It’s Christmas Day! We Made It!

2021 was a year of hope, hanging like a fluffy pillow that might fall on our heads at any moment. I remained restlessly tossing (cookies) and turning (tables).

January began with a salute to the AFTER Christmas sentiments, from relief to resentment to realization it’ll start again in a bit.

But, I do like to take this time of the year to recommend albums the novelty aficionado MUST HAVE from the hundreds i’ve sampled. I am but a poor mouse and have few enough discs myself, but I gotta endorse what rings odd enough to my ever-lovin’ listenin’. Let’s Start with The Beatnik Turtle Christmas Album: Santa Doesn’t Like You. Folk, rock, honkytonk, punk, swing, bluegrass, cartoon music and easy listening all come together in one messy porridge of fun. It’s what you deserve.

As for hard-working salt-of-the-earth rock musician-ing, attention must be paid to Matt Roach’s Naughty and Nice, The All Original Christmas Album. Funky, earthy, intelligent unplugged messages. Try it.

A true original, Thomas Valenti’s “I’m So Glad Christmas is Over” stars Kermit and Zimmerman as one of the oddest duets to do it to it. Bouncy family fun.

February continues this ouroboros with ANOTHER Christmas, ‘cuz these holidays repeat like ‘Groundhog Day’ without our consent.

Many standards water down Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings’ It’s a Holiday Soul Party, but ‘Silent Night’ is gospel, ‘Drummer Boy’ is funk, ‘Silent Night’ is way down Motown, ‘White Christmas’ rattles the rafters with disco big band. The original tunes make me re-visit often, if you must know. Plus the missus is a big fan. Gift it!

Compilations are most random and most successful when an independent label features efforts from their unsung stable of not-stars. The Western Star Rockabilly Christmas Party is full o’ fun including Thee Elfmen, Elfish Presley, The Bad Detectives, The Go Go Cult, and Epileptic Hillbillies. If rockabilly is not your thing, steer clear. Or, then again, purchase and edjumicate yooseff as to why it ought be.

As i do enjoy a pretty song on occasion, I was given to repeated listening of Martin Rivas’s ’70s influenced pop retro “Another Christmas 78rpm” on the Victrola. It goes round and round and then round and round, y’see?

March hangs on to this theme for dear life with Christmas AGAIN. Inescapable, man!

You’ll get fewer sneers as a geek-head and more respect as a musicologist with The Irish Rovers’ Merry Merry Time of Year. Again–i eschew albums littered with standard carols, and yet ‘Angels We Have Heard,’ ‘Three Ships,’ ‘Marvelous Little Toy,’ and ‘Must be Santa’ don’t foul up this foreign fal-de-rol (well, maybe that last one–P.U.) as they lean into the Celtic celebratory vibrato. The whole house will shake with reverential ritual if you own it and play it.

The Mavericks bring us back Stateside with cool bluesy club music in Hey! Merry Christmas! Lots of heartbreak, but–hey, man, that’s music for you. Invest!

Blast from the past (1962) with Stanley Adams and Sid Wayne and The Chicken Flickers and “Chanukah is Here Again.” This other observance also cycles around so don’t you forget it!

April is full of shouting and attention-getting with a month of interjections + Christmas = songs. Hello, goodbye, oh, hey, that sort of thing for an exclamatory Xmas.

Craig’s All Star, Rockin’ Christmas, You Guys! is the album that comes back to me around now. Kyle Dunnigan is the peripheral comedian you’ve seen before–oh, oh, which one was he!? But this agenda-leaning coo-coo constellation deserves a spot in your novelty Christmas music collection.

The exclamatory backseat of “Hey Hey It’s Christmas” narrowly beats out some strange stuff that just irritates an ear. But, while The Go Go Cult dirges their folk-rock missive… of a sudden–Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, Medusa come out to play. [–wha–? Did it already mention this album?!] {Must be that good.}

For May i gave in and gave Santa’s reindeer a spotlight. Wait, wait, it’s not ALL kiddies’ songs, and you may not have herd some of THESE. The first half of the month was about the Big Eight as recited in ‘The Night Before Christmas.’ Rudolph got a week of oddness as well. He deserves a good lampoon.

For a killer album full of solid rock covers with hilarious xmas context shoe-horned in, i haven’t mentioned Incense and Chia Pets enough from The ’60s Invasion. You need this to play for your disbelieving associates. (‘Rudolph’ sung to ‘19th Nervous Breakdown‘ is even better than when sung to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’)

Love me a grand old ripping yarn, and Philly Cuzz delivers with “Blitzen Jones the Mighty Reindeer.” Pop shaggy dog love about that Xmas party when the wolves showed up to eat everyone.

Surely Santa doesn’t just have the eight/nine pullers! July began a roster of all the OTHER reindeer. There’s Dippy, and Ragnar, and Marvin, and Shadrack, and… so many more (this ran into July)!

Otis Gibbs has cornered the market on modern-day cool Depression back-o-the-barn blues. His holiday album Once I Dreamed of Christmas has to be heard to be believed. Own it to belong to the believers’ club.

The Wenatchee Valley Boys get win, place, and show this month. Amazing retro boy rockers with surf, doo-wop, folk, cowboy and more. Not with just silliness, these professional pop artists earn a special place in my heart with their novelty newness. Get Nightheart on Ice, and–to see what I’m mean–zero in on “Donny the Reindeer,” that pop song rapscallion is certainly a handful!

