A Near Thing -26

What are waiting for? CHRISTMAS! Who are we waiting for? SANTA! Santa? Did you see him? Get outta the way–it’s Santa, goddammit!

Let’s start with the antique country pop of 1971 (it’s not country… it’s not pop… it’s lounge Americana) “A Whistle and a Whisker Away.” Lynn Anderson accomplishes a recording about patient children with little memorability, and no feeling.

Florence K gets unhooked jazzy (just this side of jump blues) with “Santa’s Almost Here.” Despite the energetic musicality, this is by-the-numbers sentimentality.

Originality boosts (barely) the James Leo Oliver easy-listening song “Ready or Not,” herein retooled to be sung by Santa getting set and going for Christmas. (Points, too, for the sneaky Santa-Nativity crossover.)

Jerry T Band gets dadrockin’ with “Santa Will Appear,” a bombastic pop-rock attempt at kidsong where this much enthusiasm becomes a little scary.

Marc Amendola adds metal to your stocking with the “I Almost Met Santa Claus” song. It’s jolly and regretful as only gonzo punk can capture.

Spin me some fat daddi-o wax from the ‘Fifties and i’m yours! Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and His Clowns wail some N’awlins soul on “Almost Time for Santa.” Warms me to the core.