Yuletide: Hull in a Handbasket

Want a boat? Build it yourself! For Christmas!

Hawksley Workman plans to “Build a House or Maybe a Boat.” It’ll be ready by Xmas. It rides like a showtune, but it’s pure lounge blues. Wild.

Lukas Graham sings about that boat you built but never got to sail. It becomes a big deal, because you are no longer “Here (For Christmas).” Pop about loss.

Or just act like it–Mikael Englund and Árpád Solti get full on musical theater with “Times of Joy, Dreams Ahoy!” Free, happy, skating, giving… it’s all patter building to shout out that final nautical send off.

Yuletide: Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat

Boats can be gifts for Xmas.

Christmas Oranges & Sunk Submarines” is Buttonfly’s plea to stay home for the holidays and not see all the extended family with the baby. Gentle indie folk that bleeds the blues all over the tub toys.

Curly head dolls that toddle and coo, Elephants, boats, and kiddie cars too are just some of the booty you’ll see when “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Not every version bothers with these carrots, preferring to terrify you instead with the stick of his seeing of you when you’re sleeping. Try Gastronomical Unit’s re-imaging.

The elf who DOESN’T get to make the toy boats is pretty pissed BLUE ALERT in Tessa Barcelo’s ‘Toyland’ musical. “Merry Christmas for Today” is a mad lyrical rap from Hanna Bielawa who is not satisfied on the shelf. Frantic and antic.

Cowabunga Christmas.16

You ready for Santa Claus to show you the moves? On his blade? In the racy?

The Ramblers take us back to the ‘6os (again) with their salutary “Surfin’ Santa.” Way more pop than rock. That background chorus competes with the gull noises.

Summertime Santa” by Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam is perilous pop as well. Plenty retro for pop, but the elevator music sort.

Christmas Countdown: 5 days/nights

The Puzzlers have a sad relationship with jobs: I come to this soulless office five days a week To earn a crust and get me through to the weekend so to speak. Big plan’s for the holiday office party, however, as they’ll knock out the boss. Grinding metal punk suits “Christmas in Puzzlerville” just dandy.

Aussie Greg Doolan gets animal-friendly with his unnecessary “The Five Days of Christmas.” For the completist.

Pandemic holiday songs may have their own sub-sub-genre, but “Christmas Bubble” is a light pop (rocking guitar solo!) bit of snark from Amie. Sing along with the refrain: Come be in my Christmas Bubble, Five whole days we’ll have no trouble; If we drink enough we might see double!

Suplex Machine worries that it’s 5 days to Christmas when it’s “Nearly Christmas With Jean.” Garage folderol that gets a joint jumpin’.

Cheesy pop from The Cheetah Girls will count it down: There’s 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 more days All around the world. “Five More Days ’til Christmas” delivers what it promises. Okay fine bye.

Also counting, J T Machinima industrial pops “Merry FNAF Christmas” from five days until… well, doomsday. Look out.

Velvet Mac is panicky because now it’s five days away from Christmas Day, and you’re out of the picture, and it’s hurting, and “Christmastime (Let It Go).” Weird electronic pop will help.

Using more than two hands Ian C A Buchanan warns, Don’t tell me I can’t celebrate cause Halloween is still 5 days away: The season never ends in my heart. “Never Too Soon to Celebrate (Christmas)” gets a little over-orchestrated, but the energy is infectious.

Christmas Countdown: 25 [other]

Don’t wait til the 25th cautions Jessie Dunks with cool jazz acoustic guitar in “Give Thanks.” Ostensibly a Thanksgiving song, that dares to compare itself to Christmas.

Mêlée rocks out the annual question “(When is) Hanukkah this Year?” What’s that to do with our number? Contrast! So goes the intro: Yeah, it’s really good to have it just, you know You know it’s the 25th every year so no surprises–Yeah, hey, that’s true.

December 25th isn’t enough: Why stop at 1 day, Let’s go the rest of the month! chortles Rob Vischer in a sly party pop mood. “‘Til New Year’s Eve” is a plea to leave up the tree. I thought y’all already did do dat. Piffle, but uplifting.

Biggie Cream astounds me with his random bubba-ness and inappropriate rhymes. In his rap “Holiday Szn” Santa grabs your kids and rides away on his motorcycle, But December 25 its hunting season! Time to die! What the noel, dude?

Here’s something you don’t sing every day… Heymonday rattles the rafters with the overdone pop message: I just don’t get how I could ever spend the 25th without “Our Mixtape for Christmas.” Not sure if that’s love, or just music.

Redbubble seems to be an Australian online site for ordering stuff printed on merchandise. Hence “All I Want For Christmas (Is Gameshow’s Redbubble)” from Gavin and Qnce. At times awful, at times horrific, at times befuddling. But only 25 [Australian] dollars.

Harry and Chris from ‘The Russell Howard Hour’ (yeah, i don’t know ’em either) explain Christmas from the 25th to the placenta to a last minute, on the way to Christmas dinner, present-buying, emergency service station stop in “The Christmas Song.” Pop show tune comedy. Literally.

Christmas Countdown: 105

Jeremiah 10:5 is the jumping off point for Allen Thomas in “Who is Your God?” Careful how you answer, idolator. Your idols may look righteous but they are not right I hear talk of Santa Claus ’round Christmas time But Santa C’s a fantasy Cuz he’s not alive…. Righteous rap.

Road Trip! The Lunar Collective reflects on The Pandemic family visit in “What a Christmas Gift.” Understand, you’re getting my presence… pretty great, huh? The driver seems infatuated with whomever it is riding shotgun, though: Down the 105 To your sister’s stupid estate Just a box of wine and We’ll be fine and great. They may get sick there on the Washington coast, but not of each other. Showtune pop.

Christmas Countdown: 200 BLUE ALERT

Still into the triple digits, but now we’re at the line between heavyweight and the lower weights. The first unprimable number. The big two-double-oh.

Easy folk-alts “Christmas Memories” about watching ‘Home Alone’ 200 times and liking the photo albums better with rum. But when she comes hither with maybe tonight We can make another Christmas memory, the song gains traction and violins and tubular bells. Childlike wonder sits well on this giggly grownup.

I just spent 200 on my friend’s list, regrets Shayla Hamady in “I’m Broke But Happy Holidays.” This alt-lounge serenade is a cool goof on celebrating, but the pissiness lingers like unwashed socks.

The duo Schmab brings it home with the colliding culture shock of “Fuck Yeah Christmas,” a gospel rant of dysfunctional proportions. Finally a song to fully reference a Red Ryder carbide action 200-shot range model air rifle and the Roker polar vortex. Ah, men.

Christmas Countdown: 318

Katy Shaw and the Search for the Stolen Secret leads to the Wilshire Hotel. Four Christmases ago the shenanigans of rooms 110, 200, 310, and 318 are discovered. (200 is the operative one, but i can’t wait.) Candice Price leads Paul Shapera’s number “Christmas in the City“–a wondering, wandering showtune of noir-ish regret. Haunting.

Christmas Countdown: 1800s

1800 perished according to Brooks Hubbard, representing the Rebs in “Blood on the Cotton Fields.” Mere days after Christmas 1864, Sherman’s march to the sea settled the Civil War. Those 1800 Yank casualties were but a blip on the way to defeat for the Rebels. Country rock calls out many subjects, but this silver lining of death is hard to take.

Rounding out, Team StarKid disco ‘A Christmas Carol’ into “Bah Humbug!” it was 1800-something, yaknow. Fairly faithful, in a rock-opera way.