The Color Bars self identify as a Brooklyn-based indie pop band with big, melodic hooks, a wry sense of humor, and vaguely psychedelic tendencies. Be the judge listening to the experimental doowop of “Merry Christmas It’s Your Birthday,” the ballad of an agnostic Xmas-hater who has found new reason to rejoice.
The holidays leave us more susceptible to criminal mischief than any other time of the year. You’re not home: breaking and entering. Your car is in the far corner of the mall parking lot: theft. Heightened emotions: assault. Resultant overdrinking: battery. Family: murder. (Okay, New Year’s Eve is hella worse.)
This is gonna get bleak.
C.G.B. raps the sorry story of sadistic elf managers, Krampus, and dope/gun-running in “Criminal Christmas.” BLUE ALERT to be sure.
Odd experimental mellifluousness, “Christmas Crime” by Philippe Tasquin (feat. Pierre Vervloesem, Didier Fontaine) mashes up coffeehouse lyricism with burlesque house ’70s symphonic rock to suggest an unreality of lawless holiday. (WTF?)
Tuxedo Bandido lightens the mayhem with organized crime, intimidation, and a little drug dealing in “It’s Christmas Crime.” Here it’s Santa on the lam with pop doo wop (not the lamb of God with manger poo).
Take a sleeping draught and celebrate having the bed all to yourself, woman! What’s with all the moaning!? Another round of (party-style this time) weepie tunes about Missus Claus missing the Mister.
“The Sad Saga of Mrs. Claus” gets the gospel-sized R+B treatment from E. Faye Butler. This roof-raiser got me apologizing for things i never did to the little woman, but hang in there for that final ‘SCREW YOU!’
The Bandana Splits girl doowop “It’s a Lonely Night for Mrs. Claus.” There there, madam, rama lama ding dong.
Not enough songs portray the happy ever after Mr. and Mrs. Claus share.
The classic here is the country old school twanger from George Jones and Tammy Wynette (we’ve played it before) “Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.” Here the old couple is held up as a gold standard for happy marriage. (No actual Santa wives are harmed in this song.) [Robin Vosbury & Linnea Fayard Allen add a powerful new guitar riff to this anthem.] [Shaun Loughrey & Carrie Benn make it more backbeaten rock’n’roll.]
Three Day Threshold (feat. Lyle Brewer) drop us a love letter “To Mrs. Claus from Santa.” Hard blue grass breakdown, but sweet as honey.
Bee bop rock delight from Guy Sherman details the why wherefore and how of that woman in “She’s Mrs. Claus.” The possible names are rostered as well. (Layla?) True love.
Diggin’ the shoobop soft rock of Del Zorros with “Mrs. Santa Claus.” Sounds like a party when the lights go off. Romantically so, don’t worry.
The basic refrain for seasonal severance gets its due serially from the music-makers over and over. Let’s admit that pain creates great song. But sometimes, wallowing in the dumps it seems like a better song ‘cuz IT’S ALL ABOUT MY PAIN RIGHT NOW.
Joss Stone and Mick Jagger should be golden together, but “Lonely Without You (This Christmas)” is just words said during a rock tune.
Prince gets a bit more poetic with “Another Lonely Christmas,” but this dream-fueled rampage of experimental rock doesn’t touchdown into our reality but twice. Can i get a huh?
Darlene Love wails girl doo wop with a killer sax for “All Alone on Christmas.” This is loneliness with a raw edge.
Before we go in the front door, back-door Santas everywhere would like to explore the possibility of anal penetration.
Glamazam has a short vocally pretty album of butt-sex songs leading off with “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Butt Sex.” Uhm, that’s far enough.
Kill the Band has played “Anal for Christmas” for us before. Butt it’s got a twist in the end.
George Washington Diarrhea wrassles doowop for “I Hope That I Get Anal for Christmas.” Earthy, full of innuendo (and begging), and the harmonica is a nice touch.
Let St. Nick tell you about the bringing of the gifts.
My boys Duncan G and Brian (where are you, guys?) pretty up an Xmas parody, so who can tell me what “King of Christmas Giving” pays homage to? (‘m kinda outta the regular music scene). Love it, though.
Uncredited to the stable of stock singers, “Santa’s Delivery” from A Latino Christmas delivers hot cool.
