Xmas Dance Party: week of rock (Wednesday)

Load me up with soulful rock!

Just to keep the beat, let’s tip the panama to doo wop as a precursor to rock. No better way than to acknowledge The Hepsters “Rockin’ and Rollin’ with Santa Claus.” It’s a gas.

More doo wop? At your service! Barry and the Highlights twist us into rock inevitability with “Xmas Bell Rock.” My oh my.

The white version would be Jon Cobert relying on brass for his R+B in his “Rockin’ Soul Christmas.” White folks do have soul, it just costs more.

Maybe it’s just me, but i hear Kashief Lindo’s reggae and i hear R+B. Try “Rockin’ Christmas” and tell me what you think.

Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Clowns from 1962 deliver “Rock ‘n’ Roll Santa Claus” on time with postage due. It’s R+B! (and maybe a touch of garage disonance)–

Xmas Dance Party: week of rock (Tuesday)

The explosion of Christmas novelty, music availability, counterculture–rock ‘n’ roll all overlap. So, let’s take a few days to celebrate rock and xmas.

Let’s start near the beginning. The first songs to be called rock were just boogie woogie with a harder guitar line. Have you heard The Moods’s “Rockin’ Santa Claus“? Then you know.

Sandy Baron swings jive into rock with “Swingin’ Santa Claus.” It’s authentic, but not memorable.

Slowing the rock roots way down, “Rockin’ Christmas” plays retro like it’s a fun Vegas show with in-crowd references. But Valentine Green has some loungey-big band chops and makes old-timey rock seem cute.

Can you call boogie woogie rock ‘n’ roll and be done with it? Well, plenty do. The Jeff Archer Group cram some Jerry Lee licks into their “Rockin’ Christmas Boogie” but still sound like Friday night at Shari’s.

More retro wave riders include Robert Wells and Little Mike Watson. Their “A Very Merry Rockin’ Good Christmas” just sounds a bit tired.

Can you call it rock when you can’t understand the words? (Well i presume you can’t.) Try The Renovators with “Rockin’ Good Christmas in Hebrew.” You may feel guilty afterward, but you may dance uncontrollably as well.

The Tractors sound boogie woogie still, but increase the insistency of the beat in this orignery stylin’ of “Rockin’ This Christmas.” Dance to the revolution of the evolution.

Santa Jobs: myth

On the other hand, Santa seeming omnipresent may overload our senses to the point whereas the small minded may discount any of his presence due to his inconceivability.

The Nay-Santers. The dis-en-sant-ed. The incomplete people.

A few songs, then, out of pity, for those deniers who believe Santa’s job is to be nothing.


BLUE ALERT. Nick Helm, comically competing on some singing show, lets his anger out a crack at the revelation that “There Ain’t No Fucking Santa Claus.” Hard rocking, hard feelings.

BLUE ALERT. Driller profanely rages metal against the milk and cookies with their “There’s No Santa Claus.” Even though he doesn’t exist, i think they’d kill him. Jesus, too.

BLUE ALERT. Trick Daddy raps the quandary colorfully with “Ain’t No Santa.” Hrm, maybe this is just a PSA directing kids to believe or end up dead nigas.

Perhaps too drunk to realize what they’re saying The Damned report “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause.” We may have crossed over into more personal garage rock issues.

Let’s stay prog rock and explore the possibility that we’ve merely misplaced the Wise Winterman. Captain Beefheart inspects whether or not “There’s No Santa on the Evening Stage.” It’s the blues.

Jazzy blues also come from Russ Lorenson singing a Barry Manilow number “I Guess there Ain’t No Santa Claus.” I think he’s confusing Santa with basic happiness. …well, that ain’t wrong.

Ron Holden and the Thunderbirds got it figured out. When they ask “Who Sez There Ain’t No Santy Claus?” they mean: who wants to have a horrible, empty life spiraling downward into doom. Rock the doo wop here and BELIEVE.


Santa Jobs: clones

You knew!

Santa’s secondary job, like Dr. Who’s, is to fold space-time so he can be everywhere at the same moment. He seems to be multiple copies of himself–but that’s our limited perception forcing our paradigm on his magic.

I’m glad you knew.

The Peter Pan Carolers explain their shock that there are “Ten Thousand Santa Clauses,” but never fear–they’ll blink them away.

When Gayla Peevey wasn’t shilling for hippopotami, she was counting “77 Santa Clauses.” Kids think they’re so smart.

