Friday, December 24, 2010

Bing Crosby & David Bowie - The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On

Somewhere, perhaps even on the internet, there's got to be some account of how this odd pairing of the legendary Bing Crosby ended up singing a duet with David Bowie. It's such and odd and yet amazing pairing. I would really love to know how this came about, who arranged it, who composed, etc. Okay, so I just read the Wikipedia entry about it and it answered a few questions. But, still, who got the idea to invite Bowie to Crosby's Christmas special? Well, whoever it was, this odd, touching, surreal number is now a Christmas classic as far as I'm concerned.

Dance Hall Crashers - I Did It For The Toys

"Santa kissed me and I kissed him back, but I did it for the toys", now, c'mon who can't relate to a holiday sentiment like that? It's more than just a cutesy, irreverant holiday song that doesn't suck, it's a metaphor for life- like my job is Santa Claus and I only kiss it back for the toys (i.e. my salary). Thanks Dance Hall Crashers, you've made this and every Christmas since 1995 (when "O Come All Ye Faithful: Rock For Choice" was released) just that much more bearable.

Poison Idea - Santa Claus Is Back In Town

Punk icons Poison Idea knock "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" out of the park with their sloppy, bluesy, metallic version of this time honored Xmas favorite. Their version comes complete with a highly inappropriate sexual reference at the end of the track. This is off of the excellent "It's Finally Christmas" compilation. I've been listening to this compilation more this year than I have in the past and come to realize, that even though I don't recognize a lot of the bands/artists on this one, it is one of the best indie/punk Xmas compilations ever produced- a worthy addition to you any music collection.

Note: I guess this is also on a compilation called "Hardcore Holiday", which I've just ordered from Amazon, I mean, how could my collection be complete without it?

Chillaz - Clint Frostwood

I'm not sure if Chillaz is actually Gorillaz or someone doing a parody of them, but nevertheless, I absolutely adore this electronica/hip hop version of Frosty the Snowman set to the tune of Clint Eastwood. This is a new Xmas song that doesn't suck for me this year as I just recently picked up a copy of the excellent and highly inappropriate Kevin and Bean's "Swallow My Eggnog" compilation. Just like my other Kevin and Bean compilation, it is juvenile, tasteless, and totally a great way to celebrate the Xmas season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tim Minchin - White Wine In The Sun

I'll confess, I wasn't even aware of Tim Minchin until I started this blog this season. But, as soon as I started posting these 'xmas songs that don't suck', people started mentioning this song. And, I have to admit, it is pretty darn good and being the non-theistic heathen that I am, I really like a lot of the sentiments that it expresses. So, I'm adding it to my collection of holiday songs that don't sucks. I might even have to purchase Mr. Minchin's album now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pretenders - 2000 Miles

This has become one of my favorite xmas/holiday tunes. It's featured on both "The Edge of Christmas" and the "Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Xmas" compilations (as well as others). I think I like it so much because it is just a little xmas-y and also because of Chrissie Hynde's amazing voice. There's also something in the song about longing for someone who is thousands of miles away that just fits with the short days, long nights, and cold (although Salt Lake City has been unseasonably warm this year).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Everclear-I Will Be Hating You For Christmas

I almost forgot about this wonderful holiday tune. It's the "secret" track at the end of "So Much For The Afterglow". I stumbled upon it by accident on the way to work this morning. I had completely forgotten about it and if I hadn't just let the last track keep playing as I was pulling into the parking lot, it would have remained forgotten about. That would be sad, as it is definitely a xmas song that doesn't suck.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sponge - Christmas Day

This doesn't sound like a Christmas song at all, which is probably why it is one of my favorite holiday tunes. BTW- "Plowed" and "Molly" are two of sweetest alterna-hits from the '90's. Every time this song comes up on my holiday playlist, then I end up playing those other songs by Sponge.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jill Sobule - Xmas Song

Another classic from the 1994 "You Sleigh Me!" compilation. This time it's Jill Sobule singing about holiday gatherings of modern, dysfunctional families. I absolutely adore any xmas/holiday song that manages to have a line in it about going to the store for some tampons and cigarettes. Definitely not your grandpa's (well at least one of my grandpas) type of holiday tune.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tori Amos - Little Drummer Boy

Of all my kitschy holiday/xmas compilations, the 1994 Atlantic Records "You Sleigh Me!" collections is one of the best. Not only does it have what is probably the most tolerable Hootie and the Blowfish track I've ever heard, but it also has this amazing little rendition by Tori. Until this blog post, I was under the mistaken idea that this collection had been promo only- turns out it is still readily available and very decent prices. Definitely worth getting if you're looking for some holiday music that doesn't suck.

Captain Sensible - One Christmas Catalogue

So, here's another track that was featured on the now, out-of-print, and damned (no pun intended) expensive New Wave Xmas: Just Can't Get Enough
collection. This one's Captain Sensible of the Damned (see, that's where the pun would be) singing a song that is somehow not only New Wave sounding but also very holiday sounding at that same time. This is one of my Xmas faves. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band - Xmas at K-Mart

Wow. I can't believe how expensive copies of the New Wave Xmas: Just Can't Get Enough album are these days. I think I picked mine up used for $7.99 one January after the holidays (about a decade ago). I find that January is the best time to pick up holiday music. Anyway, here's an oldie but a goody, "Xmas at K-Mart" by Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band. I particularly like it because it sounds almost nothing like a holiday song. Also, it reminds me of an era before Walmart, 'cause if this song were to be written today it would probably be called "Xmas at Walmart"... that makes me wonder, do they have an Xmas or holiday section over at People of Walmart?

Cocteau Twins - Frosty The Snowman

That's right kids, Cocteau Twins applying their ethereal, otherworldly sound to an old holiday favorite. When I first heard this track existed, I honestly thought it was a myth, or some other band that sounded enough like them that someone had been mistaken and that's how the rumor got started. But, then, I walked into a Zia records circa 1991 and found a copy of the Snow ep sitting in the racks. Yes, I still have that copy of the ep- no, you can't have it, but you can listen to the song here and you can still score a copy of it on Lullabies to Violaine: Singles & Extended Plays 2

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ramones - Merry Christmas I Don't Want to Fight Tonight

Here's a holiday classic from the Ramones. The music video, which I'd never seen before, is great too. It's got everything, bad acting, an cheap set of an obviously fake apartment, stupid party antics during the song. It's also a treat to see a puking Santa at the end with the pull away camera shot ending on Santa's smile and the toilet bowl.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York

Who doesn't love a holiday tune lyrics like these,
"You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last"

Plus, you gotta love that in the day and age of YouTube you can actually watch something like this without having to have been there.

Henry Rollins - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Henry Rollins reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas"; if this doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, I don't know what will. This song was featured on the awesome, out of print, yet somehow available at Amazon, compilation entitled A Lump of Coal. This is the first post of what will hopefully be many Christmas and/or Holiday songs that don't suck.