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Charlie Brown

Dec 15 2010

Not your usual holiday sounds

by Dea Anne M

For a number of years, I worked in retail and each holiday season I was loath to play seasonal music at home given how saturated my ears would become at work. I have to say though, there is something about playing those special seasonal sounds that makes the holiday feel complete. There is a wealth of traditional and contemporary music available from DCPL, but if you’re in the mood for something a little off-beat, check out these offerings.

First off, let us remember that Christmas isn’t the only holiday celebrated at this time of year. Although Hanukkah is over for this year, you can still enjoy such music as A Taste of Chanukah and Happy Chanukah Songs. For Kwanzaa, which starts December 26th, you can listen to Kwanzaa Party! and The Kwanzaa Album.

…and on to Christmas specific music…

For fans of early music, there is A Medieval Christmas from The Boston Camerata and On Yoolis Night from Anonymous 4.

Do you like bluegrass? Check out Christmas On the Mountain: A Bluegrass Christmas. Is it jazz you favor? Try A Smooth Jazz Christmasfrom Dave Koz & Friends.

Or select from this Christmas stocking of sounds:

Christmas On the Border (blues and salsa)

Yule B’ Swingin’ (big band)

Surfin’ Christmas (surf stylings)

Mambo Santa Mambo (mambo beats!)

Are you planning a cool, swinging, Mad Men-esque party for the holidays? For your soundtrack, consider Christmas Cocktails I and II or Christmas With the Rat Pack.  Crazy baby!

Finally let us give a thought to a couple of soundtracks which have, for many of us, become holiday classics.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

and

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

What are your favorite holiday sounds?

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Dec 16 2009

Christmas Time Is Here…

by Jnai W

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, at least to me, now that the winter cold is finally upon us. It always takes me a bit longer to get into the Christmas spirit than most people I know. I won’t say that I’m a Grinch or anything but, when it comes to the holidays, I’m definitely more of a Charlie Brown.

It had been years since I’d watched the beloved Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas so I figured now was as good of a time as any for a nostalgic dose of holiday cheer. I needed a little reminder of the true meaning of the holiday and, thanks to the Peanuts gang,  I’ve got a new lease on this Christmas season.

As a little kid the original Charlie Brown Christmas special was a holiday tradition. But even then I can’t say that I truly understood the plight of our greatly put-upon protagonist Charlie Brown. In those days I couldn’t understand why Chuck was so glum; it was Christmas, after all. In hindsight, of course, it’s easy to see why Charlie Brown, a youngster possessed of a thirtysomething’s melancholy,was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. He’d become disenchanted with the commercialism of the holiday, a  complaint that has grown much timelier in this day and age. His efforts to celebrate Christmas in a more meaningful way–from agreeing to direct the Christmas play to selecting a spindly, pathetic Christmas tree–are unpopular at first. But eventually the gang come to appreciate Charlie Brown’s sensitivity and simplicity–at least, until the next holiday special rolls around.

This is one of my favorite Christmas programs of all time for a number of reasons–the sweet and simple story featuring Charles Schulz‘s well-loved characters, the use of non-professional children in the voice cast. But one of the things I love most about this special is its  soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi, a charming score that lends a sweetness yet sophistication to the show. Not only does this soundtrack boast “Linus and Lucy”, the song that has come to be the Peanuts theme but it also features one of my favorite modern Christmas songs “Christmas Time is Here”.

I can’t think of a better way to get into the Christmas spirit than this:

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