Sunday, November 18, 2012

When My Heart Finds Harry Connick Jr.

Most people do not share my enthusiasm for Harry Connick, Jr. When I bring him up in conversations about music people tend to look at me a little sideways, like I've just admitted to having a puppet fetish. People think of him as the Christmas guy, or that guy who kind of sounds like Frank Sinatra. I'm not going to launch into my whole thing about why he's great but I will say that I have 4 or 5 of his non-holiday albums, some of which are albums of Jazz standards, some of which are original compositions in which he sounds approximately nothing like Frank Sinatra and I enjoy them thoroughly and un-ironically.  Furthermore, I generally appreciate his existence as a human being. I even went to see him on Broadway in "On Clear Day You Can See Forever" despite its very tepid reviews. Anyway, his career and his pretty, pretty face are not what I'm trying to write about today. It is less than a week before thanksgiving which means that soon I can start listening to Holiday music, specifically my HCJ albums which, besides the Ella Fitzgerald classics, are pretty much the best  seasonal schmaltz out there. I am looking forward to getting drunk in flannel pajamas and listening to all of "When My Heart Finds Christmas" in my parents basement as I struggle to wrap oddly shaped boxes in fancy looking but very cheap wrapping paper that I will inevitably buy on a whim at TJMaxx.

HCJ is like my own personal Santa Claus (an idea which was never encouraged in my house except when my parents needed to evade the "did you get me that____ that I asked for??" question). Although I listen to him year round there is a certain nostalgia specifically surrounding his Holiday music that I find comforting. For people with more of an anchor in tradition I can imagine this is how they feel about angels and mangers and shit. Keep in mind here that I'm not even vaguely Christian in any meaningful sense of the word. My family celebrates both Xmas and Hanukah (spelling varies so I'm going with one that looks most reasonable to me) in my house because Holidays are actually a lot of fun when no one makes you go to Church or read out loud in Hebrew and I suppose we figure "why the hell not?". For more thoughts on why we need Holidays in the winter you can refer to my post "Important Dates in February"

I'm pretty much done talking about this now so I will leave you with a couple links to just a song via youtube and video of a live performance. I usually hold off until after Thanksgiving but I'm going to make an exception here. The second video has a little chatting at the beginning because his charm and good looks add to the total experience.

1- Must Have Been Ol' Santa Live version of same song:
2- Please Come Home For Christmas (Live)
3- A song that is usually unbearable, done better by HCJ.

P.S Mariah Carey and her ONE stupid song can suck a dick.

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