TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 16: Full-on Holiday Mode

Have you noticed it? Of course you have. You can see it all over. The world is leaning on Christmas.

It’s been a tough year, a hard year, for everyone and what better solution to these universal woes than to lose yourself in the gaze of some twinkling lights or ornaments, drift off to sleep with some dreamy holiday music humming softly in the background, or start a fire and watch it grow into something warm and intoxicating. Christmas is always here for us, but this year we are here for Christmas. Sometimes the poignancy and overall message of the holiday is more meaningful and powerful than others, this is one of those times.

Next week, we’ll feature a big Christmas spectacular with amazing guests: Charleene Closshey joins us from Florida, Tami Neilson says “hello” from New Zealand, Anthony D’Amato reaches us from Colorado, and Johnny Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls checks in from good old Beverly Hills. But this week, we get into full force Christmas mode with some old chestnuts and some brand-new classics.

Our favorite Texas-based psych-funk trio, Khruangbin, released a spacy version of the Peanuts classic, Christmas Time is Here (Dead Oceans) replete with that misty, drowsy Christmas Eve vibe. Peggy Lee had an important centennial year and the celebration continues into the holiday season, while her album Ultimate Christmas (Capitol) contains many holiday treats, you’ll hear “Ring Those Christmas Bells.”

What better way to spread Christmas vibes than through an actual set of vibes? Or, in the case of Warren Wolf’s newest Christmas Vibes (Mack Avenue Records) using vibes, keyboards and an amazing group of vocalists. I chose his version of Hathaway’s “This Christmas” for its laid back, yet propulsive forward motion. Eric Hutchinson will soon be a guest on the program, so his reggae infused “Christmas on Vacation” (Let’s Break Records) warms our bones as the colder weather rolls in.

There’s more, of course, but you’ll have to tune in. Merry Christmas, folks.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Sharp Notes each Saturday evening at 6pm and TVD Radar on Sundays at 5AM on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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