12 Days of Mixmas: Day 5
Jason Nesmith of Casper and the Cookies

It’s no shocker that Jason of Casper and the Cookies is well-versed in music. Look no further than his cover choices to see that he’s got some wide-reaching tastes. I’ve seen them cover XTC, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Tommy Roe (below). Now Jason’s putting his knowledge to good use, creating the most obscure — yet personal — mixmas ever.

MP3: Casper and the Cookies – Sweet Pea (Tommy Roe)

“Grandpa’s Records” by Jason Nesmith of Casper and the Cookies

When my mom’s dad passed away in 2003 I inherited the Victrola and hundreds of 78s. I’ve only scratched the surface of the collection, but I’d like to share some of the more interesting finds with you.

MP3: Les Paul – Lady of Spain
Did people think this sounded normal? It’s hard to believe you could hear something this innovative and otherworldly on the radio in 1952, and nobody blinked.

MP3: Arthur Godfrey – The Man With the Weird Beard
Is he singing about Allen Ginsberg? This song is from Godfrey’s Talent Scouts TV show. It’s kinda creepy, and my aunts and uncle used to request that grandpa play it on the Victrola.

MP3: Claude Thornhill – Snowfall
The most beautiful song in the collection. When I hear this recording I usually imagine a snow covered Manhattan at midnight.

MP3: Mickey Katz – Patcha Me (Botch-a-me)
Katz came from Spike Jones’ band, and was understandably a big hit on the Borscht Belt. This must be some of the first klezmer music to surface on Captain America’s radar.

MP3: Frankie Laine & Jimmy Boyd – The Little Boy and the Old Man
Frankie Laine, or Leather Lungs as they used to call him, died in February. He was one of the most successful singers of the 20th century, says Wikipedia. Jimmy Boyd had a big hit with ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’.” This song’s got enough weltschmerz for three Kalfka novels. And the key change in the middle of the song is really sneaky and tasty. I would love to cover this song.

MP3: Billy Mitchell – Song of the Woodpecker
Though it’s almost tame by todays standards this is the kind of record grandpa kept hidden from the kids. This was released on Blue Records. Geddit?

MP3: Firehouse Five Plus Two – Chinatown, My Chinatown
This Dixieland dittie was a big hit nationwide. And it ends this tiny compilation with a bang and a banjo.

Mixmas 07
Day 5: Matthew Pelham of the Features
Day 4: Keith Lowen of De Novo Dahl
Day 3: Fishboy
Day 2: David Crane of BOAT
Day 1: Scott Carney of Wax Fang
Day 1: Ivana XL

Mixmases from ’06 and ’07 below…

Mixmas 06 (MP3s removed)
Day 12: Keith Murray of We Are Scientists
Day 11: Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear
Day 10: Allan Vest of The Starlight Mints
Day 9: The Light Footwork
Day 8: Casper and the Cookies
Day 7: Sure Juror
Day 6: Ryan Allen of Thunderbirds Are Now!
Day 5: Michael Nau of Page France
Day 4: Greg from Oh No! Oh My!
Day 3: Tony Miller of Ideal Free Distribution
Day 2: Ivana XL
Day 1: Daniel of Oh No! Oh My!

Mixmas 05 (MP3s removed)
Day 13: Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal
Day 12: Keith Murray of We Are Scientists
Day 11: Justin Rice of Bishop Allen
Day 10: Becca from The Light Footwork
Day 9: Jay from The Light Footwork
Day 8: Christian Owens from Bishop Allen
Day 7: The Rinse
Day 6: Chris of Gorilla vs Bear
Day 5: Dodge from My Old Kentucky Blog
Day 4: Ryan Allen of Thunderbirds Are Now!
Day 3: John Vanderslice
Day 2: Tapes ‘n Tapes
Day 1: Dean from Secret Unicorns Forum

One thought on “12 Days of Mixmas: Day 5
Jason Nesmith of Casper and the Cookies

  1. Jason Nesmith is a gifted musicologist. I’ve enjoyed the selections here and his art of song commentary elsewhere. Jason has sung the praises of Sex Clark Five my favorite band in the universe. Casper and the Cookies are loaded with sc5 and xtc smartness.

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