Let’s finish up our car month with some driving music.
Certainly The Pretenders capture that long, long occupation with “2000 Miles.” It’s a rambling relic of classic alternative rock. And pretty. And barely Xmas.
I’ve already noted “Arkansas Angel” by Dan Schafer. Go get that holiday girl, bluegrass Dan!
But I haven’t given credit to Vic Sorrell from the same Christmas Across America project. His “Driving Home at Christmastime” ostensibly is about Tennessee (every song in the collection is about a different state), but it’s more about that frame of mind of being caught on the road in the cold. Pretty but a bit whiney.
Chris Rea has the titular tune here: “Driving Home for Christmas.” Weird, moody, throaty. But I like The Baseballs leaning out of dull country and into dangerous elvis rockabilly with their version. And it’s been a long time since we’ve been lulled into a coma with a cappella. So, Rixton. (Sorry about their patter–these vocal groups do that.)
Nearing the bottom of the barrel is more overproduced Bob Rivers. “Parking Spaces” is another sneaky squeeze of humor from the old grandmaster. At least it takes music from ‘Wenceslas,’ which few enough caroldies do.
Better than last-minute rush stress, parking lots are suited for loitering. Cut the deck on Mark Tolstrup and Dale Haskell singing the aitch out of the blues in “Christmas Eve in a Liquor Store Parking Lot.” Money makes dreams come true….
MANDR01D gives us the techno electronica we’ve been missing. “All I Want for Christmas is a Burnt Out Car” ladles punk into a Tangerine Dream backbeat and a few electric dance riffs. Fun Terminator backdrop here.
Now that we’ve been lectured on safe driving methods for the end of Dec. let’s deal with the worst case scenario.
Except some people think of auto wipeouts as having a silver lining. Take Larry the Cable Guy. Please. His “I Wish My Mother-in-Law’d Get Hit by a Car” is fine parody, but as it appears at the end of his Very Larry Christmas album in which he includes his obnoxious sign off. That’s a tragic accident.
You can look up all the vehicular parodies on ‘Grandma Got run Over’ yourself. They involve rednecks, a John Deere, a beer truck, a fork lift, and a Grand Marquis. Merry luck to you.
That’s enough of the horror of road wrecks, except The Rosenkranz seem to relish the idea of a nice “Car Crash for Xmas.” (This is presented as a cheerier alternative to the drudgery of life, family, and friends.) Their dreamy alt rock is very persuasive and i almost might want me one too.
Okay, here’s something funny. Take ‘Feliz Navidad,’ a fine multicultural carol, and mix it up with drunken mayhem and you get… pretty much the same parody from different laughy lyricists.
Cheech and Chong have a take called “Police Got My Car” which seems funny when Tommy tries to reason with the fuming Sr. Marin. But, without musical backing, this otherwise pachuco parody goes up in drink.
Lizzy8784 tries not to laugh with her man singing racist fun in their own “Police Took My Car.” Well, now we have bongos.
From the other border, Snook ‘sings’ “Police Got My Car.” More funny accents, more complaints about not having wheels. Nice screechy strings.
The best Jose Feliciano comes from Bob Rivers. “Police Stop My Car” has made me laugh for many years now. Inappropriate, i suppose, but at least the cops aren’t called dicks this time.
If you’re worried about drunk driving over the holidays, naturally you’re going to worry about Mr. Gifts himself.
Gallagher’s Twin funs up ‘J. Bells’ with “Santa’s DUI: (A Cautionary Xmas Tale).” Blatting tubas is always a surefire comic addition to everyone’s comedy song (in case you didn’t know). Popsicle stick puppets here. Lots of outro bits.
Alcoholics Anonymous celebrates “Santa Claus DWI” loudly, as a garage band should. Quite the bender set to music.
Country for kids may be the best descriptor for Neptune’s Buffalo. Their “Santa Got a DUI” is a bouncy tonic to a hangover: frothy fun (maybe not subject suitable).
The big hit for Kringle in custody is Sherwin Litton’s “Santa Got a DWI.” This country rocker downplays the criminality for a rollicking second hand con story with killer rockabilly saxophone that treads into doo wop. Everybody now!
Spoken word poet Shawn Mafia gets mad at Santa while busting a crime in his “All I Got for Xmas was a DUI.” Mad verbal skills, but what’s he sound like sloshed?
J.D. Rogers tells quite a “DUI for Christmas” story to the tune of Keen’s ‘Merry Christmas from the Family.’ With the continually puking and cop cam roadside testing i guess this is supposed to be some kind of joke. Kinda liked the song.
I am contractually obligated to mention Bob Rivers whenever i can. “Carol of the Bartenders” is a clever bit of PSA. Perhaps too flip.
Jakson Lee goes deadly serious with his little ditty for a school project. The first minute and a half are a fine folk number, then he includes a slide show for–i think–his little sister with a reminder how to get fun things for children. Wha-huh? “Christmas is Dead (Don’t Drive Drunk).”