I have been sharing compilations of oddball Christmas songs since the ’80s. My friends had walls full of vinyl, be it jug bands, psychedelia, raunchy strip-club comics, spoken word politicians’ greetings, or big band swing on 78s. Their first collections of off the wall holiday esoterica were reminiscent of the Dr. Demento Show and i felt in my heart that i had to plug and play as well. I rooted out of the remainder bins and ran cassette recordings during holiday radio jams. I didn’t always know who sang what. But i loved the freeing iconoclasm of Leon Redbone, or “Abominable Snowman in the Market.”
Sadly, these too timely travesties tickled then tormented once they’d been ‘discovered’ and overplayed. Music Outfitter‘s list of the top 100 “funny” Christmas songs is pretty dull worn out stuff for the first twenty or so. For the novitiate, natch, this is an excellent introduction (and does include what i consider the #1 X-mas-terpiece, Jonathan Coulton’s “Chiron Beta Prime”).
Huffington Post (desperate for cutting edge material) offers a list every yule or so. If you dig through these you’ll discover a tug on the old funny bone.
But that’s the problem. Funny is like a box of chocolates. Humor is subjective. A youtube search of novelty/funny/humorous Christmas music will only reveal what net surfers keep clicking on. Spoiler alert: it’s usu. obscene and rude. Not that’s there’s anything unfunny about that… if you’re a repressed, angry victim desperate to flip off the effed-up world. Without endless patience or careful searches, the truly unusual Christmas songs will stay under a bushel, witty or otherwise.
But because i spend hundreds of hours a year, scouting out music weird and inappropriate, i would like to take the time to share with you. If you are only interested during THAT time of year, subscribe to Dr. Demento, or The Annoying Radio Show (actually that one’s shut down)–that’s good stuff. If, however, you know deep down in your stockings that holiday hokum and sarcastic carols are never-ending, then check in. I’ll introduce you to Joel Kopischke, 60s Invasion, Benny Grunch, David Deboy, Snook, Robert Lund, Richard Cheese, Dave Rudolf, The Kinsey Sicks, and so many more brilliant musician satirists toiling away today without decent exposure that your sleigh will runneth over all year long.
Note: at times the weirdness is simply oddly musical with no intention to humor. Let’s make sure we cleanse our palette at least once every six months with seriously composed and arranged tunes that–and here’s the point–you have not heard before. You may find these delightful rarities amusing, and i hope you do.
And, of course, i own none of nor have the rights to nor profit in any way from these beautiful oddities, but only wish their creators well and you to BUY copies of their works in any way possible (if none seem apparent let me know and i’ll attempt to help you do so).
So, to start off, here’s that Jonathan Coulton song. He’s a cool guy and offers his music w/o copyright hassles to anyone who wants to video it up. The Jonathan Coulton Project has a decent interp, but i’m partial to this World of Warcraft craftiness by Spiffworld.
For my ‘taste’ most Christmas comedy is too winky-winky and silly-billy, but this is ’80s pop deadpanning scifi schtick. A cool mashup of insufferable holiday family newsletters and the end of the world tied up with bouncy bubblegum. Watch for the cute coda Spiffworld tosses in post-apoca.