July continued reindeer as a collective cultural note.

What about Chuck Picklesimer, though? Ever since Pete the Elf intro-ed this transcendent troubadour to moi over a dozen years ago i’ve mined the depths of Dead Ninja Christmas with unbridled Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Get it.

While we’re at it, have you got just the right holiday party album–?! If you’re cool and young and happening then you might acquire The Rusebuds’ Christmas Tree Island. Quick before it’s just old stuff. (It’s nine and counting!)

But, if you want to know about reindeer… Nick Naylor’s Animal Facts runs over all the “Reindeer” life. Not rap, not didacticism, but a rock lesson that will let you bone up for erudite cocktail banter this holiday season.

Unable to leave beating a dead source, i pivoted into flight. Christmas songs about flying tend to be reindeer-esque, though a few about planes, pigs, angels, and babies helped round out August.

Arne Hansen and The Guitarspellers have crafted a party-giving bash of an album Reindeer Can Fly. And i’d like you to consider it on its merits, not on my babbling. So, buy it. Then report back.

Been a minute sine i luxuriated in pure Xmas parody (or, as it like to call pop songs appropriated for jolly times, caroldies). Try out the Elton John gone wrong of Syrpyntyne’s “Reindeer Man.” Ahh, that’s just right.

Here’s a terrible idea: find all the Christmas songs with numbers in them. There’s twelve days (or months in a couple other songs as well), three wise men–that’s all, is that not correct? Well, if you waste time on lyrics-finding search engines… there are a few others. (Gang, this led me down many white-water rabbits… and many of these songs appear on NOT-XMAS albums.) Was it worth it?

Well, it gave me a chance to reference one of my heroes, Jonathan Coulton (here with John Roderick), who can make any topic a musical marvel. Look at One Christmas at a Time to see what i mean. I ran into more than one song about My First Video Game for Xmas, but “2600” rocks. Then there’s Chanukah, romance, the aftermath, crappy relatives… and on and on. My sis got me my copy on the table outside one of his concerts. Yeah.

The Benefit have been noted already as having a great Christmas record. If you haven’t got it yet, here’s a prompt: “T-Rexmas (A Nativity Story 65 Million Years in the Making).” Now comes the story of the king of king of dinosaurs who gave his God-given time to rule. Not like that turn-the-other-cheek guy. Count it.

The big digression in my countdown of Christmas numbers began with the current year. The number of the year turns out is a milestone. 2019 Xmas was not the same as Christmas 1920. As The Futureheads like to point out, “Christmas was Better in the 80s.” So, it got competitive–which i dig.

A rockabilly punk turn by Vista Blue checked me out to the point where i had to listen more than once. Their Christmas Collection includes some covers, but mostly twists my ear in all new ways. Just check out their set list (Zombies, The Ramones, ‘Home Alone,’ Booster (the doll)…). You’ll want it then.

A brief screamer of an album, Holiday Heat, features Holiday Roger, a dramatic pop fanatic. He may be fluid, he may be on the spectrum–still, he is as entertaining as an elf orgy. Join in. But don’t follow that elf-making recipe….

Megathruster made my year with “1985 Sears Christmas Catalog.” This childhood ‘wish book’ as epic pop ballad is as serious as it wants to be. (P.S. you can view more of the actual catalog on YouTube. [As well as the one from the year you were ten.] ) What can i say but thanks.

New Year, Same Christmas

Let’s review. Lord knows i don’t gots the time, but over the last twelve months i’ve listened to many a musical number. Here are some must-haves for your library.

JANUARY’s theme was crime.

Big Bang outta the “Payday 2: A Merry Payday Christmas” soundtrack. This is an actual musical cobbled up by those what worked on the Overkill video game sequel and robbin’ banks and whatnot with your joystick on your couch. British cracking wise and naughtiness that’s gee-dee fun. Get it.

The despicable villains who committed unlawful acts during the holidays caused songs that ranged from historical folk to deprived pop. Possibly the worst of the worst comes from Kunt and The Gang, a ne’erdowell UK set of low-class lads with songs to make you cringe. Including “Killed a Kid at Christmas.” He would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been–oh, he DID get away with it.

FEBRUARY’s motif was birthday. Apparently not only Jesus was born in December. And most of those others–looking at you, Shannon–are not happy about it. Sing out for empathy!

Something about the integrity AND talent of The Animal Band’s Jungle All the Way wins me over. Dad band rock’n’roll, granted. Yet, worth it.

Let’s get funereal (for the fun of it) a la Fortress of Attitude and their chorale delight: “It Sucks to be Born on Christmas.” Feel the pain.

MARCH’s idea was cowboys. That’s a thing, right? Christmas cowboys?

You could do worse than Michael Martin Murphey, or Riders in the Sky (though i like what Gene Davenport does with this TV-show golly-gee cowpuncher approach). But allow me to push Nevada Slim & Cimmaron Sue. Effortless tee hee haw. And i don’t usually recommend an album what’s got traditional carols covered on it. So, that means it’s extra good.

The Heebee-jeebees thumb their kerchief covered noses at the cowboy concept with their “Cowboy Christmas.” Dumb dad jokes or brilliant kid music?! Hilarity ensues.

APRIL’s concern was coal. What’s this mineral got to do with the holiday?Tradition, folklore, quaint old-timey stories, blah blah blah, fa la la la la.