Oscar McLollie digs that crazy Santa Claus with swinging big band doo wop in “I Deliver Toys, Pt. 1.” A Christmas novelty must. Jingle jangle.
Am i s’posed to sit in a box with airholes?
“How Do I Wrap My Heart for Christmas?” addresses this quandry. The inimitable Randy Travis yodel-croons through this country hee-hawery (with a shout out to the manger man).
Iza hardens the soul/pop for “Gift Wrap My Heart,” which lectures her man for crass materialism. See, her other man has decorated her soul, and–oh, you tell me.
If i may digress slightly, Johnny Cole & The Reptiles offer that you ought to “Wrap My Heart in Velvet” or it will break. Doo wop is all we need this time of year (or in 1961) (and a tangential mention of a possible Xmas topic).
Still missing you! And there’s a Christmas tree here.
Alt folk with Shannon St. Clare is husky warbling. She wonders if you think of her “When You Put up Your Christmas Tree.” And gets in a few digs, too.
It’s not ok when you’re not there “Standing by the Christmas Tree” sounds classier with classic piano and some Irish. Cara Dillon raises the bar despite the platitudes.
Wendell Ferguson gets more clever with “Pining ‘Round the Christmas Tree.” His electric country tickling is punny and hopeful. Go, Wendell.
Come back home! cries D’Lannie so you can be “By the Christmas Tree” with her. It’ll make or break the whole holiday. I presume, ‘cuz it’s electric pop and that’s superficially dramatic.
Ed Mills is missing her–i think she’s dead, Jim. “Sitting by the Christmas Tree” is not always on key, but it’s sincerely sad country.
I get Take me back this time and some other lamentation in this hard folk strummer. But “A Small Gathering Around a Pine Tree” is about broken dreams only known to the stoned poet. Fun mixed media experimentation.
On the verge of not making it, Latka rocks the house (w/some bad ass fiddlin’) “From Under the Christmas Tree.” She could make it, but she’s been found out. Damn her.
No hope for my baby ever to be there, so Sarah Brown relates “My Christmas Tree is Hung with Tears.” Funky soulful blues. Testify.
Baby Jane and The Blenders doowop the 1963 out of “You Trimmed My Tree.” (It was with her broken heart, you cad!) It’s mad, dad.
Meghan Trainor’s hit off her debut album became a strong candidate for “Song of the Summer”… in a negative review, Time named “All About That Bass” as the fifth worst song of the year… with 16 weeks in total it holds the record for total most weeks in number one at the Slovenian official singles charts SloTop50… received Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year… spent eight weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100… topped the charts in 20 other countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom… sold 11 million units worldwide… the third best-selling song of 2014 and one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Girls of Suburbia honor Santa’s size in their parody of no clever name.
Streator High School love/hate Santa’s girth with “All About that Waist.” Kids today!
Jennifer Rose gets a bit more lascivious with the chubby chasing in “I Love My Santa Claus,” shimmying and gyrating like this is a ‘Santa Baby’ parody. (Hang on, a plate of burger and fries for Santa?!)
LindZ Owen plays sultry to Santa as well to get “On the Nice List.” Nice hair brush vocals.
shayshaymb approaches Santa from another side with “All About that Beard.” Is that all that saint is to you?
Richard Peachey dips shallowly for “All About that Base” honoring the Christmas tree stand. Mmmm–maybe.
Nisah (for Mig Me) changes the subject with “All About the Feast.” You know it’s a feast when there’s pasta, and rice, and fries.
curveball111 throws the food topic into another court with “I Wanna Stuff My Face” full of latkes. Oi, oil.
Mission Church Ventura make the best of their talent pool with their secular crit and religious twist: “All About that Baby.”
Faith Promise Church likes presents and trees as much as the baby king with “All About that Bass – Christmas Remix.” Bass here is the low sound of that pop guitar playing (i guess).
Allegra DelRossi (and family) feature Jesus in “All About that Babe,” a Christmas song that piggybacks on religion.
Vapid blond devotees shake it for “All About the Christ” starring Heather Krol. That million mile stare creeps the bajeepers outta me, though.
Notching the cross up a bit AJ Sheffield go high with “All About the Christ” apparently recorded on a flip phone, but skitted out by frolicsome teen believers. (Why does Mary have a knitted beard?)
Aubrey Howell gets the idea of parody with “All About that List.” I like it because it’s heartfelt fun.