Twin Cities musicians on Christmas music at its best and worst
|Photo by Erik Hess; Photoshop by City Pages|
|Photo by Katie Roth|
City Pages: Any big plans for the holiday?
Big Cats!: Nothing too big. Most of my family's in town. So just hanging with them and hopefully making some music.
BC: I didn't grow up listening to a ton of it, and I've never worked in an environment where you're subjected to it all the time until you want to kill yourself. I imagine it's gotta be brutal when you hear the same fifteen songs all day, everyday for a month and a half. So I don't necessarily seek it out, but it doesn't really bother me.
BC: It's funny. The only two Christmas records that I listened to as a kid. The first one is Manheim Steamroller's. To me, that is Christmas Music even though it's the most absurd stuff. It's not all what you would come to think of as Christmas music. That and the Charlie Brown Christmas record are that without fail would come out on cassette ever year.
BC: Well, what bothers me is when they take the old standards. I heard a Vegas lounge-style version of "Sleigh Ride" on the radio the other day. It's like, maybe write some new songs and work. The same ten songs have been recorded in every style imaginable, so that gets old.
BC: I think part of that is because even if it were out there, a lot of places wouldn't play it. So then what's the point? And I'm not sure how much demand there would be for it. I don't know what kind of overlap there his between hip-hop fans and people who really love Christmas music. Actually, the studio I work at, Waterbury Studios, just did two original Christmas songs. We released two Christmas songs last week, but it's not hip hop at all.
BC: Eric, my engineer at the studio, and I were driving somewhere the other day and threw on KOOL 108. And we were talking about how even the arrangements for some of those songs is stuff that you would never hear anywhere else. For no good reason, there will be a full orchestra behind somebody. And I don't know if that stems from the fact that these songs have been recorded by so many different artists that, inevitably, you're going to get something weird. Or is it something inherent to the genre?