“I Got Yule, Babe” CD mixes Milwaukee into merry tunes

Now that Thanksgiving weekend has passed, most Milwaukeeans are ready to embrace the holiday season.

99.1 WMYX has been playing all Christmas music all the time since Nov. 10 and, as their midday DJ, I feel like I’m becoming a bit of an expert on traditional tunes. I’ve been keen to find some off-the-wall and unique holiday musical offerings.

One of my favorite recent finds is local actor and singer Joel Kopischke’s CD, “I Got Yule, Babe.”

Kopischke brings you 16 novelty holiday tunes mulled in Milwaukee-ness with a variety of parodies and originals of different musical styles including polka, blues and pop music.

There’s a klezmer-flavored Hanukkah song called “That’s A Menorah” and even a Festivus song, so the word “holiday” is used for accuracy instead of political correctness.

The title track adapts Sonny & Cher’s hit “I Got You, Babe” into a duet by a couple ready to celebrate Christmas early. “Christmas in the Sun” is a send-up of the legendary quirky locals The Violent Femmes’ song “Blister in the Sun” with a wish for a snow-free Christmas and a suggestion to blame WMTJ TV meteorologist John Malan for our wintry weather. Other parodies take on Green Day, Barenaked Ladies and crooner Bobby Darin.

Kopischke’s resume includes a recurring role as Pee Wee Kaputish in In Tandem Theatre’s hit musical “A Cudahy Caroler Christmas.” Kopischke injects humor into that role and that performing experience helped him make the connection that he could creatively combine comedy and Christmas into the seasonal songs on “I Got Yule, Babe.” Members of the now defunct Milwaukee area band Feet of Clay and other local musicians played on and produced the CD. Other fun highlights include a rockin’ original called “A Harry Potter Christmas” complete with a children’s back-up choir, the slinky more-than-mistletoe “I’m Your Snowman, Baby,” and the parody “Bowling Wonderland” with a shout-out to Bay View Lanes. …Read more...