Breaking the Ice.1

The word for ice skates seems to have derived from leg or shank, since that’s where the bone came from which was strapped to the bottom of a foot covering thousands of year before now. Scandanavians have nothing else to do in a frozen world but invent getting-around-a-frozen-world stuff.

Still a big fan of John McCutcheon’s electric guitar new-age-ish country rocker “Fly.” A good skate feels that way.

More elegantly, certainly more New Age, “Ice Skating at Night” by The Ocean Blue floats over us on a rink of repetition. A figure eight is after all infinity’s side.

Rekindle revisits the ’90s for a synth-y pop ear worm: “Ice Skating Girl.” Whoa!

Sled It Snow.17

Experimental garage tripping in “Sled on a Sled” by The Jim Cougar Morrisseycamp Experience. It’s a mystical crash and earn.

Just to be weirdly inclusive, “A Sled with No Snow” is a fine alt-meditation by Sofas. Follow the logic here.

Ridg Downs returns us to the wide world of cheesy pop, this time with a trace o’ country in “Christmas Morning.” Wee-ugh.

Christmas Countdown: 12:00

What time is it? time for another Christmas song!

Starshine Singers plan for 12:00 “Christmas Eve.” It’s not the present, it’s the presents! Magic! Sassy kidsong.

Grownups have less to look forward to, at times. As the clock strikes twelve, I
Miss your loving touch
, moans Nine Aetheria about the piano pop “Holiday Wishes.” Wants you.

12 o’clock and all is well and I was doing oh so swell, Last year, this time. But now, “Christmas Ain’t Christmas (Without the One You Love),” so say The O’Jays. Doo wop with just a touch of disco.

Alex Jordan jazzes up some gumption when It’s 12 A.M. I’m just off work. On the way home he knows “A Light that Shines on Christmas.” It’s you, honey.

Maudlin Ronny Milsap intones As the church bell chimes about twelve times I slip into my easy chair To watch the fire die to an ember And drift into a winter dream Of a magical night in December And faith in a sight unseen. Middle of the road pop fails to make remarkable “Only One Night of the Year.” Sorry.

Glen Saldahna has better imagery, but When the time comes, and the clock strikes twelve it’s “Christmas in Every Town.” He’s been there and seen it. Pop so what?

Sugies is “Snowed In” but with her caffeinated pop music she’ll do ALL the Christmas stuff. Now it’s twelve in the afternoon and she’ll do a ton more. Exhausting.

Christmas Countdown: 1000™

Let’s keep the beat up with more exaggerations about how great Xmas is. Reminding me of John Denver (???) Clint Black wails “Looking for Christmas” to medieval instrumentation, but for a good cause: the Nativity. Does he find Xmas? Well, he closes his eyes and sees a thousand lifetimes since we’re all the Magi after all (hu-wha?).

Bonfire Band begins their “Christmas Medley (Joyful Song)” also back at the first Noel, in the land of a thousand. The other medlied songs blur together for me, but that phrase opened up some eyes–how many people for that Herod census?! Maybe that no-vancancied inn only had like two rooms?

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” is a hymn about proselytizing all ’round the globe. Takes a few mouthfuls. Ben Haake rocks it out with more a thousand words/years not being enough. His auditorium-full in this recording joins in to make it so. Raise praise for days.

Tunepushers ultimately amps up the adrenaline, though, with the cheesy pop of “There’s a Thousand Reasons to Love Christmas.” Pogo out the list! Oh Yeah! Can i get a Hey, Man!

Christmas Countdown: 1-2-3-4

Counting up is going the wrong way, but The Cheeky Girls layer Eurovision on top of innuendo on top of cheesy pop to open “Have a Cheeky Christmas,” a must-have for any novelty fan. Everybody pumping!

The Nameless go funky garage off-key with “Xmas Time,” when they wait for your plane to land: 1,2,3,4–go for it!

Alternating ‘twixt English and Japanese, “Christmas Town” by Santa Paine (feat. Purplepeople) counts off to love, ‘cuz they’re young. Gentle alt-pop.

One of my formative favorites, Madness, sillily stumble over intros (Hello, this is Woody… 1,2,3,4…) like it’s a dress rehearsal–but the ska comedy of “Inanity Over Christmas” with its Jimmy Cagney gangster movie references, world tour stop name-drops, and bitter cold complaints is casual jollity. Like a Beatles fan-bonus? Or a shout-out to Bonzo Dog, perhaps. Any way, one of my new happy places. (Excuse the cover below.)

A Near Thing -14

Pop pop jittery pop, Pops. Popular music is what the market will bear, but it usually needs to be loud, repetitive, and nothing much challenging.

Folk Angel lays down a successful backbeat, but harmonizes angrily rather than angelically with “It’s Almost Christmas Time.” A pop of 2.0. (Out of 10.)

Almost Christmas Eve” is the commercial jingle from In a World Music. It’s hyper and breathless. Then it’s over.

Driving the beat way hard, the cast of ‘CAKE’ la-lalala-lalas “Here Comes Christmas” in your face. It does what pop songs do well enough. (Annoys?)

Josh Wilson gets back to the sanitized syncopation of true pop with “Almost Christmas.” And yet, the strutting swagger has a little sumpin extra….

Outer Stars

Space, the final stop on God’s tour. All those stars out there, not just the Christmas one.

KindyRock Christmas features Judi Cranston counting down “Five Stars Shining” for Xmas. Or any time math matters.

A lovely annual Aussie tradition is “The Silver Stars are in the Sky.” This lullaby alludes to the Nativity so no pressure, baby. The Idea of North do a killer a cappella on this big church hymn.

Kidsong from The Starshine Singers puts the “Twinkling Stars” into a nearly secular sky. It’s winter, it’s pretty. ‘Nuff said.

Not sure how to keep track of Terra’s solstice from light years away, but “Christmas in the Stars” follows Anthony Daniel’s C3PO listing traditional traits from a far away. Unfortunate pop bordering on disco.

Merry Criminals! rapine

I can’t look. This is the worst. Even ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ isn’t this offensive.

The Bronze Cooter giggle their amateurish way through white insouciant, supercilious ignorance with the callous “Christmas Rape.” They saw Santa and mama under the Christmas tree with folk stylings. Then it gets worse.

Kunt & The Gang spell out how “It Can’t be Rape (It’s Christmas)” with elementary educational kidsong. Yeah, really.

Begging for forgiveness, Pariah Carey admits “All I Want for Christmas” (you read that right) is acceptance after all the (alledged) rape (and murder). Reflective punk, if you dare.

El Privates admit the insufferable horror here but want to teach by example of the singing rapist in “A Christmas Warning.” Heed the pop bouncy stomach churning breeziness.