, including this set of very nice songs. I start with Jason Chu, who also goes by Jace, and "Gift Exchange."
- Gift Exchange (2011)
Very nice. After Jace you heard the Seattle band Black Spring, with Alan Wiley on lead, and the song "It Won't Snow." This next artist, who just goes by his last name, Spottiswoode, is straight, but he wrote a very gay song, which gets it on this show, and also three members of his band are openly gay. The full group is called Spottiswoode & His Enemies, and from their 2008 CD "Salvation," is the song "Chelsea Boys."
Spottiswoode & His Enemies - Chelsea Boys (2008)
Up next and just in time for the holidays, Erin McKeown has a new album, which on her site is described as "the world's first anti-capitalist, pro-queer, suspicious of christmas-as-patriotism, sex-positive, not safe for work, multi-ethnic, radical leftist Anti-Holiday record." I think it does all of that, and I can't even give you it's title, as this show is aired on public radio. For this show I picked the very queer song, "Itsa Very Queer Christmas."
Erin McKeown - Itsa Very Queer Christmas (2011)
Another pair of
artists also got their new song to me just before my deadline, and I'm
very glad they did. Sugarbeach lives in Vancouver and is comprised of
Sugarbeach - My Perfect Christmas (2011)
I guess I could say I've been waiting for this next album for over twelve years. That's how long I've known Andy Monroe, but the album was actually 15 years in the making. That's how long he's been recording a winter song each year and sending them out to friends. And it's a beautiful album. I highly recommend it, and selected from the many gems I picked the songs "River" and "Frozen River."
Andy Monroe - River / Frozen River (2011)
And I think I'm voting this next song one my favorite new holiday songs this year. For one, it's lyrically gay, and two, it's by an artist I really love, Kevin Wong. The song is called "Next Year."
Kevin Wong - Next Year (2011)
This is JD Doyle for Queer Music Heritage, and this went way, way too fast, but we're down to the end and I want to thank you all for tuning in. And again, for this show you can find additional hours on my website, at queermusicheritage.com.
Okay, the closing song, and I've made it a QMH tradition, is by one of our culture's most talented female impersonators, Jimmy James. On my December shows I've played it more than any other song. From the album "Have Yourself a Jimmy James Merry Christmas," from 2002, you won't forget her version of "Feliz Navidad."
Jimmy James - Feliz Navidad (2002)
And a very queer xmas is what I bring you every year. This is JD Doyle with Part 2 of my December show and I started with Michael West singing "Christmas I Need You," which was written by another artist friend of mine, Andy Northrup. And of course you knew the second song was "Happy Xmas, War Is Over," and if you didn't know who was singing, well, you heard Melissa Ferrick give you a greeting at the end.
I'm continuing the second hour of this show with America's favorite Dragapella Beauty Shop Quartet. Well, that's how they describe themselves on their website. Here's the Kinsey Sicks with "Twisted Christmas Parodies."
Sicks - Twisted Christmas Parodies (2010)
Ah, what to follow
the Kinsey Sick with? I went with a band that bills itself as "100%
Trans Jews." Their name is Schmekel and that song was "I'll
Be Your Maccabee." And then Jeffrey Altergott shared with us that
he is "Hot for Santa."
Robert German - Xmas Bells / White Xmas (2011)
I recently interviewed Sean Wiggins, and I ran that interview last June on OutRadio, but I saved for this show my asking her about her xmas song.
Wiggins comments (2011)
I made that a set of four. After Sean Wiggins Candy Samples gave us one called "Christmas Gift," and Frightened Cellar, aka James Wilson, framed his version of "Sound of Silence" with a touch of "Carol of the Bells." And last of the set, I think a very nice kind of folky jazz take on "We Three Kings." That was by Sandy Haddon and her album "The Holly and the Ivy" was produced by Tret Fure, who also helped with backups on that track.
I'm going to change the pace with something sent to me as an exclusive last year from an Australian artist I like a lot named Brett Every, and I can't resist playing it again. It's got a theme I'm sure I've never heard before, about a six-year old boy sort of complaining about not getting what he wants for Christmas, every year, even though he's been very good. Now, it's not mentioned what he did want, but what he did not want included boxing gloves, toy trucks and guns, and balls and bats.
