Every week, CKUA’s hosts submit their songs for our weekly House Blend playlist: an exciting new release, a beloved classic or just an old personal favourite. We mix it all together to create a sonic concoction that’ll help kick off your week. Check out what’s on this week’s playlist.
Tom Coxworth: The Fifth Dimension, “Aquarius”
It was of a time almost 50 Year ago – Hair was very important in documenting and identify in a time – Canadian Galt McDermot pass away this past week and will forever be tied to these major songs of that era.
Lisa Wilton: XTC, “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”
I recently saw the XTC documentary, This Is Pop, which originally aired a few months ago, so I’m on a bit of an XTC kick (again.)
It’s impossible to choose the best XTC song as there are so many great ones, but there is something undeniably cool about this track. It’s got a memorable riff and powerful build up that perfectly complement the song’s intriguing storyline.
Bob Chelmick: Mark Knopfler, “Secondary Waltz”
A gem of a story song: high school dance lessons leading to that nervous first twirl with the opposite gender. A fine ‘holiday’ song.
Bob Chelmick: John Gorka, “Mr. Chambers”
A poignant story of a lonely man’s lack of social graces. Beautifully realized with subtlety and a fine melodic ‘hook’.
Mark Antonelli: Markus Pawlik, “Pastorale (Hungarian Christmas Song)” by Erno Dohnanyi
This is one of my favourite pieces of Christmas music. It’s an improvisation on a Hungarian Christmas carol known as “Mennybol az angyal” translated as “The Angel from Heaven”. The song begins with a captivating bell-like motive that Dohnanyi actually wrote, note by note, into his homemade Christmas cards for family and friends. I try to play it on the air each and every year and it never fails to catch my ear!
Orest Soltykevych: Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, “Carols & Lullabies – Christmas in the Southwest” by Conrad Susa
Conrad Susa was an American composer who was composer in residence at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. He was also professor of composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music until his death in 2013. A friend showed Susa a collection of traditional Spanish carols the friend had sung as a boy in Arizona. Susa arranged ten of these carols into the form of a Christmas story.
Baba: My Brightest Diamond, “Rising Star”
My Brightest Diamond, aka Shara Worden aka Shara Nova, like her many names is an artist of many styles. “Rising Star” has some very interesting musical twists and turns, like choral compositions and elements of baroque chamber opera. The song is about togetherness beyond the self, love it!
Darcy Whiteside: Emory Lester (with Jill Jones), “The Huron Carol”
The Huron Carol dates to the mid-17th century and is Canada’s oldest Christmas song. In lieu of shepherds and the Magi, baby Jesus is surrounded by hunters and “chiefs from afar” who bring fox and beaver pelts. And God is referred to by the Algonquian Gitchi Manitou.
Kodi Hutchinson: Vince Guaraldi, “Linus & Lucy”
It’s the holiday season — need I say anymore about this timeless song?
Hayley Muir: Zoe Boekbinder, “Possibilities”
I am endlessly fascinated by this new release. Born in Ontario, now based in New Orleans, Zoe Boekbinder plays with her voice more than any “synthstrument” throughout the album. “Possibilities” is so groovy, and Boekbinder’s multi-layered, thoughtfully-planned vocals and pitch-perfect harmonies with herself make for a song that knocked me off my feet. Lyrically, the tune is uplifting and inspiring. Headphones are recommended for this one, but it’s a must hear regardless!
Terry David Mulligan: Serena Ryder, “Christmas Song”
She sings this standard as if she’s been singing it most of her life — which she has. Sometimes like Ella or Nina Simone or Chet Baker. Best of all, it’s a demo she recorded on her iPhone that she sent to producer, Bob Ezrin. He liked it so much he finished her album, Christmas Kisses, with it
Cathy Ennis: Joni Mitchell, “River”
Not exactly ‘holly-jolly’ this one, but such a perfect creation with Joni remembering Christmases far removed from Los Angeles where she was living at the time. “River” is from her 1971 Blue album and remains a timeless, classic beauty about loss and memories.
Grant Stovel: The Beatles, “I’ve Got a Feeling”
It’s ironic, I guess, that a song that’s just brimming with fervor and hope comes from The Beatles’ final-ever live show, an impromptu concert which they performed 50 years ago this January on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters in London. It’s poignant to hear Lennon & McCartney make equally-distinctive, equally-important contributions to this work — joining their respective parts at the end in a way that feels as complementary and cohesive as anything they ever created together. It certainly makes a sweet, wistful kick-off to the final side of the final album of The Beatles’ discography, Let It Be. And it’s an amazing soundtrack to the end of one year and the beginning of another. Happy New Year, everybody!
Amy van Keeken: Durand Jones & The Indications, “Don’t You Know”
Their new album comes out March 1. Until then, the band has given us this first single, “Don’t You Know”, featuring drummer Aaron Frazer sharing vocal duties with Durand Jones. The track is smooooooth, soulful, romantic, swoon worthy. Thanks for the great Christmas present, lads.