Alibi V.20 No.51 • Dec 22-28, 2011 

Aural Fixation

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.

Listen to this Xmas playlist in full at