A ’90s gang of Philly musicians joined warped minds to skewer Christmas music. They took a while to rise above door-to-door cassette sales, but i highly recommend you lay your hands on whatever Hot Buttered Elves released, regardless of roster.
“Coal” is their 11 minute opus (apparently in several parts) about the ins and outs of striking black rock for the holidays. At times instrumental (haunted symphonic) at others experimental club (haunting beat poetry). Grab a cup o’ joe and settle back for this one. It’ll take you places you never dreamt. See you on the other side.
Well, it is dark around this time of the year. Perhaps prayer will turn that cycle around and ritual will return the sun’s mighty light.
Appropriation is the sincerest form of plagiarism: Karina Skye sings “Silent Night, Solstice Night” with great galloping gospel gasping. Fit for a piano bar.
t heilsen bring the celebration to a screeching downer with the death dirge “Solstice Carol.” It takes folk to remind you how much life sucks.
Caving to the War on Christmas, Rich Mertes has the elementary school kids sing his “Winter Solstice Song.” It’s like science set to a medieval mass.
Homegrown offerings from F13at Cat: a lite hymn of tinkling choir for one comes in this “Winter Solstice Carol.” All hail the clock.
‘We’ll make our own light’ carols Ann Fearon (tracking upon track) with the tremulous glee tune “Song for the Winter Solstice.” I see you between the lines!
‘Come rising sun!’ invokes Kiva with didgeridoo and pan flute in “Winter Solstice Sunrise.” Hit that groundhog snooze alarm!
Calling out the sun may result in cheeriness. Jennifer Cutting’s “Song of Solstice” is an accordion sea chanty of light steps. Friends all!
One other subject about Solstice Yule is that tricky fire without which you would surely perish. Rich DeVore has a dreamy folk trip about you, baby, and that time of year–“Solstice Carol.” Just close your eyes.
Groovy gospel spiritual from Charlie Murphy and Jami Sieber conjurs the end of dark and brings the Sun to her feet with “Light is Returning.” Amen! (Kalimba solo!)
Lisa Thiel’s “Winter Solstice Song” is the USArmy anthem ‘be all you can be,’ by way of the supreme power, the light. Fem drum circle new age chanting.
There’s something about Midwinter that leads to cavorting. Is it the home stretch to planting and food? Is it the astronomical alignment of Earth’s pole tipped furthest? Is it just another excuse to waggle the bum?
Not having received The Word, pagans did fine at concocting their own festivals and fun. Alban Arthan, Dongzhi, Korochun, Shalako, Ziemassvētki, and more conjured up cuddly traditions and endearing salutations for the ages. Disappointingly i’m gonna use my English lit major to stay Western Civ and not stray too far from the Europeans. But they did Paganism pretty well, you betcha.
One difference between Yule observance and Xmas is Mōdraniht, the honoring of da mama, without whose blessings (bearing our borning), we wouldn’t be here.
Many are the causes of stress from mid-December on, but woe be unto those who simply hate the festoonery of Christmas for hate’s sake. (Millennials!)
NewJerseyite punkfolk band Where’s My Spaceship leans in on the bogus family time with “Everybody Hates Christmas.” But BLUE ALERT the real message is how horrible the inconvenience of special time cuts into not doing anything in particular.
A bit too blasé to hate, Zoe Sky Jordan phones in “I Hate Christmas” with a melodic folk pop list of peevish complaints: headache, interested friends, lack of life’s goals. Hoo boy.
Groovy piano lounge from Billy West as Ren & Stimpy tricks out “I Hate Christmas.” Kids, friends, family, singing, treats–gag me with a cliche! Have mare-cee!
Johnny Setlist noodles around the piano to stream out his consciousness about how big a let down he has it “Befallen This Christmas.” Yeah, maybe for everyone else. For me–is that all there is?
One sidenote to the whole kids’ snowmen is the big deal 1978 book The Snowman by Raymond Briggs made into a British big deal animated special in 1982 and which plays around Christmastime across the pond every year.
The ethereal ultrasonic soprano song “We’re Walking in the Air” became a 1985 hit for Aled Jones who did not sing it in the cartoon, but released it as a single when a teen. Thirty years later he released it a duet with himself. Freaky.
Andy Burrows dropped a prog rock song “Light the Night” in the 2012 TV sequel ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog.’
The original ‘Walking’ has been coopted by the crystal-gazers as an out-of-body/Wiccan trip. Finnish group Nightwish does an over-orchestrated dance version i could get naked and flail around to. Prog-celtic. (This is lite-metal. Fuller metal like from Woods of Infinity harshes the vibe. Ick.)
Imaginery animals fill up only the toe of our stocking.
Pocket monsters became the hit Japanimation of the ’90s (when it wasn’t giving kids seizures). Since cartoon shows beget toys faster than fast food arenas beget teen showdowns, we’ll visit two whole novelty songs. Naturally Bob Rivers has something snarky to saw about “Pokemon” ‘s commercialization to the tune of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.’ Better are the wacky word-songs from the album Pokemon Christmas Bash: including, “I’m Giving Santa a Pikachu for Christmas” (Veonica Taylor), and the title tune “Pokemon Christmas Bash” (Bill Rogers)–it’s nearly hip hop.
But let’s leave the world of yuletide genetic hash on a melodic note: Sufjan Stevens with “Christmas Unicorn.” This is off his amazing box set Songs for Christmas with over 40 songs–many original and genius. Strap in, friends, this goes on for a while….