12.14.2012

Various Artists, Merry Sixmas



Some thirty or so years ago at this time of the year, when Lower Manhattan is shedding the Wild West image it acquires during the cash-poor '70s, several lucky humans receive Xmas greetings from a funny guy named Eddie Gorodetsky. Being a funny guy, the Eddie in question conveys his seasonal cheer in the form of a mixtape. I never meet this Mr. Gorodetsky, but I assume that he possesses something like exceptional wit, as I notice his credit on about half the programming I view on the Comedy Central network. I also award him brownie points in the yuck-yuck department as apparently this Eddie boasts of having the world's largest collection of Xmas-oriented music. Were I myself to brag about such a thing, it is a sure bet that I am laughing a-plenty on the inside.




Mr. Gorodetsky has these cassettes professionally manufactured, as one does, and sends them out adorned with cute sleeves announcing that year's iteration of the mixtape. One year a friend of mine, Michael Weldon of Psychotronic Video fame, gives me an extra copy of the sixth Gorodetsky Xmas mix, appropriately titled Merry Sixmas. The tape becomes a staple around the Count's pad, providing as it does a delightful ambiance to accompany carousing and scaring the dog with wind-up toys and eating poutine for breakfast and such other forms of seasonal misbehavior. 

Everyone who hears Merry Sixmas agrees that this Eddie is an OK sort, especially as he chops up an old Xmas episode of Dragnet for interstitial material bridging his musical selections, chosen as they are with no little sensitivity. Joe Friday's dialog is parsed out in a manner that suggests each exchange between him and his partner inspires the song that follows. The more I think about it, the more I like this Eddie, as clearly it doesn't take many of him to make a dozen.

The reputation of his seasonal brainchildren snowballs over time and next thing you know, at one point in the '90s Columbia Records commissions Eddie to make a CD featuring the greatest bits [read: the songs that they're willing to license] of his many Xmas tapes. The result, Christmas Party With Eddie G., is a not a bad thing, as it features the versatile pipes of Billy West (the voice of John Krisfaluci's greatest creation, Stimpy The Cat) in a skit about the Three Stooges trying to make a Christmas record, alongside the usual spray of blues, rock and country tunes about decking the halls and whatnot. All of this is fine for the mass market, though by no means does the CD possess the organic raunch and Spike Jones-type weirdness of Eddie's original cassettes.

The years roll by and Merry Sixmas becomes a seasonal staple wherever Count Reeshard happens to alight. Eventually, after one too many relocations, the tape enters the fourth dimension and is not heard for far too long. The Count and his crew move once more this past summer, landing in Eagle Rock with a minimum of trauma. It is there that Merry Sixmas resurfaces to the joy of all concerned. So, what with said audio cassettes being the finicky items that they are – who knows if any other of the good Mr. Gorodetsky's Merry ...mas tapes are still rolling? – I am only too happy to digitize this particular ghost of Xmas Past. Put some rohypnol in the nog and have fun. Because Eddie would want you to.



Merry Sixmas SIDE A
Merry Sixmas SIDE B