Alibi V.20 No.51 • Dec 22-28, 2011 ››
Jingle and Jangle
A festive playlist with less Christmas schmaltz
Holiday-themed music is ubiquitous during the most wonderful time of the year. There's a lot to be said for the classics, but injecting a little obscurity into your Noël playlist can make any Yuletide celebration merrier. Whether you're decorating your dream house or drowning your sorrows with a cozy sixer of PBR, the Alibi has your soundtrack for rockin' around the Christmas tree covered. Shake things up with a sonic snow globe of garage rock, punk, pop, experimental, old country and blues. (Full playable tracks here.)
1) “My Last Christmas” • The Dirtbombs • If You Don't Already Have a Look
Mick Collins knows how the holidays can suck.
2) “Christmastime Is for Sinners” • Mono Men • Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus, Vol. 2
Sneering garage punk for your Cuban-heel stocking.
3) “Forget It” • Nadroj & the Wolrats • A Midnight Christmas Mess
Manhattan punks add Christmassy lyrics to a cover of The Sonics' “He's Waitin’.”
4) “Back Door Santa” • The Honeymoon Killers • Sing Sing 1984-1994
Deck the halls with CBGB flyers while listening to Jerry Teel's cover of a raunchy Clarence Carter tune.
5) “Santa Claus” • Thee Headcoatees • “Santa Claus / Evil Thing” 7-inch
Charming self-promotional ditty from Holly Golightly and friends.
6) “Christmas With Satan” • James White • ZE Xmas Record Reloaded 2004
No wave icon James Chance contorts Christmas.
7) “Stuff the Turkey” • Alien Sex Fiend • “Stuff the Turkey / They All Call Me Crazee” 12-inch
“It's no time to fast. Enjoy this Christmas. It might be your last.”
8) “Santa Claus Was My Lover” • Culturcide • “Santa Claus Was My Lover / Depressed Christmas” 7-inch
Sophomoric Houston culture-jammers of yore détourne “Billie Jean.”
9) “Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree” • The Magnetic Fields • Realism
Nobody does sarcasm or schmaltz as well as Stephin Merritt.
10) “Jingle Bells” • Maddox Brothers and Rose • Where Will You Be Christmas Day?
Twang tempered with a laugh track and lash sounds.
11) “Figgy Pudding” • Johnny Cash • Johnny Cash Country Christmas
Carter Family gals take the lead on a strange Christmas carol.
12) “Christmas and No Santa Claus” • Bumble Bee Slim • Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1
“Well, I didn't get no presents, but I don't know who to blame.”
13) “How I Hate to See Xmas Come Around” • Jimmy Witherspoon • Blues, Blues Christmas (1925-1955)
Arkansan blues shouter bemoans pawn shops and loan sharks.
14) “Christmas Morning Blues” • Victoria Spivey • Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1
“New Year, he won't be here, ’cause death will be his Santa Claus.”
15) “No Room at the Inn / Last Month of the Year” • Vera Ward Hall • Songs of Christmas From the Alan Lomax Collection
You don't have to be religious to appreciate this boss two-part a cappella hymn.