New wave icons Blondie recently got into the holiday spirit while the bandmembers were in Woodstock recording their upcoming album.
Here’s the result:
David Bowie may or may not win the Times Union’s Tournament of Carols, which finds his duet with Bing Crosby‘s on the medley “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” going head-to-head with Der Bingle’s own “White Christmas” in the readers’ poll for best holiday song. (The winner will be announced on Christmas Day.)
But win or lose, Bowie has another proud claim to the holiday season – a starring role in 1983’s decidedly non-warm ‘n’ fuzzy POW drama “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” in which he starred opposite another musician-actor, composer and former Yellow Magic Orchestra keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Don’t rent this one thinking that you’re gonna be snuggling around the fireplace for an uplifting, lighthearted holiday comedy. That ain’t gonna happen.
To cap off today’s A-Very-Special-Downer-Christmas theme here on Nippertown, I offer Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory,” a short memoir of his childhood in rural Alabama that I re-read again every few years to have a good cry. I didn’t realize it had been made into an Emmy award-winning film back in 1966. It’s available on Youtube in six parts. Here’s Part 1:
Not every Christmas story is all about sugarplum fairies and mistletoe, ya know. Christmas can be a very sad and unbearable time, too.
And that’s how it was for Danny the car wiper, at least according to William S. Burroughs, who wrote and narrated the claymation classic “The Junky’s Christmas,” available on DVD from Kochvision.
And somehow “The Junky’s Christmas” seemed all too apropos on a day when we’ve already celebrated the gorgeously heartbreaking music of Tim Hardin and Chet Baker.
Here’s a clip:
It was 186 years ago today that Nippertown made its biggest and most enduring contribution to the holiday season.
On December 23, 1823, Troy newspaper The Troy Sentinel first published the poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” which is better known these days by its opening line, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
The poem was originally published anonymously, although authorship was later attributed to Clement Moore. There is some controversy surrounding the poem, however, and some scholars believe that it was instead written by Major Henry Livingston, Jr. Here’s a scan of the original newsprint page.
Either way, the fine citizens of Troy were the first to read the now-classic poem.
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”