Christmas Countdown: 8:00

It must be close to eight, Been awake since close to five joins the happy light pop of Common Jack’s “The Christmas Tree is Fake.” That’s not a bad thing, just a childhood memory.

What’s a Mrs. Claus to do? She left the ‘pole at a quarter to eight when Santa was riding his reindeer driven sleigh. “It’s Christmas Eve” by Slim Cat & Fisherman Joe is a slightly off rocker about annual misconduct. Boom chicka boom.

Is It Almost Christmas” wonders Lizzy Hilliard in soaring, almost gospel tones. I need to sled and go to bed before the clock strikes eight, she dutifully points out. Endearing.

Waking up at eight to go to work… Can’t wait til’ it’s over ’cause it’s colder than hell. Hitrick & Brooks (feat. CJ Hughes) harmonize some white boy doo wop for “Go Away Snow.” They hate it. I love it.

The clock’s striking! Please meet me, dear, at eight P.M. and bring your “Christmas Kisses,” sings Marty Robbins with country rock tortured into easy listening hell.

Family dinner at eight and I won’t be late! discos Bros in their party tribute “I’m Coming Home for Christmas.” Electric slide!

More leery about being home for Christmas, Ralph Keefer doles out plaintive folk with “An Old Suitcase.” Leaving on Sunday, dinner at 8; It’s the red-eye special and he doesn’t want to be late–cuz he’s the daddy. Terrific horn solo.

Monochrome Tone mixes reverence with childish gags in “Christmas Time,” a chorale that mixes R+B pop with rap, squeaky with bass. Gonna sleep past eight….

Salt-N-Pepa update “Santa Baby” with the rap lyrics: Now all mase know When it’s eight twenty-four He be looking at the door for the ho ho ho. Necessary?

Welcome back, Arrogant Worms! “The Christmas Song” is beer barrel frenzied polka about THAT family at Christmastime (Police arrive just after eight). Duck!

Christmas Countdown: 15 years

Side effects of Christmas: nostalgia, regret, remorse, music….

Alter Egel begins their calliope rock melody: Fifteen years ago today You had enough and ran away Every Christmas since that one was sad. But a “Blue Christmas” results from you returning. Don’t want that. ‘Cause then you’d leave again. Then there’d be peeing on your makeup and driving the van with the tree nailed to it off a cliff. You know how that goes.

Chumbawumba has a postmodern rocker (with hollow chanting and vinyl pops) that goes: Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree How bent your branches seem to be; Nineteen twenty-one and all’s well, Another fifteen years and we’ll be laughing in hell. “Rubens has been Shot” presages WWII, and the weird new art scene, and perhaps existentialism. Yeah, let’s say that.

But, you wanna get freaky?! “Chrismysteries” from Johnathan Boggarty and the Yoghurt Man is expressionistic word jazz, f’r ‘zample: It’s been fifteen Christmases Since I’ve thought of you last, Since that time I’ve had a think And I don’t understand your past. Is this a remonstration on JC? Or uncanny valley AI poetry?

David Prince writes a country history of “My Christmas Wish” from 5 years old to ten years old to My greatest Christmas wish at fifteen was a new guitar. Not sure about you, but this sorrowful, modulated mess makes me sorry about that wish.

Also torturous, “Christmas Morning” is alt-pop froth from Evie Calabasas about–missing you?? Fifteen so many dreams, A town too small for us, Christmas Eve sat on your rooftop, Pen tattoos would never last. I can see it as a series on Prime, but i can’t see it.

You want “Heikki Lunta” on your side, especially if you’re Da Yoopers–they can get whatever they want when this upstate medicine dances. I remember Christmas Eve 15 years ago all the kids were crying; they didn’t have no snow. Punk polka tells the story of what happens next!

Christmas Countdown: 2001

Incubus smack-raps Hanukkah with “Get Your Dreidel on.” A shout to the year brings the festivities to a close.

Now, hang on a sec. Alan Koch and Jay Hallett have basement taped a mystical classic: “Christmas 2001,” a skating rink organ waltz (with reggae overtures) looking to the distant future. Lightspeed to travel, gifts are all programs, the robot’s making eggnog… wasn’t the future wonderful? Noveltychristmasmusic endorses this masterpiece.

The Rude Off: overdone

What kind of reindeer is Rudolph? What kind of nose? Oh, dear.

Homophobic humor at its ’90est, “Rudolph the Deep-Throated Reindeer” Is Matt Rogers at his most unapologetic.

Rudolph the Big Dick Reindeer” is the unowned parody that also needs to be forgotten.

College Humor tries regular hard with “Rudolph the Regular Reindeer.” Shouting, but not that much.

Better from Kevin & Bean’s Shakespeare Man:

Rudolph the Blue-Nosed Reindeer” from Barney and Hector at least adds cha-cha-cha.

Rudolph the Green-Nosed Reindeer” from Smartz Crew add some marijuana. Yeah. BLUE ALERT

Rudolph the Runny-Nosed Reindeer” also unowned attributes the symptoms to sampling his drug-mule sideline.

