Christmas music

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Know that great Waitresses Christmas song, "Christmas Wrapping"? Know that line, "Most of '81 passed along those lines"? Oh my god did that make me feel old this morning. 'Cause baby I was there when The Waitresses were the hottest new thing, and they were the first to make an exciting new Christmas song in ages -- and now that was 23 years ago. Zoiks!

Christmas music when I was growing up in the '60s was a depressing mix of:

  • Rat Pack Cool Crap -- Dino and Frankie wheezing through old chestnuts, drink and cigarette in hand, naughty winks at women in scanty Santa outfits
  • The remnants of the "chorale" industry, whose maudlin efforts were only made the more creepy by a tendency toward bizarre pre-claymation album cover art, and which can never be forgiven for bringing us the most horrible Christmas earworm ever, "The Little Drummer Boy." Harry Simeone has much to answer for. And listening to "chorale" records can only lead to Sandler & Young.
  • Burl F'ing Ives
That was it.

These nightmarish musical memories set me to thinking how little good new Christmas music there is. There are definitely some exceptions -- Brian Setzer swinging the chestnuts, and Los Straitjackets straightening out of The Ventures' approach are both modern Christmas classics. Rock has a hard time with Christmas anyway, and Fiona Apple singing "Frosty the Snowman" isn't exactly what I'm thinking of. I mean new songs about Christmas. John Lennon and The Kinks are hardly new. Let's keep it to the last 15 years -- here are my favorite newish kick-ass Christmas songs:

  • Merry Christmas Emily – Cracker
  • Christmastime – Aimee Mann
  • Rudy – The Be Good Tonyas
  • Sock It To Me Santa – Marshall Crenshaw
  • The Christmas Twist – Syd Straw
  • St. Stephen's Day Murders – Elvis Costello and The Chieftains

Your faves? Tell me!

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This page contains a single entry by Carl published on December 19, 2004 10:02 AM.

'Tis the season, baby! was the previous entry in this blog.

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