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.
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.
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.)
Ahh, the office Christmas party… a fine tradition since –1945?? Certainly offices have been our lot since before Scrooge and Cratchit. And parties are a staple of the Roaring ’20s. But the idea of stiff, formal relationships unbuttoned for an evening revealing the inner reveler–that comes down hard for the returning WWII vets, the sudden money Mad Men.
What do we have to look forward to at such a spree?
Some songs carefully document the beginning, middle, and urrgh! Like Ray Stevens’s “Annual Office Christmas Party.” Our humorist counts out the hours: from hopeful (easy listening) to crazy (jazzy conga). Kick line!
Canned Hamm & Friends (Neil Hamburger) introduces the usual suspects at a carnival rouser, “Office Christmas Party.” It’s a comedy song and wants you to know it.
Lauren Robb’s “Office Christmas Party Song” partakes of parody (‘Santa Baby’) detailing the horrifying hookups, inappropriate jokes, overdrinking, and exhibitionism. Cutesy.
More upbeat parody from Goddammit Jeremiah wherein the “Office Christmas Party” sounds lovely, just lovely. Pop con gusto.
The complaint of the salary man finds salve “At the Office Christmas Party” by Supposably. Kicking alt rock swing and sway. He got it out of his system ’til next year.
After an impressive bass intro, Roseate makes social commentary about her “Office Christmas Party.” But it seems to be with love. Or it’s the alt-jazz bounciness that defuses. I’d go.
Let’s go back to 1949 with Yogi Yorgesson’s “Christmas Party.” This Swedish big band burner is sexist and dismissive of overdrinking, but that’s the fun of comedy!
“Nick Kwas Christmas Party” is an introspective depressive fever dream that really has no party parts whatsoever. But the alt-rock soldiers on. Try on your gift from Sorority Noise, but keep the receipt.
“Mrs. Miller’s Christmas Party” from Quarrel starts out slow. The polka punk rock, however, increases in tempo and aggro until we know ‘it’s the best party in the land.’ Glad i was there.
Let’s overdecorate. Yes, i include overall/house decorations with the tree’s biz, but The Therapy Sisters do mention trees in “The War of the Lights.” Down home musical fare, but in war nobody wins.
Closed Heart Surgery gets experimental DJ mashing up old easy listening with exuberant young rap. “I Hope Christmas Lights Burn Your House Down” is more concerned with the rhyme than the reason, but it pops. Shit just got BLUE ALERT.