Here I am, doing my annual Tom Bradford-style Christmas post, commenting on what I’m doing, drawing you into the office with me, disappointed that you didn’t bring a gift but not letting it show on my face. Tom Bradford was the dad on Eight is Enough, a TV show from the past. He was played by Dick Van Patten. I’m guessing my Christmas dispatches are like his—as different year-to-year as they are the same. The only one of his I’m familiar with is the one in the 1977 two-parter “Yes Nicholas, There is a Santa Claus,” but they were probably all wry moralizing like that one. Mine are always about the Snowman Electrical Band.
As my research team gave it to me, the real name of the song SXB covered this year is “The Chipmunk Song,” which I prefer. It’s fun to think about why that title was chosen when a more specific and marketable title is so obvious. You have to hand it to The Chipmunks for taking a risk, but in an economy of clicks and algorithms, “The Chipmunk Song” is song title suicide. The cover calls to mind The Del Rubio Triplets fronting The Kingsmen more than it does The Chipmunks, diminishing the kitsch factor and showcasing the awesomeness of the chords and melody.
With the track, the Snowman Electrical Band issued the following statement, which is what they call sending an email:
This is dedicated to the memories and mighty legacies of Walter Becker, Tom Petty, and David Cassidy, all of whom inspired not just the Snowman Electrical Band’s music and worldview, but our commitment to craft (believe it or not) and the sanctity of creation.
I feel the same way. I’m sure Tom Bradford does too.