FIFTY DAYS OF ‘MERICA-MAS
Take a mistletoe scented breath…
Mary Mary, a gospel duo, has “California Christmas” to tell you with fingersnapping auto tune what you already know about family and love. Danceable.
Lori ‘Stand Up Lori’ Hernandez sings “The California Christmas Song” with her dad parodizing Disney tunes. They should win at least third prize at her school talent contest.
“California Christmas” by Brooke Fox is a valentine to her family. It does that pop music thing of starting out folk and intimate then surging into orchestrated orgasm to show you the heights of feeling. My ears are ringing.
Megan Coffey finally stops complaining about the warmish weather in CA and does something about it: the wish story “A White Christmas in California.” Adorably done.
“Snow in California” by Ariana Grande ups the professional quality while dropping most of the content. Not feeling the fruitcake.
“California Christmas” by Back in the Day purports to be a tribute to the ’70s. Apart from from poor recording quality, the only nostalgia i get here is bad poetry. The mismatched mumbled harmony, the wandering uncertain chords, the boy band emo–that’s so last decade.
Actual ’70s overly important musical madness comes from Brian Battles with his “Christmas in California.” Flocked with folk rock, decorated with proto-disco, this tune tinsels my tree.
Wayback yourself to the ‘Eighties and relive the overorchestrated Captain and Tennille with “Christmas in California” for a formally made-for-teevee oldies romp.
The Dan Band also has fun with their own beach rock (comedy) version “Christmas Time in California.” They fancy themselves the bad boy version of ‘Eighties cover bands i guess. Naughty list, Mr. C.
“California Xmas” by Marcella Detroit pairs pop with tuba and tubular bells in a way that makes me smile. the overexposed silhouettes and casual complaints about it being sunny task me, but more of this holiday hooting needs a uke beside it.
Tyler Weinrich warbles through the begging love tune “Christmas in California.” It’s high pitched, pretty, and too much. Give her some space, bitch.
“California Christmas” by Leah Felder has got a nice island twang. From the guitar, that is. Her ootsy-wootsy boopsie vocals are a bit creepsy.
Scott Strauss’s “California Christmas” bounces country against show tune wailing to underline how inappropriate the weather and culture is in CA. We get it.
“California Christmas” by Oh, Hush! candy-canes the overly electronic pop sounds of modern times. But the music video itself is a delightful smashup of cartoons, holiday specials, other music videos, and postcards. These boys are playing fast and loose with copyrights, baby jesus love ’em.
“California Christmas Sweater” by the Original Farquad Boys slam some alt-garage-style-rock to snark up the whole uncomfortable to be home for The Folks’ Holidays. Finally, Golden State irony.
John Peter Lewis sings “California Christmas” like he’s a Beach Boy in a retrospective. He can play the guitar, though. This is solid music.
Softer guitar folky-altrock somes from The Culprit Media Group with their “California Christmas.” That uke won’t quit.
C. Myles Young sings “Christmas in California” as a smokey lounge closer. His blase travelogue puts the blues on the Golden State.
Gram Rabbit’s “California Christmas” goes SouWest pop, but their Christian message is undercut by the undertones of sexual depravity.
The Living Sisters lay down a real California style: surreal folk, blowsy breathy harmony, woo woo backups… i love their “Christmas in California.”
Over popped (to Disney and beyond!) comes “Christmas in California” by the Cheetah Girls. I think i had an epileptic seizure.
Every English major’s first girlfriend, Brooke White, sings “California Christmas” like a sexy muppet cross-legged on unfortunate furniture. She wails her heart out through the poor recording and makes your spirit rise (a little).
‘Rice Boy’ Liu wants to keep it real with his West Coast Eastern Civ rap “California Christmas.” He’s playful and “corny as shit” but shines like a first grade hand made tree ornament.
White rapper Manafest also sings “California Christmas” with more anger and more melody.
More dangerously Andrew Angus batters a tiny piano with too much electric feedback and chants his mantra ‘California Christmas‘ until you wonder what else is on.
Sarah LaForge and Micky Lopez tinkle out a homegrown amateur hopeful “California Christmas” with the best posture i’ve ever seen. It’s sweet and hard to hear.
Who let the four-year-old out? “Jessica’s California Christmas Song” giggles and hollers and makes warm fun of ‘Jingle Bells.’ Looks like you can buy the album on itunes and support her bluesy musical fam.
Brad Peterson lalas his way through a soulful howling bluesrock version of “California Christmas.” Talented, yet i was left a little cold.
Let’s try piano! TJR’s “Christmas in California” is more upbeat and chipper. So kids’ song, right?
“California Winters” by Jonny Craig raise the maturity of blues rock to the depression of the season.
Bonnie McKee’s “California Winter” is so much more pop and perky I am depressed in a completely new way.
Overpopped and Barbied is Melissa Lyons singing “A California Christmas” as Barbie in the movie ‘A Barbie Christmas Carol.’ Your expectations will be met.
Pat Boone got all weird and ironic in 2011 and made an album full of comic riffs on Christmas (‘spretty good), which includes “A California Christmas Card.”
It’s mostly earnest and grandpapperly. You may have already heard his “Is It Really Christmas in L.A.?” If not, count your presents–you got lucky.
More regionally, “Christmas by the Bay” pits gravelly throated Tim Hockenberry against sax and ivories. He wins, and the mellow jazz seems to lead you gently by the hand to a made-for-TV-movie.
