Xmas Dance Party: rag

Stylized marches or cakewalks from the 1890s and since have featured ragged syncopation. Ragtime music usually results in swing dancing. (I recommend doing the robot.)

The Heftone Banjo Orchestra (featuring Brian Heffernan) really brings out the complex footwork with their “Santa Claus Rag.”

Country Joe and the Fish attempt to add a message in their “Dirty Claus Rag.”

Xmas Dance Party: disco

Mix up funk, soul, and salsa and you’ve got pop music that inspired dancing like there had never been dancing before. Clear the floor–it’s disco!

Sure it’s all a big joke. So let’s over enunciate and do funny voices. You’ll get the irony! The Superions don’t even add a disco rhythm for “Santa’s Disco.” What kind of joke is that?

Venezuela’s VST’s “Boogie Woogie Christmas Day” also have something lost in translation. It’s not boogie woogie like i know boogie woogie.

BLUE ALERT Guinea Worms goes electric garage to express their surreal disappointment with the “Christmas Disco Pillow.” And compare it to naught naughty body parts.

More on fleek “Disco Christmas” by Grub Dog Mitchell lugubriously spells out holy night fever. It’s not the party you were hoping for (but–tubular bells!).

Let’s put up or step down. Raindolls  take the laser tight choreography seriously with “Disco Santa Claus.” Practice your steps and you’ll get into Santa’s bag of cheer, too.

Village People also foretell of that great “Disco Santa/Santa Claus NOEL”–but it’s only a parody of YMCA. Why they gotta?

Oh, you were hoping for disco moves that were COOL! Well, just a bit R+B, just a bit doo wop, “The Christmas Slide” is too cool for you, fool. The Winstons don’t waste time on cliche disco beats, they have a Real Dance here. Step to it or get off the dance floor–they’ll call it.

A number one most excellent disco song for this best of holidays which must always be listened to is “The Rocking Disco Santa Claus” by The Sisterhood. Even grandma and grandpa–uh huh uh huh.

Xmas Dance Party: hokey pokey

Let’s make it easy on you and do one of those 200 year old call-outs where the steps are explained to you. The Hokey Pokey hit the charts back in the ’80s as a popular foot mover, but you know it as kid line dancing

So… It’s Debbie Doo. It’s  “Christmas Hokey Pokey.” I’m so ashamed. (But thorough: you also get “Reindeer Hokey Pokey” by The Kiboomers–that’s what it’s all about.)

Xmas Dance Party: gangnam style

Psy’s 2012 cultural phenomenon ‘Gangnam Style’ spawned as much laughter as dance. So here come the parodies. (I can only stand a few–there are dozens!)

Supposedly Psy does his own “Santa Style.” But i’d sashay past if i were you.

Just as pointless, but with the moves demonstrated NYC Santa and friends (the guys in Time Square who want 20 bucks for a photo) skit out “Oppa Santa Style.” Not much to it.

Imitator Tots list out Christmas symptoms to the beat with their “Christmas Time (Gangnam Style).” You can feel the dub step. It’s a 4 on the fun scale.

More clever, “Santa Style” by nyrbness delivers the sound, the wit, the feeling of dancedancdance.

I guess my favorite, is an AM radio gasser parody (Mark and Brian) with drunk pointlessness. “Christmas Style.” I love over attention to detail without an exit plan.


Xmas Dance Party: tango

The tango is not just Argentinian. It’s also Uruguayan. It’s hot for a Christmas dance, but, you know, down south… it’s hot for Christmas.

Okay, it’s a bit of an ethnic joke. The Berenstein Bears (from their musical: The Berenstein Bears Save Christmas) sing the “Christmas Tango.” Not kidding. Not bad.

For a down home country try, Don Eves also treats his “Crazy Christmas Tango” as his struggle with Xmas chores. But this time, it’s not about romance. Come on!

The blues take comes from Maria Volonte. “Tango Me for Christmas” has smart guitar, but a rather intrusive harmonica, It’s on point, but hard to really tango to.

Joe Jackson kicks the appropriate tempo up a whip crack slap or so with his “Tango Atlantico.” There’s Christmas in the lyrics somewhere, but he’s going Cold War, guys.

“A Christmas Tango (with Santa)” is just what we needed. L.M. Azpiazu is funny, sexy, and good.

Xmas Dance Party: shimmy

The shimmy is a dance move wherein you hold your legs still then rotate axially along the vertebral column shaking your shoulders one at a time forward and back. It’s what strippers do to demonstrate their value, so i’m told.

