Christmas countdown: 416

Christmas lights hang over the hollow world of Clementoon. But it’s no-place no-time, just an in-between seeing you and leaving you (at 4:16). All that’s left in this haunting non-genre indie is the “Coat.” It’s all she has left of you. It’s not enough.

Christmas Countdown: 600

6:00” Christmas morning is just a dream for an existentially bereft man stuck in his car, thinking of ways to die, afraid to choose. Baroque hair rock this side of prog care of Dream Theater. Scream if you must.

Fralphie Jenkins growls into the monotonous altrock of driving “December 24th (600 Miles to Go)” making the journey to the folks a Sisyphean hell of never-ending mileage. Epic angst, kids. Might be dead. Damn. Don’t try this at home. [An alternate verzh of this, “Ice on the Floor (Christmas Eve),” takes a long long Dark Side of the Moon intro, after which reality melds travel with arrival, hazard with cozy–so much so that the end of the song is the beginning. Aahhh!]

Christmas Countdown: 1000+

Let’s slow the whole love thang down and work up to it poetic-like. Courtin’ style!

LeLe wants to hold you and sing a thousand songs to you, since he loves you so much in “Christmas Night with You,” a vaguely Eurocentric soft pop. Such a charmer!

Doggomuzik also. wants to sing “A Thousand Christmas Carols” to you as a sign of love. It’s a musician thing, i reckon. Pop garage.

Also into holding, but now with dancing, laughing, matching socks, and sharing stories told a thousand times–Kat McDowell (feat. Kaoru Miyazaki) bounces pop frothier with “Feel Like It’s Christmas.” This is a real connection; they get each other’s jokes!

A Thousand Lifetimes” by Nieve Malandra from the Karen Carpenter school of lounge paints a picture of a holiday worth a thousand lifetimes–just me and you. Sultry jazz.

Ashton Edminster lays the innocence on just right for me. No innuendo, no taking-for-granted, but shy liking under a “1,000 Christmas Lights.” Just talking, just getting to know you (better), just good friends. That’s how love begins. Gentle, unplugged girl alt-folk.

Christmas Countdown: 17:15

Bible verses are read as chapter and verse, so we’ll allow a bit o’ stretch here to include the ominous tale of 10,000 Maniacs’ “Jubilee” in which Tyler (as afflicted perhaps as the son for whom mercy is asked in Matthew 17:15) takes time off from fixing up the Nativity scene for the church to burn down the licentious tavern nearby.

Christmas Countdown: 1-800

The 800 toll free phone number was meant to fire people so that busy businesses could do without long-distance connections. Hotels and car rental companies began this streamlining in the ’60s. Today we could care less. Who gets charged for Long D anymore?!

Humbugz revisits the ’80s with a “1-800-Christmas” number about the worst presents ever. Then the poor country-song victim has an idea… (it’s the phone line to buy this album)!

A surprising message comes from an 800 number wishing “Merry Christmas Mr. Peng.” This indie goes places you dmight not expect. I mean, IS it a happy ending?

Christmas countdown: 1933

Prohibition’s over! Drunkenness is okay again! Tom Dyer beats the stringed-box recounting that moonshiner ‘Doober’ he met way back when “It’s a White Mule Christmas.” Returns to him again in the ’40s… and there may be a resurrection acomin’ later on. Stay for it, or just for the back woods country glee of the whole parcel.

Virginiana Miller’s “Xmas 1933” is a gentle alt-pop about the re-decline of the civilization of the American worker. Christmas cheers!