The more adult perspective comes from Bob Rivers who, natch, turns ‘Here Comes’ to “There’s Another Santa Claus.” Yes, very clever. But you seem to be racist, Bob.

The appropriate response to “Too Many Santas” is awe and stupefaction. Although The Bobs collapse into cynicism, they do it with love. Rock steady.g00384

Santa Jobs: impersonator

Is Santa his real name? Is it Kris? Or Billy?

We may not ever know who this guy is.

Here are some guesses who he could actually be in his spare time.

Of course Bob Rivers has an opinion. He claims, in his best der Bingle, that “There’s a Santa Who Looks a Lot Like Elvis” down at the K-Mart store. Wait, who’s standing in for whom?

Ralph Garman similarly wonders who the real Marshall Bruce Mathers III is in his Kevin and Bean radio parody “The Real Slim Santa.” It’s a shady present no matter how you rap it.

Lee Stranger gets rock and revival with his electric “I Wanted Christ and You Gave Me Santa Claus.” Are you sure they’re two different people? I’ve never seen them together….

Santa Jobs: babysitter

Now that you know better, it’s time to let Santa watch over your bundle of joy.

According to wild man Barry Richards the baby will have the better of Reindeer Man. Clue in to “Baby Sittin’ Santa” and rock your diaper!

Santa Jobs: killer

Futurama featured a rampaging Saint akin to Black Peter who would shoot first and check lists later. Never did get a full fledged song about that robo-claus, but here’s a little ditty: “Santa Claus is Gunning You Down.”

The old chestnut here is Weird Al’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy.” That was felonious, dude. But, i’ve mentioned that already last April.

Also previously featured but worth the encore are The Oh Wells and “Don’t Kill Me, Santa.” Love the brass.

For something new, let’s try Santa as an unholy seducer/sucker: “Santa Claus is a Vampire.” Dr. Noise amps up the home grown rock with boyish boisterousness. Stay in beds kids!

Santa Jobs: criminal

Breaking and entering should not a hero make. Santa’s real occupation is working outside the law. How shall we charge thee?

Currently disconnected run a mean unplugged spanish-style guitar riff over their warning “Coming Down Your Chimney.” Be careful because that interloper’s  white (i think).

Kingpin mastermind? Sky Does Minecraft has their cutie-pie parody “Santa Claus is Running this Town.” It’s a take off on the Springsteen version, but the vocals are not too shabby ‘tall.

Nice Peter has some pun with “Santa is a Gangsta.” This is the bleeped version, so lean in–it’s not bad. I presume a rapping bad-ass is the criminal type, not just tuff.

Ted :Lyons (from the cool Xmas compilation Christmas Time Again) delivers unto us a desperado Deliverer of Toys in “The Only Law that Santa Claus Understood.” It’s retro rock club style with overly dramatic accents. Hah!

Toymakers Local 1224: roll call-Johnny

Danica DeCosta revives retro rock n roll (you know: Sha Na Na) with her band Doodlebug to bring us leather coated juvenile delinquent “Johnny Elf.” With all the class of Andrew Dice Clay, Johnny fools around with cookies and shoplifting and females, yet still manages to Heimlich Santa (with the kiss of life) to save the day. Tawdry T & A, without the gusto of Grindhouse or the sincerity of John Waters. A-a-a-a-ay!

Wrap the Rainbow: yellow

I’m done with Yellow Snow as an option for color, partly because that’s not truly a Christmas subject, partly because i covered this last March (12-17).

Winston Foster became popular as vocalist King Yellowman for a while in the ’80s back when we began to identify Jamaica as a marijuana way of life. Learn of his life (again to the tune of ‘White Christmas’) in his “Yellowman Yellow Christmas.” It’s almost like history. While on the subject, i have to mention another better Jamaican interp of a traditional: “The Christmas Song (Yellow Yam Roasting).” I love the effortless joy and whimsy in this non-pro from the MuseFlows posting.

For (a version of) more history, let’s listen to Bob Wills Jr.’s family keeping up homefront morale with “Yellow Ribbon Christmas.” It overexplains a bit too defensively what should be a simple message of faith, hope, and respect for our troops in the angry new millennium.

Yellowman should win the feature here, but i’m more intrigued (if not more enlightened) by the great mystry of Yu-Chia Lin’s “Yellow Christmas.” If it were only in Chinese, i would file it away as exotic novelty. But i dig the chorus “…yellow, yellow…”. And it rocks.