Hot Buttered Elves are a garage band of multitudinous genre-busting mirthiness. At times they just lay down jams (you might want to use to set behind your own novelty xmas songs). Their humor comes off as collegiate and in-the-know (Firesign Theatre schtick). Regardless, check out their albums: “Coal,” “2012: Planet X-mas,” “Hypothermia,” “A Very LoFi Christmas,” “Dark Jollies,” and “Unwrapped.” I’m serious.

Haschel Cedricson dusts legitimacy with authentic bluegrass folk and mournful croaking all over the bitch session “He’ll Bring You Coal.” Spoiler alert: West Virginia was the naughtiest.

MAY’s plan was nothing for Christmas. Worse than coal?! Well, rationalizations include Santa forgetting, or running out, or being dead. So, you know, could be worse.

This allowed me to meet Nick & Gabe, a couple chucklehead smartasses who may be the only ones who get their own humor. It’s a Nick & Gabe Christmas Party! should be playing at your holiday wingding regardless. Full disclosure: i laughed (not something i’m known for).

While Pony Death Ride’s “Nothing Beats Old People at Christmas” only barely syntactically adheres to our May way, it was still fun in a sortof mean sortof reverent way. Humor manages that when aptly managed.

JUNE’s point was NO Christmas. Bleak, no? Yet a springboard for some up-MY-alley bleak humor. (Oh, yeah, pathos too. Whatevs.)

Yulenog is the creation of Nathan Kuruna, who likes dreadful music and wants the world to know it. I’d avoid his first few albums (in which the joke is lack of talent), but Yulenog 9 and Yulenog 10 are all original romps through multiple genres of music, mostly sung on key–yet very witty. Acquire at will.

WTF (‘winter-time-fun’) is represented on our countdown by Moper, whose [BLUE ALERT] “Christmas is Cancelled” kicks the family gathering in the face when grandad does something unexpected. Experimental punk.

JULY’s symbol was bells. An opportunity for traditional carols. Sorry.

But i soon realized The Benefit & Chinese Firekites had the novelty albums i was looking for. Juchristmasly and How the Chinese Firekites Stole Christmas make bourgeoise humor seem easy. All the ready targets (the Taliban, teenage rebellion) as well as the cultural twists (what’s roast beast taste like? how’s ‘Christmas shoes’ appropriate for the holidays?) rock right off their drums. Ha ha ha. Get some.

Let’s jazz up the tone with some jump blues delivered with pizzazz by The Bandana Splits. “All the Bells” is the perky party processional we want to lift all the spirits. Garshk.

AUGUST’s image was a star, or two. Again, lots of molden golden oldies. And praiseworthy paeans. But not the Christmas 500 you only hear this time of year.

Albums i’ve discovered years before haunt me around this time of year, by not getting enough play. Steve Courtney has been a kidsong performer of award-winning merit for decades. (My knee just jerked: children’s music??!) Yet, his all original album Christmasteve has gotten several shoutouts on my diurnal demented dealings. Great kidsong is just great song. And this is it.

New England based mature angels, Sweet, Hot & Sassy take the old chestnut “Star of Wonder” and a cappella the bejesus out of it. Uplifting (and non-ironic) shivers result. Meditate, pray, or just transform to it.

SEPTEMBER’s thing was lights.

A longtime go-to in my musical-mischief library has been The Tarquin Records All Star Holiday Extravaganza, compilation of in-house artists for a record label. Like red wine blends, these hodgepodges can surprise with a superiority to single-artist albums. And Peter Katis’s stable of never-hear-ofs (The Zambonis, The Happiest Guys in the World, Swirlies) now include Death Cab for Cutie. I highly recommend every track here (including the Hallowe’en and Groundhog Day ones).

Emma Stone fronts SNL with one of their better pop music spooferies. “The Christmas Candle” touches upon the unfortunate gift exchange spontaneity that, it would seem, everyone has gone through. Soaring deadpan lyrics helps connect this tangent to Sept.’s theme.

OCTOBER’s surprise was the mall Santa. What began as bell-ringing begging accelerated to comical photo ops. Is the man behind the fake beard to be feared or set afire?

Maxwell, Miranda, and Parsley’s Catskill Christmas is a fine folk holiday album of highs and lows and shining talent. I like all their songs. Avail yourself of patronage.

Improv Everywhere’s Musicals in Real Life flashmobs some unsuspecting mall to remind us “You’re Never Too Old to Sit on Santa.” It means more when there’s a visual aspect. Enjoy the show, four and a half minutes of worth it. (And the suspense of whether the mall Santa is in on it, or not.)

NOVEMBER’s number was the almost approach of Xmas. Starting in the fall, loads of fussing is made about Christmas Christmas don’t be late, or the like. Songs range from desperate to frantic.

Not a B’way babe, but i lean towards a faboo musical or two. (While tin of ear, this white boy still snagged an Honorable Mention for ‘King Herod’s Song’ at a regional high school Thespian convention 45 years ago.) ‘Christmas Ain’t a Drag‘ does not purport to anything but all original big band showstoppers each and every number… about Xmas. It’s all-inclusive, and recent too. Check it.

This month afforded many luscious holiday hoots, but i guess i’ll lean South of the border for Jack Terrell Clift’s soaring song of sorrow and redemption “It Being Nearly Christmas Time.” I can be serious, i can.

DECEMBER is all about waiting for Christmas. Like, that’s what you DO, man.