For a humorous “Christmas by the Bay” check out the stand up with a guitar, Corey Largent. Folk fun, if not funny.
Jamie Davis of The Count Basie Orchestra lays an ultra mellow deep bass salsa “Christmas Eve in San Francisco.” Is that the tryptophan or his voice….
Barry De Vorzon croons “Christmas Once Again in San Francisco,” an aw shucks homey country jingle. He also sings “Chistmas Once Again in Santa Barbara” (the original), and “Christmas Once Again in San Diego.” Yes, they are all the same (he’s also got “Christmas Once Again in Honolulu” because he’s a one-trick pony… i’m sorry but there it is).
Vic Damon owns “Christmas in San Francisco” though. His warbling warmth sells this Christmas corn. The younger verzh is by Russ Lorenzo.
For a little comic relief: “Christmas Sucks in San Francisco” by the Downer Party addresses the unfortunate hipsters who don’t know how happy merry joyous they are allowed to be.
Tom Lehrer’s “Hanukkah in Santa Monica” is so popularly hilarious it has many covers: The Gay Mens’ Chorus of Los Angeles, The San Francisco Gay Mens’ Chorus, Quire Cleveland, Rent-a-Yenta, Claremont High School, New Jersey Cantors’ Assembly, Brandeis University’s Jewish Fella A Acappella, 29 Seconds (a barbershop quartet), and dozens of others. A San Diego TV station KUSI even perpetrated a youth choir J*Company to sing “Hannukah in San Diego.” If you’re not laughing yet, you’re not Jewish.
Bosen & Suede deliver on a homemade no-room-at-the-inn lament “San Diego Christmas Song.” A coupla dudes migrate from the Midwest to SoCal and–guess what?–they’re sad at Xmas. Earnest.
While there give an elfy ear to “Christmas Eve in San Diego” by Neal Svalstad. The song owes an awful lot to ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ in melody as well as humor. Nice landmark/celebrity catalog.
Now, since we’re near the border, we should allow for non-English songs–so swing and sway to “Christmas in San Diego” by Janusz Supernak. Don’t worry, the lyrics are included (in the original Polish).
Back to The Big Orange: “LA Xmas (The Los Angeles Airport Christmas Song)” by Brad Stubbs stumbles through harmonica and tambourine folk protest about the very real problem of LA not being home. Dude, wish something off Santa’s lap and cheer the holly up.
BLUE ALERT: Hollywood Undead amuse themselves with suburban rap (more naughty obscenity than anger) in “Christmas in Hollywood.” This is a big internet hit, yo. (Nightcore do an auto tune chipmunk alternative.)
Rachel Reenstra plays with white privilege using more wit and talent in “Hollywood Christmas Song.” If you can wade through the self-congratulatory amateurism (Outtakes!), it’s a good song.
Jay Nash (with one of my faves, Sara Bareilles) moans out the usual shattered dreams/shattered ornaments noel with “Christmas in Los Angeles.” It’s unplugged and strong, but old hat.
Slightly more hopeful are Shane and Happy singing “Christmas in Los Angeles.” Folk lite.
Brian Irwin is a Canuck singing country in “Christmas in LA.” North Fish outta water plays well with his pretty vocals and clever rhymes.
I hate to reward the overworked 12 Days, but we are going for it… “12 Days of Christmas in L.A./The 405” by Kimberley Arland and Deborah Arnott is a bit funny (has outtakes), and uses shorthand, so ok.
BEFORE YOU BURN OUT WATCH THIS: Dawes pairs with The Killers for “Christmas in L.A.” an alt rock self examination (part and parcel of citizenship therein). The Owen Wilson (Harry Dean Stanton cameo) video (half cartoon) rocks. And the average sized and shaped poetry of the music is elevated by this Youtube vision. Liked it.
Since i’ve got a sweet soft spot for the ’70s, i must also recommend Vulfpeck’s “Christmas in L.A.” which pays homage to disco, moog, and other elctropop so blithely i’m in a good mood (for once). Can i just suggest Michael Jackson meets Frank Zappa and see what you think?
White boy snark tries to pass for hip hop with Notable Gentleman’s “Christmas in L.A.” They can bust a move, though.
Torching up the joint Olivia Rox swans through “Christmas in L.A.” vamping up the sand and sun. Girl’s got some range, but she’s just another talented cute blonde in the City of Fallen Angels.
Dead Sara earthenifies the blonde with “Snow in Los Angeles.” She, too, has the range of a Christmas tree, but uses it to sell the raw, slightly singed emotions. I like the Aimee Mann thing here.
BLUE ALERT: Goofing on the boy band modulated music mix, Ethan Newberry sings “I Hate Christmas in L.A.” Ha ha, now i hate myself, ha.
To cure my overinflated sense of cynical irony, i need a dose of Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra sashaying through “Christmas in Los Angeles.” Whew. makes me feel all dressed up and important.
I tried to keep it under 50 California Christmas songs, guys, i really did. I barely looked around. And i know there’s so many more. But i gotta settle on the song you should hear. No hesitation here. My sister takes me to see The Bobs every Christmas. They are a West Coast a cappella group what vocalizes all the instruments in their wacky interps of hit pop tunes and underserved oddities. Their “Christmas in L.A.” is not only hauntingly peaceful, but also childishly satirical of La-La Land. Merry