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    Mix Up Your Christmas Playlist With These Songs

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    What is wonderful about this time of year is all thegreat wintry, timeless, melodic music we don’t usually hear 11 months of the year. However, we know that the same limited selection of songs are played over nad over on the radio and at the mall. If you would like to mix up your holiday playlist at home, we have some wonderful suggestions for you.

     

    Idina Menzel & Michael Bublé – Baby It’s Cold Outside

    Menzel of “Frozen” fame and crooner Bublé’s voices are perfectly suited for this classic song. It’s a beautiful rendition and this video is just oozing with cuteness by having children star in this video. Not to worry, the singers make a cameo appearance in their own video.

     

    Elizabeth Chan – “Fa La La”

    According to the Los Angeles Times, Chan is a former marketing executive for Conde Nast and Self magazine who left her job to pursue holiday music. She released third album this year we like how that it’s upbeat and happy. You just want to join everyone in the video and start dancing.

    Liz Phair, “Ho, Ho, Ho”


    If you are tired of the saccharine lyrics of classic Christmas songs, Liz Phair is for you. In her “Ho, ho, ho” she sings: All I wanted was one perfect Christmas / All I got was some coal and some switches / That’s ain’t no sleigh bell jingling on the rooftop / The landlord is here and he’s changing the locks. Still the music is fun and poppy and she has a knack for making Santa’s classic laugh — Ho, ho, ho — sound new and fresh.

     

    Kristen Bell and Straight No Chaser – Text Me Merry Christmas

    We wrote about this song a month ago in a blog post. We still think it is a fun holiday song with on-target lyrics about technology in our lives. It’s worth seeing the video again!

     

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    Live Holiday Entertainment for the Family

    There are so many reasons to love the winter holidays: the twinkling lights on houses, a free excuse to drink hot chocolate (regardless of LA temps) and the music. As an added bonus to families, this is also the best time to go to the theater. We’ve picked some local productions that intersperse art and music that we think you will like.

     

     

    SLEEPING BEAUTY and Her Winter Knight — Pasadena Playhouse from Dec. 10 – Jan. 4

    With a live pony, Pharrell’s “Happy” playing the background and Xena, Warrior Princess making an appearance, this is not your ordinary play. This kid-friendly production offers a unique take on the fairy tale classic in the style of British Panto, which means you should expect comedy, audience participation and lots of physicality …just what young kids love!

    Before every performance, the playhouse offers crafts, activities, even an appearance from Santa Claus.

     

    Rogue Family Series — Atwater Village Theatre from Dec. 20-21

    This series has two shows — Zen Shorts and The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone — which offers puppets, original music and video projections that are sure to keep the youngest theater-goer on her toes. At $10 a show (or $15 to see both), it is also one of the more affordable holiday theater outings. Between shows, children can decorate cookies and participate in other activities.

     

     

    Nutcracker— The  Bob Baker Marionette Theater,  now until Feb. 1

    Everything about this show is like taking a step back in time. The marionettes, which seem to magically come to life with just a few wrist movements from their puppeteers, are unlike most puppets you see today. The theater which is red and ornate is also something to be treasured. This is a very kid-focused production in which the chairs are only in the back for adults. The kids sit up front, all the better to view these magical puppets.

     

     

    A Christmas Carol — Glendale Centre Theatre, now until Dec. 24

    For a more traditional theater experience see this Charles Dickens classic that is mean to renew the human spirit. The production sold out its first weekend so get tickets as soon as you can!

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    The Algorithms Behind Christmas Music

    If you’re like us, you love holiday music. And, since we know that Music Junction musicians are great students, we thought we’d offer the science behind holiday playlists for today’s blog.

    Online news site FiveThirtyEight — the team that has been known to accurately predict presidential elections — dissected the holiday playlist for us. As you can imagine, there is nothing spontaneous about playing Christmas music or selecting songs. Everything is a well-calculated occurrence designed to make listeners happy.

    Here are some interesting nuggets we discovered:

     

    • Creating the playlist. The holiday playlist is created as early as July. Although the playlist — what FiveThirtyEight likes to call a “December cocktail” — is pretty much the same year to year, radio programmers are always looking for a few new tunes to put into the set. After the cocktail is created, they wait and tentatively plan to transition to the holiday format after Thanksgiving. But they are always ready to “flip the switch” earlier if circumstances warrant it.

    “That could be a sudden cold snap coming in, and it starts snowing one afternoon. It could be some big thing going on in the world where everybody’s in a bad mood, and they need a little pick-me-up,” says Darren Davis, iHeartMedia’s president of networks.

     

    • Song Repetition. If you’re like us and listen to KOST 103.5 during the holidays you’ll notice a lot of the same songs play over and over! That’s not a mistake and lot of other stations do it too. In fact, the top 15 songs make up half of the music played on the radio. See the top 20 list that includes “Sleigh Ride” (1), “Winter Wonderland” (2) and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (3) here.

     

    • Popular Singers. Of course, radio stations play different versions of the top 15 songs. For instance, the most popular song, “Sleigh Ride” is performed by Harry Connick Jr., Ella Fitzgerald and Andy Williams, along with many others. Yet, there are some songs that are so associated with the singer that radio stations only play his or her song. Think of Burt Ives singing “Frosty the Snowman” and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” Who is the most played artist? Jose Feliciano and his version of “Feliz Navidad”! Is it just us or does it seem like some aspiring musicians could get noticed doing their rendition of “Feliz Navidad”?

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

     

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