Since i’ve been finally peering into Bandcamp.com’s illustrious stable of independent musical artists, i’ve been able to increase my odd offerings multifold. So it swells me with pride to highly recommend Adventures 2010 from Emma and Charlie’s Radio Podcast. These eclectic eccentrics pop with creative/experimental numbers. Hard to categorize, and IT’S FREE TO DOWNLOAD THIS ALBUM. Love!

More strange, UK’s Boom Child gives the rando naughty take of “I Can’t Wait for Christmas,” a thoroughly entertaining yet Dylanesque garage childish tantrum. It’s another freakin’ FREE DOWNLOAD from Bandcamp.com.

Let’s not wait for another Christmas of such monumental merriment… let’s freeze time and forever be the now.

Another Xmas Older and Whaddya Get

Every year i sift through thousands of novelty Christmas offerings and, if you’re of similar bent, i have some recommendations no yuletide oddity library should be without. I mean, these platters otter be on yer serving places posthaste.

JANUARY 2019: I featured songs about being sick at Christmas. I figured Christmas with the Crystalairs was just another doo wop collection i overlooked from the ’60s. I was wrong. These hulking white (German) guys have revived the stylings for decades and dropped this album just a couple years ago, replete with cool songs i ain’t never heard before.

Red State Update have been making politically sarcastic hay for some time. Jonathan Shockley and Travis Harmon play patriotic Tennesseans Jackie Broyles and Dunlop who harrumphed and sung about all things Tea Party and Obama. The podcast dwindled but was reborn as Travis & Jonathan, ‘cuz a good thing don’t go away easy when creativity is still to be paid. From their albums Santa is Real and Merry Twismas Part Twoo and Other Gooduns, please enjoy a Red State Update Christmas selection.

Yet, my favorite video of January is the skit/song from James Coyle about bad breakups and wishing her “A Very AIDS-y Christmas.” BLUE ALERT

FEBRUARY 2019: A month-long rant AGAINST Christmas in song. Another chance to revisit Arrogant Worms, an Ontario college radio comedy group who has spun up a dozen albums of masterful genre-switching. Funny guys. Christmas Turkey is a 1997 album you should have by now. The all original songs give every year.

Do You Hear What I Hear? may be a clearing house for cool independent artists on the Mojo Land Recordings label. The album is blithely entitled Independent Christmas Music and loads up the fun. Listen and see.

Best of the haters goes to Benjamin Stuart Steele as ‘Rusty Cage’ with his “Christmas Knife Game Song.” Sharp guy. BLUE ALERT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UR0Swc6dpE

MARCH 2019: Uh oh. It’s the sex act (all of them actually) as celebration within Xmas music. Or maybe just sex and it happens to be Christmas. Neill Kirby McMillan Jr. championed psychopunk cowbilly way back in the ’90s, like with his quintessential 1992 Horny Holidays. Mojo Nixon says, Get some.

Dr. Duke Tumatoe was a bluesman in REO Speedwagon but has spread his wings with the 2001 It’s Christmas. Blues in the service of humor. Now that‘s Christmas.

My carnal choice from the month goes something like Matt Mullholland’s 13-year-old idea brought to fruition when he’s finally something of a New Zealand web musical sensation. Sing along to “O Holy Night”! Naughtiness!

APRIL 2019: Uh oh again. Now it’s the F-word as decoration for Christmas music. Time for some fun with Bowling for Soup, pop punkers from Texas known for cartoon theme songs. Their double EPs from 2011 were known as Merry Flippin’ Christmas Vol. 1, and Vol. 2. Colorful, chaotic, cool. Even the covers. (And here’s our euphemism for the obscenity.)

I was drawn toward the songs that swore for the Lord. Youtube’s Mr. Elevator, Crudbump, serenades us with “Fuck You If You Don’t Like Christmas.” It’s illustrated and educational. Did you know about The Hat Store? Didn’t think so. EXTRA BLUE ALERT

MAY 2019: I thought myself so clever that i could dedicate a month to rerun all previous themes one-a-day into a ReduXmas. But, make no mistake, this was largely to include monsterously cool numbers from albums i had found the year before. Like J D McPherson’s socks, my oh my that collection is solid gold from big band song to jazz swing song. I even heard a cut playing at Kohls.

Holidelic was an odd duck for me. Everett Bradley is this cool cat who has a traveling funk-disco Xmas show in NY state every year and Holidelic: Rebooty is a compilation of their best. Not enough opportunities for me to wedge this spectacular showstopping stuff into my weird wardrobe of ideas, so i thought i’d gift you with the suggestion to check it out.

Sometimes the music video enhances the song experience to the point where i don’t know why the song was enjoyable by itself. “Christmastime for the Jews” was a 2005 TV Funhouse bit on Saturday Night Live. Darlene Love is barely audible and the black and white claymation is clumsy in its comedy. But the swinging R+B and NYC injoke rompiness overloads when stitched up together. (And… is it racist?)

JUNE 2019: Themes tumbled together around now. I should have done the idea of romantic heartbreak and splitting up around the holidays (Ex-mas was the title of many of these songs) right after the sex songs. But i’m not really that organized.

Trey Stone and The Ringers are an Ohio ‘billy rocker group with a sharp EP Sing About Christmas. It’s honky tonkin’ amazing. Fun fact: i added their song about wanting a divorce for Christmas because i noticed (a month late) that i hadn’t entered a post on that day in my blog and i had to scramble for one more aspect to breaking up.

