Now THAT’s What I Call Alternative Xmas Music 2010!

A heapin’ helpin’ of
the stuff you won’t hear in stores or even on the radio – and may better
express your sentiments this holiday season.

 

BY RANDY HARWARD

 

“12.25.61” – Asylum
Street Spankers

Wammo, one of the songwriters in truly acoustic,
amplification-averse old-time music torchbearers Asylum Street Spankers, sings
the blues of being born on Christmas. “Getting ripped off on half the presents”
sucks, sez Wammo, but so does getting asked about it every year. “So lame/but
that’s the game/always the same/you wanna give me something?/ give blood in my
name/on Christmas Day.”

 

LISTEN: “12.25.61”

 

 

“Egg Nog” – The Ramsey
Lewis Trio

Jazz doesn’t have to be about anything, so this instrumental
has nothing to do with the rich, creamy, Christmas concoction that doesn’t have
to look or sound good to be good. Except this smooth instro by the
Grammy-winning pianist is as rich and goes down just as easy. Found it on a
blogger-made comp called Christmas Is for
Weirdos
, but it’s really from their album More Sounds of Christmas (MCA, 1964).

 

LISTEN: “Egg Nog”

 

 

“There’s Nothing I
Want More For Christmas This Year” – Chubbies

My copy of Happy
Birthday Baby Jesus Vol. I
(Sympathy For the Record Industry, 1995) isn’t
the greatest, so I can only guess that this song is about an ex-lover who’s
good in the sack but otherwise a jerk, and despite this, our heroine still
wants something from him. Greatest opening line ever – “Like baby Jesus/in the
manger/you lie so easy, yeah” – and a wistful, anthemic chorus.

 

LINKS: Happy Birthday
Baby Jesus Vol. I
(EMusic)

              The
Chubbies (Rhapsody)

 

 

“I’m Dreaming of a
White Jesus” – Edward Schreiber

“…even though he was from the Middle East.” This is from Have Yourself a Merry Little Black Mass,
an album of heavy metal-meets-lounge music Christmas songs either by a band
called Hail Santa! or this guy. Other than the blog where I found this,
Spotlight Music.
I can find only one other reference online – a YouTube video for the song “Deck
the Malls.” That’s a pity, ‘cause once you get past the intentionally crappy
vocals and weird stylistic mating, this is comedy gold.

 

LISTEN: “Deck the Malls”

 

 

“Santa Claus Is
Coming to Town” – Sharks (a/k/a Shark Island)

Much like how Twisted Sister mashed up “O Come All Ye
Faithful” with “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Sharks – more popularly known as
almost-was hair metal band and Bill and
Ted’s Excellent Adventure
soundtrack contributors – saw similarities
between this Xmas classic and Judas Priest’s “Heading Out to the Highway,” as
heard on this lo-fi demo from the early 1980s.

 

LISTEN: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

 

 

“Lew On Carols” –
Lewis Black

To promote his book I’m
Dreaming of A Black Christmas
, comedian Lewis Black wrote his own version
of “Carol of the Bells”-at least it’s mostly based on this song, whose melody
may be more popular as the other Xmas novelty song “Ding, Fries Are Done.”
Black’s caustic carol is all about using sex and drugs to take one’s mind off
what has, to him and many others, a ridiculous exercise. Favorite line: “I need
a shot/have you got pot?/where is the scotch?/please touch my crotch.”

 

DOWNLOAD: “Lew On Carols”

 

 

“Here Comes Santa’s Pussy”
– The Frogs

The Frogs (pictured at top) wrote ambiguously worded songs
about race and homosexuality that elicit guilty belly laughs and/or profound confusion
(see their album Racially Yours, in
which they write about race from both sides). This jaunty little number imagines
how much Santa enjoys sodomy (“He’s takin’ a candy cane up the…reindeer!”),
which should only offend Santa and PETA.  From Rhino Records’ outta-print collection, Punk Rock Xmas (1995).

 

LISTEN: “Here Comes Santa’s Pussy”

 

 

“Fuck Christmas, I’ve
Got the Blues” – The Legendary Tiger Man

Most of us have at least one time each holiday season when
we’re just not in the mood for festivities. Portuguese one-man band Paulo
Furtado virtually bottles that essence on this tune, which could become the
next holiday classic. From the album of the same name, released in 2003 via
Subotnick Enterprises.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Fuck Christmas, I’ve Got the Blues”

 

 

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