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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

'Tis The Season to Go Bowling

Ho, ho, ho, Solid State.

Now that the last remains of Thanksgiving dinner have been eaten, The Lions have been thoroughly embarrassed on national TV, Church Street is lit up like the Vegas strip and Black Friday has come and gone — and with only one WalMart trampling fatality . . . way to go America! — 'tis officially the season to be jolly. Well fa la effin' la, la-la la la!

Actually, I really enjoy the Christmas season. The big day, not so much. It's always pretty anti-climactic and, as the product of a broken home — cue sad Christmas-y piano music — really kind of a pain in the ass. But the buildup is great. Holiday parties, Christmas movies, old cartoon and stop-motion TV specials and, of course, Christmas music.

That's right. I like Christmas music. Do something.

I know, I know. It's omnipresent. Most of it sucks. And the fact that many of our finer retailers and radio stations have been playing it since Halloween only compounds its truly inspired obnoxiousness. But I can't help it. I'm a sucker for sentimentality. And bells. Shiny, silver bells.

I love the classics, of course: Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," Ella and Louis (Jordan) singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside," Nat King Cole's "O Come All Ye Faithful." But I really dig the offbeat novelty stuff. Give me dogs barking "Jingle Bells," Ray Stevens counting off the "12 Pains of Christmas" or Eric Cartman singing "O Holy Night" and I'm one happy, eggnog-soused elf. Moving on . . .

As some of you know, last year I started a hipster bowling league with my old Middle Eight band mate Jeremy Gantz. If you're just joining us, here's the gist: Every Wednesday night, I get together with 63 of my closest friends and associates to drink cheap beer, roll rocks and listen to some truly killer tunes. The folks at Champlain Lanes are nice enough to let us plug our iPods into the stereo every week, so the mix is always pretty eclectic. Good times, believe me. Anyway, we take a holiday break soon, so I'm working on the ultimate holiday music mix to unveil the week before Christmas. Obviously, I'll be leaning on some less offensive standards. But I'm really trying to find some lesser known gems to make up the bulk of the playlist. Here's a tiny snippet of what I've got so far:

"Christmas at Ground Zero," Weird Al Yankovic
"Christmas With the Devil," Spinal Tap
"Angels We Have Heard on High," MU330
"Christmas in Hollis," Run DMC
"Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)," The Decemberists
"I've Got a Boner for Christmas," Nerf Herder
"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)," The Ramones
"Funky, Funky Xmas," New Kids on the Block
"Oi to the World," The Vandals
"F**k Christmas," Eric Idle

Not a bad start — I'm up to about an hour-and-a-half, all totaled. But I could use a hand finding more. So whaddya say, Solid State? Help your friendly local music critic find a Christmas miracle. 

In the meantime, here's a video of what might be my new favorite Christmas tune, Toby Keith's "Have I Got a Present for You" from Steven Colbert's "A Colbert Christmas." Take it away, Toby . . .



Go here for some fun Christmas stuff put together by Chicago people (I think...). My buddy Jon does the first track on Volume 3. He also did this song, which is unrelated to Christmas but I love it and felt like giving it a shameless plug.

Tyler Machado

There's an mp3 floating around the Interwebs of Radiohead, led by a thoroughly sloshed Thom Yorke, performing "Winter Wonderland," it's brilliant if you don't mind Thom's ramblings at the start about Autechre.

Also My Morning Jacket made a Christmas EP (around the At Dawn era) that isn't really that good, except for a great cover of Elvis Presley's "Santa Claus is Back in Town".


mu330...ha ha. ska.
Hows about:
"fuck christmas" by Fear
"death might be your santa claus" covered by the Dead Boys
"fairy tale of NY" by the Pogues
"kiss yourself" bt Firebird Band
"jump through the hoops" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
"what WE do on christmas" by Atom and his Package

Bright Eyes has a whole damn record of x-mas music
The Vandals have a x-mas record called "Oi to the world"
and the "Happy Birthday Baby Jesus vol 1&2" comp feat. Rocket from the Crypt, the Bomboras, man or astro-man?, the supersuckers, among others.

Christmas sux. fuck santa claus and his stupid elves.


ohmygod you MUST check Diane's computer! She has the best collection of traditional and non-traditional stuff. I made a mix off there last year and have been listening to it driving around Maine - my personal favorite is a Rilo Kiley carol about a twenty-five year old with credit card debt. It's called 'X-mas Cake'. Go get it. Now.

I'm also a sucker for Guster's "Donde esta Santa Claus?"


That "O, Come All Ye Grateful Deadheads" song is fun. I don't know who sings it.

dan bolles

I think that's Bob Rivers, actually. And yes, it's awesome.

The MMJ x-mas album is kind of funny. Somehow they manage to make holiday music sound just like My Morning Jacket songs. It's kind of like when James Taylor sings the national anthem and it sounds like "Fire & Rain."


I get a huge kick out of "Deck the Stills" by the Barenaked Ladies. They just sing "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young" over and over to the tune of deck the halls. Might just be my sense of humor.

Lisa Crean

Two Run DMC Christmas Classics: "Christmas In Hollis" and "Christmas Is."

Lyrics from the first selection:
It's Christmas time in Hollis Queens
Mom's cooking chicken and collard greens...
My name's D.M.C. with the mic in my hand
And I'm chilling and coolin' just like a snowman

And the inimitable chorus from the second choice:
Give up the dough!
Give up the dough!
Give up the dough on Xmas yo!

Touching holiday sentiments, early 80s style!

Lisa Crean

PS: All I want for Christmas: To see the 7Days music editor sing one or more of the following karaoke selections at the holiday party:
Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back
Sisquo's The Thong Song
Britney Spears--any early Britney classic...editor's choice!

Bless us everyone!

Joel Abbott

They Might Be Giants - Santa's Beard
It's nice because it's sad.

celebrity tube

I love bowling. Give me a ball.

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