Mr. Cork’s Totally Off The Wall Whacked Out Christmas Songs! is probably some self-published backroom amateur set of all original Xmas tunes. I can find out nothing about this ‘Mr. Cork.’ But thank God for the internet, or we’d never get this level of ‘adult’ oddity.

Andy Goldenberg has a rollicking Youtube channel full of fun songs (a few on a holiday album–which includes April Fools Day). But i dig his hyper jazz swing Jewish neurotic can’t-stop-talking “I’m Breaking Up with You for Christmas.” Run, girl.

JULY 2019: Then i fooled around with this strange ‘etc.’ mix of not-Christmas other-holiday songs which should have been paired with my war-on-Christmas theme i wouldn’t get to for another three months. But, i digress. Founding drummer of Blue Öyster Cult branched out to a sweet set of original songs as Albert & The Sleigh Riders with It’s Christmas… Again. Worth it.

Matt Farley goes by at least 70 different band names and can crank out a dozen songs a day. His word salad electric piano ramblings of a minute or so make him money out of his RI home studio. Tread carefully: here are 76 offerings from The Motern Media Holiday Singers with These are Great! Holiday Songs! (including National Bird Day, Singles Awareness Day, Leap Day… and more!) (The guy lives on Wikipedia.)

Brit gamer Youtube original songwright, Dan Bull, has gone to the trouble to white-rap the other notable events of December the twenty-fifth. “Non-Christmas Song” doesn’t exactly start the fire, or try to fight it. Listing! It’s a Christmas tradition!

AUGUST 2019: A Family Christmas says it all, doesn’t it? Okay, every family has its problems. Ask Dostoyevsky, ask Faulkner, ask your mother…. Love/hate adulate/ignore hug/sneer…. exhausting. Christmas Queens albums (1, 2, 3) offer pop takes from dragsters about life, lust, and dealing with it. With panache. Or elan. Or whatever. (Mostly takes on traditional carols, but some outlandish originals to look out for.)

Holidaze in Lumania from Barnes and Barnes is that eccentric absurdist humor you seem pretty cool to larf at while no one else knows what the hell is going on. Norms beware.

Time for something sweet and sentimental. A Silent Film has a darling hand drawn bit o’ nostalgia with “Christmas at Our House.” Awww-together now.

SEPTEMBER 2019: So many novelty numbers for Mrs. Santa, our dependent Claus. Albums to get: The Quinto Sisters Holly Jolly Christmas (1964). The Bobs Too Many Santas (1996). Three Day Threshold & Summer Villains Christmas & Holiday Songs, Vol. 1 (2008). Eddie Florano Christmas Here There and Everywhere (2007). Emmy the Great (and Tim Wheeler) This is Christmas (2011). Collect and trade.

But take a moment for “Surabaya-Santa” from Soshana Bean. Just, give it a chance. Seriously. Ridiculously even.

OCTOBER 2019: Songs defending and debunking The War on Christmas, wherein somebody out there is trying to stop yuletide celebrations of all kinds. It’s not the Grinch… it’s not the Communists (although i gave them a shout out)… it’s your neighbors! Spy on ’em for me and report back, there’s a good lad.

Lauren Mayer is the liberal (Jewish) commentator Mark Russel stopped being. Her album If My Uterus was a Gun and Other Musical Rants from the News leans all over the show tune winketty-wink humor. Rimshot. (For the more discerning patron, right this way to Latkes, Shmatkes! her all-Chanukah lounge-act comedy parodies.)

Roy Zimmerman’s 2005 Peacenick Album is a must-have staple of leftist satire. This Dr. Demento regular has an occasional musical revue of his political punditry in San Jose. Artistry is folk-based, but this be professional humorism, gang.

‘Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas’ was an actual movie in 2014 discrediting all the ‘myths’ of pagan antecedents becoming the Christmas Holiday (the film earned the lowest score ever received on Rotten Tomatoes). Taylor Ferrera is a NYC folkster who schoolhouserocks the irony of this nonsense in “Pagans Stole Christmas from Christians.” Cry Holiday and let slip the eggnogs of war!

NOVEMBER 2019: Finally a happy theme for a month of novelty: PA-HA-AR-TAY! Party albums include Karling Abbeygate’s goth rockabilly uninhibited wildness, Christmas with Karling. It goofs, it soars, it swings.

Have you met my friend, Rudy Casoni? Our favorite Sinatra impersonator doesn’t cover the Chairman’s hits, but mocks the sexism, alcoholism, and mob connections with original lounge tunes all holiday-tinted in ‘Sno Balls, a reference that there‘s no balls like his. This rat packs more comedy into a song than a Dean Martin roast.

The NYC funny white gang of songsters Fortress of Attitude range genre and humor stylings far and wide. Something for everyone in Bigger Than Santa: 12 Christmas Songs in 12 Christmas Days, an excellent example of ha-ha-ha-ism. This is my way of introducing my fave-o party song “New Years Steve,” a 1980s soft anthem of crazy roof-raising. Not exactly Xmas, but the wonderful rhymes just keep coming. (Ha, Aleve, ha ha.)

DECEMBER 2019: Guilty pleasure, sometimes i peek at those evolution-of-dance Youtube videos where the cast segue from waltz to Charleston to sockhop, well you get the idea. I thought i’d try that with the history of technology to communicate Christmas cheer. Certes, there are more examples of such than songs about it. And many of these are amateurs (with flair).