Rudolph the Psycho Reindeer” is unattributed bro-humor wherein the boys crack each other up. Then justice is served.

Rudolph the Mohawked Reindeer” is Primate Punk’s punk BLUE ALERT aggressive answer.

Rudolph the Union Reindeer” takes us another direction completely. Organized by Ariana Eakle Blockmon.

The Christmas Jug Band help a smidge with “Rudolph the Bald-Headed Reindeer.” A Jimmy Durante tribute.

The Rude Off: drunk

From the top you’ve got no where to go but down. The fall of Rudolph is usually field by alcohol.

Rudolph is a Drunk” is fine raging metal from DØMT.

Rudolph got a DUI” is not so fine country from Bill Engvall.

Rudolph the Gin Nosed Reindeer” is fine punk from La Vasa. Just piss poor parody.

Rudolph Drank the Moonshine” is fine bluegrass by The Christmas Hillbillies.

Rudolph : The Untold Story” is fine polka comedy from Yulenog. (Amazing sax solo.)

Name One

C.C. Moore pasted names (probably of his favorite ponies) onto the mythical reindeer that pulled Santa Claus’s sleigh. Unless they’re running lyrics through the old memory banks, most people can’t name them. Or apparently feature them in cool novelty Christmas songs. But we’ll do our best to showcase each caribou, try to sidestep that additional one, then look at all the also-rans.

Kitty Well has previously compared Rudolph to “Dasher with the Light Upon His Tail.” Not sure the geography of who has what bioluminescence where, but this country sweetener is for the kids.

Zupe and the Polka Commandos apply swinging beer-barrel fun to “Dasher the Reindeer.” Formerly the lead puller, the Rudolph-envy here includes having to look at ass all trip. That joke gets old, but the music rocks.

Mall World: sidewalk

The Mall Santa is way over a hundred years old, despite the ‘A Christmas Story’/The Simpsons pilot/Billy Bob smearing you’ve recently seen. Check out 1947’s ‘A Miracle on 34th Street’ for heaven’s sake. But whether it was Colonel Jim or someone else, keep in mind the dressed-up fakir you sat on to snap a cry-your-eyes-out pic started as a Salvation Army recruit ringing a bell and begging alms for the poor outside the meccas of marketing.

Check out the bell-ringer folk ballad from Larry Nestor: “The Kettle.” This finger wagger should tweak your capitalistic conscience, but tends to fall flat. Proselytization should bring a little more impact.

A sad, tinny recording of the Yogi Yorgeson revisitation of “The Street Corner Santa Claus” barely does justice to the classic sentimental 1954 oompah novelty.

Merry Criminals! prison

Locked up for the long haul gets old. Days come, days go. Then Christmas is in there somewhere. No family. No festivities. Hmm.

The Professor Brothers get oddly falsetto bee bop calling out roll on who’s in a worse mood for “Prisoner Christmas.” Tone down that boo hoo in the refrain, guys.

Charlie & the Bhoys get lugubriously Celtic with “A Prisoners Christmas.” A little boy gets a lecture in how they endure Xmas in lock down. Political prisoners, actually. Tiocfaidh ár lá!

Showtime at The 4th Annual Joe Iconis Christmas Spectacular, December 18, 2011. “Prisoner’s Christmas Song” from Ray Munoz chains swamp blues to musical. A bit scary for all its silliness.

Bashing and crashing on the guitar Matt Roach offkey-rocks “The Inmates Holiday.” There will be orange violence.

Christmas in Prison” is the appropriate dirge to count the lost time to. John Prine has just the right gruff hoarseness to bring you way down from the merriment. The Boxmasters add a bit more life to it, though. Maybe a skoosh deadpan. My favorite cover of the Prine pining comes from Doug Legacy and the Legends of the West. Sad, yet a party.

Then i discovered this monster concept album Payday 2, A Merry Payday Christmas, the soundtrack to a videogame. Simon Viklund is the composer at Overkill/Starbreeze which developed ‘Payday 2.’ So he made this bad-ass musical about a caper and the resultant “Christmas in Prison.” Rock the prison blues, man.

Xmas Tech Support: email

A handy dandy means of communique since the 1970s (for some), the elctronic-mail didn’t quite bury the USPS but it has become the default unfiltered word vomit for our age. Whatever you think–there it is! (It’s replacement is in the works.)

Rosie O’Donnell’s “I’m Gonna Email Santa” actually was a cover (duet) of little Billy Gilman’s hit(?) from 2000, aka “” Gareth Pritchard adds the honky tonk.

More giggly silly children’s drek from some Broadway lyricist sung by 13-year-old Kara Oates (voice of Dora the Explorer), “S.A.N.T.A. Dot Com” is all show tune (piercing, man, piercing).

Even worse is the so-called precociousness of Treypac McKaughan, who at not-quite-three, squalls “I Wrote an Email to Santa Claus.” I hope he asked for ADHD treatment.

Son of Hog gets the snotty kid routine down with “I’ll Just Send an Email to Santa,” a bouncy beerhall twist of sarcasm we can all sing along to.