Can’t get enough alternative Xmas music? Crave more than A Very Scary Solstice and the I Love You Baby Jesus, Happy Birthday! compilations mentioned in the Guide? Here’s a “shopping” list for ya.
A Juniper Creek Christmas
Harry Dean Stanton, in character as bigwig polyg Roman Grant from HBO’s Big Love, performs with his bitches and brood on this genius eight-track promotional EP, which is free to download here (http://www.hbo.com/biglove/junipercreek/index.html). Stanton/Grant’s bluesy “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” reading—from a compound state of mind—is the coolest. “…not a creature was stirring; not even a spouse.”
WFMU’s “On the Download” (http://www.wfmu.org/onthedownload.php/0812)
New Jersey’s listener-supported WFMU is one-stop shopping for messed-up music, and they usually provide a pretty meaty list of crazy Christmas songs in December. So far this year, those holiday tunes are conspicuously absent from the “Download Dinner Bell,” but the station archived everything from June 2004 until now. Here’s a link to the December 2008 edition where you’ll find an entire album by the Mistletoe Disco Band, three different songs that ponder whether Santa is a hippie, some weeeeeird mixes by Wayne Butane, and Wooden Shjips’ versions of “O Tannenbaum” and “Auld Lang Syne.” Another interesting nugget is WFMU blogger Bob Purse’s “A Visit of Sacred Nicolas,” which is “Twas the Night Before Christmas” through an online translator sieve. “The path I use is English to German to French to Italian to Spanish to Italian to French to German to English. Sometimes words get ‘stuck’ in another language,” writes Purse, explaining such perverse verses as:
He have give more a pipe at their sleighs, jumped his team,
and she vanished everything she flew like the down of an iron top.
But I intended to shout the matter before I would see pits,
“the Christmas contentment at the everything, and at a whole maid harms”!
Scroll to the bottom of the page and use the drop-down menu to browse playlists from Decembers 2004 through 2007. Be warned, though, that each month is a smorgasbord of weirdness. If you love a freakshow, WFMU is a time sink. Once you’ve gobbled up the good stuff from dinner bells past, subscribe to year-round exotica here. (http://www.wfmu.org/mailist.html)
Music for Maniacs has “The Worst Christmas Song Ever” here: http://musicformaniacs.blogspot.com/2008/12/worst-christmas-song-ever.html. Interestingly, this manipulative number by Linda Bennett is in worse taste than even Tiny Tim’s “Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS” and The Frogs’ “Here Comes Santa’s Pussy.” Seriously. Think “War of the Worlds” meets “Last Kiss.” Don’t play it for your children. Opt for AIDS or Pussy instead.
Shed Boogie (Sat01.blogspot.com/search/label/xmas) offers the 2008 edition of the Bong I Predict A Diet Xmas mix, as well as playlists for about ten prior compilations. The 103 MB file includes 34 songs—sadly, not separately—by Bong, Luna, Billie Holiday, The Damned, The Ventures, Kurtis Blow and The Fall. Mine the playlists for search fodder; another site might host these songs.
TheLeatherCanary.blogspot.com has nine Christmas mixes for you to grab with music by My Morning Jacket, Tom Petty, Low, The Flaming Lips, Ron Sexsmith, Shemekia Copeland and more. Get ‘em fast ‘fore they vanish up the chimney (site is officially defunct as of September).
Entire albums of this goofy Xmas music are all over the ‘Net… but it’s probably not a good idea to mention specific blogs. Instead, try Mistletunes.com. There are no downloads on this site, but it’s a comprehensive shopping list for oddball holiday albums and songs. If you know your way around the Google, you can find links to obtain this music through methods legal and otherwise. City Weekly does not endorse or encourage illegal downloading. Know and assume all risks.
A sampling of what we found:
Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
Insanity! If there was a lingering doubt that Billy Idol wasn’t punk… it’s blown to shit by this cheese festival. The sneer doesn’t translate to Xmas music, to say the least. Fucker thinks he’s Perry Como on most of these songs and, when he finally gets around to rocking, it’s too late and too, too lame.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Black Mass: Hail Santa!
Also known as A Death Metal Xmas, this 2008 compilation is packed with rewritten Christmas classics by one Edward Schreiber, who evidently aspires to a comedic mélange of Neil Hamburger and Emperor, with a little Black Velvet Flag thrown into the mix. That is to say, it takes a very special person to appreciate this almost unlistenable mess. Sample song titles: “It’s the Most Jesusful Time of the Year,” “Pasty the Goth Guy,” “I’m Dreaming of a White Jesus” (“…even though he was from the Middle East…”), “Black Metalling Around the Christmas Tree.”
That ’80s Christmas Album
On a platter littered with crap by Peter Cetera, Jeffrey Osborne, The Pointer Sisters, and Melissa Manchester, a track like “Santa I Got Your Number” by Tommy Tutone—reworking “867-5309/Jenny”—is at least amusing.
Santa’s Got a Semi
Worth a mention if only for puerile enjoyment of the double-entendre—but the shitkicker mainstream country singer really sells the line, “Santa’s got a semi.” There’s also a track called “I Farted On Santa’s Lap,” which isn’t funny at all. Even with the kiddie chorus.
Best-for-last time, boogie chillun. Cleopatra Records put this out last year and psychobilly is more fun than death metal, indie rock, vanilla rock and novelty songs put together. It’s a little bit country, a little punk, metal, and of course greaser-approved rockabilly. Standout contributions here include the Load Levelers’ “Blue Christmas,” White Coffin Terrors’ creeptastic “Silent Night,” “Knock Gallery West’s “Gunslingin’ Santa,” Van Orsdells’ “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and Bamboula’s “I’m Getting Pissed for Christmas.” Nothing like thumpin’ double-bass, double-stop guitar solos and a mixture of good and ghoulish sentiments to get you in the holiday mood.