Brett Every - My Humble Christmas List (2010)
Brett Every and "My Humble Christmas," and he and I have discussed this song via email and he said he deliberately did not mention the boy wanting things like Barbie Dolls, and being denied them. He wanted to keep that vague and up to the listener to imagine. I agreed that would be too stereotypical for a gay kid, but then thinking about my thinking, found it interesting that I did not consider the boy not wanting sports toys too stereotypical. Maybe that was a bit of been there, done that.
Melissa Li was half of an act I liked quite a bit named Good Asian Drivers. She and Kit Yan have gone solo now, and Melissa has a brand new album out, called "The Beginning." I pulled from it a song not with a xmas theme, but one that still fits, called "Winter." And after that you'll hear an artist named Edmond who sent me one called "Anomyne." He told me he wrote it originally in Japanese and this version has Christmas lyrics, though they are in French, as he's living in France now.
Li & the Barely Theirs - Winter (2011)
From 2009, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" finished that set, as done by Massachusetts folk artist John Small.
This is JD Doyle thanking you for listening and wishing you Happy Holidays, and reminding you there's one more hour of the show to go. I'm closing with something upbeat. You probably remember the B-52's, led by Fred Schneider. He has a new band, named The Superions, and last year they released a CD called "Destination Christmas!" The song is "Santa's Disco."
Superions -Santa's Disco (2010)
This is JD Doyle, welcoming you to Part 3 of my Queer Xmas Music Special, and we're starting off with the original cast of the Broadway show "Million Dollar Quartet."
Million Dollar Quartet - Run Rudolph Run (2010)
You heard the old Chuck Berry classic "Run Rudolph Run." And the reason the Million Dollar Quartet made this show is that the cast member who played Jerry Lee Lewis, was Levi Kreis, who also won a Tony for his performance.
I'm going next to one of my all-time favorite holiday albums. In 1996 New York City songwriter Richard Foltz got together a number of his artist friends for recording sessions. The objective was a musical Christmas card of holiday songs he had written over the years. Starting off a set of three songs from the album is Zenobia, with "Hello, Old Friend."
- Hello, Old Friend (1996)
Ah, I can't recommend that album enough. It's called "Richard Foltz: A Songwriter's Christmas," and I also shared with you David Clement singing "Christmas 1978" and Steve Cohen and "The Heart of the Holiday."
Here's an artist I recently found out about, Matt Morris, and in addition to releasing an album last year, he also released a holiday single, called "My First Snow."
Morris - My First Snow (2010)
After Matt Morris Mark Barnes shared with us a lovely instrumental called "December Eve." I played Black Spring in Part 1, but lead singer Alan Wiley also sent me another one, "Lonely Mistletoe," and last year Sacha Sacket recorded his very nice version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," along with the way too short intro piece, "Christmas in L.A."
Here's someone you might not expect to have a holiday album, but he does. In 2009 Rob Halford, of Judas Priest, released "Winter Songs," and the song I picked from it is "Christmas for Everyone."
- Christmas for Everyone (2009)
That set got more irreverent as it went along, as I brought back Erin McKeown for two more. I played her on Part 1, the part of my show that also airs on public radio, but most of her album, well, can't be aired on public radio, and you couldn't even tell the album's title, which is "Fuck That! Erin McKeown's Anti-Holiday Album." You just heard "Christmas Waltz (Fuck That!)" and "We Wish You a Happy Holidays."
I'm going to get a little less controversial with these next two artists. First Brandon Anderson gives us one called "Distance (Silent Night)" and then Daniel J. Cartier sings the original song "Silent Night."
Anderson - Distance (Silent Night) (2010)
Mark Winkler is an L.A. jazz artist and that song was called "Christmas Makes Me Smoochie." And this next artist is Jimmy James, the same artist who closed Part 1 with her Bette Davis version of "Feliz Navidad." Well, this song sounds nothing like that. It's an a cappella demo from 2009, called "First Christmas Without You."
James - First Christmas Without You (2009)
And that very nice track was the brand new xmas single from Jay Brannan. I seem to always enjoy his work and that one was called "Dear Santa."
Morry Campbell wrote a song in 2007 and I interviewed him at that time, and asked him to tell me about his song "Frightful Weather."
Campbell - comments on "Frightful Weather"
Time to close down my three hour queer xmas special for this year, and I could have easily gone on for several more hours. I thank you for joining me and I'm sending you home with a natural choice, the song "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve." This version if from Lea DeLaria's album "Be A Santa."
Lea DeLaria - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (2010)