The Embers point out the appropriate rock ‘n’ roll step with “Shimmy in a Winter Wonderland.” It’s a slight rock take off on the old standard, but it inspires.

The naughtier bits are unveiled by Julie Tussey with “Shimmy on Christmas Day,” It’s country/disco all in the name of love, man.

An kooky children’s version comes from Randy Sauer. “Shimmy Down the Chimney” can be danced to, but it’s a watcher’s guide how to tell who it is entering your house actually.

“Shimmy Down the Chimney (Fill up My Stocking)” by Alison Krauss combines the sultry with the uncomfortable. Look away. But do listen. I hear that disco again.


Xmas Dance Party: shag, snowman

Some of the dance crazes out of the ’60s and beyond commanded their own music. Not too many got their own holiday reiteration.

Do the Snowman” doesn’t mean what you think. It’s a call to dance. Figure it out. The Hollytones have an update for us.

The Crewcuts need a re-mention of their “Dance Mr. Snowman Dance” here. It’s more of a soft shoe, but–white guy scat!

TOUCH OF BLUE ALERT Completely misunderstanding the dance metaphors Ivor Bigguns goes nicely naughty with “You Can’t Have a Shag with a Snowman.” This modern music hall’s not about dancing any more, or is it?

The Bellrays have a handle on the art of the double entendre with their “All I Wanna Do is Shag for Christmas.” It’s definitely dance this time kids, kookie wookie boo-la-rah-rah.

Xmas Dance Party: twist

If one dance gets more than its share of holiday closeup, it’s the twist. Y’know Chubby Checker’s hop.

Now the real stuff, the straight dope, sounds like The Twisting’ Kings and “Xmas Twist.” It’s rock with a Detroit soul, but it’s sincere. It means Y-O-U.

Low key style Los Straitjackets mumble out their “Holiday Twist” so you can catch up to it at any time. Just a warm up.

Usually hilarious, Dave Rudolf tries to sugar coat a mechanical clunker of “Candy Cane Twist.” That sax player wandered in from another song.

Unfortunate as well, The Fairies offer “The Christmas Twist” tentatively as if not sure if we’re allergic. (I am.) This is not rock.

As playful as a puppy with a drum set, Jay Matty lays out his “Merry Twistmas” with a loud backup and a wandering vocal register. So long as you dig he wants you to dance, it’s copacetic.

The respectful update befalls us from Si Cranstoun. “A Christmas Twist” is downright gospel  rock. Amen, scantily dressed twisters.

Syd Straw also modernizes “Christmas Twist” this time with more gnarly electric guitar. Too pretty to really be rock, call it country.

Jack Rabbit Slim tries to recapture “The Christmas Twist” with mush mouth play. Seems idolatrous.

John Rossall simply supplants the original song with the word Christmas. “Christmas Twist” looks like something i got last year.

Cleanse your palate with some tasty bluesy Charlie Starr: “Christmas Twist” is slight and unassuming, but true rock ‘n’ roll.

Dance music today is not the dance music of the twist, but if we twist ’em up together we get a party. Follow the Dino Martinis with their “Twistmas.” Yeah, baby boomer, yeah!


From the movie ‘Twist Around the Clock’ the Marcels lip sync their seminal “Merry Twist-mas.” Yeah, boy. Now it’s happening.

Xmas Dance Party: week of rock (Monday)

MOR (middle of the road) rock is that symphonic pap you hear in the elevators. Why would you do that to the Beatles… oh, actually they did sound like that.

B’way has killed the musical genre, making most cool tunes sound the same. The cast of “The Drowsy Chaperone” mash sax and ‘ba-doo-wa’ out of doo wop goodness and into harmonious building, building, climax with “Rockin’ Christmas Angel.” Wipe your mouth.

Sha Na Na resuscitated rock for a nostalgic craze in the ’70s which left the door open for all manner of retread revisioning nonsense. Exhibit A: The Hollydays counting their paces through “Christmas Rock ‘N’ Roll.” It’s nostalgic like the Red Scare is nostalgic.

Kid music also has done what it could to ruin rock. The Wiggles desperately want you to sing along with their redundant mundane “Rockin‘ Santa.” Poor sound quality, too many long ‘o’s, nonsense.

Cutting out the (101 Strings) middleman, Bradley Gillis goes for the older crowd with his 1980s styled “Santa is Rocking.” If the band Chicago is rocking, so is this.