The Mangles’ EP album of last year Mangle Bell Rock deserves a twirl. Thoughtful alt, ‘billy, and more. Novelty approved!

Sam Wineman is a director musician social justice warrior. If you donate to AIDS/LifeCycle you’ll get his album Right in My Christmas. It’ll make your apparel (& your Xmas) gayer. All original, self deprecating, tongue-in-cheek.

It’s been a dark year, so we’ll end the holy day with the nihilstic downer “Nuclear Xmas” by GOOP. Deal with it.

It’s Christmas Day and What Have We Learned?

After a year of research and devilment, i like to take a mo and hit him with a hammer. Nyuck nyuck nyuck.

Rather than simply Top Tenning it, however, let me stack up the discoveries i’ve made over the last eighteen score posts. I can hardly believe i still stumble across novel new noisemakers everyone and their dog should hearken to. (*Hint: the word ‘album’ might link you to a Youtube playlist to listen to.)

Parodies’ Paradise: Sure there’s reliable Bob Rivers, noel Joel Kopischke, literal The ’60s Invasion and also hand-ringing The Mistletones (the last two with one powerhouse album apiece), oh–and the holy ApologetiX (for the coolest Christian retreads of the most sinful rock ‘n’ roll). But this year i bumped into Balderdash and Humbug. Their 55 Days of Christmas album has some gnarly new stuff on board. Thanks, guys.

As a gift to you, let’s revisit just about my favorite video from last year, Jason Bojangals’s “‘Blank Space’ ‘Home Alone’ Parody.” ‘Home Alone’ is a Christmas movie, right? It’s just so sociopathic! (Like Ms. Swift!)

Snow Business: While fooling around with songs about freezing cold precip, i was winded by Piedmont Songbag’s “Roger, It’s Snowing.” This Greensboro bunch a’ bubbas sound like the fun-lovininest likeable lugs to smack around a Christmas novelty song as ever blew down the flu. Tragically, their bassist died of a sudden this year. Please buy their album Try & Spread Some Cheer. Iffen you no like it, give it to me. What i’ve sampled is SO COOL, i will reference their work more and more. (Honestly, i don’t buy any of these masterpieces. Hint, hint.)

Anthropomorphic Snow Sculpture: Shark Uppercut out of nowhere broadsided me with their After the Fall (A Holiday Album). This electronic mess is hands down hilarious and offensively random. If you’re angry and think irony is stupid, go for it. (Sample 25 Days of Jesse, and also the instrumental electronica Robots Call It Christmas. Then you’ll know.)

But, i have to repeat InsideOut A cappella’s “In the Sun They Melted II.” This is their parody sequel, son. Check out the original, if you have the time. (No cool exclusively CHRISTMAS album from these kidsong singers.)

Tree-mendous Holiday Fun: A couple albums to investigate… Austin’s pretty-farout-sounding boys Watch Out for Rockets have an album, 13 Days of Xmas (Bandcamp offered it for freakin’ free). Eclectic energy.

The Hipwaders are overly talented kidsmusic men. Their album A Kindie Christmas merits more than the usual juvenile consideration. Find it. Play it. Play with it.

These overshadow the notorious Dr. BLT (Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen) and the prodigious number of odd songs he’s been rock-country-reggae-ska-folk-ing up in new volumes (Candy Cane Lanes) (album 1) (album 2) (album 3) (album 4) since 2015. Plus a kid’s album Hollotajolly, and an adult party album holottholly. Great googly, dude’s overachieving!

But, love goes to Parry Gripp, cartoon theme writer, jingle impersonator, and overall kookie genius. His Christmas songs are individual sensations, so i can’t grab ’em by the album. But look them over. Laugh, cry, covet…. Go ‘head.

Presents of Mine: Train guitarist Jerry Becker has an oddly B’way-ish album of Xmas imagining, Holidayzed. It appeals to the musical and the mayhem inside of me.

Lil Poverty Angels have one of those word jazz improv hip hop kind of nonsensical offerings, an album with 30 songs about a minute each. Christmas Cookies and Government Cheese. Don’t love it, but do respect it.

Angry Johnny and The Killbillies has an ammo-centric album Bang Bang Baby Bang Bang Merry Christmas. But i mostly dig “Christmas Shopping” on it.

As Seen on TV: Coupla bloggers caught my attention for this month, those people who relentlessly, exhaustively, OCD-ily obsess over their hobbies. Joanna Wilson’s “Tis the Season TV” channel on Facebook will describe, evaluate, and link you to oh so many holiday specials and movies and series. She has published books on it. I find her to be an easy touch for cheesebally sentimental value.

The big win here is “A Cartoon Christmas” blogsite. I don’t know the people involved, but i am in awe of how schizo cranky/besotted (t)he(y) are. This is brilliant, if microscopic, analysis of 20th C animation, from the Rambo cartoons to Rankin and Bass. And the breezy wit and casual rage make me a believer. I stole whatever i could from here.

As a chance to revisit old TV shows something caught at me… it was the ancient ‘Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ and the songs therein. That was a show and and a half for kids. Meanness redressed, chances seconded, and fun tunes, like “The Lord’s Bright Blessing (Razzleberry Dressing).” Aww.

