Pond makes it clear–with rocking experimental psychedelia–“All I Want for Xmas (Is a Tascam 388).” This antique studio sound mixing equipment will get you through times of no money where money won’t get you through times with no Tascam 388s.
Paul Revere and The Raiders did in 1967 what many pundits (esp. Garry Trudeau in his comic strip Doonesbury) tried: talking smack about the Vietnam war by encoding references to the Revolutionary War. “Their “Valley Forge” is about suffering young men who would rather go home (for the holidays) than understand what the war is for. Psychedelic pop.
Eric Rasmussen’s project Salon de la Guerre leaves the metronome clicking for his experimental “New York Christmas, 1945.” The vocals rattle under the ‘melody’ and seem to fight their way to raise awareness of– something. The Earth needs… something.
Ampersound goes for meaningful with “Christmas 1957,” but pushes the haunted/psychedelia a slosh too far and winds up lost. Still haunts me, though.
The seventh and last of The Beatles’ fan club Christmas records, known oddly enough as “The Beatles Christmas 1969 Record,” highlights how they do nothing together in the same room. A little this, a lots o’ that. Actually melody from Paul. Plug for Ringo’s movie. And lots of Ono.
Some numbers are beyond conceivable, like in “A Grinch’s Dream.” The Yev narrate this folk-pop plaintive to Santa about the eight million billion (or whatever) recipients Santa is expected to reach. But, who’s counting?
While we’re getting weird, let’s drop in a musical thing of questionable Christmas-osity… Skippa Jones and “Million Billion Trillion.” Puts me in a celebratory mood for all that warbling pop-music random ping ponging.
Skip back with me to flying angels and gods… How high do they fly for Xmas?
Bud Martin brings the spoken word approach to that old country cornpone number “Santa, Does Your Reindeer Fly to Heaven?” See, Mama wants some presents, and I don’t wanna drop ’em off at the cemetery….
Whoa, look out. The Jiggi Verandah Band gets reverently iconoclastic with “Daddy Flies with Santa Claus.” This almost country psychedelia chants into your subconscious with machine gun fire. Seek therapy, gang!
It doesn’t feel like any other time of anticipation: not for taking your MCATs, not for getting pulled over, not for losing your virginity… waiting for Xmas is a uniquely great expectation. So let’s explore the underrepresented in music.
A Christmas musical so odd MST3K spoofed it, ‘Christmas That Almost Wasn’t’ ends with the song “Nothing to Do But Wait,” wherein shopkeeper Sam (Paul Tripp) with Santa hold their breaths hoping the children will save the holiday. Showtune anger. I guess. YOU describe it then.
Hard banging garage whispering “Can’t Hardly Wait” weirds me out. Soft or hard? Good or bad? BIG HIT, help me understand.
Proper sitar psychedlia from Dimentia 13 melts your apprehension into a world without time. “Christmas Comes to Those Who Wait” must be consumed in a neutral-colored place of comfort with friends near by.
Late addition recommended from Pete the Elf: the 1958 kookiest entry from Tommy Christy “All are Waiting for Christmas.” The skinny and fat ones. too. AKA ‘The Christmas “Name” Song,’ ‘cuz he calls the kids names… For kidsong that’s really yikes!
Electronic psychedelia volleys the oddity into your court. Brad & Barry make “I Can’t Wait for Christmas Time” feel like i can’t wait for the ketamine to kick in. Whoa.
So, i guess, kids music is crap. At best it’s an earworm of clapping and shouting, but it strikes me too often as condescending overexplanation. No wonder kids rebel younger every year. Like mini-Robespierres, they want their turn in the power chair telling even littler ones whassup.
So, the worst of kidsong sounds like… The Wiggles. This Australian ’90s sensation indoctrinated children to marshmallow versions of music genres, so they wouldn’t know jazz if it fell on them. Here “Wags, Stop Your Barking! It’s Almost Christmas Day!” (feat. Barry Williams) devalues rock below dadrock into Disney levels of showtune.
More traditionally pablumatic, Mr. Ray & The Little Sunshine Kids feature a sound Kim Jong Un would smile at: chorussed Christmas spirit with every voice fulfilling its joyful duty. “It’s Almost Christmas” is the formula, not that’s there anything right with that.
Retro fun comes with the exercise workout percussive workout from Hilary Henshaw “Christmas is Nearly Here.” Gather round all the ADHDs to drill. The unintentional irony helps.
Serious show tune gets me in the mood (except for how all the songs sound the same), so a moment for a well done Sesame Street melody from Elmo and Sheryl Crow “It’s Almost Christmas” (the title being basic the entire lyric for the singing).
What gets me up in the morning, though, is the rando existential playfulness of “Yell It Out! (It’s Almost Christmas).” The childishly affected mushmouthing, the jazzy improv tambourine, the wandering train of thought–that’s anticipation for the BIG Day! That’s what that is all right.
The question of the mall Santa sometimes becomes the canvas across which various artists paint, piss, posture, or otherwise pontificate. I don’t pretend to understand the themes you are about to encounter.
Starving Millions (blue alert) beat metal for their “Mall Santa.” Huh?
Divine Right warble garage with their “Mall Santa.” Pardon?
The ever rando Darlene Como ethereally stumbles up into “Santa’s Lap Cookies.” And for that we WTF you.