Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Oct 30, 2019

When the full moon starts to climb, we'll all sing out... it's time to talk about the best stop-motion animated Halloween/Christmas movie musical ever made! Hee hee hee hee heeee!

Tim Burton and Danny Elfman's maniacal miniature-musical The Nightmare Before Christmas was unusual when it came out in 1993 and, despite the fact that it went on to became a beloved Disney classic, is still unusual today. The centerpiece ensemble song "Making Christmas," during which the well-meaning but hopeless denizens of Halloween Town attempt to craft their own kind of creepy Christmas, is a crucial turning point for the film, both narratively and musically.

In this episode, Kirk takes a closer look at what makes "Making Christmas" tick, from its densely interwoven character motifs to its ever-shifting orchestration to its earth-shaking contrabass woodwinds.

Band/Artist: Danny Elfman and the Halloween Town Cast

Album: The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, 1993

Composed by: Danny Elfman

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

------

ALSO FEATURED:

  • Various other songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, 1993
  • "The Simpsons Theme" by Danny Elfman, 1989
  • "Dead Man's Party" and "Weird Science" by Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo from Dead Man's Party, 1985
  • "Dies Irae" performed by the monks of the Abbey of Notre Dame
  • "Theme from The Shining" by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, 1980
  • "The Carol of the Bells" by Mykola Leontovych, 1914, with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky, as conducted by John Williams on the soundtrack from Home Alone

------

Update 10/31: After I published this episode on the 30th, several listeners wrote in to tell me about the Dies Irae, a 13th century Gregorian death chant that also shares the first four notes of the "Making Christmas" motif and has turned up in a TON of movies besides. I wasn't familiar with the Dies Irae (I know!), so I've updated the episode to include a mention of it. You'll have to redownload the episode if you want to hear that version. You can also watch a great Vox explainer video about the Dies Irae here: https://www.vox.com/videos/2019/9/16/20868789/creepy-melody-movies-catholic-chant-lion-king-shining - Kirk

------

NEW MUSIC VIDEO!

It's a multi-instrumental arrangement of the theme from the classic  adventure game The Secret of Monkey Island, featuring both pennywhistle and normal whistle, among other instruments: https://youtu.be/zf7VQiu1MGo 

To catch the next one, subscribe to Kirk's YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/kirkhamiltonmusic

------

OUTRO SOLOIST: Steve Pardo

This episode's outro soloist is the one and only Steve Pardo. Steve and Kirk met when they were both jazz saxophone students at the University of Miami; Steve currently lives and performs around the Nashville, TN area. He's a producer, composer, and does work in the world of video games, having spent several years at Harmonix, where he helped make music games like Rock Band and Dance Central. You can find out more at his website: https://www.stevepardo.com/

NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST

Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://tinyletter.com/KirkHamilton

STRONG PLAYLISTS

You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music.

SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON!

Thanks as always to everyone who supports Strong Songs on Patreon. If you want to support Kirk making this podcast, find out more here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs

OCTOBER 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS

andrew walters
CALEB ROTACH
Chad Barnard
Dan Apczynski
Dave Florey
Glenn
Jared Norris
Mark Schechter
Merlin Mann

OCTOBER 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS

Alex Singer
Alexander Polson
Andre Bremer
Andrew Baker
Andrew Lee
Arjun Sharma
Bill Thornton
Brett Douville
Brian Amoebas
Brooke Wilford
Chas Lednicky
Chris Brown
Cyrus N. White
Dominik Schmitt
Earl Lozada
Eero Wahlstedt
Elliot Jay O'Neill
Emily Williams
FlSHBONES
Forrest Chang
Jaehoon Jeong
James Johnson
Jasmine Fellows
Jeffrey Olson
John and Sharon Stenglein
Jon O'Keefe
joujou
Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua
Jules Bailey
Justin Liew
Justin McElroy
Kate Albury
Kevin Morrell
Kevin Pennyfeather
Matt Gaskell
Max Schechter
Melanie Stivers
Michael Blackwell
Miriam Juskowicz
Mueller
Nate from Kalamazoo
Nicholas Schechter
Richard Toller
samuel gardner
Shane DeLeon
Shaun Wiese
SP
Tim
Tom Clewer
Tom Lauer