Take a Card: hip hop

Urban dissent rhymed out for the masses to feel the pain of discrimination has been abused once it hit profitable margins (circa 1994).

HighTyde reminds us how white people problems are quite different than black peoples’. “Christmas Card” follows the travails of a po’ hungry guy what slips on the ice. Will a sentiment found on the street save him? Will the karaoke ‘Carol of the Bells’ in dubstep?

Pop folk beats with a rock rhythm frame the essential rhyme-alism of PC Muñoz’s “Send Me a Card at Christmas.” It’s more Latin than Detroit, but it carries the banner.

Wool See gets it. “Christmas Card.” Casual crudeness,  ‘cuz why not? Pressure cooker anger w/a glimpse o’ an ending w/an actual promise o’ a glimmer o’ a possibility o’ hope.

Take a Card: rockabilly

Authentic hillbilly rock infuses rock’n’roll with fervent energy and usually an underage girl.

All i got is some weak juice rock wannabes with ‘billy proclivities.

Government Yule sells their “Christmas Card” as a naughty but nice message from a hot young thing to an overseas man. The hot guitar licks are muy suggestive.

More fun is some rock lilt in “Christmas Card in July.” Pat Ryan is too morose (read: country) for real rockabilly, but i like the confidently repetitive guitar here. Strange idea.

Take a Card: garage

Early punk music was raw, unincorporated groups blasting their own version of rock (angrier, smellier) out of their homes.

Joyce Manor nails the bangin’ painful reverb with “Christmas Card” a poetic polemic about trying to understand. BLUE ALERT

French Style Furs add some professional grad gear to their growlings in their “Christmas Card.” Still pissed, though.

999 sounds cheap and a little Jerry Lee Lewis with their “Christmas Cards.” They try to send ’em, but they’re just not smart enough.

Modern garage gets prettier with traits of lounge, folk, and opera. “The Unwritten Christmas Card” is still a symbol for something bad, but dig the distorted sax.

Take a Card: rock

Yeah, rock and roll is all over the place. The Beatles AND The Rolling Stones AND Little Richard?!

Let’s start with Beatles inspiration, then. Filipino group Another Paul Band (get it?) has a romantic ballad “Christmas Card” to win your heart, girl. Very light rock.

Hard driving folk can be rock’n’roll. Adam Plost’s “Christmas Card of ’42” takes us on a hollerin’ tour of WWII and the precious cargo of that letter from home in his pocket while fearing for the worst. But his card home will reassure you, so long as i never tell of the horrors I’ve seen. So, that’s different.

Light rock, almost prog rock, from pulmonary fibrosis suffering amateur Donny P. “Home Made Christmas Card” is heartfelt, but the guy’s on an oxygen tank.

Leaning out of rock gets easier every decade. Sounding equal parts Bowie and alt-rock, “Father Sgt. Christmas Card” from Guided by Voices goes a bit psychedelic, but bangs on the guitar just hard enough to rock it. Yeah, what is it about?

Technically garage rock (more later) The Hombres have the pedigree of the ’60s for their cult status, and their “Last Christmas Card” is Ennio Moricone plunkity folk with a bleak theme. No, i can’t hear the lyrics either. But that’s (B-side) rock to me.

Take a Card: R+B

Rhythm and Blues was merely soft rock with too much jazz in it. R+B became code for a Motown sound that blacks had the inside line to. Sadly it opened the door to disco, but also sired rap.

Rudy Currence whines about his baby, but figures a homemade “Christmas Card” will win her over. I dunno, Rudy, those girlish vocals might do it, instead.

Marvin Sapp has a snappy rockin’ backbeat to his “Christmas Card,” but infuses his urgency with soul. (That’s different than R+B, right? Wit’ da funk? Right?)

Take a Card: boogie woogie

Cousin to jazz, grandpa to rock and country, this African-American stress reliever made us happier than the blues–and we could dance to it!

“Boogie Woogie Christmas Card” by Jimmy Maddox checks off all the boxes: virtuosity, glee, Christmas card… it’s just what i wanted!

Take a Card: world music

Music from other countries have specific subgenre labels (and styles and significances), but i’m gonna lump ’em up here because i only got a couple and it’s acceptable as an American to do so.

Just across the pond is hardly far (or foreign), but “Our Irish Christmas Card” is so ethnocentric, you might need subtitles. Joe and Tammy Burns get into the Christmas card list, so the joke is how big those Catholic families are–hah hah, no contraception.

Filipino Christmas music is a big honking deal, so believe me when i say “Christmas Cards” by The Bukros Singers (in their own language) is honest, reverent, and celebratory.

Big fan of the frantic parang, although Malvern V. Gumbs’s “A Christmas Card” is a bit overdone with peppy brass backups. Comes off a bit disco.

Take a Card: jazz

The revolution against tonality takes many forms. The genre jazz is as widespread as is category music. All it needs is a little unpredictability, though enormous range doesn’t hurt.

Starting country, wandering through girlband, Brooke White edges into jazz with “Christmas Card,” a pro-con list of some considerable melody.

Crazy piano meanders through Anine Stang’s “Christmas Card.” More girl power balladeering, but this is a horror movie of a song.

Boy jazz vocals can be a stretch (to cracking), but Kirk Talley gives it the ol’ falsetto try with his “Christmas Card.” Get the dogs out of the room.

The pretty but crazy stuff sounds like Teresa James excruciatingly scrutinizing “The Christmas Card” she may or may not send to you. Wild clarinet improv while she considers.

Take a Card: soft gospel

Kumbaya, it’s not far from folk song to small circle church music. Actual gospel should raise the roof and shake the foundations of your assumptions.

Some lite-country music is so singsongy and single-minded that it should only be played for small gatherings–Amen! Paul Walden’s “A Penny Christmas Card” drawls a direct line from the card to you and God. Yahweh-Haw.

But Blaise Manino gives us a sweet often on-key flip through some “Christmas Cards” focusing on the message ‘Be Good,’ which i guess beats out ‘be a good song.’

Take a Card: country rock

Country and rock’n’roll have the same progenitor (i guess most popular music does). Suffice to say, if you hear guitar twiddling, but the beat is up–you got us a hybrid.

Luke Pilgrim gets ‘Murrikan with “A Christmas Card” for someone he cares deeply about, but can’t open up to. So he ratchets up the backbeat.

Swinging electric for the “Cowboy Country Christmas Card” mashes up the old and new for Stephen Amos. Some fine licks, but the song’s all about selling it.

Jingle bells, fuzzy filters, raspy vocals should add to the country of Mitchell Stone’s “My Christmas Card to You.” But it’s awful. He wishes you joy, happiness, and Mitchell Stone.

Pretty as peaches, but weary as worn shoes Jim Starks troubs “A Christmas Card” about a lonely man reading more into that piece of mail than you prolly intended. Yeah it’s only a soft rock connexion.