Sing a Song of Singing Songs:

Canadian guitarist par excellence Wendell Ferguson is much originally funnier than i would’ve given credit to. His album Wendell Ferguson’s Cranky Christmas will get more and more play from me. Damn that’s good. To measure his level of fingering genius, resample his “Why Does Every Christmas Song Have So Many Chords?”

Take a Card: Sticky Mittens is a novelty Christmas album that just won’t quit from Rochester professionals who gather throughout the year to jam original music. This is what America’s about, people! The pity about discovering Watkins & the Rapiers so late for me is that their songs shoulda been included in my previous posts about Subordinate Clauses (overworked elves), Tree-mendous Holiday Fun (Christmas lights), and Santa Jobs (unemployed slacker). On my wavelength! Let’s remember them for “Don’t Expect a Christmas Card from Me.”

Don We Now: O, the sites i’ve seen– Arbor recordings are also NJites with a charity to help. Every year they corral local talent to pop up a musical album fundraiser. Mucho nuevo musica. My last visit to Bandcamp revealed their 18 volumes at “make offer” or “free download.” Holee molee. I just grabbed eight hours gratis. (Us limited incomers ain’t proud.)

The “Something Awful” people have a website [founded by Richard Charles Kyanka 1999] of various victorious vituperations, but they do sponsor a contest annually for nasty noeling. They’ve got seven volumes of several discs each. Gah, i can’t access where i downloaded them FOR FREE earlier. Here’s the Bandcamp collection. I did buy a volume before i got lucky on their poorly supervised website sometime in November.

Gentler, kinder, Kaleb Withers also devises an Xmas disk each year full of parodies and nutty new stuff. This Perth WA team (with wife) is exceptional and makes me smile, but Amazon and itunes don’t know them much. Spotify will play them, but it was only Christmas Albums 5 & 6 posted on Youtube that tipped me off. I guess you can buy their stuff on Reverbnation. I’ll update when i discover otherwise.

Finally, Rhett & Link have a talented Youtube channel full of novelty songs and other crazy boy pranks. Well, i fell hard for their series of Christmas self decoration songs starting with “Christmas Sweatz.” Click on the cues for the sequels “Christmas Face” and “Christmas Booty” if you dare.

So, God, if you love Xmas so much, why don’t you Mary it?!

IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY ON THE BLOG!

Another year over and what have we learned? Nothing! Comedy is the antidote to learning, it reinforces tropes without adding new info. Wit on the other hand can trigger many emotions. Let’s roller coaster through last year!

A year ago December i took on listing, and wanting, and asking for Christmas. My favorite, reeking of childish torment and maudlin nostalgia comes from Heywood Banks: “Dearest Mr. Santa Claus.” (fyi-‘Uncle Wiggily’ is a board game) Heartstrings may be tugged!

Last January i took a hard look at American Christmassing in all its patriotic glory and cheap shot criticism. The most delighted i got was with a ‘Hamilton’ all-out parody spotlighting Rudolph: thusly, Eclipse 6’s a cappella “Hamildolph”!!! You may believe a B’way in-joke can impress you.

For February it was a love fest of mistletoe songs. So i’ll settle for softcore. Sure we live in dangerous times of harassment and abuse of power, but the over-bleached, over-augmented, under-dressed twerker still has a place on the internet. Courtney ‘Cane’ Stodden coos “Mistletoe Bikini.”

March heralds in the other JC holiday, so we explored songs holy and lowly about Our Savior and his b.day. Oddest of all was the e-card from JibJab featuring Five-Toes, the two-tongued cat, a centurion cat on guitar, and an under-aged kitten chorus of dancers singing about what appropriate gift there might for the Son of God. “Power Drill for Jesus.”

Now begins my enormous culinary odyssey. April was all about Eating for Christmas in song. Most diet-inducing is the gut-wrenching peripeteia in Paul and Storm’s vaudeville bluegrass “Grandma’s Christmas Dinner.” Ugh.

Next were the sweet things of Christmas. Man oh man: candy canes, cookies, mince pies, the menu was inexhaustible. If i had to pick one, i’d go with the amazing (hoax-y) collection from Asche & Spencer writing for advertising co. Borders Perrin Norrander for the Oregon Lottery pitch for their fruitcake scratchoffs. Let’s just feature “Merry Christmas Fruitcake!”

After sweets came Christmas drinks. Mostly cocktails, though some cocoa and eggnog snuck in there. Of all the alcohol, the most uninhibited song came from Kevin Kline singing as Mr. Fischoeder from the Bob’s Burgers cartoon, a bastion of novelty music in itself.

July extended the drinking Christmas song game to getting drunk for the holidays. A tremendous amount of talent goes in to singing about this. Hard to narrow it down. Guess it’ll settle for comedy by way of Axis of Awesome. “Drunk at Christmas” laughs at, with, to, and from this serious social issue.

Ditto for drugs. The next month was Stoned for Xmas, and after all the pot songs, inappropriately addictable pop tunes, & sneering strung-out melodrama, i’d like to take a moment to reflect with Gregory Page via “Crack & Christmas.” This isn’t much about drug-induced states, but it delves into the mindset of those who need to. Depressing folk, okay–but relevant and moving.

My inspiration for September was celebrity toasting, inspired by Todd McHatton’s “Christmas Song for Harry Nilsson.” I heard of this guy from a cookie song he did and i had to buy his album sight unseen. Worth it.

Afterwards i noodled around the Youtube hunting down parodies of famous songs. One i almost missed was from Moneyshot Cosmonauts spoofing on Dark Side of the Moon and soothing my Pink Floyd needs with “North Side of the Pole: Part 4” (Don’t miss Parts 5 & 6, too). Maybe indulge in Part 2 as well if you’ve got black lights. (Other parts harder to come by.)

Damn that’s good.

CHRISTMAS OVERVIEW (it’s today!)

By my calendar it’s the twenty-fifth of December. Time to reflect on what we’ve learned over the last year.

Some Xmas songs are wonderful.

Some Xmas songs are terrible.

But i don’t give much thought to the trouble of making the videos. Here are some of my favorite music videos over the last year…

Zissou Society don’t have much of a song with “Oh Shit, It’s Christmas,” but watch their collection of holiday commercials set to their salty celebration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZAVmm74Qao

[edit: whoops, musta got a letter from Mickey Dees to pull that video. But in retrospect, i like the song. Just imagine 1970s TV going on…

]

Jeffrey Cannon uses borrowed cartoon and reinvigorates the old “Frumpy the Christmas Frog” so that kids of all generations may wonder WTF?

Here Come the Mummies like some dress up, but for “Secret Santa” they have gone beyond the pale for an homage to the old ‘Rudolph’ TV special, but this time with a stag party. That dentist elf’s got some moves! (Better video than song, sorry.)

Bret McKenzie goes electronica for “Electronic Santa” a dance video full of dance. I can dig it.

I keep listening to Big B and K David recite their “Christmas List, Yo.” But I’ve come to realize their video is active and energetic and teaches me cool new dance moves (‘swipe the credit card!’).

Keeping it funny… something called Verbatim Lyrics (this is old, old VHS stuff) used to play with MTV  videos and replace vapid lyrics with descriptions of what the people in the mini-movies are doing. Here is George Michael’s “Last Christmas” sendup. Uh–Burn!

To balance the amusing with the angering, Poly Styrene plays pop on the punk sentiments of Christmas being the downfall of civilization with “Black Christmas.” Damn if it don’t make me want to dance to doomsday.

Do we have time for a quick science class power point? We do? Jay Livingston and Ray Evans make chemistry Christmassy with “Silver Balls.” Take notes.

While in the humor department, let’s pretend a song wallpapered with memes is a video. ‘Cuz i like “Play That Christmas Music White Boy.” I need to hear it one more time.

For a top ten finale, gotta get even dirtier (what we call a BLUE ALERT for you meddlin’ parent-types) with Jimmy Colorado and the Bronco Band (Bath Boys Comedy actually). These boys have parodied the classic country music video with their heart-warming “Christmas Shit.” I laugh every time (now you know that).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76gbiG-LUWI

 

 

My Top Ten on Christmas Day

As far as 2015 is concerned, i wanna hear these over and over again.

#10. My good friend, Pete the Elf, makes me laugh. He finds such cool novelty Christmas music i could plotz. He gave me a dozen disks recently and this number stood out: Rappy McRapperson singing “Gimme Stuff.” Clueless hip hop and breathless techno combines with genuinely youthful grabbiness. (I’d take that hug.)

BLUE ALERT #9. Dirty stuff works with me when it’s gleefully inappropriate. Denis Leary is hit or miss funny, but in claymation, he’s pretty fuckin’ funny.

#8. Back in the ’70s we called techno rave music electronica. It wasn’t simply addictive percussion, it was moog magic and synthesized science. It was wonderfully amazing. Here is Joy Electric’s “Lollipop Parade (On Christmas Morn).” Hardly kid music, but it takes me back.

#7. You can maybe tell, parodies float my boat. Bob Rivers is pretty good. And I love Joel Kopischke. But Robert Lund out-Yankevics them all. Here is “Santa” with a nod to R.E.M. (Beware, Santa comes off pretty creepy here.)

Elves Gone Wild

#6. My childhood music is scrambled eggs memory to me now. But when i found old vinyl from Tex Johnson and His Six-Shooters i was transported to the shag carpeted wonderland full of presents. Please enjoy the a cappella ‘cowboys’ singing about “Fum Fum Fum” whatever that is.

Tex Johnson

#5. South Park plays hard and once every fifth bit i crack a smile. Usually i nod at the excess and understand the anthropological reasons behind this satire or that angry barb. But Cartman’s “Swiss Colony Beef Log” reminds me of the religious realization of getting the expected gift.

#4. Barenaked Ladies has a dynamite Christmas/Chanukah album. It should be listened to in its entirety. I’ll point out “Christmastime (Oh Yeah)” as a stellar example of warmth and love and stuff like that.

#3. Sloppy Seconds celebrates Santa Claus Vs. the Martians with their “Hooray for Santa Claus.” It revives me from the torpor of the holidays and resurrects my spirits for the next 365.

#2. Here’s a catchy number (even the missus likes dis a one). In fact it was so seminal to my seasons’ greetings, i posted my own Youtube slide show for it. (Not my strong suit.) Not gonna go all green(sleeves) on ya, but the poor Doug firs… poor li’l things…. Celtic Elvis knows.

#1. One more Youtube that i have posted. Tarquin Records has an incredible Christmas album as well (including songs for Thanksgiving, Halloween and Groundhog’s Day). Get it! John Aley has a swing number that pops my cork and reminds me (like i need it) that i’ll never get any better present than a happy marriage.